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his researches and the ingenuity of his discoveries in the theory of electricity; the beauty of his experiments fixed the eyes of Europe on him, more especially of France, ever charmed with what is ingenious, and England, always eager after what may be useful. To Franklin belonged the honor of first attracting the lightnings of Heaven, by means of pointed rods, and conducting them harmless to the earth. The result to himself was, the degree of Doctor of Laws, conferred on him by the Universities of St. Andrews, Edinburgh, and Oxford, and tokens of honor from almost every learned and scientific body in Europe ; and the modesty and frankness with which they were received, made him appear as amiable as a man, as he was ingenious as a philosopher.
“ The fatal discontents which in the end separated the American colonies intirely from their mother country, placed Doctor Franklin's personal influence in the strongest light. He was sent to England at the time that the Stamp Act was in agitation, and was the chief instrument, by the force and perspicuity of his reasoning, of effecting its repeal. Nevertheless, so heated was the public mind, both in America and England, during the contest between the two countries, that he found himself placed in a situation wherein it at first appeared impossible to satisfy each, or even either of the parties. In America his moderation and candor were deemed a sort of proof that he was lukewarm in their cause ; in England his firmness and intrepidity exposed him to the charge of endeavouring to sow dissensions between the countries, regardless of the horrors of civil war, and to alienate the affections of subjects from their lawful governors. Under these contradictory and trying circumstances Doctor Franklin, however, persevered stedfastly in the path which he deemed that of prudence and integrity; though, as he declares in a letter to his son, nothing could have supported him so firmly amidst the clash of parties, and the outcries of calumny, but the soothing assurances of his own conscience, that he was endeavouring, to the utmost of his ability, to promote the social rights and happiness of mankind, and the conviction that sooner or later the true motives of every person's actions must be made manifest to the world, and their real value impartially estimated. Nor was his consolation drawn from a source that could deceive him ; within a very few months from the period when he had been most deeply injured by suspicion, most heavily laden with reproach, England did him the justice to regret that she had not been guided by his advice, and America to acknowledge herself indebted for her independence to the wisdom of him, wisest of her sons, who first taught her to assert her own rights, and trust to her own resources.
“On the commencement of the war between America and this country, Doctor Franklin was sent from Philadelphia to France, in the important character of envoy, to solicit the friendship and assistance of that court
. Notwithstanding the coldness with which the high-minded Marie Antoinette regarded every one who asserted a doctrine so offensive in her ears, as that of the liberty of the people, he was presented to the king in the gallery of Versailles, and received by him in the most gracious manner. He was accompanied on the occasion by several Americans, who were proud of their country being represented by a man of such wisdom and virtue; and a great number of individuals of foreign states joined his train, anxious to witness the behaviour of a character at once so venerable and so simple, who with his gray hair plainly combed, and in an unadorned suit of brown clothes, stood amidst a train of powdered and glittering courtiers; yet commanding that attention by his personal importance, which almost the whole of the brilliant circle that surrounded him lived to see themselves deprived of, though fenced round with high-sounding titles and hereditary wealth.
“The influence of Doctor Franklin at the Court of France, and the personal esteem in which he was held by the literary and scientific classes in its society, were so great, that he was enabled to obtain assistance from that kingdom, which greatly contributed to bring the war with England to a favorable conclusion, and establish the American independence on a basis not to be shaken so long as it remains true to itself. After representing his native country for nine years in France, he at length returned to Philadelphia, and entered it amidst the shouts and acclamations of thousands, who had flocked from all parts to testify their esteem and veneration.
“«The warriors who had shed their blood for an independence, insured by means of his sagacity,' says one of his historians, 'were eager to exhibit to him their glorious wounds. He was surrounded by old men who had petitioned Heaven to live long enough to behold his return; and by a new generation, eager to survey the features of a great man, whose talents, whose services, and whose virtues, had excited in their hearts the first raptures of enthusiasm. Having advanced from a port henceforth open to all nations, to a city, the model of all future capitals, he beheld the public school, which he had founded, in a state of splendor; and saw the hospital, the establishment of which had been one of his first services, and the increase of which was owing to his foresight, now fully commensurate to all his wishes : the latter solacing suffering humanity; the former aiding the progress of reason.'
“In about three years after his return to Philadelphia, Doctor Franklin withdrew himself entirely from public life, having long been desirous of the tranquillity which his increasing years and declining health required. He still, however, served his country occasionally with his pen ; but for the last twelve months of his existence his infirmities confined him almost entirely to his bed, without, however, impairing either his mental faculties, or his cheerfulness of disposition ; and he finally resigned, with the utmost calmness, a long and useful life of eighty-four years, uniformly spent in the service of his fellow-creatures. • Franklin's life,' says one of his countrymen and contemporaries, “affords one of the finest moral lessons that can be offered up to the admiration, the applause, or the imitation of mankind.'
“ As a man, we have beheld him practising and inculcating the virtues of frugality, temperance, and industry.
“As a citizen, we have seen him repelling the efforts of tyranny, and asserting the liberty of his countrymen.
.“ As a legislator, he affords a bright example of genius soaring above corruption, and continually aiming at the happiness of his constituents.
“ As a politician, we survey him on one hand acquiring the aid of a powerful nation by means of his skilful negociations; and on the other, calling forth the common strength of a congress of republics, by fixing a central point to which they could all look up, and concentrating their common force for the purpose of union, harmony, legislation, and defence.
“ As a philosopher his labors and his discoveries are calculated to advance the best interests of humanity. He might, indeed, have been justly termed the friend of man, the benefactor of the universe.
“The pursuits and occupations of his early path afford a most excellent and instructive example to the young; his middle life to the adult; his advanced years to the aged. From him the poor may learn to acquire wealth, and the rich to adapt it to the purposes of beneficence.
• Franklin,' says Doctor Smith, his countryman, 'as a philosopher might have become a Newton; as a lawgiver a Lycurgus; but he was greater than either of them, by uniting the talents of both in the practical philosophy of doing good ; compared to which, all the palms of speculative wisdom and science wither on the sight.' He was indeed of all men the most distinguished for active benevolence, and common sense, the two chief qualities requisi'e for securing our own happiness and that of others. He trod guiltlessly in the path of power; he arrived at the highest summit of it which his rational ambition aspired to ; and could look back on his course with honest pride, and the gratulations of an approving conscience.”
Of the style in which this and the other samples of “ Transitions from Obscurity to Greatness” are written, we cannot speak very highly. It, however, has the merit of being easy, clear, and not ill suited to the juvenile readers, for whose perusal the volume is intended.
GEOGRAPHY. Sketches of the History, Manners, and Customs of the North American
Indians. By James Buchanan, Esq. His Majesty's Consul for the
State of New York.-London, pp. 371. 8vo. 10s. 6d. The American Indians have been abandoned by the Christian world, as a cruel, blood-thirsty, and treacherous race, incapable of civilization, and, therefore, unworthy of that attention which the inhabitants of other barbarous climes have received from the zeal and devotion of many learned and pious members of society.-Thousands have raised their voices against the wrongs of our black brethren of Africa ; and, from one end of Europe to the other, the humane have been roused to a sense of their injuries, and are now actively engaged Crit. Gaz. Vol. 1. Ne, 5.
in the prosecution of every measure calculated to alleviate their sufferings; while few have been stimulated to similar exertions in behalf of the Red American Indians, from whose native soil the wealth of a great portion of the civilized world has been derived.The African is submissive; his patient endurance of labour renders his servile and debased state important, and he is therefore preserved. The North American Indian, on the contrary, prefers banishment, and even death, to slavery; but his lands are serviceable to us, therefore his extinction seems to be desired. The one submits to the yoke, and we oppress and pity him; the other disdains to become the servant of man, and his whole race is therefore devoted to gradual extermination.
The author states, that his design is rather to collect a series of facts and observations, bearing on the recent and present state and character of the North American Indians, than to furnish an account of their remote history. Whether they are or are not the Aborigines ; whether their derivation is to be sought among the Tartars, who, in ages past, according to the sublime hypothesis of Governor De Witt Clinton, overran and exterminated nations who then inhabited great part of North America, and who had made considerable progress in the arts of civilized life; whether the theory adopted by Adair and Dr. Boudinot be true, that they are the descendants of the long-lost ten tribes of Israel; whether, in short, America was or was not peopled from any of the countries of the old hemisphere, is a question which, however interesting, he leaves to be discussed by abler antiquarians than himself. His anxiety, awakened by the present oppressed and demoralized condition of the Red Indians, has induced him to glance backwards a few years, to ascertain their character previous to their intercourse with Europeans; and he thinks that, until that fatal period of their history, they were, in the unsophisticated qualities of mind, one of the noblest people of the earth.
“ Neither infidelity, luke-warmness, nor hypocrisy, in regard to spiritual matters, is ever found among them, excepting, indeed, their prophets, priests, and conjurers. We are told by M. De la Salle, in the account of his last expedition and discoveries in North America, in 1878, that at the decrease of the moon the Indians carried a great dish of their greatest dainties to the door of the temple, as an oblatory sacrifice ; which the priests offered to their god, and then they carried it home, and feasted themselves with it. Here, at any rate, is a little touch of sacerdotal refinement, worthy of an Europar Friar.
“ Their languages are characterized by abundance, strength, comprehensiveness of expression, and admirable method in their grammatical structure ; indeed,' says Mr. Duponceau, from the view offered by Mr. Heckewelder of the Lenni Lenape idiom, it would rather appear to have been formed by philosophers in their closets, than by savages in the wilderness. And in their oratory, which they take great pains to cultivate, they have never been exceeded, in ancient or modern senates, for pertinent argument, and eloquence both imaginative and pathetic.
The hospitality of the Indians has been pretty generally allowed ; and it is no mall proof of the excellent regulation of their minds, that they are not in the lightest Çegree addicted to the pernicious practice of back-biting. A strong sense of justice is innate among the Indians ; they entertain the greatest respect for the aged and tender, and are unwearied in lavishing delicate attentions on them; their friendship is inviolable ; and we are told by Carver in his travels, with what moderation, humanity, and delicacy, they treat female prisoners, and particularly pregnant women. Their conduct in this latter particular is not confined to females of their own colour, but is extended to white women, the mothers of their inexorable destroyers.
“Cruelty and an eager appetite for revenge, are the chief, if not the only, deformities of their nature; and these are scarcely ever manifested, except in their open hostilities, the causes of which are precisely similar to those which actuate civilized nations. Then, indeed, their ferocity breaks out with almost demoniacal fury; their captives are generally doomed to death; but it is not until they have undergone the most exquisite tortures, the most ingenious, unutterable, and protracted agony, that the final blow is given. These atrocious practices are not, however, peculiar to our unlettered Indians. The metal boot and wedge, the thumb-screw, the rack, the gradual burnings of Smithfield, the religious butchery of the bloody Piedmontese who rolled mother with infant down the rocks,' the dismemberment by horses, • Luke's iron crown, and Damien's bed of steel,' sufficiently attest the claims of enlightened man to distinction in the art of torture. But the Five Nations,' says Governor Clinton, in his masterly and eloquent discourse, notwithstanding their horrible cruelty, are in one respect entitled to singular commendation for the exercise of humanity; those enemies they spared in battle they made free; whereas, with all other barbarous nations, and he might have added with most civilized nations, slavery was the commutation of death."
The Indian account of the first arrival of the Dutch at New York Island, which constitutes the author's Second Chapter, is highly interesting: “A
great many years ago, when men with a white skin had never yet been seen in this land, somě Indians who were out a fishing at a place where the sea widens, espied at a great distance something remarkably large floating on the water, and such as they had never seen before. These Indians immediately returning to the shore, apprized their countrymen of what they had observed, and pressed them to go out with them and discover what it might be. They hurried out together, and saw with astonishment the phenomenon which now appeared to their sight, but could not agree upon what it was; some believed it to be an uncommonly large fish or animal, while others were of opinion it must be a very big house floating on the sea. At length the spectators concluded that this wonderful object was moving towards the land, and that it must be an animal or something else that had life in it;
would therefore be proper to inform all the Indians on the inhabited islands of what they had seen, and put them on their guard. Accordingly they sent off a number of runners and watermen to carry the news to their scattered chiefs, that they might send off in every direction for the warriors, with a message that they should come on immediately. These arriving in numbers, and having themselves viewed the strange appearance, and observing that it was actually moving towards the entrance of the river or bay, concluded it to be a remarkably large house, in which the Mannitto (the Great or Supreme Being) himself was present, and that he was probably coming to visit them.
“By this time the chiefs were assembled at York Island and deliberating as to the manner in which they should receive their Mannitto on his arrival. Every measure was taken to be well provided with plenty of meat for a sacrifice. The women were desired to prepare the best victuals. All the idols or images were examined and put in order, and a grand dance was supposed not only to be an agreeable entertainment for the Great Being, but it was believed that it might, with the addition of a sacrifice, contribute to appease him, if he was angry with them.
“The conjurers were also set to work, to determine what this phenomenon portended, and what the possible result of it might be. To these and to the chiefs and wise men of the nations, men, women, and children were looking up for advice and protection. Distracted between hope and fear, they were at a loss what to do; a dance, however, commenced in great confusion.
“While in this situation, fresh runners arrived, declaring it to be a large house of various colours; and crowded with living creatures. It appears now to be certain, that it is the great Mannitto, bringing them some kind of game, such as he had not given them before ; but other runners soon after arriving declare that it is positively a house full of human beings, of quite a different colour from that of the Indians, and dressed differently from them; that in particular one of them was dressed entirely in red, who must be the Mannitto himself. They are hailed from the vessel in a language they do not understand ; yet they shout or yell in return by way of answer, according to the custom of their country. Many are for running off to the woods, but are pressed by others to stay, in order not to give offence to their visitor, who might find them out and destroy them. The house, some say, large canoe, at last stops, and a canoe of a smaller size comes on shore with the red man and some others in it ; some stay with his canoe to guard it.
• The chiefs and wise men, assembled in council, form themselves into a large circle, towards which the man in red clothes approaches with two others. He salutes them with a friendly countenance, and they return the salute after their manner. They are lost in admiration ; the dress, the manners, the whole appearance of the unknown strangers is to them a subject of wonder; but they are particularly struck with him who wore the red coat all glittering with gold lace, which they could in no manner account for. He, surely, must be the great Mannitto, but why should he have a white skin? Meanwhile, a large Hackhack (Hackhack is properly a gourd, but since they have seen glass bottles and decanters, they call them by the same name] is brought by one of his servants, from which an unknown substance is poured out into a small cup or glass, and handed to the supposed Mannitto. He drinks-has the glass filled again, and hands it to the chief standing next to him. The chief receives it, but only smells the contents and passes it on to the next chief, who does the same. The glass or cup thus passed through the circle, without the liquor being tasted by any one, and is upon the point of being returned to the red-clothed Mannitto, when one of the Indians, a brave man and a great warrior, suddenly jumps up and harangues the assembly on the impropriety of returning the cup with its contents : it was handed to them, says he, by the Mannitto, that they should drink out of it, as he himself had done. To follow his example would be pleasing to him; but to return what he had given them might provoke his wrath, and bring destruction on them. And since the orator believed it for the good of the nation that the contents offered them should be drunk, and as no one else would do it, he would drink it himself, let the consequence be what it might; it was better for one man to die, than that a whole nation should be destroyed. He then took the glass, and bidding the assembly a solemn farewell, at once drank up its whole contents. Every eye was fixed on the resolute chief, to see what effect the unknown liquor would produce. He soon began to stagger, and at last fell prostrate on the ground. His companions now bemoaned his fate, he falls into a sound sleep, and they think he has expired. He wakes again, jumps up and declares, that he has enjoyed the most delicious sensations, and that he never before felt himself so happy as after he had drunk the cup. He asks for more, his wish is granted; the whole assembly then imitate him, and all become intoxicated.
“ After this general intoxication had ceased, (for they say that while it lasted the whites had confined themselves to their vessel,) the man with the red clothes returned again, and distributed presents among them, consisting of beads, axes, hoes and stockings, such as the white people wear. They soon became familiar with each other, and began to converse by signs. "The Dutch made them understand that they would not stay here, that they would return home again, but would pay them another visit the next year, when they would bring them more presents, and stay with them awhile; but as they could not live without eating, they should want a little land of them to sow seeds, in order to raise herbs and vegetables to put into their broth. They went away, as they had said, and returned in the following season, when both parties were much rejoiced to see each other; but the whites laughed at the Indians, seeing that they knew not the use of the axes and hoes they had given them the year before ; for they had these hanging to their breasts as ornaments, and the stockings were made use of as tobacco pouches. The whites now put handles to the former for them, and cut trees down before their eyes, hoed up the ground, and put the stockings on their legs. Here, they say, a general laughter ensued among the Indians, that they had remained ignorant of the use of such valuable implements, and had borne the weight of such heavy metal hanging to their necks, for such a length of time. They took every white man they saw for an inferior Mannitto, attendant on the supreme Deity who shone superior in the red and laced clothes. As the whites became daily more familiar with the Indians, they at last proposed to stay with them, and asked only for so much ground for a garden spot as, they said, the hide of a bullock would cover or encompass, which hide was spread before them. The Indians readily granted this apparently reasonable request; but the whites then took a knife and beginning at one end of the hide, cut it up to a long rope, not thicker than a child's finger, so that by the time the whole was cut up, it made a great heap; they then took the rope at one end, and drew it gently along, carefully avoiding its breaking. It was drawn out into a circular form, and being closed at its end, encompassed a large piece of ground. The Indians were surprised at the superior wit of the whites, but did not wish to contend with them about a little land, as they had still enough themselves. The white and red men