Quebec was in a sad condition. The English, knowing of the negotiations for its return to the French, had left the ground uncultivated and the buildings in ruins. The missionaries found the residence of Notre-Dame-des-Anges plundered and partly destroyed; but they went to work cheerfully to restore it, and before autumn it was quite habitable. Meanwhile Le Jeune had begun his labours tentatively as a teacher. His pupils were an Indian lad and a little negro, the latter a present from the English to Madame Hebert. The class grew larger; during the winter a score of children answered the call of Le Jeune’s bell, and sat at his feet learning the Credo, the Ave, and the Paternoster, which he had translated into Algonquin rhymes. In order to learn the Indian language Le Jeune was himself a pupil, his teacher a Montagnais named Pierre, a worthless wretch who had been in France and had learned some French. Le Jeune passed the winter of 1632-33 in teaching, studying, and ministering to the inhabitants at the trading-post. Save for a short period, he had the companionship of Noue, a devoted missionary, eager to play his part in the field, but, as we have seen, without the necessary vigour of mind or body. Though Noue had failed in Huronia, he thought he might succeed on the St Lawrence. And in the autumn, just as the first snows were beginning to whiten the ground, when a band of friendly Montagnais, encamped near the residence, invited him to their wintering grounds, he bade farewell to Le Jeune and vanished with the Indians into the northern forest. But the rigours of the wigwams were too much for him, and after three weeks he returned to Notre-Dame-des-Anges in an exhausted condition.
In the meantime the Hundred Associates were getting ready to enter into the enjoyment of their Canadian domain, but now without the hopeful ardour and exalted purpose which had characterized their first ill-fated expedition. The guiding hand in the revival of the colony, under the feudal suzerainty of Richelieu’s company, was Champlain. He was appointed on March 1, 1633, lieutenant-general in New France, ’with jurisdiction throughout all the extent of the St Lawrence and other rivers.’ Twenty-three days later he sailed from Dieppe with three armed ships, the St Pierre, the St Jean, and the Don de Dieu. These ships carried two hundred persons, among them the Jesuit fathers Jean de Brebeuf and Ennemond Masse. At Cape Breton they were joined by two more Jesuits, Antoine Daniel and Ambroise Davost, who had gone there the year before.
There were no Recollets in the company, for, greatly to their disappointment, the Recollets were now barred from the colony. For this the Jesuits have been unjustly blamed. It was, however, wholly due to the policy of the Hundred Associates. At one of their meetings Jean de Lauzon, the president, afterwards a governor of New France, formally protested against the return of the Recollets. The Associates desired to economize, and did not wish to support two religious orders in the colony; and so the mendicant Recollets were excluded.