« ZurückWeiter »
your mothers. In return, I will tell you some of those which we have heard from ours.
"In the beginning, our fathers had only the flesh of aniinals to subsist on; and if their hunting was unsuccessful, they were starving. Two of our young hunters having killed a deer, made a fire in the woods o broil some parts of it. When they were about to satisfy their hunger, they leheld a beautiful young woman descend fruin the clouds, and seat herself ou that hill which you see yonder among the bile inoull tains. They said in each other, it is a spirit that perhaps has sinelt our broiled venison, and wishes to
at of it; let us offer some to her. They presented her with the tougue: she was pleased with the taste of it, ani sait, Your kindness shall be rewarded. Come to this place after thirteen moons, and you shall find something that will be of great benefic in no:ırishing you and your children to the latest gene. rations. They did so, and to their surprise, found plants they had never seen before ; but whichi, from inat ancient timc, have been constantly cultivated among us, lo our great advantage. Where her right hand had touched the ground, they found maize; where her lefi hard touched it, they found kidney: beans; and where her backside had sal on it, they found inbacco " The good missionary, disgusted with this idle tale, said, “ What I delivered to you were sacred truths; but what you tell me is mere fable, fiction and falsehood." The Indian offended, replied, “My brother, it seems your friends have :)ot done you justice in your education ; they have rot well instructed you in the rules of common civility. You saw that we, who linilerstand and practise those rules, nelieved all your stories, why do you refuse lo believe ours?"
When any of them come into our towns, our pecple are apt to crowd round them, gaze upon them, and incominode them where they desire to be privale. this they esteein great rudeness, and the effect of the want of instruction in the rules of civility and good manners. "We harc," say they, “as inucb curi. osity as you, and when you come into cur lowns, we wish for opportunities of looking at you, but for this
purpose we hide behind bushes, where you are to pass, and never intrude ourselves into your company." .. Their manner of entering one another's villages las likewise its rules. It is reckoned uncivil in travelling strangers to enter a village abruptly, with. out giving notice of their approach. Therefore, as soon as they arrive within hcaring, they stop and halloo, remaining there till invited to enter. Two old men usually come out to them and lead them in There is in every village a vacant dwelling, called the strangers house. Here they are placed, while tlo old men go round from hut to hut, acquainting the inhabitants that strangers are arrived, who are pro bably hungry and weary, and every one sends their what he can spare of victuals, and skins to repost on. When the strangers are refreshed, pipes and tobacco are brought: and then, but not before, conversation begins, with inquiries who they are, whither bound, whai news, &c. and it usually ends with of. fers of service, if the strangers have occasion for guides, or any necessaries for continuing their jour. ney ; and nothing is exacted for the entertaiment.
The same hospitality, esteemed among them as a principal virtue, is practised by private persons; of which Conrad Weiser, our interpreter, gave me the following instance. He had been naturalized among the Six Nations, and spooke well the Muhuck lan). guage. ; In going through the Indian country, to car. ry a message from our governor to the council at Onondaga, he called at the habitation of Camasse. tegc, an old acquaintance, who embraced liim, spread furs tor hiin to sit on, place before him some boiled beans and venison, an inixed some rum and water for his drink. When he was well refreshed, and had lit his pipe, Canassetego hegan to converse with him: asked hiin how he sad fared the inany years since they had seen each other, whence he then came, what occasioned the journey, &c. Conrad answered all his questions; and when the discourse began to flag, the Indian), to continue it, said, “Conrad, you have lived long anjong the white people. and know something of their customis; I have heen sometimes an Albany, and have observed that once in seven via yo they shut up their shops, and assenible all in the great house ; tell me what it is for? What do they do there "" " They meet there," says Conrad, " to hear and learn good things?” “I do not doubt," savs the Indian, “ that they tell you so, they have told me the same: but I doubt the truth of what they say, and I will tell you my reasons. I went lately to Albany, w sell my skins and buy blankets, knives, powder. rum, &c. You know I used generally to deal with Hans Hanson ; but I was a little inclined his time to try some other merchants. However, I called first upon Hans, and askeu him what he would give for veaver. He said he could not give more than four shillings a pound: but, says he, I cannot taik on nusiness now; this is the day when we meet to gether to learn good things, and I am going to meet. ing. So I thought to myself, since I cannot do any business to-day, I may as well go to the meeung wo and I went with hiin. There stood up a man in black, and began to talk to the people vary angrily. I did not understaud what he said: but, perceiving that he looked much at me, and ai lianson, I imagini. ed he was angry at seeing me there; so I went out, sat down near the house, struck fire and lit my pipe, waiting till the meeting should break up. I thought too, that the man had mentioned something of beaver; ( suspected it might be the subject of their meeting. So, when they came out, I accosied my merchant, Well, Hans,' says I, • I hope you have agreed to give more than four shillings a round.' "No,' says he, • I canunt give so much ; I cannot give more than three shillings and sixpence.' I then spoke to seve ral other dealers, but they all sung the same song, three and six pence, three and six punce. This made it clear to me that my suspicion was right; and that, whatever they pretended of meeting to learn good things, the real purpose was to consult how to cheat Indians in the price of beaver. Consider but a
Atle, Conrad, and you must be of my opinion. 11 they meet so often to learn good things they would certainly have learned some before this time. But they are still ignorant. You know our practice. If a white man, in travelling through our country, ea
ters one of our cabins, we all treat him as I do you; we dry him if he is wet, we warm him if he is cold, and give hiro meat and drink, that he may allay his thirst and hunger; and we s. read soft furs for him to rest and sleep oni: we demand nothing in return.* But if I go into a white inan's bouse at Albany, and ask for victials and drink, they say, Where is your money ? and if I have nono, they say, Get out, you Indian dog. You see that they have not learned thos Lule good things that we need no meetings to be in structed in, because our mothers taught them u when we were children ; and therefore it is mpossible their meetings shouid be, as they say, for any such purpose, or have any such eftect; they are oniy w camurive the cheating of Indians in the price of beaver."
It is remarkable that, in all ages and countries, hospizality has been allowed as the virtue of those, whom the civilized were pleaseu to call barbarians; the Greeks celebrared the Scythians is it, the Saracens pusseserJ it eminentiy ; and its to this day the reigoing Virtue of the wild Arabs. St. Paul, too, in the relation of bus voyage aud ship wreck, ve the i, land of Melita, says, "The bar. barous people showed us bo uttle sioduess : for th'y kundled a fre. und ruderced us every one, becaus.. ol the present rnin, and becaille of tbe cold." This Dote is taken from a wall collectiou of Frau ku's paper, pruuted for Dilly
TO MR. DUBOURG.
CONCERXING THE DISSENTIONS BETWEES ENGLAND
AND AMERICA. .
London, October 2, 1770. I SE.F., with pleasure, that we think pretty much alike on the subjects of English America. We of the colonies bave never insisted that we ought to be ex. empt Iroin contributing to the common expenses ne cessary to support the prosperity of the empire. We only assert, that having parliaments of our own, and not having representatives in that of Great Britain, our • parliaments are the only judges of what we can and what we ought to contribute in this case; and that the English parlian:ent has no right to take our ma ney without our consent. In fact, the British einpire is not a single state; it comprehends inany; and though the pariament of Great Britain has arrogated to itself the power of taxing the colonies, it has no more right to do so, then it has to tay Hanover. We have the saine king, but not the same legislatures.
The dispute between the 'wo countries has a ready lost England many millions sterling, which it las lost in its commerce, and America bas in this respect been a proportionable gai ier. . This con merce consisted principally of superfluities: objects of luxury and fashion, which we can well do without; and the resolution we have formed of importing no more till our grievances are redressed, has enabled many of our intant manufacturers to take root; and it will not be easy to make our people abandon them in future, even shouid a connexion inore cordial than ever succeed the pesent troubles.--I have, indeed, nc doubt, that the parliament of England will finally abandon its preserit pretensions, ana leave us to the peaceable enjoyment of our rights and privileges.