On the following day, they glided along the green and solitary shores now thronged with the life of a busy city, and landed on the spot which Champlain, thirty-one years before, had chosen as the fit site of a settlement.
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At Quebec there was little ability and no inclination to shelter the new colonists for the winter; and they would have fared ill, but for the generosity of M. Puiseaux, who lived not far distant, at a place called St. Michel. This devout and most hospitable person made room for them all in his rough, but capacious dwelling. Their neighbors were the hospital nuns, then living at the mission of Sillery, in a substantial, but comfortless house of stone; where, amidst destitution, sickness, and irrepressible disgust at the filth of the savages whom they had in charge, they were laboring day and night with devoted assiduity. Among the minor ills which beset them were the eccentricities of one of their lay sisters, crazed with religious enthusiasm, who had the care of their poultry and domestic animals, of which she was accustomed to inquiring, one by one, if they loved God; when, not receiving an immediate answer in the affirmative, she would instantly put them to death, telling them that their impiety deserved no better fate.
[Juchereau, 45. A great mortification to these excellent nuns was the impossibility of keeping their white dresses clean among their Indian patients, so that they were forced to dye them with butternut juice. They were the Hospitaličres who had come over in 1639.]
At St. Michel, Maisonneuve employed his men in building boats to ascend to Montreal, and in various other labors for the behoof of the future colony. Thus the winter wore away; but, as celestial minds are not exempt from ire, Montmagny and Maisonneuve fell into a quarrel. The twenty-fifth of January was Maisonneuve’s fęte day; and, as he was greatly beloved by his followers, they resolved to celebrate the occasion. Accordingly, an hour and a half before daylight, they made a general discharge of their muskets and cannon. The sound reached Quebec, two or three miles distant, startling the Governor from his morning slumbers; and his indignation was redoubled when he heard it again at night: for Maisonneuve, pleased at the attachment of his men, had feasted them and warmed their hearts with a distribution of wine. Montmagny, jealous of his authority, resented these demonstrations as an infraction of it, affirming that they had no right to fire their pieces without his consent; and, arresting the principal offender, one Jean Gory, he put him in irons. On being released, a few days after, his companions welcomed him with great rejoicing, and Maisonneuve gave them all a feast. He himself came in during the festivity, drank the health of the company, shook hands with the late prisoner, placed him at the head of the table, and addressed him as follows: —
“Jean Gory, you have been put in irons for me: you had the pain, and I the affront. For that, I add ten crowns to your wages.” Then, turning to the others: “My boys,” he said, “though Jean Gory has been misused, you must not lose heart for that, but drink, all of you, to the health of the man in irons. When we are once at Montreal, we shall be our own masters, and can fire our cannon when we please.”
[Documents Divers, MSS., now or lately in possession of G. B. Faribault, Esq.; Ferland, Notes sur les Registres de N. D. de Québec, 25; Faillon, La Colonie Française, I. 433.]
Montmagny was wroth when this was reported to him; and, on the ground that what had passed was “contrary to the service of the King and the authority of the Governor,” he summoned Gory and six others before him, and put them separately under oath. Their evidence failed to establish a case against their commander; but thenceforth there was great coldness between the powers of Quebec and Montreal.
Early in May [1642 jl], Maisonneuve and his followers embarked. They had gained an unexpected recruit during the winter, in the person of Madame de la Peltrie. The piety, the novelty, and the romance of their enterprise, all had their charms for the fair enthusiast; and an irresistible impulse — imputed by a slandering historian to the levity of her sex.  — urged her to share their fortunes. Her zeal was more admired by the Montrealists whom she joined than by the Ursulines whom she abandoned. She carried off all the furniture she had lent them, and left them in the utmost destitution.  Nor did she remain quiet after reaching Montreal, but was presently seized with a longing to visit the Hurons, and preach the Faith in person to those benighted heathen. It needed all the eloquence of a Jesuit, lately returned from that most arduous mission, to convince her that the attempt would be as useless as rash. 
[1 La Tour, Mémoire de Laval, Liv. VIII]
[2 Charlevoix, Vie de Marie de l’Incarnation, 279; Casgrain, Vie de Marie de l’Incarnation, 333.]
[3 St. Thomas, Life of Madame de la Peltrie, 98.]
It was the eighth of May when Maisonneuve and his followers embarked at St. Michel; and as the boats, deep-laden with men, arms, and stores, moved slowly on their way, the forest, with leaves just opening in the warmth of spring, lay on their right hand and on their left, in a flattering semblance of tranquility and peace. But behind woody islets, in tangled thickets and damp ravines, and in the shade and stillness of the columned woods, lurked everywhere a danger and a terror.
What shall we say of these adventurers of Montreal, — of these who bestowed their wealth, and, far more, of these who sacrificed their peace and risked their lives, on an enterprise at once so romantic and so devout? Surrounded as they were with illusions, false lights, and false shadows, — breathing an atmosphere of miracle, — compassed about with angels and devils, — urged with stimulants most powerful, though unreal, — their minds drugged, as it were, to preternatural excitement, — it is very difficult to judge of them. High merit, without doubt, there was in some of their number; but one may beg to be spared the attempt to measure or define it. To estimate a virtue involved in conditions so anomalous demands, perhaps, a judgment more than human.
The Roman Church, sunk in disease and corruption when the Reformation began, was roused by that fierce trumpet-blast to purge and brace herself anew. Unable to advance, she drew back to the fresher and comparatively purer life of the past; and the fervors of medieval Christianity were renewed in the sixteenth century. In many of its aspects, this enterprise of Montreal belonged to the time of the first Crusades. The spirit of Godfrey de Bouillon lived again in Chomedey de Maisonneuve; and in Marguerite Bourgeoys was realized that fair ideal of Christian womanhood, a flower of Earth expanding in the rays of Heaven, which soothed with gentle influence the wildness of a barbarous age.
On the seventeenth of May, 1642, Maisonneuve’s little flotilla — a pinnace, a flat-bottomed craft moved by sails, and two row-boats  — approached Montreal; and all on board raised in unison a hymn of praise. Montmagny was with them, to deliver the island, in behalf of the Company of the Hundred Associates, to Maisonneuve, representative of the Associates of Montreal.  And here, too, was Father Vimont, Superior of the missions; for the Jesuits had been prudently invited to accept the spiritual charge of the young colony. On the following day, they glided along the green and solitary shores now thronged with the life of a busy city, and landed on the spot which Champlain, thirty-one years before, had chosen as the fit site of a settlement.  It was a tongue or triangle of land, formed by the junction of a rivulet with the St. Lawrence, and known afterwards as Point Calličre. The rivulet was bordered by a meadow, and beyond rose the forest with its vanguard of scattered trees. Early spring flowers were blooming in the young grass, and birds of varied plumage flitted among the boughs. 
[4 Dollier de Casson, A.D. 1641-42, MS.]
[5 Le Clerc, II. 50, 51.]
[6 “Pioneers of France,” 333. It was the Place Royale of Champlain.]
[7 Dollier de Casson, A.D. 1641-42, MS.]
Maisonneuve sprang ashore, and fell on his knees. His followers imitated his example; and all joined their voices in enthusiastic songs of thanksgiving. Tents, baggage, arms, and stores were landed. An altar was raised on a pleasant spot near at hand; and Mademoiselle Mance, with Madame de la Peltrie, aided by her servant, Charlotte Barré, decorated it with a taste which was the admiration of the beholders.  Now all the company gathered before the shrine. Here stood Vimont, in the rich vestments of his office. Here were the two ladies, with their servant; Montmagny, no very willing spectator; and Maisonneuve, a warlike figure, erect and tall, his men clustering around him, — soldiers, sailors, artisans, and laborers, — all alike soldiers at need. They kneeled in reverent silence as the Host was raised aloft; and when the rite was over, the priest turned and addressed them: —
“You are a grain of mustard-seed, that shall rise and grow till its branches overshadow the earth. You are few, but your work is the work of God. His smile is on you, and your children shall fill the Land.” 
[8 Morin, Annales, MS., cited by Faillon, La Colonie Française, I. 440; also Dollier de Casson, A.D. 1641-42, MS.]
[9 Dollier de Casson, MS., as above. Vimont, in the Relation of 1642, p. 87, briefly mentions the ceremony.]
The afternoon waned; the sun sank behind the western forest, and twilight came on. Fireflies were twinkling over the darkened meadow. They caught them, tied them with threads into shining festoons, and hung them before the altar, where the Host remained exposed. Then they pitched their tents, lighted their bivouac fires, stationed their guards, and lay down to rest. Such was the birth-night of Montreal.
[The Associates of Montreal published, in 1643, a thick pamphlet in quarto, entitled Les Véritables Motifs de Messieurs et Dames de la Société de Notre-Dame de Montréal, pour la Conversion des Sauvages de la Nouvelle France. It was written as an answer to aspersions cast upon them, apparently by persons attached to the great Company of New France known as the “Hundred Associates,” and affords a curious exposition of the spirit of their enterprise. It is excessively rare; but copies of the essential portions are before me. The following is a characteristic extract: —
“Vous dites que l’entreprise de Montréal est d’une dépense infinie, plus convenable ŕ un roi qu’a quelques particuliers, trop faibles pour la soutenir; & vous alléguez encore les périls de la navigation & les naufrages qui peuvent la ruiner. Vous avez mieux rencontré que vous ne pensiez, en disant que c’est une uvre de roi, puisque le Roi des rois s’en męle, lui ŕ qui obéissent la mer & les vents. Nous ne craignons donc pas les naufrages; il n’en suscitera que lorsque nous en aurons besoin, & qu’il sera plus expédient pour sa gloire, que nous cherchons uniquement. Comment avez-vous pu mettre dans votre esprit qu’appuyés de nos propres forces, nous eussions présumé de penser ŕ un si glorieux dessein? Si Dieu n’est point dans l’affaire de Montréal, si c’est une invention humaine, ne vous en mettez point en peine, elle ne durera gučre. Ce que vous prédisez arrivera, & quelque chose de pire encore; mais si Dieu l’a ainsi voulu, qui ętes-vous pour lui contredire? C’était la reflexion que le docteur Gamaliel faisait aux Juifs, en faveur des Apôtres; pour vous, qui ne pouvez ni croire, ni faire, laissez les autres en liberté de faire ce qu’ils croient que Dieu demande d’eux. Vous assurez qu’il ne se fait plus de miracles; mais qui vous l’a dit? oů cela est-il écrit? Jésus-Christ assure, au contraire, que ceux qui auront autant de Foi qu’un grain de senevé, feront, en son nom, des miracles plus grands que ceux qu’il a faits lui-męme. Depuis quand ętes-vous les directeurs des operations divines, pour les réduire ŕ certains temps & dans la conduite ordinaire? Tant de saints mouvements, d’inspirations & de vues intérieures, qu’il lui plait de donner ŕ quelques âmes dont il se sert pour l’avancement de cette uvre, sont des marques de son bon plaisir. Jusqu’-ici, il a pourvu au nécessaire; nous ne voulons point d’abondance, & nous espérons que sa Providence continuera.”]
Is this true history, or a romance of Christian chivalry? It is both.
– The Jesuits in North America in the Seventeenth Century, Chapter 15 by Francis Parkman
The below is from Francis Parkman’s Introduction.
If, at times, it may seem that range has been allowed to fancy, it is so in appearance only; since the minutest details of narrative or description rest on authentic documents or on personal observation.
Faithfulness to the truth of history involves far more than a research, however patient and scrupulous, into special facts. Such facts may be detailed with the most minute exactness, and yet the narrative, taken as a whole, may be unmeaning or untrue. The narrator must seek to imbue himself with the life and spirit of the time. He must study events in their bearings near and remote; in the character, habits, and manners of those who took part in them, he must himself be, as it were, a sharer or a spectator of the action he describes.
With respect to that special research which, if inadequate, is still in the most emphatic sense indispensable, it has been the writer’s aim to exhaust the existing material of every subject treated. While it would be folly to claim success in such an attempt, he has reason to hope that, so far at least as relates to the present volume, nothing of much importance has escaped him. With respect to the general preparation just alluded to, he has long been too fond of his theme to neglect any means within his reach of making his conception of it distinct and true.