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Mention has been made of those great depositories of human bones found at the present day in the ancient country of the Hurons.  They have been a theme of abundant speculation;  yet their origin is a subject, not of conjecture, but of historic certainty. The peculiar rites to which they owe their existence were first described at length by Brbeuf, who, in the summer of the year 1636, saw them at the town of Ossossan.
Lyrcus, with an impatient gesture, said:
Fate of the Vanquished ? The Refugees of St. Jean Baptiste and St. Michel ? The Tobacco Nation and its Wanderings ? The Modern Wyandots ? The Biter Bit ? The Hurons at Quebec ? Notre-Dame de Lorette.
A strangely sublime impress rested upon this whole landscape, where the gods had once wandered and where, so to speak, each spot was sacred. Upon the height Pallas Athene had planted the olive-tree sacred to her, and yonder, by the shore of the Ilissus, almost on the very spot where his altar stood, Boreas had borne away the Princess Oreithyia. Sometimes a cool evening breeze, following the course of the stream, swept through the valley. A distant, confused sound, the breathing of the half slumbering city, then reached the ear; but when the wind died away everything was still, and houses, trees, and mountains, steeped in the melancholy lustre of the moonbeams, once more rose before the eyes in majestic silence.Among the French was a young man who had been adopted by an Iroquois chief, and who spoke the language fluently. He now told his Indian father that it had been revealed to him in a dream that he would soon die unless the spirits were appeased by one of these magic feasts. Dreams were the oracles of the Iroquois, and woe to those who slighted them. A day was named for the sacred festivity. The fathers killed their hogs to meet, the occasion, and, that nothing might be wanting, they ransacked their stores for all that might give piquancy to the entertainment. It took place in the evening of the 20th of March, apparently in a large enclosure outside the palisade surrounding the mission-house. Here, while blazing fires or glaring pine-knots shed their glow on the wild assemblage, Frenchmen and Iroquois joined in the dance, or vied with each other in games of agility and skill. The politic fathers offered prizes to the winners, and the Indians entered with zest into the sport, the better, perhaps, to hide their treachery and hoodwink their intended victims; for they little suspected that a subtlety, deeper this time than their own, was at work to countermine them. Here, too, were the French musicians; and drum, trumpet, and cymbal lent their clangor to the din of shouts and laughter. Thus the evening wore on, till at length the serious labors of the feast began. The kettles were brought in, and their steaming contents ladled into the wooden bowls which each provident guest had brought with him. Seated gravely in a ring, they fell to their work. It was a point of high conscience not to flinch from duty on these solemn occasions; and though they might burn the young man to-morrow, they would gorge themselves like vultures in his behoof to-day.
chiefs, one of whom, with her attendants, came to Quebec
To leave this cloudland of tradition, and approach the confines of recorded history. The Normans, offspring of an ancestry of conquerors,the Bretons, that stubborn, hardy, unchanging race, who, among Druid monuments changeless as themselves, still cling with Celtic obstinacy to the thoughts and habits of the past,the Basques, that primeval people, older than history,all frequented from a very early date the cod-banks of Newfoundland. There is some reason to believe that this fishery existed before the voyage of Cabot, in 1497; there is strong evidence that it began as early as the year 1504; and it is well established that, in 1517, fifty Castilian, French, and Portuguese vessels were engaged in it at once; while in 1527, on the third of August, eleven sail of Norman, one of Breton, and two of Portuguese fishermen were to be found in the Bay of St. John.The hillock in the garden, which had been Simonides favorite spot and where his monument stood, was the goal of their walks, and when they had offered their homage to the dead man by adorning his grave with flowers, they sat down on a bench among a group of tall plane-trees to gaze over the city and country.