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      He sometimes amused himself with shooting alligators. "I never spared them when I met them near the house. One day I killed an extremely large one, which was nearly four feet and a half in girth, and about twenty feet long." He describes with accuracy that curious native of the southwestern plains, the "horned frog," which, deceived by its uninviting appearance, he erroneously supposed to be venomous. "We had some of our animals bitten by snakes; among the others, a bitch that had belonged to the [Pg 398] deceased Sieur le Gros. She was bitten in the jaw when she was with me, as I was fishing by the shore of the bay. I gave her a little theriac [an antidote then in vogue], which cured her, as it did one of our sows, which came home one day with her head so swelled that she could hardly hold it up. Thinking it must be some snake that had bitten her, I gave her a dose of the theriac mixed with meal and water." The patient began to mend at once. "I killed a good many rattle-snakes by means of the aforesaid bitch, for when she saw one she would bark around him, sometimes for a half hour together, till I took my gun and shot him. I often found them in the bushes, making a noise with their tails. When I had killed them, our hogs ate them." He devotes many pages to the plants and animals of the neighborhood, most of which may easily be recognized from his description.On the afternoon of the sixteenth,the day when the two priests were captured,Brbeuf was led apart, and bound to a stake. He seemed more concerned for his captive converts than for himself, and addressed them in a loud voice, exhorting them to suffer patiently, and promising Heaven as their reward. The Iroquois, incensed, scorched him from head to foot, to silence him; whereupon, in the tone of a master, he threatened them with everlasting flames, for persecuting the worshippers of God. As he continued to speak, with voice and countenance unchanged, they cut away his lower lip and thrust a red-hot iron down his throat. He still held his tall form erect and defiant, with no sign or sound of pain; and they tried another means to overcome him. They led out Lalemant, that Brbeuf might see him tortured. They had tied strips of bark, smeared with pitch, about his naked body. When he saw the condition of his Superior, he could not hide his agitation, and called out to him, with a broken voice, in the words of Saint Paul, "We are made a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men." Then he threw himself at Brbeuf's feet; upon which the Iroquois seized him, made him fast to a stake, and set fire to the bark that enveloped him. As the flame rose, 389 he threw his arms upward, with a shriek of supplication to Heaven. Next they hung around Brbeuf's neck a collar made of hatchets heated red-hot; but the indomitable priest stood like a rock. A Huron in the crowd, who had been a convert of the mission, but was now an Iroquois by adoption, called out, with the malice of a renegade, to pour hot water on their heads, since they had poured so much cold water on those of others. The kettle was accordingly slung, and the water boiled and poured slowly on the heads of the two missionaries. "We baptize you," they cried, "that you may be happy in Heaven; for nobody can be saved without a good baptism." Brbeuf would not flinch; and, in a rage, they cut strips of flesh from his limbs, and devoured them before his eyes. Other renegade Hurons called out to him, "You told us, that, the more one suffers on earth, the happier he is in Heaven. We wish to make you happy; we torment you because we love you; and you ought to thank us for it." After a succession of other revolting tortures, they scalped him; when, seeing him nearly dead, they laid open his breast, and came in a crowd to drink the blood of so valiant an enemy, thinking to imbibe with it some portion of his courage. A chief then tore out his heart, and devoured it.



      "Oh!" he laughingly said, and at the wall once more waved the ringing trowel, "instinct, I reckon; ordinary manhood--to womanhood. If you had recognized me in that rig--"Their voyage up the St. Lawrence was enlivened by an extraordinary bear-hunt, and by the antics of one of their Indian attendants, who, having dreamed that he had swallowed a frog, roused the whole camp by the gymnastics with which he tried to rid himself of the intruder. On approaching Onondaga, they were met by a chief who sang a song of welcome, a part of which he seasoned with touches of humor, apostrophizing the fish in the river Onondaga, naming each sort, great or small, and calling on them in turn to come into the nets of the Frenchmen and sacrifice life cheerfully for their behoof. Hereupon there was much laughter among the Indian auditors. An unwonted cleanliness reigned in the town; the streets had been cleared of refuse, and the arched roofs of the long houses of bark were covered with red-skinned children staring at the entry of the black robes. Crowds followed behind, and all was jubilation. The dignitaries of the tribe met them on the way, and greeted them with a speech of welcome. A feast of bears meat awaited them; but, unhappily, it was Friday, and the fathers were forced to abstain.

      The companions now remaining to him were the Montagnais. In their camp on the Richelien, one of them dreamed that a war party of Iroquois was close upon them; on which, in a torrent of rain, they left their huts, paddled in dismay to the islands above the Lake of St. Peter, and hid themselves all night in the rushes. In the morning they took heart, emerged from their hiding-places, descended to Quebec, and went thence to Tadoussac, whither Champlain accompanied them. Here the squaws, stark naked, swam out to the canoes to receive the heads of the dead Iroquois, and, hanging them from their necks, danced in triumph along the shore, One of the heads and a pair of arms were then bestowed on Champlain,touching memorials of gratitude, which, however, he was by no means to keep for himself, but to present to the King.And I, replied Thuphrastos, have always seen the crow, never the eagle.

      [2] "Ie luy preparay de ce que nous auions, pour le receuoir, mais quel festin! vne poigne de petit poisson sec auec vn peu de farine; i'enuoyay chercher quelques nouueaux espics, que nous luy fismes rostir la fa?on du pays; mais il est vray que dans son c?ur et l'entendre, il ne fit iamais meilleure chere. La ioye qui se ressent ces entreueu?s semble estre quelque image du contentement des bien-heureux leur arriue dans le Ciel, tant elle est pleine de suauit."Le Mercier, Relation des Hurons, 1637, 106.


      These relics of mortality, together with the recent corpses,which were allowed to remain entire, but which were also wrapped carefully in furs,were now carried to one of the largest houses, and hung to the numerous cross-poles, which, like rafters, supported the roof. Here the concourse of mourners seated themselves at a funeral feast; 74 and, as the squaws of the household distributed the food, a chief harangued the assembly, lamenting the loss of the deceased, and extolling their virtues. This solemnity over, the mourners began their march for Ossossan, the scene of the final rite. The bodies remaining entire were borne on a kind of litter, while the bundles of bones were slung at the shoulders of the relatives, like fagots. Thus the procession slowly defiled along the forest pathways, with which the country of the Hurons was everywhere intersected; and as they passed beneath the dull shadow of the pines, they uttered at intervals, in unison, a dreary, wailing cry, designed to imitate the voices of disembodied souls winging their way to the land of spirits, and believed to have an effect peculiarly soothing to the conscious relics which each man bore. When, at night, they stopped to rest at some village on the way, the inhabitants came forth to welcome them with a grave and mournful hospitality.

      [15] La S?ur Morin, Annales des Hospitalires de Villemarie, MS., cited by Faillon.Thuphrastos talked of the numerous law cases that would pour in upon him when the time of his embassy had expired. Oppressed citizens, informers who knew that he had obtained money, envious fellow solicitorswould all rush to him.

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      There was something in the sight which turned the blood in the Cychreans veins to ice. Nothing was visible on the plain itself; everything there was shrouded in the dusk of evening.

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      Their late enemies, now become friends, spent the next day in dances, feasts, and speeches. They entreated La Salle not to advance farther, since the Illinois, through whose country he must pass, would be sure to kill him; for, added these friendly counsellors, they hated the French because they had been [Pg 162] instigating the Iroquois to invade their country, Here was another subject of anxiety. La Salle was confirmed in his belief that his busy and unscrupulous enemies were intriguing for his destruction.

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      1632-1635.HIS STRENGTH AND WEAKNESS.


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