This nation has no knowledge of the true God, but believe in one whom they call Cudruaigni, who they say often informs them of future events, and who throws dust into their eyes when angry with them. They believe that they go to the stars after death, and thence descend gradually towards the earth, as the stars do to the horizon; after which they inhabit certain pleasant fields, abounding in precious trees, sweet flowers, and fine fruits. We endeavoured to convince them, of their erroneous belief, telling them that Cudruaigni was only a devil or evil spirit, who deceived them; and affirmed that there is only one God of heaven, the creator of all, from whom we have all good things, and that it is necessary to be baptised, otherwise they would all be damned. They readily acquiesced in these and other things concerning our faith, calling their Cudruaigni agouiada, or the evil one, and requested our captain that they might be baptised; and Donnacona, Taignoagny, Domagaia, and all the people of the town came to us hoping to receive baptism. But as we could not thoroughly understand their meaning, and there was no one with us who was able to teach them the doctrines of our holy religion, we desired Taignoagny and Domagaia to tell them that we should return to them at another time, bringing priests and the chrysm along with us, without which they could not be baptised. All of this was thoroughly understood by our two savages, as they had seen many children baptised when in Brittany, and the people were satisfied with these reasons, expressing their great satisfaction at our promise.
[Footnote 52: This seems a figurative expression, implying that he keeps them in ignorance of what is to happen when displeased.—E.]
These savages live together in common, as has been already mentioned respecting the inhabitants of Hochelega, and are tolerably well provided with those things which their country produces. They are clothed in the skins of wild beasts, but in a very imperfect and wretched manner. In winter they wear hose and shoes made of wild beasts skins, but go barefooted in summer. They observe the rules of matrimony, only that every man has two or three wives, who never marry again if their husbands happen to die, wearing all their lives after a kind of mourning dress, and smearing their faces with charcoal dust and grease, as thick as the back of a knife, by which they are known to be widows. They have a detestable custom with regard to their young women, who are all placed together in one house as soon as they are marriageable, where they remain as harlots for all who please to visit them, till such time as they may find a match. I assert this from experience, having seen many houses occupied in this manner, just as those houses in France where young persons are boarded for their education; and the conduct of the inhabitants of these houses is indecent and scandalous in the extreme. The men are not much given to labour, digging the ground