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sive to you. We are convinced, therefore, that you mean to do us good by your proposal; and we thank you heartily. But you, who are wise, must know that different nations have different conceptions of things; and you will therefore not take it amiss if our ideas of this kind of education happen not to be the same with yours.
We have had some experience of it: several of our young people were formerly brought up at the colleges of the northern provinces; they were instructed in all your sciences; but when they came back to us, they were bad runners, ignorant of every means of living in the woods, unable to bear either cold or hunger, knew neither how to build a cabiri, take a deer, nor kill an enemy, spoke our language imperfectly, were therefore neither fit for hunters, warriors, nor counsellors; they were totally good for nothing. We are, however, not the less obliged by your kind offer, though we decline accepting it; 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 education, 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 conducting them. The old men sit in the foremost ranks, the warriors in the next, and the women
and children in the hindmost. The business of the women is to take exact notice of what passes, imprint it in their memories, for they have no writing, and communicate it to their children. They are the records of the council, and they preserve the tradition of the stipulations in treaties a hundred years back; which, when we compare with our writings, we always find exact. He that would speak, rises, The rest observe a profound silence, When he has finished and sits down, they leave him five or six minutes to recollect, that, if he has omitted anything he intended to say, or has any.
· upon them.
thing to add, he may rise again and deliver it. To interrupt another, even in common conversation, 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 confusion that makes the speaker hoarse in calling to order; and how different from the mode of conversation in many polite companies of Europe, where, if you do not deliver your sentence with great rapidity, you are cut off in the middle of it by the impatient loquacity of those you converse with, and never suffered to finish'it!
The politeness of these savages in conversation is indeed carried to excess, since it does not permit them to contradict or deny the truth of what is asserted in their presence. By this means they indeed avoid disputes, but then it becomes difficult to know their minds, or what impression you make
The missionaries who have attempted to convert them to Christianity all complain of this as one of the great difficulties of their mission. The Indians hear with patience the truths of the gospel explained to them, and give their usual tokens of assent and approbation : you would think they were convinced. "No such matter. It is mere civility.
A Swedish minister, having assembled the chiefs of the Susquehanna Indians, made a sermon 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 coming of Christ to repair the mischief; his miracles and sufferings, &c. When he had finished, an Indian orator stood up to thank him. have told us,” says he, " is all very good. We are much obliged by your kindness in coming so far to tell us those things which you have heard from your mothers. In return, I will tell you some of those we have heard from ours.
4 What you
“In the beginning, our fathers had only the flesh of animals 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 to broil some parts of it. When they were about to satisfy their hunger, they beheld a beautiful young woman descend from the clouds, and seat herself on that hill which you see yonder among the Blue MountainsThey said to each other, it is a spirit that perhaps has smelt our broiling venison, and wishes to eat of it; let us offer some to her. They presented her with the tongue : she was pleased with the taste of it, and said, Your kindness shall be rewarded; come to this place after thirteen moons, and you shall find something that will be of great benefit in nourishing you and your children to the latest generations. They did so, and, to their surprise, found plants they had never seen before, but which, from that ancient time, have. been constantly cultivated among us, to our great advantage. . Where her right hand had touched the ground, they found maize; where her left hand had touched it, they found kidney-beans; and where she had sat on it, they found tobacco." 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 not done you justice in your education; they have not well instructed you in the rules of common civility. You saw that we, who understand and practise those rules, believed all your stories; why do you refuse to believe
When any of them come into our towns, our people are apt to crowd around them, gaze upon them, and incommode them where they desire to be priyate; this they esteem great rudeness, and the effect of the want of instruction in the rules of
civility and good manners. “ We have,” say they, " as much curiosity as you; and when you come into our towns, we wish for opportunities of looking at you; but for this purpose, we hide ourselves behind bushes, where you are to pass, and never intrude ourselves into your company."
Their manner of entering one another's villages has likewise its rules. It is reckoned uncivil in travelling strangers to enter a village abruptly, without giving notice of their approach. Therefore, as soon as they arrive within hearing, 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 the old men go round from hut to hut, acquainting the inhabitants that strangers are arrived, who are probably hungry and weary; and every one sends them what he can spare of victuals, and skins to repose 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, what news, &c., and it usually ends with offers of service if the strangers have occasion for guides, or any necessaries for continuing their journey; and nothing is exacted for the entertainment.
ON FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND THE PRESS.
FREEDOM of speech is a principal pillar of a free government: when this support is taken away, the constitution of a free society is dissolved, and tyra anny is erected on its ruins. Republics and limite ed monarchies derive their strength and vigour from
a popular examination into the actions of the ma. gistrates; this privilege, in all ages, has been, and always will be, abused. The best of men could not escape the censure and envy of the times they lived in. Yet this evil is not so great as it may appear at first sight. A magistrate who sincerely aims at the good of society will always have the inclinations of a great majority on his side, and an impartial posterity will not fail to render him justice.
Those abuses of the freedom of speech are the exercises of liberty. They ought to be repressed; but to whom dare we commit the care of doing it? An evil magistrate, intrusted with power to punish for words, would be armed with a weapon the most destructive and terrible. Under pretence of pru. ning off the exuberant branches, he would be apt to destroy the tree.
It is certain that he who robs another of his moral reputation, more richly merits a gibbet than if he had plundered him of his purse on the highway. Augustus Cæsar, under the specious pretext of preserving the character of the Romans from defamation, introduced the law whereby libelling was involved in the penalties of treason against the state. This law established his tyranny; and for one mischief which it prevented, ten thousand evils, horrible and afflicting, sprung up in its place. Thenceforward every person's life and fortune depended on the vile breath of informers. The construction of words being arbitrary, and left to the decision of the judges, no man could write or open his mouth without being in danger of forfeiting his head.
One was put to death for inserting in his history the praises of Brutus. Another for styling Cassius the last of the Romans. Caligula valued himself for being a notable dancer; and to deny that he excelled in that manly accomplishment was high treason. This emperor raised his horse, the name of