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this view, perhaps, I should not myself, if my advice had been asked, have objected to their wearing their riband and badge themselves according to their fancy, though I certainly should to the entailing it as an honour on their posterity. For honour, worthily obtained (as that for example of our officers), is in its nature a personal thing, and incommunicable to any but those who had some share in obtaining it. Thus among the Chinese, the most ancient and from long experience the wisest of nations, honour does not descend, but ascends. If a man from his learning, his wisdom, or his valour, is promoted by the emperor to the rank of Mandarin, his parents are immediateig entitled to all the same ceremonies of respect from the people, that are established as due to the Mandarin himself; on the supposition that it must have been owing to the education, instruction, and good example afforded him by his parents, that he was rendered capable of serving the public; and this ascending how nour is therefore useful to the state, as it encourages parents to give their children a good and virtuous education. But the descending honour, to a posterity who could have no share in obtaining it, is not only groundless and absurd, but often hurtful to that pos terity, since it is apt to make them proud, disdaining to be employed in useful arts, and thence falling into poverty, and all the meannesses, servility, and wretch. edness attending it ; which is the present case with much of what is called the noblesse of Europe. Or if, to keep up the dignity of the family, estates are entailed entire on the eldest male heir, another pest to industry and improvement of the country is introduced, which will be followed by all the odious mixture of pride and beggary, and idleness, that have half depopulated and decultivated Spain ; occasioning continual extinction of families by the discouragements of marriage, and neglect in the improvement of estates. I wish therefore that the Cincinnati, if they must go on with their project, would direct the badges of their order to be worn by their fathers and mothers, instead of handing them down to their children. It would be a good precedent, and might have good effects. It would also be a kind of obedience to the fourth commandment, in which God enjoins us to honour our father and mother, but has nowhere directed us to honour our children. And certainly no mode of honour. ing those immediate authors of our being can be more effectual, than that of doing praiseworthy actions, which reflect honour on those who gave us our education; or more becoming, than that of manifesting, by some public expression or token, that it is to their instruction and example we ascribe the merit of those actions.
But the absurdity of descending honours is not a mere matter of philosophical opinion, it is capable of mathematical demonstration. A man's son, for instance, is but half of his family, the other half belonging to the family of his wife. His son too marrying into another family, his share in the grandson is but a fourth ; in the great grandson, by the same process, it is but an eighth. In the next generation a sixteenth; the next a thirty-second ; the next a sixty-fourth ; the Lext a hundred and twenty-eighth ; the next a two hundred and fifty-sixth ; and the next a five hundred and twelfth : thus in nine generations, which will not require more than 300 years (no very great antiquity for a family), our present Chevalier of the Order of Cincinnatus's share in the then existing knight will
be but a five hundred and twelfth part ; which, allowing the present certain fidelity of American wives to be insured down through all those nine generations, is so small a consideration, that methinks no reasonable man would hazard for the sake of it the disagreeable consequences of the jealousy, envy, and ill. will of his countrymen.
Let us go back with our calculation from this young noble, the five hundred and twelfth part of the present knight, through his nine generations, till we return to the year of the institution. He must have had a father and mother they are two. Those of the next preceding generation will be eight, the next sixteen, and the next thirty-two, the next sixty-four, and the next one hundred and twenty-eight, the next two hundred and fifty-six, and the ninth in this retroces. sion five hundred and twelve, who must be now exist. ing, and all contribute their proportion of this future Chevalier de Cincinnatus. These, with the rest, make together as follows.
2 4 8 16
One thousand and twenty-two men and women contributors to the formation of one knight. And if we
are to have a thousand of these future knights, there must be now and hereafter existing one million and twenty-two thousand fathers and mothers, who are to contribute to their production, unless a part of the number are employed in making more knights than
Let us strike off then the 22,000 on the supposition of this double employ, and then consider whether, after a reasonable estimation of the number of rogues, and fools, and scoundrels, and prostitutes, that are mixed with, and help to make up necessarily their million of predecessors, posterity will have much reason to boast of the noble blood of the then existing set of Chevaliers of Cincinnatus. The future genealogists too of these Chevaliers, in proving the lineal descent of their honour through so many gene. rations (even supposing honour capable in its nature of descending), will only prove the small share of this honour which can be justly claimed by any one of them ; since the above simple process in arithmetic makes it quite plain and clear, that in proportion as the antiquity of the ily shall augment, the right to the honour of the ancestor will diminish; and a few generations more would reduce it to something so small as to be very near an absolute nullity. I hope therefore that the Order will drop this part of their project, and content themselves as the Knights of the Garter, Bath, Thistle, St. Louis, and other Orders of Europe do, with a life enjoyment of their little badge and riband, and let the distinction die with those who have merited it. This I imagine will give no offence. For my own part, I shall think it a conven. nience, when I go into a company where there may be faces unknown to me, if I discover, by this badge, the persons who merit some particular expression of
my respect ; and it will save modest virtue the trouble of calling for our regard, by awkward round-about intimations of having been heretofore employed as officers in the continental service.
THE INDIANS OF NORTH AMERICA
Savages we call them, because their manners differ from ours, which we think the perfection of civility; they think the same of theirs.
Perhaps 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 war. riors; when old, counsellors; for all their government is by the counsel or advice of the sages : there is no force, there are no prisons, no officers, to compel obe. dience, or inflict punishment. Hence they generally study oratory; the best speaker having the most influence. The Indian women till the ground, dress the food, nurse and bring up the children, and preserve and hand down to posterity the memory of public transactions. These employments of men and women are ac counted natural and honourable. Having few artificial wants, they have abundance of leisure for improve ment in conversation. Our laborious manner of life, compared with theirs, they esteem slavish and base; and the learning on which we value ourselves, they regard as frivolous and useless. An instance of this occurred at the treaty of Lancaster, in Pennsylvania, anno 1744, between the government of Virginia and the Six Nations. After the principal business was settled,