« ZurückWeiter »
a war be just or unjust; he is to execute his orders Al princes, who are disposed to become tyrants, must probably approve of this opinion, and be wil. ling to establish it; but is it not a dangerous one? since, on that principle, if the tyrant commands his army to attack and destruy not only an unoffending neighbour nation, but even his own subjects, the army is bound to obey. A negro slave, in our colonies, being commanded by his master to rob or murder a neighbour or do any other immoral act may refuse; and the magistrate will protect him in his refusal.
The slavery then of a soldier is worse than that of a negro! A conscientious officer, if not restrained by the apprehension uf its being imputed to another cause, may indeed resign, rather than be employed in an uzjust war; but the private men are slaves for life; and they are, perhaps, incapable of judging for themselves. We can only lament their fate, and still more that of a sailor, who is often dragged by force from his honest occupation, and compelled to imbrue his hands in perhaps innocent blood. "But, methinks, it well behoves merchants (inen more enlightened by their education, and perfectly free from any such force or obligation, to consider weil of the justice of a war, before they voluntarily engage a gang of ruthans to attack their fellow-merchants of a neighbouring na. tion, to plunder them of their property, and perhaps, ruin them and their families, if they yield it; or to wound, maim, ard murder them, if they endeavour to defend it. Yet these things are done by Christian merchants, whether a war be just or unjust; and it can hardly he just on both sides. They are done by English and American pierchants, who, nevertheless complain of private theft, and hang by dozens the thieves they have taught by their own example.
It is high time, for the sake of humanity, that a stop were put to this enormity. The United States of America, though better situated than any Eurosopcan nation to make profit by privateering (most of the trade with Europe with the West Indies, pass. ing before their doors) are, as far as in them lies, endeavouring to abolish the practice, by uffering in all ilu lieaties with other powers, an article, engag.
ing solemnly, that, in case of future war, no privateer shall be coinmissioned on either side ; and that un. armed merchant-ships, on both sides, shall pursue their voyages unmolested.* This will be a happy improvement of the law of nations. The humane and the just cannot but wish general success to the proposition. With unchangeable esteem and affection, I am, my dear friend,
* This offer having been accepted by the late King of Prussia, , treaty of amily and commerce was concluded between that monarch and the United States, containing the following bumane and philaa. thropic article, in the formation of which Dr. Franklio, as one of the American plenipotentiaries, was principally concernele viz
ART. XXIII. If war should arise between the two contracting parties, the merchants of either country, then residing in the other, shall be allowed to reinaid nine months to collect tbeir debts aod settle their atlairs, and may depart freely, carrying off all their effects without molestation or hindrance; and ail women and children, scholars of every faculty, cultivators of the earth, artizans, manufac. turers, and fisherman unarmed, and inhabiting unfortified towns, vil lages, and places, and, in general, all otbers whose occupations are for the common subsistence and be peft of mankind, shall be allowed to continue their respective employments, and shall not be molested in their pe. soos, nor shall their houses or goods be burnt, or otherwise destroyed, nor their fields wasted by the armed force of the enemy into whose power, by the events of war, they may bappen to fall, but if any thing is necessary to be taken from them for the use of such armed force, the same shall be paid for at a reasonable price. And all mercbant and trading vessels employed in exchanging the products of different places, and thereby rendering the necessaries, conveniences, and comforts of human life more easy to be obtained, and more geoeral, sholi be allowed to pass free and unmolested : and neither of the contracting powers shall grant or isauc any commission to any private armed venela, empowering them to take or destroy al radiog renels, or interrup: such commern
REMARKS CONCERNING THE SAVAGES
OF NORTH AMERICA. ·
SAVAGES we call them because thei: niamers differ from ours, which we think the perfection of civility,
hey think the sanie of theirs. 4Perhaps if we could examine the manners of
different nations with impartiality, we should find no people so rude as to be without any rules of politeness ; nor any so polite as not to have some remains of rudeness.
The Indian men when young, are hunters and warriors; when old, counsellors; for all their go
vernment is by the council and advice of the sages; - there is no force, there are no prisons, no officers, to
compel obedience, or inflict punishment. Hence Chev gerierally study oratory; the best speaker having the most influence. The Indian women till the ground, dress the food, nurse and bring up the chil. dren, and preserve and hand down to posterity the memory of public transactions. These employments of men and women are accounted watural and honourable. Having few artificial wants, they have abundance of leisure for improvement in conversa*tion. Our laborious manner of lite, compared with
theirs, they esteem slavish and base; and the learn. ing on which we value ourselves, they regard as frivolous and useless. An instance of this occurred at the treaty of Lancaster, in Pennsyivania, anno 1744, between the government of Virginia and the Six Na. ions. After the principal business was settled, the commissioners from Virginia acquainted the Indians by 'a speech, that there was at Williaingburgh a col. lege, with a fund, for educating Indian youth; and is the chiefs of the Six Nations would send down half a dozen of their sons to that college, the government would take care they should be well provided for, and instructed in all the learning of the white people. It is one of the Indian rules of politeness not to answer a public proposition the same day that it is
made: they think it would be treating it as a lig
dec cold or hunger; knew neither how to build a cabin take a deer, or kill an enemy; spoke our language : "
upo mperfectly; were therefore neither fit for hunter 01 warriors, or counsellors: they were totally good by nothing. We are however not the less obliged by your kind offer, though we decline accepting of it, exp and to show our grateful sense of it if the gentlemen
of Virginia will send us a dozen of their sons, we , will take great care of their cducation, instruct them in all we know, and make men of them.
Having frequent occasions to hold public councils they have acquired great order and decency in con Pucting them. The old men sit in the foremos tanks, the warriors in the next, and the wonicu ar children in the hindnjost. The business of the w Inen is to take notice of what passes, imprint it D their memories, for they have no writing, and cor municate it to the children. They are the records of the council, and they preserve traditions of the st pulations in treaties a hundred ycars back; which wlien we compare with our writing, we always find
xact. Ho that would speak. rises. The rest ob. serve a profound silence. When he has finished, and sits down, they leave him five or six minutes to recollect, that if he has omitted any thing he witended to say or has any thing to add, he may rise again and deliver it. To interrupt another, even in common convereation, is reckoned highly indecent. How different this is from the conduct of a polite British House of Commons, where scarce a day passes without some con fision, that makes the speaker oarse in calling to oder, and how different froin the mode of conver. sation, in many polite companies of Europe, where if you do not deliver your sentences with great rapi. dity, you are cut off in the midůle of it by the impatieni loquacity of those you converse with, and never suffered to finish it!
The politeness of these sarages in conversation is indeed carried to excess ; since it does not pennit them to contradict or deny the truth of what is a se serted in their presence. By inis means they, ille deeri, avoid disputes; but then it becomes difficult to know their minds, or what impression you make upou tiern. The missionaries, who have atteinpted to convert them to Christianity, all complain of this as Dule of the great difficulties of their mission. The Indians near with patience the truth:s of the gospel explained to them, and give their usual trens ot assent and approbation : you would think they were convinced. No such matter-i: is inere civity.
A Swe:lish minister having assembled the chiefs of the Susquehamah Indians, made a serioon to them, acquainting them with the principal historical facts on which our religion is founded: such as the fall of our first parents by eating an apple; the com. ing of Christ to repair the mischief; his miracles and sufferings, &c.- When he had finished, an Indian orator stood up to thank him. « What you have told - us,” savs he,“ is all very good. It is indeed bad to
cat apples. It is better to make them all into cider. We are much obliged to your kindness in coming su tar to tell us those things which you have heard frass,