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Versailles gave no sign of waning glories. On three evenings of the week, it was the pleasure of the king that the whole court should assemble in the vast suite of apartments now known as the Halls of Abundance, of Venus, of Diana, of Mars, 185 of Mercury, and of Apollo. The magnificence of their decorations, pictures of the great Italian masters, sculptures, frescoes, mosaics, tapestries, vases and statues of silver and gold; the vista of light and splendor that opened through the wide portals; the courtly throngs, feasting, dancing, gaming, promenading, conversing, formed a scene which no palace of Europe could rival or approach. Here were all the great historic names of France, princes, warriors, statesmen, and all that was highest in rank and place; the flower, in short, of that brilliant society, so dazzling, captivating, and illusory. In former years, the king was usually present, affable and gracious, mingling with his courtiers and sharing their amusements; but he had grown graver of late, and was more often in his cabinet, laboring with his ministers on the task of administration, which his extravagance and ambition made every day more burdensome. His station obliged him to maintain a high standard of living, to his great financial detriment, for Canadian prices were inordinate. "I must live creditably, and so I do; sixteen persons at table every day. Once a fortnight I dine with the Governor-General and with the Chevalier de Lvis, who lives well too. He has given three grand balls. As for me, up to Lent I gave, besides dinners, great suppers, with ladies, three times a week. They lasted till two in the morning; and then there was dancing, to which company came uninvited, but sure of a welcome from those who had been at supper. It is very expensive, not very amusing, and often tedious. At Quebec, where we spent a month, I gave receptions or parties, often at the Intendant's house. I like my gallant Chevalier de Lvis very much. Bourlamaque was a good choice; he is steady and cool, with good parts. Bougainville has talent, a warm head, and warm heart; he will ripen in time. Write to Madame Cornier that I like her husband; he is perfectly well, and as impatient for peace as I am. Love to my daughters, and all affection and respect to my mother. I live only in the hope of joining you all again. Nevertheless, Montreal is as good a place as Alais even in time of peace, and better now, because the Government 456
Shipment of Emigrants.Soldier Settlers.Importation of Wives.Wedlock.Summary Methods.The Mothers of Canada.Bounties on Marriage.Celibacy Punished.Bounties on Children.Results.
 Henri de Tonty Cabart de Villermont, 11 Septembre, 1694 (Margry, iv. 3). The Jesuits, in their account, say nothing of the
[Pg 226]Governor. They must obey him.The portrait in the first volume is from a photograph of the original picture in possession of the Marquis de Montcalm; that in the second, from a photograph of the original picture in possession of Admiral Warde.
Disputes with Beaujeu.St. Domingo.La Salle Attacked with Fever: his Desperate Condition.The Gulf Of Mexico.A Vain Search and a Fatal Error. English accounts make the whole number 342.