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Full text of "The Jesuit relations and allied documents : travels and explorations of the Jesuit missionaries in New France, 1610-1791"

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The edition consists of sev- 
en hundred and fifty sets 
all numbered 


The Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents 

Travels and Explorations 

OF THE Jesuit Missionaries 

IN New France 




Secretary of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin 


HURONS: 1653 

CLEVELAND. Z^z Burrows JBrotberg 
Company, publishers, mdcccxcix 

Copyright, 1899 


The Burrows Brothers Co 


The Imperial Press, Cleveland 



Translators . 

Assistant Editor 
Bibliographical Adviser 

Reuben Gold Thwaites 
FiNLOw Alexander 
Percy Favor Bicknell 
Crawford Lindsay 
William Price 
Emma Helen Blair 
Victor Hugo Paltsits 


Preface to Volume XXXIX . . .9 

Document: — 

LXXXIII. Breve Relatione d' alcvne missioni 
de' PP. della Compagnia di Giesu 
nella Nuoua Francia. [Remain- 
der of Part I., all of Part II., and 
Chaps, i.-v. of Part III., being 
the second installment of the 
document.] Francesco Gioseppe 
Bressani; Macerata, Italy, July 
19, 1653 . . . .11 

Notes ...... 26$ 


LXXXIII. The first four chapters of Part I., 
Bressani's Relatione, appeared in Vol. XXXVIII. 
In the current volume, we present the remainder of 
Part I., all of Part II., and Chaps, i.-v. of Part III.; 
the remainder of the document will be given in Vol. 

The last chapter of Part I. describes the religious 
ideas of the savages, — mainly of the Hurons, since 
in that field Bressani had labored, and of the adjacent 
Algonkin tribes; also their belief in dreams, and 
their dependence on these for the cure of illness; 
and the practices of the medicine-men. All this is 
largely abridged from Ragueneau's account in the 
Relation of 1648. Bressani mentions the customs 
connected with death and burial ; and concludes this 
chapter with his answers to certain questions which 
have been asked him. These relate to the flow 
and ebb of tides on the American coasts; the great 
abundance of water in the new continent; and the 
declination of the magnetic needle in sailing thither. 

Part II. treats of " the conversion of the Canadians 
to the Faith." The efforts put forth in France for 
this object are briefly mentioned; and the writer 
proceeds to describe the main difficulties which 
hinder the work among the Hurons. The first of 
these concerns the early foothold of missions in 
that country, of which a brief resume is given. The 


second lies in the dangers of the journey. In illus- 
tration of these, Bressani here presents several letters 
written by him to superiors and friends in Europe, 
after his escape from captivity among the Iroquois 
(April, 1644); these detail his experiences among 
those cruel enemies, the torments he endured at their 
hands, and his final ransom by the Dutch, — all quite 
similar to the case of Jogues (as related in Vol. XXV.). 

Another hindrance to missionary labors is the 
difficulty of acquiring the language of the natives. 
To illustrate this point, Bressani abridges Le Jeune's 
account of his winter among the Montagnais (I633- 
34). He then adds mention of other obstacles to 
the efforts of the Fathers, with which we are already 
familiar, — the ignorance, superstition, and license 
of the savages ; the opposition of the medicine-men ; 
the general dread of baptism as a fatal ceremony; 
the immunity of the Jesuits from the pestilence 
which ravaged the Indian villages ; etc. The perse- 
cutions consequently inflicted upon the Fathers among 
the Hurons are related, also the numerous conver- 
sions resulting from their labors, and the zeal and 
devotion of the neophytes. 

Part III. is devoted to accounts of the deaths of 
some of the Fathers who had fallen in the harness 
of mission work. In this volume appear those of 
Fathers Anne de Noue, Isaac Jogues, and Ennemond 
Masse (1646), Antoine Daniel (1648), and Jean de 
Brebeuf and Gabriel Lalemant (1649), — abridged 
from the Relations of 1649 ^'^^ 1650. The remainder 
of the document will appear in Vol. XL. 

R. G. T. 

Madison, Wis., February, 1899. 

LXXXIII (continued) 

Bressani's Breve Relatione 


In Volume XXXVIII. we presented chaps, i.-iv., of Part 
I.; herein we give the remainder of Part I., all of Part II,, 
and chaps, i.-v. of Part III.; the rest of the document will be 
given in Volume XL. 


[i9i.e.,2i] CAPITOLO QVINTO. 


HAUEUO letto in diuerfl autori, che fcriuono 
contro gli Athei, che 1' Atheifmo e peccato con- 
tro natura, la quale c' inf pira y>«/?^w quemdam 
diuinitatis: non ne dubitauo, ma mi fono confermato 
in queflo fentimento, per quelle, che h6 vifto ne' noftri 
Barbari, ne' quali come incoltiffimi pare, che altro non 
refti, che la pura natura corrotta, e pure fono lonta- 
niffimi da' fentimenti de' noftri libertini, e dall' Athe- 
ifmo. Primo credono 1' immortalita dell' anime, e 
due diuerfe dimore verfo 1' Occidete di alcuni felici, e 
d' altri miferi, mefcolandoci pero mille fauole, come 
gli antichi faceuano parlando de loro campi Elili. 
Secondo, credono i Spiriti buoni, e cattiui/ onde 
ne' pericoli procurano di placare i cattiui con vna 
fpecie di facrificio, che gli fanno, gettando del tabac- 
co, 5 del graffo de lor feflini nel fuoco, 5 nell' 
acqua ; e conciliarfi i buoni ; e certo hanno non f olo 
il fentimento d' vna diuinitk; ma anche vn nome, che 
ne' loro pericoli inuocano fenza faperne [20 i.e., 22] 
il vero fignificato raccomandandofi Ignoto Deo co 
quefte parole Aireskui Sutanditenr, 1' vltima delle 
quali fi potrebbe tradurre per miferere nobis. Terzo 
apoftrofano fpeffo il Cielo, ed il Sole, pigliadoli per 
teftimonio hora del loro coraggio, hora della loro 

1653] BRESSANrS RELA TION, 1633 13 

[19 i.e., 21] CHAPTER FIFTH. 


1HAD read in sundry authors, who write against 
the Atheists, that Atheism is a sin against nature, 
which herself inspires in us sensuni quemdam divi- 
nitatis. I did not doubt it; but I have confirmed 
myself in this opinion through what I have seen in 
our Barbarians. Among these wholly uncultivated 
people, nothing else seems to remain but corrupted 
nature alone; and yet they are very far from the 
opinions of our libertines, and from Atheism. At 
the outset, they believe in the immortality of the 
soul, and in two separate abodes toward the Sunset, — 
for some happy, and for others wretched, — although 
they mingle with these a thousand fables, as the 
ancients did in speaking of their Elysian fields. vSec- 
ondly, they believe in good Spirits and evil ones; 
wherefore, in dangers, they undertake to appease the 
evil ones with a kind of sacrifice which they make 
by throwing some tobacco, or fat from their feasts, 
into the fire or the water; they do the same, to con- 
ciliate the good spirits. And certainly they have 
not only the perception of a divinity, but also a name 
which in their dangers they invoke, without know- 
ing [20 i.e., 22] its true significance, — recommending 
themselves Ignoto Deo with these words, Aireskui 
Sutanditenr; the last of which may be translated by 
miserere nobis. Thirdly, they frequently address the 


miferia, e fpeffo dell' innocenza loro; e ne' trattati, o 
lega con popoli foraftieri della loro fincera intentione, 
come quello, che credono vedere il piu fegreto de' 
cuori, e capace di vendicare la perfidia de' traditori, 
fenfo quafi commune dell' antica gentilitk. 

Vna natione d' Algonchini piu vicini ^ gli Huroni 
chiamati ondataiiaiiat, inuoca quafi in ogni feflino il 
fattor del Cielo, dimandandogli la fanitk, longa vita, 
e fucceffo fauoreuole nelle loro caccie, pefche, guerre, 
e mercantie ; ma credono, che il genio, che ha create 
11 Cielo e differete da quello, che h^ fatto la Terra, e 
dair autore dell' Inuerno, che habita verfo il Set- 
tentr. donde inuia le neui, & il freddo come quello 
deir acque, le tepefte, &inaufragij. I veti hauendo 
origine da fette altri genij, che ftanno nell' aria, e 
fpirano li y venti, quafi ordinarij in quelle contrade. 
Quid perderent fi vnu colerent priidentiore compendia per 
parlare con Sant' Agoflino. 

Altri Algonchini piii vicini a Kebek credono, che 
ogni fpetie d' animali h^ vn primo, che e come il 
principio, & origine degli altri, cosi tutti i caflori di- 
cono fono vfciti dal primo caftoro, che s' imaginano 
eller grande come vna capanna, e chi in fogno vede 
quefti primi e felice nella caccia di quella fpetie, della 
quale hk viflo il primo. Interrogati done habitano, 
han rifpoito, che non lo fanno di ficuro, ma che cre- 
dono, che quelli degli vccelli fiano nel Cielo, e quelli 
degli altri animali nell' acque. Erano e vero i noftri 
Barbari fenza religione, cioe fenza culto regolato, & 
ordinario della diuinita, che confufamente conofce- 

1663] BRESSANrS RELATION, i633 15 

Sky and the Sun, — calling upon them to witness 
now their courage, now their misery, and often their 
innocence, and, in treaties or leagues with outside 
peoples, their sincere intention, — as a being who, as 
they believe, sees the most secret place of the heart, 
and is able to avenge the perfidy of traitors, — an 
acceptation very general in ancient paganism. 

A nation of Algonquins nearer to the Hurons, 
called ondatauauat, invokes at almost every feast the 
maker of Heaven, asking him for health, long life, 
and favorable results in their hunting, fishing, wars, 
and trade ; but they believe that the genie who has 
created the Heaven is different from the one who has 
made the Earth, and from the author of the Winter, 
who dwells toward the North, whence he sends the 
snows and the cold, as the genie of the waters sends 
tempests and shipwrecks. The winds have their 
origin from seven other genii, who dwell in the air and 
breathe forth the 7 winds which commonly prevail 
in those regions. Quid perderent si unum colere?it 
priidentiore compendia, — to speak with Saint Augustine. 

Other Algonquins, nearer to Kebek, believe that 
every species of animals has a first one, which is, as 
it were, the beginning and origin of the others: 
thus all the beavers, they say, have issued from the 
first beaver, which they imagine to have the height 
of a cabin; and he who sees these first ones in a 
dream, is fortunate in the hunt of that species where- 
of he has seen the first. Being questioned where 
these progenitors live, they answered that they do 
not know with certainty, but that they believe that 
those of the birds are in the Sky, and those of the 
other animals in the waters.^ Our Barbarians were 
indeed without religion, — that is, without regulated 


uano onde non haueuano ne tempij, ne Sacerdoti, ne 
fefle, ne orationi, e riti publici, ma non folo non 
erano Athei, ma ne anche si irreligiofi, che non ren- 
delTero qualche douere k quelli genij, a' quali attri- 
buiuano i fauori piu fegnalati. Onde non folo gV 
inuocauano fpeffo, come habbiamo detto del Sole, 
ma li ringratianano publicamente nelle vittorie, attri- 
buendogli tutti i fucceffi fauoreuoli, e tutti i rimedij 
de lore mali non fperandogli quafi da altro, che da 
mezzi fiiperflitiofi, a quali per lo piu ricorreuano 
prima d' effer iftrutti nella fede. Parerk vn para- 
doff o d' intendere parlare di fuperftitione, cioe di 
fuperfiua religione, done non ve ne era neffuna, ma 
non e nuouo di vedere, che fi paffi ne' vitij ab extremo 
ad extreniuni fine medio. [21 i.e., 23] E perche quefta 
materia e per piacere, fe non m' inganno, ne dir5 
qui breuemente vna parola. 

Dillingueuano gli Huroni infedeli tre forti di ma- 
lattie, alcune naturali, effetti di caufe puramente 
naturali, altre cagionate dall* anima dell' ammalato 
defiderofa di qualche cofa, altre da f attucchiari ; le 
prime diceuano fi guarifcono con rimedij naturali, le 
feconde con fodisfare a' defiderij dell' anima, le terze 
con eflrarre il fortilegio dal corpo dell' infermo, ma 
per le feconde bifogna fupporre, che oltre i defiderij 
liberi, o almeno volontarij, che ordinariamete hab- 
biamo, gli Huroni ftimauano, che 1' anime noftre 
haueffero altri defiderij come naturali, e nafcofli nati 
dal fodo deir anima non per via di cognitione, ma 
per vn certo trafporto di fe in qualche oggetto 'k lei 


and ordinary worship of the divinity, of whom they 
had but an obscure knowledge ; therefore they had 
neither temples, nor Priests, nor feasts, nor prayers 
and public ceremonies; but they were not only not 
Atheists, but also not so irreligious as not to render 
some homage to those genii to whom they attributed 
their most signal good fortune. So they not only 
invoked them often, as we have said of the Sun, but 
publicly thanked them in their victories, attributing 
to them all their success therein, and all remedies 
for their ills, — but relying only upon superstitious 
means, to which chiefly they had recourse before being 
instructed in the faith. It will seem a paradox to 
hear mention of superstition, — that is, of superflu- 
ous religion, where there was none at all; but it is 
not a new thing to see that in vices there is a pas- 
sage ab extremo ad extrenium, sine medio. [21 i.e., 23] 
And because this topic is, if I am not mistaken, 
likely to be of interest, I will briefly mention it here. 
The infidel Hurons distinguished three sorts of 
diseases: some natural, — the effects of purely natu- 
ral causes; others, occasioned by the soul of the 
patient being desirous of something; others, by sor- 
cerers. The first, they said, are cured with natural 
remedies ; the second, by satisfying the desires of the 
soul; the third, by extracting the spell from the 
ailing man's body. But, for the second, it must be 
recognized that, besides the free — or, at least, volun- 
tary — desires that we usually have, the Hurons 
thought that our souls had other desires, in a manner 
natural, and hidden, born in the depth of the soul, — 
not in the way of conscious knowledge, but through 
a certain migration of the soul into some object 
proportioned to itself, — which the philosophers would 


proportionato, che i filofofi chiamarebbono defideria 
innata per diftinguerli da' primi, che fono defideria 
elicit a. 

Gli Huroni dunque 'i\ perfuadeuano, che 1' anima 
palefaffe i primi defiderij per mezzo de fogni, che 
fono la fua propria voce, e fe quefti fogni (^diceuano^ 
fono adempiti, refta contenta, altrimenti li fdegna, e 
non folamente non cerca piu il bene, e la felicitk per 
il corpo, ma riuoltandofi contro di lui, gli cagiona 
varie infermita, e fpefTo la morte. Nel fogno poi 
quando penfiamo 'k qualche cofa lontana, credeuano, 
che r anima vfcille dal corpo per farfi presete alia 
cofa fognata/ non 1' anima fenfitiua, che mai abban- 
dona fdiceuano^ il corpo, ma la ragioneuole, che da 
quello neir operar fuo non dipende. Onde offeruauan 
diligentemente i fogni per conofcere i defiderij dell' 
anima, e non inafprirla, e gli obediuano fpeffo a 
cofto di fangue, facendofi recidere, fe il fogno lo 
comandaiia, i membri fteffi con eftremo dolore. Cosl 
auuenne mentre noi erauam' iui, ad vn' huomo di 
ftima, il quale hauedo fognato la notte, che era in 
mano de' nemici, che gli tagliauano vn dito con vna 
conchiglia di mare, fubito dello prepare vn folenne 
banchetto, nel quale raccotato fecodo il lor coflume il 
fogno, fi fece in preseza di tutti recidere veramete 
il dito CO acerbifs. dolore, feruedofi in vece di col- 
tello, d' vna cochiglia, che laceraua piu tofto, che 
tagliaffe la carne, «& i nerui, e quefto col cofeglio de' 
loro indouini, de quali hor hora parlaremo per fodis- 
far al fogno, al quale vbidiuano, e quafi facrificauano 

1653] BRESSANI'S RELATION, i6s3 19 

call desideria innata, to distinguish them from the 
first, which are desideria elicit a. 

The Hurons, then, persuaded themselves that the 
soul revealed the first desires by means of dreams, 
which are its own voice ; and, if these dreams (they 
said) are fulfilled, it remains content; otherwise, it 
is vexed, and not only no longer seeks good and 
happiness through the body, but, revolting against it, 
causes it various infirmities, and often death. In a 
dream, then, when one thinks of some distant thing, 
they believed that the soul went forth from the body, 
in order to become present in the thing dreamed of, — ■ 
not the perceptive soul, which (they said) never aban- 
doned the body, but the rational one, which in its 
operation does not depend on the body. For this 
reason, they diligently observed dreams, in order to 
know the desires of the soul, that they might not 
irritate it ; and they often obeyed it at the cost of 
blood, — causing their very limbs to be cut off, with 
extreme pain, if the dream so commanded. It thus 
happened, while we were there, to a prominent man, 
who — having dreamed at night that he was in the 
hands of the enemies, who were cutting off one of 
his fingers with a sea-shell — suddenly awoke, and 
prepared a solemn feast. Upon that occasion, — the 
dream being related, according to their custom, — he 
did, in the presence of all, actually have the finger cut 
off with most cruel pain, — using, instead of a knife, a 
shell which lacerated rather than cut the flesh and 
sinews. This was done to fulfill the dream,— which 
they obeyed, and to which they offered sacrifice, as 
to a true divinity, — and by the advice of their divin- 
ers, of whom we shall presently speak. But the 
wisest regarded the dream, as we were saying, as a 


come ad vna vera diuinitk. Ma i piu fauij lo ftima- 
uano, come diceuamo, voce dell' anima, che cosi palefa 
i fuoi defiderij innati, che fi chiamauano in lor lingua 
ondinnonk, i quali credeuano effer talmete palefati dal 
fogno, che reftauan pero [22 i.e., 24] fpeffo fcono- 
fciuti, e come fe bene noi palefiamo i noflri pefieri c6 
le parole, poffono pero alciini c6 vifta fopranaturale 
conofcerli; cosi s' imaginauano effi trouarfi alcuni piii 
illuminati degli altri, e capaci di veder nel piu pro- 
fondo deir anima i defiderij naturali, e piii fegreti 
di quella, e chiamauano quefla forte di gente arendio- 
guanne. Quelli erano communemente i lor medici, 
o piu tofto ciarlatani, che chiamati alia vifita di qual- 
che infermo, dordinario non fi feruiuano d' altra 
medicina, che del lor lume fuperftitiofo, indouinando 
i defiderij occulti dell' anima, che tormentaua per 
difpetto il corpo del patiente. Diceuano hauer quefla 
vifta, e virtii da vn Oki cioe da vn genio potente habi- 
tante in loro, che gli era comparfo in fogno, 6 in 
veglia, in figura di Aquila, o di Coruo, 6 di altro fimile 
animale, e fcuopriuano i defiderij nafcofli dell' infer- 
mo, o riguardando in vn bacile pien d' acqua, 6 
fingendofi come polfeduti da qualche furia, come 
faceuano altre volte le Sibille, o nafcondendofi in 
qualche luogo fegreto, d' onde diceuano vedere 
r imagini de' defiderij dell' anima aftiitta, che poi gli 
proponeuano per contentarla, ma tanto il rimedio de 
fogni, quanto quello di queiti indouini era per lo piu 
vano, «& inutile, ancorche a gara gli vni de gli altri 
tutti s' induflriaflero di procurare le cofe al dir del 

1653] BRESSANI'S RELATION, i653 21 

voice of the soul, which thus revealed its innate 
desires, which in their language were called ondin- 
nonk. These they believed to be so revealed by- 
dreams, that they remained, none the less, [22 i.e., 24] 
frequently concealed; and, just as we manifest our 
thoughts by words, and yet, can know them by 
supernatural vision, they thus imagined that some 
were found more enlightened than others, and cap- 
able of seeing, in the greatest depth of the soul, its 
natural and most secret desires ; and they called this 
kind of people arendioguanne. These were commonly 
their physicians, — or, rather, charlatans, — who, when 
called to visit some sick man, ordinarily used no 
other medicine than their superstitious science, — 
divining the occult desire of the soul, which was 
despitefuUy tormenting the patient's body. They 
said they had this vision and virtue from an Oki, — 
that is, from a powerful genie dwelling in them, 
which had appeared to them in a dream, or in watch- 
ing, in the form of an Eagle, or Raven, or some 
other like animal. They discovered the hidden 
desires of the sick man, either by looking into a 
basin full of water; or by acting as if possessed by 
some fury, as did formerly the Sibyls ; or by hiding 
themselves in some secret place, whence they said 
they saw the images of the afflicted soul's desires, 
which they then made known to him, that he might 
content it. But the remedies, both of dreams and 
of these diviners, were mostly vain and useless 
although all, vying with one another, applied them- 
selves to procure the things desired, — as the charla- 
tan said, by the sick man's soul, — without sparing 
either expense or effort. Here the eloquence of the 
Captains found practice ; here appeared the liberality 


ciarlatano defiderate dall' anima dell' infermo fenza 
fparagnare ne fpefa, ne pena alcuna. Qu\ V eloquenza 
de' Capitani s' efercitaua; qui compariua la libera- 
lity, e religione de' compatriotti, e doue tra loro fi 
vergognarebbono di dimandarfi le cofe ancoradi poco 
momento non era in quefta occafione, cioe per con- 
ten tare il fogno, 6 ondinnonk vergogna di domandare 
cofe eforbitanti, prefenti, feflini, danze anche poco 
honefle, che mai fi faceuano che in fimili occalioni, e 
farebbe ftato empiet^, e facrilegio il ricufarle. Piu 
d' vn de noflri hk corfo al principio pericolo della vita, 
per non voler in fimili cafi cooperare alle loro fuper- 
ftitioni. Non feruiuano dunque quefti rimedij ftimati 
communemente fuperftitiofi, che per moftrare il conto, 
che fi faceua delle perfone inferme, le quali effendo 
di confideratione fi fingeuano fpeffo tali per effer 
honorati da gli offequij del publico, al quale fempre 
r ammalato doueua per ringratiameto attribuire la fua 
fanita, quando bene fi foffe fentito peggio che prima, 
e perche quelli, che lo faceuano per vanity fi leuauano 
fubito in piedi, I'opinione dell efficacia di quefti 
rimedij affatto vani, & inutili era commune nel paefe. 
[23 i.e., 25] II rimedio degl' incantefimi era dell' 
ifteffa natura, fi feruiuano communemente di qualche 
femplice capace di prouocar il vomito, e fe 1' infermo 
rendeua qualche fiocco di capelli, qualche baitoncello, 
6 pietruccia, diceuano quefto effer il fortilegio, il 
quale fpeffo fi vantauano di tirare colla punta d' vn 
coltello da qualche parte del corpo, fupponendo 
condeflrezza qualche cofa, che teneuano loro fteffi 

1653] BRESSANPS RELATION, ib53 23 

and religion of their fellow-countrymen ; and whereas 
among them they would be ashamed to ask for them- 
selves things, even of little moment, it was no shame 
on these occasions, — that is, to content the dream, 
or ondinnonk, — to ask for exorbitant things: gifts, 
banquets, dances, — little decent, which were never 
danced, except on such occasions, — and it would 
have been impiety and sacrilege to refuse them. 
More than one of ours, at the start, ran the risk of 
life for not being willing, in such cases, to cooperate 
in their superstitions. These remedies, commonly 
esteemed superstitious, served then, only to show 
the esteem in which the sick persons were held, — 
who, when influential, often pretended to be sick, in 
order to be honored by the respect of the public. To 
this procedure the patient was always obliged, out 
of gratitude, to attribute his health, — even though 
he felt worse than before; and, because those who 
did so from vanity would suddenly rise upon their 
feet, belief in the efficiency of these remedies, 
although they were altogether vain and useless, was 
common in the country. 

[23 i.e., 25] The remedy of the enchanters was of 
the same nature : they commonly used some simples, 
of a sort to induce vomiting, and, if the sick man 
cast up some lock of hair, some twig, or tiny pebble, 
they said that this was the spell. This they often 
boasted of removing, with the point of a knife, from 
some part of the body, — substituting, by a ruse, 
something which they themselves held concealed 
between the fingers, or elsewhere. If the patient 
did not get well, they said there was still another 
demon, and repeated the remedy; and, if he died, 
they excused themselves by saying that the demon 


nafcofla tra le dita, 6 altroue, e fe 1' ammalato non 
guariua diceuano efferui ancor vn' altro demonio, e 
ripeteuano il rimedio, e fe moriua fi fcufauano con 
dire, che il demonio che 1' vccideua era piii potente 
del loro. Con tutti i mali fucceffi di quefte cure era 
quefla opinione di fuperflitione si radicata in tutto il 
paefe, che a pena in molti anni s' e potuta fminuire 
L' origine di quefto errore era vn falfo principio, ma 
tra loro indubitato, che tutti li rimedij portano fempre 
infallibilmente il loro effetto, fe dunque 1' ammalato 
non guariua con vn rimedio naturale, la malattia era 
fopranaturale, e vi bifognaua vn rimedio fopranatu- 
rale, e fuperftitiofo. La maggior parte de loro 
rimedij, come deboliffimi non operaua; concludeuan 
dunque, che quafi tutte 1' infermitk erano foprana- 
turali, o di fortilegi, o di defiderij occulti dell' anima, 
e la fuperfhitione correua per tutto, ancorche noi dopo 
lungo, e diligente efame non habbiamo potuto con- 
uincerli ne' rimedij 6 nelle malattie di cofa alcuna, 
che fuperi le forze della natura, ne ritrouar alcun 
veftigio di vera magia, o flregheria, e maleficio: il 
demonio, che li poffedeua si affolutamente, e fenza 
contralto nell' anima, non curandofi forfi di farfi loro 
fchiauo, come de maghi, 1' anime de quali pretende 
per pagamento de pochi feruitij, che gli rende. Ci 
conferma in quefla opinione il vedere, che pigliauano 
per fuperflitione ogni cofa, che haueua vn poco dello 
flraordinario; fe per efempio nella caccia ftentauano 
ad ammazzare vn* Orfo, o vn Ceruio, & aprendolo 
trouauano nella fua tefta, 5 nelle vifcere vn' offo, o 

1653] BRESSANPS RELATION, i6s3 25 

which slew him was stronger than theirs. Notwith- 
standing all the bad results of these treatments, this 
superstitious notion was so rooted throughout the 
country that scarcely in many years could it be 
diminished. The origin of this error was a false 
principle, but one undisputed among them, that all 
remedies always infallibly have their effect; if, then, 
the patient did not recover with a natural remedy, 
the malady was supernatural, and there was need 
of a supernatural and superstitious remedy. The 
greater part of their remedies, as being very impo- 
tent, did not operate ; they then concluded that almost 
all diseases were supernatural, — either from spells, 
or from secret desires of the soul. Superstition, 
therefore, was everywhere current, although we, 
after long and diligent investigation, were not able 
to convince them that in their remedies or in their 
diseases there was nothing above the forces of nature ; 
nor could we find any trace of true magic, or witch- 
craft, and evil art, because the demon which pos- 
sessed them so absolutely, and without meeting any 
opposition in the soul, does not care, perhaps, to 
become their slave, as is the case with wizards, whose 
souls he claims in payment of slight services which 
he renders them. It confirmed us in this opinion to 
see that they had a superstitious regard for every- 
thing which savored a little of the uncommon. If, 
for instance, in their hunt they had difficulty in kill- 
ing a Bear or a Stag, and on opening it they found in 
its head or in the entrails a bone, or a stone, or a 
serpent, etc., they said that such object was an oki, — 
that is, an enchantment which gave strength and 
vigor to the animal, so that it could not be killed ; 
and they used it as the superstitious do reliquaries, 


vn faffo, o vn ferpente &c. diceuano quefte cole eilere 
vn oki, cioe vn fortilegio, che daua forza, e vigore all' 
animale, acci6 non li potelle vccidere, e fe ne ferui- 
uano, come i fuperftitiofi fanno de breui per effer 
fempre felici.- fe trouauano in vn arbore, 6 fotto 
terra qualche pietra di figura ftraordinaria fimile ad 
vn piatto, 5 cucchiaro, o ^ qualche vafo Itimauano 
queflo incontro felice; perche certi demonij (dice- 
uano) che habitano ne' bofchi fi fcordano di tali cofe, 
che fanno felici, chi le ritroua alia pefca, caccie, 
[24 i.e., 26] traffichi, e giuoco, che chiamauano Aas- 
kuandi, e credeuano, che mutaffero fpeffo figura, 
metamorfofandofi per efempio in vn ferpente, 5 in 
vn becco di coruo, o nell' vnghia d' vn' Aquila &c. 
cofe che niuno haueua vifto, e tutti credean come 
mille altre fauole inuentate da diuerfe nationi, che 
gli vendeuan' affai care cofe fconofciute, e di niun 
valore con quefta fola perfuafione di profitteuole 

L' ifteffo crediamo ancora piu certo d' alcuni che 
fi fpacciauano no folo per Profeti, ma anco per pa- 
droni delle (lagioni, i quali quaii mai 1' indouinauano, 
e pure non perdeuano il credito ; anzi la perfuafione, 
che haueano della moltiplicitk de fortilegij, e ftreghe- 
rie, paHaua si oltre, che per queflo folo f of petto 
vccideuano talhora, e brugiauano gl' ifleffi paefani 
fenz' altro accufatore, o giudice, che vn moribondo, 
che diceua effere affatturato da vn tale, che 1' vcci- 
deua, citandone per teftimonio, o 1' ondinnonk, 5 il 
fogno, dal quale dipendeuano le vite ftefle degli 

1653] BRESSANrS RELATION, i653 27 

in order to be always prosperous. If they found 
in a tree, or beneath the soil, some stone of an uncom- 
mon shape, like a plate, or spoon, or any vessel, they 
esteemed this encounter fortunate ; because certain 
demons (they said), which live in the woods, forget 
these things, which make any person who finds them 
again successful in fishing, hunting, [24 i.e., 26] 
trade, and gaming. These objects they called Aas- 
kuandi, and believed that they often changed form, 
transforming themselves, for instance, into a serpent, 
or a raven's beak, or an Eagle's claw, etc., — changes 
which none had seen, but which all believed, like a 
thousand other fables invented by various nations. 
These latter sold them, at a tolerably high price, 
rare but worthless objects, merely through their 
persuasion that this superstition brought them advan- 

We may regard this belief as still more confident 
in predictions, which were sold, not only by Prophets, 
but also by masters of the seasons, who hardly ever 
divined the truth, and yet did not lose credit. On 
the contrary, the confidence of the Savages in the 
multiplicity of spells and witchcrafts went so far, 
that upon mere suspicion they often killed and 
burned even their fellow-countrymen, without any 
other accuser or judge than a dying man, who said 
that he had been bewitched by vsuch a one, who was 
killing him, — citing as witness thereof either the 
ondinnonk, or a dream, on which depended the very 
lives of these men. And yet, by a wonderful provi- 
dence of God, the demon has never had the power 
to injure, by this means, the Preachers of the 
Gospel. I would like, in conclusion of this topic, to 
warn those who apply themselves to the conversion 


huomini. E pure per vna protlidenza mirabile di 
Dio, il demonic non ha mai hauto il potere di nuocere 
per quefto mezzo a Predicatori dell' Euangelio. 
Vorrei per conclufione di quefta materia auuertire 
quelli, che s' impiegano nella conuerfione de' nuoui 
paefi, k non credere facilmente, e fenza vn diligente 
efame le cofe ifteffe, che fono con 1' approbatione 
comune de' fecoli ftimate fenz' alcun dubio. E facile 
di condannare di fuperil:itione molte leggerezze, e 
prohibirle come tali; ma non e facile il difdirfi, ed' 
impedire il difprezzo ne' piu fenfati, che fapeuano il 
fecreto. Noi fiamo ftati vn poco feueri in quefto 
punto, & habbiamo obligato i noftri primi Chriftiani, 
che trouauano della fuperftitione da per tutto, k 
priuarfi no folo delle ricreationi lecite, ma an che del 
commercio degli altri, e di piii della metk della vita 
ciuile, finche il tempo, 1' efame, e 1' efperienza ci 
hanno afficurato del contrario. Ci reftarebbe hora k 
dire qualche cofa della religione verfo i loro morti, 
che era la cerimonia la piu facra, e piu celebre, che 
haueuano; ma perche temo la loghezza in quefto 
copendio, noto folo a queflo propofito primo, che 
gl' infedeli temono le anime de nemici da loro tor- 
metati, che pero ^procurano, e penfano pazzamente 
fcacciare dalle capanne con ftrepito horribile, e vni- 
uerfale il giorno che gli han meffi k morte, dopo il 
tramontar del Sole, ma non temono quelle de mede- 
fimi, morti altrimenti, e molto meno quelle degli 
amici, e parenti, i quali le donne piangono folenne- 
mente, maffime la [25 i.e., 27] mattina full' alba le 

1653] BRESSANI'S RELA TION, 1653 29 

of new countries not to believe easily, or without a 
diligent examination, even those very things which 
are, by the common approbation of centuries, believed 
to be beyond any doubt. It is easy to condemn, on 
the ground of superstition, many frivolities, and to 
prohibit them as such ; but it is not easy to recant, or 
to avoid contempt from the most sensible, who knew 
the secret. We were somewhat severe on this point, 
and obliged our first Christians, who found supersti- 
tion everywhere, to deny themselves not only lawful 
recreations, but also intercourse with others, and 
more than half of the social life, — until time, examina- 
tion, and experience assured us of the contrary. It 
would now remain for us to say something of their 
pious observances toward their dead, which was the 
most sacred and solemn ceremony that they had; 
but, because I fear length in this epitome, I merely 
note here, first, that the infidels fear the souls of 
enemies tormented by them, and yet they take care 
and are earnest to expel them from the cabins, with 
horrible and universal noise, after the Sunset of the 
day when they have put them to death ; but they do 
not fear those souls of enemies who have died other- 
wise, and much less those of their friends and rela- 
tives. These last the women solemnly bewail, — 
especially in the [25 i.e., 27] morning, just after 
daybreak, — • for entire weeks ; but the widows, besides 
this bewailing, no longer adorn themselves, or bathe 
or anoint themselves, but, with dishevelled hair, 
punctiliously observe a sullen silence. There was a 
certain mother, who kept in her hut for whole years 
the body of her dead son, although very putrid ; they 
do not believe that the soul, even when separated, 
withdraws thus suddenly from the body. They 


fettimane intiere, ma le vedoue, oltre il pianto, non 
s' ornano piu, ne fi lauano, ne s' vngono, ma fcapigliate 
ofTeruano efattamente vn ritrofo filentio. S' e trouata 
qualche madre, che hk conferuato in cafa gli anni 
intieri il cadauero del morto figlio, ancorclie grande- 
mente puzzolente, dal quale non credono slontanarfi 
cosl fubito r anima ancor feparata. Vanno fpeflo, 
maffime le donne, a piangere a' fepolchri de' loro 
defonti, che fono fuori delle terre, comunemente 
tutti in vno lleflo campo, ma ciafcuno da fe in aria 
fopra 4. foftegni in caffe di grolle fcorze d' alberi fe 
fono morti di morte naturale, & iui li lafciano fino ad 
vna fefla, che chiamano de morti, che fanno ogni 
8, o 10. anni, nel qual tempo tutti quelli d' vna 
medefima terra depongono le dette caffe, e fcarnate 
diligentemente 1' offa de' lor defonti, & inuoltele in 
pretiofe pelli, con inuito di tutto il paefe folenne- 
mente le fepelifcono tutte infieme per fempre in 
vna gran folTa riccamente tapezzata, oue fotterrano 
anche diuerfi donatiui, caldaie &c. delle quali pefano, 
che le anime habbino bifogno anche nell' altra vita. 
Ma chi muore di morte violenta, ft brugia, o ft fot- 
terra fubito, e fpeffo ancor mezzo viuo (^ X h6 viflo 
io piu d' vna volta) eccetto i morti di freddo, de' quali 
fanno vna fuperftitiofa, e longa anathomia prima di 
metter 1' offa nude fotterra, ma ne gli vni, ne gli 
altri indi piu ft tirano ne anche per la fefta de' morti, 
credendo fenza ragione, che le anime di quefti infe- 
lici morti miferamente 6 in guerra, o di naufragio 
&c. non habbino nell' altra vita commercio coll' altre. 

1653] BRESSANPS RELATION, ib53 31 

frequently go, especially the women, to mourn at the 
sepulchers of their dead, which are outside the vil- 
lages, — usually all in the same open space, but each 
by itself in the air, above 4 supports, in coffins of 
huge pieces of the bark of trees, — if they have died 
a natural death. There they leave them until a feast 
which they call " the feast of the dead," which they 
make every 8 or 10 years. At that time, all those of 
the same village take down these coffins, and care- 
fully scrape the flesh from the bones of their departed ; 
and, having enveloped them in precious skins, with 
an invitation to the whole country, they solemnly 
bury them all together, forever, in a great trench 
richly lined, — where they also bury various gifts, 
kettles, etc., which they think that the souls need, 
even in the other life.'^ But he who dies by violent 
death is burned, or buried, — immediately, and often 
still half alive (and I have seen this more than 
once), — except those who have died from the cold, 
of whom they make a superstitious and protracted 
dissection before putting their bare bones in the 
ground : but neither the former nor the latter are 
again removed thence, even for the feast of the 
dead, — they believing, without reason, that the souls 
of those unhappy ones, who died miserably either in 
war, or by shipwreck, etc., have no communication 
in the other life with the other souls. Secondly, 
they bury the corpses with what they had most pre- 
cious in life; and, at the burning of a village, — pre- 
ferring the dead to the living, and the sepulchers to 
the cabins, — they did not feel troubled at incurring 
an irreparable loss, that they might save the bones 
of their departed before extinguishing the fire in 
their own cabins. Our neophytes, desirous to con- 


Secondo, fepelifcono i cadaueri c6 quel, che haueuano 
di piu pretiofo in vita, e nell' incendio d' vna terra 
preferendo i morti a' viui, & i fepolchri alle capanne, 
no fi curorno di fare vna perdita irreparabile per 
faluar 1' offa de' lor defonti prima di rimediare all' 
incendio delle cafe. I noftri neofiti defiderofi di 
cotinuare il lor coftume di fepelire c6 effi le cofe care 
a' defonti, ci dauano per ragione il proprio dolore, e 
diceuano di no farlo, perche credeffero tali cofe 
effer neceffarie, 6 vtili alle anime feparate da' corpi, 
ma per leuarfi da gli occhi le cofe, che vifte fouete in 
cafa rinouauano co nuouo dolore in effi la memoria 
del defonto. Terzo, fe la memoria de' parenti gik 
defoti gli aflfligge fenfibilmete, molto piu li difpiace 
d' vdirne fauellare, e la piii grand' ingiuria, che ii 
poffa dire ad vn' huomo, e il dirli, tuo padre, 6 tua 
madre, o i tuoi parenti fon morti, anzi folamente il 
dire, i tuoi morti, ilimano la piu horribile di tutte le 
maledittioni fola capace di far venire vna perfona con 
vn' altra alle mani. [26 i.e., 28] E fe per neceffitk 
fi deue nominar vn defonto non fi puo fenza ingiuria 
atroce dir il fuo proprio nome fenza aggiungerui al 
fine, defonto, come noi diciamo il quondam tale, o 
pure fi dice affolutamente il defonto, o colui, che ci 
hk abbandonati. E per quelto fubito, che vno e 
fpirato in qualche terra, i Capitani lo publicano alta- 
mente per la ftrade, accio non fl nomini piii fenza il 
quondam, e fe alcuno ha 1' iflefTo nome del morto 
neir ifteffa terra, per qualche tempo lo muta, per 
non efacerbare la piaga ancor frefca degli afflitti 


tinue their custom of burying with them the things 
dear to the deceased, gave us, as a reason, their own 
grief, and said that they did not do so because they 
believed such things to be necessary or useful to the 
souls separated from the bodies, but to remove from 
their own eyes the things which, being often seen 
in the cabin, revived in their minds, with new grief, 
the memory of the deceased one. Thirdly, if the 
memory of kinsmen already dead afflicts them sen- 
sibly, much more does it displease them to hear these 
mentioned ; and the greatest insult that can be said 
to a man is to say to him: "Thy father, or thy 
mother, or thy kinsmen are dead." Indeed, merely 
to say, " thy dead," they esteem the most horrible of 
all curses, in itself capable of bringing one person 
to blows with another. [26 i.e. ,28] And, if by ne- 
cessity a dead man must be named, his own name 
cannot be mentioned without cruel insult, unless 
there be added at the end, " deceased," as we say, 
" the late so-and-so; " or indeed, he is called, abso- 
lutely, "the deceased," or "he who has forsaken 
us." And on this account, when any one has died 
in some village, the Captains promptly announce the 
fact in a loud voice through the street, so that he 
may no more be named without " the late; " and if 
any one have the same name as the dead, in the 
same village, — he changes it for some time, in order 
not to irritate the wound, still fresh, of the afflicted 
relatives. But if the name of the deceased were 
famous, it is never lost, but it is assumed again by 
the head of the family at some solemn banquet; and 
this person is said to have brought him to life again. 
This was infallibly observed in all the names of 
Captains, who thus never die. 


parenti. Ma fe il nome del defonto era famofo mai 
fi perde, ma fi ripiglia dal primo della famiglia in 
qualche folenne feflino, e quefto fi dice che 1' hk 
rifufcitato. E s' olTerua infallibilmente ne' nomi 
tutti de Capitani, che cosi non muoiono mai. 

Mi refta prima di finire quefta prima parte k rifpon- 
dere a 3. quet\ioni curiofe, fattemi da perfone dotte, 
e di molto merito in Europa, le quali non ho faputo 
inferire altroue che qui. 

La prima, e fe le hore del flulTo, e rifiuffo ne' lidi 
deir America fiano 1' ifteffe, che nei noftri dell' Eu- 
ropa, 6 le oppolte, e quefto per fapere fe il principio 
di quefto moto venga dal mezzo del mare a due lidi 
eftremi, o da lidi dell' Europa a quelli dell' America 
per modum vnius. lo dopo diligente efame coll' aiuto 
d' eccellenti marinari, ho trouato, che non fi fa nell' 
vno, ne nell' altro modo. 

Lafcio, che quando fi farebbe di lido a lido vi 
vorrebbe vn tempo troppo notabile al mare per fare 
vn moto di tremila miglia, anzi anco quando fi farebbe 
nel mezzo per fame a ciafcuno degli eftremi vno di 
i5o[o]. miglia, e pure {v fa in fei hore, & in fei ritor- 
na. E rifpondo direttamente alia queftione, primo, 
che il fluffo, e rifiuffo non fi fa regolato che alle 
fpiagge del mare, ma 25.6 30. miglia lontano da terra 
e vario/ in alcuni luoghi fegue i venti, in altri e lore 
contrario, in altri non muta mai, e fi proua euidente- 
mente coUe barche, che ftanno iui all' ancora le gior- 
nate intiere per la pefca del merluzzo. Secondo, che 
in alcuni luoghi come nel golfo done sbocca il flume 

1653J BRESSANI'S RELA TION, 1653 35 

It remains for me, before finishing this first part, 
to answer 3 curious questions, — propounded to me 
by persons of learning, and of much merit in Eu- 
rope, — which I have been at a loss to insert elsewhere 
than here. 

The first is, whether the hours of the flow and 
ebb of tides on the shores of America are the same 
as on ours of Europe, or the opposite; and this, for 
the sake of knowing whether the beginning of this 
movement comes from the middle of the sea, to the 
two extreme shores, or from the shores of Europe to 
those of America, per modtim imius. After diligent 
examination, with the aid of excellent seamen, I 
have found that the matter takes place in neither one 
way nor the other. 

I grant that, if it should occur from shore to shore, 
there would be required too considerable a time on 
the sea to accomplish a movement of three thousand 
miles ; the same would also be true, if it should 
occur in the middle, in order to compass one of i 500 
miles to each of the extremes ; and yet the tide rises 
in six hours, and in six it returns. And I answer 
directly to the question : first, that the flow and ebb 
does not occur with regularity, save at the shores of 
the sea, whereas, at 25 or 30 miles from land, it is 
irregular, — in some places it follows the winds, in 
others it is contrary to them, in others it never 
changes, — and this is evidently proved by the boats 
which stay there at anchor during whole days, for 
the cod-fishery. Secondly, that in some places — as 
in the gulf into which the river of St. Lawrence flows 
(which is the great river of Canada), therefore called 
the gulf of St. Lawrence — the current during some 
months bears toward the sea; during some others, 


di S. Lorenzo (che e il gran fitime di Canada) detto per 
quefto il golfo di S. Lorenzo, la corrente alcuni mefi 
porta verfo il mare, alcuni altri verfo terra. Terzo, 
che nel fiume di S. Lorenzo largo come habbiam detto 
60. miglia, cioe come il mare Adriatico, dalla parte di 
Mezzo di non v' e mai fluffo, ma fempre rifluflo, & 
in alcuni luoghi dell' ifteffo vicino a' lidi del Setten- 
trione 1' acqua crefce, e fminuifce ogni di fenza 
fludo, [27 i.e., 29] e rifluffo come ban prouato le 
naui, che ftauano iui all' ancora al fauore d' alcune 
Ifole, e pure dopo alcune centinaia di miglia nello 
fteffo fiume il fluffo, e rifluffo e regolato da per tutto 
di 6. in 6. hore come nelle fpiagge del mare benche 
k proportione che fe ne slontana fminuifca il fluffo 
con augmento del rifluffo, che arriua finalmente k 
piu di 9. hore, lafciandone al fluffo poco piu di due. 
V e forfi qualche moto, & impulfo occulto nel pro- 
fondo deir acqua, che non e nella fuperficie/ V ^ 
affai da fpeculare in quefta materia della quale 
haurei molte cofe k dire fe voleffi vfcire da confini, 
che mi prefcriuono le leggi d' vn breue racconto. 

La feconda queftione e, d' onde venga tanta copia 
d' acqua vniuerfale quafi in tutta 1' America. Quefta 
queftione puo hauere due fenfi, vno hilliorico, 1' altro 
filofofico, vno quafi formale, 1' altro efficiente. Nel 
primo la rifpofla e facile, e 1' ho fatta con la nuoua 
carta, 6 mappa, che s' e frefcamente ftampata in 
Parigi, doue fi vedono i molti, e vafti laghi, che for- 
nifcono 1' acqua neceffaria al gran fiume di vS. Lorenzo. 
Nel fecondo come fi generino quefti fteffi gran laghi, 

1653] BRESSANrS RELATION, i653 37 

toward land. Thirdly, that in the river of St. Law- 
rence, — 60 miles wide, as we have said; that is, like 
the Adriatic sea, — in the Southern part there is never 
a flow, but always an ebb; and in some parts of it, 
near the North shore, the water rises and falls every 
day without a flow, [27 i.e., 29] and without an ebb, — 
as the ships have proved which lay there at anchor in 
the shelter of some Islands. And yet, after some 
hundreds of miles in the same river, the flow and 
ebb is everywhere regular, 6 hours apart, just as 
on the shores of the sea; although, in proportion as 
the distance thence increases, the flow diminishes, 
with an increase of the ebb, which finally reaches 
more than 9 hours, leaving little more than two for 
the flow. There is perhaps some motion and secret 
impulse in the depth of the water, which does not 
appear at the surface. There is sufficient room to 
speculate in this matter, concerning which I might 
have many things to say, if I would exceed the limits 
which the rules of a brief narrative prescribe for me. 
The second question is, whence comes so great an 
abundance of water, almost everywhere, throughout 
America. This question may have two senses, — one 
historic, the other philosophical; one referring, as it 
were, to the formal, the other, to the efficient cause. 
To the first the answer is easy, and I have given it 
according to the new chart or map which has been 
recently engraved at Paris, — on which are seen the 
many and vast lakes which furnish the water neces- 
sary to the great river of St. Lawrence.^ As for the 
second, " How are these great lakes themselves 
formed ? Why do they not dry up or diminish after 
so many centuries?" the answer belongs to the 
Philosophers. This is not so easy, even less so for 


come non li fecchino, 5 fminuifchino doppo tanti 
fecoli, tocca a' Filofofi la rifpolta, che non e cosi 
facile, maflime per 1' America piii che per 1' altre tre 
parti del mondo, tanto per la Meridionale done pioue 
fpeffiffimo, come per la Settentrionale done le piogge 
fono piu moderate, che in Europa. Diro bene, che 
non fi fcarica nel mare si gran copia d' acqua, che 
pare ^ prima vifta; perche il flulTo del mare ogni 6. 
hore forma come vn' argine d' acqua all' acqua fleffa, 
anzi la rimena contro la fua natura con vna violenza 
indicibile 500. e piii miglia dentro il fiume, & a pena 
nel riflulTo e ritornata al primo argine, che il nuouo 
fluffo la rifpinge come prima, onde poca fe ne fcarica 
in mare. 

La terza e, fe la declinatione della calamita e la 
medefima, che qui, e fe ne habbiamo trouata qualche 
regola. A quefla queftione la rifpofta e facile. In 
4. viaggi, che h5 fatti in quelle parti con frequenti 
ofTeruationi, ho fempre coftantemente ritrouato, che 
partendo dalle terre di Francia, tanto della Norman- 
dia, quanto della Bertagna, 6 dell' Aquitania, doue 
la declinatione e di 2 in 3. gradi dalla Tramontana 
verfo r Oriente finoall' Ifole Azori, 6 di Fiandra cosi 
dette nelle mappe, la detta declinatione fempre 
fminuifce fino k ridurfi a niente, ma da quefte Ifole 
nauigando verfo 1' Occidente crefce fenfibilmente, in 
modo tale, che dopo mille, 6 mille, e 200. miglia, 
cioe nel mare doue fi pefcano i merluzzi (che 
[28 i.e., 30] chiamano il gran banco, per efferui 
fondo, che non fi troua prima di giungerui, ne dopo) 

1653] BRESSANI'S RELA TION, 1653 39 

America than for the three other parts of the world, — 
not only for South America, where it rains very 
frequently; but for North America, where the rains 
are more moderate than in Europe. I will say, 
indeed, that not so great an abundance of water is 
discharged into the sea, as appears at first sight; 
because the flood-tide of the sea every 6 hours forms 
a sort of watery dike against the water itself, — even 
forcing it back, against its nature, with an unspeak- 
able vehemence, over 500 miles within the river; 
and hardly has it returned with the ebb-tide to the 
first dike, when the new flood-tide drives it back as 
before ; therefore, little water is discharged into the 

The third is, whether the declination of the mag- 
netic needle is the same as here, and whether we 
have found any rule for it. To this question the 
answer is easy. In 4 voyages which I have made to 
those parts, with frequent observations, I have 
always constantly discovered that, on starting from 
the coasts of France, — from either Normandy, or 
Brittany, or Aquitaine, where the declination is from 
2 to 3 degrees from the North toward the East, as 
far as the Azore Islands ; or from Flanders, as indi- 
cated on the maps, — this declination always dimin- 
ishes, until it is finally reduced to naught. But as 
one sails Westward from those Islands, it sensibly 
increases, in such sort that, after a thousand or a 
thousand and 200 miles, — that is, in the sea where 
they fish for cod (which [28 i.e., 30] they call " the 
great bank," because there is a shoal there, which 
does not appear before reaching that place, nor after- 
ward), — it is already 22 degrees and more from the 
North toward the "West, contrary to the case in Europe. 


e gia di 22. gradi, e piu dal Settentrione verfo 1' Occi- 
dente al contrario, dell' Europa. Ma profeguendo la 
nauigatione pure verfo 1' Occidente vk fenfibilmente 
fminuepdo in modo tale, che dopo 600. e piu miglia 
cio^ ^ Kebek non e piu, che di 16. gradi, e piu fi 
penetra verfo 1' Occidente, e nelle terre, piu fcema, 
onde nel paefe ,degli Huroni, che fono da 35. minuti 
d' hora^piu occidentali di KebeVnon e piti, che di 12. 
gradi, e quello balli per quel che tocca al naturale 
de' Canadefi, & a' lor mari, e contrade. 

1653] BRESSANI'S RELATION, i6s3 41 

But, as one continues navigating still Westward, the 
declination continues perceptibly to diminish, in such 
a way that, after 600 miles or more, — that is, at Ke- 
bek, — it is no more than 16 degrees; and, the further 
one penetrates toward the West and inland, the more 
it decreases, until, in the country of the Hurons, 
who are by 35 minutes of an hour further west than 
Kebek, it is no more than 12 degrees. Let this 
be sufficient for what pertains to the nature of the 
Canadians, and to their seas and countries. 


Parte Seconda. 
Delia Conuerfione de' Canadefi alia Fede. 

NON e ftata vna piccola fatica la conuerfione di 
quefti popoli k Dio, di ciii non fapeuano ne 
anche il nome, non che il culto, ed i mifleri : 
pochi penetrano quella parola Hereditate acquijiui 
te^imonia tua. Quando bifogna qnafi conquiftar la 
fede con la punta della fpada, fi vede, che cofa e 
hauerla fucchiata col latte. 

Per i Barbari erranti, e bifognato far fpefe gran- 
diffime per ridurli k qualche fhabilita, fenza la quale 
fi credeua impoffibile di poterli ammaeftrare nella 
Fede, & k quefto ban feruito le grolTe limofine di 
gran numero di gente piena di zelo, e carit^ per 
quefti infelici, all' efempio dell' inuitto Re Luigi 
XIII. della Regina fua Spofa, e del famofo Cardinale 
di Richelieu, che 1' hanno grandemente promoffa. 
V e ftata anche neceffaria vna dolcezza, e forza non 
ordinaria, & h^ non poco k quefto feruito 1' Hofpedale, 
& il Seminario di Donzelle eretti a Kebek, che e il 
primo forte de Francefi vicino al mare, in vno de' 
quali le Monache, che in Francia chiamano Hofpita- 
liere iui paffate dalla Cittk di Dieppe, e nell' altro 
quelle, che chiamamo Vrfuline, andateui da Parigi, e 
da Tours con la loro f ondatrice, la piu parte di nobiliffi- 
me famiglie hanno con le loro fatiche, con le limofine 

1653] BRESSANrS RELA TION. 1653 43 

Part Second. 
Of the Conversion of the Canadians to the Faith. 

THE conversion of these peoples to God has not 
been a slight labor, — they knew not even his 
name, or yet his worship and mysteries. Few 
comprehend that saying, Hereditate acqtiisivi testiinonia 
tua; when it is almost necessary to compel faith at 
the point of the sword, one sees what a matter it is 
to have imbibed it with one's milk. 

As for the roving Barbarians, it has been necessary 
to incur very great expense, in order to reduce them 
to some stability, without which, it was believed, 
their instruction in the Faith was impossible, and to 
this end have been employed the large alms of a great 
number of persons full of zeal and charity for those 
unfortunate people, after the example of the invin- 
cible King Louis XIIL, of the Queen his Spouse, 
and of the famous Cardinal Richelieu, who have 
greatly promoted this cause. More than ordinary 
gentleness and strength were also necessary ; to this 
need the Hospital and the Seminary for Girls — 
erected at Kebek, which is the first fort of the 
French near the sea — have greatly ministered. In 
one of these are the Nuns whom in France they call 
Hospitalises, who crossed over from the City of 
Dieppe ; and, in the other, those whom we call Ursu- 
lines, who went thither from Paris and Tours, along 
with their foundress, most of them from very noble 
families. These Nuns have aided by their labors, by 


fpirituali, e temporal!, & anco piu coll' efempio con- 
tribuito k tirare non folo i Barbari, ma anche molti 
Franceli in quel deferti, che con la loro dimora hanno 
afficurata quella de' Barbari, & in gran parte ferma- 
tili in quelle contrade Ma il mio intento non e di 
ftendermi nella conuerfione di quelH popoli, le cui 
millioni continuano ancora, [291.6., 31] bafta dire, 
che done al noftro arriuo non v' era pur' vn folo, che 
conofcelTe Dio, adeffo ^ difpetto delle perfecutioni, 
careftie, fami, guerre, e pefti, non v' e di quelli, che 
coltiuiamo vna fol famiglia, che non fia chriftiana, 
benche vi fiano molti particolari, non ancor conuer- 
titi, e quefto in meno di venti anni. 

Pretendo dunque folamente in breue dire alcuna 
cofa de' principij, e del fine della Miffione degli Hu- 
roni, che fono quel popoli, che habbiamo detto eller 
llabili, con Terre, e Caftelli, lontani da Kebek circa 
900. miglia, e 4000. dall' Europa, e perche fi veda la 
forza del braccio di Dio in quefla opera, proporro qui 
varie difficolta, che fe gli opponeuano. 

1653] BRESSANI'S RELATION, j6j3 45 

Spiritual and temporal alms, and still more through 
their example, in attracting not only the Barbarians, 
but also many French, into those desert regions, — in 
which their establishment has secured that of the 
Barbarians, who have settled in that quarter in large 
numbers. But my design is not to enlarge upon the 
conversion of those peoples whose missions still con- 
tinue; [29i.e.,3i] it is enough to say that — whereas, 
at our arrival, there was not even a single one who 
knew God — at present, in spite of persecutions, 
dearths, hungers, wars, and pestilences, there is not 
a single family, among those for whom we are labor- 
ing, which is not christian, although there are many 
individuals not yet converted, — and this in less than 
twenty years. 

I therefore intend only to say something in brief 
of the beginning and the close of the Mission of the 
Hurons; these are the tribes whom we have men- 
tioned as being stationary, with Towns and Villages, 
about 900 miles distant from Kebek, and 4000 from 
Europe. And, because the strength of the arm of 
God was seen in this work, I will here set forth 
various difficulties which opposed it. 


PRIMA difficoltA della conuersione degli huroni 


Q VESTA Miffione e flata fenza efempio, e flen- 
tatiffima; fenza efempio, perche nonfappiamo, 
che altroue i Predicatori della Fede ne i paefi 
flranieri, fiano andati per far dimora (labile si lon- 
tano dal mare, con impoffibilita di foccorfo d' Europa 
per il viuere, veftire, e tutte 1' altre neceffitk della 
natura, Le Miffioni fi fono communemente ftabilite 
ne' luoghi, done 6 naui, o almeno barche poteuan 
recare alcun foccorfo, e quindi li miffjonanti fi dipar- 
tiuano per qualche tempo, per terra, o per acqua in 
varij luoghi. 

Ma la miffione degli Huroni e durata piu di fedici 
anni in vn paefe, done non fi pu5 andar con altre 
barche, die di fcorza, che non portano al piii, che due 
mila libre di pefo, contandoci quello delle perfone, 
alle quali conuien fpeffo portar su le fpalle quattro, e 
fei miglia con la barca, & i viueri tutta la fupellettile 
del viaggio, non trouandofi nello f patio di piii di 700 
miglia alcun' albergo. Onde fiamo ftati gli anni inti- 
eri fenza riceuer pur vna lettera, ne dall' Europa, ne 
da Kebek, in vn' abbandono totale d' ogni foccorfo 
humano anche il piu neceffario per li noftri fleffi 
miflerij, e facramenti, non hauendo il paefe ne grano. 

1653] BRESSANI'S RELATION, i6s3 47 



THIS Mission was unprecedented, and extremely- 
arduous, — unprecedented because we do not 
know that the Preachers of the Faith elsewhere 
in foreign countries have gone to make a fixed resi- 
dence so far from the sea, without possibility of aid 
from Europe in the matter of food, clothing, and all 
other necessities of nature. Missions have usually 
been established in places where ships — or, at least, 
boats — could bring some assistance; and thence the 
missionaries would depart for some time, by land or 
by water, into various quarters. 

But the mission of the Hurons lasted more than 
sixteen years, in a country whither one cannot go 
with other boats than of bark, which carry at the 
most only two thousand livres of burden, including 
the passengers, — who are frequently obliged to bear 
on their shoulders, from four to six miles, along with 
the boat and the provisions, all the furniture for the 
journey ; for there is not, in the space of more than 
700 miles, any inn. For this reason, we have passed 
whole years without receiving so much as one letter, 
either from Europe or from Kebek, and in a total 
deprivation of every human assistance, even that 
most necessary for our mysteries and sacraments 
themselves, — the country having neither wheat nor 


nfe vino neceffarij affolutamente per il Santo Sacri- 
ficio della MelTa. 

Tutto quefto preuifto, & efaminato, faceua creder 
^ molti [30 i.e., 32] quefta miffione, 5 impoffibile, o 
temeraria oltre le gran difficolta d' impararne la 
lingua differentiffima da quella degli altri Barbari. 

Ma come quefta natione era la chiaue di moltiffime 
altre anche flabili, che c' afficurauano efler' in gran 
numero verfo 1' Occidente, fii riguardata come cofa 
di grandiffima importanza, e percio con altretanta 
magnanimitk intraprefa da alcuni Padri riformati 
deir Ordine Serafico di San France fco, e da alcuni 
de' noftri prima 1' anno 1624. ma fenza gran frutto 
per r ignoranza della lingua, poi piii ftabilmente 
r anno 1634 da Religiofi della noflra Compagnia 
foli, dopo che gl' Inglefi furon coflretti d' abbando- 
nar quel paefe. Quefti popoli furono da' Francefi 
conofciuti non per viaggi, che effi vi faceff ero i primi, 
effendo le loro terre quafi inacceffibili ad ogni Euro- 
peo, ma perche gli Huroni hauuta la nuoua delle 
naui Francefi, che veniuano ogn' anno a quel lidi, 
£i rifolfero ^ quel difficilifTimo viaggio. 

II primo de' noftri, che vi pafso la prima volta in 
compagnia di due Padri riformati dell' Ordine di 
San Francefco, fu il Padre Giouanni de Brebeuf, il 
quale prefo, come diceuamo al principio, da gl' 
Inglefi, e rimenato con i detti Padri, & altri de' 
noftri in Francia, ottenne di ritornarui co' primi 
Francefi, che ripafforno nella nuoua Francia, per 
cominciare con due compagni de' noftri, e fei feco- 
lari da douero la loro conuerfione alia fede. 

1653] BRESSANfS RELA TION, idjj 49 

wine, which are absolutely indispensable for the 
Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. 

All this, having been foreseen and examined, 
caused many to believe [30 i.e., 32] this mission 
either impossible or presumptuous, — besides the 
great difficulty of learning their language, which is 
very different from that of the other Barbarians. 

But, as this nation was the key to very many others, 
also stationary, — who, they assured us, dwelt in great 
number toward the West, — this mission was regarded 
as a matter of the utmost importance. It was there- 
fore undertaken, with corresponding greatness of 
soul, by some reformed Fathers of the Seraphic Order 
of Saint Francis and by some of ours, for the first 
time, in the year 1624, — but without great result, 
owing to their ignorance of the language; then, 
more substantially, in the year 1634, after the English 
were constrained to abandon that country, by Reli- 
gious of our Society alone. These tribes were known 
to the French, not through journeys which the latter 
first made thither, — their towns being almost inac- 
cessible to every European, — but because the Hurons, 
obtaining news of the French ships, which came 
every year to those shores, resolved to undertake 
that most difficult journey. 

The first of ours who went thither for the first 
time, in company with two reformed Fathers of the 
Order of Saint Francis, was Father Jean de Brebeuf . 
Being taken by the English, as we said at the start, 
and conducted back to France with the aforesaid 
Fathers, and others of ours, he obtained permission 
to return thither with the first Frenchmen who again 
crossed over to new France, — that he might begin 
with two companions of ours, and six laymen, the 


II Demonio, che temeua quefto nemico procur6 d' 
impedire il viaggio, e 1' impedi veramente 1' anno 
1633. ancorche gli Huroni, che erano fcefi per il 
traffico al numero di fette, 5 ottocento, con cento 
cinquanta barchette di fcorze, che chiamaremo come 
iui, Canoe, lo defideraffero, & il Gouernatore del 
paefe, & il Padre facelTero il poffibile dal canto loro, 
e quefto per vie, che farebbe qui troppo longo il 
riferire, e poco manco, che non 1' impediffe anche il 
feguente 1634. nel quale il numero degli Huroni, 
che erano fcefi, era fenza comparatione minore, e tra 
loro molti infermi. Haurebbero volentieri imbar- 
cato qualche giouane Francefe con armi per la caccia, 
e per la guerra, ma non fi voleuan caricar di gente, 
che portaffe fottana, ftimandoli inutili, anzi nociui k 
loro intereffi, ma il tempo deftinato dalla diuina pro- 
uidenza effendo giunto la coftanza de noftri fupero 
tutte r oppofitioni dell' Inferno. Ecco come ne ferine 
il detto Padre de Brebeuf al Superiore della Miffione. 
lo non ho vifto mai alcun' imbarco tanto contrariato 
perl' induftria, come credo, del Demonio, [31 i.e., 33] 
ma il gran San Giofeppe, ^ chi io feci vn voto, ci 
fece fuperar felicemente tutte le difficoltk; Noi ag- 
giungemmo nuoui prefenti a' Barbari, e fminuimmo 
la noftra carica, non portando altro, che quel che era 
aflolutamente necelTario per la Santa Meffa, e per 
viuere per ftrada &c. e dopo hauer parlato delle diffi- 
coltk comuni di quel penofo viaggio, nel noftro, 
foggiunge, n' habbiamo hauuto altre particolari; c' e 
bifognato fempre remare ne piii, ne meno, che i 

1663] BRESSANI'S RELATION, i633 51 

conversion of these tribes to the faith, in good 

The Demon, who feared this enemy, tried to hin- 
der the journey, and indeed, in the year 1633, pre- 
vented it, although the Hurons, who had come down 
for trade, to the number of seven or eight hundred, — 
with a hundred and fifty boats of bark, which we 
shall call, as here. Canoes, — desired it. The Gov- 
ernor of the country and the Father also did the 
utmost on their side, — and this in ways which it 
would be too tedious here to report. It lacked but 
little that he hindered it also in the following year, 
1634, in which the number of the Hurons who had 
come down was incomparably smaller, and among 
them were many sick. They would gladly have 
embarked a certain young Frenchman, with arms 
for the chase and for war ; but they did not wish to 
load themselves with people who wore cassocks, — 
esteeming them useless, and even prejudicial, to 
their interests ; but the time appointed by the divine 
providence having arrived, the constancy of ours 
overcame all the oppositions of Hell. Here follows 
Father de Brebeuf's letter on this matter to the 
Superior of the Mission: " I have never seen any 
departure so much thwarted by the skill, as I believe, 
of the Demon; [31 i.e., 33] but the great Saint 
Joseph, to whom I made a vow, caused us success- 
fully to overcome all the difficulties. We added new 
presents to the Barbarians, and lessened our own 
burdens, — carrying nothing else than what was 
absolutely necessary for the Holy Mass, and for liv- 
ing by the way," etc. Then, after having spoken 
of the general difficulties of that laborious journey, 
" In ours," he adds, " we have had other special 


Barbari, dalla mattina fin' alia fera, fenz' hauer altro 
tempo per dir 1' Officio, che la notte al lume del 
fuoco; ne portaggi, cioe alle cafcate, doue tutto fi 
porta, ci conueniua far quattro viaggi carichi fopra 
le noftre forze fino k non poterne piu, ma non fenza 
confolationi del Paradifo. Haueuano abbandonati 
alcuni de' nollri in qualche fcoglio, ma altri Barbari 
gli ban preli nelle loro Canoe, e cosi per gratia di 
Dio nullus perij't. 

1663] BRESSANJ'S RELA TION, 1633 53 

ones; we were always obliged to paddle, neither 
more nor less than the Barbarians, from morning 
until evening, without having other time to say the 
Office than at night by the light of the fire. At the 
portages," that is, at the waterfalls, where every- 
thing is carried, ' ' we had to make four journeys, 
burdened above our strength, until we could no 
longer exert it; but not without consolations of 
Paradise. They had abandoned some of ours on a 
certain rock, but other Barbarians took them into 
their Canoes ; and thus, by the grace of God, nullus 




V*) E, oltre i communi, il pericolo affai euidente 
di cafcar nelle mani d' altri barbari loro ne- 
mici, che fono crudeliffimi affaffmi, capaci di 
fpauentare i piu coraggiofi; e perche queflo pericolo 
non e folo fpeculatiuo, ma pratico, piii d' vno de' 
noflri miffionanti hauedolo incorfo, ho giudicato k 
propofito per darne vn' idea, prima di paffare all' altre 
difficolt^ di quefta miffione, di metter qui alcune 
lettere d' vno di effi prefo da loro in quefto viaggio, 
riferuando la prigionia d' vn altro, che v' e morto, 
in luogo pill opportune. Ecco come fcriue al noftro 
Padre Generale, & ad alcuni amici in Europa. 

Molto Reu. in Xpo Padre noftro. Pax X.* 

IV TOA' so, fe V. P. riconofcera la letter a d' v?i poiiero 
■*■ ^ Jlroppiato, m perfetta fanita altre volte da lei non 
poco cono/ciuto. La lettera ^ mal fcritta, & ajfaifordida, 
perche oltre V altre incommodiia, chi la fcriue non hh, che 
vn deto intiero nella man dritta, & ^ difficile, che la carta 
nd rejii imbrattata dal fatigue, che gli fcaturifce dalle 
piaghe non ancora rifaldate; fi ferue della poluere d' 
archibugio per inchioflro, e della terra per tauola, le fcriue 
dal paefe de gV Hirochefi, oue [32 i.e., 34] al prefente fi 
ritroua prigione, e defidera con quefla darle vn breue 




THERE is, besides the common perils, the dan- 
ger, sufficiently obvious, of falling into the 
hands of other barbarians, their enemies, who 
are most cruel assassins, capable of terrifying the 
most courageous; and because this danger is not 
only imaginary but actual, — more than one of 
our missionaries having incurred it, — I have judged 
it expedient, in order to give an idea thereof before 
passing to the other difficulties of this mission, to 
insert here certain letters from one of those mission- 
aries who was captured by the enemy on this jour- 
ney ; I reserve for a more suitable place the captivity 
of another, who died there. Here follows what he 
writes to our Father General, and to some friends in 

Our very Reverend Father in Christ. Pax Christi. 

IKNO W not zvhether Your Paternity will recognize the 
letter of a poor cripple, who formerly, when in perfect 
health, was well known to you. The letter is badly writ- 
ten, and quite soiled, because, in addition to other incon- 
veniences, he who writes it has only one whole finger on 
his right hand; and it is difficult to avoid staining the 
paper with the blood which flows from his wounds, 7iot yet 
healed: he uses arquebus powder for ink, and the earth 
for a table. He writes it from the country of the Hiro- 
quois, where [32 i.e., 34] at present he happens to be a 


raguaglio di cid, che la diuina prouidenza ha di lui vlti- 
inavtete ordinato. Partij da tre fiiimi per or dine de Supe- 
riori li 27. Aprile paffato, in cdpagnia di fei Bar bar i 
Chrijiiani, e d\m gar zone Fracefe co tre canoe per andar al 
paefe degli Huroni. La prima /era /' Hurone, eke guidaua 
la ?toJira canoa, voledo tirar ad vn Aquila, ci fece far 
naufragio nel lago detto di S. Pielro, e due Huroni a nuoto 
mi Jlrafcinarono h terra, no fapendo io nuotare, & iui 
pafsamo la notte tutti bagnati. Gli Huroni prefero 
quejio accidcnte per vn cattiuo augurio, e mi conji- 
gliorno di ritornar d' onde erauamo partiti; non effendone 
ancor lontani, che 8. b 10. miglia, che certo il viaggio 
non ci fuccederebbe bene; ma io, che dubitai di qualche 
fuperjlitione in quejio di/cor/o, giudicai piii a pro- 
pojito di paffar oltre fino ad vn altro forte de' Franceji 
3c. miglia pill lontauo, done fperauo, che ci rinfrefcaref- 
Jimo. M' vbidirono, e partimmo per queflo la mattina 
feguente affai di buon hora, mh la neue, & il cattiuo tempo 
c impedt di far gran viaggio, e ci obligb di finir la gior- 
nata a mezzo di. II terzo giorno non effendo lontani fe non 
22. b 24. miglia da i tre fiumi, e y. b ?>. dalla forte zza di 
Richelieu, fummo fatti prigioni da 2"] . Hirochefi, i quali 
hauendo ammazzato vno de' nojlri Barbari, prefero gli 
altri, e 7ne con effi; haureffimo potuto fuggire, ouero ani- 
mazzar qualche Hirochefe, ma io per me vede?ido preji i 
miei compagni, giudicai meglio re^armene con effi, pigli- 
ando per contrafegno della volonta di Dio V inclinatione , e 
quafi rifolutione di quei, che mi menauano, i quali eleggeuan 
piii toflo di renderfi, che di faluarfi col ftiggire. Prefi, 
che ci hebbero fecero gridi horribili [33 i.e., 35] Sicut ex- 
ultant vidlores capta praeda, e dopo gran ringratiamenti 


captive; and desires herewith to give you a brief report 
of that zvhich the divine providence has at last ordained 
for him. I started from three rivers by order of the 
Superior, on the 2yth of last April, — in company with six 
Christian Barbarians, and a young Fre?ichman. with three 
canoes, — to go to the country of the Hurons. The first 
evening, the Huron zvho was guiding our canoe, wishing 
to shoot at an Eagle, ivas the occasion of our wreck in the 
lake named for St. Peter; two Hurons, by swimming, 
dragged me to land, as I did not know how to swim, and 
there ive spent the night, all dreiiched. The Hurons took 
this accident for a bad omen, and counseled me to return 
whence zve had started as we were not yet more than 8 or 
10 miles distant thence. They declared that certainly the 
journey would not result well for us; but I, who suspected 
some superstition in this discourse, Judged it best to pro- 
ceed to another French fort, 30 miles farther, zvhere I 
hoped that we might refresh ourselves. They obeyed me, 
and we started for that place on the following morning, 
quite early; but the snow and the bad weather prevented us 
from making much progress, and obliged us to end the day 
at noon. The third day, when not distant more than 22 
or 24 miles from three rivers, and j or ^ from the 
fortress of Richelieu, we were taken captive by 2y Hiro- 
quois, who, havi?ig killed one of our Barbarians, captured 
the others, and me with them. We might have fled, or 
indeed killed some Hiroquois; but I, for my part, on seeing 
my companio?is taken, judged it better to remain with 
them, — accepting as a sign of the will of God the inclina- 
tion and almost resolution of those who conducted me, 
who chose rather to surrender than to escape by flight. 
Those who had captured us made horrible cries, [33 i.e., 35] 
Sicut exultant victores capta praeda ; and, after many 
thanks to the Sun for having in their hands, among the 


al Sole per hauer nelle loro inani tra gli altri vna ve^e 
nera, che cosi chiamano i Giefuiti^ ci mutarono le canoe, & 
hauendoci tolto ogni co/a, cioe le prouijloni per tutti i 
ito^ri, che ^auano alii Huroni in ejlrema necejjita, nan 
haueiido potuto Jiauere d' alcuni anni foccorfo d' Europa, 
ci comadarono di cantare. Tra tanto ci conduffero in vn 
fiuinicello vicino, done Ji diuifero le fpoglie, e fcorticarono 
la pelle della tejla co' capelli deW Hurone occifo per por- 
tarla come in trionfo attaccata ad vna pertica, e glirecifero 
i piedi, e le inani con le parti piii carnofe del corpo per 
rndgiarle ijijieine col core: qnindi ci fecero traghettare il 
lago per paffar la notte in vn luogo affai ritirato, ma molto 
humido, nel quale coniinciammo a dormire legati, & al 
fere no, come il rcjio del viaggio. Mi cofola^ia in quejlo 
piito il fapere, che cib era la volonta di Dio, hauendo intra- 
prefo quejlo viaggio per obedieza, e fperauo molto nelV 
intercej^. della Verg. e di molte anime, che pregauanoper me. 
II dl feguente c iinbarcdmo in vn fiume, doue a pena 
haueuamo fatte poche miglia, che mi comadarono di gettar 
neir acqua i miei fcritti, che vi hauenano fi)i allhora 
la/ciati, come che fujjero Jlati caufa a quel, che fuper- 
Jiitiofamete credeuano d' efferji rotta la no/ira canoa, e Ji 
Jliipirono, che io di cib mojlrajji qualche Jentimento, no 
hauendolo dimojlrato nella perdita di tut to il rejto. 
Nauigammo ancor due di contro il corrente del fiume, 
fine he Jummo co^retti dalle cajcate a pigliar terra, e 
caminammo Jei giorni ne bojchi. II Jecondo, che era vn 
Venerdl li Jei di Maggio incontrammo altri Hirochefi, che 
andauano alia guerra, i quali accompagnarono molte 
niinacce con [34 i.e., 36] qualche colpo, che ci diedero, & 
hauendo raccontata a' nojlri la morte d' vno di loro vccijo 

1653] BRESSANJ'S RELATION, i653 59 

others, a " black robe," — as thus they call the Jesuits, — 
they changed our canoes. Theti, having taken from us 
everything, — that is, provisions for all of ours who lived 
among the Hurons, who zvere in extre^ne necessity, as they 
had not beeti able for several years to obtain help from. 
Europe, — they commanded us to sing. Meanwhile, they 
led us to a little neighboring river, ivhere they divided the 
spoils, and tore away the scalp and hair, from the slaugh- 
tered Huron, in order to carry it as in triumph, attached 
to a pole; they also cut off his feet and hands, along with 
the most fleshy parts of the body, to eat them, with the 
heart. Then they inade us cross the lake, to spend the 
night in a place somewhat retired, but very damp, — in 
which we began to sleep, bound and in the open air, as 
during the remainder of the journey. It consoled me in 
this matter to know that this was the will of God, as I had 
undertaken this journey through obedience; and I hoped 
much from, the intercession of the Virgin, and that of 
many souls zvho were praying for me. 

On the following day, tve embarked on a river upon 
which we had hardly made a few miles when they com- 
manded me to throw into the water my writings, which 
they had left with me till then, — as if these had been 
the cause, as they superstitiously believed, of the zvreck of 
our canoe; and they were astonished that I showed some 
feeling on that score, not having shown any at the loss of 
everything else. We still voyaged two days against the 
current of the river, until we were constrained by the rapids 
to go ashore; and we traveled six days in the woods. The 
second day, — which was a Friday, the sixth of May, — 
we met other Hiroquois, who were going to war. They 
accompanied many threats with [341.6., 36] some blows 
which they gave us; and, having related to our party the 
death of one of theirs, killed by a Frenchman, the result 


da vn France/e, furon caiifa, che cominciarono a trattarmi 
pill afpraniente di prima. 

Quando ci prefer o moriuano di fame, onde in due, b tre 
giorni confumarono tiitte le noflre prouifioni, e ncl reflo 
del viaggio non fi viueua, che b di caccia, b di pefca, b di 
qualche radica faluatica fe fi trouaua. Nelf ejlrema 
fa7ne, che patiuamo trouarono nel lido del fiume vn cafloro 
morto, & imputridito, che la fera mi diedero, per cite lo 
lauajji nel fiume, 7na haueyidouelo gettato, con perfuadermi, 
che qiiefia fuffe V intentione loro, tanto era puzzolente, lo 
pagai con vna dura penitenza. lo non fcriuerb qui quel, 
che patij in quefio viaggio, bafiafapere, che noi caminauamo 
carichi ne' bofchi, doue non e alcun camino, ma folo pietre, 
b fterpi, b foffi, b acqua, b neue, che non era ancora da per 
tut to liquefatta, fenza fcarpe, a digiuno qualche volt a fino 
a tre, e quattr hore dopo m.ezzo dt, e fpeffo i di intieri, 
efpofii alle piogge, e zuppi deW acqua de' torrenti, e fiumi, 
che ci bifognaua paffare, e la fera /' ofiitio mio era di 
raccoglier le legna, portar V acqua, e far la cucina, qtiando 
ve ne era, e fe mancauo in qualche cofa, b non intendeuo 
bene, i colpi non niancauajio , e molto metio nelV incontro, 
che faceuanio di gente, che andaiia b alia pefca, b alia 
caccia fenza poter quafi ripofar la notte per effer ligati h 
qualche albero, & efpofii al rigor dell' aria ancora affai 
fredda. Giungemmo finalmente al lo [l~\ago, nel quale 
fatte, che hebbero altre canoe, a che mi couenne aiutarli, 
nauigammo cinqiie, b fei di, doppo i quali pigliammo terra, 
e vi facemmo tre giornate di camino h picdi, la quarta, 
che fii li 15. di Maggio circa le 20. hore ejjfendo ancora 
[35 i.e., 37] a digiuno, arriuainmo ad vn fiume, doue 
erano circa 400. Barbari radunati per la pefca, auertiti 

16.53] BRESSANI'S RELA TIOX. 1633 61 

was that my captors began to treat vie more Iiarshly tfian 

Whtn they seized us, they were dying with hunger; 
therefore in two or three days they co7isumed all our provi- 
sions, and for tJie remainder of tJie journey there was no 
food except frojn citJur hunting or fishing, or from some 
wild root, if any were found. During the extreme hujigcr 
which we suffered, they found on t)te shore of the river a 
dead ayid putrid beaver, which at evening t lie y gave to me, 
t/iat I might wash it in the river; but, Iiaving thrown it 
away, — persuading myself tJiat this was tJuir inteiition, 
so stiftkijig it was, — I paid for that with a severe penance. 
I will not write Jure wJiat I suffered on that journey; 
enough to know tJiat we marched, carrying burdens, in 
the woods, wliere tJtere is no road at all, but only stones, 
or young shoots, or ditc/ies, or water, or snow, — which 
was not yet everywJure melted. We traveled without 
shoes; fasting sometimes till three and four o' clock in the 
afternoon, and often wJiole days; exposed to the rain, 
a?td soaked in t/te water of tlie torrents ajid rivers which 
we /tad to cross. At ei'ening, niy office was to gat/ier tlie 
wood, carry tite water, and do the cooking, wlien there 
was any; ajid if I came short in anything, or did not u fid cr- 
stand well, tlie blows were not lacking, — and much less 
did these fail, wJten we fiappened to ineet people wlio were 
going either fishi?ig or hunting; besides. I was Jiardly able 
to rest at night, for being bou?id to a tree and exposed to 
th£ severity of t/ie air, which was still quite cold. We 
filially reac/ud their lake, on which — wlien tluyliad tnade 
other canoes, at which it was necessary for me to assist 
t/um — we sailed five or six days, after which we landed, 
and there we ?fiade three days' journey on foot. On t/ie 
fourth day, which was the i^th of J fay, — about tlie 20th 
liour. being still [35 i.e., J^J^ fasting, we arrir>ed at .7 river 


gih del nojiro arriuo, ci vennero dtinque incontro, e ducento 
pafji hi circa lotano dalle loro capanne vii fpogliarono 
nudo, e 7ni fecero andare il primo. Di qua, e di la Jlauano 
in a la i giouani del pae/e, ogn vno col fuo bajlotie in ma?io, 
ma il primo di ejji haueua in vece del bajlone vn coltello, 
fubito dunque, che cominciai h caminare, quejlo 7ni fermd, 
e pre/ami la mano Jinijlra col coltello, che teneua vi fece 
vn apertura tra il dito piccolo, e V anulare con tanta 
forza, e violenza, cli io credeuo mi voleffe fender tutta la 
mano, e gli altri cominciarono a caricarmi di bajionate 
fino al theatro preparato per tormentarci, quiui mi fecero 
falire fopra alcune groffe fcorze alte da terra circa noue 
pahni per effer vi^i, e burlati dal popolo, mi viddi allhora 
intrifo tutto nel mio fangue, che fcorreua da tutte le parti 
del corpo, efpojio ad vn vento affai freddo, che lo faceua 
fubito cogelare fopra la pelle, e mi confolai grandemente 
di vedere, che Dio mi faceffe la gratia di patire in queflo 
mondo qualche piccola pena in luogo di quel, che doiieuo 
per i miei peccati pagar nelV altro con tormenti fenza 
paragone maggiori. Tra tanto arriuarono i guerrieri, e 
furono magnificamete pre fentati dal publico, e rifiorati con 
il meglio, che haueffero della lor pefca, a noi comandorno 
di cantare, imaginifi come lo poteuafno fare a digiuno, 
^anchi dal viaggio, abbattuti da' colpi, e tremando di 
freddo da capo a piedi. Qualche tempo dopo, vn Hurone 
fchiaiio ci portb vn piatto di grano turchefco, & vn Capi- 
tano vedendorni tremar di freddo a mia ifianza fiiialmente 
mi rimandb la meta d' vna i^ecchia fottana d' efiate tutta 
firacciata, [36 i.e., 38] che mi copriua piii toflo, che 
rifcaldarmi. Ci fecero cantare finche i foldati fe n 
andaffero, e ci lafciarono tra le mani de giouani del luogo. 

1663] BRESSANI'S RELA TION, 1633 63 

where about 400 Barbarians were assembled for fishing; 
being already apprised of our arrival, they then came to 
meet us. At about two hundred paces from their cabins, 
they stripped me naked, and made me go first; on either 
side, the young men of the country stood in line, every one 
with his stick in hand, but the first of them had, instead 
of the stick, a knife. Theji, as I began to proceed, this 
one suddenly stopped me; and, having taken my left hand, 
with the knife which he held, he made in it an incision be- 
tween the little finger and the ri)ig-finger, with so much 
force and violence that I believed he would split my whole 
hand; and the others began to load me with blows as far 
as the stage prepared for our torment. Then they made 
m.e m.ount upon some great pieces of bark, about nine palms 
above the ground, — in order that we might be seen and 
mocked by the people. I zvas now bruised all over, and 
covered with blood, which ivas flowing from all parts of 
my body, — and exposed to a very cold zvind, ivJiich made it 
suddenly congeal over the skin; but I greatly consoled 
myself to see that God granted me the favor of suffering in 
this world some little pain in place of that which I was 
under obligation, because of my sins, to pay in the other 
with torments incomparably greater. Meanwhile, the 
warriors arrived, and were magnificeiitly received by the 
people of this village; and, when they were refreshed with 
the best that they had from their fishing, they commanded 
us to sing; it may be imagined how we could do so, fasting, 
weak from the journey, overwhelmed with blows, and 
trembling zvith cold from head to foot. Some time after, 
a Huron slave brought us a dish of turkish \^India7i] corn; 
and a Captain, seeing me tremble zvith cold, at my 
urgency finally tossed back to me the half of an old summer 
garment, all torn, [36 i.e., 38] which covered rather than 
warmed me. They made us sing until the warriors went 


che finalmente ci feccro fcendere da quel theatro, done 
eratiamo ^ati circa due hore per farci ballare a lor tnodo, 
e per che io non lofaceuo, ne fapeuo fare, vii batteuano, fni 
pungeuano, mi Jlrappauano i capelli, la barba ^c. Ci 
tenero in quejlo luogo cinque, b fei di per loro paffatempo, 
efpojli alia di/cretione, b indifcretione d' ogn uno. Bifo- 
gnaua obedire fino a fanciulli in cofe ancora poco ragioneuoli, 
e fpcjfo contrarie. Sii canta diceua /' vno, sia cheto diceua 
r altro, & obedendo alP uno, /' altro mi maltrattaua. 
Da qui la mano, che te la voglio abbrugiare, e /' 
altro m abbrugiaiia, per che non gli la /iendejji. Mi 
comandauano, che io pigliajfi il fuoco con le dita per 
metterlo nelle loro pippe, nelle qtiali pigliano il tabacco, 
e poi Io faceuano a pojla cadere quattro, e cinque volte 
feguitamente per farjni bruciar le mani con raccog- 
lierlo di nuouo da terra. Que^o Ji faceua d' ordinario la 
notte. Verfo la /era i Capitani gridauano per le capanne 
con voci fpauentofe. Su radunateui b giouani, e venite h, 
far carezze a noftri prigioni: a quejlo inuito fi leuauano, 
e fi congregauano in qualche gran capanna, ed iiii leuan- 
domi da doffo quel pouero flraccio di vefle, che mi haueuano 
refo, mi lafciauan nudo, poi alcuni tni pilgeuano con acuti 
bajloni, altri con tizzoni, quefli mi fcottauano con pietre 
infocate, quelli con cenere calda, e carboni accefi. Mi 
faceuano caminar intorno al fuoco, done haueuano fiffi in 
terra bafloncelli acuti tra le ceneri roueti, altri mi Jlrap- 
pauano J/ capelli, altri la barba, e tutte le notti, dopo di 
hauermi fatto cantare, e tormetato come di fopra, mi 
brugiauano qualche onghia, [37 i.e., 39] dito per Io f patio 
di vn mezzo quarto d' hora in circa: di died, che ne 
haueuo, non nc lib hora altro, die vno intiero, & a quejlo 

1653] BRESSANPS RELATION, i633 ^6 

away; and they left us in the hands of the young men of 
the place, who finally made us come down fro7n that stage, 
where we had been about two hours, — in order to make us 
dance in their manner; and because I did not do so, or 
know how to, they beat me , pricked 7ne , tore out my hair and 
beard, etc. They kept us in this place five or six days for 
their pastime, exposed to the discretion or indiscretion of 
everybody . It was necessary to obey the very children, and 
that in things little reasonable, and often contrary. ^'■Get 
up and sing, ' ' said one. ' ' Be qiiiet, ' ' said the otJier; and 
if I obeyed 07ie, the other ill-used me. '■^ Here, give thy 
hand, zvhich I will burn for thee;'' and the other burned me 
because I did not extend it to him. They cotnmanded me to 
take the fire in my fingers, and put it into their pipes, in 
which they took tobacco; and then they purposely made it 
fall four or five times in succession, in order to make m.e 
burn my hands by picking it up again from the ground. 
This was usually done at night. Toward evening, the Cap- 
tains shouted through the cabins zvith frightful voices: 
" Up! assemble yourselves, O young men, and come to caress 
our prisoners. " At this invitation they arose and gathered 
themselves into some large cabin; and, lifting from my back 
that poor rag of clothing which they had returned to me, they 
left m,e naked. Then some pricked ^ne with sharp sticks, 
others with firebrands; these burned me zuith red-hot stones, 
those with hot ashes and lighted coals. They made ^ne 
walk around the fire, where they had fixed in the earth 
sharp sticks betzveen the burning ashes; some tore out tny 
hair, others my beard; a?id every night, after having 
made me sing, and tormented me as above, they would burn 
one of my nails [37 i.e., 39] or fingers for the space of 
eight or ten minutes; of ten that I had, I have now 
only one whole one left, — and even from this one they had 
torn out the nail ivith their teeth. One evening, they 


ancora haueuano fradicato V vnghia con i denti: vna /era 
mi abbrugiauano vii vnghia, vn altra la prima giutura, 
b articolo d' vn deto, V altra il fecondo, in fei volte me ne 
abbrugiorno quaji fei; piii di i8. volte mi hanno applicato 
alle mani folo il fuoco, ed il ferro, e tra tanto bifognaua 
cantare: cost ci trattauano fino ad vna, b due hore dopo 
m.ezza nottc, & all' hora mi la/ciauano fopra la nuda terra 
legato cdmunem.ente in liiogo efpojlo alia pioggia fenz' altro 
letto, b coperta, eke vna piccola pelle, che non copriua la 
meta del mio corpo, & alle volte fenza niente, perche 
haueuano gia Jlracciato quel pezzo di fottana, e per pieth 
fattomene di che coprire quel che la decenza tra loro JleJJi 
non permette d' effere /coper to; ef/endo/i ritenuto il re/io. 

lo /ui trattato in que/la gui/a, e peggio per vn me/e 
intiero; ma in que/to priino luogo non piii d' otto di. Non 
hauerei mai creduto, che vn huomo haiief/e la vita s\ dura. 
Vjia notte mentre mi tormentauano all' ordinario, vn 
Hurone, che meco era /tato pre/o prigione /or/i per hauer 
vi^o, che vno de' /uoi conipagni, e/fe7ido/i dichiarato 
contro di ?ioi,/i era /ottratto da' tormenti, gridb nel m.ezzo 
deir a/femblea, che io ero per/ona di gualita, e Capitano 
tra' France/. Fii vdito con grande attentione, e dopo 
/ecero vn gran grido in /egno d' allegrezza, ri/oluendo/ 
di trattarmi ancor peggio, e la mattina /egiiente mi con- 
dannarono ad ef/er abbritgiato viuo, e mangiato. Comin- 
ciarono all' hora a cu^odirmi piii /Irettamente, non mi 
la/ciando /olo ne anche [38 i.e., 40] nelle nece/fita 
naturali, doue e gli huomini, e i putti tni mole/lauano per 
/armi ritornare qua^ito prima nella capanna, temendo, che 
io non /uggijji. 

Partimmo di qui a 26. di Maggio, c quattro giorni 

1663] BRESSANI'S RELA TION, i6js 67 

burned one of my nails; on another, the first joint or 
sectioti of a finger; on the next, the second. In six times, 
they burned nearly six of 7ny fingers, — and more than i8 
times they applied the fire and iron to my hands alone; and 
meanwhile it tuas necessary to sing. Thus they treated us 
till one or two hours after midnight, and then they left me 
on the bare ground, usually tied to the spot, and exposed to 
the rain, without other bed or cover than a small skin, 
IV hie h covered not the half of my body, — even at times 
without anything, because they had already torn up that 
piece of garment; although, out of pity, they made of it 
for me enough to cover that which decency does not permit 
to be uncovered, even among themselves, but retained the 

I was treated in this way, and worse, for a whole 
month; but, at this first place, no longer than eight days. 
I wotild never have believed that a man could endure so 
hard a life. One night, while they were tormenting me 
as usual, a Huron who had been taken captive with me, — 
perhaps because he had seen that one of his companions, 
having declared himself against us, had freed himself from 
the torments, — shouted, in the midst of the assembly, that I 
was a person of rank, and a Captain among the French. 
He was heard with great attention, ajidthen they uttered a 
loud shout in token of joy, — resolving to treat me still 
worse, — and, o)i the following morning, condemned me to 
be burned alive, and eaten. They then began to guard 
me more strictly, not leaving me alone eveti [38 i.e., 40] 
in the necessities of nature, — ivherein both the men and 
the boys molested me, in order to make me return as soon 
as possible to the cabin, fearing lest I should escape. 

We started thence on the 26th of May; and, four 
days later we arrived at the first Village of this nation. 
On this journey, — made on foot, amid rains and other 


dopo arriuanimo alia prima Terra di qucjia natione. In 
qnejio viaggio fatto a picdi con piogge, & altri difagi, 
patij piii, che non haneuo ancora patito: il bar bar o, che mi 
conduceua era piu del primo crudele, & io ero ferito, debole, 
vial nuirito, mezzo nudo, e dormiuo al fereno legato ad vn 
pale, b ad vn albero, tremando tutta la notte per il freddo, 
e per il dolor e de' legami; ne' paffaggi difficili per la mia 
debolezza haueuo bifogno di chi mi aiutaffe, e mi era 
negato ogni foccorfo; onde fpejfo cadeuo, rinoua^ido le mie 
piaghe, ed ejfi vi aggiungeuano nuoui colpi per follecitarmi 
h caminare, pen/ando che io fingejfi per rejlare indietro, e 
poi fuggirmene . Vna volt a tra le altre caddi in vn fiume, 
e poco mancd, che non mi affogafji^ 7ie vfcij perb, non sb 
come, e tutto inzuppato d' acqua con vn fardello affai 
pefante sii le fpalle mi conuenne fare ancora circa fei 
ntiglia di camifio Jino alia /era; effi tra tanto burlandoji 
di me, e della mia dapocaggine di effermi lafciato cadere 
ne I fiume, e 7ion mancarono la fiotte d' abbrugiarmi vn 
vnghia. Arriuammo finalmente al primo borgo di quejla 
natione, done la nojira entrata fit Jimile alia prima, & 
anchc piii crudele, perche oltre i piigni, e colpi, che mi 
diedcro nelle parti piu fenfibili del corpo, mi fenderono la 
/ecofida volta la mano finijira tra il dito di mezzo, e V 
tndice, e le bajlonate furono in si gran numero, che mi 
fecero cadere a terra mezzo inorto. Penfauo di hauer perfo 
con la vijla F occhio dritto, e non leiiandomi di [39 i.e., 41] 
terra, ne potendolo fare, effi 7ion ceffauano di batter mi 
principalmente ful petto, e sii la tefla, e mi hauerebbero 
fenz' altro finito d" vccidere,fe vn Capitano come per forza 
non mi haueffe fatto Jlrafcinare fopra vn theatro di fcorze 
fimile al primo. done poco dopo mi tagliorno il dito groffo 

1653] P.RESSANI'S RELATION, i653 69 

hardships, — my sufferings zvere greater than before. The 
barbarian who conducted me was more cruel than the first, 
and I tvas zvounded, weak, ill fed, and half naked; more- 
over, I slept in the open air, bound to a stake or to a tree, 
trembling all flight with cold, and from the pai?i of these 
bonds. At difficult places in the road, I had need of some 
one to aid me because of my weakness, but all help was 
denied me; for this reason, I often fell, reneiving my 
wounds; and to these they added new blows, in order to 
urge me to proceed, — thinking that I was feigning for 
the sake of staying behind, and then taking fligJit. On 
one occasion, among others, I fell into a river, and came 
near being drotvned; however, I got out, I ktiow not how; 
and all dre^iched with water, together with a quite heavy 
bundle on my shoulders, I was obliged to complete about six 
miles more marching until evening. They, meanwhile, 
jeered at me, and at my stupidity in having allowed myself 
to fall into the river; and they did not omit, at night, to 
burn off one of my nails. We finally arrived at the first 
village of that nation, where our entrance was similar to 
the former, and still more cruel, because — in addition to 
the blows with their fists, and other blows which they gave 
me on the most sensitive parts of the body — they split, for 
the second time, my left hand between the middle finger 
and the forefinger; and I received beatings in so great 
number that they made me fall to the ground, half dead. 
I thought that I would lose my right eye, with m.y sight; 
and, although I did 7wt rise from the [39 i.e., 41] ground, 
for I could not, they did not cease to beat me, chiefly on 
the breast and on the head. Indeed, without some other 
hindrance they would have ended by killing me, had not a 
Captain caused me to be dragged — as it were, by force — 
upon a stage of bark, similar to the first, where, soon 
afterward, they cut off the thumb of my left hand and 


della mano Jinijira, e mi ferirono /' indice. In tanto 
fopragiunfe vna gran pioggia con tuojti, e fidmini, & ejji 
Ji ritirorno, lafciandoci iui air acqua midi fin ta?ito, che 
non sb ch\ hauefido pieth di noi, ver/o la /era ci mend alia 
fua capanna. Qui ci tormentarono con maggior crtidelia, 
e sfacciataggi?ie, che mai, fenza vn inomento di ripofo; mi 
forzauano a m.angiar deW itmnondezze, mi abbrugiorno it 
rcjlo deir vnghie, c qualche dito delle mani, mi Jiorfero 
quelli de' piedi, e me ne fororno vno con vn tizzone, e non 
so che non mi fecero vna volta, che m.i finfi. tramortito per 
far vijla di non accorgertni di qualche cofa poco decete, che 
faceuano. Satij di tormentarci qui, ci mandarono in vn 
altra Terra, noue, b died miglia lontana, doue oltre gli 
altri tormenti gia detti, i?ti fo/pendeuano per i piedi alcune 
volte con corde, altre con catene, che haueua?to prefe a gli 
Olandefi, con le quali la notte mi lafciauano legate le 
mani, i piedi, & il collo a diuerji pali al folito fopra la 
nuda terra. Sei, b fette notti mi tormentarono iii tal 
modo, e luoghi, che non poffo defer iuere, ne legger Ji 
potrebbono fenza roffore. Quejle notti le vegliauo quafi 
intiere, c mi pareuano longhiffime , benche fuffero le piii 
corte dell\ anno. Dio mio, che far a il purgatorio? quefia 
confideratione addolciua non poco i miei dolori. Ero in 
queflo modo di viuere diuenuto s\ puzzolente, & horribile, 
che ogn vno mi cacciaua come vna carogna, e non s' 
auicinauano h me per [40 i.e., 42] altro, che per tormen- 
tarmi. A pena trouauo chi m' imboccaffe, non hauendo 
r vfo delle mani, che erano fir aor dinar iamente gonfie, e 
putride, onde non lafciauo d' ejfer tormentato, ancor dalla 
fame, la quale m induffe a mangiar del grano d' India 
crudo, non fenza inter effe della fanita, e mi fece trouar 

1653] BRESSANI'S RELA TION, 1633 71 

wounded the forefinger. Meanwhile a great rain catne 
up, ivith thunder and lightning; and they went azvay, 
leaving us there, naked in the water, until some one, I 
knotv not who, taking pity on us, toward eveni^ig led us to 
his cabin. Here they tormented us with greater cruelty 
and impudence than ever, without a moment of rest: they 
forced me to eat filth; burned the rest of my nails, and 
some fingers; wrung off my toes, and bored one of them, 
with a firebrand; and I know not what they did not do to 
me once, when I feigned to be in a swoon, in order to seem 
not to perceive something indecent that they were doing. 
Surfeited with tormenting us here, they sent us to another 
Village, nine or ten miles distant, where, besides the other 
tortnents, already mentioned, they suspended me by the 
feet, — sometimes zvith cords, again ivith chains, which 
they had taken from the Dutch; with these, at night, they 
left me bound — hands, feet, and neck — to several stakes, — 
as usual, upon the bare ground. Six or seven nights they 
tormented me in such fashion, and in such places, that I 
could not describe these things, nor could they be read, 
zvithout blushing. On those nights, I was awake almost 
all night, and they appeared to me very long, although 
they were the shortest of the year. ' ' My God, what will 
purgatory be ? " This thought appeased my pains not a 
little. In this manner of living I had become so fetid and 
horrible that every one drove m.e away like a piece of car- 
rion; and they approached me for no [40 i.e., 42] other 
purpose than to torment me. Scarcely did I find any one 
to feed me ^ — although I had not the use of my hands, 
which ivere abnormally swollen, and putrid; I was thus, 
of course, still further tormented by hunger, which led me 
to eat Indian corn raw, — not without concern for my 
health, — and made me find a relisli in chewing clay, 
although I could not easily swallow it. I was covered zvith 


gujio a majlicar della creta, ancorche non la potejji facil- 
vtente inghiottire. Ero coperto di fchifi animaletti, e non 
poteuo ne liberarmene, ne difendermene . Nelle mie piaghe 
nafceuano i venni, de' quali d' vn deto folo ne cafcb in vn 
d\ pill di quattro. Putredini dixi Pater meus es mater 
mea, & foror mea vermibus, fadtus eram mihimet ip- 
fi grauis in niodo, che hanerei Jiimato al giudicio Jlejfo 
deir ajfior propria mori lucriim, fauore il morire. 
Haueuo vna pojiema nella cofcia dritta cagionata da i 
colpi, e dalle freqiienti cadute, che m inipediua ogni ripo/o, 
majjime non hauendo, che la pelle, e /' ojfa, e la terra per 
letto. Pill volte i Barbari con pietre acute non fenza inio 
gran dolore haueano procurato di aprirla, mainutilmente, 
bi/ogno, che mi feruiffe di Ciriijico V Hurone rinegato, che 
era Jlato prefo con noi. Qttejio il dt, che come fi credeua, 
era la vigilia della viia morte, con quattro colpi di cortello 
m.e r apri, e ne fece v/cire/angue, e marcia in st gran copia, 
e con tal puzza, che tutti i Barbari della capanna furono 
cojiretti d' abbandonarla. lo dejiderauo, & afpettauo la 
morte, ma non fenza qualche horrore del fuoco^ mi ci dif- 
poneuo perb almeglio, che poteuo, e mi raccomandauo di cuore 
alia Madre di mi/ericordia, che e veramente Mater ama- 
bilis, admirabilis, potens, & clemens, confolatrix 
afflidlorum, che era dopo Dio V vnico refugio d' vnpouero 
peccatore [41 i.e., 43] abbandonato da tutte le creature, in 
terra aliena, in loco horroris, & vaflse folitudinis, y^w^-^ 
lingua per farji intendere, /e?tza amici per con/olarji, 
fenza Sacramenti per fortificarfi, e fenza alcun rimedio 
hu f nana per addolcire i fuoi mali. Gli Huroni, & Algon- 
chini prigioni (quefii fono i nofiri Barbari) in vece di 

1653] BRESSANI'S RELATION, i6ss 73 

loathsome vermin, and could neither get rid of them nor 
defend myself from them. In my wounds, worms were 
produced; out of one finger alone, more than four fell in 
one day. Putredini dixi : Pater meus es ; mater mea, 
et soror mea, vermibus; factus eram mihimet ipsi 
gravis : so that I would have regarded, by the very judg- 
ment of self-love, mori lucrum, — death as gain. I had 
an abscess in the right thigh, caused by blows and frequent 
falls, which hindered me from all repose, — especially as I 
had 07ily skin and bone, and the earth, for bed. Several 
times the Barbarians had tried, but to no purpose, to open 
it, zuith sharp stones, — ?iot zvithout great pain to me. I 
was compelled to employ as Surgeon the renegade Huron 
who had been taken with us. The latter — 07t the day 
which, as was believed, was the eveof my death — opened it 
for me zvithfour knife-thrusts, and caused blood and matter 
to issue from it, in so great abundance and with such 
stench that all the Barbarians of the cabin zvere constrained 
to abandon it. I desired and was awaiting death, but not 
without some horror of the fire; I zvas preparing for it, 
however, as best I could, and was heartily commending 
myself to the Mother of mercy, who is truly Mater ama- 
bilis, admirabilis, potens, et clemens, consolatrix 
afflictorum,— W^c was, after God, the sole refuge of a 
poor sinner, [41 i.e., 43] forsaken by all creatures in a 
strange land, in loco horroris, et vastse solitudinis, 
without a language to inake himself understood, without 
friends to console him, zvithout Sacraments to strengtJien 
him, atid without any human remedy for alleviating his 
ills. The Huron and Algonquin prisoners (these are our 
Barbarians), instead of consoling me, were the first to 
torment me, in order to please the Hiroquois. I did not 
see the good Guillaume ,"' except afterward, when my life 
was granted me; and the lad who had been taken in my 


confolarmi^ erano i primi h tormentar^ni per compiacere d, 
gl Hirochcfi. Non viddi il biion Giiglielino fe no7i dopo, 
che hebbi la vita, & il gar zone, cJi era Jlato prefo in mia 
compagnia tion era pih ineco, particolarmente dopo, che s' 
accorfero, che io gli faceuo fare oratione, co/a, che ejfi non 
aggradiiiajio. Ma non lo lafciarono fenza torrnenti, perche, 
ancorche non haiiejfe piii di dodcci, b trcdcci anni gli 
^rapporno cinque vngJiie coji i deiiti, e gli Jirinfero, all' 
arrino nel paefe, con cordicelle Jirettamente i polfi con 
acutiffimo dolore, e tutto in mia pre/enza per affliggermi 
maggiormente. O che air Iiora fi fa altro giuditio di 
molte cofe, che conmiuneineiite fi fli^nano molto, piaccia d 
Dio, che io me ne ricordi, e ne approfitti. I giorni effendoini 
penofi, e la notte non Jiatiendo alciin ripofo, contauo cinque 
d\ del mefe piii del doner e. Ma vedendo vna fera la Luna, 
correfii il mio errore. Non fapeuo perche tanto dijferiffero 
la mia niorte, mi differo, che era per ingraffarmi, prima di 
mangiarmi, ma non ne pigliauano i mezzi. In fine vn di 
co7iuennero per finirla. Era li 19. di Giugno, che io 
contauo per /' vltimo della mia vita, e pregauo vn Capitano, 
che mi mutaffero, fc fi poteua, la morte di fuoco in qualche 
altra. Ma vn altro gli efortaua a fiar fermi nella 
rifolutione gia prefa\ II primo perb ni afficurb, che no 
morrei ne di fuoco, ?ie d' altro, non gli credeuo, e no sb, s' 
egli sleffo diceua [42 i.e., 44] da doner 0, ma in fine cost 
fii, perche tale era la volonta di Dio, e della Vergine Madre, 
dalla quale io ricojiofco la vita, e quello, che fiimo ancor 
pill, vna gran for za 7ie miei mali, piaccia alia Maefla di 
Dio, che cib ridondi in fua maggior gloria, e mio bene. I 
Barbari Jleffi fi marauigliano di quefio fucceffo contro 
ogni loro intentione, come mi hanno riferito, e fcritto gli 

1653] BRESSANPS RELATION, i653 75 

company was no longer with me, especially after they per- 
ceived that I had him say his prayers, — a thing wJiich 
they did not favor. But they did not leave him without 
tormetits, for, although he was 7io more than twelve or 
thirteen years old, they tore out five of his nails with their 
teeth; and, at his arrival in the country, they bou?td his 
wrists tightly ivith thongs, causing him the acut est pain, — 
and all iii my presence, i7i order to afflict me the m,ore. 
Oh, at such times, what a different opinion is held of 
many things which are commonly much esteemed! Please 
God that I remember it, and profit thereby. The days 
being irksome to me, and having 7to rest at night, I counted 
in the month five days more than I should; but, seeing the 
Moon one eventing, I corrected my error. I knew not why 
they deferred my death so long; they told me that it was 
to fatten Die before eating m,e, but they took no means to do 
so. One day, at last, they assem,bled in order to despatch 
me. It was the i(^th of June, which I reckoned as the 
last of my life; and I entreated a Captain that they 
would commute, if it was possible, the death by fire into 
some other, but another m,an exhorted him to remain firm 
in the resolution already taken. The first, nevertheless, 
assured me that I should die neither by fire nor by any 
other death; I did not believe him, and know not whether 
he himself spoke [42 i.e., 44] in good faith. But, finally, 
it was as he said, because such was the will of God and of 
the Virgin Mother, — to whom I acknowledge my life, and 
that zvhich I esteem still 7nore, — a great strength in my 
troubles; may it please the Majesty of God that this 
redound to his greater glory and to my good. The Bar- 
barians themselves m,arveled at this result, — contrary to 
their every intention, as the Dutch have reported and 
written to me; they therefore gave me, with the ceremo- 
nies of the coiuitry, to an Old woman, in place of her 


Olandefi: mi diedero diinque con le cerimonie del paefe, ad 
V7ia Vecchia in luogo del f no Nonno vccifo vn tempo fa da 
gli Htironi, la quale in vcce di farmi abbrugiare, come 
tutti dejiderauano, & Jiaiieuano di gia rifoluto, mi rifcattb 
dalle loro mani h preszo di qiiei grani, cJie i Franceji 
chiamano porcellana. lo viuo qnt tra V ombre della morte, 
non fentettdo parlar d' altro, cJie d' Jioniicidij^ & affaffinij. 
Hanno frefcanie^ite ammazzato in vna capanna vno della 
lor ijlejfa natione, come inutile, e che non meritaua di 
viuere. Non lafcio qui di patir qualcJie cofa. Le mie 
piaghe non fono ancor rifaldate, e molti tion mi guardano 
di biion occhio, nojt Ji pub viuer fenza croce, e quejia ^ 
di zuccaro in paragotte della paffata. Gli Olandefi mi fan 
fperare il mio rifcatto, e quello del Garzone, che fit prefo 
meco. La volonta di Dio fi faccia nel tempo, e nelf 
Eternita, lo fperarb con maggior fondamento, fe mi fard 
partecipe de' fiioi Santi SacrificiJ, & orationi, e di quelle 
de nofiri Padri, e fratelli, maffime di quelli, che m hanno 
altre volte conofciuto. Dalli Hirochef i^. di Luglio i6/^. 

Ma come non hebbe la commodita d' inuiar fubito 
quefta lettera, arriu5 in Europa accompagnata d' al- 
cune altre, che mettero qui con 1' ordine ilteffo, che 
furono fcritte. 

lo non hb incontrato (dice la fecondaj chi portaffe V 
hiclufa, [43 i.e., 45] 07ide la riceuera infieme co?i la 
prefente, la quale fara per dark nuoua del mio rifcatto 
dalle majii de' Barbari, che mi teneuano prigioiie, fatto 
da gli Olandefi. La cofa non e ^ata molto difficile, e 
m hanno rifcattato a buon mercato, per la poca fiima, che 
faceuati di me per la mia inhabilita ad ogni cofa, e per che 

1653] BRESSANI'S RELATION, i6ss 77 

Grandsire, killed some time before by the Hurons. She, 
instead of Jiaving me burned, — as all desired^ and had 
already resolved, — ransomed me frotn their hands at the 
price of some beads, luhich the French call '^porcelain." 
I live here among the shadows of death, not hearing any- 
thing spoken of but murders and assassinations. They 
have recently slain in a cabin one of their own nation, as 
being useless, and as one who did 7iot deserve to live. Of 
course, I suffer somewhat here; my wounds are not yet 
healed over, and many do not regard me with a favorable 
eye. 0}ie cantiot live ivithout crosses, and this one is of 
sugar in comparison with the past one. The Dutch cause 
7ne to hope for my ransojn, and that of the Lad who was 
taken zvith me; the will of God be done, in time and in 
Eternity. I shall hope for it with greater reason if you 
will make me a partaker of your Holy Sacrifices and 
prayers, and of those of our Fat Iters and brethren, — es- 
pecially of those who were formerly acquainted with me. 
From the Hiroquois, the i^th of July, 1644. 

But, as he had no facilities for sending this letter 
promptly, it arrived in Europe accompanied with 
some others, which I will give here, in the order in 
which they were written. 

/ have not met (says the second) any one to carry the 
inclosed letter; [43 i.e., 45] you will therefore receive it 
along with the present, which is inte?ided to give you news 
of my ransom, effected by the Dutch, from the hands of 
the Barbarians who kept m,e a prisoner. The matter was 
not very difficult, and they ransomed me cheaply , on account 
of the small esteem in which they held me, because of my 
wajit of skill for everything, and because they believed 
that I zvould never get well of my ailments. I was tzaice 


credeuano, die non giiarirei mai da miei mali. Fid 
vendiito due volte, la prima a quella Vecchia, che doueua 
farmi brtigiare, e la feconda a gli Olandeji, affai caro, 
cio^ per il prezzo di i^. d 20. doppie, cantai it mio in exitu 
Ifrael de ^gypto // 19. d' Agojlo, giorno, che e tra V ot- 
taua deir AJfontione delta Vergine, cioe della mia libera- 
trice, ejfendo Jiato Jiel paefe de gV Hirocheji qiiattro meji 
prigione, poco in riguardo di quel, che meritauano i miei 
peccati; non potei 7iel tempo della mia fchiauitudine render 
d quegV infclici, per il male, che mi facetiano, il bene, che 
to loro dejiderauo, che era il dargli la cognitione del vero 
DiOy non fapendo la lingua, procurai d' ijlruire per mezzo 
d' vn inierprete prigione, vn vecchio, che Ji moriua, ma la 
fuperbia V impedi d' afcoltarmi, mi rifpofe, che vn 
huomo deir eta, e qiialith fiia doiieiia infegnare, e non 
effer infegnato: gli domandai, fe fapeiia done anderebbe 
dopo la morte, mi rifpofe, aW Occidente, e qui comincib a 
raccontar le lor fauole, e delirij, che quei miferi acciecati 
dal Demonio, flimano fodiffime verita. lo non battezzai 
altri, che vn Hurone, che condiiffero done io ero, per 
abbrugiarlo; quelli, che mi guardauano, mi follecitorno, 
accib V andaffi a vedere, ci andai con repugnanza, hauen- 
domi effi falfamente detto, che non era alcuno de' noflri 
Barbari, e ch' io non V hauerei intefo, pajfo tra la folia, 
mi fano ala, e mi lafciano auuicinare a qucfi' Jiuomo 
[44 i.e., 46] gia tutto sfignrato per i torment i. Giaceua 
sii la nuda terra, fenza poter appoggiare in alcun luogo 
la te^a, io vedendo la vicino vna pietra, la fpingo col piede 
fino al fuo capo, accib gli fend ffe di guanciale, & air hora 
egli rig7iarda7idomi, & b per qualche pelo di barba, che mi 
reftaua, b per altro inditio giudicando, che io ero forafliero, 
non e, dijfe a qiicllo, che /' haueua in guardia, non e queflo 

1653] B RESS A NT'S RELATION, i6s3 79 

sold, the first time to that Old woman %vho was to have 
me burned; and the second to the Dutch, quite dear, — that 
is, for the price of i^ or 20 doppias.^ I sang my in exitu 
Israel de -^gypto on the igth of Augiist, — a day which 
is in the octave of t lie Assumption of the Virgin, who ivas 
my deliverer, — when I had been a captive in the country 
of the Hiroquois four mo7iths, — a small thing in respect 
of what my sins deserved. I could not, in the time of my 
servitude, render to those unfortunates, for the evil which 
they did me, the good ivhich I desired for them, which 
was, to give them, the knovuledge of the true God. Not 
knowing the language, I tried to instruct, by means of a 
captive interpreter, an old man who zuas dying; but pride 
hindered him from listening to me, — he answered me that 
a man of his age and standing should teach, and not be 
taught. I asked him whether he knew vo hit her he zvould 
go after death; he answered me, ' ' To the Sunset; ' ' and 
here he began to relate their fables and delusions, which 
those zvr etched people, blinded by the Demon, regard as 
the most solid truths. I baptized no one except a Huron, 
whom they conducted to the place ivhere I was, in order to 
burn him; those who were guarding me urged me to go 
to see him. I w^t thither zvith repugnance, — they hav- 
ing falsely told me that he zuas not one of our Barbarians, 
and, that I would not have understood him. I pass through 
the crowd; they form in line for me, and allozv me to 
approach that man [44 i.e., 46] zuho zvas already quite 
disfigured by the tortures. He zvas lying on the bare 
ground, zvithout being able to rest his head in any place; 
/, seeing near him a stone, push it zvith my foot as far as 
his head, that he may use it for a pillow. Then, — look- 
ing at me, and, either by some zvisp of beard zvhich I 
had left, or by some other sign, fudging that I was a 
stranger, — he said to the person zvJio had him in custody: 


/' Europeo, che tenete prigione? & hauendogli /' altro 
ri/pojio, che si, riguardandomi la feconda volt a con occhio 
ajfai pietofo, fedi (mi diffe) fratello vicino a me, che io 
dejidero parlarii, lo fb non fenza horrore per la puzza, che 
vf cilia da quel corpo di gih mezzo arroslito, e gli domando, 
che cofa dejideri, rallegrandomi d' intenderlo vn poco, 
perche parlaua Hurone, e fperando con quejla occajiotie 
poterlo islruire per il battefimo, ma la fua rifpojla con 
fomma mia confolatione mi preuenne. Che dima^ido, dice 
egli? io non dimando altro, che il battejimo, affrettati, 
perche il tempo e brene; volji i7iterrogarlo per non dare vn 
Sacramento con precipitatione, e lo trouai perfettamente 
ijlrutto, effendo gia nel paefe degli Huroni riceuto tra 
Catheciimeni, lo battezzo dunque con gran fodisfattione, e 
fua, e mia, ma ancorche fatto V hatiejji con qualche arti- 
ficio, effendomi feruito d' vn pb d' acqua, che haueuo fatto 
portare per dargli da bere, gV Hirochefi non lafciorno d' ac- 
corgerfene, & auuertitone quanto prima i Capitani, mi 
cacciorno con colera, e minacce fubito dalla capamia, 
ricomi?iciandolo a tormcntare come prima, e la mattina 
feguente finirono d' arroflirlo viuo, e perche io /' haueuo 
battezzato, portorno tutte le fue membra ad vno ad vno nella 
capanna doue io fiauo, pelando in [45 i.e., 47] mia 
prefenza, e mangiando i fuoi piedi, e mani, & il marito 
della padrona della capanna, mife a miei piedi la tefia del 
inorto, e ve la lafcib molto tempo, rinfacciaiidomi quel, che 
haueuo fatto, con dire: e bene li tuoi incanti (parlafido del 
battefimo, & orationi, che haueuamo fatte infieme) che gli 
han giouato ? V hanno forji liber ato dalla inorte ? hebbi alV 
hora gran difpiacere di non potergli per difetto di lingua 
fpiegare con vna si bella occajione la virtii, & effetti del 
fanto Battefitno, ma que^o tej?ipo non e ancora arriuato, i 

1653] BRESSANPS RELATION, i6s3 81 

' * Is not this the European whom you hold captive? ' ' And, 
the other having answered him ' ' Yes, ' ' looking at me the 
second time with a somewhat pitiful glance, '* Sit down " 
(he said to me), " my brother, near me, for I desire to 
speak to thee. " I do so, not without horror at the stench 
which emanated from that body already half roasted, and 
ask him what thing he desires, — rejoicing to imder stand 
him a little, because he spoke Huron, and hoping through 
this opportunity to be able to instruct him for baptism; but 
his answer, to my utmost consolation, anticipated me. 
' ' What do I ask, ' ' he says; ' ' / ask nothing else than bap- 
tism: make haste, because the time is short. ' ' / undertook 
to question him, i?i order not to offer a Sacrament with 
precipitation, and I found him perfectly instructed, — hav- 
ing been received among the Catechumens, even in the 
country of the Hurons. I baptized htm theft, with great 
satisfaction to both him and myself; but although I had 
done so with some artifice, — having used a little water 
which I had had brought for givi?tg him to drink, — the 
Hiroquois nevertheless perceived it. The Captains, being, 
as soon as possible, informed of this, stiddenly drove me from 
the cabin zvith anger and threats, — beginning to torment 
him agaifi as before; and the following morning they 
finished roasting him alive. Then, because I had baptised 
him, they carried all his limbs, one by one, into the cabin 
where I abode, — skinning, in [45 i.e., 47] my presence, and 
eating, his feet and hands. The husband of the mistress of 
the cabin put at my feet the dead man s head, a?id left it 
there a considerable time, — reproaching me with what I had 
done, by saying: "And what indeed have thy enchant- 
ments " ( speaking of the baptism, ajtd of the prayers that we 
had said together) ' ' helped him? have they perhaps deliv- 
ered him from, death?' ' I then felt great sorrow at Jiot being 
able, for want of language, to explain to them at so excellent 


loro peccati, e particolarniejite la fiiperbia e vn grancV 
impediinento alle gratie di Dio, Qui liumilia refpicit, 
& alta ci longe cognofcit. Si Jlimano tutti Campioni, e 
Marti, difprezzano gli Europei, come gente vile, e codarda, 
ejipenfano effer nati per foggiogar il mondo, euanuerunt 
in cogitationibus fuis, e perb tradidit illos Deus in 
delideria cordis eorum, le fue fantifjime orationi, e 
facrifitij, e di tiitta la Compagnia, che prega fempre per 
la conuerfione de gV infedeli, potranno ottenere, che Dio 
gli riguardi con occhio di pieta, e me con ejjfi, mafjinie ne' 
pericoli del mare, ne' quali entro, afficurandofi, che e 
fano, e Jlroppiato farb fempre di V. P. figlio indegno, e 
feruo hiimiliffmio . 

F. G. B. 

Dal la nuoiia Anijlerdani ^i. d' Agojio 1644. 

La terza lettera e fcritta dall' Kola di Rhe, e data 
alii 16. di Nouembre dell' iftefs' anno, done dimada 
aiuto d' orationi, per ringratiar' Iddio d' effer ftato 
liberate no folo dalle mani de gl' Hirochefi, ma ache 
dalla furia del mare, nel quale hauea hauto horribili 
tempefte, [46 i.e., 48] vna tra 1' altre, dice la lettera, 11 
27. di Settembre fpauentofiffima, che ci duro piu di 
24. hore, e ci riduffe k rifoluerci di tagliar gli alberi 
della naue. Fummo, foggiunge, cacciati da Corfari 
Turchi i giorni intieri, ho fatto tutto il viaggio con 
Hugonotti, a' quali quefto nome di Papifta, e di 
Giefuita non lafciaua di difpiacere, non haueuo altro 
letto, che vna caffa nuda, doue non mi poteuo ften- 
dere longo: i viueri, e X acqua ifteffa ci e mancata, e 
pure eccetto il mal di mare, al quale fono foggetto, 
fono ftato fempie beniffimo, e dopo 55. giorni d' vna 

1653] BRESSANI'S RELA TION, 1653 83 

an opportunity the virtue and effects of holy Baptism. 
But that time has not yet arrived; their sins — afid 
especially pride — are a great obstacle to the grace of God, 
Qui humilia respicit, et alta h. longe cognoscit. They 
all account themselves Champions, and as Mars: they de- 
spise the Europeans as vile and cowardly people, and think 
that they themselves zvere born to subjugate the world; 
evanuerunt in cogitationibus suis, andthereforetrdLdAdixt 
illos Deus in desideria cordis eorum. Your most holy 
prayers and sacrifices, and those of the whole Society, 
which ahuays prays for the conversion of the infidels, will 
avail to obtain that God may regard them with an eye of 
pity, and me with them, — especially in the dangers of the 
sea whereinto I am entering, — assuring yourself that not 
only in healtJi, but -maimed, I shall be ahvays Your 
Paternity s unworthy son and most humble servant. 

F. G. B. 

From new Amsterdam, the 31^^ of August, 1644. 

The third letter is written from the Isle of Rhe, 
and dated the i6th of November in tHe same year: 
wherein he asks the aid of prayers to thank God for 
having been delivered, not only from the hands of 
the Hiroquois, but also from the fury of the sea, on 
which he had experienced horrible tempests, — 
[46 i.e., 48] " one, among others," says the letter, 
" on the 27th of September, most frightful; it lasted 
more than 24 hours, and brought us to the pass of 
resolving to cut the masts of the ship. We were 
chased," he adds, "by Turkish Corsairs for whole 
days. I made the whole voyage with Huguenots, to 
whom the name of ' Papist ' or of ' Jesuit ' was, of 
course, displeasing; I had no other bed than a bare 
box, whereon I could not stretch out at full length : 


faftidiofa nauigatione, fono arriuato in habito di mari- 
naro all' Ifola di Rhe con miglior fanitk, che non li6 
ancora hauto da 18. anni, e piti, che fono nella Com- 
pagnia, m' h bifognato dimandar limofma, mh. con tal 
fodisfattione del mio cuore, che non 11 pu5 credere. 
Gratie a Dio. 

Lafcio mille altre particolaritk, che non apparten- 
gono al pericolo de gl' Hirochefi, come le circoftanze 
del fuo rifcatto, trattamento degli Olandefi &c, ma 
non pofCo lafciare 1' vltima lettera, che fcrilTe ad 
iftanza di varie perfone dopo il fuo ritorno in Francia, 
fperando, che quefla digreffione fara materia d' edi- 
ficatione. Eccola fedelmente tradotta dal Francefe. 

Voi m Jiaiicte fatte alciine dimande circa la mia prigionia 
nel paefe de gV Hirochefi con tanta ijiafiza, e ragione, che 
non poffo per quel, che vi deuo, mancar di rifpojla. Lo 
faro dunqiie con la mia folita femplicita. Alia prima per 
qual cagione gV Hirochefi mi maltrattaffero tanto. 
Rifpondo, perche mi teneuano per lor neinico, non per effer 
Europeo, effendo amici degli Ola7idefi, che /o7io Enropei 
come noi, nia per cJie fiamo amici, e difenfori de' Barbari, 
che prociiriamo conuertire, co i quali effi non vogliojio la 
pace, e noi V habbiamo non per altro moiiuo, che di conuer- 
tirli; cost la prima origine di quefia ininiicitia } la Fede, 
che ci obliga anche con pericolo della vita alV amicitia con 
qjiei, che conuertiamo, e indirettamente all' ini^nicitia con 
gV Hirochefi. Se amate, come dite, /' anime nojlre, 
amate, dicono, anche i cor pi, e non fiam piii, che vna 
[^47 i.e., 49] natione, i fiojlri nemici farajino i vojlri, e 
correremo tutti gli Jleffi pericoli. Aggiungete a qiiejlo 
r odio, che gl' Hirochefi portano alia Santa Fede, la 

1653J BRESSANI'S RELA TION, 1653 85 

the victuals and the water itself failed us ; and yet — 
except sea-sickness, to which I am subject — I was 
always very well. After 55 days of a tiresome navi- 
gation, I arrived in sailor's dress at the Isle of Rhe, 
in better health than I have thus far had in the 18 
years, and over, during which I have been in the 
Society. I was obliged to ask alms, but with such 
satisfaction of my heart as cannot be believed. 
Thanks be to God." 

I omit a thousand other particulars which do not 
pertain to the danger from the Hiroquois, — such as 
the circumstances of his ransom, his treatment by 
the Dutch, etc., — but I cannot omit the last letter, 
which he wrote at the urgency of various persons 
after his return to France ; I hope that this digres- 
sion will be matter of edification. Here it is, faith- 
fully translated from the French. 

You have asked me some questions about my captivity in 
the country of the Hiroquois, so urgently and reasonably 
that I cannot, in view of my obligation to you, fail in a 
reply. I will then give it tvith my customary simplicity . 
To the first question, '■^ for zvhat reason the Hiroquois so 
ill-used me, ' ' / make answer: ' ' Because they regarded me 
as their ene^ny.'" Not for being a European, — for they 
are friends to the Dutch, who are Europeans like us, — 
but because we are friends and defenders of the Barba- 
rians, whom we try to convert, but zvith zvhom they do not 
wish peace; and we maintain it for no other motive than 
to convert them. Thus the first origin of this enmity is 
the Faith, which binds us, even at the peril of life, to 
friendsJiip with those whom we convert, and, indirectly, 
to enmity with the Hiroquois. '■'• If you love, as you say, 
our souls, love, ' ' they say, ' ' our bodies also; and let us be 


quale Jliinano, c chiamano viagta. (pero vltimamente 

prolongorno otto giorni i tormenti (che sbrigano 

comunemente in vno) ad vn Barbaro chrifliano, che fi 

vataua publicamente d' efferlo, e fi chiamaua Giofeppe 

Onahrfe, il quale con fieriffima rabbia fecero finalmente 

morire) nia odiano particolarmente il fegno della fanta 

Croce, il quale Jianjio intefo da gli Olandefi effere vjia vera 

fuperjiitione, e percib hdno ammazzato il buon Renato 

Goupil compagno del Padre logues, e feparorno da me quel 

putto, al quale to lo faceuo fare infieme co?t altre orationi. 

Terzo ancorcJie V occajione dclV inimicitia, e de tormenti 

de Barbari noti fuffe la Fede, che cerchiamo di piantare, 

to non temerei d' efpormi a gli JieJJi pericoli per aiiito 

deir aiiime, per che fe ft Jiima attione meritoria V efporji 

alia pejle, quando non farebbe per altro, che per /' aiiito 

folo de corpi, io mi Jlimarei troppofelice, fe Dio inifaceffe la 

gratia diperder la vita tielV aiuto, e conuerfione deW anime. 

Tutti que Hi, che fan viaggio in Canada, e particolar- 

mefite quelli, die pajfano a gli Huroni, deuono efporfi ci 

que fli pericoli; e fe per timore de' tormenti de gV Hirocheji, 

b d' altro, ?iiuno ardiffe di farlo, quella pouera gente a poco 

apocofi ritrouerebbe affatto abbandonata, e fenz' alcunfoc- 

corfo fpirituale, onde quei, che vi muoiojw fon degni d' in- 

uidia. Mh a dir ilvero io non tanto confiderauo tut to queflo 

per confolarmi, qudto, die Dio, e V obedienza vi haueuano 

ineffo in quello flato, e lo pregauo, die accettaffe il mio 

facrificio, come quello del buon [48 i.e., 50] Ladrone, 

riconofcendomi piii colpeuole di quel, che foffe quel felice 

crocififfo, e cafligato come effo per i miei peccati maggiori 

de' fuoi, 71071 mi effe7ido fcordato della Dottrina del 

Tride7itino alia fef/ione 14. cap. 9. che V accettatio7ie delle 

1653] BRESSANI'S RELATION, i6s3 87 

henceforth but one [47 i.e., 49] nation; our enemies will 
be yonrs, and we shall all incur the same dangers.'" Add 
to this the hatred which the Hiroquois bear toward the 
Holy Faith, which they account and call magic. (There- 
fore they recently prolonged eight days the tor- 
ments — which they commonly despatch in one day — 
of a christian Barbarian, who publicly boasted of 
being such, and was called Joseph Onahre, whom 
they finally put to death with most ferocious rage.) 
But they particularly hate the sign of the holy Cross, which 
they have learned from the Dutch to be a veritable super- 
stition; and on this account they killed the good Rentf 
Goupil, a companion of Father Jogues, and separated from 
me that lad, zvhoi7t I caused to make this sign, along with 
other prayers. Thirdly, even if the occasion of the enmity 
and the torments of the Barbarians were not the Faith, 
which we are seeking to plajit, I would not fear to expose 
myself to the same dangers for the aid of souls. For, if 
it be deemed a meritorious action to expose oneself to pesti- 
lence, though it tvere for nothing else than the aid of mere 
bodies, I would esteem myself too fortimate if God should 
grant me the grace of losing my life in the help and con- 
version of souls. All those who make a voyage to Canada, 
and in particular those who go to the Hurons, must expose 
themselves to these dangers; and if, for fear of the tor- 
ments of the Hiroquois, or for other cause, no one dared to 
make it, those poor people would gradually become altogether 
abandoned, and without any spiritual assistance; therefore, 
those who die there ought to be envied. But, to say the 
truth, I did not so much consider all this to console myself, 
as that God and obedience had placed me in that situation; 
and I prayed him to accept my sacrifice as that of the pious 
[481.6., 50] Thief. I acknowledged myself more guilty 
than t J lat fortunate crucified one had been, a7id punisJied, 


pe7ie anco ineuitabili, e necejjarie fodisfa alia giiijlitia di 
Dio, c per le pene domite per i peccati. 

Alia feconda domanda del mio Jlato interiore, haurei 
hauto difficolta di rifpondere, fe non fapejji, cJie opera Dei 
reuelare, & confiteri honorificum eft, e fe non penfajji 
di cooperare in qiiejlo alia vojlra deuotione; vi dirb dunque 
€071 ogni fincerita tre gratie, e fatiori Jingolari, che riceuei 
da Dio in quel tempo: la prima, che ancorcJie io JleJJi 
fenipre a due deta dclla morte, la quale haueuo conti- 
nuamente inanzi h gli occhi, nondimejio la mia mente fu 
fempre libera, onde poteuo far ogni cofa con rifleffwne 
particolare, e fe hb mancato in alcuna non c" flato per 
mancamento di cognitione, b debolesza di testa, b flordi- 
inento di paura, ma per nialitia inefcufabile. II corpo era 
eflrem.a7nente abbattuto, a pena poteuo aprire le labra per 
dire vn Pater nofler, ma interiormente difcorreuo con V i- 
^effa liberta, e facilita, che fb adeffo. La feconda gratia 
fit di difporre talmente il mio interiore, cJl alia propor- 
tione de' pericoli, e pene, che crefceuano nel di fuori, la 
mia difpofitione interna ancJi effa fi mutaua, & Jiaueuo 
fempre meno horrore della morte, e del fuoco. La terza 
fit d' impedire in me, accomodando la gratia alia mia 
debolezza, e poca virtii, anche i primi moti di fdegno contro 
i m.iei tormentatori, anzi li compatiuo. Quefl' huotno, 
diceuo tra me fleffo (piaceffe a Dio, che 7ie lo poteffi liber are 
col mio fangue ) [49 i.e., 51] far a ben in altra maniera 
tormentato nell' Inferno, & io fpcro per mezzo di que^o 
poco, che patifco, il perdono d alcuna delle 7nie colpe, egli 
e V i7ifelice, e 71071 io: e cos\ hb fodisfatto alia voflra 
feconda dimanda. Ve7igo alia terza delle occupationi, che 
iui haueuo, e co77ie mi confolauo, piii toflo come era co7ifo- 
lato dal Cielo relle mie defolatio7ii. Haueuo altre volte 

1653] BRESSANPS RELATION, i6s3 89 

like him, for my sins, which were greater than his; I had 
not forgotten the Doctrine of the Cotmcil of Trent, — at 
session 14, chapter 9, — that the acceptance of even inevi- 
table ajtd necessary punishments satisfies the justice of God, 
and the penalties due for sins. 

The second question, — about my inward condition, — / 
would have had difficulty in ajiswering, if I did not know 
that opera Dei revelare et confiteri, honorificum est ; 
a?id if I did not think to cooperate in this with your devo- 
tion. I will then tell you, with all sincerity, three graces 
and singular favors which I received from God at that 
time: the first, that although I was ahvays within two 
fingers of death, which I had coittinually before my eyes, 
nevertheless my mind was always free, so that I could do 
everything with proper reflection; and if I failed in a7iy- 
thing, it was not for want of consciousness, or weakness 
of head, or distraction from fear, but from inexcusable 
sinfulness. The body was extremely dejected, — scarcely 
could I open my lips to say a Paternoster; — but inwardly 
I discoursed with the same freedom and facility that I use 
at present. The second grace was so to dispose my imvard 
feelings that, in proportion to the dangers and pai?is which 
increased from without, my mental condition likewise 
changed, and I had continually less horror of death and of 
the fire. The third was, to prevent in me — by adapting 
the grace to my weakness ajtd little virtue — even the first 
impulses of resentment against my tormentors; on the con- 
trary, I pitied them. " This man,'' I said to myself 
(would God that I might deliver him thence by my blood! ), 
[49 i.e., 51] " will indeed be otherwise tormented in Hell; 
and I hope, by means of this little which I suffer, for the 
pardon of some of my faults. He is luihappy, and not I. ' ' 
And thus I have satisfied your secottd question. I come to 
the third: of the occupations which I had there, and how 


trouata a into gujio la parafraji di S. Bernardo fopra 
quelle parole delV Apojlolo, non f unt condignae paffiones 
&c. in quejla occafione la trouai di molta confolatione, non 
funt condignae paffiones huius temporis ad praeteritam 
culpam, quae remittitur, ad praefentem confolationis 
gratiam, quae immittitur, ad futuram gloriam, quae 
promittitur. Le ntie pene eranpiccole, quando confiderauo 
vn St gran guadagno. Momentaneu, & leue tribula- 
tionis noftras. Non credete perd, die io 7ion fetitifji i 
tormenti; li fentiuo vinamcte, ma haueuo interiorniete 
forza tale per foffrirli, clie Jiupiuo di me Jicjfo, b piu tojio 
delta gratia, e credeuo quejlo effer quel, che Dauid diceua 
hauer prouato altre volte. In tribulatione dilatafli 
mihi : Jlimo quejio fauore piu grade, che d' efferne liberato, 
Sc de oni tribulatione eripuifti me. Gran bonth d' vn 
Dio offefo, cotentarfo di si poco per tanti debiti, e niutar 
qualcJie tempo dipurgatorio in tormento temporale. Quam 
bonus Ifrael Dens his, qui redto, aiizi, & his, qui 
iniquo funt corde. No7i vtancai perb di qualcJie pena 
interna, ma non nel tempo de' tormenti, i quali piii temeuo 
prima di prouarli, cJie quando attualmente li foffriuo, e 
fpeffo piu inhorridiuo, vedendoli efercitare in altri, che 
fperimentandoli in me Jleffo. 

[5oi.e., 52] Quejle pene erano dubij di fede, tentatione, 
ch' io Jlimo adeffo commune all' hora della morte non folo 
per propria efperienza, ma particolarmente per la ragione, 
la quale Jia forza a proportione per chiunque muore; inipe- 
roche trouandojl V Jiuomo in quel punto come abbandonato 
dalle creature, non fi pub con/olar con altro, che con la 
fperanza d' vn Dio, e d' vn Paradifo, cJi afpetta. Hor 
il Dcmonio per turbar la no^ra allegrezza, indebolire la 
fperanza, e metier come parla la Scrittura, deW acqua 

1653] BRESSANPS RELATION, i6s3 91 

/ consoled myself — or, rather, how I was consoled by 
Heaven — in my desolations. I had formerly found to 
my taste the paraphrase of St. Ber?iard upon those words 
of the Apostle, non sunt condignse passiones, etc. On 
this occasioti I found it of much cotisolation: non sunt 
condignae passiones hujus temporis ad praeteritam 
culpam, quae remittitur; ad prsesentem consolationis 
gratiam, quae immittitur ; ad futuram gloriam, quae 
promittitur. My pains were small, when I considered so 
great a gain. Momentaneum et leve tribulationis 
nostras. Do not believe, however, that I did not feel the 
torments: I felt them keenly, but within I had such 
strength to sujfer them, that I was astonished at myself, — 
or, rather, at the grace, — and I supposed this to be what 
David said that lie had formerly proved, In tribulatione 
dilatasti mihi. / account this favor greater tJian deliv- 
erance from pai7i; et de omni tribulatione eripuisti me. 
Great goodness of an offended God, — to be content with so 
little, for so many debts, and to change some season of 
purgatory into temporal torment! Quam bonus Israel 
Deus, his qui recto, — 7iay, et his qui iniquo sunt 
corde. / did not lack, however, some interior distress, 
but not at the time of the torments, which I feared more 
before experiencing them than when I actually suffered 
them; and often I was more terrified, on seeing them 
practiced on others, than while undergoing them in my 
own person. 

[5oi.e., 52] These pains were uncertainties in faith, a 
temptation zvhich at present I deem, common at the hour of 
death, — - not only through personal experience , but especially 
through the reason which has weight in proportion as any 
one Tiears death; hiasmuch as man, finding himself in that 
pass abandoned, as it were, by creatures, cannot console 
himself with aught else than with the hope of a God and 


nel nojlro vijw, vinum tuum mixtum eft aqua, ci muoue 
diibij di tiitte quejle verith; ina la bonta di Dio, il qtiale 
deducit ad inferos, & reducit, no7t in' abbandonaiia, 
percJie dando a me Jleffo quegli auifi, cJi haurei dato in 
fimiV occafione ad znia terza perfona, tni trouauo in gran 
pace, e tranquillith. Feci vna volt a vn viaggio di molte 
iniglia diccndo non altro, die il Credo, con tanta fodisfat- 
tione, die il viaggio per altro faticofo, e la carica affai 
pefante mi paruero nulla. Per quel, die tocca all' occupa- 
tione, b voi parlate dell' inter lore, & eraquella, c Jib detto, 
b deir ejleriore, e quejla me la dauano quel, die mi tor- 
mentauano. Paffauo vna gran parte de' giorni ne' circoli, 
e sii i teatri, one ero oggetto delle burle, e rifate non folo 
degli huomini, rnh anche de piitti, die non mi dauano, vna, 
b due Jiore di tempo per ripofare tra d\, e notte. I difcorji 
ordinarij erano di dirmi: noi t' abbriigiaremo, ti mangia- 
remo, io ti mangiarb vji piede, & io vna mano &c. Quarto 
voleuate fapcre fe tra quel Barbari non vi fuffe qualdi 
vno, die iiaueffe vn pb di pieta di me, b ahjieno non fuffe 
s\ crudele come gli altri: non ne dubito punto, ma neffuno 
ardiua dimoflrarlo, temendo d' effer difpreggiato, [51 i.e., 
53] p£fche fegno di generofita tra loro c faper torme?ttare 
crudelmente vn prigione, e compatirgli flimaiio fegno di 
codardia. Vna fera inentre in' abbrugiauano per /' vl- 
tima volta il dito anulare delta mano dritta, in vece di 
cantare, come mi comandauano, io intonai il Miferere con 
voce si Jiorribile, die gli feci paura, e tutti m afcoltauano 
con attentione, e quello, die mi brugiaua, rimife vn pb di 
quel rigore, col quale haueua cominciato. Non percib 
lafcib di feguitare, temendo, die fi burlaffero di ltd: pen- 

1653] BRESSANI'S RELA TION, 1653 93 

of a Paradise, ivhich lie awaits. Nozu the Demon — in 
order to trouble our joy, to weaken hope, and to put, as the 
Scripture says, ivater in our zvine, vintim tuum mixtum 
est aqua — stirs up in us doubts of all these truths; biit 
the goodness of God, who deducit ad inferos, et reducit, 
did not abandon me; because, by giving to myself those 
thoughts which / should have given on a similar occasion 
to a third person, I found myself in great peace and tran- 
quillity. I once made a journey of many miles, saying 
notJiing else but the Credo,— -with so much satisfaction 
that the jour 7tey, otherwise fatiguing, and the quite heavy 
burden, appeared to me nothing. As for that which con- 
cerns occupation, either you speak of the inward kind, and 
it was that which I have mentioned; or of the outzvard, 
and this those gave me who were tormenting me. I spent 
a great part of the days in the assemblies atid on the 
stages, where I zvas an object of the jests and ridicule not 
only of the men, but also of the boys, who did not give me 
one or two hours of time to rest from morning until night. 
Their usual conversation was to tell 7ne: ' ' We will burn 
thee; " " We will eat thee; " " / will eat one of thy feet, 
'^ And I a hand; ' ' etc. Fourthly, you wished to know 
whether among those Barbarians there was not some one 
who had a little pity for me, or at least was not as cruel 
as the others. I do not doubt it at all; but no one dared 
to show it, fearing to be despised; [51 i.e., 53] because it 
is a sign of bravery among them to knozv how to torment 
a captive with cruelty; and to pity him they account a 
sign of cowardice. One evenijig, — while they were burn- 
ing the ring-finger of my right hand for the last titne, — 
instead of singing, as they commanded me, I intoned the 
Miserere with so awful a voice that I made them afraid; 
and all listened to me with attention. Eve7i he who zuas 
burning me remitted a little of that severity with which 


fauo air hora di morire, tanto era acerbo il dolore^ onde 
efortai i nojlri Huroni prigioni a patir allegramente, 
particolarine7ite fe gli accadeffe di far lo per la Fede, a(Ji- 
curandoli, che la /per ansa del Paradifo m impediua il 
terner la morte, me lo promifero^ e lo fecero due, che furono 
arrojliti a fuoco lento poco dopo, e mangiati, confejjati da 
me prima di morire. L' effere Jlrettamente legato^ vn 
gran tormento, che non haueuo mat concepiito, cotifiderando 
la pajjione di Nojlro Signer e, quando V ero non poteuo in 
niun modo dormire, con tiitto cib mi ci teneuano tutta la 
notte. AW aurora pregauo qualcli imo, cJie mi fcioglieffe, 
fe quejli s' accorgeua d' ejfer vijlo da altri, mi /grid ana, 
ansi di farlo per non effer hiajimato di codardia, fe fi 
poteua far fenza tefiimonij, d' or dinar io mi slegaua. Del 
refio fe tiitti fuffero fiati vgualmente crudeli, io farei 
fnorto anche di fame, per che non hauendo V ifo delle mani, 
bifognaua imboccarmi, e molti in vece di m.ettermi vna 
certa fpecie di polenta, che era tutto il mio cibo, nella bocca, 
me la ver/auano ful petto, molti mi gettauano su le carni 
accefi carboni, ma altri per pieta li fciiotetiano da m,e, e mi 
verfauano nella bocca, benche fcarfamentc [52 i.e., 54] di 
che vitiere. U vltima que^ione era, perche no7i procurauo 
in qiialcJie modo d' addolcirli? cercar d' addolcirli era 
irritarli, alle volte diceuo d' effer legato troppo firetto, e che 
mi farebbero morir tra i legami, e 7ion nel fioco come 
mi minacciauano. Queflo ?ion fertiiua ad altro, che h 
farmi legar piii flrettamejite, eh bene, diceuano poi, bur- 
landofi di me, nonftai hora meglio ? Serue^idofi fpeffiflimo, 
fecondo il lor cofliune, di crudeli ironic. 

M' ero fcordato di diriii, che d' ordiftario non mi 

1653] BRESSANPS RELATION, ibs3 95 

he had begun; but he did not therefore forbear to co?itinue, 
fearittg that they would mock at Jiim. I thought then 
that I would die, — so cruel was the pain; I therefore 
exhorted our captive Hurons to suffer cheerfully, especially 
if it should befall them to do so for the Faith, — assuritig 
them that the hope of Paradise deterred me from fearing 
deatJi. They promised me this, and ttvo did so, who zvere 
roasted by slow fire soon afterzvard, and eaten; they were 
confessed by me, before dying. To be tightly bound is a 
great torment, which I had never realized while consider- 
ing the passion of Our Lord; ivhen I was bound, I could not 
in any way sleep; with all this, they kept me there all night. 
At daybreak I would beg some one to unbind me; if this 
one perceived that he was seen by others, he reproved me; 
but if he could do so, without being blamed for coward- 
ice, — if it could be done without witnesses, — he commonly 
unbound me. Moreover, if all had been equally cruel, I 
would have died also from hunger, because, as I had not 
the use of my hands, it was necessary to feed me; and 
many, instead of putting a certain kind of porridge , which 
was my zvhole food, into my mouth, poured it over my 
breast. Many threw upon my flesh lighted coals; but 
others, out of pity, shook them from me, and poured food 
into my mouth, although barely [52 i.e., 54] enough to live 
on. The last question was, ''zuhy did I not try in some 
way to appease them f " To seek to appease them was to 
irritate them: sometimes I said that I was bound too 
tightly, and that they zvould make me die in my bonds, 
and not in the fire, as they were threatening me. This 
served for nothing else than to have me more tightly bound. 
' ' Hozu now ? ' ' they would then say, mocking me; ' ' art 
thou not better off now ? ' ' — very frequently using, accord- 
ing to their custom, cruel ironies. 

I had forgotten to tell you that usually they did not 


la/ciauano, cJi io non penfafji d' hauer h inorir la Jleffa 
notte, iaytto mi fentiuo mancare, ma per prouidenza parti- 
colare di Dio, appena la mattina slegato chiudeiio gli occhi, 
che fubito fognauo d' effer perfettamente guarito, e bene he 
cacciajji que^o penfiero come tentatione capace di dijlormi 
dalla confideratione faluteuole della morte, e che dormendo 
facefji vna, e piii rijlejjioni, che cib era fogno, tuttauia 
non me lo poteuo per/uadere, e nel rifuegliarmi rigiiardauo 
fe era vero, b no. Quejlo penfiero, benche folamente in 
fogno, mi daua tanto vigor e, che doppo vna, b due Jiore di 
ripofo, mi fentiuo pie no di vita, e di forze per patire, come 
it pr into di, che cominciai ad effer tormentato. Fin qui 
la lettera. 

E per confermare il pericolo, che v' e d' incontrar 
in quei viaggi quefha forte d' affaffmi, il Padre, che 
fcriffe quefle lettere, ritornato 1' ifteffo anno in quei 
paefi, in quattro viaggi, che per obedieza, e per le 
neceffita della miffione iui fece in diuerfi tempi, 
gl' incontro tre volte, e ne fu ancor di nuouo piagato. 
Parleremo nella terza parte d' vn' altro, che fu da 
effi fimilmente trattato vn' anno auanti, e quefto bafti 
per hora del pericolo de gl' Hirochefi. 

Mk v' e oltre quefto in quel lungo, e ftentato viag- 
gio vn continuo pericolo di euidente naufragio, e di 
morire ftentatamente di fame. Si nauiga, come 
habbiam detto, in barchette di fcorze [53 i.e., 55] 
d' alberi non piii grolTe d' vn teftone, lo fpatio di 
circa 900. miglia per fiumi pericolofi, e vaftilTimi 
laghi, oue le tempefte non fono minori di quelle del 

1653] BRESSANI'S RELATION, z6s3 97 

leai'e me zvhen I did not tJmik that I would have to die 
the same night, — so much did I feel myself failing; but, 
by a special providence of God, Jiardly did I close my eyes, 
when unbound in the morning, when I suddenly dreamed 
of being perfectly healed. A It hough I banished this thought, 
as a temptation likely to divert me from the salutary con- 
sideration of death, afid, even while sleeping, made more 
than one reflection that this was a dream, nevertheless I 
could not persuade myself so; and, on awaking, I looked 
to see whether or not it were true. This tJiougJit, though 
only 171 a dream, gave me so mucJi vigor that, after one or 
two hours of rest, I felt myself full of life, and of stre?igth 
to suffer, as on the first day when I began to be tormejited. 
Here ends the letter. 

And — to confirm the danger that there is of en- 
countering on those journeys this kind of murder- 
ers — the Father who wrote these letters, having 
returned the same year to those countries, in four 
voyages which he made thither at various times, by 
way of obedience and for the necessities of the mis- 
sion, met them three times, and was again wounded 
by them. We will speak, in the third part, of 
another who was similarly treated by them a year 
previously; but let this be enough, for the present, 
about the danger from the Hiroquois. 

But there is, besides this, on that long and meager 
journey a continual danger of obvious shipwreck, and 
of wretchedly dying from hunger. One voyages, as 
we have said, in boats made from bark [53 i.e., 55] 
of trees, — no thicker than a testone, — for the space 
of about 900 miles, over dangerous rivers and im- 
mense lakes, where the storms are not less than 
those of the sea, — especially in one, which is 1200 


mare, maffime in vno, che ha 1200. miglia di circuito. 
II piu gran pericolo pero e ne' fiumi. Dico ne' 
fiumi, perche fe ne nauigano diuerG. Si feguita il 
gran fiume S. Lorenzo folo per lo fpatio di 400. 
miglia, e poi per baize, e dirupi li cercano altri 
fiumi, laghi, e rufcelli fin che s' incontri il gran lago 
degli Huroni, altrimente detto il mar dolce. 

S' incontrano dunque in quefti fiumi da 60. 6 ca- 
fcate, cioe luoghi doue i fiumi precipitano da alto le 
4. 8. 10. e pill canne, ouero portaggi, cioe luoghi 
doue fi paffa qualche fpatio di terra per incontrare 
qualch' altro lago, 6 fiume, che non comunica con 
quello, che fi lafcia; e fi chiamano portaggi, perche 
iui bifogna portar' ogni cofa per terra, i viueri, il 
letto, che altro non e, ch' vna coperta, o vna flora, 
la barca, e la cafa, che e qualche fcorza d' alberi per 
difenderfi la notte dalla pioggia. Le cafcate fono 
pericolofe, fe i nauiganti s' impegnano nel forte della 
corrente, & i Barbari ftefli v' han fatto fpeffo nau- 
fragio. Ve n' e d' vno, 2. 4. 6. 8. e 10. miglia, ma 
in quefle si lunghe non fi porta fempre tutto sti le 
fpalle, perche doue fi puo ftrafcinare carica, 6 vuota 
la barchetta nel fiume, non temono i Barbari di farlo, 
non fenza qualche pericolo, e molto fcommodo, 
entrando fpello nell' acqua affai fredda fino alia cin- 
tura, alcune volte fino al collo, effendo tal hora 
coftretti di faluarfi k nuoto. Vi fi fon perfe alcune 
volte le barchette, per non hauer potuto chi le ftra- 
fcinaua refifter all* impeto della corrente. Ma il 
viaggio, che gli altri tra tanto, carichi, fanno per 

1653] BRESSANPS RELATION, i6_-3 99 

miles in circumference. The greatest danger, how- 
ever, is in the rivers; I say in the rivers, because 
several of them are navigated. One follows the 
great river St. Lawrence only for the space of 400 
miles ; and then, along rapids and precipices, are 
sought other rivers, lakes, and streamlets, until one 
encounters the great lake of the Hurons, otherwise 
called " the fresh- water sea." 

There are then met along these rivers about 60, 
either cascades, — that is, places where the rivers fall 
from a height of 4, 8, 10, or more Cannes,^ — or else 
portages, — that is, places where some space of land 
is crossed, in order to reach some other lake or river 
which does not communicate with the one which is 
thus left ; and they are called portages, because it is 
necessary there to carry everything by land, provi- 
sions, bed, — which is nothing else than a blanket or 
a mat, — boat, and house, which is some bark of trees 
with which to defend oneself at night from the rain. 
The rapids are dangerous, if the boatmen are caught 
in the strength of the current; and the Barbarians 
themselves have often made shipwreck there. They 
are one, 2, 4, 6, 8, or 10 miles in length; but, at 
those very long ones, not ever^'thing is always carried 
on the shoulders, because where the boat can be 
dragged, laden or empty, in the river, the Barbarians 
are not afraid to do so. This is performed, — not with- 
out some danger and much inconvenience, — often en- 
tering the water, quite cold, up to their waists, some- 
times up to the neck; they are then constrained 
to save themselves by swimming. Sometimes the 
boats have been lost there, because the men who 
were dragging them could not resist the violence of 
the current. But the journey which the others 


terra, non e molto meno penofo, per farfi tra fterpi, 
e faffi in bofchi inculti, comunemente k pie nudi per 
i torrenti, e luoghi paludofi, che bifogna fpeffo paf- 
fare, fe non s' incontra qualch' arbore colco, che 
ferua di ponte, fouente piii pericolofo, e piii fcom- 
modo deir acqua fhelTa, e del loto, afCaliti ad ogni 
pallo non folo dal timor de nemici, ma dalle acute 
punture d' innumerabili zenzale, & altri importu- 
niffimi animaletti. V h anche il pericolo di morir 
di fame, perche non trouandofi hofterie per ftrada, h 
neceffario portar feco i viueri per 3.64 meli, che fi 
confumano almeno nel viaggio, e nel ritorno. Hor 
per allegerire quanto prima la carica, i noftri Bar- 
bari nafcondono ne' bofchi vna parte delle loro pro- 
nifioni per il ritorno, ch' altro non fono, che gran 
turchefco puro. Ma fe 6 altri Huroni fe n' accorgono, 
e le rubbano, 6 gli orfi, o altri [54 i.e., 56] animali le 
mangiano, o le piogge 1' infradiciano cio che fouente 
arriua, bifogna digiunare, e remare ogni di, finche 
5 la caccia, o la pefca gli dia alcun foccorfo. Ma fe 
quefta nauigatione fi fa al fine dell' autunno, v' e 
anche pericolo di trouare i fiumi gelati, & all' hora 
fono coftretti, 5 di morir di fame, e di freddo, o di 
paffar fei mefi ne' bofchi, piii tofto cacciando per 
viuere, che viaggiando per giungere al defiderato 
paefe, doue non mancano nuoue difficoltk per la pro- 
pagatione dell' Euangelio, come hor hora vedremo. 

1653J BRESSANI'S RELATION, i6s3 101 

meanwhile, burdened, make by land, is not much less 
laborious, for it is made among brush and rocks, in 
wild forests, — usually with bare feet through the 
torrents and swampy places, which must often be 
forded, unless one encounter some prostrate tree, 
which serves for a bridge, though frequently more 
dangerous and more inconvenient than the water 
itself and the mud. They are also assailed at every 
step, not only by the fear of the enemy, but by the 
sharp stings of innumerable mosquitoes and other 
most annoying little creatures. There is also the 
danger of dying from hunger, because, no inns being 
found along the way, it is necessary to carry with 
them provisions for 3 or 4 months, which are con- 
sumed at least on the journey and during the return. 
Now, in order to lighten the burden as soon as pos- 
sible, our Barbarians conceal in the woods, for the 
return, a part of their provisions, which are nothing 
else than turkish corn alone. But, if other Hurons 
find and steal it, or the bears or other [54 i.e., 56] 
animals eat it, or the rains rot it, — which often hap- 
pens, — it is necessary to fast, and paddle every day, 
until either the chase or fishing gives them some 
relief. But if this navigation occur at the end of 
autumn, there is also the danger of finding the rivers 
frozen; and then they are constrained either to die 
of hunger and cold, or to spend six months in the 
woods ; rather hunting in order to live than journey- 
ing to reach the desired country, — where new diffi- 
culties for the spread of the Gospel are not wanting, 
as we shall presently see. 




ECOSA ftrana tro-uarfi in vn paefe, done bifogna 
imparare fenza maertro, fenza libri, e fenza 
precetti, in et^ gik matura, vna lingua, che 
non hk alcuna fimilitudine con le noflre, non v' e 
qnafi altra natione, che non fcriua, vi fono quafi per 
tutto fcienze, libri, o almeno molti interpreti figli di 
padre Europeo, e madre del paefe, die facilitano non 
poco lo fhudio delle lingue ftraniere. 

Ma i noflri Barbari non haueuano ne gli vni, ne 
gli altri, ma si bene vna grand' incapacity ad impa- 
rar le noflre lingue, le quali, fe haueffero potuto 
imparare, ci haurebbero feruito non poco, perche 
facendo loro la metk, noi 1' altra della ftrada, ci farem- 
rtio piii facilmente incontrati. Ma non fapendo effi 
pronunciare alcuna lettera labiale, come fono il B, F, 
L, M, P, X, Z, ne 1' I, & V, confonanti non poteuano 
imparare le noflre lingue, che ne fono piene al 
cotrario delle loro, che hanno, maffime 1' Hurona, la 
maggior parte delle parole piene di vocali, onde 
per pronunciarla non e necellario di muouer le labra. 
L' economia della loro e diuerfifs. dalla noflra, hauendo 
piu numeri, e piii perfone in ciafcun numero, che noi 
non habbiamo, e infleffioni affatto fconofciute ^ piii 
dotti deir Europa, per non dir nulla della pronuntia. 

1653] BRESSANI'S RELATION, i6s3 103 



IT is a strange thing to find oneself in a country 
where it is necessary to learn without a teacher, 
without books, and without rules, at an age 
already mature, a language which has no likeness to 
ours. There is hardly another nation which does not 
write; there are sciences for nearly everything; 
books, — or, at least, many interpreters; sons of a 
European father and of a mother of the country, who 
facilitate not a little the study of the foreign tongues. 
But our Barbarians had neither one nor the other, 
and, indeed, a great incapacity for learning our lan- 
guages, — which, if they could have learned them, 
would have served us not a little ; because, they com- 
pleting one half of the way, and we the other, we could 
more easily have met. But they, not knowing how 
to pronounce any labial letter, like B, F, L, M, P, 
X, Z, nor consonant I and V, could not learn our 
languages, which are full of those letters, — contrary 
to theirs, which have, especially the Huron, most of 
the words full of vowels ; so that, to pronounce the 
same, it is not necessary to move the lips.^*^ The 
plan of theirs is very different from ours, having more 
numbers, and more persons in each number, than we 
have, and inflections altogether unknown to the most 
learned of Europe, — to say nothing of the pronuncia- 
tion, and various combinations of letters unused with 


e diuerfe combinationi di lettere "k loro inufitate, k noi 
comuni, accenti, fpiriti, e mutationi di tuono, fenza 
le quali, non folo nella lor lingua li farebbero gran- 
diffirai equiuoci, ma il difcorfo farebbe affatto intel- 
ligibile. Per impararle dunque e bifognato, oltre 
la gratia della vocatione grandiffime fatiche, tanto per 
la lingua Hurona, quanto p. 1' Algonctiina, che fono 
le due principali. La prima e ftata [55 i.e., 57] il 
frutto deir humiltk del detto Padre Brebeuf, che 
quafi quadragenario, foffri piii di tre anni vn' eftremo 
difpregio tra le ceneri, e' 1 fumo, cercando quefto 
theforo. La feconda, oltre 1' aiuto d' vn' interprete 
Apoflata, s' e comprata con viaggi, e pericoli non 
ordinarij, che defidero qui accennare per edificatione 
del lettore, traducendo parte d' vna lettera, che il P. 
Paolo Le lune primo operario di quella vigna del 
Signore, allhora Superiore di tutta la miffione, fcriffe 
in Francia al fuo Prouinciale, e benche parli della 
miffione Algonchina; nondimeno, perche molte cofe 
fono r ifteffe nell' Hurona, non fara qui fuor di 
propofito. Vedeua egli effer cofa quafi impoCTibile 
imparar quelle lingue a meno, che viuer folo tra' Bar- 
bari, per tanto 11 rifolue di paffare con effi 1' inuerno 
ne' bofchi in compagnia d' vno ftimato Mago, che non 
pote euitare, e d' vn' altro, che condotto poco prima, 
& inftrutto in Francia, era poi diuenuto Apoflata. 
Dopo altre cofe ecco come ne ferine. 

Dice Epitteto^ die chi vuol andare h bagni publici, deue 
prima preuedere tutte V infolenze, die vi ft commettono, 

1663] BRESSANI'S RELATION, i6s3 105 

them, common with us, — accents, breathings, and 
changes of tone, without which not only would very- 
great ambiguities occur in their language, but speech 
would be altogether unintelligible. To learn these, 
then, — besides the grace of the vocation, — very great 
labors were necessary, both for the Huron language 
and the Algonquin, which are the two principal ones. 
The former was [55 i.e., 57] the fruit of the humility 
of Father Brebeuf, already mentioned, who, when 
almost a man of forty, endured for more than three 
years the utmost contempt, seeking, amid ashes and 
smoke, this treasure. The second, — in addition to 
the help of an Apostate interpreter, — was purchased 
with no ordinary journeys and perils, which I desire 
to indicate here for the edification of the reader, — 
translating part of a letter which Father Paul Le 
June, the first laborer in that vineyard of the Lord, 
then Superior of the whole mission, wrote to his 
Provincial in France ; and, although he speaks of the 
Algonquin mission, nevertheless, because many 
things are the same in the Huron, it will not here be 
out of place. He saw that it was almost impossible 
to learn those languages unless by living alone 
among the Barbarians ; he therefore resolved to spend 
the winter with them in the woods, in company with 
a Sorcerer of repute, whom he could not avoid, and 
with another, — who having been taken, shortly be- 
fore, to France, and instructed there, had afterward 
become an Apostate. After mentioning other 
matters, note how he writes of these : 

Epictetus says that he who will go to the public baths, 
must first anticipate all the insolent actions which are there 
committed, so that, when finding himself in the midst of 


accioche ritrouandofi in mezzo d' una ciunna di cayiaglia 
burlefca, che meglio gli lanara la tejia, che i piedi, non 
perda niente dclla graiiith, e viodejlia degna d' vn huomo 
fauio. lo direi V ijleffo a coloro, a quali il Signore dh 
qualche defiderio di pa/far /* Oceayio per /' ijlruttione de' 
Barbari, i7i fauore di que^i fcriuerb quel, che fegue, 
accioche conofcendo /' inimico, che gli afpetta, Ji pojjuio 
proueder d' armi opportune, cioi d' vna patienza di bronzo, 
e poco doppo defcritta la fua parteza da Francefi, 
& alcuni pericoli di naufragio, foggiunge. Habbiamo 
fatto in que Jii gran bofchi da 12. di Nouenibre 1633. net 
quale vi entrdfno, Jin' alii 22. d' Aprile del 1634. che ne 
partiinnio, 23. Jlationi, parte in profondiffinie valli, parte 
ininonti altijjiini, e parte in pae/e piano, fempre perb tra la 
neue, e ne' bo/chi, popolati per lo piii dipi^ii, cedri, & abeti. 
Habbiam paffato gran quantita di torrenti, alcuni fiunii, 
e molti lagJii, [$6 i.e., 58] r Jlagni agghiacciati. Ecco 
come alloggiauamo. Faceuamo vna gran foffa nella neue, 
nella quale piantauamo 30. b 4.0. pertiche, che Ji pigliauano 
nel bofco, e feruiuano per fojlentar le fcorze, che ci 
formauano vna capanna, chiufa da qualche vecchia pelle, 
che ci feruiua di porta, e che haueua per lajlrico qualche 
ramo di pino. Non fi pub in quejle capanne Jlare in piedi, 
non folo per la loro bajjezza, ma principalmente per il 
funio, che ci obliga fempre a giacere. Se ne vfcite, la 
neue, il freddo, & il pericolo di fuenirfi vi ci fanno qudto 
prima ritornare, e vi tengono in vna libera, ma ajfai 
Jiretta prigione, che Jih tra /' altre, quattro ajjai fenfibili 
incommodita, il freddo, il caldo, il furno, & i ca?ti. Quanta 
al freddo, la tefia tocca quajl la 7ieue, fe qualche ramo- 

1653] BRESSANI'S RELATION, i6s3 107 

a mob of the jeering rabble, who would rather zvash his 
head than his feet, he may lose nothing of the gravity and 
modesty worthy of a wise ^nan. I would say the same to 
those to whom the Lord gives some desire to cross the Ocean 
for the instruction of the Barbarians; for the benefit of 
these I will write what follows, to the end that, knowing 
the enemy that awaits them, they may provide themselves 
with seasonable weapons, — that is, with a patience of 
bronze. After having described his departure from 
the French, and some perils of shipwreck, he adds: 
We made in these great forests, frotn the 12 th of Novem- 
ber, 1633, when we went into them, until the 22nd of 
April, 1634, when we left them, 23 stations. These were 
partly in very deep valleys, partly on very high mountains, 
and partly in a level country, — always, however, amid 
snows and in the woods, ivhich were peopled for the most 
part with pines, cedars, and firs. We crossed a great 
many torrents, some rivers, and many lakes [56 i.e. , 58] and 
ponds, frozen over. Now see how we lodged. We made a 
great ditch in the snow, in which we planted ^o or /\.o poles, 
which were obtained in the woods, and served to support 
the pieces of bark which formed for us a cabin, — closed by 
some old skin which served us for door, and having for floor- 
ing some pine branches. One cannot stand upright in these 
cabins, — not only on account of their lowtiess, but mainly 
on account of the smoke, which obliges us ahvays to lie 
down. If you go forth from them, the snow, the cold, 
and the danger of fainting away, com.pel you to return 
thither as soon as possible, and keep you in a free, but 
somewhat narrow prison; which has, among others, four 
quite appreciable inconveniences — the cold, the heat, the 
smoke, and the dogs. As for the cold, one' s head almost 
touches the snow, unless some little branch of pine protect 
you from it. The winds come in everywhere, besides 


/cello di pino non ve ne difende. I venti entrano da per 
tutto, oltrevn apertura ajfai grande in cinia della capanna, 
che feme per cajnino, e fenejira, donde dormendo la notte 
conteniplauo le Jlelle, e la luna, si bene, che fatto haurei 
in vn aperta canipagna. Non mi hh perb il freddo cosi 
tnal trattato come il caldo del fuoco, il quale s' ejiingueua 
la notte y quando era piv. necejfario, ma il dl nel fuo piu 
grand' ardore c arrojiiua, ne difender me ne poteuo per 
la Jirettezza dello f patio, nel quale non poteuo Jlendermi 
fenza metier i piedi nel fuoco ; e flar fempre ri^retto con 
i piedi incrociati, ^ vn fito, che slracca. Quefla f commo- 
dity non h si grande per i Barbari, i quali fi fedono 
come le Scimmie, al che s' accoflumano da fanciulli. 
Ma vn tormento piu grande del caldo, e del freddo, e del 
fito, } il fumo, che caua continuamente le lagritne da gli 
occhi fetiza alcun dolore, b trifiezza di cuore. Erauamo 
fpejfo cosiretti di metier la [57 i.e., 59] bocca h terra per 
refpirare. Bifognaua mangiar quafi la terra per non 
beuer il fumo. Hb paffato cost violte Jiore, ntajjime ne' 
graji freddi, e metre neuigaua. I Barbari fieffi bifogna, 
che air hora fi rendino; il fumo entra per la bocca, per 
gli occhi, e per le narici. O che beueraggio a^naro, b che 
vapor faflidiofo alia vi/ia, b che cattiuo odore. Penfai 
perderci gli occhi, mi s' infiammauano come fuoco, e 
^lillauano come vn lambicco, non vedeuo fe no?i confufa- 
mente, come quel cieco delV Euangelio, homines velut 
arbores ambulantes, diceuo i Salmi delV Offitio al 
meglio, che poteuo a mente, riferuando le lettioni per 
quando il dolore tni darebbe vn pb di tregua. Mi pareuano 
fcritte con lettere di fuoco, b di fcarlatto, & ero fouente 

1653] BRESSANI'S RELA TION, 1633 109 

through a rather large opening at the top of the cabin, 
which serves as chimney and window, — through which, 
while sleeping at night, I beheld the stars and the moon 
Just as well as I would have seen them, in an open country. 
The cold, however, did not treat me as badly as did the 
heat of the fire, which was extinguished at night, when it 
was most necessary; but by day, at its greatest ardor, it 
would roast us. Nor could I defend myself from it, 
because of the scantiness of the space, — in which I could 
not stretch myself without putting my feet in the fire; and 
to stay continually cramped, with the feet crossed, is a 
posture which fatigues. This inconvenience is not so 
great for the Barbarians, who seat themselves like the 
Apes; they accustom themselves to this from child- 
hood. But a torment greater than the heat and the cold 
and the cramped posture, is the smoke, which continually 
draws tears from the eyes, without any grief or sadness of 
heart. We were often constrained to put our [57 i.e. , 59] 
-mouths to the ground in order to breathe. It was necessary 
to eat, as it were, the earth, in order not to drink the 
smoke. I have thus passed many hours, especially during 
intense cold, and while it was snowing. The Barbarians 
themselves are obliged then to yield; the smoke enters 
through the mouth, through the eyes, and through the 
nostrils. Oh, what a bitter beverage! Oh, what annoying 
vapor to the sight! Oh, what an evil smell! I thought I 
would lose my eyes there: they were inflamed like fire, and 
they distilled like an alembic. I could not see, except 
confusedly,- — like that blind man of the Gospel, homines 
velut arbores ambulantes. / said the Psalms of the 
Office as best I could, by memory, — reserving the lessons 
for a time when the pain should give me a little respite. 
They appeared to me written with letters of fire or of 
scarlet, and I was often compelled to close the book, no 


sforzato di chiuder il libro, non vedendoui piii altro, che 

cotjfufione; ne mi dite doueuate vfcire h. pigliar vn pb d' 

aria. L aria in quei tempi era si fredda, che gli alberi, 

che han la pelle piii dura di noi, e piu duri corpi non gli 

poteuano re/ijiere, fpaccandofi con vn Jirepito fi^nile h 

quello de' mo/chetti. V/ciuo con tutto cid, ma la 7ieiie, & 

il freddo, per coperto, che fu£t, m.i cojiringeuano fubito di 

rientrarc nella capanna. Non sb fe deiia lament anni del 

quarto difaggio, ch' ^ la compagnia de' cani, perche alle 

volte mi hanno feruito, ma non fenza ricompcnfa dal canto 

niio. Quejli poueri animali non potendo refijlere al freddo, 

veniuano a metterfi hora sii le mie fpalle, hora fopra i 

piedi, e non hauefido altro, cJi vna fola coper ta, no7i negauo 

lor o parte di quel caldo, che da effi riceueuo, ^ be vero, ch' 

ejfendo grddi, & in grd qudtita, mi premeuano fpejjfo, e m' 

importunauano tdto, che dddomi vn pb di caldo , tnirubbauano 

ilsono, onde bi/ognaua, che fpcffo li licetiajfi. [58 i.e. , 60] 

U ijlejfo mi auuenne vna volta con vn Barbaro, che voleua 

far meco /' ifleffo offitio, nioriuano in oltre queSle be^ie di 

fame, come noi, e piic, onde altro nonfaceuan, che girar per 

la capanna, paffandoci fino fopra la faccia con impeto tale, 

che firacco difgridarli,fuifinalme7ite coflretto coprirmela, 

e lafciarli fcorrere h lor piacere. Segli fi gettaua, quando 

ne haueuamo, qualcJt offo, & ejji battendofi per chi V ha- 

urebbe, ci verfauano ogni cofa, oltre la violenza con che 

ci fpingeuano a terra i ttoflri piatti di fcorza, a quali 

guflauano fpeffo i primi fecondo /' antica permiJJio7ie, che 

ne hanno da Barbari. A I priricipio non potendomi affile fare 

d. cibi fenza f ale, & affai fordidi, mi content auo d' vn pb 

d' anguilla fumata, che mi fece anticipar la fame, come il 


1653] BRESSANJ'S RELATION, j6s3 111 

longer seeing in it aught else than confusion. Do not say 
to me, ' ' You should have gone out to take a little air. 
The air at those times was so cold that the trees, which 
have a harder skin than we, a?id harder bodies, could not 
resist it, splitting with a crack like that of a musket. I 
went out, with all this; but the snow and the cold, covered 
though I was, constrained me straightzvay to return to the 
cabin. I know ?iot whether I ought to complain of the 
fourth discomfort , which was the company of the dogs, — 
because at times they were of service to me, but not without 
some recompense on my side. These poor animals, not 
being able to resist the cold, came to bestow themselves now 
on my shoulders, now on my feet; and though I had no 
more than a single cover, I did not deny them their part 
of that warmth which I received from them. It is very 
true that, being large and very numerous, they often 
annoyed me, and vexed m.e so much, that, while giving vie 
a little warmth, they robbed tne of sleep, so that I was 
obliged frequently to drive them away. [58 i.e., 60] The 
same thing once happened to me with a Barbariafi, who 
wished to perform the same service to me. Besides, these 
beasts were dying of hunger, like us, and even more so; 
accordingly, they did nothing else but wander about in the 
cabin, — finally passing over our faces with such vehemence 
that, weary of scolding them, I was at last constrained to 
cover my face, and suffer them to scour about at their 
pleasure. If one threw some bone to them, when we had 
any, they would, by fighting for its possession, upset every- 
thing for us, — not to mention the violence with zv hie h they 
pushed to the ground our bark dishes, which they often 
tasted first, according to the ancient permission which they 
have from the Barbarians. At first, — not being able to 
accusto^n myself to food which was without salt, and very 
filthy, — I coTitented 'myself with a little smoked eel, which 


tnio hofpite m haucua predetto, perche /' appetito comin- 
ciandomi h venire, non vi era piii niente. Erauanio gih 
inoltrati ne' bofchi lontani dalle habit ationi frdceji di Ih 
dal gran jiunie S. Lorenzo, die no fi poteua trauerfare per 
i ghiacci fiottati, che harebber fatto in pezzi V7i vaf cello, 
7ion che vna canoa, e la neue non ejfendo profonda come gli 
altri anni, non poteuano pigliar le gran be^iie, ma folo 
qualche cajloro, b porco fpino, in numero, e quantity tale, 
che piii tojlo c impediuano la inorte, che ci con/eruaffero 
la vita. II mio hofpite mi efortaua con dire chibine. 
Animo grande, slarai due, e tre d\ fenza mangiare, non ti 
lafciare abbattere, ma quando neuigherd, mangiaremo. Dio 
perb non volfe, che Jlejfimo si lungo tempo fenza cibo, in 
due dl mangiauamo vna volta. Vna pelle d' anguilla era 
flimata vna lauta cena; me n' ero feruito d' vna per 
rapezzare la mia vefie, ma la fame in obligb a fcucirla, e 
tnangiarla. Mangiam?no le pelli acconcie [59 i.e., 61] 
della gran befiia, ancorche piii dure di quella dell' 
anguille. Andauo ne' bofchi a rodere il piii tenero degli 
alberi, e le fcorze men dure. Altri barbari affai vicini 
affam.ati come noi ci raccontorno la tnorte d' alcuni de' 
loro vccifi dalla fame. Ne hb vi^li molti, che in cinque 
d\ non haueuano mangiato, che una fol uolta, erano tutti 
diuenuti come Scheletri. Si marauigliauano nondimeno 
di uedere, che io non temejji la morte. Sono, come hab- 
biamo detto, patientijjimi, maffiine della fame, quando 
fperano giunger finalmente doue pofllno rihauerfi, ma 
quddo cominciano a perder ogni fperanza, fi lafciano /' un 
r altro, abbandonan tutto, e non fi curando del publico, 
cerca ogn uno d' aiutarfi come pub. In fimili cafi It 

1653J BRESSANI'S RELA TION, 1633 113 

made me anticipate hunger, as my host had predicted; 
because, my appetite beginning to come, there was nothing 
left. We had already advanced into the woods, far from, 
the french settlonents, beyond the great river St. Law- 
rence, which could not be crossed upon the floating ice, 
which would have broken not m.erely a canoe, but a vessel, 
into pieces. Moreover, the snow not being deep, as in 
other years, — they could not take the great beasts, but only 
some beavers or porcupines, — in such numbers and quantity 
that they rather prevented our death than preserved our 
life. My host exhorted m.e by saying: chibin^, ^^ Take 
courage; thou wilt spend two or three days without eating; 
do not allow thyself to be defected; but, when it snows, we 
shall eat. ' ' God, however, did not ordain that we should 
stay so long without food; in two days, we ate once. An 
eelskin was deemed a sumptuous supper; I had used one 
for mending my robe, but hunger obliged me to unstitch 
and eat it. We ate the dressed skins [59 i.e., 61] of the 
great beast [elk], though tougher than that of the eels. I 
would go into the woods to gnaw the tender est part of the 
trees, and the softer bark. Other barbarians, quite near, 
being famished like us, told us of the death of some of their 
number, killed by hunger. I saw many of them who, in 
five days, had eaten only once; they had all become like 
Skeletons. They nevertheless marveled to see that I did 
not fear death. They are, as we have said, most patient, 
especially in hunger, when they hope finally to arrive where 
they may restore themselves; but, when they begin to lose 
all hope, they forsake one another, abandon everything, 
and, not concerning themselves for the public welfare, each 
one seeks to help himself as he can. In such conditions 
the children, the wom.en, and any one who knows not how 
to hunt, die of cold and hunger. Among these, I would 
have been the first, if we had reached this extremity; and 


putti, le donne, e chi non sh cacciare muore di freddo, e di 

fame. Tra quejii farei Jlato io il privw, fe fujjimo 

arriuati h quejlo e^remo, e bifogna prepararciji, perche 

fe bene no?i ogn anno fono trauagliati dalla fame, tut- 

tauia, qiiando non ci e molta neue, ft corrono fentpre gV 

ifiefji pericoli; del refio quefto tempo di fame i flato per 

m^e un tempo d' abbo?idanza, penfando m,orirui per i miei 

peccati; cib che mi caufaua allegrezza tale, che fentir ben 

fi pub, ma non gia ridire. Si patifce, e uero, ma Dio non 

abbando7ia mai un anima, per amor fuo priua d' ogni 

humano foccorfo. Venne pofcia la neue ful fine di Gen- 

naro, & i tiofiri cacciatori prefero alcune gran befiie, e ne 

fumorno talmente la came, che ueniua dura come un legno, 

cibo si contrario al mio fiomaco, die mi fece ammalare al 

principio di Febraro, e mi bifognaua giacere su la nuda 

terra, che m' accrefceiia i dolor i, come anche la neue, 

nella quale ufcendo fpeffo per necefjita, entrauo fino alle 

ginocchia, e qualche uolta fino alia cintura. [60 i.e., 62] 

Quefii dolori fenfibiliffinii durarono circa died giorni, 

CO gran debolezza di flom,aco, 7ie rifanai per vn poco, 

mh ricadei alia mezza Quarefima. Chief vna volt a vn 

pb d' acqiia, effendo molto affetato, mi rifpofero, che 

non vi era altro, che della neue fquagliata, al mio 

male molto contraria, ne volfero mai a^idar ad vn 

lago vicino per la difficolta, ancorche piccola, del viag- 

gio. Quanto a' cibi, tratta7io gV infermi come gli altri, 

fe trouano came frefca glie ne fan parte, e fe all' hora 

non ne mangia, non glie ne confer uano per quddo la 

vole^'e, ma li danno di quello, che fi troua affumato, b 

fecco, che farebbe horror e ad ogni fano in Europa. Vn 

1653] BRESSANI'S RELATION, j6s3 115 

// was necessary to prepare oneself for it, because, if indeed 
they are not tormented every year with hunger, nevertheless, 
when there is not much snow there, the same dangers are 
always incurred. However, this time of hunger was for 
me a tiine of abundance, — thinking that I would die there 
for my sins; which caused me such Joy as may, indeed, be 
felt, but cannot be repeated. Ojie suffers, it is true; but 
God never abandons a soul deprived, for love of him, of 
every human assistance. The snow came, then, toward 
the end of January, a?id our hunters captured some great 
beasts, and smoked their flesh, so much that it became as 
hard as a stick of wood, — food so contrary to my stomach 
that it caused me to fall sick at the beginning of February. 
I was, besides, obliged to lie upon the bare ground, which 
increased my pains, as did also the snow, — into which, on 
going forth often tJirough necessity, I sank as far as the 
knees, and so m.e times even to the waist. [6o i.e. , 62] These 
pains, most acute, lasted about ten days, with great weakness 
of stomach; I recovered from, the^n for a little while, but 
relapsed at the middle of Lent. L once asked for a little 
water, — being very thirsty; they answered me that there 
was none, other than from melted snow, which was very 
harmful for my ailment; nor were they ever willing to go 
to a neighboring lake because of the difficulty, slight as it 
was, of the trip. As for the food, they treat the sick like 
the others: if they find fresh meat, they share it with 
them; and if then the sick man does not eat of it, they do 
not keep any for him for the time when he might want 
it, but give him of that which happens to be smoked or dry, 
which would horrify any healthy man in Europe. A soul 
which thirsts for the son of God — that is, for sufferings — 
finds here wherewith to quench it. For cojiversation, 1 
was in the company of a renegade, a kinsman of my host, 
and with a sorcerer of repute, a most vile man; they were 


aninta, che hh la fete del figUo di Dio, cioi de' patitnenti, 
troua qui con che fpegnerla. Per la conuerfatione io ero 
in cofnpagnia d' vn rinegato, parente del tnio hofpite, e 
d' vno Jiimato mago, huonio pejjimo, che furono de miei 
tnaggiori tormenti. II mago mi odiaua; primo, perche 
hauendomi inuitato h pajfar feco V inuerno, /' haueuo ri- 
cu/ato, preferendogli il fuotninor fratello; fecondo, perclte 
non poteuo cdientare la fua ingordigia, che arriub fino a 
fpogliarm.i del mio mantello per coprir/ene, e non potendolo 
in tutto fodisfare, fe ne offendeua; terzo, perche vedendolo 
fare del prof eta, fcopr\uo le fue fraudi, e pazze fuperfii- 
tioni, il che era fminuirli il credito, e con il credito le 
carezze, & i prefenti de' fuoi; quarto, perche volendo 
rider e h fpefe mie, fotto preteflo d' infegnarmi, mi face ua 
fcriuere parole infami, che poi mi faceua leggere h gli 
altri, finche auertitone dalle donne del paefe, V irritai per 
il cofiate rifiuto, che faceuo di fcriuer cib, che cUttar 
mi voleua; quinto, per /' iniiidia di vedermi piu amato, 
che non credeua dal fuo fratello, e da gli altri Bar- 
bar i, e Jinalmete per V auerfione naturale, c' haueua 
[6 1 i.e., 63] alia natione Francefe. Tutte que fie ragioni 
mi faceuano credere, che non ne vfcirei fe non per la porta 
della morte, & vn d\ non ne dubitai punto, vdendolo 
parlare d' vccider qualcheduno, e domandandomi, fe io 
haueuo qualche poluere per far morir gli huomini, ma la 
voleua per feruirfene contro vn altro Ciarlatano d' vn 
ultra natione, i7iimico fuo. Farei vn libro intiero, fe 
volejji raccontare le beflemmie, che vomitaua contro Dio, 
& i difprezzi di me, come fuo Sacerdote. Mi conueniua 
fpeffo tacere i giorni intieri per non efacerbarlo. Le 


among my greatest torments. The sorcerer hated me: 
first, because having invited me to spend the tuinter with 
hifn, I had refused him, preferring to him his younger 
brother; secondly, because I could not cofitent his greed, — 
which even came to the pass of stripping me of my cloak, in 
order to cover him.self with it, — and not being able to 
satisfy him in everything, he was thereby offended. He 
hated me, thirdly, because, on seeing him act the prophet, 
I uncovered his frauds and foolish superstitions, which 
tended to diminish his credit, and, with the credit, the 
favors and gifts of his people; fourthly, because, wishing 
to laugh at my expense, he made me write, under pretext 
of teaching me, infamous words, which he then had me 
read to the others, — until, being warned of it by the women 
of the country, I vexed him by my constant refusal to 
write that which he wished to dictate to me. His hatred 
was aroused, fifthly, by his envy at seeing me more loved 
by his brother and the other Barbarians than he supposed; 
and finally, because of the natural aversion which he had 
[6 1 i.e., 63] for the French nation. All these reasons 
made me believe that I would not issue thence except by the 
gate of death; and one day I doubted it not at all, when I 
heard him speak of killing some one, and ask me whether 
I had some poivder to make men die; but he wanted that 
for use against another Charlatan, from another nation, 
who was his enemy. I would make a whole book if I 
should relate the blasphemies which he vomited against God, 
and his contempt for me, as being God' s Priest. I was 
often obliged to be silent for entire days, in order not to 
exasperate him. The phrases which I learned best at that 
school zvere: ' ^Hold thy tongue/ " " Thou hast no sense;'* 
" Thou art a proud fellow;" ^'Oh, what a dog f " "//If 
looks like a Bear; ' ' ' 'He is bearded like a hare; " ' 'foul;'' 
''drunk;'' etc., — which are a part of those with which he 


fraji, che nieglio imparai h qtiejla /cola furno. Taci, tu 
non hai giuditio, fei vn fupcrbo, oh che cane, fembra vn' 
Or/o, e barbate come vn lepre, fchifo, imbriaco drc. che 
era vna parte de colori, cd i quali mi dipingena. Qtiejia 
i vna parte delle co/e, che s' hanno da tolerare in quesla 
/cola, e non deuono /paiientare i coraggio/i, che a gui/a di 
buoni /oldati pigliano animo alia vi/ia del propria /angue. 
Dio i piii grande del no/iro cuore, non s' incontrano /empre 
Maghi, b Ciarlatani ^c. dm /iniamo per non e//ere impor- 
tuni come lui, il quale raccomddo alle orationi di chi leg- 
gera que/la letter a. Fin qui egli. 

Lafcio i pericoli paffati nel ritorno tra ghiacci, che 
poco manco, che non gli fommergeffero pin volte 
nella loro barchetta di fcorze. Aggiungo folo, che 
quello, che penfatiamo, ,che ^^bafterebbe di fare vna 
fol volta per fempre, fi e fatto poi molte, no piu per 
imparar puramente la lingua, ma per non abbandonar 
fenza iflruttione, e ^Sacramenti fei mefi intieri quei 
buoni neofiti, che ce n' han pregato con iftanza. E 
vi hanno incredibilmente piu anni fofferto tra gli 
altri il P. Gabriel Druillettes, che ci hk perfo per vn 
tempo la vifta, e quafi la vita, ed il P. Carlo Albanel, 
che vi fu anche quefk' vltimo inuerno dell' anno 1651. 

II frutto di quefti trauagli oltre il merito de' parti- 
colari, e 1' edificatione de Barbari, e flato vna fcienza 
affai perfetta di quefte lingue differentiffime, come 
habbiam detto, dalle noftre, ma belliffime, [62 i.e., 64] 
e regolatiffime, che ci fanno chiaramente vedere, che 
Pio folo n' e 1' Autore, ellendo impoffibile, ch' vna si 

1653] BRESSANI'S RELA TION, 1653 119 

described me. This is but part of the things which have 
to be endured in this school; but they are not likely to 
terrify the courageous, who, in the manner of good soldiers, 
take heart at the sight of their own blood. God is greater 
than our hearts, — Sorcerers or Charlatans, etc., are not 
always encountered. But let us finish, in order not to be 
troublesome, like that one whom I commend to the prayers 
of all who shall read this letter. Here he stops. ^^ 

I omit the dangers undergone during his return, 
amid ice which several times came very near sub- 
merging them in their boat of bark. I merely add 
that what we thought it might suffice to do but once 
for all, was afterward done many times, — no longer 
in order simply to learn the language, but that we 
might not abandon without instruction and Sacra- 
ments, for six whole months those good neophytes, 
who urgently besought us for that assistance. And 
in this work incredible sufferings were undergone for 
several years by our Fathers, — among others, Father 
Gabriel Druillettes, who for a time lost his sight 
there, and almost his life ; and Father Charles Alba- 
nel, who was still there this last winter, in the year 

The fruit of these labors — besides the merit of 
individuals, and the edification of the Barbarians — 
has been a fairly perfect knowledge of those lan- 
guages. They are very different, as we have said, 
from ours, but most beautiful [62 i.e., 64] and reg- 
ular, which make us clearly see that God alone is the 
Author thereof , — it being impossible that so excel- 
lent a System, which surpasses that of all European 
languages that we know, is the product of minds 
rude and unversed in every science, as are the 


bella Economia, che fupera quella di tutte quelle 
d' Europa, che noi conofciamo, lia il frutto d' ingegni 
rozzi, & incolti d' ogni fcienza, come fono i Cana- 
defi. Ne habbiamo hora grammatiche, dittionarij, 
e varij libri. Ne haurelTimo potuto con vna mediocre 
notitia del loro Idioma efplicargli i noftri fublimi 
miflerij, non hauendo efll comunemente nomi aftratti, 
e pochi fuftantiui, e quefti indeclinabili, feruendofi 
per gli adiettitii di verbi in vece de nomi, che tra efli 
fi coniugano, non li declinano. II folo fegno della 
Croce ci hk coftato qualche anno di ftudio. 

1653] BRESSANI'S RELATION, i6s3 121 

Canadians. We now have grammars of them, dic- 
tionaries, and various books. Nor could we, with 
an indifferent knowledge of their Language, have 
explained to them our sublime mysteries; for, as a 
rule, they have no abstract nouns, and few substan- 
tives, and these indeclinable, — using for adjectives 
verbs instead of nouns, which last among them are 
conjugated, not declined. The mere sign of the 
Cross has cost us about a year of study. 




NON parlo delle difficoltk intrinfeche, e molto 
grandi dal canto loro, come d' effer da vn 
tempo immemorabile inueterati nelle loro 
fuperftitioni, vna licenza grandiffima di fare i diuor- 
tij tra maritati, vna liberty incredibile di far' ogni 
cofa fenz' alcun freno di legge 5 prohibitione, la 
neceffita d' vnamutatione veramente foftantiale totius 
in totum per conuertirfi non da vna cattiua religione 
ad vna buona, ma di niuna alia vera. L' obligo, che 
vn chriftiano haueua di rinuntiare non folo alle ricre- 
ationi lecite, ma anche a' rimedij delle malattie, 
trouando effi, ancorche falfamente, della fuperftitione 
in ogni cofa, e finalmente 1' impoffibilita di poter 
hauere le cariche del paefe con la Fede ; i Capitani 
hauendo per offitio d' inuitare, & efortare ^ tutte le 
cerimonie fuperflitiofe, e fpeffo dishonefte; diciamo 
folo vna parola delle difficolt^, che veniuano dal di 
fuori, & erano la pin parte prefe dalle noftre perfone. 
Sono, come habbiam detto altroue, tra quefte nationi 
certi come Maghi, h indouini, che dal primo di, che 
ci viddero, s' accorfero bene, che la noftra religione 
era totalmente oppofta alle loro, o vere, o imaginarie 
fuperftitioni. Onde furono i primi a dichiararci la 

1653J BRESSANrS RELATION, j6s3 123 



I DO not Speak of the intrinsic and very great diffi- 
culties on their side, — as their inveterate adher- 
ence, time out of mind, to their superstitions; 
the utmost license in granting divorces among the 
married; an incredible liberty of doing everything 
without any check of law, or any prohibition; the 
necessity of a truly substantial change, totius in totmn, 
in order to convert them, not from a poor religion to 
a good one, but from none to the true one. They 
were hindered, too, by the obligation which a Chris- 
tian incurred of renouncing not only all lawful recre- 
ations, but also remedies for diseases, — since they 
found, although falsely, superstition in everything, — 
and, finally, by the impossibility of being able to hold 
the offices of the country in connection with the 
Faith, — the Captains having it for their office to 
invite and exhort people to all the superstitious, and 
frequently indecent, ceremonies. Let us say only a 
word of the difficulties which came from without, 
and were for the most part occasioned by us person- 
ally. There are among these nations, — as we have 
said elsewhere, — certain quasi Sorcerers or diviners, 
who, from the first day when they saw us, recognized 
that our religion was totally opposed to their 
superstitions, whether true or imaginary ; they were, 
therefore, the first to declare war upon us. Twice, 


guerra. Due volte in tempo di ficcitk fkraordinaria, 
che minacciaua al paefe la fame, publicarono, ch' 
ella era effetto d' vna Croce, che eretta haueuamo al 
noflro arriuo nel paefe. Ma oltre altre ragioni, che il 
P. Brebeuf [63 i.e., 65] oppofe alTai conuincenti, 
impedi, che non abbattellero la Croce, e non ci fcac- 
ciaflero come Maghi, promettendogli la pioggia, fe 
non folo non 1' abbatteuano, ma inuocauano feco vn 
Dio huomo, che 1' hauea fantificata, morendoci per 
noi, e tutte due le volte, dope vna nouena, la prima 
k S. Giofeppe, la feconda "k Sant' Ignatio noftro 
Fondatore, appena finita la Proceffione, che per queflo 
li faceua, s' ottenne la pioggia defiderata. Quefta 
difficolt^ in alcun modo fpianata, fe ne incontr6 vna 
maggiore, cioe vna ferma perfuafione, che il Batte- 
limo foffe vn fortilegio mortale, perche fe bene al 
principio molti battezzati no folo non morirono, ma 
furono Itimati come refufcitati dal fanto Battefimo, 
nodimeno, perche doppo in vna malattia generale 
non battezzauamo altri, che i pericolofi, & agonizzanti 
gik inftrutti, i quali fpeffo riceuuto il Battefimo mori- 
Tiano, fi perfuafero, che riceuere il Battefimo, & il 
pallaporto per 1' altra vita fofl^e 1' ifteffo, & a quefto 
feruiua 1' vfo antico, che haueuano di minacciar' a' 
putti r acqua, come qui fi minacciano le battiture. 
Terzo, era opinione commune, che noi erauamo gli 
autori d' vna fpetie di pefle, che non era ordinaria 
nel paefe, e lo rouino quafi tutto. Fondauano il loro 
fofpetto, o piii tolio ficura credenza, primo, perche 
i creduti maghi, & i principali del paefe ne gli 

1653J BRESSANI'S RELATION, i6ss 125 

at a time of extraordinary drouth, which threatened 
the country with famine, they declared that it was 
the effect of a Cross which we had erected at our 
arrival in the country. But Father Brebeuf — besides 
other reasons which he [63 i.e., 65] adduced, of a 
sufficiently convincing kind — prevented them from 
felling the Cross, and from driving us out as Wizards, 
by promising them rain, — if not only they did not 
fell it, but also invoked with him a God-man, who 
had sanctified it by dying upon it for us. At both 
times, after a novena, — the first to St. Joseph, the 
second to Saint Ignatius, our Founder, — hardly was 
the Procession ended which was made for this 
purpose, when the desired rain was obtained. This 
difficulty being in some measure smoothed, there 
occurred a greater, — that is, a firm persuasion that 
Baptism was a fatal spell. Although indeed, at the 
beginning, many who were baptized not only did not 
die, but were regarded as being brought to life again 
by holy Baptism, they nevertheless — because after- 
ward, during a general disease, we baptized no 
others than those in danger, and the dying who were 
already instructed, who frequently died on receiving 
Baptism — persuaded themselves that to receive Bap- 
tism, and the passport to the other life, were the 
same thing : and for this purpose they employed their 
former custom of threatening the children with water, 
as here they are threatened with blows. Thirdly, it 
was a common opinion that we were the authors of a 
kind of pestilence which was not usual in the coun- 
try, and almost utterly ruined it. They founded 
their suspicion, or rather, certain belief, first, on the 
ground that the supposed magicians and the prin- 
cipal men of the country assured them of it, and the 


afficurauano, & il popolo facilmente crede fenz' altro 
efame, fecondo, perche, ancorche al principio quail 
tutti i noftri fufTero ftati all' ifteffo tempo ammalati, 
fenza medico, ne medicina, ne commodity di viueri, 
fenz' altro rinfrefcamento, che vn poco di porcacchia 
faluatica cotta nell' acqua pura, fenza fale, in eftrema 
neceflit^, e pouerta d' ogni cofa, in pochi di fi rihebbero, 
e ricuperorno vna perfetta fanitk ; done i Barbari con 
tutti i loro rimedij e naturali, e fuperftitiofi, mori- 
uano quail tutti. Et in vero furono gratia fmgolare 
di Dio le noftre cure in quei paefi. Domandato il 
Padre che fcriffe la lettera poco dianzi qui de fcritta 
che rimedio haueffe adoprato alle molte, e pericolofe 
piaghe riceuute dagl' Hirochefi, delle quali efperti 
Medici in Europa ban detto, che non haurebbero 
fenza gran timore intraprefa la guarigione. Rifpofe 
non ellerli d' altro feruito, che d' vna aufteriffima, ma 
necelTaria dieta, e de denti, coi quali non hauendo 
altro ftromento, fi fhrappaua lino al viuo le putride 
carni per fradicare la gangrena, che gik in tre diuerfl 
luoghi delle fue lacere mani fi formaua. Terzo, 
perche ftando quafi fempre con gli ammalati, & i piu 
f chili, e pericolofi, che ci moriuano tra le [64 i.e., 66] 
mani, niuno contraeua la contagione, onde ci ftima- 
uano Demonij, e credeuano, che haueffimo fatto foedus 
cum morte, & pa6lum cum Inferno. Quarto per vna 
prefunta confefQone tacita degli accufati. S' era 
cominciato a Kebek vn Seminario di Giouani Huroni, 
che fi credeua doner' efCer di grand' vtile per propa- 
gar la noftra Santa Fede nel paefe; ma qui i giouani 

1653] BRESSANrS RELATION, ibs3 127 

people easily believe without other examination ; 
secondly, on the ground that although, at the begin- 
ning, almost all of ours had been attacked by the 
disease at the same time, — without a physician, or 
medicine, or convenience of provisions; without 
other refreshment than a little wild purslane, boiled 
in clear water without salt ; in extreme necessity and 
dearth of everything, — they had in a few days con- 
valesced, and recovered perfect health; whereas 
the Barbarians, with all their remedies, both natural 
and superstitious, nearly all died. And, in truth, 
our cures in those countries were a singular grace of 
God. The Father who wrote the letter copied herein, 
a little above, being asked what remedy he had em- 
ployed for the many and dangerous wounds he had 
received from the Hiroquois, — of which expert 
Physicians in Europe have said that they would not, 
without great fear, have undertaken the cure, — 
answered that he had used no other than a most aus- 
tere but necessary diet, and his teeth, — with which, 
having no other instrument, he tore away even to the 
quick the putrid flesh, in order to eradicate the gan- 
grene which was already forming in three several 
places of his lacerated hands. Thirdly, because, 
although ours remained almost all the time with the 
diseased, and those the most filthy and dangerous 
ones, who were dying on our [64 i.e., 66] hands, no 
one caught the contagion ; so that they accounted us 
Demons, and believed that we had XivdA^ foedus cum 
morte, et pactum cum Inferfw. Fourthly, by reason of 
a presumed silent confession of the accused. There 
had been started at Kebek a Seminary for Huron 
Youths, which, we believed, would be of great use 
for propagating our Holy Faith in the country; but 


non han gran credito, e fon piu facili k lafciarfi per- 
uertire, che conuertir gli altri, onde dopo fi preferi- 
rono a' giouani gli huomini maturi. Per cominciarlo 
bifognd far gran prefenti a' parent! de' Giouani, & 
oltre ci5 perfuadere ^ loro fteffi di dimorar con noi. 
II Padre, che ne haueua la cura, per perfuader' ^ 
qualch' vno la dimora k Kebek gli diffe, che auertiffe 
bene, che forfi ritornando nel paefe, morirebbe nella 
malattia vniuerfale, che era per rouinarlo. Non e 
ficuro fe il Padre pafso si oltre, ma e certo, che poteua 
crederlo, per elTer molte mercantie quell' anno infette 
^ quel che fi credeua, di contagione, e la malattia 
hauendo di gia affalito molti di quel Barbari. Vero, 
6 no, il giouane effendo di ritorno nel paefe, e veden- 
do il corfo del male, non manco di dire a' Capitani, 
che il Padre, che 1' haueua voluto ritener' a Kebek 
glie r hauea predetto, dunque concludeua, che n' era 
confapeuole, e co i fuoi compagni 1' autore. Alcuni 
aggiungeuano, che haueuamo per queflo portato di 
Francia vn cadauero, che conferuauamo caramente in 
cafa noftra, facendo allufione al Santiffimo Sacramen- 
to, che conferuauamo nella noftra Cappella, del che 
haueuamo parlato "k noflri Chriftiani, onde voleuano 
vifitare, e cercare per tutto quefto cadauero, origine 
della pefle, diceuano 1' illelTo d' alcune imagini &c. 
le preghiere, che faceuamo, e le melTe, che diceuamo 
di buon' hora a porte chiufe, le litanie, il pafleggiare 
ftelTo, cofa nuoua in quei paeli, erano fuperflitioni, 
che faceuamo per perderli. Bifogn6 far celTar vn 
horologietto fonante, che feruiua per regolarci, fli- 

1653] BRESSANI'S RELATION, j6s3 129 

there the young men have not great influence, and 
more easily allow themselves to be perverted than 
to convert the others, so that, afterward, the mature 
men were preferred to the youths. To begin this, 
it was necessary to make great gifts to the parents of 
the Young men; and, besides that, to persuade them 
themselves to dwell with us. The Father who had 
charge of them told some one, in persuading him to 
remain at Kebek, that he warned him, indeed, that 
perhaps on returning to his own country he would 
die in the universal disease, which was ruining it. 
It is not certain whether the Father went so far ; but 
it is true that he might believe so, because many 
traders that year had been infected, as it was believed, 
with the contagion; and the malady had already 
assailed many of those Barbarians. Whether true or 
not, the young man having returned to that country, 
and seeing the spread of the disease, of course told 
the Captains that the Father who had wished to keep 
him at Kebek had predicted the same, — so that he 
concluded that he was an accomplice therein, and 
with his companions, the author. Some added that 
we had for this purpose brought from France a 
corpse, which we were carefully keeping in our 
house as something precious, — making allusion to 
the Most Holy Sacrament, which we kept in our 
Chapel ; we had spoken of this to our Christians, on 
which account they wished to visit and seek every- 
where this corpse, the origin of the pestilence. 
They said the same thing about some images, etc. ; 
the prayers that we made, and the masses which we 
said at an early hour, with closed doors ; the litanies ; 
even walking abroad, — a new thing in those coun- 
tries, — were superstitions which we practiced in 


mandolo vn Demonio, che daua fegno, fonando, alia 
morte per vcciderli. Trouarono della fuperftitione 
fino in vna banderola di tela eretta nella cima d' vn 
pino, e credeuano, che gettaffe il male dalla ban da 
done il vento la fpingeua, e perche lior quk, hor la fi 
giraua, per quefto diceuano non vi e nel paefe niente 
d' intatto, ftimauano, che quiui inuiluppato 1' haueffi- 
mo per portarlo nel paefe. Non e, diceuano molti, 
quefta malattia nata qui, viene di fuori, mai habbiamo 
vifli Demonij si crudeli L' altre malattie han durato 
due, o tre lune (contano i tempi a lune come [65 i.e. , 67] 
gli HebreiJ quefta e piu d' vn' anno, che ci perfe- 
guita, le noftre fi contentano d' vno, o due per fami- 
glia, quefta in molte non ne hk lafciato che altretanto, 
& in molte neffuno, la perdita delle antiche fi ripa- 
raua in pochi anni, onde ne perdeuamo la memoria, 
quefta domandarebbe fecoli interi per ripopolarci. 
Lafcio le fauole, che feminauano di perfone refufci- 
tate, che ci accufauano, e condannauano con tutti i 
mifterij della fanta Fede &c. 

E non fii quefta folo vn opinione popolare di gente 
di poco conto, ma de Capitani fteffi, e de piii fauij, 
che fecero piii volte confeglio per concluder la morte 
di tutti i noftri, e vennero ad annunciarcela. II 
Padre Brebeuf Superiore fu piii volte efaminato ne' 
publici confegli, e rigorofamente trattato, e penfando 
gi^ la cofa conclufa, dopo le difpofitioni neceffarie, 
& i voti fatti a Dio, proprij di quel tempo, & vna 
lettera fcritta h. Kebek, e confegnata ad vno de noftri 
amici, che ci portaua gia compaffione, fece il di, che 

1663] BRESSANPS RELATION, i6s3 131 

order to destroy them. It was necessary to stop a 
small striking clock, which served to regulate our 
time, — for they regarded it as a Demon which, by 
striking, gave a sign to death for killing them. 
They found a superstition even in a little streamer 
hung at the crest of a pine, and believed that the 
disease was cast from that flag, wherever the wind 
drove it; and, because it turned about, now in one 
direction, now in another, they said therefore that 
there was no place untainted in the country; they 
supposed that we had enveloped the malady therein, 
so as to carry it into the country. " This disease," 
said many, " has not been engendered here; it comes 
from without; never have we seen Demons so cruel. 
The other maladies lasted two or three moons ' ' (they 
reckon time by moons, like [65 i.e., 6'j'\ the He- 
brews) ; ' ' this has been persecuting us for more than 
a year. Ours are content with one or two in a family ; 
this, in many, has left no more than that number, — 
and, in many, none at all. The loss from the old 
ones was repaired in a few years, of which we lost 
not the memory ; this would require whole ages to 
repeople us." I omit the fables which they spread 
abroad about persons come to life again, who accused 
and condemned us, together with all the mysteries 
of the holy Faith, etc. 

And this was not simply a popular opinion with 
people of small account, but it was that of the Cap- 
tains themselves, and of the most intelligent men, 
who several times called a council to resolve upon 
the death of all of ours, and came to announce it to 
us. Father Brebeuf, the Superior, was repeatedly 
examined in the public councils, and harshly treated; 
and thinking the matter already decided, he made, — 


fe ne afpettaua 1' efecutione, all' vfanza del paefe, 
vn feftino, che chiamano d' Addio. Ogni moribondo 
lo fk, 6 che muoia di morte naturale, o violenta, come 
i prigioni, i quali hauuta la nuoua della morte, deuo- 
no dire Addio k gli amici, e per queflo il padrone del 
prigione prepara vn feftino, doue inuita i principali 
del paefe, da' quali il prigione gi^ deftinato al fuoco 
fi licentia, 1' iftelTo fa vn moribondo. I noftri lo 
fecero per moftrarfi apparecchiati alia morte, che non 
temeuano, e non afpettauano altro, che 1' efecutione 
della fentenza, che li condannaua come fattucchiari, 
e micidiali di tutto il paefe ; quando vn Ambaf ciatore 
inafpettato venne ad inuitar' ancor vna volta il Padre 
Brebeuf al configlio, doue erano li principali di tutte 
quelle nation! , i quali doppo vn longhiffimo efame, 
& vn difcorfo ancor piia longo, benclie interrotto, del 
Padre, che piu parlo della Fede, che della pefte, con 
vn' intrepidezza marauigliofa, auuertendoli, che non 
noi, ma la giuftitia del Dio, che predichiamo, irritato 
da' lor peccati, era 1' vnica caufa de' loro mali, che 
durarebbono, finche con la debita fommiffione, e 
penitenza lo placaffero, mutorno talmente di parere, 
che lo rinuiorno come affoluto, e molti, non oftante le 
repliche d' alcuni Capitani, che lo chiamauano im- 
portuno, che repeteua fempre 1' ifteffo, indegno di 
viuere &c. domandarono nell' vfcire al Padre d' effer 
iflrutti nella Fede, & vfcendo dall' ifteffa capanna 
vidde vccider* a' fuoi piedi d' vn colpo d' accetta vn 
barbaro inimicifs. [66 i.e., 68] della Fede, e come 
era ful tardi il Padre penso, che 1' homicida fi fofle 

1663] BRESSANI'S RELA TION, 1633 133 

after the necessary preparations, and the vows made 
to God, appropriate to that time; and a letter writ- 
ten to Kebek, and consigned to one of our friends, 
who was already showing us compassion, — on the 
day when their execution was expected, and accord- 
ing to the usage of the country, a feast which they 
call " the Farewell." Every dying man makes 
this, whether he die naturally, or by a violent death, 
like the captives, — who, having received the news 
of their death, must say Farewell to their friends: 
and for this purpose the master of the captive pre- 
pares a feast, to which he invites the principal persons 
of the country, of whom the captive, already destined 
to the fire, takes leave; a dying man does the same. 
Ours did so in order to show themselves ready 
for death, which they did not fear; and they were 
expecting nothing else than the execution of the 
sentence which condemned them as sorcerers, and as 
the assassins of the entire country. Then an 
unlooked-for Ambassador came to invite Father 
Brebeuf to the council again, where the principal men 
of all those nations were assembled. After a very long 
examination, and a still longer discourse, though 
interrupted, by the Father, — who spoke more of the 
Faith than of the pestilence, warning them, with 
wonderful fearlessness, that not we, but the justice 
of the God whom we preach, provoked by their sins, 
was the sole cause of their troubles, which would last 
until they appeased him with the requisite submis- 
sion and penance, — they so changed their opinion 
that they sent him away, as it were absolved. 
Many — notwithstanding the replies of some Captains 
who called him " a troublesome fellow, who was 
always repeating the same thing," " one unworthy 


ingannato, e che haueffe prefo il morto per lui, e 
fermatofi gli difle, non era forfe ^ me, che era defti- 
nato quefto colpo/ N6, rifpofe 1' altro, paffa, coftui 
era fattucchiaro, e non tu. S' imagini il lettore le 
gratie, che fi refero k Dio alia vifta del Padre, che 
fi riguardaua come vn' huomo refuf citato, & alia 
fperanza di poter continuare la conuerfione di quel 
mefchini in quella eftrema loro neceffitk. 

Ma come V opinione vna volta radicata nella raente 
d' vn popolo intiero non (i fradica facilmente; parti- 
colarmente 1' affolutione di quefto configlio non 
effendo vn* atto giuridico, inufitato tra loro, ne publi- 
cato per il paefe, poteuamo ragioneuolmente temere 
come prima non gik, che il Publico, ma che qualche 
particolare efacerbato per la morte de fuoi, non ce ne 
faceffe gli autori, e non ci trattalTe, come gl' ifteffi 
paefani, f of petti di maleficio, vno de quali il Padre 
Brebeuf, come habbiam detto, haueua vifto cader \ 
fuoi piedi. Ma quefto non fminui punto il feruor de 
noflri neir aiuto di quel mefchini, ftimando tutti in 
limili occafioni con 1' Apoftolo mori lucrum. Et 
ancorche le minacce fuffero frequentilTime, e le 
accette piu volte alzate fopra le loro tefte, fempre 
per5, o fi trouo chi riteneffe il colpo, o 1' homicida 
fteffo pentito celTaua dall' imprefa, in modo tale, che 
altro non vi fii k foffrire oltre i trauagli, che ingiurie 
atroci, e frequenti minacce di morte fenza effetto, 
che feruiuano folo per piii ftaccarli dal mondo, e fare, 
che ogn" vn d' efli potelle dire con Dauid Annua niea 
in manibus meis femper. Perche del refto il Demonio 

1653] BRESSANI'S RELA TION, 1633 135 

to live," etc. — requested of the Father, as he went 
out, to be instructed in the Faith; and, on leaving 
the same cabin, he saw killed at his feet, with a 
hatchet-blow, a barbarian who was most hostile 
[66 i.e., 68] to the Faith. Now, as it was getting 
late, the Father thought that the murderer had 
deceived himself, and had taken the dead man for 
him; and, having stopped, he said to him, " Was it 
not perhaps for me that this blow was intended? " 
" No," answered the other, "go on; this man was 
a sorcerer, and not thou." Let the reader imagine 
the thanks which were rendered to God at the sight 
of the Father, who regarded himself as a man risen 
from the dead ; and at the hope of being able to 
continue the conversion of those wretched people in 
their extreme necessity. 

But as an opinion once rooted in the mind of a 
whole people is not easily eradicated, — especially as 
the absolution of this council was not a judicial act, 
but unusual among them, and not published through 
the country, — we could reasonably fear as before, 
not indeed that the Public, but that some private 
individual, exasperated by the death of his people, 
might make us the authors thereof, and treat us like 
his fellow-countrymen themselves, when suspected 
of crime, — one of whom Father Brebeuf, as we have 
said, had seen fall at his feet. But this did not at all 
diminish the fervor of ours for the help of those 
wretched people, — all, on similar occasions, account- 
ing it, with the Apostle, mori lucrum. And although 
threats were very frequent, and hatchets repeatedly 
uplifted above their heads, yet always either there 
was some one found to restrain the blow, or the mur- 
derer himself, repentant, ceased from the undertak- 


con tutte le fue machine non pote impedire, che non 
entralTero quafi per forza nelle capanne de' piu perico- 
lofj, & ancorche ne fuffero fpeffo cacciati con ingiurie, 
e minacce, e che fe gli chiudeffero le porte in faccia, 
e con bugie gli fi dicejffe non efferuene, done ve n' era, 
nondimeno la carita era si ingegnofa, e coftante, che 
penetraua da per tutto a difpetto degli huomini, e 
de' Demonij, e Dio fi feruiiia fpeffo, come e fuo 
coltume, de' putti, come d' Angeli per guidarli; 
quelli innocentini accufando i loro parenti di bugia, 
e dicendo a' Padri, entrate, qui vi fono degli amma- 
lati, e feruendoli di guida per condurli altroue/ in 
modo tale, che ancorche ne moriffe vn grandiffimo 
numero, non mori quafi alcun putto, che non foffe 
prima battezzato, con la maggior parte degli adulti. 
In quefto tempo la noftra capanna brugio, non fap- 
piamo [67 i.e., 69] come, forfe fii 1' effetto delle 
minacce di molti, che haueuan promeffo di brugiarci 
tutti infieme, come fattucchiari. 

Quefta opinione cominciata in quelt' occafione con- 
tinue) in vna feconda malattia, fimile alia prima, 
che gli affali 1' anno 1640. e duro gli anni intieri, e 
ftefefi vniuerfalmente ad ogni cofa. Erauamo "k lor 
credere, la caufa di quanto accadeua di male, e ce lo 
diceuano in faccia. E doppo il voftro arriuo (^dice- 
uanoj che non fi vedono piti vecchi nel paefe. Siete 
voi, che ci hauete fpopolati con la pelie, e fe vi lafcia- 
mo ancora vn poco, ci diftruggerete affatto. Vfciua 
qualche Padre per inuitare con vn campanello, 5 con 
la voce i paefani al Catechifmo, 6 alia predica, & 

1653] BRESSANI'S RELATION, i6ss 137 

ing. In consequence, there was nothing else to be 
suffered, beyond their labors, except atrocious insults 
and frequent, but ineffectual, threats of death, which 
served only to detach them the more from the world, 
and to cause that each one of them could say with 
David, Anima vtea in manibus nieis semper. For this 
reason, moreover, the Demon, with all his plots, 
could not prevent them from entering, almost by 
force, into the cabins of the most dangerous; and, 
although they were often driven out thence with 
insults and threats, and the doors were shut in their 
faces, and with lies one said to them that he was not 
there, where he was, — nevertheless, charity was so 
ingenious and constant that it penetrated everywhere, 
in spite of men and of the Demons. God often 
employed, too, as is his custom, children, like Angels, 
to guide them, — those little innocents accusing their 
parents of lying, and saying to the Fathers, " Come 
in ; there are some sick people here ; ' ' and serving 
them as guides for leading them elsewhere. As a 
result, although a very great number of them died, 
almost no child died who was not first baptized, 
together with most of the adults. At this time 
our cabin burned, we know not [67 i.e., 69] how: 
perhaps it was in consequence of the threats of 
many who had promised to burn us all together, as 

This opinion, which began on that occasion, con- 
tinued through a second malady, similar to the first, 
which attacked them in the year 1640; it lasted whole 
years, and everywhere extended itself to all classes. 
We were, in their belief, the cause of as many 
troubles as befell them ; and they told us so to our 
faces. " And, since your arrival " (they said), *' old 


vfciua neir ifleflo tempo qualche Capitano nemico 
della Fede per itnpedirli d' andarui, accompagnando 
fpeffo le prohibitioni con le minacce, e non temeuano 
con mille infolenze d' interrompere fpeffo il Predica- 
tore, condannandolo hora di pazzo, hora di fattucchi- 
aro, hora d' inimico dichiarato della loro natione. 

L' infolenza de Capitani animaua il popolo, e i 
putti fleffi ad imitarli con importunity incredibile k 
chi non 1' hk fperimentata. Che cofa non ci getta- 
uano, di che non fi rideuano, doue non ci perfeguita- 
uano? Eramus ficut ones in medio luporum, fenz' altra 
difefa, che dell' innocenza della caufa, che altra non 
era, che quella di Dio. Qualchuno di miglior fenfo, 
qualche Catecumeno, e qualche Capitano ifleffo era 
per noi, ma molti non ardiuano dichiararfi, e fe qual- 
chuno lo faceua, era fenza gran frutto per il numero, 
e potere degli auuerfarij. Se gli prediffero alcune 
Ecliffi di Sole, e di Luna, le quali efli temono grande- 
mente, e fecondo la parte del Cielo doue occorrono, 
le ftimano di buono, 5 cattiuo augurio. Si perfuafero, 
che, poiche le fapeuamo, n' erauamo gli autori, come 
delle careftie, che doppo feguono, fe non propter hoc, 
falteni pojl hoc, e credeuano, che 1' hauereffimo potute 
impedire, e voleuano, che come gli prediceuamo gli 
Ecliffi, glie ne prediceffimo gli effetti, anzi tutti i loro 

Tutte quefte opinioni hebbero vn nuouo pefo dal 
dire d' alcuni Barbari venuti dinuouo nel paefe chia- 
mati Oenronronnons, i quali haueuano prima traffico 
con gl' Inglefi, Olandefi, & altri Europei heretici, da 

1653] BRESSANI'S RELA TION, 1633 139 

people are no longer seen in the country. You are 
the ones who have depopulated us with pestilence ; 
and, if we suffer you yet a little, you will destroy us 
altogether." When some Father went out to invite 
with a little bell, or with his voice, the country peo- 
ple to Catechism or to the sermon, at the same time 
some Captain hostile to the Faith went out to hinder 
them from going, often accompanying prohibitions 
with threats. Nor did they fear, with a thousand 
insolences, frequently to interrupt the Preacher, — 
now condemning him for a crazy fellow, now for a 
sorcerer, now for a declared enemy of their nation. 
The insolence of the Captains inspired the people, 
and even the children, to imitate them, with an annoy- 
ance past belief for any one who has not experienced 
it. What thing did they not cast up to us ? What 
did they not ridicule ? Where did they not persecute 
us? Eranius sicut oves in medio luporufn, without other 
defense than from the innocence of our cause, which 
was none other than that of God. Some person of 
better sense, or some Catechumen, or some Captain 
himself, was for us ; but many did not dare to declare 
themselves; and, if any one did so, it was without 
great result in comparison with the number and 
power of the adversaries. If the Fathers predicted 
to them some Eclipses of the Sun and of the Moon, — 
which they greatly fear, and, according to the region 
of the Sky where they occur, esteem them of good 
or evil omen, — they persuaded themselves that, since 
we knew them, we were the authors thereof, as of the 
dearths which follow after them, — ii not propter hoc, 
saltern post hoc. They believed, then, that we might 
have prevented them; and they desired that, as we 
foretold the Eclipses to them, we should foretell 


quali vero, 5 n5, diceuano hauer vdito piu volte, che 
noi erauamo mala gente, perniciofa al ben publico, 
cacciati da' loro paefi, doue fe ci haueffero ci mette- 
rebbono a morte, rifugiati bora in quelle contrade per 
rouinarle quanto prima, ma tutte [68 i.e., 70] quefle 
perfecutioni non hanno impedito il corfo dell' Euan- 
gelio, il quale qui non folo ba con effe incominciato, 
ma continuato, e crefciuto co i difaftri, & all' bora h 
piu entrato ne' loro cuori, quando fono ftati maggior- 
mente afflitti dalla giufta mano di Dio, i cui giuditij 
fono veramente abyj^us multa. 

Con la Fede entro nel paefe il flagello di Dio, & ^ 
mifura, cbe quefla crefceua, 1' altro li percuoteua piii 
feueramente quafi fino all' vltima diftruttione di 
quefla pouera natione. Ogn' anno nuoue afflittioni, 
nuoue guerre, nuoue perdite, maggiori 1' vna dell' 
altre. Et e cofa degna di confideratione k quefto 
propofito, che nelle famiglie, nelle quali la Fede era 
maggiore, le proue anche fono ftate maggiori. II 
primo, & il piu feruente de' noftri Cbriftiani, doppo 
molte difgratie, fu in fine all' improuifo vccifo da 
gl' inimici, come ancbe molti altri de piu feruenti. I 
noflri bofpiti in diuerfe miffioni, felici communemen- 
te, quando ci riceueuano, riceueuano con noi la vifita, 
& il flagello di Dio, perdendo d' ordinario 1' anno 
medefimo, o la moglie, 6 i figli, 6 altro de' piu flretti 
parenti, 6 incorrendo qualcbe finiflro accidente. 
Molti fon morti loro fleffi, 5 di naufragio, o di fuoco, 
6 di altra morte difaflrofa. Forfi accio ci afficuraffi- 
mo, cbe la lor Fede, e deuotione era foda, poicbe 



their effects, — nay, even all their consequences. 

All these opinions had new weight from the say- 
ing of some Barbarians, who had recently come into 
the country, called Oenronronnons ; who had formerly 
traded with the English, Dutch, and other heretical 
Europeans.'" From these, they said, whether truly 
or not, — they had heard many times, that we were 
wicked people, pernicious to the public weal, expelled 
from their countries, where, if they had us, they 
would put us to death ; and that we had now fled to 
those lands in order to ruin them as soon as possible. 
But all [68 i.e., 70] these persecutions did not pre- 
vent the course of the Gospel, which here not only 
began, but continued and grew, with disasters, and 
it most penetrated their hearts when they were most 
afflicted by the just hand of God, whose judgments 
are truly abyssus mult a. 

With the Faith, the scourge of God came into the 
country ; and, in proportion as the one increased, the 
other smote them more severely, — almost, indeed, 
to the ultimate destruction of this poor nation, — every 
year, new afflictions, new wars, new losses, each 
one greater than the other. And it is a thing worthy 
of consideration in this connection that, in the fami- 
lies in which the Faith was greatest, the trials were 
also greatest. The first and the most fervent of our 
Christians, after many misfortunes, was at last unex- 
pectedly slain by the enemies, — as were also many 
others of those most fervent. Our hosts. in various 
missions, commonly prosperous when they received 
us, received with us the visit and the scourge of 
God, — usually losing in the same year either wife, 
or children, or some other of the nearest relatives; 
or encountering some disastrous accident. Many 


refifteua a' colpi, & al fuoco. L' Inuerno delle afflit- 
tioni feme per fare, che le piante fi radichino mag- 
giormente. Gl' ifteffi, che ci haueuano maledetti, e 
perfeguitati nella loro abbondanza, nelle perdite le 
pill grandi de beni, de parenti, degli amici della 
fanita, veniuano per cercare da' perfeguitati la loro 
confolatione, & il vero rimedio de' loro mali, cioe la 
Fede, in modo, che il tempo delle loro maggiori 
afflittioni, era il tempo per noi della piii gran raccolta, 
e morendo di fame, o di fuoco, inuocauano per loro 
foccorfo fpirituale quelli, che ne haueuano prima 
ftimati gli autori. Tanto e vero, che vexatio dat in- 

Bifognarebbe vn libro intiero per raccontar qui le 
conuerfioni rare, e fegnalate, che fi fon fatte nello 
fpatio di circa fedici anni, delle quali le Relationi 
ogn' anno fcritte in lingua Francefe fon piene, ma non 
potendole fenza far torto alia materia riflringer in 
breue, intatte le lafcio per 1' hiftoria. Diro folo in vna 
parola, che il numero de' Noflri neofiti farebbe ftato 
molto maggiore, anzi haurelTimo finalmente battez- 
zato tutto il paefe, fe non haueffimo cercato altro, che 
il numero, & il nome. Ma non habbiamo [69 i.e., 71] 
voluto riceuere vn folo adulto in ftato di perf etta fanitk 
prima d' eflere informatiffimi della lingua, e d' hauerli 
dopo lunghe proue, alcune volte d' anni intieri, giudi- 
cati coftanti nel fanto propofito, non folo di riceuere 
il Sacramento del Battefimo, ma d* ofTeruare efatta- 
mente i diuini precetti, per i quali haueuano fpeffo 
non piccole difificoltk, deflderando piu d' accrefcer 

1653] BRESSANI'S RELA TION, 1633 143 

themselves died, either by shipwreck, or by fire, or 
by other calamitous deaths, — perhaps in order that 
we might assure ourselves that their Faith and devo- 
tion was steadfast, since it resisted assaults and the 
fire. The Winter of afflictions serves to cause the 
plants to take root more deeply. The same persons 
who had cursed and persecuted us in their abundance, 
came, in their greatest losses of goods, relatives, 
friends, or health, to seek consolation from the per- 
secuted, and the true remedy for their troubles, — 
that is, the Faith. Consequently, the time of their 
greatest afflictions was for us the time of the greatest 
harvest; and, when dying from hunger, or by fire, 
they invoked for their spiritual help those whom 
they had formerly regarded as the authors of their 
misfortune. So true it is, that vexatio dat intellectuni. 
It would require a whole book to relate here the 
rare and remarkable conversions which occurred in 
the space of about sixteen years, of which the Rela- 
tions, written each year in the French language, are 
full; but not being able to compress the same with 
brevity, without doing them injustice, I leave them 
intact for the history. I will merely say in one word, 
that the number of Our neophytes would have been 
much greater, — nay, we would even at last have bap- 
tized the whole country, — had we not sought some- 
thing else than number and name. But we were not 
[69 i.e., 71] willing to receive a single adult, in a 
condition of perfect health, before we were very well 
informed about the language ; and before we had — 
after long probations, sometimes for whole years — 
judged them constant in the holy purpose not only 
of receiving the Sacrament of Baptism, but of punc- 
tually observing the divine precepts. In regard to 


r allegrezza al Paradifo, che di moltiplicar i Chriltia- 
ni, flimando vn rimprouero fmgolare fe fi foffe potuto 
ad alcuno di noi per fua colpa dire. Multiplicasli 
gente, & non magnificaM Icetitiam. Nondimeno nello 
fpatio di pochi anni fe ne fono battezzati circa 12. 
mila, de quali la piii parte fperiamo, che fia hora nel 
Cielo, per eller flati feruentiflimi, e coftantiffimi nella 
Fede. Haueuamo predetta 1' EclilTe de i 30. di Gen- 
naro 1646. che iui comincio 5. quarti auanti la mezza 
notte, la ftauano i noftri Chrifliani afpettando, e 
fubito, che comparue, vno de piu ferueti penfando 
efercitar in quefto il fuo zelo, fueglia alcuni, che 
dormiuano con dirgli venite, e vedete quanto fiano 
veridici i noflri predicatori, e confermateui con 
quefto argomento nella credenza delle veritk, che ci 
predicano. Ma vn buon Vecchio e feruente Chriltia- 
no fenza faper 1' hiftoria del gra S. Luigi nel mira- 
colo del Sacramento, fauiamente rifpofe. Vada a 
veder 1' Ecliffe chi dubita delle verita della Fede. 
Altre ficurezze ne habbiamo, che la vifta, & hk miglior 
appoggio il creder noftro. Altri incontratifi con 
heretici Europe! nelle loro habitationi, e riprefi di 
fare il fegno della Croce, e di portare al collo la coro- 
na, piu tofto, che dubitare per tali rimproueri, della 
lor Fede, riprefero effi fteffi d' irreligione i loro ammo- 
nitori con vna liberty veramente chriftiana, & altri 
vedendo alia nuoua Suetia qualche liberta troppo 
grande con alcune donne, non temerono di predicare 
k gli Europei la virtu, che da effi haurebbero douuto 
imparare. Per refiftere alle tentationi hanno fatti atti 

1653] BRESSANrS RELATION, i6s3 H5 

these, they frequently had no small difficulty, — we 
desiring more to increase the joy in Paradise than to 
multiply the Christians ; and esteeming it a singular 
reproach if it might have been said to any one of us 
by his own fault, Multiplicasti gente'in, et non magnifi- 
casti IcBtitiani. Nevertheless, in the space of a few 
years about 12 thousand of them have been baptized, — 
most of whom, we hope, are now in Heaven, for 
having been most fervent and most constant in the 
Faith, We had predicted the Eclipse of the 30th of 
January, 1646, w;hich began there an hour and a quar- 
ter before midnight ; our Christians stood expecting 
it, and suddenly, when it appeared, one of the most 
fervent, thinking to exercise in this his zeal, awoke 
some who were sleeping, by saying to them : ' ' Come 
and see how truthful are our preachers ; and strength- 
en yourselves, by this argument, in the belief of the 
truths which they preach to us," But a good Old 
man, a fervent Christian, — without knowing the his- 
tor}'- of the great St. Louis, in the miracle of the 
Sacrament, — wisely answered: "Go to see the 
Eclipse, whoever doubts the truth of the Faith, 
We have other assurances of it than sight, and our 
belief has better support," Others, — having met 
European heretics in their settlements, and being 
reproved for making the sign of the Cross, and for 
wearing rosaries about their necks, — rather than to 
doubt their Faith for such reproaches, themselves 
reproved their censors for irreligion, with a liberty 
truly Christian ; and still others, having seen, in new 
Sweden, some excessive freedom with certain women, 
did not fear to preach to the Europeans the virtue 
which they should have learned from them. In order 
to resist temptations, they have performed very 


generofiffimi. Era cofa affai commune tra noftri 
neofiti, d' eftinguere, ad imitatione de Santi, il fuoca 
della concupifcenza, col freddo delle neui nel miag- 
gior rigore del verno, 5 con 1' ardore del fuoco rifue- 
gliando la fede viua delle pene dell' altra vita. 
Quante donzelle li fono efpofte piu tofto ^ pericolo di 
morte, che alia perdita dell' honore. Quanti per la 
Fede li fono dichiarati contro il loro proprio paefe, 
offerendo volentieri la vita, e '1 fangue per difefa 
della loro Religione, e non dubito, che i martiri non 
haurebbero mancato tra di loro, fe fi foffe trouato chi 
haueffe ofato di farli. In fine Dio da [70 i.e., 72] 
per tutto e lo fteffo, e s^ fufcitare de lapidibus filios 
Abrahcg, qui ab Oriente, & Occidente venient, & recumbent 
cum Abraham, I/aac, & lacob in Regno Cceloruin, cioe 
ne' primi, e piii degni luoghi. Piaccia k Dio, che noi 
altri Jilij Regni non eijciamur in tenebras exteriores. 

Alcuni hanno hauuta vna fanta curiofitk di faper 
gli argomenti, de quali ci feruiuamo per la conuer- 
fione de' noftri Barbari alia Fede. Ci feruiuamo de 
motiui di credibility, che apportano communemente 
i Theologi, ma quelli, che li perfuadeuano il piii, era- 
no tre ; il primo la ragioneuolezza della noflra legge, 
e de' fanti comandamenti di Dio, che non vieta 
niente, che non fia fuor di ragione, ne comanda, o 
permette fe non cofe k lei conformi/ cosi lo dille 
il primo de' noftri Chriftiani al Padre Gio : di Bre- 
beuf nel chiedergli il fanto Battefimo. T' ho vdito 
(^diceua que ft' huomo veramente fenfato) tre anni 
intieri parlar della Fede, & k mifura, che parlaui io 

1663] BRESSANI'S RELA TION, 1653 147 

noble acts. It was a thing quite common among our 
neophytes to extinguish, in imitation of the Saints, 
the fire of concupiscence with the cold of the snows, 
in the greatest severity of winter ; or, by the ardor 
of fire, to awaken a lively faith in the pains of the 
other life. How many maidens have rather exposed 
themselves to peril of death, than to the loss of 
honor! How many men, for the sake of the Faith, 
have declared themselves against their own coun- 
try, — gladly offering their lives and blood in defense 
of their Religion ! and I doubt not that martyrs would 
not have been wanting among them, if any one had 
been found who had dared to make them. In fine, 
God [70 i.e., 72] everywhere is the same, and knows 
how to raise up de lapidibus filios Abraha, qui ab Ori- 
ent e et Occidente venient, et recumbent cum Abraham., 
Isaac, et Jacob in Regno Ccelorum, — that is, in the chief 
and worthiest places. God grant that we other Jilii 
Regni non ejiciamur in tenebras exteriores. 

Some have had a devout curiosity to know the 
arguments which we used for the conversion of our 
Barbarians to the Faith. We used the reasons for 
credibility which the Theologians commonly adduce ; 
but those which most persuaded them were three,- — 
the first of which was the reasonableness of our law 
and of the holy commandments of God, who forbids 
nothing which is not beyond reason, and commands 
or permits only what things are conformable thereto ; 
thus said the first of our Christians to Father Jean 
de Brebeuf, on requesting from him holy Baptism. 
' ' I have heard you ' ' (said this truly sensible man) 
" for three whole years, speaking of the Faith; and 
in proportion as you spoke, I said in my heart, ' He 
tells the truth ; ' and, from the first day, I have 


diceuo nel mio cuore (dice il vero) & ho dal primo 
di ofleruato tutto quelle, che ci hai infegnato. Et 
in queflo certo i noftri Barbari fuperano di gran lunga 
gl' Indiani orientali della capacity, e coftanza de' 
quali parlaua si balTamente 1' Apoftolo dell' Indie S. 
Francefco Xauerio nelle fue lettere. I noflri capi- 
uano, e difcorreuano perfettamente, e fi rendeuano 
fedelmente alia ragione II fecondo era la Scrittura, 
non parlo della facra folamente, ma della commune. 
E con quefto argomento chiudeuamo la bocca a' lor 
falli Profeti, o piu tofto Ciarlatani. Non hanno eglino 
ne libri, ne fcrittura alcuna, come habbiam detto. 
Quando dunque ci raccontauano le lor fauole, della 
creation del mondo, del diluuio, (delle quali cofe 
haueuano qualche confufa notitiaj e del paefe delle 
anime; Noi li interrogauamo : chi te 1' h^ detto? 
Rifpondeuano, i miei maggiori. Ma freplicauamo 
noi) i voftri maggiori erano huomini come voi, dun- 
que bugiardi come voi, che efagerate, e mutate 
fouente le cofe, che raccontate, e fpelTo fingete, e 
mentite/ come dunque pofTo io crederui con licurezza? 
e r argomento li ftringeua, perche in fatti, efagerano, 
fingono delle fauole, e mentono facililTimamente. Ma 
noi fprofeguiuamo) portiamo con noi teftimonij irre- 
fragabili di quel, che diciamo cioe la Scrittura, che e 
parola di Dio, che non mente; e la Scrittura non 
varia come la viua voce dell' huomo, che e quafi per 
natura bugiardo. E qui doppo hauer ammirata 1' ec- 
cellenza della fcrittura materiale (da noi non prez- 
zata per effer troppo comune) [71 i.e., 73] entrauano 

1653] BRESSANrS RELATION, i6js 149 

observed everything which you have taught us." 
And herein our Barbarians certainly far surpass the 
oriental Indians, of whose capacity and constancy the 
Apostle of the Indies, St. Francis Xavier, spoke 
so disparagingly in his letters. Ours apprehended 
and argued perfectly, and faithfully submitted to 
reason. The second was the Scripture, — I do not 
speak of the sacred alone, but of common writings; 
and with this argument we shut the mouth of their 
false Prophets, or, rather, Charlatans. They hav^ 
neither books nor any writing, as we have said. 
When, therefore, they told us their fables about the 
creation of the world, the flood (of which things they 
had some confused notion), and the country of the 
souls, we asked them: " Who told you so?" They 
would answer, * ' My ancestors. " " But " (we replied) 
" your ancestors were men, like you, and therefore 
liars, like you, — who exaggerate and often change 
the things which you relate, and often feign and lie ; 
how then can I believe you with certainty ? ' ' And 
this argument pinched them, because, in fact, they 
exaggerate, invent fables, and lie most easily. " But 
we ' ' (we continued) ' ' bring with us irrefragable evi- 
dence of what we say, — that is, the Scripture, which 
is the word of God, who does not lie ; and the Scrip- 
ture does not vary like the oral word of man, who is 
almost by nature false." And here, after having 
admired the excellence of actual handwriting (by us 
not prized because it is too common), [71 i.e., 73] 
they began to discern the certainty of the divine 
word, which we showed them as written in the 
sacred books, and dictated by God. His precepts, 
threats, and promises we read to them, — and often 
not without the fear and trembling which the divine 


^ penetrar la certezza della diuina parola, che fcritta 
gli moflrauamo ne' facri libri, e dettata da Dio, i cui 
precetti, minacce, e promeffe gli leggeuamo; e fpello 
non fenza il timore, e tremore, che caufano, ancor 
femplice, e rozzamente narrati i diuini giuditij, e le 
pene de dannati propofte a' colpeuoli, come dell' in- 
giufto giudice Felice leggiamo negli atti. II piu 
potente per5 era quello, che pigliauamo dalle noftre 
fteffe perfone ad imitatione del grand' Apoftolo de' 
Gentili, che fenza far torto alia fua profondiffima 
humiltk raccontaua, ancorche in terza perfona, a fuoi 
Corinthij, non folo i patimenti, & opere fante fatte 
per feruitio del fuo Signore, ma anche le riuelationi, 
e doni marauigliofi riceuuti da chi 1' inuiaua per 
annutiar loro il fuo fanto Vangelo. Non temeuamo 
noi di parlar k noftri Barbari in quefta guifa. 

Voi ci vedete, fratelli, qui con elTo voi trk le ceneri, 
e '1 fumo languire anzi che viuere, mezzi nudi, tremar 
di freddo, morir quafi di fame, e di difagio. Hor 
fappiate, che noi fiam nati, & alleuati in vn paefe 
doue ogni cofa abonda, done i noftri letti non eran 
gia come qui dura fcorza, o rozza tauola, ma morbida 
lana; il viuere non folo condito di fale, ma tanto 
differente dal vollro, che ad effo iui appena i piu affa- 
mati metterebbero le labbra; le cafe non gia fumof e, 
e ofcure come le voftre capanne, ma ample, com- 
mode, e luminofe &c. Interrogate i voflri compatri- 
otti, che hano a Kebek vifitati i Franceii, quanto 
differente fia la lor vita dalla noftra, e fe fi poffan 
comparare i lor commodi co' voftri difagi; e pure iui 

1653] BRESSANI'S RELA TION, 1633 151 

judgments cause, even when simply and rudely 
narrated, — and the penalties of the damned, when 
proposed to the guilty, as we read of the unjust judge 
Felix in the acts. The most potent, however, was that 
which we took from our own persons, in imitation of 
the great Apostle to the Gentiles, — who, without 
prejudicing his most profound humility, related, 
albeit in the third person, to his Corinthians not only 
his sufferings and holy works done in the service of 
his Lord, but also the revelations and wonderful gifts 
received from the being who sent him to announce 
to them his holy Gospel. We did not fear to speak 
to our Barbarians in this manner : 

" You see us, brothers, here with you, too, — lan- 
guishing rather than living, amid the ashes and the 
smoke, half naked, trembling with cold, almost dying 
with hunger and hardship. Now know that we were 
born and brought up in a country where everything 
abounds; where our beds were not at all, as here, 
hard bark or a rude table, but soft wool ; the diet not 
only seasoned with salt, but so different from yours 
that scarcely would even the most famished there 
put their lips to this ; the houses by no means smoky 
and dark like your cabins, but spacious, convenient, 
and light; etc. Ask your fellow-countrymen, who 
have visited the French at Kebek, how different is 
their mode of life from ours, and whether their con- 
veniences can be compared with your discomforts; 
and yet, even there, they too suffer not a little, so 
far from their wealthy country. And then reason 
among yourselves and say: ' Those men, if they are 
wise, as we esteem them, have some object in this 
great change of condition ; they have something in 
view.' You dearly value ,^your native land, your 


anch' effi foffrono non poco, lontani dal lor ricco 
paefe. E poi difcorrete tra voi, e dite. Cofboro, fe 
fono fauij come noi gli ftimiamo, hanno qualche fine 
in quefta grande mutatione di flato, qualche cofa pre- 
tendono. Voi ftimate caramente la patria, i parenti, 
gli amici; noi non fiam di ftucco, ne di pietra; gli 
amiamo ancor noi, e forfi con piii ragione di voi, che 
poco da effi fperar potete d' vtile, e di profitto, e pure 
gli habbiam tutti volontariamente abbandonati, hab- 
biam detto Addio alia bella Europa, habbiam fidato 
le noftre vite ad vn' elemento crudele, e traditore, 
anzi gli habbiam sfidati tutti, perche da tutti teme vn 
legno che folca il mare, nella cui poluere vna fcintilla 
fk vn Mongibello, nelle cui vele fan ftrage i venti, 
alia cui ficurezza infidian 1' onde, alia cui rouina par 
che nafcofte fian fott' acqua le firti, e i fcogli; ci 
fiamo efpofli a mille tempefle, k mille naufragij, "k 
mille incontri, fenza tema de corfari, che fcorrono 
giorno, e notte i [72 i.e., 74] noftri vaftiffimi mari, 
per approdar finalmente a' voftri lidi, cioe ad horridi 
deferti, anzi per incontrare gli ardenti fuochi de voftri 
fpietati nemici, e 1' haurem fatto k cafo? Vfciti 
alcuni di noi da' tormenti dell' Hirochefe, e collretti 
di ritornare in Europa, non ci fiam lafciati perfuadere 
da parenti, & amici, di reftar dopo tanti difagi con 
effo loro ne pur pochi mefi, tanto ftimauamo neceffa- 
rio il ritorno in quefti bofchi, e 1' haurem fatto fenza 
grande, & vrgente ragione? Voi fapete pure, che 
non vi habbiam mai grauati per polledere di quel, 
che tra voi fi p^ezza il piii, ne per hauer parte de 

1663] BRESSANrS RELATION, ib53 153 

kinsmen, your friends; we are not of plaster or 
rock, — we, too, love them, and perhaps with more 
reason than you, who can hope for little use or profit 
from them. And yet we have voluntarily aban- 
doned them all ; we have said Farewell to beautiful 
Europe ; we have entrusted our lives to a cruel and 
treacherous element, — nay, rather, we all despaired 
of them, because of all terrors is to be feared a vessel 
which plows the sea, — in whose powder a spark 
makes a Volcano; in whose sails the winds play 
havoc; for whose safety the waves lay ambushes; 
for whose ruin it seems as if shoals and rocks are 
concealed beneath the water. We have exposed our- 
selves to a thousand storms, to a thousand shipwrecks, 
to a thousand encounters, — without fear of corsairs, 
who day and night scour [72 i.e., 74] our vast seas. 
We have done so, that, after all, we might approach 
your shores, that is, horrid deserts, — nay, rather, 
for the sake of encountering the glowing fires of 
your pitiless enemies: and would we have done so 
by chance? When some of us had escaped from the 
torments of the Hiroquois, and were constrained to 
return to Europe, we did not allow ourselves to be 
persuaded by relatives and friends to remain with 
them, after so many discomforts, even for only a 
few months,— so necessary did we deem the return 
to these forests ; and would we have done so without 
strong and urgent reason ? You know, however, that 
we have never oppressed you in order to acquire that 
which among you is prized the most, or to have a 
share of your goods; on the contrary, we are those 
who from our poverty daily make you rich presents. 
It is not therefore our interest which brings us here, 
but your good. The object which we have is of the 


voflri beni/ anzi noi fiara quelli, che della nollra 
pouertk vi facciamo giornalmente ricchi prefenti. 
Non e dunq; il noftro interelTe, che qui ci mena, ma 
il voftro bene. II fine, che habbiamo e di fomma 
importanza ; non ci han qui tirati nh quefli bofchi, ne 
quefte rozze capanne, ma le voflre anime, che effendo 
pretiofe k Dio, non poffono effer poco da noi ftimate, 
ne hai vna fratello, che deue, 5 fempre godere, 6 
fempre penare. Per faluarla veniamo &c. Fili mi 
quis mihi det, vt ego moriar pro te. V e vn Dio, v' h 
vn Giesu Chrifto. In vna parola 1' efempio an che di 
chi ci feruiua e flato il piu efficace mezzo, del quale fi 
h feruito il Signore per piantar in .quefti deferti la 
fua fantifTima Fede, e lo flendardo della Croce. 

1653] BRESSANI'S RELA TION, ibjj 155 

Utmost importance; neither these forests nor these 
rude cabins have drawn us hither, but your souls, — 
which, being precious to God, cannot be lightly 
esteemed by us. You have one, brother, which 
must either always rejoice or always be in pain. We 
come to save it," etc. Fili mi, quis mihi det, ut ego 
moriarpro te ? There is one God, there is one Jesus 
Christ, In a word, the example also of him who 
served us has been the most efficacious means which 
the Lord has used for planting in these deserts his 
most holy Faith and the standard of the Cross. 


Parte Terza. 

Morte d' alcuni Padri della Compagnia di Giesu 
nelle Miffioni della nuoua Francia. 

LASCIO quelli, che fono morti ne' viaggi di mare, 
& in diuerfi naufragij, riferir6 qui folo le morti 
d' alcuni, che ho ftimate tra 1' altre alquanto 
piu riguardeuoli. 

1653] BRESSANPS RELATION, i633 157 

Part Third. 

Deaths of certain Fathers of the Society of Jesus, 
in the Missions of new France. 

I OMIT those who died in the sea- voyages, and in 
various shipwrecks: I will relate here only the 
deaths of some, which I have accounted, among 
others, especially remarkable. 





SEGUITO r ordine de' tempi. Li 30. di Gennaro 
1646. II P. Anna de None parti dalla refidenza 
de i tre fiumi in compagnia di due Soldati, e 
d' vn Hurone per andare ad vn forte de Francefi chia- 
mato Richelieu circa 40. miglia diftante per dirui la 
melTa, & amminiftrare [73 i.e., 75] i Sacramenti di 
confeflione, e communione a' foldati di quella guami- 
gione, tutti i fiumi, e laghi erano agghiacciati, e la 
terra all' ordinario di quella ftagione coperta di 
cinque, o fei palmi de neue, onde per caminare bifo- 
gnaua feruirfi di racchette a' piedi per non fommergerfi 
nelle neui, non fenza gran trauaglio, maffime per chi 
non v' e accoflumato. Non fecero dunque il primo 
di piu di 16. 6 18. miglia, cioe la met^ della flrada, e 
palTorno la notte al folito di quei paeli, in vna gran 
folia, che fecero nella neue, fenz' altro coperto, 6 
tetto, che il Cielo. II Padre, che s' era accorto della 
difficoltk, che i fuoi compagni haueuano "k caminare 
con le racchette, carichi delle loro coperte, armi, 
viueri &c. voile precederli per auuertire i foldati del 
forte, accio veniflero al foccorfo de' lor compagni. 
Quefta carit^ gli cofto la vita. Parte dunque due 
hore doppo mezza notte, e non piglia feco ne di che 

1653] BRESSANPS RELATION, i6s3 159 




1 FOLLOW the chronological order. On the 30th 
of January, 1646, Father Anne de None left the 
residence at three rivers, in the company of two 
Soldiers and a Huron, in order to go to a French 
fort called Richelieu, about 40 miles distant, for the 
purpose of saying mass there, and of administering 
[73 i.e., 75] the Sacraments of confession and com- 
munion to the soldiers of that garrison. All the 
rivers and lakes were frozen, and the earth, as usual 
at that season, was covered with five or six palms of 
snow; consequently, in order to journey, it was 
necessary to use snowshoes, so as not to sink into 
the snows, — not without great toil, especially for any 
one who is not accustomed thereto. They did not 
therefore accomplish, on the first day, more than 16 
or 18 miles, — that is, the half of the way, — and 
spent the night, as usual in those countries, in a 
great ditch which they made in the snow, without 
other cover or roof than the Sky. The Father, who 
had noticed the difficulty which his companions had 
in walking with the snowshoes, — loaded with their 
blankets, arms, provisions, etc., — wished to precede 
them in order to notify the soldiers of the fort, so 
that they might come to the aid of their companions. 
This charity cost his life. He starts, accordingly, 
two hours after midnight, and takes with him neither 


accendere il fuoco, ne coperta per la notte, non pen- 
fando di fermarfi in cosi piccol viaggio. Camina 
su '1 ghiaccio del lago fenz' altra compagnia, che del 
fuo Angelo Cuflode, nfealtro lume, che di Luna. Ma 
in vn f ubito il Cielo s' annuuola, la luce gli manca, e la 
neue comincia k cadere in grand' abbondanza. Non 
vede pill ne le riue del lago, ne X Ifole, che vi fono in 
gran numero. Non haueua ne buffola, ne calamita, 
e fe hauuta 1' haueffe k che feruito gli haurebbe in 
quelle tenebre? Camino molto, e s' inoltro poco. 
Verfo r aurora i compagni fi rimettono in viaggio, 
ma non vedono i veftigij del Padre, la neue di frefco 
caduta hauendoli ricoperti. E non fapendo che cami- 
no prendere per il forte. Vno di effi, che v' era 
andato vn' altra volta procura di riconduruifi con 
r aiuto della calamita, ma vi fpefero inuano tutta la 
giornata, e gli couuenne paffar la notte in vn' Kola, 
che chiamiamo di Santo Ignatio. L' Hurone, ancor- 
che nuouo in quei paefi, come auuezzo k viaggiare 
ne' bofchi, e tra le neui, vidde bene, che la fua ima- 
ginatione lo condurrebbe meglio, che la buffola, & in 
fatti di notte ritrou5 il forte, e domando f ubito nuoua 
del Padre. Niuno 1' hk viflo; afpettano il di per 
andare alcuni k cercarlo, altri ^ condurre i loro com- 
pagni, che r Hurone hauea lafciati nell' Ifola ; il fecon- 
do no fii difficile per gl' inditij certi, che fe ne haue- 
uano dair Hurone. Ma per cercar' il Padre fi perfe 
inutilmente girando quk, e Ik, gridado, tirando tutta 
la giornata. Finalmente li due di Febraro vn foldato 
efperto, e coraggiofo in copagnia di due Huroni de' 

1653] BRESSANPS RELATION, i653 161 

materials for kindling a fire, nor blanket for night, — 
not expecting to stop, in so short a journey. He 
walks over the ice of the lake without other company 
than that of his Guardian Angel, without other light 
than that of the Moon. But all at once the Sky 
becomes clouded, the light fails him, and the snow 
begins to fall in great abundance. He no longer 
sees either the shores of the lake, or the Islands, 
which are there in great number. He had neither 
compass nor needle ; and if he had had one, of what 
use would it have been in that darkness ? He walked 
much and advanced little. Toward dawn, his com- 
panions resume their journey ; but they do not see 
the Father's tracks, the freshly-fallen snow having 
covered these. Now, not knowing which road to 
take for the fort, one of them, who had gone thither 
once before, tries to conduct them thither again, 
with the aid of the needle ; but they spent the whole 
day there in vain, and were obliged to pass the night 
on an Island which we call Saint Ignace. The 
Huron, — although new in those countries, — as being 
accustomed to travel in the woods and amid the 
snows, clearly saw that his instinct would guide 
him better than the compass ; and, in fact, at night 
he found the fort, and straightway asked news of the 
Father. No one has seen him ; they wait for day- 
light, — some to go to seek him, others to bring their 
companions, whom the Huron had left on the Island ; 
the latter was not difficult, on account of the certain 
clues which they had from the Huron. But, in seek- 
ing the Father, they went uselessly astray by turning 
hither and thither, and shouting, thus spending the 
whole day. Finally, on the second of February, an 
expert and courageous soldier, in company with two 


quattro, [74 i.e., 76] che iui all' hora fi trouauano, 
ando fino al luogo doue il Padre haueua paffata la 
prima notte con i compagni, e trouato il luogo, gli 
Huroni prattici "k conofcere anche li veftigij rico- 
perti di neue, rintracciorno quelli del Padre, e 
feguendoli trouorno il luogo doue haueua paffata la 
feconda notte, fenza fuoco, tra la neue fopra qualche 
ramo d' albero, fenz' altro, eh' vna vecchia fottana, e 
camifciola indoffo, e di Ik trauerfando il gran fiume, 
era paffato vicino al forte, che cercaua fenza vederlo, 
acciecato, o dalla neue, o dalla debolezza, non 
hauendo prefo alcun cibo, fe non forfi qualche brugna 
fecca. Tre miglia piii auanti trouorno vn luogo 
doue s' era ripofato, e finalmente circa dieci miglia 
pill lontano lo trouarono inginocchioni fopra la terra, 
che hauea fcoperta in giro, gelato di freddo, con il 
capo nudo, e con gli occhi aperti verfo il Cielo, e 
le braccia incrociate ful petto, appoggiato vn poco 
alia neue, forfi per il pefo del corpo, che vi fi piego 
nel mancargli con le forze la vita. II Soldato, pieno 
di fanto rifpetto di vederlo in quel fito, fi mette ingi- 
nocchioni, & hauendolo inuolto in vna coperta, lo 
flrafcino su la neue con 1' aiuto delli Huroni fino k 
Richelieu, e di Ik a i tre fiumi d' onde era partito. 
Teniamo per certo, che moriffe non di fame, la 
quale non e cofa nuoua iui di foffrire i tre, e quattro 
di intieri, ma di freddo. Ne e cofa difficile k cre- 
derlo, in vna flagione, nella quale e si acuto, che le 
mani nude s' attaccano a' ferri, che toccano, e 1' ho 
prouato pill volte, anzi ho vdito, che vn lupo nel 

1663] BRESSANI'S RELATION, i6s3 163 

Hurons out of four [74 i.e., 76] who then happened 
to be there, went as far as the place where the 
Father had spent the first night with his companions ; 
and, the place being found, the Hurons, practiced in 
discerning even the tracks covered again with snow, 
traced out those of the Father. Following these, 
they found the place where he had passed the second 
night, — without fire, in the snow upon some boughs 
of trees, without any clothing except an old cassock 
and undershirt. From that point, crossing the great 
river, he had passed near the fort which he was seek- 
ing, without seeing it, — blinded either by the snow 
or by weakness, as he had not taken any food, except 
perhaps a few prunes. Three miles beyond, they 
foimd a place where he had rested; and finally, about 
ten miles farther, they found him kneeling upon the 
ground, which he had laid bare round about. He 
was frozen with cold ; his head was uncovered, his 
eyes open toward the Sky, and his arms crossed upon 
his breast, leaning a little against the snow, — per- 
haps from the weight of his body, which bent forward 
there as life failed him along with his strength. 
The Soldier, filled with devout respect at seeing him 
in that position, knelt down; and, having wrapped 
him in a blanket, dragged him over the snow, with 
the help of the Hurons, as far as Richelieu, and 
thence to three rivers, whence he had started. We 
account it certain that he died not from hunger, — 
which it is not a new thing there to suffer during 
three and four whole days, — but from cold. Nor is 
it a difficult matter to believe this, at a season when 
the cold is so acute that the bare hands attach them- 
selves to the iron which they touch, — and I have 
proved this repeatedly. Indeed, I have heard that a 


bofco, leccando vn' accetta vnta di graffo (che con 
quefti illrumenti ft taglia) e poi gelata, v' haueua 
lafciata la pelle della lingua. H6 fperimentato io 
fteflo ne' viaggi fudando di fatica, di trouarmi il 
vifo mezzo gelato, & vna barba di ghiaccio, che 
alcune volte fl forma in meno di due Miferere. H5 
veduto metter al fuoco vna pignatta piena di ghiac- 
cio, e la met^, che era verfo il fuoco bollire, e 1' al- 
tra metk eller foda come pietra. Oltre che noi altri 
Europe! fiam piii fenftbili k quegli acutilTimi freddi, 
che vccidono ogn' anno qualche Barbaro. 

Mori, come ft crede, il di della Purificatione della 
Beata Vergine, di cui era diuotifftmo, digiunaua ad 
honor fuo ogni fabato, e diceua ogni di 1' Offitio della 
fua Puriffima Concettione, e quando ne parlaua fi 
vedeua, che le parole gli vfciuano piii dal cuore, che 
dalla bocca. Quefta morte causo in tutti i foldati 
vn' affetto di tenera diuotione, e perfuafe ad alcuni 
de pill duri la confelftone, [75 i.e., ']']^^ che haueuano 
longo tempo differita, ma tutti vniuerfalmente fi 
doleuano, d' hauer perfo vn' huomo, che era tutto a 
gli altri, e niete k fe fleffo. Era di nobile famiglia, 
figlio del Signore d' vn luogo detto Prairie, vicino k 
Rheins nella Champagna. Effendo paggio, e molto 
gentile, era ftato piti volte follecitato da donzelle 
sfacciate k male, ma per fauor ftngolare della Ver- 
gine haueua conferuato il bel fiore della Virginity, 
trenta anni nel fecolo, e trentafei in Religione. Era 
rigido, anzi crudele k fe fleflo, tutto cuore per gli 
Altri. Cercaua fempre il piia vile, & il peggio in 

1653] BRESSANI'S RELATION, i653 165 

wolf in the woods, licking a hatchet smeared with fat 
(which is cut with these tools), and then frozen, had 
left there the skin of its tongue. I have myself 
experienced on journeys, while sweating with toil, 
the hardship of finding myself with my face half 
frozen, and a beard of ice, which is sometimes 
formed in less than two Misereres. I have seen a 
pot full of ice put by the fire, and the half which 
was toward the fire would boil, and the other half 
remain solid as rock. Besides, we Europeans are 
more sensitive to that very piercing cold, which 
every year kills some Barbarians. 

He died, as is believed, on the day of the Purifica- 
tion of the Blessed Virgin, to whom he was most 
devoted ; he fasted in her honor every Saturday, and 
said every day the Office of her Immaculate Concep- 
tion; and, when he spoke of her, one saw that the 
words issued more from the heart than from the lips. 
This death caused among all the soldiers a feeling of 
tender devotion, and persuaded some of the hardest 
to the confession [75 i.e., ']^'\ which they had long 
postponed ; but all universally grieved to have lost a 
man who was all for others, and nothing for himself. 
He was of noble family ; the son of the Seignior of a 
place called Prairie, near Rheims, in Champagne. 
Being a page, and very handsome, he had been sev- 
eral times enticed to evil by bold young women ; but, 
by a singular favor of the Virgin, he had preserved 
the beautiful bloom of Virginity thirty years in the 
world, and thirty-six in Religion. He was strict, 
even cruel, to himself, but all kindness to others; 
he continually sought the vilest and the worst in 
everything. He spent in these missions sixteen 
years with great fervor and humility; and, because 


ogni cofa. Hk palTato in quefle miffioni con gran 
feruore, & humilta fedici anni, e perche la memoria 
non r aiutaua troppo nello ftudio di quelle lingue, 
effendo di etk affai prouetta, s' impiegaua tutto nel 
feruitio de' Barbari, e di chi gl' iftruiua nelli offitij i 
piti faticofi, e baffi, maffime in tempo di fame cer- 
cando delle radiche faluatiche, pefcando, e pigliando 
il luogo de' piti baffi feruitori. Era efattiffimo nell' 
obedienza; quafi fettuagenario 1' habbiamo \'-ifto 
piangere come vn putto, temedo in qualche cofa di 
non hauer perfettamente indouinata 1' intentione del 
Superiore, e cio no per fcrupolo, o ignoranza, effendo 
huomo dotto, profeffo de 4. voti, e verfato nella 
Teologia, maffime morale, ma per pura tenerezza di 
cofcienza. Vededolo veccliio gli fi propofe di ritor- 
nare in Francia done non hauerebbe tanto fofferto 
neir etk caduca, e perfone di gran qualitk moftra- 
uano gran defiderio di riuederlo, ma egli. lo sd 
(rifpofe) che fon di pefo alia MiJJione, occupando il luogo 
d' vn buono operario, e per quejlo fono apparecchiato di 
cederlo, e fcaricare la MiJJione. Lodo la carith di chi 
pen/a h farmi ripofare. Ma veramente di niente hb tanta 
auerjione, come di quesl.o ritorno, e V vnico mio defiderio 
} di tnorir qui, feruendo h Barbari, & a chi li aiuta fino 
alia fine. Queflo defiderio gli hauea fatto piii volte 
trauerfare i mari, effendo flato con quel primi da 
gl' Inglefi rimenato in Europa, e con gran feruore, 
e coftanza ottenutone tra primi il ritorno, e 1' ifleffo 
credo gli merito la gratia, che tanto defideraua, di 
finirui, come habbiamo viflo, la vita. L' obedienza, e 

1653] BRESSANPS RELATION, i6ss 167 

memory did not greatly aid him in the study of those 
languages, — as he was of a somewhat advanced age, — 
he applied himself wholly to the service of the Bar- 
barians and of any one who was instructing them. 
He engaged in the most laborious and humble offices, 
especially in time of hunger, — seeking wild roots, 
fishing, and taking the place of the lowest servants. 
He was most punctual in obedience; almost at the 
age of seventy we have seen him weep like a child, 
fearing, in some matter, that he had not perfectly 
divined the Superior's intention, — and this not 
through dullness or ignorance, for he was a learned 
man, professing the 4 vows, and versed in Theology, 
especially moral ; but from pure tenderness of con- 
science. Seeing him grown old, it was proposed to 
him to return to France, where he would not have 
suffered so much in his declining age; and persons 
of high rank showed a great desire to see him again. 
But he answered : / know that I am burdensome to the 
Mission, in holding the place of a good workman; and 
for this reason I am prepared to give it up, and unburden 
the Mission. I commend the charity of any one who 
thinks of making me rest. But truly for nothing have I 
so great aversion as for this return; and my sole desire 
is to die here, serving the Barbarians and whomsoever 
aids them, even to the end. This desire had caused him 
several times to cross the seas, — having been, along 
with those first Fathers, taken back to Europe by 
the English; but, with great fervor and constancy, 
he obtained leave to return among the first : and I 
believe the same merited for him the grace, which 
he so much desired, to end there, as we have seen, 
his life. Obedience and charity sacrificed him to 
death. The second Father died the 12th of May in 


la caritk lo facrificorno alia morte. II fecondo mori 
li 12 di Maggio dell' iftefs' anno, e fi chiamaua Enne- 
mondo Malta natiuo di Lione, d' etk di yi. anni, e 50. di 
Religione. S' era incontrato in gran varieta di tem- 
pi, e d' accidenti, fempre pero con gran defiderio di 
patir qualche cofa per Dio nelle miffioni le piu diffi- 
cili, & a quefto fine era entrato nella Compagnia. 
Effendo compagno [76 i.e., 78] del Padre Pietro Cot- 
tone Confeffore all' hora, e Predicatore d' Henrico 
IV. Re di Francia, preferedo i bofchi di Canada all' 
aria della corte, domando, & ottenne d' andarui. 
Arriuo dunque nell' Acadia, che e vna parte della 
nuoua Francia al lido del mare, all' altezza di 45. 
gradi, e confina co i paefi, che iui occupano gl' Inglefi 
con nome di nuoua Albion, 6 nuoua Inghilterra. 
V arriuo 1' anno 161 1. in compagnia del Padre Pietro 
Biard per elTere le due prime pietre fondamentali di 
quelle miffioni, cioe i due primi Religiofi, che fono 
pafl^ati in quella parte dell' America Settentrionale. 
Iui patirno, oltre la fame, che li ridufl^e alle ghiande, 
molte ingiurie, calunnie, e prigionie da quelli fteffi, 
che protegger li doueuano, poi prefi da corfari In- 
glefi, i quali poco maco, che per lor ficurezza non gli 
vccidellero, furono rimenati in habito di mendici in 
Francia, doue pafso folo il corpo, e non il cuore del 
P. Ennemondo, il quale per piti ftabilire i fuoi pro- 
pofiti cosi fcriffe, e lo pratico. Se Giacob hh feruito 
quattordici anni per Rachele, non mi deuo io ^raccare di- 
far lo sleffo per il niio euro Canada, ornato di tante, e s\ 
pretio/e croci. O che impieghi, che vocatione, b che 

1663J BRESSANI'S RELA TION, 1653 169 

the same year, and his name was Ennemond Masse, — 
a native of Lyons, aged ^2 years, and 50 in Religion. 
He had lived in a great variety of times and of acci- 
dents, — always, however, with a great desire to 
suffer something for God in the most difficult mis- 
sions; and for this purpose he had entered the 
Society. Being the associate [76 i.e., 78] of Father 
Pierre Cotton, — at that time Confessor and Preacher 
to Henri IV., King of France, — preferring the for- 
ests of Canada to the air of the court, he requested 
and obtained leave to go thither. He then arrived 
in Acadia, which is a part of new France by the sea- 
shore, at the latitude of 45 degrees, and borders on 
the countries which the English occupy there under 
the name of new Albion, or new England. He 
arrived there in the year 161 1, in company with Fa- 
ther Pierre Biard, they being the first two foundation- 
stones of those missions, — that is, the two first Reli- 
gious who crossed over to that part of North America. 
There they suffered, in addition to hunger, which 
reduced them to eating acorns, many insults, calum- 
nies, and captivities at the hands of those very 
persons who were bound to protect them. Then, 
being taken by English corsairs, who came near 
killing them for their own security, they were 
taken back, in the garb of beggars, to France, — 
where passed only the body, and not the heart, 
of Father Ennemond, who, in order the better to 
establish his purposes, thus wrote and practiced: 
If Jacob served fourteen years for Rachel, ought not I to 
weary myself to do the safne for my dear Canada, adorned 
with so many and such precious crosses ? Oh, what em- 
ployments! Oh, what vocations! Oh, what delights! But 
the delights of the Cross are not obtained without a cross y 


delitie? ma le delitie della Croce non s' ottengono fenza croce, 
e perb ti bifognara per /' auuenire per ottenerlo. Primo, 
dorniire fempre a terra, ma per non hauerne altri tes'limoni, 
che guello, che vede tutto, bi/ogtiara hauere in camera 
vn let to come gli altri. Secondo, non feruirji di tela fe 
non a I collo. Terzo, non dir niai mejfa fenza il cilicio 
per ricordarfi piii fenjibilmente della Paffione, della quale 
que^o facrificio ^ memoriale &c. Quarto, fare ogni d\ 
la difciplina. Quinto, m,ai definare, fe prima ?ion hai 
fatto r efame, qualunque impedimento fi trauerfi, e con- 
tent arfi d' vn poflpaflo folo fimili a que Hi della fera di 
digiuno. SeSlo, mai concedere al guflo cofa alcuna per 
delitie. Settimo, digiunare tre volte la fettitnana, ma 
che non lo fappi altri, che quello a chi non ti puoi nafcon- 
dere, e ne hai la conimoditct, andando alia fecotida. (era 
egli in quel tempo Miniftro del Collegio della Fle- 
fcia, che vi vk d' ordinario) Ottano,fe ti fcappa qualche 
parola contro la carita, leccherai i primi sputi, che tro- 
uerai h terra. La perfeueranza in quefti Santi efercitij, 
e r efficacia di quefli mezzi gli ottenne il ritorno nel 
fuo caro Canada per la feconda volta 1' anno 1625. 
nel quale fu inuiato tra' primi ^ Kebek, e vi trou5 
come la prima volta la fua miftica Rachele la S. 
Croce, perche le naui non hauendo 1' anno feguente 
fatto il viaggio, la fame lo coftrinfe con gli altri k 
viuere di radiche faluatiche, e di pefca, finche 
\j'] i.e., 79] gl' Inglefi lo rimenorno ancor' vna volta 
in Europa, ma hauea lafciato il fuo cuore nell' 
America. E pero ritornato in Francia fece voto a 
Dio di fare tutto il polTibile per ritornarui, come 

1653] fiRESSANPS RELA TION. 165^ 171 

and thou wilt therefore be obliged, henceforth, in order to 
obtain it: First, to sleep always on the ground; but, in 
order not to have other witnesses thereof than he who sees 
everything, it will be necessary to have in thy room a bed 
like the others. Secondly, not to use linen, except about 
the neck. Thirdly, never to say mass without the hair- 
cloth, that thou may St more vividly remember the Passion, 
of which this sacrifice is a memorial, etc. Fourthly, to 
take the discipline every day. Fifthly, never to dine unless 
thou have first made the examination, whatever obstacle 
intervenes; and to be content with only a dessert similar 
to those on the evening of a fast. Sixthly, never to concede 
to the taste anything in the way of delicacies. Seventhly, 
to fast three times a week, — but so that others may not 
know it, save that being fro^n whom thou canst not conceal 
thyself, especially as thou hast the facility therefor, ingoing 
to the second [table]. (He was at that time Minister at 
the College of la Flesche, thus, one who goes thither 
habitually.) Eighthly, if there escape thee any word 
against charity, thou shall lick the first spittle that thou 
shall find on the ground. Perseverance in these Holy 
practices, and the efficiency of these means, obtained 
for him leave to return to his dear Canada for the 
second time, in the year 1625, when he was among 
the first sent to Kebek. There he found, as at the 
first time, his mystical Rachel, the Holy Cross, — 
because the ships not having made the voyage in the 
following year, hunger constrained him, with the 
others, to live on wild roots and by fishing, until 
\^jy i.e., 79] the English once more took him back to 
Europe ; but he had left his heart in America. And 
therefore, when he returned to France, he made a 
vow to God to do his utmost in order to return 
thither, — as he did in the year 1633, to die there in 


fece, r anno 1633. per morirui 1' anno 1643. carico 
d' anni, e di meriti. S' h trouato doppo morte vno 
fcritto, nel quale fono gratia lingolari riceuute dalla 
B. Verg. e dal fuo Figlio fantillimo, mallime nel S. 
Sacrificio della mella. 

1653] BRESSANI'S RELATION, r6s? 173 

the year 1643, laden with years and with merits. 
There was found after his death a writing in which 
are singular graces received from the Blessed Virgin 
and from her most holy Son, especially in the Holy 
Sacrifice of the mass.^^ 




QVESTO e vno di quelli, die diceuamo elTer ftati 
prefi da gl' Hirochefi nel viaggio degli Hu- 
ron!, e benche noi fappiamo da molti telti- 
monij di vifta e Barbari, & Europei, quello, che iui 
pati, e CO qual generofita, che e ancor piu di quello, 
che s' e potuto fapere da Iui fteffo; nondimeno, 
perche vna lettera, che quindi fcrille al fuo Superi- 
ore e piena d' edificatione, e dice molte cofe degne 
d' eller fapute; h5 giudicato di tradurne il fenfo dal 
latino, e porla qui a profitto fpirituale del Lettore, 
& e la feguente. 


VOLENDO io fcriuere h V. R. il primo djibbio, che 
hebbi fii in qual lingua far lo douejji, Latina, b 
Francefe, poiche fcordatomi quafi delV vna, e delV 
altra, trouauo in ciafcuna vgual difficolta. Due ragione 
m hanno nioffo a feruirmi della latina. La prima per 
poter vfare qualche volta alcune fentenze della J'acra Scrit- 
tura, della quale hb riceuuto gran confolatione nelle mie 
auuerjita. La feconda, perche dejidero, che quejia lettera 
non fia tanto contviune. La gran carita di V. R. fcu/era, 

1663J BRESSANI'S RELATION, i6ss 175 



THIS is one of those Fathers who, as we said, 
were taken by the Hiroquois on the voyage to 
the Hurons ; and although we know by many 
eye-witnesses, both Barbarians and Europeans, what 
he suffered there, and with what courage, — which is 
even more than what we have been able to learn 
from himself, — nevertheless, because a letter which 
he wrote from that country to his Superior is full of 
edification, and says many things worthy to be 
known, I have thought it well to translate the sense 
of it from the latin, and set it down here for the 
spiritual advantage of the Reader ; it is as follows : ^^ 


WHEN desiring to write to Your Reverence, the 
first doubt that I had was, in which language 
I ought to do so, — Latin or French; then, having 
almost forgotten them both, I found equal difficulty in 
each. Two reasons have moved me to use latin. The 
first, for the sake of being able sometimes to employ certain 
sentences from, the sacred Scripture, from which I have 
received great co?isolation in my adversities. The second, 
because I desire that this letter may not be too common. 
Your Reverence' s great charity will excuse, as it has done 
at other times, my failings: especially since for eight years 


come hh fatto altre volte, i niiei mancanientt, majfime 
effendo gia otto anni, che conuerfo tra Bar bar i non folo 
nel trattare, ma anche nel vejiire fimilc h loro. Ma 
temo ne imperitus feniione fim etiam & fcientia, non 
conofcendo il tempo pretiofo vifitationis meas, prima 
[78 i.e., 80] dunque la prego fe quejla letter a gli capitara 
nelle mani, d' aiutarmi con i fuoi fanti facrificij, & 
orationi di tutta la Proiiincia, come Jlando tra gente non 
meno Barbara di natione, die di cojlunii. E fpero lo fara 
volentieri, quando hauera vijio per quejla lettera /' obligo, 
che ho a Dio, & il bifogno di foe corf fpirituale. 

Partimmo dagli Huroni li 13. Giugno \6^2. con quattro 
canoe, 23. per f one, 18. Bar bar i, e cinque France fi. II 
viaggio, oltre le difficoltcl, maffime de portaggi era 
pericolofo, per i nemici, ch' occupando ogn anno le ^rade, 
fanno molti prigioni, c non sb come gli euitb V anno pajfato 
il P. Giouanni Brebcuf. Que^i efacerbati contro i 
Franceji, s' erano poco prima dichiarati, che fe ne 
pigliaffero alcuno, oltre gli altri tormenti, V abbrugiarebbero 
viuo a fuoco lento. Li Super iori confapeuoli de' pericoli 
di queflo viaggio, neceffario perb per la. gloria di Dio, 
m,e ne parlorno, aggiungendomi, che non mi ci obligauano. 
Ma io non contradiffi, nee retrorfum abij. Abbracciai 
di buon animo quello, che /' obedienza mi proponeua per 
gloria di Dio, e fe mi foffi fcufato, hauerebbe in luogo ntio 
foflituito qualch' altro di miglior talento con piii datino della 
tniffione. Faconmo il viaggio non fenza timore, pericoli, 
perdite, e naufragij, e 35. d\ doppo la noflra partita 
arriuammo fani, e salui alia refidenza de' tre fiumi, doue 
refe le douute gratie a Dio, paffammo 25. d\, parte iui. 

1653] BRESSANI'S RELATION, i653 177 

now I have been living among Barbarians, not only in 
usages, but also in a costume, similar to theirs. But I 
fear ne imperitus sermone sim etiam et scientia ; not 
knowing the precious time visitationis meae: first, 
[78 i.e., 80] then, I beg you, if this letter shall come ifito 
your hands, to aid me with your holy sacrifices, and 
prayers by the whole Province, — as being among people no 
less barbarous by birth than in manners. And I hope you 
will do this gladly, when you shall have seen by this letter 
the obligation under which I am to God, and my need of 
spiritual help. 

We started from the Hurons on the iT^th of June, 1642, 
ivith four canoes and 2-^^ persons — 18 Barbarians, and 
five Frenchmen. The journey — besides the difiiculties, 
especially of portages, — was dangerous by reason of the 
enemies, who, seizing every year the highways, take many 
prisoners; and I know not how Father Jean de Brebeuf 
escaped them last year. They, being incensed against the 
French, had shortly before declared that, if they should 
capture any one of them, they would, besides the other 
torments, burn him alive by a slow fire. The Superiors, 
azvare of the dangers of this journey, — necessary, however, 
for the glory of God, — spoke to me of them, adding that 
they did not oblige me thereto. But I did not gainsay 
them, nee retrorsum abii. / embraced with good courage 
that which obedience put before me for the glory of God; 
and if I had excused myself, some one else, of greater 
ability, ivould have been substituted in my place, with 
more detriment to the mission. We made the journey not 
without fear, dangers, losses, and shipwrecks, and, 35 
days after our departure, we arrived safe and sound at 
the residence of three rivers; due thanks being there 
rendered to God, we spent 25 days partly there, partly at 
Kebek, according to necessity. Having finished our 


parte h Kebek fecondo il bifogno. Finiti i negotij, e 
celebrata la fejla del nojlro Santo Padre Ignatio, il primo 
d" Agojio ci runbarcammo per li Huroni. II fecondo del 
no^ro viaggio, alcuni de' nojlri fcoprirno Jul lido frefchi 
vejiigij di gente, che era iui paffata, fenza fapere 
[79 i.e., 81] fefoffero nernici, b nb. Eujlachio Ahatfijlari 
fa-tnofo, e fperimentato i7i guerra li crede nemici. Ma 
forti quant o ft voglia, dice egli, non fono piii di tre canoe, 
e perb non habbiatno a temere. Seguitiamo dunque il 
viaggio. Ma vn iniglio doppo gl' i?icontriamo al nuviero 
di 70. in 12. canoe, nafcojli tra /' her be, e bo/caglie. Ci 
circondano fubito, e fparano li loro archibugi, ma fenza 
ferirci. Gli Huroni fpauentati abbandonano le canoe, e 
molti fuggono nelpiiiprofondo de' bofchi; reflamniofoli noi 
quattro Francefi con altri pochi CJirifliani, e Catecunieni 
al numero di dodici, quattordici, e raccomandatici a Dio, 
efji fi mifero in difefa, tna preflo oppreffi dal numero, & 
vn Francefe per nome Renato Goupil, che combatteua tra i 
primi, prefo con alcuni Huroni, cefforno dalla difefa, &" 
io, che ero a pie Jiudi no7i volfi, nc potei fuggire, non 
volendo per altro abbandonare vn Fraticefe, e gli Huroyii 
parte prefi fenza battefimo, parte vicini ad effer preda de 
nimici, che li cercauano ne bofchi, onde refiai folo nel luogo 
doue j' era fatta la fcaramuccia, e m.i diedi a chi guardaua 
i prigioni, per effere fatto loro compagno ne' pericoli, come 
ero fiat nel viaggio. Si fiupi egli di qiiel, die faceuo, e 
s accoflo non fenza timore per mettermi con efji. Mi 
rallegrai fubito col Francefe delta gratia, che il Signore 
ci facea, /' animai alia cofianza, e lo co7ifeffai; doppo 
inftrutti li Huroni nella Fede li battezzai, e come il numero 

1653] BRESSANPS RELATION, i6s3 179 

bushiess, and celebrated the feast of our Holy Father 
Ignatius, we embarked again on the first of August for 
the Hurons. On the second day of our journey, some of 
our men discovered on the shore fresh tracks of people tvho 
had passed there, — without knozving [79 i.e., 81] whether 
or not they were enemies. Eustache Ahatsistari, famous 
and experienced in war, believes them enemies. ''But, 
however strong they may be deemed, ' ' he says, * ' tJiey are 
not m,ore than three canoes; and therefore we have nothing 
to fear." We then continue the journey. But, a mile 
beyond, we meet them to the number of JO, in 12 canoes, 
concealed in the grass and woods. They suddenly sur- 
round us, and fire their arquebuses, but without wounding 
us. The Hurons, terrified, abandon the canoes, and many 
flee to the deepest part of the woods; we were left alone, 
we four Frenchmen, with a fezv others, Christians and 
Catechumens, to the number of twelve or fourteen. Hav- 
ing commended themselves to God, they stand on the defen- 
sive; but, being quickly overwhelmed by numbers, and a 
Frenchman named Ren^ Goupil, who was fighting among 
the first, being captured with some Hurons, they ceased 
from the defense. /, who was barefoot, tvould not and 
could not flee, — not luilling, moreover, to forsake a 
Frenchman and the Hurons, who were partly captured 
without baptism, partly near being the prey of the 
enemies, who were seeking them, in the woods. I therefore 
stayed alone at the place zvhere the skirmish had occurred, 
and surrendered myself to the man who was guarding 
the prisoners, that I anight be made their companion in 
their perils, as I had been on the journey. He was amazed 
at xvhat I did, and approached, not without fear, to place 
m.e with them. I forthwith rejoiced with the Frenchman 
over the grace which the Lord was showing us: I roused 
him. to constancy, and heard him. in confession. After 


cre/ceua, mi crefceua anche V occupatione d' injiriiirii, e 

battezzarli. Fk finabnente condotto tra i prigioni il 

valor of EiiSlachio Ahatjijiari Chrijiiano, il quale 

vedendomi; lodo, dijjfe, Dio, che mi ha concejfo quello, eke 

tanto dejiderauo di viuere, e rnorir teco. lo non fapeuo che 

rifpondere, oppreffo [8o i.e., 82] dalla conipajfione, quando 

fopragiunfe anche Gugliehno Coujlure venuto nteco dagli 

Huroni. Quesli vedendo V ivipoffibilita di piu difenderji, 

fe n era fuggito con gli altri nelle felue; e come era 

giouane non folo generofo d' aniino, ma forte di corpo, & 

agile al corfo, era gia fuori delle tnani di chi lo feguitaua, 

tna riuoltofi indietro, e vedendo, che non ero feco, non 

abbandonero, diffe tra fe, il mio caro Padre folo nelle 

mani de nefnici, e fubito ritornando a Barbari, s' era da 

fe fleffo fat to prigione. Oh non haueffe niai prefo tal 

refolutione . Non i confolatione in tali cafi /' hauer com- 

pagni delle fue fciagure; ma chi pub impedire V affetto di 

caritcl ! Tale e verfo di noi quello di quel fecolari, che 

fenza alcuno intereffe della terra feriwno a Dio, e ci 

aiutano ne i nofiri miniflerij tra gli Huroni. Haueua 

queflo nella mifchia vccifo vno de' pin riguardeuoli tra' 

nemici, onde fit crude lifjimamente trattato, lo fpogliorno 

ignudo, e come cani arrabbiati gli flrapporno /' vnghie con 

i denti, gli morderono le dita, e gli fororno la niano 

dritta con vna fpada, ma foffri il tutto con inuitta 

patienza, ricordandoji de' chiodi del Saluatore, come doppo 

mi diffe. lo /' abbracciai con grdd' affetto, e /' efortai ad 

offerire a Dio quelle pene per fe, e per quelli, che lo 

tormentauano. Ma i manigoldi ammirandomi al prin- 

cipio, poco doppo s' infierirno, e affalendomi con pugni. e 

1653] BRESSANrS RELATION, ib53 181 

the Hurons had been instructed in the Faith, I baptized 
them; and as the number increased, m,y occupation of 
instructing and baptizing them also increased. There 
was finally led in ajnong the captives the valiant Eustache 
Ahatsistari, a Christian; who seeing me, said: " I praise 
God that he has granted me what I so much desired, — to 
live and die with thee. ' ' / knew not what to answer, 
being oppressed [8o i.e., 82] with compassion, tvhen Guil- 
lajime Cousture also came up, who had come with me from 
the Hurofis. This man, seeing the impossibility of longer 
defending himself, had fied with the others into the forests; 
and, as he was a young man not only of courageous dispo- 
sition, but strong iji body, and fleet in running, he was 
already out of the grasp of the one who was pursuing 
him. But, having turned back, and seeing that I was not 
with him, ' ' / will not forsake, ' ' he said to himself, ' ' my 
dear Father alone in the hands of enemies:'' and im- 
mediately returfiing to the Barbarians, he had of his 
own accord become a prisoner. Oh, that he had never 
taken such a resolution! It is no consolation in such cases 
to have companions of one' s misfortunes. But who can 
prevent the sentiment of charity? Such is the feeling 
toward us of those laymen who, without any worldly 
interest, serve God and aid us in our ministrations among 
the Hurons. This one had slain, in the fight, one of the 
most prominent among the enemies; he tvas therefore 
treated most cruelly. They stripped him naked, and, 
like mad dogs, tore off his nails with their teeth, bit his 
fingers, a7id pierced his right hand with a javelin; but he 
suffered it all with invincible patience, — remembering the 
nails of the Savior, as he told me afterward. I embraced 
him. with great affection, and exhorted him to offer to God 
those pains , for himself and for those who tormented him. 
But those executioners, although admiring me at the 


con nodofi bajloni, mi la/ciorno, mezzo morto a terra, 
e poco doppo riportatomi done ero, Jirapporno h me ancora 
V vnghte, e mi morderono con i denti i due indici con 
incredibil dolore. Lo Jleffo fecero a Renato Goupil, 
lafciando intatti gli Huroni hor fatti fchiaui. Poi 
riiinitici tiitti, ci fecero pa/fare il jiume, doue Ji 
diuifero la preda, cio^ le [8i i.e., 83J ricchezze de poueri 
Huroni, e quello, che portauano, che erano mobili di 
Chie/a, libri &'c. cofa per noi affai pretiofe. In tanto 
battezzai alcuni, che non V erano ancora, e tra gli altri 
vn vecchio d' at t ant' anni, il quale hauuto comandamento 
d" imbarcarji con gli altri, doue anderb, diffe, gia decrepito 
in paefe lontano, e forajliero, e ricu/ando di farlo, fii 
vccifo neir i^effo luogo doue era Jiato battezzato, perdendo 
la vita del corpo, doue haueua riceuuto quella delV anima. 
Quindi con gridi proprij de vincitori, partono per condurci 
ne' lor paeji al numero di 22, prigioni, oltre tre de' nojlri 
gia vcciji. Molti difagi patimmo per viaggio, doue confu- 
mammo 38. ^^ co7i fame, e caldo eccejjiuo, m.inacce, e colpi, 
oltre i dolori acerbi delle no^re piaghe non curate, & im- 
putridite, onde fcaturiuano i vermi. Se ne veniuano in 
oltre, cofa fir ana, h fangue freddo d. flrapparci i capelli, 
e la barba, ferendoci con /' vnghie, quali hanno actitifjime, 
nelle parti del corpo le piii tenere, e fenfibili, per non dir 
nulla de gV inter ni dolori caufati dalla vifla di quella 
fine bre pomp a de' pik antichi, e migliori Chrifliani della 
nouella Chief a delli Huroni, che mi tirorno fpeffo dagli 
occhi le lagrime, con timore, che quefle crudclth non 
impediffero i progreffi della Fede iui ancora nafcente. 
L' ottaua del noflro viaggio incontrammo ducento Bar bar i, 

1653] BRESSANPS RELATION, i6ss 183 

beginning, soon afterward grew fierce, and, assailing nte 
zvith their fists and with knotty sticks, left me half dead 
on the ground; and a little later, having carried me back 
to where I was, they also tore off^ my nails, and bit with 
their teeth my two forefingers, causing me incredible pain. 
They did the same to Ren^ Goupil, — leaving unharmed the 
Hurons, who were now made slaves. Then, having 
brought us all together again, they made us cross the river, 
where they divided amotig thetnselves the spoil — that is, 
the [8 1 i.e., 83] riches of the poor Hurons, and what they 
carried, which was Church utensils, books, etc., things 
very precious to us. Meamvhile I baptized some who had 
not yet received that rite, — and, among others, an old tnan 
of eighty years, who, havi?ig had orders to embark with 
the others, said: '^How shall I, who am already decrepit, 
go into a distant and foreign country?'' Refusing, then, 
to do so, he zvas slain at the same place where he had been 
baptized, — losing the life of the body where he had received 
that of the soul. Thence, with shouts proper to conquerors, 
they depart, to conduct us into their countries, to the 
number of 22 captives, besides three of our m.en already 
killed. We suffered many hardships on the journey, 
wherein we spent 38 days amid hunger, excessive heat, 
threats, and blows, — in addition to the cruel pains of our 
wounds, not healed, which had putrefied, so that worms 
dropped from them. They, besides, even went so far — a 
savage act — as in cold blood to tear out our hair and 
beards, wounding us with their nails, which are extremely 
sftarp, in the most tender and sensitive parts of the body. 
I do not mention the inward pains caused at the sight of 
that funereal pomp of the oldest and most excellent 
Christians of the new Church of the Hurons, who often 
drew the tears from my eyes, in the fear lest these cruelties 
might impede the progress of the Faith, still incipient there. 


che andaiiano per ajfalire i Francefi al forte, die fabri- 
cauano di Richelieu, i quali al folito loro, credendo con la 
crudelta d' efcrciiarji, e tirare i prof peri fuccefji delle lor 
guerre, volfero farlo con noi. Refe dunque gratie al Sole, 
il quale credono effer prefdente alle guerre, e fparati per 
fefia i loro mofchetti, ci fecero sbarcare per riceuerci, a 
gra colpi di bafione. [82 i.e., 84] lo, che ero V vltimo, 
e perb piii efpofio alle battiture; cafcai in mezzo al viaggio, 
che doueuavio fare ad vn colle, nel quale haueuano eretto 
vn teatro, e penfauo douerui niorire, perche ?ion poteuo, ne 
mi curauo di Icuarmi. Quel che patij lo sa quello, per 
antore, e cagione del quale c gioconda, e gloriofa cofa il 
patire. Finahnente moffi da vna crudel mifericordia, 
volendomi condur viuo nel paefe, ceffarono di battermi, e 
mezzo tnorto mi conduffero nel teatro tutto infanguinato 
da' colpi, che mi haueuano dati, particolarmente in faccia. 
Scefone, mi caricorno di mille ingiurie, e di nuoue percojfe 
al collo, & al refio del corpo. Mi brugiorno vn dito, me 
ne ammaccorno vn altro con i denti, e gli altri gia ammac- 
cati, e drappati i nerui, li torfero di maniera, che adeffo 
ancora, benche in parte rifanati, fono deform.emente flrop- 
piati. Vn Barbaro due volte mi prefe il nafo per redder lo, 
ma non gli fu tnai permeffo da quel Signore, che voleua, 
che io ancora viuejfi, non hauendo ef/i coflume di dar la 
vita h perfone enormemente mutilate. Paffammo in queflo 
molto tempo della notte, & il reflo non fenza gran dolore, 
e fenza cibo, il quale gia da molti di a pcna haueuamo 
gufiato. Accrefceuano i no fir i dolor i le crudelta, che 
efercitauano con i no^ri Chriftiani, maffime con Eu^lachio, 
h cut tagliorno li due pollici, e per il mezzo della ferita di 

1653] BRESSANI'S RELA TION, 1653 185 

On the eighth day of our journey, we met two hundred 
Barbarians, who zvere going to attack the French at the 
fort which they were building at Richelieu; these, after 
their fashion, thinking to exercise themselves in cruelty, 
and thus to derive prosperous results from their wars, 
wished to travel with us. Thanks being then rendered to 
the Sun, which they believe to preside in wars, and their 
muskets being fired as a token of rejoicing, they made us 
disembark, in order to receive us with heavy blows of sticks. 
[82 i.e., 84] /, who was the last, and therefore more 
exposed to these beatings, fell, midway in the journey 
which we were obliged to make to a hill, on which they had 
erected a stage; and I thought that I must die there, 
because I neither could, nor cared to, arise. What I 
suffered, is known to one for whose love and cause it is 
a pleasant and glorious thing to suffer. Finally, moved 
by a cruel mercy, — wishing to conduct me alive to their 
country, — they ceased beating me, and conducted me, half 
dead, to the stage, — all bleeding from the blows which 
they had given me, especially in the face. Having come 
down from it, they loaded me with a thousand insults, and 
with new blows on the neck and on the rest of the body. 
They burned one of my fingers, and crushed another with 
their teeth; and the others, already bruised and their 
sinews torn, they so twisted that even at present, although 
partly healed, they are crippled and deformed. A Bar- 
barian twice took me by the nose, to cut it off; but this was 
never allowed him by that Lord zvho tvilled that I should 
still live, — for the savages are not ivont to give life to 
persons enormously mutilated. We spent there much of 
the night, and the rest of it passed not without great pain, 
and without food, which even for fnany days we had 
hardly tasted. Our pains ivere increased by the cruelties 
which they practiced upon our Christians, — especially 


quello della mano fmijlra fecero paffare vn aguzzo Jiecco 
fino algomito cofi dolore hidicibile, ma lofoffri cofi altretanta, 
cioi con vn inuitta cojianza. II di feguente incontrammo 
altre canoe, cJi andauano parimetite alia guerra, che 
tagliorno alcune dita a' noslri conipagni, non fenza nojlro 
timore. II decinio dl, dopo mezzo giorno lafciammo le 
canoe [83 i.e., 85] per fare il re^o del viaggio di quattro 
giornate a piedi. A lie folite afprezze 5' aggiunfe vna 
nuoua fatica di portar le loro robbe, bcnche in qiieslo mi 
trattajfero meglio, cJic non credeuo, si perche io non poteuo, 
s\ anche perche riteneuo nelV ijleffa prigionia, e vicino 
alia 7norte fpiriti forji troppo fuperbi. La fame ci 
accompagnb fempre, paffamnw tre di fenz' alcun cibo, il 
quarto trouammo alcuni frutti faluatichi, io non mi ero 
proui^o affai quando abbandonammo le canoe, per paura, 
che il mio corpo non foffe troppo robu^o, e vigorofo nel 
fuoco, e ne' tormenti, per non difjimulare quae infirmitatis 
meae funt. II fecondo di mifero vna caldaia sii ' I fuoco, 
come per preparar da fnangiarc, ma non vi fit che delV 
acqua tepida, della quale fit co7iceffo ad ogn uno di bere a 
fuo piacere. Finalmente il 18. di, vigilia dell AJfuntione 
della Beatiffima Vergijie arriuammo alia prima Terra 
degV Hirochef. Ringratiai il Signore, che ncl dl, nel 
quale i Chri^iani celebrano vna si folemie fejla, ci haueffe 
chiamati a parte de fuoi dolori. Haueuamo preuifio quel 
giorno come veramente acerbo, e funejlo, & era Jlato 
facile a Renato Goupil, & h m,e di euitarlo, perche fpeffo 
fciolti sii la inezza notte, poteuamo fuggire, con fperanza 
fe non di ritornare a noflri, almcno di morir piii 
mitemente ne' bofchi. Ma lui ricusb di farlo, & io voleuo 

1653] BRESSANI'S RELA TION, 1653 187 

upon Eustache, both of whose timmbs they cut off; and, 
through the midst of the wound made on his left hand 
they thrust a sharp skewer, even to the elbotv, with 
unspeakable pain; but lie siffered it with the same — that 
is, invincible — constancy. The day following, we 
encou?itered other canoes, which were liketvise going to war; 
tJiose people then cut off some fiyigers from our compafiions; 
not without our own fear. On the tenth day, in the 
aftertioon, we left the canoes, [83 i.e., 85] in order to 
make the remainder of the four days' journey on foot. To 
the customary severities was added a new toil, to carry 
their goods, although herein they treated tne better than I 
expected, — whether because I could not, or whether because 
I retained in captivity itself, and near to death, a spirit 
haply too proud. Hunger accompanied us always; we 
passed three days without any food, but on the fourth we 
fou7id some wild fruits. I had not provided myself 
sufficiently when we abandoned the canoes, for fear lest 
my body should be too robust and vigorous i?i the fire and 
in the torme?its, not to dissimulate quae infirmitatis meae 
sunt. 0?i the second day, they put a kettle on the fire, as 
if to prepare something to eat; but there was nothing in it 
but warm water, which each one was alloived to drink at 
his pleasure. Finally, on the i^th day, the eve of the 
Assumption of the Most Blessed Virgi?i, we arrived at the 
first Village of the Hiroquois. I tJianked the Lord that, 
on the day on which the Christians celebrate so solemn a 
feast, lie had called us to share his pains. We had 
anticipated that day as truly bitter and calamitous; and 
it had been easy for Rene Goupil and for me to avoid it, 
because often, when unbound about midnigJit, we were able 
to flee, — with the hope, if not of returning to ours, at 
least of dying more easily in the woods. But he refused 
to do so, and I would rather suffer every pain than 


piii tojlo foffrir ogni pena, cJie abbandonare i miei 
CJiriJliani Fra7icefi, & Huroni alia morte, e priuarli della 
confolatione, die poteuano riceuere da vn Sacerdote in quel 
tempo. Diinque la vigilia delV AJjfjintione circa alle venti 
hore arriuammo al fiume, che pa/fa longo al lor Cajlello. 
Ci afpettaiiano daW una, e /' altra riua del Jiuvte i vecchi 
fchiaui Huroni, e gV Hirocheji, quelli per auuertirci, 
[84 i.e., 86] che fuggijjiino, cli altriniente farevimo 
brugiati, quejli per batterci con bajloni, pugni, e fafji come 
prima, ma£ime il mio capo, perche odiano i capelli rafi, e 
corti. M' erano rejlate due vnghie, me le fradicorno con 
i denti, e fcorticorno quella came, che vi ^a /otto co?i le 
loro vnghie acutijjinie fino air ojjo. Stemmo iui efpo^i 
alquanto a' loro fcherni, poi ci conduffero al Cajlello 
Jituato in vn alto colle. Prima d' arriuare incontrammo 
i giouani del paefe in ala, armati di bajloni come prima, 
ma noi, che fapeuamo, che fe ci fufjimo feparati dal 
nuinero di quelli, che fono flagellati, ci faremmo feparati 
dal numero de' figlioli. Flagellat enim Deus omnem 
filium, quern recipit, ci offerimmo con aninio pronto al 
nojiro Dio, che paternamente incrudeliua, accib fi compia- 
ceffe in noi, come fuoi figli. Andauamo a vno a vno. 
Caminaua il primo vn France fe affatto nudo, in mezzo era 
Retiato, io V vltimo in camicia, e calzoni, s' erano mefji 
trd, noi, e gli Huroni, gV Hirochefi per moderare il paffo, 
per dar tempo a chi ci percuoteua. Lo7igo tempo, e 
crudelmentc fupra dorfum noftrum fabricauerunt, non 
folo con i bafloni, ma anco con verghe di ferro, che hanno 
dagli Olandefi, & vno de primi con vn pezzo di ferro groffo 
come vn pugno, attaccato ad vna fune, ci diede h ciafcuno 

1663] BRESSANPS RELA TION, 1653 189 

abandon my French and Huron Christians to death, and 
deprive them of the consolation which they could receive from 
a Priest at that time. So, on the eve of the Assumption, 
about the twentieth hour, we arrived at the river which 
flows past their Village. Here were awaiting us, 07i both 
banks of the river, the old Huron slaves a7id the Hiroquois, 
the former to warn us [84 i.e., 86] that we should flee, for 
that otherwise we would be burned; the latter to beat 
us with sticks, fists, and stones, as before, — especially my 
head, because they hate sJiaven and short hair. Two nails 
had been left me; they tore these out zvith their teeth, and 
tore off that flesh ivhich is under them, with their very 
sharp nails, even to the bone. We remained there, exposed 
to their taunts a few moments; then they led us to the 
Village situated on another hill. Before arriving, we met 
the young men of the country, in a line, armed ivith sticks, 
as before; but we, ivho kneiv that, if we had separated 
ourselves from the number of those who are scourged, we 
would be separated from the number of the sons, — 
Flagellat enim Deus omnem filium quern recipit, — 
offered ourselves with ready will to our God, who became 
paternally cruel to the end that he might take pleasure in 
us, as in his sons. We went one by one. First there 
walked a Fre?ichman, altogether naked; Rend was in the 
middle; I the last, in shirt and trousers. The Hiroquois 
had placed themselves between us and the Hurons, in order 
to moderate our pace, for the sake of giving time to any 
one who struck us. A long time, and cruelly, supra 
dorsum nostrum fabricaverunt, — not only with sticks, 
but also with iron rods, which they have from the Dutch; 
and one of the first, with a piece of iron thick as a fist, 
attached to a rope, gave us each a blow so fierce that I 
would have fallen half dead, if the fear of another like 
blow had not given me strength to pass on. We hardly 


vn colpo SI fiero, die 7ie farei cafcato mezzo morto, fe il 
tiinore d' vn altro Jiinil colpo non mi hauejfe dato forza 
per pa/far oltre. Appe?ia hauemnio la forza per arriuare 
al teatro eretto in viezzo a I Cajlello; Renato, che non era 
niolto agile, riceui tanti colpi, particolannente nella faccia, 
che 7iongli Ji vedeua altro, che il biayico de gli occhi, tantopiii 
bello, quando piii Jifnile a quello, quern vidimus per amor 
nojlro tanqna. [85 i.e., 87] leprofum, & percufTum h Deo, 
in quo non erat fpecies, neque decor. Appena/ul teatro 
re/pirammo, che con vna gran frujla fummo tre volte 
percojji sii le nude fpalle, e cominciorno h sfoderare i coltelli 
per tagliarci il rejlo delle dita, e perche piic mi Jlimauano, 
cominciorno da me, che vedeuano rifpettato da Franceji, e 
dagli Huroni. Mi fi accojla dunqiie vn vecchio, & vna 
donna, alia quale ordina di tagliarnii il dito groffo; ella 
da principio lo ricu/a, ma quaji sforzata tre, b quattro 
volte dal Vecchio, in fine lo fa. Quefia donna era Algon- 
china, fchiaua, Chri^iana prefa pochi mefi prima, e fi 
chiamaua Giouanna. Che confolatione patir da que Hi, 
per i quali fi muore, piii tofio, che abbandoiiarli a nemici 
vifibili, & inuifibili. Air Jiora io pigliando con /' altra 
mano il dito tagliato /' offerij a te b Dio mio viuo, e vero, 
ricordeuole de' facrificij, ch' offer ti f haueua nella tua 
Chief a, finche ammonito da v7io de' miei copagni, lo lafciai 
cadere per paura, che ?ion me lo metteffero in bocca per 
farmelo trangugiare, come fpeffo fanno. A Renato 
tagliorno il deflro nella prima congiuntiira. Ringratio 
Iddio, che mi lafciorjio quello della dritta, accib con que^a 
letter a poffi pre gar e i miei Padri, e fratelli di fare 
oratione per noi nella Chief a Santa di Dio, alia quale con 

1653] BRESSANrS RELATION, i6s3 191 

Jiad strength to reach the stage erected in the middle of the 
Village. Ren^, who was tiot very nimble, received so 
many blows, especially in the face, that nothing was seen 
of him but the whites of his eyes, all the more beautiful, 
since vtore like that one, quern vidimus for love to us 
tanquam [85 i.e., 87] leprosum, et percussum a Deo, 
in quo non erat species, neque decor. Hardly did we 
breathe upon the stage when, with a great rod, we were 
three times struck on the bare shoulders; and they began 
to unsheathe knives, in order to cut off the rest of our 
fingers. Because they esteemed me the most, they began 
with me, whom they saw respected by the French and the 
Hurons. There approach me then an old man and a 
ivoman, whom he orders to cut off my thumb; at first she 
refuses, but being, as it were, compelled three or four times 
by tlie Old fuan, she finally does so. This woman was an 
Algonquin, — a Christian slave, captured a feiv montJis 
before, — and her name was Jeanne. What consolation to 
suffer at the hands of those for whom one dies rather than 
abandon them to visible and invisible enemies. Then I, 
taking with my other hajid the amputated thumb, offered 
it to thee, O my living and true God, — mindful of the 
sacrifices wJiich I had offered thee in thy Church, — until, 
admonished by one of my companions, I let it fall, for fear 
that they might put it in my mouth, in order to make me 
sivallozv it, as they often do. As for Rene, they cut off 
his right thumb at t lie first joint. I tJiank God that they 
left me the one on my right hand, so that by this letter I 
may pray my Fathers and brethren to offer prayers for us 
in the holy Church of God. Unto her we are recommended 
tvitJi a twofold and new title, since she is accustomed to 
pray pro afflict is et captivis. The following day, the 
feast of the Blessed Virgin, — after having kept us till 
noon on the stage, they conducted tis to another Village, 5 or 


doppio, e nuouo titolo fiamo raccomandati, hauedo ella 
cojlunie di pregare pro affliclis^ & captiuis. II dl /eguenie, 
fejia della Beata Verghie, doppo Jiaucrci tenuto fino h 
mezzo dl nel teatro, ci condujfero in vn altro Cajlello 5. 
b 6. niiglia lontano dal primo, & il Barbara, che mi con- 
duceiia mi tolfe la cainicia, non mi la/ciando, oltre un 
Jiraccio, che non potea negare all' honejiit, altro che un 
pezzo di tela di /acco, cJi io Jlcffo gli [86 i.e., 88] 
domandai per coprirmi le fpalle, ma effe piagate da tante 
battiture, ricufauano di fojlenere quel crudo, e rozzo pe/o, 
particolarmente doppo, che vn Sole ardente arrojil la mia 
pelle come in vn forno, onde poco doppo quella del collo, delle 
fpalle, e delle braccia abbrugiata cafcb; nell' entrare in 
quejlo Cajlello, non lafciorno co?itro il co^ume di ba^onarci 
anche vna volta con colpi tanto piii atroci, quanto la molti- 
tudine non gli impediua di mifurargli; ci percoffero parti- 
colarmente r offa delle gambe con il dolore, che fi pub 
credere. II rejlo del dl Jlcmvio nel teatro; la notte in vna 
capanna nudi fopra la nuda terra, legati con catene, 
efpojii (t i fcherni d' ogni feffo, e d' ogni eta. Ci get- 
tauano sic le nude carrii carboni, e ceneri acce/e, quali d, 
not, cli erauamo legati, era difficile di rigettare. Stemmo 
iui due dl, e due notti quaji fenza mangiare, e fenza 
dormire, tormentati in oltre dalla vijla de' tormenti, che 
dauano a' nojiri compagni Hiironi, a quali Jlringeuano 
con funic ell e talmente i polfi, che 7ie veitiuano meno. Io li 
riguardauo come miei figli fpirituali poco prima rigenerati 
a Dio con il fanto Battefimo, cioe ct dire con vifcere di 
Padre, a chi /' amore fcruiiia di Carnefice. Gli coiifolauo 
pcrb con le parole del! Apojl. Nolite amittere confi- 

1653] BRESSANrS RELATION, i6ss 193 

6 miles distant from the first; and the Barbarian who 
was leading me took away my shirt, leaving mc nothing, — 
except a rag, ivhich he could not deny to decency, — but a 
piece of sacking, which I myself \^6 i.e., 88] asked from 
him, in order to cover my shoulders. But these, bent with 
so many beatings, refused to sustain that rough and rude 
weight, especially after a burning Sun roasted my skin as 
in an oven, — on accou7it of which, shortly afterward, that 
of the neck, the shoulders, and the arms, being bur?ted, 
fell off. At the entrance to this Village, they did not 
omit — although contrary to their custom — to beat us once 
again, ivith blows the more atrocious in proportion as the 
multitude did not hinder them from measuring them; they 
struck us especially on the bones of the legs, with what 
pain may be imagined. The rest of the day ive remained 
upon the stage; at night, in a cabin, naked on the bare 
ground, bound with chains, exposed to the revilings of each 
sex and of every age. They threzv coals and live ashes on 
otir bare flesh, — which, for us who were bound, it was 
difficult to throw off. We remained there two days and 
two nights, almost without eating or sleeping, — tormented 
further by the sight of the torments which they inflicted 
upon our Huron companions, zvhose wrists they bound so 
tightly with cords that they fainted therefrom. I regarded 
these as my spiritual sons, shortly before regenerated to 
God by holy Baptism, — that is to say, with the bowels of 
a Father, to whom love served as Executioner . I consoled 
them, however, tvith the words of the Apostle: Nolite 
amittere confidentiam vestram, quae magnam habet 
remunerationem. Per multas tribulationes oportet 
nos intrare in regnum Dei. Plorabitis, et flebitis 
vos, etc., sed tristitia vestra convertetur in gaudium. 
Mulier cum parit tristitiam habet, sed jam non 
meminit praessurae, propter gaudium, etc. In a word, 


dentiam veflram, quae magnam habet remunera- 
tion em. Per multas tribulationes oportet nos intrare 
in regnum Dei. Plorabitis, & flebitis vos &c. fed 
triftitia veftra conuertetur in gaudium. Mulier cum 
parit triftitiam habet, fed iam non meminit praefTurae 
propter gaudium &c. In vna parola. Momentaneum 
hoc, & leue tribulationis nollrse aeternum glorie 
pondus operatur in nobis. [87 i.e., 89] / teatri de' 
Barbari non haueuano ancor visio ne Franceji^ n^ Huroni 
Chrijiiani; per contcntar dunqiie la curiofith di tutti, 
fummo condotti da per tutto. Nel terzo Cajlello entrammo 
eon gran paee, ma non fenza dolor e, poiche v incontraninio 
quattr altri Hiironi frefeaniente preji, e mutilati eome 
noi, i quali trotioi modo d' injlruir nella Fede, e battez- 
zare; due fopra il teatro Jieffo eon la rugiada, ehe trouai 
affai abbondante nelle groffe foglie del grano turehefco, le 
canne del quale ci fi dauano a niajlicare, gli altri due nel 
viaggio ad vn altro Cajlello a vn ru/cello, eh' mcontrammo 
per Jlrada; qu) la pioggia, & il freddo ei fecero la nudith 
piii fenfibile. Onde treviando di freddo, feetideuo talhora 
dal teatro per fealdarnii in qualche eapanna, ma vi ero 
fubito rimenato. Per tagliare a Guglielmo V indiee dritto, 
vn Barbaro fi ferui non di eoltello, ma d' vna conchiglia, 
come di fega, la quale non pote tagliare i nerui duri, e 
sdruccioli, e pcrb li ^rappb a viua forza, onde il braceio 
del patiente gonfib fino al gomito. Vn certo per miferi- 
cordia lo rieeui in cafa quel due d}, ehe iui Jlemmo, non 
fenza folleeitudine dal canto mio, eke non fapeuo doue 
foffe. La notte ci menorno in vna eapanna, doue ei 
comandorno di cantare al loro folito. Bifogna vbidire, e 

1663] BRESSANI'S RELATION, i6s3 195 

Momentaneum hoc, et leve tribulationis nostrae 
aiternum glorise pondus operatur in nobis. [87 i.e. , 89] 
The stages of the Barbarians had not yet seen either 
Frenchmen or Christian Hurons: to satisfy, then, the 
curiosity of all, we were led everywhere. At the third 
Village, we entered with great peace, but not zvithout pain, 
since we met there four other Hurons freshly captured, 
and 7nutilated like us. I found means of instructing in 
the Faith and baptizing these prisoners, — two upon the 
stage itself, with the dezv, which I found quite abundant 
in the great leaves of turkish corn, the stalks of which 
they gave us to chew; the other two on the journey to 
another Village, at a brook which we encountered by the 
way. Here the rain and the cold made our nakedness 
more keenly felt; therefore, trembling with cold, I 
sometimes went down from the stage in order to warm 
tnyself in some cabin, but I was forthivith led back to it. 
To cut off Guillaume' s right forefinger, a Barbarian 
used, not a knife, but a shell, like a saw; which could not 
cut the tough and slippery sinews; and therefore he tore it 
off by sheer force, which caused the sufferer s arm to 
swell even to the elboiv. A certain person, out of pity, 
received him into a hut duri?ig those two days that we 
stayed there, — not without anxiety on my side, as I knew 
not where he was. At night, they led us into a cabin, 
where they commanded us to sing, as was their wont. It 
is necessary to obey and to sing, Sed de canticis Domini 
in terra aliena. From singing they came to torments, 
especially in the case of Rene and me; they burned me with 
coals and live ashes, especially on the breast; and they 
bound me upright between two stakes, set betiveen the 
shoulders and the elbow, with two pieces of bark, where- 
with they often bind those whom they burn, so that I 
thought that I was to be burned. And — that you may 


cantare, Sed de canticis Domini in terra aliena. Dal 
canto Ji veniua h i torrnenti, majjime per Re7iato, e per me; 
vti brugiorno con carboni, e ceneri rouenti, maJJime il petto, 
e mi legorno in alto tra dtiepali, tra le fpalle^ e ' I gomito, con 
due cortecce, co?i le quali legano fpeffo quelli, ch' abbrugiano, 
onde penfauo doner lo effere. Et accib fapejfi, che fe haueuo 
fopportato il rejio con for za, e con patienza, non era virtit 
mia, ma di quello, [88 i.e., 90] qui dat fortitudinem 
laffis, in quel fupplicio, qua ft lafciato a me Jleffo pianfi 
(quae enim infirmitatis mese funt gloriabor) e per il 
gran dolore pregai, che non mi Jiringeffero tanto. Ma 
giujlamente permetteui b Signore, che quanto piic li 
pregauo, tanto piii mi Jiringeffero. Mi tennero cosl circa 
vn quarto d' hora, poi mi fciolfero, altrimente farei fue- 
nuto. Ti ringratio, b buon Giesii, perche hb imparato co?i 
qualche picciola efperienza, quel che ti degnajli patire per 
me in Croce, doue il tuo fantijjimo corpo non era gict fojle- 
nuto da ficni, ma pendeua dalle tue mani, e piedi trafitte 
con duriffimi chiodi. Per paffare il reJlo della notte ci 
legorno in terra h uarij pali, e che non ci fecero, b procu- 
rorno di fare ? Ma di nuouo ui ringratio, b Signore, che 
w' hauete conferuato puro dalle mani impure de' Barbari. 
Due d\ doppo ci conduffero nel fecondo Caflello per deli- 
berare finalmente di not. Erano gib, fette dl, che ci condu- 
ceuano di Ca^ello, in Caflello, di teatro, in teatro, fatti 
fpettacolo a Dio, & h gli Angeli, fcherno, e giuoco de' 
Barbari, quando in fine ci s ifitima la morte di fuoco, 
nuoua certo plena d' horrore, fna addolcita dalla confide - 
ratione del diuin volere, e dalla fperanza d' una vita 
migliore. Parlai per /' vltima volt a, come credeuo, a' 

1653] BRESSANPS RELATION, i653 197 

know that, if I endured the rest with strength and with 
patience, it was not my own courage, but that of him 
[88 i.e., 90] quidat f ortitudinem lassis — in that torture, 
being almost left to tnyself alone. I zuept (quae enim 
infirmitatis meae sunt gloriabor); and, on account of 
the great pain, I begged that they would not tie me so 
tightly. But it so happened that the Lord per^nitted that, 
the more I besought him, the more they bound me. They 
kept me thus about a quarter of an hoiir, then they loosed 
me; otherzvise, I ivould have swooned. I thank thee, O 
good Jesus, because I have learned with some little experi- 
ence what thou didst condescend to suffer for m.e on the 
Cross, where thy most holy body was not even sustained 
with cords, but hung by thy hands and feet, transfixed 
with hardest nails. For spending the rest of the night, 
they bound us on the earth to several stakes; and what 
did they not do to us, or try to do ? But again I thank 
you, O Lord, that you kept me pure from the impure 
hands of the Barbarians. Two days later, they led us to 
the second Village, in order to take final counsel concerning 
us. Now for seven days they had been leading us from 
Village to Village, from stage to stage, — being fnade a 
spectacle to God and to the Angels, the contempt and sport 
of the Barbarians, — when finally we were notified of 
death by fire — news assuredly full of horror, but softened 
by the thought of the divine will, and by the hope of a 
better life. I spoke for the last ti^ne, as I believed, to the 
French and the Hurons, to animate them by reminding 
them of the sufferings of that one qui talem sustinuit k 
peccatoribus adversus semetipsum contradictionem ; 
of the brevity of the torments, and the eter?iity of the 
glory, etc. I also admonished them, especially Eustache, 
that in the torments they should look at me, and make some 
sign, so that I might bestow on thon the last absolution, 


France/i, & h gli Huroni per animarli, con ricordargli i 
patimenti di quello, qui talem fuitinuit k peccatoribus 
aduerfus femetipfum contradic5tionem, la breuith de' 
tormenti, /' eternith della gloria &c. e gli ammonij , majjime 
Eujiachio, che ne tormenti mi riguardajffero, e facejfero 
alcun fegno, ace ib gli confer ifji /' vltima ajfolutione, come 
feci CO ejfolui piii volte, via a i France fi, & a quafi tutti gli 
altri Huroni fii cocejfa la vita. [89 i.e., 91] La coflanza 
di quefi' hiiorno fii marauigliofa, e done gli altri nel fuoco 
fogliono hauere il fentimento, e le parole di quello, che 
diceiia exoriare aliquis noftris ex offibus vltor, egli con 
fpirito chrifiiano pregb gli Huroni prefenti, che la conji- 
deratione della fua morte non noceffe mai alia pace co 
gV Hirochefi. Vccifero anche Paolo Onnonhoaraton giouane 
di 25. anni in circa, di gran cuore, che fi rideua della 
morte, animato dalla fperanza d' vna vita migliore, come 
publicamente proteftaua. Quefli nel viaggio quando veni- 
uano gl' Hirochefi per tormentarmi, s offeriua per me, 
pregandoli, che incrudeliffero piii tofto verfo di lui. Dio 
gli hauera pagato quella fegnalata caritd, con la quale 
dabat animam fuaproamicisfuis, chetra i legamiV ha- 
ueuano partorito a Chrijlo. Guglielmo fii dato ad vna 
fatniglia Hirochefe. Dando effi la vita h qualche fchiauo, 
r aggregano d' ordinario a qualche famiglia in luogo di 
qualche parente morto, che lo fchiauo dicefi rcfufcitare, 
pigliando il nome, & il grado fteffo di parentela, onde lo 
chiamano come il morto, padre, fratello, figlio &c. ma di 
Renato, e di me per ?ion effer si forti non fi prefe /' vltima 
rifolutione, ma ci lafciorno infieme come in vna libera 
fchiauitudine; doue come mezzo otiofi cominciammo h 

1653] BRESSANrS RELATION, t653 199 

as I did in his case, repeatedly; but the French and almost 
all the other Hurons were granted life. [89 i.e., 91] 
The fortitude of this man was marvelous; and — whereas 
the others, while in the fire, are tvont to have the 
sentiment and use the words of him who said, exoriare 
aliquis nostris ex ossibus ultor — he, with Christian 
spirit, entreated the Hurons present, that the thought of 
his deatJi should never prejudice the peace with the 
Hiroquois. They also killed Paul Onnonhoaraton, a young 
man of about 25 years, of great courage, who laughed at 
death, — being animated with the hope of a better life, as 
he publicly declared. This man, on the journey, when the 
Hiroquois were coming to torment me, offered himself for 
me, begging them that they should rather exercise cruelty 
toward him. God will have rezvarded him for that 
notable charity wherewith dabat animam suam pro 
amicis suis, who amid bonds had begotten him for Christ. 
Guillaume zvas given to a Hiroquois family. When they 
spare the life of any slave, they usually receive him into 
some family in the place of some dead kins-tnan, whom, the 
slave is said to bring to life again, by takijig the name and 
the same degree of relationship; so that they call him, like 
the dead man, "-father,'' ''brother,'" ''son," etc. But, 
in the case of Ren^ and myself, because we were not so 
strong, the final decision zvas not taken, but they left us 
together, as it were, in a free slavery. Therein, as being 
half idle, we began to feel more keenly the pains of unhealed 
wounds, irritated by a thousand annoying little creatures, 
from which our mutilated fingers did not permit us to 
defend ourselves. We observed, by necessity m,ore than 
co7ivenience, that aphorism, non cibus utilis aegro, — 
especially Rend, who was not accustomed to the turkish 
corn without salt. This diet perhaps availed to effect that, 
in the space of 3 zveeks, we began to use our hands. 


/entire piii vinamentc i dolori dellc piaghe non curate, 
iyiafprite da inille molejli animaletti, da' quali le tranche 
dita non permetteuano di difcnderci. Guardauatno per 
neceffith piii che non bifognaua, quelV aforifrno, non 
cibus vtilis egro, maffime Renato, die no era accojlumato 
al grano turchefco seca /ale. Quejia dieta fertii forji h 
far, che nello fpatio di },. fettimane coininciaino a feruirci 
delle Diani. Ritornarono intdto qtiei 200. c haueuamo 
incotrati [90 i.e., 92] nel viaggio fupcrati da Franceji in 
numero ?ninore, comandati dal Caualiere di Montmagni 
Gouernatore del pae/e, che pretendeuano forprendere. 
Onde cotnincib di nuouo a trattarfi di vcciderci, ma noji 
fappiamo come Dio n impedl V efecutione. II di della 
Natiuith della B. Verg. venne vno de' principali tra gli 
Olandeji, che hanno vna Colonia circa 40. miglia lontano 
da Barbari, per trattare del nojiro rifcatto. Vi fpefc 
piU dl, offri molto, & ottenne nulla; i Barbari per non 
offender li, fingendo per fcufa di volerci rimenare a' Fran- 
ceji, eforfe i principali n Jiaueuayio qualcJie difegno. ma 
neir vltimo confeglio, che per quejio Ji radunb, il popolo, 
& i pill turbolenti n impedirno /' efecutione , e fe per 
prouidenza particolare di Dio noi non foffimo fiati fuori 
del borgo, finito il configlio ci Jiaucrebbero vccifi, ma 
hauendoci vn pezzo cercato inuano Ji ritirorno finalmente 
ciafcuno alia fiia Terra. Renato, & io ejjendo ritornati, 
& auuertiti del pericolo, ci ritirammo fuori verfo vna 
collina, per far con piii liber th le noflre deuotioni, offrimmo 
le no^re vite a Dio, e cominciammo la Coroyia della B. 
Verg. Erauamo alia quarta po/ia, quando incontratnmo 
due giouani, che ci comandorno di ritornare al borgo. 

1653] BRESSANI'S RELA TION, 1633 201 

Meanwhile, those 200 returned, whom we had encountered 
[90 i.e., 92] on the journey, — overcome by the French in 
lesser number, ivho were commanded by the Chevalier de 
Mofitmagni, Governor of the country, whom they were 
intending to surprise. On this account, it again began to 
be a question of killing us; but we knozv not how God 
prevented the execution of this threat. On the day of the 
Nativity of the Blessed Virgin, one of the principal persons 
among the Dutch, who have a Colony about 40 miles distant 
from the Barbarians, came to treat for our ransom. ^^ He 
spent several days there, and offered much, but obtained 
nothing, — the Barbarians, in order not to offend him, 
feigning, by way of excuse, that they would conduct us 
back to the French. Perhaps the leaders had some such 
intention; but, at the final council which assembled for 
this affair, the crozud, and those who were most turbtilent, 
prevoited its accomplishment. Indeed, if by special 
providence of God we had not been outside the village when 
the council was ended, they would have killed us; but, 
having sought us awhile in vain, they finally returned 
each one to his owfi Village. Ren^ and I having gone back, 
and been warned of the danger, we withdrew without, 
toward a hill, in order to perform our devotions with more 
liberty; we offered our lives to God, and began the Rosary 
of the Blessed Virgin. We were at the fourth decade 
when we met two young m.e7i, who commanded us to return 
to the village. ' ' This encounter, ' ' / said to Ren^, ' ' is not 
auspicious, especially in these circmnstances. Let us 
commend ourselves to God and to the Blessed Virgin. ' ' In 
fact, at the gate of the village, one of these two drazvs a 
hatchet, which he has kept concealed, and strikes Rene' s 
head ivith it. He fell, half dead, but remembered, 
according to the agreement ^nade between us, to invoke the 
most holy name of Jesus, in order to obtain Indulgence. 


Que^o incotitro, diffi to a Renato, non e faujlo, uiaffime 
in que^e circojlanze. Raccornandianioci a Dio, & alia 
B Verg. In fatti alia porta del borgo, vno di quejii due 
tira vn accetta, che teneua na/co/ia, e ne ferifce la tejla 
di Renato, che cadde mezzo morto, ma Ji fouuenne, /ecotido 
r accordo tra di noi fatto, d' innocare il fanti/s. nome 
di Giesii, per con/eguir V Indulgenza. lo afpettando vn 
Jimil colpo, mi fcopro, e mi get to inginocchioni, ma il Bar- 
bara haiieiidomici lafciato vn [91 i.e., 93] poco, mi comandb 
di leuarmi, dicendo non hatier licenza d' vccidermi, effendo 
Jotto la protettione d' vn altra famiglia; mi leuo dnngue, 
€ do r vltima affolutione al mio caro compagno, ancor 
Jpirante, a ciii il Barbaro con due altri colpi tolfe final- 
^nente la vita. Non hauea piu di 35. anni d' etct, era 
huomo d' una femplicitcl, & innocenza di vita Jingo lare, d' 
vna inuitta patienza, e conformifjimo al diuin volere, degno 
d' effere da V. R. riconofciuto come fuo, noti folo perche 
con lode era Jlato piii meji nel nojlro nouitiato, ma anche 
perche qui s era confacrato fotto V obedienza de' Super iori 
della Compagnia al feruitio de nojlri Neojiti, e Cathecu- 
m.eni, a quali con /' arte della Cirurgia era di gran 
foccor/o, e finalmente perche pochi di prima fe gli era con- 
facrato con voto. Le longhe orationi, che face a, /' haue- 
uano fatto odiofo a i Barbari, che lo fiimauano per que^o 
fattucchiaro, mh il fegno della Croce, che facea fpeffo nella 
fronte de' fariciulli, fit V vltima, e vera caufa della fua 
morte; vn Vecchio, aiio d' vno di ef/i, hauendo ordinato 
air homicida di cafligar colla morte la fuperftitione del 
Frdcefe, efercitata nella perfona d' v?io de fuoi nepoti, & 
io lo rifeppi dalla madre del fanciullo, e da molti altri del 

1653] BRESSANI'S RELA TION, 1653 203 

/, expecting a like blow, uncover myself, and cast myself 
on my knees; but the Barbarian, having left ')ne a 
[91 i.e., 93] little time thus, commanded me to rise, 
saying he had not permission to kill me, as I was under 
the protection of another family}^ I then arise, and give 
the last absolution to my dear companion, who still 
breathed, but whose life the Barbarian finally took away 
with two more blows. He was not more than 35 years of 
age; he was a man of unusual simplicity and innocence of 
life, of invincible patience, and very conformable to the 
divine will. He was worthy to be acknowledged by Your 
Reverence as yours, not only because he had been, with 
credit, for several m.onths in our novitiate, but also because 
here he had consecrated himself, under obedience to the 
Superiors of the Society, in the service of our Neophytes 
and Catechumens, — to whom with the art of Surgery he 
was of great assistance; and finally, because, a few days 
before, he had consecrated himself with the vows. The 
long prayers that he made had rendered him odious to the 
Barbarians, who for this reason esteemed him a sorcerer; 
but the sig7i of the Cross, which he often made on the 
brows of the children, was the last and true cause of his 
death, — an Old man, grandfatJier of one of them, having 
ordered the m,urderer to chastise with death the French- 
man s superstition, as practiced on the person of one of his 
descendants; and I learned this from the child" s another, 
and from many others of the country. But I was given 
to a7iother master, who hated us mortally: in consequence, 
they believed so surely that he would kill me, that he who 
had lent me that wherewith to cover myself, asked it from 
me again, in order not to lose it at my death. I did not 
fail, however, on the following day, to seek, even at the 
peril of my life, the body of the deceased, for the sake of 
burying it. They had tied a rope to his neck, and dragged 


pae/e. Ma lo fui dato ad vn altro padrone, che ci odiaua a 
morte, che credeua?io si certo, che mi vcciderebbe, che chi 
ni hauea prejiato di che coprirmi, me lo ridoma?idd, per 
non perderlo alia juia morte. Non lafciai perb il dl 
feguente di cercare ilcorpo del defonto, per fepellirlo, anche 
con pericolo della vita; gli haueuano legata al collo vna 
fune, e nudo ^rafcinatolo per tutta la Terra, e poi gettato 
nel fiiime affai lofitano. II mio primo padrone m' auiierfi 
di ritirarmi, fe non voleiio effer vccifo come [92 i.e., 94] 
lui ma io, che m' annoiauo di quel modo di viucre, haurei 
Jiimato gran guadagno il morire neW efercitio di vn opera 
di mifericordia. Seguito dunqiie il mio viaggio, e con la 
guida, & aiuto d' uno del pae/e datomi per ifcorta daW 
ijleffo, che per amicitia mi fconfigliaiia d' andarui, lo 
ritrouo al lido del fiume mezzo mangiato da' cani, & iui 
nelfondo d' vn torrente fecco lo copro di pietre, con inten- 
tione di ritornarui il di feguente folo con vna zappa, per 
fepellirlo flabilmente. Trouai al r it or no due giouani 
armati, che m afpettauano per condunni, a quel, che 
diceuano, a vn' altra Terra, ma veramente per vccidermi 
in difparte. Gli diffi di 7ion li poter feguire fenza or dine 
del mio padrone, che non volfe. Bifogno impedire il dl 
feguente vn' altro, che per queflo era venule a cercarmi in 
vn cafnpo, facendomi il Signer e vedere per efperienza, che 
era protedlor vitse meae, fenza il quale capillus de 
capite noflro non peribit. // dl feguente ritorno con 
iflrumenti al luogo , fed tulerunt f ratrem meum, ritorno, 
cerco da per tutto, & entro io sieffo fino alia cintura nel 
fiume, per le piogge della notte crefciuto, e freddo per ejfere 
il mefe d' Ottobre; lo cerco con le mani, e co' piedi, mi 

1653] BRESSANI'S RELATION, i6s3 205 

him naked through the whole Village, and had then thrown 
him into the river, at some distance away. My first master 
warned me to withdraw, if I did not wish to be killed like 
[92 i.e., 94] hi)n; but I, who was weary of that manner 
of living, ivould have reckoned it great gain to die in the 
exercise of a xvork of mercy. I then pursued my journey, 
and, with the guidance and aid of a man of the country, — 
furnished me for escort by the same person who, out of 
friendsJiip, was dissuading me from going thither, — / 
found him by the bank of the river, half eaten by the dogs; 
and there, at the bottom of a dry torrent, I cover him, 
with stones, intending to return thither the following day 
alone, with a pickaxe, in order to bury him securely. I 
found, at m.y retiirn, two armed young men, who were 
awaiting me to conduct me, as they said, to another 
Village, — but, really, to kill vie in some retired place. . / 
told them I could not follow them without orders from my 
master, zvho zuould not consent. It zvas necessary to 
hinder, on the following day, another, who had come for 
this purpose, from seeking me in a field, — the Lord 
causing me to see by experience that he was the protector 
vitae mese; witJiout whom capillus de capite nostro 
non peribit. On the following day, I return to the place 
with tools, sed tulerunt fratrem meum ; / go again, I 
seek everywhere, and I myself go into the river up to my 
waist, — although it was swollen by the night's raijis, and 
cold, since it was the month of October. I seek him with 
my hands and zuith my feet; they tell me that the high 
water has removed him elsewhere. I hold obsequies for 
him as best I can, singing the psalms and prayers thereto 
appointed by the Church; I mijigle my tears with the 
water of the torrent; I groan and sigh. I can gain no 
news of him before the following Spring, when, the snozvs 
being melted, the young men of the country notify m,e that 


dicono, che la plena llhhtraf port ato altroue; II fb T efeqiile 
cotne pojfo, cantando i/ahnl, & oratlonl per quejlo de^lnati 
dalla Chief a, mefcolo le nile lagrinie con V acque del tor- 
rente, gemOy fofplro, e non ne poffo hauer nuoua prima 
della Prlniauera feguente, quando llqiiefatte le neul, I 
glouanl del paefe m auuertlrono hauer vljlo le fue offa 
neir l^ejja riua del fiume, le quail Injieme con il capo 
riuerentemente baclate, alT hora finalmente fepellij al me- 
glio, che potct. Non so il numero de' pericoli [93 i.e., 95] 
della vita, che io corfi in quel due 7neji, de quibus eripuit 
me Dominus. Si cercb chi mi vccideffe, perche mi fcufai 
di fpogliarmi d' una parte di quel che m.i ve^iua, che era 
vna mezza coperta di fette palmi; vn altra voltafui dejli- 
nato cofne in facrificio all' oinbra d' vn innocentino morto 
nella nojlra capanna, & io vi andauo, fadtus licut homo 
non audiens, mi ricordauo di vol Agnello innocentijfimo, 
qni coram tondente te obmuttiilli. Sperauo in vol, vi 
pregauo, vt auerteres mala inimicis meis, mh i miei 
peccati non erano ancor purgati, ondo /' vccifore mutando 
di parere, mi frujlrb della 7nia fperanza, e le donne, che 
per quejlo mi cotiduceuano fuori, cariche di prefenti per 
r hotnicida, fi mifero come in fuga, e mi abbandonorno iui 
folo; ma nongih ilmio Dio, che mifu fcmpre adiutor fortis 
in tribulationibus, quae inuenerunt nos nimis. Mi 
confolauo con la lettura delV Epijlola alii Hebrei, efpojla 
dal G ode Hi, con vn imagine con V indulgenza, & vna 
Crocetta di legno, che fempre meco portauo come 7niei 
tefori. A mezzo Ottobre cominciorno la caccia de' 
Cerui, tempo per loro di fpaffi, e fcjlijii, ma per me di 
Jlrapazzi, e perjecutioni, perche cominciandoli io ad an- 

1653] BRESSANI'S RELA TION, 1653 207 

they have seen his bones on the satne bank of the river; 
these, together with the head, having reverently kissed, 
1 then finally buried as best I could. I k?iow not how 
many dangers [93 i.e., 95] to life I incurred in those two 
months, de quibus eripuit me Dominus. They sought 
some one to kill nie, because I declined to strip from, myself 
a part of that which clothed me, — which was half a 
blanket, seven handbreadths wide. At another time, I 
was destined as a sacrifice to the shade of a little innocent, 
who had died in our cabifi; and I was going to it, f actus 
sicut homo non audiens: I recalled you, most innocent 
Lamb, qui coram tondente te obmutuisti. / hoped in 
you, I prayed to you, ut averteres mala inimicis meis; 
but my sins were not yet purged. Therefore the slayer, 
changing his vmid, thwarted me in my hope, and the 
women, who for this purpose were leading me abroad, — 
laden with presents for the murderer, — put themselves as 
it were to flight, and abandoned me there alone. But 
not so indeed my God, who was always my adjutor 
fortis in tribulationibus, quae invenerunt nos 
nimis. / consoled myself by reading the Epistle 
to the Hebrews, expourided by Godelli; I also possessed 
an image, with the indulgence , and a little Cross of wood, 
which I always carried with me as my treasures. ^'^ 
At the middle of October began the Stag hunt, a time 
for them of sports and feasts, but, for me, of outrages 
and persecutions, — because, when I began to annoufice 
to them a God, a Paradise, and a Hell, although indeed 
they listened to fne at the start, and admired, yet, zueary 
with the continuation thereof, and because the chase was 
not successful, they began to accuse and persecute me. 
They have recourse in their necessities to a demon whom 
they call Aireskoi, to whom they offer, as it were, the 
first-fruits of every tiling. When, for instance, a Stag 


nuntiare vn Dio, v?i Paradi/o, & vti Inferrw, fc bene dal 
principio m afcoltauano, & aniniirauaiio, ftracclii perb 
per la continuatione, e perche la caccia 7ion riii/chia, 
cominciorno ad incolparniene , & a perfeguitarmi. Ricor- 
rono ejji nelle loro necejjith ad un demonio, cJie chiamano 
Aireskoi, alquale offerifcono come le primitie d' ogni co/a. 
Prefo per efevipio un Ceruo, cJiiatnano il piU uecchio di 
cafa, b del Cajiello, accib lo benedica, b lo facrifichi; 
qiiejli Jlando di rimpetto h quello, clie tiene le [94 i.e., 96] 
carni, con voce alta dice, b Demonio Aireskui t' offeriamo 
quejle carni, e te ne appareccJiiamo vn banchetto, accib ne 
mangi, e ci niojlri doue fono i cerui, e li mandi ne' no^ri 
lacci; b pure accib pojjiamo riiiedere /' inuerno ^c. b in 
fnalattia, accib pojjiamo ricuperare la fanita. V ijlejfo 
fanno alia pefca, guerra &c. Vdita quejla forma in- 
horridij, e cojiantemente deliberai d ' a^enermi da quejie 
carni offerte al Demonic, di cui eJJi interpretorno quejl' 
attione vn fnanife^o difpregio, e caufa di non effer felici 
nella caccia, onde odio iniquo oderut me, ne vollero piii 
vdir^niparlar di Dio, ne rifpofidermi alle quejlioni, che gli 
faceuo della lingua, con la quale vedeuano, che impugnauo 
le loro fuperjlitioni. Vfciuo dunque ogni mattina de 
medio Babilonis, cioe da vn tugurio, doue quafi fempre 
s' adoraua il Demonio, & i fogni, e mi faluaiio in vn 
nionte vicino, doue in un grojfo arbore haueuo fatto vna 
gran Croce, e qui hora meditajtdo, hora leggendo mi trat- 
teneuo col tnio Dio, che io folo adorauo in quel vajli 
deferti. Non fe ne accorfero i Barbari, che un pezzo 
doppo, che mi trouorno al folito inginocchioni auanti quella 
Croce, la quale odiauajio, e diceuano ejfere odiata dalli 


has been taken, they call the eldest of the hut or of the 
Village, to the end that he may bless it or sacrifice it. 
This man, standijig opposite the one who holds some of the 
[94 i.e., ^6] flesh, says with a loud voice: ''Oh, Dejnon 
Aireskui, we offer thee this flesh, and prepare for thee a 
feast with it, that thou mayst eat of it, and show us 
where are the stags, and send them into our snares, — or, 
at least, that we may see them again in the winter,'' etc.; 
or, in sickness, ''to the ejid that we may recover health.'' 
They do the same in fishing, war, etc. Having heard 
this ceremony, I was horrified, and I was always careful 
to abstain from this flesh offered to the Demon, — tozvard 
whom they interpreted this action as manifest contempt, 
and a cause of their lack of success in hunting. There- 
fore, odio iniquo oderunt me; nor would they longer 
hear me speak of God, or answer me the questions that I 
put to them about the language, wherewith they saw that 
I was attacking their super stitio7is. I therefore went out 
every morning de medio Babilonis, — that is, from a 
cabin where the Dejnon and the dreams were almost 
always adored, — and escaped to a neighbor i7ig hill, where, 
in a large tree, I had made a great Cross; and there, now 
meditating, now readiyig, I conversed with my God, whom 
I alone in those vast wilds adored. The Barbarians did 
not perceive this till someiuhat later, when they found me 
hieeling, as usual, before that Cross, which they hated, 
and said that it was hated by the Dutch; they began, on 
this account, to treat me worse than before, — without, 
however, being able to hinder m.e from continuing elsewhere 
my prayers. I suffered there great hunger, while our 
Egyptia7is were feasting super ollas carnium, — which, 
as I had resolved, I would never eat; but I consoled myself 
by saying to the Lord: Replebimur in bonis domus 
tuse ; satiabor cum apparuerit gloria tua, wheri adipe 


Olandeji, onde cominciorno a farmi peggio, che prima, 
fenza perb poternii impedire, che non continuajji altroiie le 
mie orationi. Qui foffrij una gran fame, mentre i nojlri 
Egittij faceuano fesla fuper oUas carnium, delle quali 
mai uolji mangiare, come haueuo propojlo; ma mi confo- 
lauo dicendo al Signore replebimur in bonis domus 
tuse, fatiabor cum apparuerit gloria tua, done adipe 
frumenti fatiabis nos. Crefciute le neui, ui Ji aggiunfe 
il freddo, non hauendo che un ^raccio per uejie, e letto, & 
ejji [95 i.e., 97] non mi permettendo V vfo d' alcuna di 
quelle pelli, c' haueuano in gran copia; fordibus ergo 
pulueris cutis mea aruit. 5' apriua in varie parti, 
oltre il dolor e delle piaghe non ancor perfettamente guar it e, 
i timori e le penc interiori, che mi faceuan dire al mio 
Sig7iore vfquequo obliuifceris me in finem; obliuif- 
ceris inopiae noftrae, & tribulationis noftrae. nifi bre- 
uiati fuiffent dies illi, non sb fe viuerei. Ricorreuo al 
folito afilo della facra Scrittura, che mi auuertiua, vt 
fentirem de Domino in bonitate, che fenza affettofen- 
fibile iuftus ex fide viuit. In lege Domini meditabar 
die, ac nodte, fenza che forte perijffem in humilitate 
mea, & non pertranlifCet anima noftra aqua intollera- 
bilem. Benedidtus Dominus, qui non dedit nos in 
captionem dentibus inimicorum noflrorum, de' quali 
V hora era venuta, & poteftas tenebrarum, nella quale 
fupra modum grauati fumus, itavt taederet nosetiam 
viuere, ma diceuo con Giob, etiam fi occideritme fperabo 
in eum. Paffai cost due mefi alia fcuola de faggi, come 
diceua altre volte S. Bernardo, finche non pote7idomi piii 
foffrire, mi rinuiorno carico di came d' onde ero partito, 

1653] BRESSANrS RELA TJON, 1653 211 

frumenti satiabis nos. The snows having increased, the 
cold was added thereto, as I had only a rag for clothing 
and bed, a?id they [95 i.e., 97] would not allow me the 
use of any of those skins which they had in great abun- 
dance; sordibus ergo pulveris cutis mea aruit. It 
opened in various places; I suffered, besides the pain of 
my wounds, not yet perfectly healed, fears and inward 
pangs wJiich made me say to my Lord: Usquequo 
oblivisceris me in finem; oblivisceris inopiae nostrae, 
et tribulationis nostrae. Nisi breviati fuissent dies 
illi, / know not whether I should be alive. I had recourse 
to my wonted asylum of the sacred Scripture, which 
warned me ut sentirem de Domino in bonitate, and 
that, even if I lacked the feeling of devotion, Justus ex 
fide vivit. In lege Domini meditabar die ac nocte ; 
without which I forte periissem in humilitate mea, et 
non pertransisset anima nostra aquam intollerabilem. 
Benedictus Dominus, qui non dedit nos in captionem 
dentibus inimicorum nostrorum, whose hour had come; 
et potestas tenebrarum, wherein supra modum gravati 
sumus, ita ut taederet nos etiam vivere; but I said, 
with Job: Etiam si occiderit me, sperabo in eum. 
/ thus passed two months ' ' in the school of the 
beech-trees,'' — as once said St. Bernard, — mitil, being 
unable to endure me longer, they se7it me away, carrying 
a load of meat, to the place whence I had started, — there 
to be put to death, as was commonly said. But I — ut 
jumentum factus apud Deum, having now a skin with 
which to cover me — remembered those Saints, qui 
circuibant in melotis, in pellibus caprinis, egentes, 
angustiati, afflicti, quibus dignus non erat mundus; 
and it seemed to tne that I could almost say with them: 
Usque in banc horam et esurimus, et sitimus, et 
nudi sumus, et colaphis caedimur, et instabiles 


per eJjTerui, d. quel, che comunemente Ji diceua, vccifo, & 
to vt iumentum fadtus apud Deum, hauendo hora vna 
pelle per coprirrni, mi ricordauo di quei Santi, qui circui- 
bant in melotis in pellibus caprinis, egentes, angu- 
ftiati, afflidli, quibus dignus non erat mundus, e mi 
pareua quaji potcr dire con ejji vfque in banc boram, & 
efurimus, & Otimus, & nudi fumus, & colapbis caedi- 
mur, & inftabiles fumus, & laboramus operantes 
[96 i.e., 98] manibus noilris, maledicimur, & benedi- 
cimus, perfecutionem patimur, & fuftinemus, blaf- 
phemamur, & obfecramus tamquam purgamenta 
buius mundi fadti fumus omnium peripfema vfque 
adbuc. Vedeuo tra tanto i Barbari ben coperti de gli 
habiti, che ci haueuano prefi, e quel che mi fdegnaua, delle 
/acre uejii, che profanauano, non bos feruatum munus 
in vfus. Vero e, che uer/o la met a di Gennaro finita la 
caccia, mi diedero qualche ultra pelle per coprirmi, & un 
Loreno, che habit aua tra' iiicini Olandeji ni inuib per 
limofina una fchiaimia, & una donna Hirochefe delle 
principalis il cui unico era poco pri^na morto, cotnincid ad 
hauere qualche cura di me, & all' hora, mi diedi total- 
mente alio Jludio della lingua, e per che ero in im luogo 
doue Ji faceuano tutti i conjigli, non folo della nojlra 
Terra, mh di tutto il paefe, hebbi commodita d' injlruire 
i principali della natione ne' nojlri fatiti mijlerij, e pre- 
dicarglila Fede, da^idomene eJJi occajione con mille domande 
curiofe, che mi faceuano del Sole, e della Lu7ia, della 
grayidezza della terra, della uajiita dell' Oceano, del fuo 
fluffo, e rifluffo, de' confini del mondo, fe la terra non 
toccaua in alcun luogo il Cielo &c. e perche in qualche modo 

1653] BRESSANPS RELATION, i6s3 213 

sumus; et laboramus operantes [96 i.e., 98] manibus 
nostris; maledicimur et benedicimus ; persecutionem 
patimur, et sustinemus; blasphemamiir, et obse- 
cramus; tamquam purgamenta hujus mundi facti 
sumus, omnium peripsema usque adhuc. Meanwhile 
I saw the Barbarians well covered with the clothes which 
they had taken frotn us, and, which vexed me, with the 
sacred robes, whicJi they profaned, — non hos servatum 
munus in usus. // is true that, toward the middle of 
January, wJieti the chase was done, they gave me some 
other skins with which to cover m.yself; a7id a man from. 
Lorraine who lived among the neighboring Dutch, sent me, 
by way of alms, a blanket. Moreover, a Hiroqiiois 
woman — one of their principal personages, whose only 
son had died not long before — began to take some care of 
me, and then I gave myself wholly to the study of the 
language; and, because I was in a place where all the 
councils were held, — not only of our Village, but of all 
the country, — / had opportunity to instruct the chief 
persons of the nation in our holy mysteries, and to preach 
to them the Faith. They gave me opportunity for this by 
a thousand curious questions, which they asked me — about 
the Sun and the Moon; the size of the earth; the vastness 
of the Ocean, and its flood and ebb tides; of the limits of 
the world; whether the earth did not somewhere touch the 
Sky, etc.; and, because I contented them in some manner, 
they admired me, and said that they would have made a 
great mistake in killing me, as they had so many times 
resolved. But, when I passed from creatures to the 
Creator, they mocked m.e with the fables which they relate 
of the creatioji of the world, — which originated, by their 
saying, from a tortoise. But I told them of the true 
God, whom, if they were willing to know, Illius 
specie delectati intelligerent quanto Dominator illius 


li content alio, m ainmirauano, e diceiiano c hauercbbero 
fatto un grand' errore h uccidermi, come tante uolte haue- 
uana rifoliito. Ma io pajfando dalle creature al Creatore, 
mi burlauo delle fauole^ che raccontano della creatione del 
modo, originata a lor dire da una tartaruca, e gli parlauo 
del uero Dio, il quale fe uoleuano conofcere. lUius 
fpecie deledtati intelligerent quanto Dominator illius 
fpeciofior effet; // loro Airefkoi tion ejfendo altro, che 
un [97 i.e., 99] demonic bugiardo, che fcacciato per virtii 
della Croce dal rejlo del mondo, s' era tra loro rifugiato 
per riceuer da ejfi qualche particella di quell' ho?iore, che 
gli era Jiora negato da per tut to. N^ vi perdeuo inutil- 
mente il tempo, per che non folo battezzai molti putti, ma 
molti infermi, e prigiont adulti, che Jlimo hora Jiano nel 
Cielo. Ma non tutti, che vi' vdiuano, e per vna fpetie di 
cortefia commune tra loro m applaudeuano, mi credeuano, 
e Ji conuertiuano anche de gV infermi, f ed quotquot erant 
praeordinati ad vitam aeternam. Scorreuo di tempo in 
tempo air altre Terr e per vijitare inoslri Neofiti prigiont, 
con/olarli, & ammini^rarli il S . Sacrame7ito di penitenza, 
ajjijlere a jnoribondi, e battezzarli, majjimame?ite i putti, 
cinque de quali in vn borgo vicino, appena battezzati, 
volorjio al Cielo. Ma quejlo tempo non duro piii di due 
altri meji, cioi fino alia meta del 'tnefe di Marzo, nel quale 
qui le 7ieui Ji liquefaniio. Et all' hora vanno alia pefca, 
& io v' andai in compagnia d' vn Vecchio, e d' vna Vecchia 
con vn fanciullo. II viaggio fii di quattro giornate, il 
termine vn lago doue Ji pefcano pochi pe/ciolini, che affu- 
m.ano per conferuarli, e riportarli al paefe, viuendo intanto 
folo dell' interiora. Io v ero gih auuezzo, cotne anche alle 

1653] BRESSANrS RELATION, ib53 215 

speciosior esset, — their Aireskoi being no other than a 
[97 i.e., 99] lying demon, who, driven out by virtue of the 
Cross from the rest of the world, had taken refuge among 
thejn, in order to receive from theyn some particle of that 
honor which was now everywhere dejiied hitn. I did 7tot 
uselessly lose time there; for I baptized not only many 
children, but many sick people, and adult captives, who I 
think are now in Heaven. But not all who heard me — 
and, by a sort of courtesy common among them, applauded 
me — believed me and were converted, even among the sick, 
sed quotquot erant praeordinati ad vitam seternam. 
/ journeyed, frofn time to time, to the other Villages, in 
order to visit our captive Neophytes; to console them, and 
to administer to them the Holy Sacrament of penance; 
to assist the dying, and baptize them, — especially the 
children, five of whom, in a neighboring village, were no 
sooner baptized than they flew to Heaven. But this period 
did not last more than two montJis longer, — that is, until 
the middle of the month of March, zvhen here the snows 
melt, and then they go fishing; I, too, went in company 
with an Old man and an Old woman, together with a 
little child. The journey was one of four days; the goal, 
a lake where a few little fish are caught, which they 
smoke in order to preserve them., and carry them back to 
their country, — meanwhile living on the entrails alo7ie. 
I was already used to these, also to the intestines of Deer, 
which they cook and eat thus stinking, without opening or 
emptying them, with mushrooms cooked in water, and 
frogs entire, without skinning or opening them, etc., — so 
true it is that optimum condimentum fames. How 
often in these journeys Super flumina Babilonis illic 
sedimus, et flevimus, dum recordaremur tui Sion ! — 
not only the celestial, but also the terrestrial, which never 
ceases [98 i.e., 100] to praise her God. How often did I 


vifcere de CeruiJ, le quali cuocono, e niangiano cosl puz- 
zolenti, fenza aprirle, ni vuotarle, con fonghi cotti nelV 
acgua, ranocchie intiere, fenza fcorticarle, b aprirle &c. 
tanto ^ vero, che optimum condimentum fames. Quante 
volte m qiiedi viaggi Super flumina Babilonis illic 
fedimus, & fleuimus, dum recordaremur tui Sion, 7ion 
folo della cele^e, ma anco della terrejlre, che non cejfa 
[98 i.e., 100] mai di lodare il /no Dio. Quante volte 
cantai canticum Domini in terra aliena, & i bofchi, e i 
monti han fatto la prima volta echo alle lodi del loro 
Great ore iui affatto inujitate. In quante querce fcolpij il 
fantifs. nome di Giesii per fugarne fpauentati i Demonij. 
In quante la fantifs. Croce, vt fugerent, qui oderunt 
earn a facie eius, & era appunto nel tempo, che la Chief a 
fit memoria dell amara paffione del Saluatore, la quale io 
haueuo affai tempo di meditare a pie d' un alto pino ajjfai 
lontano nel bofco done haueuo fcolpita vna gran Croce. Ma 
quefla pace non durb molto; II lunedt delle palme, arriub 
vn Barbaro inuiato h pofiaper richiamarci nel paefe, fotto 
prete^o di timore de nemici, ma in verita per facrificarmi 
per il figlio del mio primo hofpite huomo di cojideratione, 
che fi teneua per morto infieme con none altri, che V estate 
inanzi erano partiti in guerra fenza dar mai nuoua di 
loro. AW arriuo d' un certo, diuulgatafene la morte, vi 
fit fubito facrificato vn pouero prigione, che era in cafa, 
di poco nome. Ma non baflaua vile caput ad vno de primi 
del paefe, ve ne voletia dunque piii d' uno, io doueuo effere 
il fecondo. Arriuammo alia Terra il giouedl Santo ful 
tardi, penfando col mio Signore morirui il venerdt, ma 
egli che era in quel d\ morto per darci la vita del! anima, 

1653] BRESSANPS RELATION, i633 '^17 

sing canticum Domini in terra aliena ! and the woods 
and mouyitains for the first time echoed the praises of their 
Creator, altogether unwonted there. On how many oaks 
did I carve the jnost holy name of Jesus, to expel 
from, them the terrified Demons! On how many the 
most holy Cross, ut fugerent, qui oderunt earn k facie 
ejus! And it tuas precisely at the time when the Church 
commemorates the bitter passion of the Savior, upon which 
I had sufficient time to meditate at the foot of a tall pine, 
at some distance in the woods, where I had carved a great 
Cross. But this peace did not last long; on Palm 
Monday arrived a Barbarian, sent expressly to call us 
back to the Iroquois country. This was under pretext of 
fear of the enemies, but, in truth, to sacrifice me for the 
son of my first host, — a man of influence, who was 
accounted dead, — and for nine others who, in the summer 
preceding, had gone away to war without ever sendiyig 
news of themselves. On the arrival of a certain man, 
the death of these men being announced, there was forth- 
with sacrificed a poor captive, who was in the house, of 
small renown. But a vile caput was not sufficient for 
one of the first in the country; more than one such was 
therefore wanted, and I tvas to be the second. We 
arrived at the Village on Holy Thursday, totvard evening, 
I thinking to die there, like my Lord, on Friday; but he 
who had died on that day in order to give us the life of 
the soul, chose to give me also that of the body. The 
report that the warriors are not dead suddenly begins to 
be current, — and, shortly after, that they are not only not 
dead, but that they are returning victorious, with twenty- 
two prisoners, — and they, changing their minds, leave m,e 
in life; but I might every day expect the same fate. Oh, 
what a life, amid a thousand deaths! My inclination 
was to withdraw as far as I could from the settlement , 
and seclude myself [<^() i.e., lOi] in the most secret part 


vol/e dare ct me anche quella del corpo, comincia fubito h 
correr voce, che i guerrieri non fono tnorti, e poco doppo, 
che non folo non /on morti, ma che ritornano vittorioji con 
ventidue prigioni, & ejji mutando parere mi lafciano in 
vita, met poteuo ogni d\ afpettare V ideffo. O che vita 
tra mille morti. La mia inclinatiojie era di slonta^iarmi 
quanto poteuo dalV habitato, e ritirarmi [991.6., lOi] nel 
pih /egret de bo/chi per s/ogarmi, e con/olarmi col mio 
Dio nella /olitudine ; m,a ricordandotni che Lia lagrimo/a, 
era piii /econda di Rachele, e che e proprio della Compagnia, 
di po/porre le con/olationi anche /pirituali al /eruitio di 
Dio neir aiuto delf anime, mi tejietio ne' borghi, e tra la 
gent e per imparar meglio la lingua, e per poter piii /acil- 
mente battezzare i putti moribondi, & i^ruire gli adult i, e 
mi /arei tenuto per colpeuole, /e per /' affenza mia qual- 
chuno non haue/fe riceuuti li aiuti necej/arij in quel tempo, 
almeno per giu/lificare la cau/a di Dio. Li 22. prigioni, 
de quali parlamino, /ur[o'\no finalmente condotti da no/iri 
guerrieri; erano d' una natione, che non haueua hauuto 
mai con eJJi guerra, e nondimeno /urono trattati all' ordi- 
nario de piic fieri nemici con ba/lonate, muiilatione di dita, 
/uochi, e /tratij crudelijjimi S'c. e cinque, che /olo erano 
adulti, de/linati ad e/fer brugiati viui; ritenendo il re/lo 
/chiaui, che erano qualche donna, ma il piii /anciulli, e 
/anciulle. Parlauano vna lingua, della quale qua/, non 
haueuo cognitione , ma con /' aiuto d' un Barbaro, che 
/apeua V una, e V altra lingua gli battezzai prima di 
morire, che /ii il dt di Pa/qua. Ma quel che /ecero alia 
Penteco/le e horribile. Menorno tre doyine delF isle/fa 
natione con i loro figlioletti, e le riceuerno nude h gran 

1653] BRESSANI'S RELATION, ib53 219 

<}f the woods, in order to soothe and console myself with 
my God in the solitude; but — remembering that Lia, 
though tearful, was more fruitful than Rachel, and that 
it is the part of the Society to subordinate evert spiritual 
consolations to the service of God, for the help of souls — 
/ kept myself in the villages, and among the people, in 
order better to learn the language, and to be able more 
easily to baptise the dying children, and to instruct the 
adults; and I would have accounted myself guilty if, 
because of my absence, any one had not received the 
necessary aids at that time, at least for justifying the 
cause of God. The 22 prisoners whom we have m.e7itioned 
were finally led up by our warriors; they were of a nation 
that had never waged war with these, and nevertheless 
they were treated as is usual in the case of the fiercest 
enemies, — with beatings, mutilation of the fingers, fires ^ 
and most cruel outrages, etc. Five, who alone were adult 
men, were appointed to be burned alive; they retained the 
rest as slaves; of these some were women, but fnost were 
boys and girls. They spoke a language of which I had 
scarcely any knowledge; but, with the aid of a Barbarian 
who knew both languages, I baptized them before they died, 
which was on Easter day. But what they did at Pente- 
cost is horrible. They brought three women from, the same 
nation, with their little children, and received them naked, 
with heavy blows of sticks; they cut ofi^ their fingers, and, 
after having roasted one of them over her entire body, they 
threw her, still alive, into a great fire, to m.ake her die 
therein, — an act uncommon, even there. And, as often 
as they applied the fire to that unhappy one with torches 
and burning brands, an Old man cried in a loud voice: 
^^ Aireskoi, we sacrifice to thee this victim, that thou 
may St satisfy thyself with her flesh, arid give us victory 
over our [100 i.e., 102] enemies.'' The pieces of this 


colpi di bajione, tagliorno loro le dita, e doppo hauerne 
arrojlita vna per tutto il corpo^ la gettorno ancor viua in 
vn gran fuoco per faruela morire, cofa etiandio iui Jlraor- 
dinaria. Et ogni volta, che applicauano con faci, e tizzoni 
ardenti h quejia infelice il fuoco, vn Antiano ad alta voce 
gridaua Aires koi: noi t' inimoliamo quejia vittima, accib 
ti fatij delle fue carni, e ci dij vittoria contro i no/lri 
[looi.e., 102] ncmici. I pezzi di quejlo cadauero furono 
inuiati a gli altri Cajielli per cffer iui mangiati. U in- 
uerno invn folenne banchetto, c haueuan fatto di due Orji, 
quali offerti haueuano al lor demonio, s erano feruiti di 
quejia formula. Aireskoi, tu hai ragione di cajiigarci, e 
di non darci pik prigioni (parlauano degli Algonchini, 
de quali quelV anno non haueuano prefo nejjfuno, effendo 
per altro i loro piu, capitali nemici) perche habbiam peccato 
non mangiando i cadaueri degli vltimi, che ci dejii; ma ti 
promettiamo di fnangiare i primi, che ci darai, come 
facciamo hora di quejii due Or ft; e cosi fecero. 

Quejia donna mort Chrijliana, & io non haiiendo potuto 
prima, la battezzai nelle fiamme con occafione di dargli da 
bere. La vigilia di San Giouan Battijia, giorno di tanta 
allegrezza, fii per m.e amarijfimo per la vijia di vndeci 
Huroni, & vn Francefe fatti nuouajnente prigioni, con tre 
altri vccifi, de' quali portauano le zazzere in trionfo, con 
quelle di diece altri Huroni perfidamente ingannati, & 
vccifi, fotto pretejio d' amico trattato di pace. I miei 
peccati mutauano come al popolo Hebreo le Neomenie, e 
fejie in giorni di pianto. Vae mihi, vt quid natus fum 
videre contritionem populorum iftorum. Riceuei 
alio Jiejfo tempo la nuoua della prigionia di cent' altri. 

1653] BRESSANrS RELATION, i653 221 

corpse were sent to the other Villages, there to be eaten. 
During the winter, at a solemn feast which they had 
made of two Bears, zvhich they had offered to their demon, 
they had used this form of words: " Aireskoi, thou dost 
right to punish us, and to give us no m.ore captives ' ' (they 
were speaking of the Algonquins, of whom that year they 
had not taken o?ie; these are, moreover, their chief enemies), 
" because we have siyined by not eating the bodies of those 
whom thou last gavest us; but we promise thee to eat the 
first ones whom thou shall give us, as we now do with 
these two Bears, ' ' — and so they did. 

This woman died a Christian; and I, not haviiig been 
able before, baptized her iti the flames, on occasion of 
giving her to drink. The eve of Saint John the Baptist, 
a day of so much rejoicing, was for me most bitter by 
reason of seeing eleven Hurons and one Frenchman, lately 
taken prisoners, together with three others, killed, — whose 
scalps they bore in triumph, with those of ten other 
Hurons, who had bee?i treacherously deceived and slain 
under pretext of a friendly treaty of peace. My sins were 
clianging, as for the Hebrew people, the New moons and 
feasts into days of mourning. Vae mihi, ut quid natus 
sum videre contritionem populorum istorum. / 
received at tJie same time the news of the captivity of a 
hundred others, taken, ill-used, and killed by others, their 
enemies. At these spectacles, at this news, defecit in 
dolore anima mea, et anni mei in gemitibus ; tabes- 
cere fecit Dominus sicut araneam animam meam, 
replevit me amaritudine, inebriavit me absynthio, 
etc. Sed in his omnibus superamus propter eum, 
qui dilexit nos, etc. ; qui venturus est veniet, et non 
tardabit. [loi i.e., 103] Sicut mercenarii dies mei, 
et fiet immutatio mea. 

/ have often enough the opporttmity to escape, but I will 


preji, Jlratiati, & vcciji da altri loro nemici. A quejle 
vijle, £i quejle nuoue defecit in dolore anima mea, & 
anni mei in gemitibus ; tabefcere fecit Dominus ficut 
araneam animam mea, repleuit me amaritudine, ine- 
briauit me abfynthio &c. Sed in his omnibus fupe- 
ramus propter eum, qui dilexit nos &c. qui venturus 
eft veniet, & non tardabit. [loi i.e., 103] flcut mer- 
cenarij dies mei, & fiet immutatio mea. 

Hd ajfaifpejfo occafione difuggire, ma non lofarb mentre 

potrb aiutare, con/olare, e confeffare i prigioni Franceji, d 

Bardart, ajji^ere i moribondi, battezzare i fanciulli &c. 

Hb gih battezzato piu di 70. tra putti, e adulti di cinque 

diner fe nationi; vt ex omni tribu, & lingua &c. ve ne 

Jia in cofpedtu Agni. vS^ bifogna viuerci fino alia fine, 

fiedto genua mea &c. Si facci per loro bene, per il quale 

forfi, Dio ni ha qui inuiato, e confer uato come miracolo- 

famente in vita, n^ permejfjfo, eke mi rim.enaffero h Kebek, 

ne che gli Ola7idefi mi rifcattaffero, ancorche /' habbino 

pill volte procurato. Gli hb vifi.tati due volte, e m' hanno 

cortefemejite receuuto, 7ie ceffano di procurare il 7nio 

ri/catto, e fan^io varij prefentucci a Barbari, che han cura 

di me, accib mi trattino bene. Comincio io Jiejfo ad anno- 

iarmi d' v?ia st lunga lettera, la quale finifco con pregare 

V. R. di ricono/cermi per fuo, ancorche tra Barbari nel 

viuere, vejlire, quafi in tutto fimile a loro. Viuo in vn 

continuo tiimulto, quafi, lontano dal mio Dio, ma figlio 

della Santa CJiiefa Romatia, e delta Compagnia, nella 

quale fipero, ancorche indegiio, fcmpre viuere, e morire. 

M' impetri dal Signore di non abufiar piii come hb fiatto di 

tante occafioni di fantificarmi. Mi riguardi come vn 

1653] BRESSANI'S RELA TION, 1633 223 

not do so while I can help, console, and confess the French 
or Barbarian captives, assist the dying, baptize the 
children, etc. I have already baptized more than 70 
amo7ig the children and adults of Jive different nations; ut 
ex omni tribu et lingua, etc., there may be some in 
conspectu Agni. If it be necessary to live here even to 
the end, flecto genua mea, etc. Be it done for their 
good, for which perchance God has sent me hither, and, as 
it were, zvonderfully preserved me alive, nor per knitted 
them to conduct me back to Kebek, or the DutcJi to ransom, 
me, although they have repeatedly tried to. I have twice 
visited them, and they have received me courteously; nor 
do they cease to attempt my rarisom, and they make 
various little gifts to the Barbarians who have charge of 
me, so that they may treat me well. I fnyself begin to 
grow weary of so long a letter, zvhich I end by praying 
Your Reverence to recognize me as yours, although among 
the Barbarians in the matter of living and clothing, and 
in almost everything similar to them. I live in a continual 
tumult, as it were, far from my God; but as a son of the 
Holy Roman Church and of the Society, — in which I hope, 
although unworthy, alzvays to live, and to die. Obtain for 
me from the Lord, not to abuse, more than I have done, so 
many occasions for sanctifying myself. Regard me as a 
needy man, whose faith is amid the obscure shadows of 
infidelity; his hope, amid frequent and protracted trials; 
his charity, amid a thousand carnalities, without help 
from the Sacraments; his chastity, not indeed in the midst 
of delights, but amid a thousand liberties, nakedness, 
and indecencies, unavoidable by any one who is not alto- 
gether blind. These things make m,e complain to my God, to 
the end that he may not forsake me inter mortuos sine 
adjutorio, — but fiat, amid so many impurities, cor 
meum [102 i.e., 104] immaculatum in justificationibus 


bi/ognofo, la cui fede i trh of cure tenebre d' infedelta, la 
fperanza tra fpeffe, e liaighe proue, la carith tra mille 
carnality, fenza auito di Sacrament i, la cajiita non certo 
tra le delitie, ma tra mille libcrta, nuditdc, & indecenze, 
ineuitabili a chi non e affato cieco; che i quello, che mi fa 
gemere al mio Dio, accib no m abbddoni inter mortuos 
line adiutorio ; ma fiat tra tante immojidezze cor meum 
[102 i.e., 104] immaculatum in iuftificationibus fuis; 
accib quando verra qui difperfiones Ifrael congregabit, 
ci vnifca tutti, tirandoci da diuerfe nationi ad benedi- 
cendum nomini, fuo. fiat, fiat. Saluto tutti i noftri 
Padri, e fratelli, e mi raccomando h i loro fantifjimi 
Sacrificij, & orationi. Dalla Colonia Ro7ifelaria nella 
nuoua Oldda 5. Agoflo 1643. 
Di V. R. 

Humilifs. in Xpo Seruo, e Figlio. 

Ifaac logues. 

1653] BRESSANPS RELATION, ibs3 225 

suis ; so that, when he shall come qui dispersiones Israel 
congregabit, he may unite us all, drawing us front 
various tiations ad benedicendum nomini suo: fiat, 
fiat. / salute all our Fathers and brethren, and commend 
myself to their most holy Sacrifices and prayers. From 
the Colony of Ronselar [Rensselaer'], in new Holland, 
August ^th, 1643. 

Your Reverence' s 

Most humble Servant and Son in Christ, 

Isaac fogues. 





Q VESTA e vna parte di quel, che patl nel paefe 
de gl' Hirochefi done era prigione, ma dopo 
eflere vfcito dalle lor mani, aggiunfe k chi 
con autorit^ 1' interrog6 del fuo interiore, molte cofe 
particolari. Primo, che per rimedio di quel, che 
patiua feruendo ^ i Barbari nel tempo della caccia, 
nel quale era trauagliato all' ifteffo tempo di freddo, 
fame, nudity, difprezzo, e timore di morti piu che 
quotidiane, non fenza paura de giuditij di Dio, fece 
quaranta di d efercitij fpirituali ne' bofchi, fenza 
cafa, e fenza fuoco, tutto gelato di freddo, che gli 
haueua aperto le carni in varie parti piii delicate, e 
pill efpofte air ingiurie della ftagione, ancorche il 
paefe de gl' Hirochefi non fia si freddo, che quello di 
Kebek. Ma n' hebbe per ricompenfa da Dio fauori 
particolari, che fcopri "k chi glie lo poteua comandare, 
e fono riferiti nella fua Hiftoria fcritta in Francefe. 
Secondo, finiti li efercitij (i quali haueuano procurato 
piu volte impedirgli come fuperftitioni infaufte, an- 
corche fi nafcondeffe ne* bofchi) gli ordinorno di fare 
vn viaggio di 80., 5 90. miglia tra le neui del mefe 
di Decembre, carico di carne affumata. Era in 
compagnia d' vna donna grauida, carica ancor' effa 

1653] BRESSANI'S RELATION, i6s3 227 




THIS is a part of what tie suffered in the country 
of the Hiroquois, where he was captive ; but 
after having escaped from their hands he 
added, to him who with authority questioned him 
about his inward condition, many circumstantial 
details. First, that by way of remedy for what he 
suffered while serving the Barbarians during the 
hunting season, — when he was tormented at the 
same time with cold, hunger, nakedness, contempt, 
and fear of more than daily death, not without fear, 
also, of the judgments of God, — he performed, for 
forty days, spiritual exercises in the woods. He had 
neither a cabin nor fire ; he was all frozen with the 
cold, which had opened his flesh in various- places, — 
those most tender, or most exposed to the injuries of 
the season, — although the country of the Hiroquois 
is not so cold as that of Kebek. But he had, by way 
of recompense from God, especial favors, which he 
revealed to him who could command him ; and they 
are reported in his History, written in French. ^^ Sec- 
ondly, when his exercises were ended (from which 
they had repeatedly tried to hinder him, as being 
unlucky superstitions, although he hid himself in 
the woods), they ordered him to make a journey 
of 80 or 90 miles, amid the snows of the month of 
December, burdened with smoked meat. He was in 


di carne, e d' vn putto, che portaua. Nel paffare vn 
torrente rapido, e profondo fopra vn albero, che lo 
trauerfaua/ la donna cadde nell' acqua, e la corda 
della carica gli ftringeua gia il collo, & il pefo la 
tiraua al fondo. II Padre, che la feguitaua, fi getta 
^ nuoto, e la falua con il putto, che fubito battezza, 
vedendolo affai ammalato, e gli dk il paffaporto per 
il Cielo, done and5, morendo due di doppo. Senza 
il fuoco, che fubito fecero, farebbero [103 i.e., 105] 
tutti in breue morti di freddo tanto 1' acqua era ag- 
ghiacciata Lo vollero rinuiare d' onde era partito, 
carico di gran turchefco, ma per la debolezza, e per 
la difficoltk del camino fdrucciolo, e pien di ghiaccio, 
effendo piu volte caduto fotto il pefo, fii coftretto ^ 
ritornarfene. Fu riceuuto con ingiurie, e condan- 
nato k feruire vn' ammalato fchifofiffimo, che gli 
haueua f radicate, e ll;rappate 1' vnghie co i denti al 
fuo arriuo nel paefe, al quale ferui con vna patienza 
di ferro, e con vna caritk veramente d' oro. Quarto, 
certi Capitani lo menorno k diuerfe nationi confe- 
derate, & ad elTi tributarie, come vn trofeo delle 
vittorie loro; ma Dio fe ne ferui per i f uoi dif egni ; 
perche il P. ouunque entraua, con induftria battez- 
zaua i putti moribondi (il numero arriu5 "k piu di 60.) 
& annuntiabat Regnuvi Dei prcsdicans vbique. Vidde 
tra gli ammalati vn giouane, che languiua, e guar- 
dandolo fiflamente, s' vdi chiamare per il fuo nome 
Hurone. Ondefonk ! Tu non mi conofcif E pure 
fon tuo benefattore. E come, rifponde egli? Quando 
tu eri prigione, e legato si ftretto, che moriui, io 

1653] BRESSANI'S RELA TION, 1653 229 

company with a pregnant woman, who was also laden 
with meat, and with a child, whom she carried. In 
crossing a swift and deep torrent by means of a tree 
which extended over it, the woman fell into the 
water ; and the cord of her burden was already strang- 
ling her neck, and the weight was pulling her to the 
bottom. The Father, who was following her, leaped 
in, swimming, and saved her with the child; the 
latter he straightway baptizes, seeing him quite sick ; 
and gives him the passport to Heaven, whither he 
went, for he died two days later. But for the fire 
which they promptly made, they would [103 i.e., 105] 
all soon have died from cold, so icy was the water. 
They wished to send him back to the place whence 
he had started, laden with turkish corn ; but by 
reason of weakness and the difficulty of the slippery 
road, full of ice, having several times fallen under 
the weighty burden, he was constrained to return. 
He was received with insults, and condemned to serve 
a most filthy diseased man, — the one who had 
extracted and torn off his nails with his teeth, at his 
arrival in the country, — whom he served with a 
patience of iron, and with a charity truly golden. 
Fourthly, certain Captains conducted him to various 
nations, — confederates or tributaries of theirs, — as 
a trophy of their victories ; but God used this for his 
designs, because the Father entered everywhere, 
skillfully baptized the dying children (the number 
reached more than 60), et annuntiabat Regnum Dei, 
prcedicans iibique. He saw among the sick a young 
man who was languishing away: and looking at him 
fixedly, he heard himself called by his Huron name. 
' ' Ondesonk ! You do not know me ; and yet I am your 
benefactor." "And how?" he answers. "When 


hebbi pietk di te, e ti fciolQ. E vero, replied il 
Padre, abbracciandolo caramente, e defiderauo di 
riuederti, e riconofcerti, potendo in qualche cofa. E 
forfi, ecco il tempo di farlo. Per rifloro del tuo 
corpo, che fe ne v^ morendo, io non h5 alcun rime- 
dio; ma poffo piu che non credi, per il bene della 
miglior parte di te, che e 1' anima. Poflo obligarti 
piu, che tu non m' obligafti. Tu fei in vna mifera 
fchiauitudine, legato con catene non di ferro, ma de' 
peccati &c. In vna parola 1' iftrul, lo battezz6, e 
poche hore doppo lo vidde paffare all' altra vita per 
riceuere la ricompenfa no meritata della caritk, che 
gli hauena gi^ fatta. Tan to Dio e buono, e liberale. 
II fuo viuere in qnefto viaggio, non fii altro, che 
della porcacchia faluatica, cotta nell' acqua femplice, 
e fenza fale. Non in folo pane viuit homo. Appena 
ritornato da quefto viaggio, fu mandato per feruire 
ad altri Barbari, che andauano alia caccia, vicino k gli 
Olandefi. Qui riceue da vno di effi, che 1' amaua, la 
nuoua della rifolutione frefcamente prefa, della fua 
morte, e configlio di fuggirfene a gli Olandefi; doppo 
lunga deliberatione, fi rifolue di farlo, vedendo di 
non poter effere piu vtile in quel paefe; & hauedone 
per altro opportuna 1' occafione. Lo fece dunque di 
notte; ma non fenza pericolo, effendo fcoperto da 
cani di guardia, che lo morfero in modo, che appena 
potfe ftrafcinarfi alia riua del fiume per imbarcarfi in 
vn battello, che il Capitano d' vna naue [104 i.e., 106] 
Olandefe haueaa iui k porta lafciato, acci5 poteffe, col 
fauor delle tenebre, fuggirfene k Iui, che promeffo 

1653] BRESSANJ'S RELATION, i6s3 231 

you were a captive, and bound so tightly that you 
were dying, I took pity on you, and loosed you." 
"It is true," replied the Father, affectionately em- 
bracing him; " and I was desiring to see you again, 
and to recompense you, if in any way I could. And 
perhaps this is the time to do it. For the restora- 
tion of your body, which is passing away in death, I 
have no remedy ; but I can do more than you suppose 
for the good of the best part of you, which is the 
soul. I can oblige you more than you have obliged 
me. You are in a miserable slavery, bound with 
chains, — not of iron, but of your sins," etc. In a 
word, he instructed and baptized him; and, a few 
hours later, he saw him pass to the other life, in 
order to receive the recompense not before obtained 
for the charity which he had already shown him. So 
good and liberal is God. His living on this journey 
was none other than wild purslane, cooked in water 
alone, and without salt. Non in solo pane vivit homo. 
Hardly had he returned from this journey, when he 
was sent to serve other Barbarians, who were going 
to hunt near the Dutch. Here he received from one 
of them, who loved him, the news of the resolution 
lately adopted for his death, and advice to escape 
thence to the Dutch; after long deliberation, he 
resolved to do so, seeing that he could no longer be 
useful in that country, and having, besides, a con- 
venient opportunity for it. He then did so by night ; 
but not without danger, — being discovered by watch- 
dogs, which bit him so that he could hardly drag 
himself to the bank of the river, in order to embark 
in a boat which the Captain of a Dutch ship 
[104 i.e., 106] had purposely left there in order 
that he might, by favor of the darkness, escape to 


hauea di nafconderlo. Ma perche i Barbari fofpet- 
torno di quel, che era paffato, bifogn6 metterlo occul- 
tamente altroue, finche c6 prefenti il lor furore fl 
placaffe, e fe non fi placaua per poter rendergli il 
prigione. Fu il Padre dato in guardia ad vn Vecchio 
auaro, che fei fettimane intiere lo tratt5 contro 1' or- 
dine, che haueua, poco meglio de nimici, in vna 
loggia efpofta k gran caldi dell' eftate, fenz' altr' 
acqua, che quella, che queft' huomo fpietato metteua 
d' otto in otto di in vna tina, che feruiua per fare la 
bucata, la quale il fecondo, 6 terzo di cominciaua k 
puzzare ; ne altro cibo, che quello, che era puramete 
neceflario per non morire. E come il luogo doue era, 
non era feparato da quello, doue i Barbari, che lo 
cercauano paffauano quafi tutto il giorno in traffichi 
col Vecchio fuo cuftode, d' altro che di tauole mal' 
vnite infieme, il Padre per non efler vifto per le 
j&llure, e buchi di quella feparatione, era coftretto di 
paffare quafi tutto il di tra alcune botti, che iui erano, 
e ritenerfi fpeflo dal toffire, e flernutare per non 
effere fcoperto. E vi dimoro piii fettimane, finche il 
Gouernatore del paefe, auuertito dal Predicante di 
quefti trattamenti, e moflo a pietk di Iui, lo fece 
paffare in vna naue fino alle fpiagge del mare, doue 
egli ftelTo dimoraua, e di la, placati prima con molti 
prefenti gl' Hirochefi, 1' inuio in Europa al principio 
di Nouembre, ftagione pericolofa, e fcommoda per 
la nauigatione, maffime k vn' huomo, che non haueua 
altro letto, che le tauole della naue. Giunfe la naue 
in Inghilterra, doue i marinari fcefero per rinfrefcarfi, 

1653] BRESSANI'S RELATION, i6ss 233 

him, for this Captain had promised to conceal him. 
But, because the Barbarians suspected what had 
happened, it was necessary to place him elsewhere 
in secret, until by presents their fury should be ap- 
peased, and if it were not appeased, that the prisoner 
should be given up to them. The Father was given 
in custody to a miserly Old man, who for six whole 
weeks — contrary to the orders that he had — treated 
him little better than the enemies. He was kept in 
a room which was exposed to the great heat of 
summer, without other water than that which this 
unmerciful man put from week to week in a tub 
which served for making lye; this water on the 
second or third day began to stink ; nor had he other 
food than that which was absolutely necessary to 
keep him from dying. And, as the place where he 
was, was not separated, except by planks poorly 
joined together, from that in which the Barbarians 
who were seeking him spent almost the whole day, 
in bargains with the Old man his guard, the Father, 
in order not to be seen through the cracks and 
holes of that partition, was constrained to spend 
nearly all day among some casks which were there, 
and often to restrain himself from coughing and 
sneezing, so as not to be discovered. And he 
remained there several weeks, until the Governor of 
the country, notified of these doings by the Minister, 
and moved with pity for him, had him sail in a ship 
even to the shores of the sea, where he himself lived. 
Thence, when the Hiroquois had first been placated 
with many presents, he sent him to Europe at the 
beginning of November; a season dangerous and 
inconvenient for navigation, — especially for a man 
who had no other bed than the planks of the ship. 


non lafciando nel vaf cello altro, che il Padre, con 
vno di loro. Di che accortifi alcuni ladri, entrorno 
la notte per rubbarli, e con il reflo, che prefero, 
tolfero al Padre, il cappello, & vna cafacca, che gli 
Olandefi gli haueuano data per coprirfi. II Capitano 
auuertitone, cerca i ladri, & il Padre troua vna naue 
Francefe, che gli fece qualche limofina, & vna barca 
carica di carbone, che lo ripafs5 in Francia, il dl fteffo 
di Natale del 1643. per partirne quanto prima, cioe 
il Maggio fegnente, e ritornare al fuo diletto Canada. 
Doue arriuato, effendofi tra gl' Hirochefi, e noi con- 
clufa vna finta pace, fii da Superiori deftinato per 
cominciare vna nuoua miffione, che chiamomo de 
Santi Martiri, per effer fotto la loro protettione intra- 
prefa. V and5 egli prontamente, ancorche la natura 
ci hauelle vna incredibile repugnanza, v' ando tre 
volte; ma la terza, ch' era per paffarui 1' inuerno, 
[105 i.e., 107] e cominciare k fodo 1' inftruttione di 
quelli infedeli. Fu all' arriuo fpogliato nudo, carico 
di colpi, e poco doppo aflaffmato nell' entrar d' vna 
capanna, fenza volerlo ne pure vdire, fpaccandogli 
con colpi d' accetta barbaramente la tefta. Gli Olan- 
defi ci diedero aunifo di quefta morte, & il lor Predi- 
cate informatofi della cagione, hebbe per rifpofta, 
che il Padre haueua lafciato in vna cafletta, doue 
erano gli habiti facerdotali, il demonio chiufo, il 
quale hauea mangiati i loro grani, che erano riufciti 
male quell' anno, onde 1' vccifero come mago. Magla 
chiamano tutti i noftri fanti mifterij, e particolar- 
mente il Santo Battefimo, & il fegno della Santa 

1653] BRESSANI'S RELATION, i6s3 235 

The ship arrived in England, where the mariners 
went ashore to refresh themselves, — leaving in the 
vessel only the Father, with one of their number. 
Some thieves, having perceived this, entered by 
night to rob them ; and, with what else they took, 
they carried ofiE the Father's hat and a cloak which the 
Dutch had given him for a covering. The Captain, 
being notified of the matter, searched for the rob- 
bers. The Father found a French ship, which gave 
him some alms ; and a bark laden with coal, which 
carried him back to France on the very day of Christ- 
mas, in 1643, to depart thence as soon as possible, — 
that is, in the following ]\Iay, — to return to his 
beloved Canadk. When he had arrived there, — a 
feigned peace being concluded between the Hiroquois 
and us, — he was appointed by the Superiors to begin 
a new mission, which they called " Holy Martyrs," 
as being undertaken under their protection. He 
went thither promptly; although nature had an in- 
credible repugnance thereto, he went thither three 
times ;^^ but at the third, — which was to spend the 
winter there, [105 i.e., 107] and to begin with solid- 
ity the instruction of those infidels, — upon his arrival 
he was stripped naked, loaded with blows. Soon 
aft^rw^ard, he was assassinated in entering a cabin, — 
not desiring, or even realizing death, his head being 
barbarously split open with blows of a hatchet. The 
Dutch gave us notice of this death ; and their Minis- 
ter, having inquired about the cause of it, had for an 
answer that the Father had left, in a little box in 
which were his priestly clothes, the demon shut up, 
w^ho had eaten their corn, which had poorly suc- 
ceeded that year ; for which reason they slew him as 
a sorcerer. They call all our holy mysteries magic, — 


Croce, che il Padre andaua per infegnarli. Mori li 
i8. d' Ottobre 1' anno 1646. Haueua preuifto il peri- 
colo, e fcrittolo chiaramente k diuerfi amici, ma vi 
s' era allegramente efpofto, per proteftare al Cielo, & 
alia terra, che piu llima faceua della Fede, che 
andaua per predicare, che della vita, che ^ fuo giu- 
ditio efponeua per quefto ^ manifefto pericolo. 

II Padre Ifaac era natiuo d' Orleans, haueua palTato 
dieci anni in quefta vigna del Signore, con grandi 
efempi di vna gran tenerezza di confcienza, d' vna 
carit^ intiincibile, che non hebbe mai la minima 
auerfione k fuoi carnefici, e che efpofe per effi volon- 
tieri la vita; ma fopra tutto d' vna profondiffima 
humiltk, la quale ci hauerebbe priuati della cogniti- 
one di molte cofe di grande edificatione, fe non gli 
foffe bifognato fottometterla all' vbbidienza. E 
quefta non e, fe non vna particella delle cofe, che 
fappiamo di quefto feruo di Dio, le cui lettere, fenti- 
menti, & altre particolaritk daranno della materia ^ 
chi ne fcriuerk 1' hiftoria. Vccifero il giorno feguente 
il fuo compagno, che era vn giouane Francefe natiuo 
della Citt^ di Dieppe in Normandia, chiamato Gio- 
uanni della Landa, il quale preuedendo 1' ifteflo 
pericolo, vi s' era coraggiofamente efpofto, non ne 
afpettando altra ricompenfa, che quella del Paradifo.. 

1653] BRESSANPS RELATION, i6s3 237 

especially Holy Baptism and the sign of the Holy 
Cross, which the Father went to teach them. He 
died on the i8th of October in the year 1646. He 
had foreseen the danger, and had clearly written about 
it to several friends; but he had gladly exposed 
himself to it, in order to protest to Heaven and earth 
that he valued the Faith, which he went to preach, 
more than his life, — which, in his opinion, he was 
exposing for this purpose to obvious danger. 

Father Isaac was a native of Orleans ; he had spent 
ten years in this vineyard of the Lord, giving lofty 
examples of great tenderness of conscience; of an 
invincible charity, which never had the least aver- 
sion for his executioners, and which willingly 
exposed life for them ; but, above all, of most pro- 
found humility, which would have deprived us of 
the knowledge of many things highly edifying, if 
he had not been obliged to submit it to authority. 
And this is only a small portion of the things which 
we know about this servant of God; whose letters 
and meditations, with other particulars, will give 
materials to whomsoever shall write the history 
thereof. On the following day, they killed his com- 
panion, who was a young Frenchman, — a native of 
the City of Dieppe, in Normandy, called Jean de la 
Lande, — who foreseeing the same danger, had cour- 
ageously exposed himself to it, expecting no other 
reward therefor than that of Paradise. 




IL P. Antonio Daniel raori per imitate il buon 
Paftore, qui animani fuam dat pro ouibus fuis, 
■>nercenarius autem fiigit. Haueua egli ciira della 
Miffione detta di San Giofeppe, che era nelle 
[io6 i.e., io8] frontiere del paefe degli Huroni, e 
pero pill efpofta k gli affalti del nemico. Haueua 
finito gli efercitij fpirituali della Compagnia il primo 
di Luglio, e fu vccifo li 4. del medefimo. Vna parte 
degli Huroni di quefta Terra groffa, e forte era anda- 
ta alia guerra, vn' altra alia caccia, altri per altre 
occafioni fe n' erano slontanati, quando il nemico 
fegretamente auuicinandofi, e faputo da alcuni, che 
prefe prigioni, lo ftato del luogo, li rifolfe d' affalirlo. 
Ma non potendolo fare altro. che da vna parte, ne 
fenza elTer fcoperto per 1' eminenza del borgo, diede 
tempo k gli habitanti, che far lo voleuano, di fuggire 
per altra parte, e lo fecero centinaia di donne cariche 
de' lor figli; ma il Padre, che finiua apptinto la Meffa, 
efortato da gli amici ^ fuggire, in vece della fuga, 
elelTe la morte per faluar ^ molti doppiamente la vita. 
Comincia dunque h. fcorrer per le capanne per efor- 
targli "k fprezzar la morte, k penfare al Paradifo, & k 
ricorrer k Dio. Battezza i vecchi, e gli ammalati gik 
iflrutti, che non poteuano fuggire, e dk 1' vltima 

1653] BRESSANPS RELATION, i653 239 



FATHER Antoine Daniel died while imitating 
the good Shepherd, qui animam suani dat pro 
ovibus suis; mercenarius aiitem fugit. He had 
charge of the Mission called Saint Joseph, which was 
on the [io6 i.e., io8] borders of the Huron country, 
and therefore most exposed to the assaults of the 
enemy. He had finished the spiritual exercises of 
the Society on the first of July, and was killed on the 
4th of the same month. One part of the Hurons of 
this large and strong Village had gone to the war, 
another to the hunt, others had withdrawn from it 
for other reasons, — when the enemy, approaching 
secretly, and having learned the condition of the 
place from some whom he took prisoners, resolved 
to attack it. But not being able to do so except on 
one side, or without being discovered because of the 
high situation of the village, he gave time to the in- 
habitants who were so inclined, to flee in the other 
direction. A hundred women did so, laden with 
their children; but the Father, — who was just end- 
ing Mass, — although exhorted by his friends to 
escape, chose death instead of flight, that he might, 
in a double sense, save life to many. He therefore 
begins to hasten through the cabins, in order to ex- 
hort them to despise death, to think of Paradise, and 
to have recourse to God. He baptizes the aged and 
the sick who are already instructed, who could not 


affolutione "k quelli, che erano gi^ Chriftiani. Quan- 
do h auuertito, che il nemico e alle porte, e che la 
Chiefa e plena di gente, che domanda parte il Batte- 
fimo, parte 1' affolutione. II Padre vi corre, e perche 
il tempo non gli permetteua di battezzarli k vno, k 
vno, ne battezza molti per afperfionem, affolue gli 
altri, e non eflendoui piu rimedio, gli eforta alia 
fuga, afficurandoli, che haueuano il tempo di farlo per 
vna porta di dietro, quando bene il nemico fuffe di 
gia entrato. Et inuero e cofa degna di marauiglia, 
che il nemico doppo poca refiftenza, effendofi impa- 
dronito della porta, & entrato, e con horribili, e 
fpauentofi gridi, e con flrage di quanto incotraua, 
andato alia Chiefa, no pote nuocere ad alcuno di 
quelli, che iui s' erano ritirati; il Padre folo (il quale 
effi non voleuano vccidere, ma pigliar viuo per tor- 
mentarlo[)] impedendogli 1' entratafin tanto, chetutti 
furono in ficuro, perche vedendo finalmente, che 
non lo poteuano pigliare fenza vcciderlo, lo trafiffero 
di mille frezze, & in fine 1' vccifero d' vn' archibu- 
giata, e fualigiata la Chiefa, e la capanna, & vccifl i 
vecchi, e gl' infermi del luogo, mifero il fuoco da 
per tutto, e H ritirorno con circa 700 prigioni, de quali 
vccifero vna parte, cioe i piu deboli per ftrada, ma 
prima non mancorno di fare mille infulti al cadauero 
di quefto buon Paftore, e di lauarfi nel fuo fangue, 
formato in vn cuore si generofo le mani, e '1 vifo. 
La morte del P. Antonio fu pretiofa non folo inanzi 
k Dio, ma anche inanzi a gli huomini, i Barbari, e 
gl' infedeli [107 i.e., 109] fteffi ammirando vna 
cortanza si rara, & vn difprezzo si grade della morte. 

1653] BRESSANI'S RELATION, i6s3 241 

escape ; and gives the last absolution to those who 
were already Christians. When he is warned that 
the enemy is at the door, and that the Church is full 
of people, — of whom some request Baptism, others 
absolution, — the Father hastens thither ; and, because 
time did not allow him to baptize them one by one, 
he baptizes many of them by sprinkling, and absolves 
the others. As there is no longer any help for it, he 
exhorts them to flight, assuring them that they had 
time to effect it through a gate at the rear, even 
though the enemy had already come in. And in 
truth it is a thing worthy of wonder, that the en- 
emy, — having gained, after slight resistance, mastery 
of the gate, and entrance thereat ; and having, with 
horrible and frightful cries, and with the massacre 
of all whom he encountered, proceeded to the 
Church, — could not injure any one of those who had 
retreated thither. The Father alone (whom they 
intended not to kill, but to take alive in order to 
torment him) prevented them from entering until all 
were safe ; therefore, seeing at last that they could 
not take him without killing him, they transfixed 
him with a thousand arrows, and at last slew him 
with an arquebus shot. Then, having pillaged the 
Church and the cabin, and killed the old and the sick 
of the place, they set fire on all sides, and withdrew 
with about 700 captives, a part of whom they slew 
by the way, — that is, the weakest. But, first, they 
did not fail to offer a thousand indignities to that 
good Pastor's body, and to wash their hands and 
faces in his blood, because it was formed in so brave 
a heart. The death of Father Antoine was precious 
not only before God, but also before men, — the Bar- 
barians and infidels [107 i.e., 109] themselves admir- 
ing so rare a constancy, and so great a contempt for 


Piu predic6, e perfuafe morendo, che non hauea fatto 
in molti anni di vita. Molti, che prima con crede- 
uano fe ne feruirono per motiuo di credibility, & indi 
concludeuano la ficurezza de noflri mifterij. Non 
era, diceuano, per fuo intereffe, che s' efpofe, e mori 
il buon Arontoine (cosi chiamauano il Padre^ era per 
il noftro. La Fede, che opera quefti effetti non pu6 
effer altro che Santa, e quefta gente, che ci ama fin' 
k morir per noi, non hk certo voglia d' ingannarci, 
ne di perderci. E (diceuano altri, che prima fe ne 
rideuano) la Fede negotio d' importanza, poiche per 
piantarla, 5 per conferuarla quefti Europei efpongon 
si allegramente la vita ; bif ogna, che fiano ben flcuri 
di quel, che predicano, e particolarmente d' vna vita 
beata, poiche cosl coraggiofamente difprezzano la 
prefente. E tocchi da quefte confiderationi molti 
infedeli ci vennero k domadare il Battefimo. 

Era il P. Daniele natiuo di Dieppe in Normandia. 
Haueua fpefo 15. anni intieri in quefte miffioni, 
venutoui de primi 1' anno 1633. onde haueua paffato 
per tutte le proue di quel penofi principij, che hab- 
biamo di fopra riferite. L' obedienza, humiltk, 
vnione con Dio, e zelo dell' anime erano rare, e 
quel, che e piu marauigliofo, con vn cuore genero- 
fiffimo haueua vna manfuetudine affatto incredibile, 
che lo rendeua iftrumento potentiffimo per la conuer- 
fione di quelli infedeli. Non ha dopo la fua morte 
abbandonato il fuo gregge, come fi potrk forfi qualche 
giorno dimoftrare. Fii vccifo li 4. di Luglio 1648. 
r anno 48. dell' etk fua, e 27. di religione, e fii il 
primo de' noftri, che morl nella Miffione degli Huroni. 

1653] BRESSANrS RELATION, j653 243 

death. He preached and persuaded more by dying 
than he had done in many years of life. To many 
who did not before believe, his death served as an 
incentive to belief, and from it they argued the 
certainty of our mysteries. " It was not," they said, 
" for his own interest that the good Arontoine " (thus 
they called the Father) " exposed himself and died; 
it was for ours. The Faith which produces these 
effects cannot be other than Holy ; and these people 
who love us even to dying for us have surely no 
desire to deceive us, or to destroy us." " The 
Faith" (said others who formerly mocked it) " is a 
matter of importance, since in order to plant it or to 
preserve it, these Europeans so cheerfully expose 
their lives ; they must be well assured of what they 
preach, and especially of a blessed life, since they 
thus courageously despise the present one." And, 
touched with these thoughts, many infidels came to 
request from us Baptism. 

Father Daniel was a native of Dieppe, in Norman- 
dy. He had spent 1 5 whole years in these missions, 
having first come to them in the year 1633; so that 
he had passed through all the trials of those labo- 
rious beginnings which we reported above. His 
obedience, humility, union to God, and zeal for 
souls, were rare ; and, what is more wonderful, with 
a most courageous heart, he had a quite incredible 
gentleness, which rendered him a most powerful 
instrument for the conversion of those infidels. 
Since his death, he has not abandoned his flock, as 
perhaps can be some day demonstrated. ^° He was 
killed on the 4th of July, 1648, in the 48th year of 
his age, and his 27th in religion ; and he was the first 
of ours who died in the Mission of the Hurons. 




PAREUA, che Dio haueffe determinato di por 
fine alia MifTione degli Huroni nell' iftefTo 
tempo, che alia vita di chi 1' haueua incomin- 
ciata, quefli fu, come habbiam detto, il Padre Gio- 
uanni di Brebeuf, nella cui morte comincid 1' irrepa- 
rabile rouina di quefta natione. S' era di gik la fede 
impofleffata di quafi tutto il paefe, fe ne faceua per 
tutto publica profeffione, e non folo i particolari, ma 
li capi fteffi n' erano infieme figli, e protettori, e le 
fuperftitioni, [io8 i.e., no] che prima erano piu che 
quotidiane, cominciauano talmente k perdere il cre- 
dito, che vn' infedele, che ne domandaua vna per 
rimedio d' vn fuo male nella terra della Concettione, 
non pote mai, per confiderabile che foffe, ottenerne 
r effetto. Le perfecutioni contro di noi erano gik 
celTate, le maledittioni cotro la Fede mutate in bene- 
dittioni, direi quafi erano gik maturi per il Cielo, e 
per6 bifognaua la falce della morte per metterli ne' 
ficuri granari del Paradifo. Quefta e ftata 1' vnica 
noftra confolatione nella defolatione vniuerfale di 
quel paefe. Erano gi^ con la Fede cominciate le 
difgratie, & affiittioni, fono co la Fede crefciute, e 
quado parea, che la Fede fuffe come in vn pacific© 

1653] BRESSANrS RELATION, ibs3 245 



IT appeared that God had determined to put an 
end to the Mission of the Hurons at the same 
time as to the life of him who had begun it; 
this was, as we have said, Father Jean de Brebeuf, 
at whose death began the irreparable ruin of this 
nation. The faith had already taken possession of 
almost all the country ; public profession of it was 
made everywhere ; and not only private persons, but 
the chiefs themselves, were at once its sons and pro- 
tectors. The superstitious rites [io8 i.e., no] which 
were formerly of more than daily occurrence, so 
began to lose credit that an infidel who asked for one 
of them by way of remedy for an ailment of his, in 
the village of la Conception, could never, prominent 
though he was, obtain his end. Persecutions against 
us had already ceased; cursings against the Faith 
had been changed into blessings: I could almost say 
that the people were already ripe for Heaven ; and 
yet it required the scythe of death to place them in 
the safe granaries of Paradise. This has been our 
only consolation in the universal desolation of that 
country. With the Faith, disasters and afflictions 
had already begun ; with the Faith they increased ; 
and, when it appeared that the Faith was, as it were, 
in peaceful possession of everything, intraverimt aquce 
tribulationum so deeply, that this unhappy Christian 


poffelTo di tutto, intrauerunt aquce tribulationu si auanti, 
che h^ potuto quefta mifera chriftianitk ftimare d' ef- 
fer venuta in altitudinetn maris, e dire con le lagrime 
^ gli occhi. Tempejlas demerfit me. Haueua gik il 
nemico prefo due, h tre borghi nelle frontiere; gli 
altri s' erano affai fortificati ; ma 1' inuerno dell' 
anno 1649 piti di mille Hirochefl vennero si fegreta- 
mente "k trauerfo i bofchi lo fpatio di piii di 600. 
miglia, che all' alba del di de' 16 di Marzo compar- 
uero inafpettatamente alle porte del primo forte degli 
Huroni chiamato S. Ignatio. II luogo era inefpugna- 
bile da Barbari, e per il fito, e per le fortificationi, 
che fatte vi haueuano. Ma come gli habitanti non 
dubitauano di niente, e la piii parte de foldati erano 
andati alia guerra con quefto fteffo fine di fcoprire fe 
v' erano nemici in campagna; 6 alia caccia; non fii 
difficile k gl' Hirochefi auicinarfl di notte, e sii 
r alba, come diceuamo mentre dormiuano, entrarui 
quafi fenza refiftenza con la morte folo di 15. o 16. 
de* loro. Vccifero fubito vna gran parte degli habi- 
tanti, n' imprigionorno altri, altri riferuorno per 
efercitare in effi le lor folite crudelta. Tre fole per- 
fone ne fcamporno mezze nude per darne auuifo alia 
Terra vicina detta di San Luigi diflante non piu di 
tre miglia. Subito i Capitani auuertirno le donne di 
fuggirfene con i putti, e quel che haueuano di piii 
pretiofo, & efortorno i noftri Padri di far 1' ifleffo, 
non effendo offitio loro di maneggiare la fpada, & il 
mofchetto. Ma il Padre Brebeuf gli fece intendere, 
che v' era in quel tempo qualche cofa ancor piii 

1653] BRESSANI'S RELATION, i6js 247 

church may have thought that it had come in altitii- 
dinem maris; and might have said, with tears in its 
eyes, Tempestas demersit me. The enemy had already 
taken two or three frontier villages ; the others had 
sufficiently fortified themselves; but, in the winter 
of the year 1649, more than a thousand Hiroquois 
came so secretly through the woods, for the space of 
more than 600 miles, that, at the dawn of day on 
the 1 6th of March, they appeared unexpectedly at 
the gates of the first fort of the Hurons, called St. 
Ignace. The place was impregnable to the Barba- 
rians, — both from its position, and because of the 
fortifications which we had made there. But, as the 
inhabitants suspected nothing, and as most of the 
soldiers had gone to the war, — with this very object 
of discovering whether there were enemies in the 
field, — or to the hunt, it was not difficult for the 
Hiroquois to approach by night; and about dawn, as 
we just said, while the people were sleeping, the 
enemy entered that place, almost without resistance, 
with the death of only 15 or 16 of their men. They 
immediately killed a great part of the inhabitants, 
and imprisoned others, — reserving some, in order to 
practice upon them their wonted cruelties. Three 
persons alone escaped, half naked, in order to give 
warning thereof to the neighboring Village, called 
Saint Louis, not more than three miles distant. Im- 
mediately the Captains warned the women to escape 
with the children, and with their most precious 
goods ; and exhorted our Fathers to do the same, as 
it was not their office to handle javelin and musket. 
But Father Brebeuf gave them to understand that 
there was at that time something still more necessary 
than arms, which was recourse to God and the Sacra- 


neceffaria, che le armi, che era il ricorfo h. Dio, & i 
Sacramenti ; che altri, che effi amminiflrar non pote- 
uano, onde li rifolfe con il Padre Gabrielle Lallement 
fuo compagno di non abbandonarli fino alia morte, 
ma air imitatione del Padre Daniele, cominciano k 
correre per tutto, per efortarli [109 i.e., iii] k ricor- 
rere k Dio, per amminiflrare i Santi Sacramenti 
della Penitenza, e del Battefimo k gV infermi, e 
Cathecumeni, in vna parola, per confermarli tutti 
nella fanta Fede. In fatti il nemico non fi ferm5 nel 
primo forte, fe non quanto bifognaua per dar' ordine 
alia ficurezza de i prigioni, e di quelli, che reftauano 
come in guarnigione per guardarli. E doppo fe ne 
venne dritto k San Luigi, done non erano reftati, 
oltre i Vecchi, e gl' infermi, altro, che circa cento 
foldati di difefa. Refifterono quefli qualche tempo, 
e rifpinfero al primo aflalto il nemico, con la morte 
di circa trenta perfone. Ma in fine il numero di 
quel, che affaliuano, effendo fenza paragone piii 
grande, fupero ogni refiftenza, con rompere ^ colpi 
d' accetta il ricinto de pali, che difendeua gli affediati, 
e s' impadroni del Caftello, e prefi tutti gli huomini 
prigioni, mifero tutto k fuoco, & k fiamme, con le quali 
confumarono nel proprio paefe, e nelle proprie 
capanne tutti i Vecchi deboli, & infermi, che non 
haueuano potuto faluarfi con la fuga. 

II fumo, che vedemmo dal luogo della noftra 
dimora, che non era piii di due miglia lontana, col 
fuo colore, ci anuerti il primo di quefto difaftro, e 
poco doppo due, 5 tre fuggitiui. L' Hirochefe tra 


ments, which others than they could not administer. 
He therefore resolved, with Father Gabriel Lalle- 
ment, his companion, not to forsake them, even unto 
death ; nay, after the example of Father Daniel, they 
begin to hasten everywhere, in order to exhort the 
people [109 i.e., in] to have recourse to God; to 
administer the Holy Sacraments of Penance and 
Baptism to the sick and Catechumens, — in a word, to 
strengthen them all in the holy Faith. In fact, 
the enemy did not stop at the first fort, except so far 
as was necessary for giving orders for the safety of 
the captives, and of those who remained, as it were, 
in garrison to guard them ; and then he proceeded 
directly to Saint Louis, where had remained, besides 
the Old and the sick, only about a hundred soldiers 
for defense. These resisted for some time, and at 
the first assault repelled the enemy, with the death 
of about thirty persons. But finally the number of 
those who were attacking, being beyond comparison 
greater, overcame all resistance by breaking down, 
with hatchet-blows, the fenced enclosure which de- 
fended the besieged, and they mastered the Village. 
Then all the men being taken prisoners, they put 
everything to fire and flames, with which they con- 
sumed, in their own country and their own cabins, 
all the feeble and sick Old men, who had not been 
able to escape by flight. 

The smoke, which we saw from the place of our 
abode, — which was not more than two miles dis- 
tant,- — ^ first warned us, by its color, of this disaster; 
and, shortly afterward, came two or three fugitives. 
The Hiroquois meanwhile does not rest; but — in 
order to inspire terror on all sides, before the coun- 
try can come together to resist him — he hastens 


tanto non fi ripofa, ma per mettere il terrore da per 
tutto, prima, che il paefe vnir fi poffa per refiflergli, 
fcorre quk, e 1^, ferifce, vccide, mette il fuoco k i 
borghi gik abbandonati, e perfuade con le fcorrerie 
che fa, che ha vn' efercito intiero per 1* vltima rouina 
di tutte quelle contrade. Le donne, i putti, e molti 
Vecchi centenarij pafTarono tutta la notte su i ghiacci, 
per fiiggire fino alia natione del Tabacco piu di qua- 
ranta miglia lontano, e la fpaurirono, efagerando il 
numero, e le forze de' nemici : i quali non contenti 
delle violenze fatte a' Barbari, fi rifoluerono d' affa- 
lirci, e vennero "k riconofcerci di notte. II noflro 
ricorfo fii al Signor Iddio, & in lui folo fii la noftra 
fperanza, e per5 ben fondata. Facemmo vn voto al 
gloriofo San Giofeppe Protettore di quel paefi, e 
fummo fenfibilmente protetti. Primo, perche qualche 
centinaia di nemici, che veniua, come la vanguardia, 
alia volta noftra, fii incontrata da tre, 6 quattrocento 
Huroni, che al primo incontro gli disfece, ma venuto 
il foccorfo degli altri, furono quafi tutti meffi "k fii di 
fpada, 6 dopo le loro folite crudeltk vccifi col fuoco. 
Secondo la vigilia di San Giofeppe fi mife qualche 
difcordia tra di loro [no i.e., 112] con vn certo 
terror panico, che gli faceua credere, che vn groffo 
della militia del paefe gl' inueftirebbe, onde Impius 
fugit nemine perfequente, & nos literati Junius. Ma 
non i prigioni, che inuiarono in fretta i primi, ne 
i noftri cari compagni i quali fubito prefi furono 
condotti al forte di Sant' Ignatio, e fpogliati nudi, 
riceuuti k gran colpi di baftonate, e carichi d' impro- 
perij . II P. Brebeuf vedendofi attorniato da quantity 

1653] BRESSANI'S RELATION, i6js 251 

hither and thither, wounds, kills, and sets fire to the 
villages, which are already abandoned; and, by 
means of the incursions which he makes, persuades 
the inhabitants that he has a whole army for the final 
ruin of all those regions. The women, the children, 
and many centenarian Old men passed all night on 
the ice, in order to flee to the Tobacco nation, more 
than forty miles distant; and they terrified it by 
exaggerating the number and forces of the enemy, — 
who, not content with the acts of violence done to 
the Barbarians, resolved to attack us, and came to 
reconnoiter us by night. Our recourse was to the 
Lord God, and our hope was in him alone, and there- 
fore well founded. We made a vow to the glorious 
Saint Joseph, the Protector of those countries; and 
we were manifestly protected. First, because some 
hundred of the enemy, who came as the vanguard 
toward us, were met by three or four hundred Hu- 
rons, who at the first encounter defeated them ; but 
aid from the others having come, the Hurons were 
nearly all put to the edge of the sword, or, after 
their accustomed cruelties, killed by fire. Secondly, 
on the eve of Saint Joseph, some strife arose among 
them, [no i.e., 112] together with a certain panic of 
terror which made them believe that a body of the 
warriors of the country would surround them; so 
that Impius fugit nemine perseguente, et nos literati 
sumus, — but not the captives, whom they sent away 
in haste, at the outset, or our dear companions. 
These last, as soon as they were seized, were led 
to the fort of Saint Ignace, and stripped naked, 
received with heavy blows from sticks, and laden 
with insults. Father Brebeuf, — seeing himself sur- 
rounded by many Christians who were made ready 


di Chriftiani preparati per i tormenti, doppo efferfi 
inginocchiato, bacio diuotamente il palo, ^ cui era 
legato, e leuati gli occhi al Cielo, e fatta con effi breue 
oratione, cominci6 k confolarli, & animarli con la fpe- 
ranza del Paradifo, e con tal liberty, che irrito quegl' 
infedeli, maffime alcuni Apoflati, die con rabbia bar- 
bare fca gli recifero le labbra, e parte della lingua per 
impedirli il predicare, e vedendo, che non defifteua 
con parole, e con cenni d' animarli, gli accrebbero i 
tormenti/ gli fecero vila collana di accette infocate, 
e mettendo gliela fi burlauano della Fede con dire. 
Tu hai detto a gli altri, che quanto piii fi patifce in 
quefta vita, tanto piu grande e la ricompenfa dell' 
altra. Ringratiaci dunque, perche ti accrefciamo 
la corona. E perche 1' haueuan vifto battezzar 
molti prigioni, lo battezzarono piu volte con acqua 
bollente in odio del Batteiimo ; gli forauano le mani 
con lefme infocate, gli bruciarono particolarmente 
le reni, e fotto le braccia con fcorze ardenti. Gli 
tagliauano i pezzi di carne, e gli arrofliuano, e man- 
giauano alia fua prefenza, con mille altre crudeltk 
proprie dell' Inferno, 1' vltima delle quali fu tagliarli 
la pelle della tefta in forma di corona, e ftrappar- 
gliela. Simili furono i trattamenti, che fecero al 
compagno, il quale in oltre inuilupparono in vna 
fcorza ontuofa, e poi vi mifero il fuoco, ma non 
r vccifero 1' ifleffa notte, che il Padre Brebeuf, ma 
il dl feguente 17. di Marzo con vn colpo d' accetta, 
& vn' altro d' archibugio, ch' vn' inimico fteffo per 
pietk gli tiro, annoiato di vederlo tanto languire 
negli atroci tormeti d' vn di, e d' vna notte intiera. 
La loro coftanza fii marauigliofa, maffime quella del 

1653]' BRESSANI'S RELATION, i6s3 253 

for the torments, — after kneeling down, devoutly- 
kissed the stake to which he was tied. Then, lifting 
his eyes to Heaven, and having made a brief prayer 
with the victims, he began to console them, and to 
animate them with the hope of Paradise. He did 
this with such freedom that he vexed those infidels, — 
especially some Apostates, who, with barbaric rage, 
cut off his lips and a part of his tongue, in order to 
hinder him from preaching. Then, — seeing that he 
did not cease, with words and with signs, to encour- 
age the victims, — they augmented his torments; 
they made him a collar of red-hot hatchets, and, 
putting it upon him, derided the Faith by saying: 
" Thou hast told the others that, the more one suffers 
in this life, the greater is his reward in the next; 
therefore thank us, because we increase thy crown." 
And, because they had seen him baptize many cap- 
tives, they baptized him several times with boiling 
water, in hatred of Baptism ; they pierced his hands 
with red-hot awls; they burned him especially on 
the loins and under the arms, with glowing bark. 
They cut off pieces of his flesh, and roasted and ate 
them in his presence, with a thousand other cruelties 
proper to Hell, — the last of which was to cut the skin 
of his head, in the shape of a crown, and to tear 
it off. Similar treatment was inflicted upon his 
companion, — whom, besides, they wrapped in a piece 
of resinous bark and then set fire to it. They did 
not, however, kill him on the same night as Father 
Brebeuf, but on the following day, the 17th of March, 
with a hatchet-blow, and with an arquebus shot, which 
an enemy himself, out of pity, fired at him, — weary of 
seeing him languish so long in the atrocious tor- 
ments of a day and a whole night. Their fortitude 


Padre Brebeuf. Mai diede vn minimo fegno di 
dolore, mai aprl la bocca per gridare, in modo tale, 
che i Barbari appena morto gli aprirono, e beuutone 
il fangue, gli ftrapparono il cuore, diuidendolo ^ 
giouani, acci5 mangiandolo riceuefTero parte d' vn si 
brauo coraggio. Habbiamo faputo tutti quefti parti- 
colari da diuerfi Huroni, che per ftrada con la fuga fi 
faluarono dalle mani de nemici, i quali erano ftati 
fpettatori di quanto habbiamo detto. [iii i.e., 113] 
E quefti pretiofi cadaueri, i quali trouammo, doppo, 
che i vincitori fi furono ritirati, ce ne faceuano fede 
con le loro piaghe, e cicatrici, tra le quali era la bocca, 
le labra, e la lingua del Padre Brebeuf recife con la 
piu gran parte del corpo/ e le labbra, e la lingua del 
Padre Gabrielle tutta bruciata da tizzoni, e da fiaccole, 
che applicate gli haueuano, li feppellirono li 2 1 . di 

II P. Gabrielle Lallement era venuto 1' vltimo ^ 
quefta guerra, e riporto trk primi la vittoria. Ha- 
ueua domandata a Dio molti anni quefta gratia, & 
ottenutala da lui, non gli pote effere negata da' Supe- 
riori, ancorche fuffe di deboliffima compleffione, e 
quafi fenz' altre forze, che quelle, che il zelo, e feruor 
fuo gli fomminiftraua, del quale, perche vno fcritto 
di fuo pugno, che habbiam trouato doppo la fua 
morte, e vn bell' argomento non 1' ho voluto muidiare 
al publico, rende a Dio la ragione dell' ardente defi- 
derio, che hk della Miffione degli Huroni, e glie la 
domanda con quefte parole. Vc la domando, Dio mio, 
per riconofcere in qualche niodo il 7nolto, che hauete fatto 
per me ; Voi hauete per me abbandonata gloria, honore, 
fanita, allegrezza, e data la vo^ra Jiejfa vita, non i forji 

1653] BRESSANPS RELATION, ibs3 255 

was wonderful, especially that of Father Brebeuf. 
He never gave the least sign of pain, or opened his 
mouth to cry out, — insomuch that the Barbarians 
with difficulty opened it when he was dead; and, 
having drunk his blood, they tore out his heart, 
dividing it among the young men, so that by eating 
it they might receive a portion of so brave a courage. 
We have learned all these particulars from several 
Hurons, who, on the march, escaped by flight from 
the hands of the enemies; — they had been spec- 
tators of all that we have related, [in i.e., 113] 
Indeed, these precious bodies, which we found after 
the victors had withdrawn, gave us assurance of the 
same by their wounds and scars. Among these 
tokens were the mouth, the lips, and the tongue of 
Father Brebeuf, cut off with most of his body; and 
the lips and the tongue of Father Gabriel, all seared 
with the firebrands and the torches which they had 
applied to him. They buried them on the 21st of 

Father Gabriel Lallement had come last to this 
war, and gained the victory among the first. He 
had asked God for this grace during many years; 
and, having obtained it from him, it could not be 
denied him by the Superiors, — although he was of 
an extremely frail constitution, and almost without 
other strength than what his zeal and fervor supplied 
him. And, since a writing from his hand, which 
we found after his death, is a good argument there- 
for, I have not been willing to grudge it to the 
public. He renders an account to God, of the burn- 
ing desire which he has for the Mission of the 
Hurons ; and asks it of him in these words : / ask it 
of you, my God, in order to acknozvledge, in some way. 


ragioneuole, che io a vo^ro e/einpio abbandoni ogni cofa 
per aiutare, e faluar V anime, che vi /on codate si caro, e 
che Jiauete tanto aviate, che detto hauete quod vni ex 
meis &c. Secondo. Quando non vi fujji per gratitudine 
obligato, lo vorrei fare per render qualche homaggio alia 
vojtra Diuina eccelleza, e grandezza, la quale merita, che 
vn huonio s^ immoli al vodro feruitio, e che perda 
facilmente fe dejjfo per far quello, che giudica di vojiro 
honore, obbedendo alle vojlre /ante infpirationi. Terzo. 
Per fodisfare h quel che deuo per i 7mei peccati, per i 
quali voi il primo hauete patito. Quarto. Per la 
falute cterna de miei parenti, de quali vi fupplico niuno 
perifca, n^ fia nel numero di quelli, che vi bejleminiaranno 
eternantente . Quoniam ego in fiagella paratus fum, 
hie vre, hie feca, vt in seternum parcas.- Quint o. 
Bifogna, che il vo^ro fangue verfato 7ion meno per quefli 
Barbari, che per 7ioi, gli fia efficacemejite applicato, io 
voglio cooperarci con la vo^ra gratia, & inimolarnii per 
efjfi. Se^o. II vo^ro Regno deue ^enderfi a tutte le 
nationi, defidero spender il mio fangue, e la niia vita per 
ftenderlo a que/ie. Settimo. Queflo content a Giesii, 
bifogna dunque farlo: cofii quanto vorra. Era dotato 
d' vna innocenza rara, e d' vna gran tenerezza di 
cofcienza. All' et^ di 39. anni s' era talmente appli- 
catoallo fludio di quella lingua, peraltro [i 12 i.e., 1 14] 
affai difguftofo (maffime ad vn' huomo auuezzo alio 
fludio delle fcienze fpeculatiue, le quali haueua 
infegnate molti anni in Francia) che in poco tempo 
n' haueua acquiil:ata vn' affai gran cognitione. Era 
natiuo di Parigi di nobil famiglia, haueua paffati 
piu di 19. anni nella Compagnia con grandiffima 

1653] BRESSANI'S RELATION, i6j3 257 

the much that you have done for me. You have, for me, 
forsaken glory, honor, health, Joy, and given your life 
itself. Is it not reasonable, perhaps, that after your 
example I forsake everything in order to aid and save the 
souls which have cost you so dear, and which you have so 
much loved that you have said, Quod uni ex meis, etc. 
Secondly, even if I were not obliged to you through 
gratitude, I would do this in order to render some homage 
to your Divine excellence and greatness, which deserves 
that a man sacrifice himself to your service, and that he 
readily lose himself in order to do what he judges is to 
your honor, obeying your holy inspirations. Thirdly, to 
give satisfaction for what I owe for my sins, for which 
you were the first to suffer. Fourthly, for the eternal 
salvation of my kindred, of whom I beseech you that none 
perish, nor be in the number of those who shall blaspheme 
you eternally. Quoniam ego in flagella paratus sum, 
hie ure, hie seca, ut in seternum parcas. Fifthly, it 
is necessary that your blood, shed no less for these 
Barbarians than for us, be efficaciously applied to them; I 
wish to cooperate therein with your grace, and to sacrifice 
myself for them. Sixthly, your Kingdom should be 
exte?tded to all nations; I desire to spend my blood and my 
life in order to exteyid it to these. Seventhly, this pleases 
Jesus; I must therefore do it, cost what it will. He 
was endowed with a rare innocence, and with a 
great tenderness of conscience. At the age of 39 
years, he had so applied himself to the study of that 
language, otherwise [112 i.e., 114] quite obnoxious 
(especially to a man accustomed to the study of specu- 
lative knowledge, which he had taught for many 
years in France), that in a short time he had acquired 
a fairly thorough knowledge of it. He was a native 
of Paris, of noble family ; he had spent more than 


II Padre Giouanni di Brebeuf fu il primo, che port5 
r Euangelio in quelle contrade, e non v' hauendo 
trouato al fuo arriuo alcun chriftiano, alia morte ne 
lafcio pill di 7. 5 8. mila. V ando la prima volta 
r anno 1625. e pafso vn' Inuerno ne' bofchi con i 
popoli Montagnefi vicini ^ Kebek per imparar la lor 
lingua, poi con gran trauaglio, humiltk, e patienza, fi. 
diede tra gli Huroni alio ftudio dell' Hurona fin* all' 
anno 1629. nel quale fii da gl' Inglefi rimenato in 
Europa. Ma il 1633. vi ritorno di nuouo per finirui 
gloriofamete la vita. Era huomo d' vna eminente 
virtu, e dotato di gran doni di Dio, anche di quel, 
che '1 mondo maggiormete ammira, tato auido di 
patir per Dio, che no folo abbracciaua voletieri, ma 
cercaua le croci. e vn di fi rifolfe di far vn voto in 
quefti termini. Quid retribumn tibi Domine mi lefu pro 
omnibus, quce retribuidi mihif Calicem tuum accipiam 
&nomen tuum inuocabo. Voueo ergo in confpe6lu Aeterni 
Patris tui, Sanclique Spiritus, in conspeSlu SanSliJJimce 
Matris tuce, ca^ijjimique eiufdem Sponji lo/ephi, coram 
Angelis, Apojiolis, Martyribus, Sanclifque meis parenti- 
bus Ignatio, & Francifco Xauerio Voueo inquam tibi 
Domine mi le/u, fi mihi vnquam indigno famulo tuo 
martyrij gratia a te mifericorditer oblata fuerit, me huic 
graticB non defuturum, fie, vt in poderum licere mihi 
nunquam velim, fi quce fefe offcrent moriendi pro te occa- 
fiones declinare (nifi ita fieri ad maiorem gloriam tuam 
iudicarem) aut iam infliclum mortis i6lum non acceptare 
gaudenter. Tibi ergo Doini?ie mi lefu, & fanguinem, 
& corpus, & spiritum meum iavi ab hac die gaude7iter 
offero, vt pro te fi ita dones moriar, qui pro me mori 

1653] BRESSANI'S RELATION, i6s3 269 

19 years in the Society, with very great edification. 
Father Jean de Brebeuf was the first who carried 
the Gospel to those regions; and having found at 
his arrival not one Christian, at his death he left 
more than 7 or 8 thousand. He went thither for the 
first time in the year 1625, and spent a Winter in the 
woods with the Montagnais people near Kebek, in 
order to learn their language ; then, with great labor, 
humility, and patience, gave himself, among the Hu- 
rons, to the study of the Huron language until the 
year 1629, when he was carried back to Europe by 
the English. But in 1633 he returned thither anew, 
in order gloriously to end his life there. He was a 
man of eminent virtue, and — although endowed with 
great gifts from God, also with those which the world 
most admires — he was so eager to suffer for God, 
that he not only gladly embraced, but sought crosses ; 
and one day resolved to make a vow in these terms : 
Qtiid retribuani tibi, Domine mi Jesu, pro omnibus qu<z 
retribuisti inihi? Calicetn tuum accipia^n et nomen tuum 
invocabo. Voveo ergo in conspectu Aeterni Patris tui, 
Sanctique Spiritus, in conspectu SanctissimcB Matris tucB, 
castissimique ejusdeni Sponsi Josephi, cora^n Angelis, 
Apostolis, Martyribus, Sanctisque meis parentibus Ignatio, 
et Francisco Xaverio. Voveo inquani, tibi, Domine mi 
Jesu, si mihi unquam indigno famulo tuo martyrii gratia 
h te misericorditer oblata fuerit, me huic graticB non 
defuturum., sic, ut in poster utn licere mihi nunquam velim, 
si qu(Z sese afferent moriendi pro te occasiones declinare 
(nisi it a fieri ad majorem gloriam tuam judicarem) aut 
jam inflictum mortis ictuni non acceptare gaudenter. 
Tibi ergo, Domiyie mi Jesu, et sanguinefn, et corpus, et 
spiritufn meum jam ab hac die gaudenter offero, ut pro te 
si it a dones fnoriar, qui pro me mori dignatus es. Fac ut sic 


dignatus cs. Fac vt fie viuam, vt it a mori tandem me 
veils. Ita Domlne callcem tuum aeclplam, & nomen tiium 
inuocabo. le/u, lefu, lefu. Hk fofferto molto da gl' 
Infedeli, che hanno piu volte congiurato contro la 
fua vita, i?timandolo autore di tutte le difgratie del 
paefe, & hanno dati prefenti ad alTaffmi per vcci- 
derlo. I Demonij r hanno vifibilmente perfeguitato, 
e non v' e quafi proua, per la quale non fia paffato. 
Era deditiffimo all* oratione, e come il giorno era 
tutto al proffimo, v' impiegaua le notti quafi intiere. 
D' vna humiM si profonda, [113 i.e., 115] che chi 
non r haueffe conofciuto non 1' haurebbe prefo per 
Sacerdote, non che per Superiore, come e ftato 
alcuni anni. Entrando nella Compagnia domandd 
d' efferui riceuto per laico, e non voile fludiar Teo- 
logia, ancorche ne foffe follecitato piii volte anche 
da Superiori. Ne' viaggi portaua le cariche piu 
pefanti, remaua, metteua nell' acqua fpeflo freddiffima 
i piedi per fparagnare ^ gli altri la pena, e li portaua 
nelle canoe, dicendo per coprir 1' humiltk fua, che 
ci trouaua piacere. Ne' viaggi faceua per gli altri 
il fuoco, e la cucina con tanta deftrezza, c' haurefte 
giudicato, che lo faceffe per inclination naturale. 
lo fono, diceua facetamente, facendo allufione al 
fuo nome, lo fono vn bue, e non fon buono ad altro, 
che alia fatica. Cosl efercitaua infieme, e 1' humilt^, 
e la mortificatione, che gli faceua di piii intrapren- 
dere molte, & afpriffime penitenze, difcipline quo- 
tidiane, e fpelfo due, e tre in vn di ; frequenti di- 
giuni, cilicij con punte di ferro, vigilie perpetue &c. 
e pure penfaua di trattarfi troppo delicatamete k 
quel, che ne fcriffe negli vltimi anni di fua vita. 

1653] BRESSANI'S RELATION, i6s3 261 

vivam, ut ita mori tandem me velis. Ita, Domine, calicent 
tuum accipiam, et nomen tuum invocabo. /esu,Jesu,Jesu. 
He suffered much from the Infidels, who several 
times conspired against his life, supposing him the 
author of all the disasters of the country ; and they 
gave presents to assassins to kill him. The Demons 
visibly persecuted him, and there is hardly a trial 
through which he did not pass. He was very much 
given to prayer ; and as the day was wholly his neigh- 
bor's, he employed almost entire nights therein ; of 
a humility so profound, [113 i.e., 115] that one who 
had not known him would not have taken him for a 
Priest, — nor yet for a Superior, as he was for some 
years. On entering the Society, he asked to be 
received in it as a lay brother, and did not wish to 
study Theology, although he was repeatedly urged 
to, even by the Superiors. On journeys, he carried 
the heaviest burdens, or paddled ; he put his feet into- 
the water, often very cold, in order to spare others 
the trouble; and carried them in the canoes, — say- 
ing, to cover his humility, that in this he found 
pleasure. On journeys, he made fire for the others, 
and did the cooking, with so much dexterity that you 
would have judged that he did it with natural inclina- 
tion. "I am," he said facetiously, alluding to his 
name, "an ox, and am good for nothing but toil." 
Thus he practiced together both humility and morti- 
fication, which furthermore caused him to take upon 
himself many and very severe penances; the disci- 
pline daily, and often twice or thrice in a day; 
frequent fasts; a haircloth garment, with iron 
points; perpetual vigils, etc.; and yet, to judge by 
what he wrote on the subject in the last years of his- 
life, he thought that he treated himself too delicately.- 


D* vna obedienza si femplice, che niente piu, e 
pure era dotato d' vna grandiffima prudenza, e d' vn 
profondiffimo giuditio. Era vno de fuoi fentimenti 
trouati ne' fuoi fcritti doppo morte. Agnoui in me 
nullum ejfe talentum, tantum pronum effe me ad obe- 
diendum; mihi vifus fum aptus ad ianuam cu^odien- 
dam, ad triclinium parandum, ad culinam faciendam &c. 
Geram me in Societate, ac Ji effem mendicus per gratiam 
admijfus in Societatem, & omnia mihi cogitabo fieri ex 
mer a gratia. Pouertk si grande, che non haueua ne 
pure vna fola imagine. Vna caftita si rara, che era 
efente anche dalle tentationi. Si vidde vn di innanzi 
a gli occhi vna sfacciata, che egli piglio per vn De- 
monic in quella forma, e lo fcaccio col fegno della 
Croce. Diffe ad vn fuo confidente, che da che era 
"k gli Huroni non haueua ne pure vna fol volta ricer- 
cato il guflo nel cibo. La manfuetudine lo rendeua 
come imperturbabile, e 1' haueua hauuta in modo 
particolarilTimo dalla Beatiffima Vergine. I fuoi prin- 
cipij erano, primo, difrumpar potius, quam voluntarii 
regulam vllam infringam. Secondo, nullum in corde 
mihi commercium habendum cum creaturis. Terzo, nuti- 
quam dicam fatis per fare, e patir per Dio. In vna 
parola, quando non folfe morto per 1' aiuto fpirituale 
del proffimo, quando non foffe ftato tormentato per 
quefto, e per predicare ne' tormenti il Santo Euan- 
gelio, e battezzato d' acqua boUente in fcherno 
manifelto [i 14 i.e., 1 16] de' Battefimi conferiti, la fua 
virtu era si fublime, che meritaua honoratiffimo luogo 
tra perfonaggi i piu eminenti nella Compagnia, era 
di nobil famiglia natiuo della Diocefi di Baieux, mori 
air etk di 56. anni. 

1653] BRESSANPS RELA TION, 1653 263 

He was of an obedience so simple that it could not 
be more so; and yet he was endowed with a very 
great prudence and with a most profound judgment. 
One of his sentiments, found in his writings after 
his death, was: Agnovi in me nullum esse talentum.^ 
tantum pronum esse me ad obediendum; mihi visus sum 
aptus ad januam. custodiendam, ad triclinium parandum, 
ad culinam faciendam, etc. Geram me in Societate, ac si 
essem mendic2is per gratiam admissus in Societatem, et 
omnia mihi cogitabo fieri ex mera gratia. His poverty 
was so great that he had not even a single image ; 
and his chastity so rare that he was exempt even 
from temptations. He saw one day before his eyes 
a shameless woman whom he took for a Demon in 
that form, and he drove it away with the sign of the 
Cross. He said to a confidant of his that, since he 
had been among the Hurons, he had not even once 
sought relish in food. Gentleness rendered him, as 
it were, imperturbable ; and he had received this in 
a most special manner from the Most Blessed Virgin. 
His principles were, first, Disrumpar potius, quam 
voluntari^ regulam ullam infringam. Secondly, Nullum, 
in corde mihi cofnmercium habendum cum creaturis. 
Thirdly, Nunquam dicam satis, in doing and suffering 
for God. In a word, even if he had not died for the 
spiritual aid of his neighbor ; even if he had not been 
tormented for this, and for preaching the Holy 
Gospel in his torments, — being even baptized with 
boiling water, in manifest derision [114 i.e., 116] of 
the Baptisms he had conferred, — his virtue was so 
sublime that it deserved a most honored place among 
the most eminent personages in the Society. He 
was of noble family, a native of the Diocese of 
Baieux. He died at the age of 56 years. 


(Figures in parentheses, following number of note, refer to Pages 

of English text. J 

1 (p. 15).— Cf. Le Jeune's account of Montagnais superstitions,, 
vol., vi., pp. 159-163. 

2 (p. 27).— Cf. Ragueneau's more extended description of Huron 
beliefs, vol. xxxiii., pp. 189-227. 

3 (P- 31)-— Martin thus describes {Bressany, p. loi, note 2) one 
of these ossuaries, "uncovered in 1846, near the village of Pene- 
tanguishene, under a thick stratum of earth, which bore very 
large trees. This tomb, of circular form, was over twenty feet in 
diameter. One great shroud, made of beaver-skins, enveloped the 
sacred deposit. Twenty-six copper kettles, — some of these of 
large size,— with hatchets, marine shells, collars made of wampum, 
etc., were placed near these bones." 

4 (P- 37)-— " We have no knowledge of the map which the author 
here mentions; but Sanson's map of Canada (1656), and even Cham- 
plain's (1632), indicate nearly all these lakes." — Martin's Bressany, 
p. 105, note I. 

5 (p. 51). — These statements are inexact. The first missionary 
to the Hurons was the Recollet Le Caron (vol. iv., note 26); the 
Jesuits did not go thither until 1626, when Brebeuf and De Noue 
(vol iv., notes 30, 31) began a mission to this tribe, in company with 
the Recollet Daillon (vol. iv., note 23). It was, moreover. Le Jeune 
and De Noue who first came back to Canada after the French reoc- 
cupation; Br6beuf did not return until the following year, 1633. 

6 (p- 55)- — These letters (either freely translated into French, or 
originally written therein) may be found, according to Martin, " in 
a curious MS. at the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris," — a contem- 
porary copy, which shows certain variations from the Italian. 
Martin's apographs of these letters are in the archives of St. Mary's 
College, Montreal. In the above MS., the letter of July 30 is 
addressed " to the Provincial " (probably of France). That of Nov. 
16 is without address; it covers the same ground as that of the 
same date in our text, but is very differently worded. The last 


letter has no date, and is without address ; it is, however, written 
in answer to a letter of inquiry sent to him, which is dated Nov. 
1 6, 1644. 

7 (P- 73)- — Guillaume Cousture, who had been captured with 
Jogues (vol. xxi., note 22). 

8 (p. 79). — Doppia (dobla, or dobbra): an Italian coin (also 
called "pistole") of gold, varying in value, at diiferent times and 
in different provinces, from $3.79 to $5.40. In the MS. mentioned 
in note 6, ante, Bressani says: "I have been twice sold: first to 
the old woman, for three thousand porcelain beads, which are worth 
here thirty or thirty-five livres; the second time to the Dutch, for 
about the value of two hundred livres." 

9 (p. 99). — Canne: see vol. xxxviii., note 23. 

10 (p. 103). — Cf. Brebeuf's account of the Huron language, vol. 
X., pp. 117- 123. 

11 (p. 119). — This account of Le Jeune's is but an abridgment of 
chap. xii. in Relation of 1634 (vol. vii., pp. 35-65). 

12 (p. 141). — Oenronro7ino7is (Wenrohronons): see vol. viii., p. 

13 (p. 173). — This chapter is an abridgment of Lalemant's account 
of these Fathers in Relation of 1646 (vol. xxix., pp. 17-43). 

14 (p. 175). — Cf. Jogues's narrative with that in vol. xxxi., pp. 
17-97. Martin here does not follow the Italian, in translating our 
text; he says {Bressany, p. 188, note i): " We give this translation 
partly after the Latin text of the precious MS. of 1652, partly after 
that of Father Alegambe ( Mortes illustresj, — and not from the 
Italian version, which seems to us somewhat too free." 

15 (p. 201). — Reference is here made to Arendt Van Curler (vol. 
XXV., note 2). The text used by Martin (see note preceding this) 
states that the Dutch commandant was accompanied by two other 
men, concerning whom Martin says (p. 211, note 2): " These were 
Jacob Jansen and Jean Labadie, their interpreter. The Dutch com- 
mandant proposed to the Iroquois a ransom of 260 piastres. We 
read in Charlevoix that an order to obtain the deliverance of Father 
Jogues had been sent to all the commandants in New Belgium by 
the States-General of Holland, from whom the Queen Regent of 
France had urgently requested this aid." It was Labadie (Labatie) 
who wrote the letter sent by Kieft to Montmagny to acquaint the 
latter with the details of Jogues's death (vol. xxxi., p. 117). 

16 (p. 203). — A reference to the adoption of Jogues by the Wolf 
clan (vol. xxxi., note 7). 

17 (p. 207). — According to the text followed by Martin, the image 


carried by Jogues was that of St. Bruno, founder of the monastery 
of Chartreux. The "exposition of the Epistle to the Hebrews" 
was that of Antoine Godeau (Itahanized, Godelli), bishop of Grasse 
and Vence, — one of the first members of the French Academy, and 
a writer of numerous works in both prose and verse. These are 
mainly religious, and include history and biography, exegesis, and 
devotion. The book here referred to is Paraphrase des Epitres de 
Saint Paul (1641). Godeau was bom in 1605, and died in 1672. 

18 (p. 227). — Doubtless a reference to the Relation of 1647, 
where these inner experiences are fully related (vol. xxxi.). 

19 (p. 235).— "The account of Jogues's second voyage, written 
by himself, was preserved in the archives of the college of Quebec, 
until 1800, about the time at which the last Jesuit died. Unfortu- 
nately, this, with other rare documents, has disappeared, since those 
archives were deposited in the Provincial record-office. " — Martin's 
Bressany, p. 244, note 3. 

20 (p. 243). — Reference is here made to apparitions of Daniel, 
seen after his death (vol. xxxiii., p. 267; vol. xxxi v., pp. 97-99)- Cf. 
apparitions of Mother Marie de St. Joseph (vol. xxxviii., pp. 163-165). 
It may be noted here that the person to whom this nun appeared 
was a Jesuit, Brother Florentin Bonnemer, whose arrival in Canada 
is mentioned in vol. xxx., p. 191. He was a physician, and "had 
rendered valuable services to this nun in her illness. "— Richau- 
deau's Lettres de Marie de V Incarnation, t. i., p. 531, note. 



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