dicts which sought to prevent the colonists from taking to the woods. But, whatever the laws might say, the coureur de bois could not be put down. From time to time he was placed under restraint, but only for a moment. The intendant might threaten and the priest might plead. It recked not to the coureur de bois when once his knees felt the bottom of the canoe.
But of the seven thousand French who peopled Canada in 1672 it is probable that not more than four hundred were scattered through the forest. The greater part of the inhabitants occupied the seigneuries along the St Lawrence and the Richelieu. Tadoussac was hardly more than a trading-post. Quebec, Three Rivers, and Montreal were but villages. In the main the life of the people was the life of the seigneuries--an existence well calculated to bring out in relief the ancestral heroism of the French race. The grant of seigneurial rights did not imply that the recipient had been a noble in France. The earliest seigneur, Louis Hébert