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      In Central New York, stretching east and west from the Hudson to the Genesee, lay that redoubted people xlvii who have lent their name to the tribal family of the Iroquois, and stamped it indelibly on the early pages of American history. Among all the barbarous nations of the continent, the Iroquois of New York stand paramount. Elements which among other tribes were crude, confused, and embryotic, were among them systematized and concreted into an established polity. The Iroquois was the Indian of Indians. A thorough savage, yet a finished and developed savage, he is perhaps an example of the highest elevation which man can reach without emerging from his primitive condition of the hunter. A geographical position, commanding on one hand the portal of the Great Lakes, and on the other the sources of the streams flowing both to the Atlantic and the Mississippi, gave the ambitious and aggressive confederates advantages which they perfectly understood, and by which they profited to the utmost. Patient and politic as they were ferocious, they were not only conquerors of their own race, but the powerful allies and the dreaded foes of the French and English colonies, flattered and caressed by both, yet too sagacious to give themselves without reserve to either. Their organization and their history evince their intrinsic superiority. Even their traditionary lore, amid its wild puerilities, shows at times the stamp of an energy and force in striking contrast with the flimsy creations of Algonquin fancy. That the Iroquois, left under their institutions to work out their destiny undisturbed, would ever have developed a civilization of their own, I do not believe. These institutions, however, are sufficiently characteristic and curious, and we shall soon have occasion to observe them. [41]

      A clause in his commission empowered him to impress idlers and vagabonds as material for his colony,an ominous provision of which he largely availed himself. His company was strangely incongruous. The best and the meanest of France were crowded together in his two ships. Here were thieves and ruffians dragged on board by force; and here were many volunteers of condition and character, with Baron de Poutrincourt and the indefatigable Champlain. Here, too, were Catholic priests and Huguenot ministers; for, though De Monts was a Calvinist, the Church, as usual, displayed her banner in the van of the enterprise, and he was forced to promise that he would cause the Indians to be instructed in the dogmas of Rome.[53] The above traits of the scenery of the Wisconsin are taken from personal observation of the river during midsummer.

      Much as Myrtale was absorbed in her grief, she felt the importance of the arrangements which would decide her fate. So it was a great relief to her when Polycles said that he was too old to take a young wife and, moreover, had been warned in a dream against marrying again. One night in his sleep he had seen his house decked with garlands as though for a bridal; but when he was leading the bride home the green wreath vanished and, in its place above the door, hung288 an oil-jar, twined with a blue ribbon, as though for an offering at a tomb. The interpreter of dreams being consulted had said that if Polycles married he would die on his wedding day.75 The room in which he used to receive them was the prettiest in the house, and richly furnished with brass tripods, ivory couches, magnificent vases, and Milesian carpets.

      "Sat in the roses and heard the birds' song."

      "Where's Adolphe?" cried Kincaid, and "On with the wedding!" clamored the lads of the battery, while Anna stood gazing on the gray man and wondering why she had not guessed this very thing.

      Yet he did not go to meet her. Of course she would have been frightened by the sight of a strange man. And what should he talk about? He had nothing to say to her.


      "Taken! gone! and by my fault! I--I forgot all about it."I know Phorion only in the market, the arcades, and other places where men daily meet in Athens. He has never spoken of his family.


      [11] Marie de l'Incarnation, Lettre, 14 Sept., 1645.And Lycon?