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Now, much of this at the moment was true; the manufacturers were naturally anxious to resume their business, and a fall in the price of corn, after the plentiful harvest of 1817, to seventy-four shillings and sixpence, relieved a little the pressure on the working classes. Could cheap bread have been secured, the condition of the people might soon have become easy; but the fatal Corn Law came immediately into operation. By the end of 1817 corn had risen in price again to eighty-five shillings and fourpence; and then the ports were opened, but the supplies did not bring down the markets. The spring of 1818 proved wet, and then about the middle of May a drought set in, and continued till September, so that the apprehension of a deficient harvest kept up the price of all articles of life, notwithstanding that a million and a half quarters of wheat had been imported during the year. So long as bread was tolerably cheap, and work more abundant, political agitation in the manufacturing districts subsided; but it was soon proved that the apparent increase of activity in manufacturing and commercial exports was but a feverish desire on the part of manufacturers and merchants to force a trade for which the exhausted Continent was not yet prepared. Nothing but a free importation of corn could have carried the country comfortably through the crisis; and this was denied by the measures of Government, except at a rate of price that put the proper consumption of bread beyond the means of the working classes."They had cooked some meat, and when it was supper-time they distributed it as they saw fit, saying that formerly their share had been served out to them, but that it was they who would serve it out in future. They, no doubt, wanted me to say something that would give them a chance to make a noise; but I managed always to keep my mouth closed. When night came and it was time to stand guard, they were in perplexity, as they could not do it alone; therefore they said to M. Cavelier, Father Anastase, me, and the others who were not in the plot with them, that all we had to do was to stand [Pg 438] guard as usual; that there was no use in thinking about what had happened,that what was done was done; that they had been driven to it by despair, and that they were sorry for it, and meant no more harm to anybody. M. Cavelier took up the word, and told them that when they killed M. de la Salle they killed themselves, for there was nobody but him who could get us out of this country. At last, after a good deal of talk on both sides, they gave us our arms. So we stood guard; during which, M. Cavelier told me how they had come to the camp, entered his hut like so many madmen, and seized everything in it."
Let us now ascend to the island of Montreal. Here, as we have seen, an association of devout and zealous persons had essayed to found a mission-colony under the protection of the Holy Virgin; and we left the adventurers, after their landing, bivouacked on the shore, on an evening in May. There was an altar in the open air, decorated with a taste that betokened no less of good nurture than of piety; and around it clustered the tents that sheltered the commandant, Maisonneuve, the two ladies, Madame de la Peltrie and Mademoiselle Mance, and the soldiers and laborers of the expedition. "Il fit une Harangue pleine d'loquence et de cet air engageant qui luy estoit si naturel: toute la petite Colonie y estoit presente et en f?t touche jusques aux larmes, persuade de la ncessit de son voyage et de la droiture de ses intentions."Douay in Le Clerc, ii, 330.
** Colbert a Talon, 20 Fev., 1668.
The Niagara Portage.A Vessel on the Stocks.Suffering and Discontent.La Salle's Winter Journey.The Vessel launched.Fresh Disasters. like that of 1663. He adds that the evidence that such
 Chaumonot, Vie, 55.