The Jesuits in North America in the Seventeenth Century

By Francis Parkman | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXIII. 1645-1648. A DOOMED NATION.

INDIAN INFATUATION. -- IROQUOIS AND HURON. -- HURON TRIUMPHS. -- THE CAPTIVE IROQUOIS: HIS FEROCITY AND FORTITUDE. -- PARTISAN EXPLOITS. -- DIPLOMACY. -- THE ANDASTES. -- THE HURON EMBASSY. -- NEW NEGOTIATIONS. -- THE IROQUOIS AMBASSADOR: HIS SUICIDE. -- IROQUOIS HONOR.

IT was a strange and miserable spectacle to behold the savages of this continent at the time when the knell of their common ruin had already sounded. Civilization had gained a foothold on their borders. The long and gloomy reign of barbarism was drawing near its close, and their united efforts could scarcely have availed to sustain it. Yet, in this crisis of their destiny, these doomed tribes were tearing each other's throats in a wolfish fury, joined to an intelligence that served little purpose but mutual destruction.

How the quarrel began between the Iroquois and their Huron kindred no man can tell, and it is not worth while to conjecture. At this time, the ruling passion of the savage Confederates was the annihilation of this rival people and of their Algonquin allies, -- if the understanding between the Hurons and these

-435-

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