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1764. derstood, and one of them, who afterwards appeared to be a Chief, came towards me: he was Friday 21. of a gigantic ftature, and feemed to realize the tales of monsters in a human fhape: he had the fkin of fome wild beast thrown over his shoulders, as a Scotch Highlander wears his plaid, and was painted fo as to make the most hideous appearance I ever beheld: round one eye was a large circle of white, a circle of black furrounded the other, and the reft of his face was ftreaked with paint of different colours: I did not measure him, but if I may judge of his height by the proportion of his ftature to my own, it could not be much less than seven feet. When this frightful Coloffus came up, we muttered fomewhat to each other as a falutation, and I then walked with him towards his companions, to whom, as I advanced, I made figns that they should fit down, and they all readily complied: there were among them many women, who seemed to be proportionably large; and few of the men were lefs than the Chief who had come forward to meet me. I had heard their voices very loud at a diftance, and when I came near, I perceived a good number of very old men, who were chanting fome unintelligible words in the most doleful cadence I ever heard, with an air of serious folemnity, which inclined me to think that it was a religious ceremony: they were all painted and clothed nearly in the fame manner; the circles round the two eyes were in no instance of one colour, but they were not univerfally black and white, fome being white and red, and fome red

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red and black: their teeth were as white as ivory,
remarkably even and well fet; but except the
fkins, which they wore with the hair inwards,
most of them were naked, a few only having up-
on their legs a kind of boot, with a short pointed
ftick fastened to each heel, which ferved as a fpur.
Having looked round upon thefe enormous gob-
lins with no fmall aftonishment, and with some
difficulty made thofe that were still galloping up fit
down with the reft, I took out a quantity of yel
low and white beads, which I diftributed among
them, and which they received with very strong
expreffions of pleasure: I then took out a whole
piece of green filk riband, and giving the end of
it into the hands of one of them, I made the per-
fon that fat next take hold of it, and fo on as far
as it would reach: all this while they fat very
quietly, nor did any of thofe that held the riband
attempt to pull it from the rest, though I per-
ceived that they were still more delighted with it,
than with the beads. While the riband was thus
extended, I took out a pair of fciffars, and cut it
between each two of the Indians that held it, fo
that I left about a yard in the poffeffion of every
one, which I afterwards tied about their heads,
where they suffered it to remain without so much
as touching it while I was with them. Their
peaceable and orderly behaviour on this occafion
certainly did them honour, especially as my pre-
fents could not extend to the whole company:
neither impatience to fhare the new finery, nor
curiofity to gain a nearer view of me and what I
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Friday 21.

was doing, brought any one of them from the ftation that I had allotted him. It would be very Friday 21. natural for those who have read Gay's Fables, if

1764. December.

they form an idea of an Indian almost naked, returning to his fellows in the woods adorned with European trinkets, to think of the monkey that had seen the world, yet before we despise their fondness for glass, beads, ribands, and other things, which among us are held in no estimation, we fhould confider that, in themfelves, the ornaments of favage and civil life are equal, and that those who live nearly in a state of nature, have nothing that resembles glass, so much as glass resembles a diamond; the value which we fet upon a diamond, therefore, is more capricious than the value which they fet upon glass. The love of ornament seems to be a universal principle in human nature, and the fplendid transparency of glass, and the regular figure of a bead, are among the qualities that by the constitution of our nature excite pleasing ideas; and although in one of these qualities the diamond excels glass, its value is much more than in proportion to the difference: the pleasure which it gives among us is, principally, by conferring distinction, and gratifying vanity, which is independent of natural tafte, that is gratified by certain hues and figures, to which for that reafon we give the name of beauty: it must be remembered alfo, that an Indian is more diftinguished by a glafs button or a bead, than any individual among us by a diamond, though perhaps the fame facrifice is not made to his vanity, as the poffeffion of his


finery is rather a teftimony of his good forttune, 1764. than of his influence or power in confequence of his having what, as the common medium of all Friday 21. earthly poffeffions, is fuppofed to confer virtual fuperiority, and intrinfic advantage. The people, however, whom I had now adorned, were not wholly ftrangers to European commodities, for upon a closer attention, I perceived among them one woman who had bracelets either of brass, or very pale gold, upon her arms, and fome beads of blue glafs, ftrung upon two long queues of hair, which being parted at the top, hung down over each fhoulder before her: fhe was of a moft enormous fize, and her face was, if poffible, more frightfully painted than the reft. I had a great desire to learn where she got her beads and bracelets, and inquired by all the figns I could devise, but found it impoffible to make myself underftood. One of the men fhewed me the bowl of a tobacco pipe, which was made of a red earth, but I foon found that they had no tobacco among them; and this perfon made me understand that he wanted fome: upon this I beckoned to my people, who remained upon the beach, drawn up as I had left them, and three or four of them ran forward, imagining that I wanted them. The Indians, who, as I had obferved, kept their eyes almost continually upon them, no fooner faw fome of them advance, than they all rofe up with a great clamour, and were leaving the place, as I fuppofed to get their arms, which were probably left at a little distance: to prevent mischief, therefore, D 3



1764. and
put an end to the alarm, which had thus acci-
dentally been fpread among them, I ran to meet the
people who were, in confequence of my fignal,
coming from the beach, and as foon as I was with-
in hearing I hallooed to them, and told them that
I would have only one come up with all the to-
bacco that he could collect from the reft. As
foon as the Indians faw this, they recovered from
their furprise, and every one returned to his fta-
tion, except a very old man, who came up to me,
and fung a long fong, which I much regretted my
not being able to understand: before the fong
was well finished, Mr. Cumming came up with
the tobacco, and I could not but fmile at the
aftonishment which I faw expreffed in his counte.
nance, upon perceiving himself, though fix feet
two inches high, become at once a pigmy among
giants; for these people may indeed more properly
be called giants than tall men: of the few among
us who are full fix feet high, fcarcely any are
broad and mufcular in proportion to their stature,
but look rather like men of the common bulk,
run up accidentally to an unusual height; and a
man who should measure only fix feet two inches,
and equally exceed a ftout well-fet man of the
common ftature in breadth and mufcle, would
strike us rather as being of a gigantic race, than as
an individual accidentally anomalous; our fenfations
therefore, upon feeing five hundred people, the
fhortest of whom were at least four inches taller,
and bulky in proportion, may be easily imagined.
After I had presented the tobacco, four or five of

Friday 21.


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