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It is high time, for the sake of humanity, that a ftop were put to this enormity. The United States of America, though better situated than any European nation to make profit by privateering (most of the trade of Europe, with the Welt Indies, paffing before their doors), are, as far as in them lies, endeavouring to abolish the practice, by offering, in all their treaties with other powers, an article, engaging solemnly, that, in case of future war, no privateer shall be commissioned on either fide; and that unarmed merchant-hips, on both sides, fhall pursue their voyages unmolested*. This will be a happy improvement of the
* This offer having been accepted by the late king of Prullia, a treaty of amity and commerce was concluded between that monarch and the United States, containing the following humane, philanthropic article; in the formation of which Dr. Franklin, as one of the American plenipotentiaries, was principally concerned, viz.
If war should arise between the two contracting parties, the merchants of either country, then residing in the other, shall be allowed to remain nine months to collect their debts and fettle their affairs, and may depart freely, carrying off all their effects without molestation or hindrance : and all women and children, scholars of every faculty, cultivators of the earth, artisans, manufacturers, and fishermen, unarmed and inhabiting unfortified towns, villages, or places, and in general all others whose occupations are for the common fubfiltence and benefit of mankind, fhall be allowed to continue their respective employments, and shall not be molested in their perfons, nor shall their houses or goods be burnt, or otherwise destroyed, nor their fields wasted, by the armed force of the enemy into whose power, by the events of war, they may happen to fall; but if any thing is necessary to be taken from them for the use of such armed force, the same shall be paid for at a reasonable price. And all merchant and trading vessels employed in exchanging the products of different places, and thereby rendering the neceffaries, conveniences, and com
law of nations. The humane and the just cannot but wish general success to the proposition. With unchangeable esteem and affection,
I am, my dear friend,
forts of human life more easy to be obtained, and more gené ral, shall be allowed to pass free and unmolested ; and neither of the contracting powers shall grant or issue any commiflion to any private armed vessels, empowering them to take or deltroy such trading vessels, or interrupt such commerce.
SAVAGES we call them, because their manners differ from ours, which we think the perfection of civility; they think the fame 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 warriors; when old, counsellors; for all their government is by the counsel or advice of the fages; there is no force, there are no prisons, no officers to compel obedience, 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 pofterity the memory of public transactions. These employments of men and women are accounted natural and honourable. Having few artificial wants, they have abundance of leifure for improvement by conversation. Our laborious manner of life, compared with theirs, they esteem flavish 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, the commissioners from Virginia acquainted the Indians by a speech, that there was at Wil
liamsburg liamsburg a college, with a fund, for educating Indian youth; and that if the chiefs of the Six Nations would send down half a dozen of their fons to that college, the government would take care that they should be well provided for, and instructed in all the learning of the white people. It is one of the Indian rules of politeness not to answer a public proposition the same day that it is made; they think it would be treating it as a light matter; and that they fhew it respect by taking time to consider it, as of a matter important. They therefore deferred their answer till the day following; when their fpeaker began, by expreffing their deep fenfe of the kindness of the Virginia government, in making them that offer; “ for we know," fays he, « that you highly “ esteem the kind of learning taught in those
colleges, and that the maintenance of our
young men, while with you, would be very es expensive to you. We are convinced, there6 fore, that you mean to do us good by your “ proposal; and we thank you heartily. But
you who are wife must know, that different « nations have different conceptions of things; 6 and you will therefore not take it amiss, if our • ideas of this kind of education happen not to 66 be the same with yours. We have had fome " experience of it: several of our young people $ were formerly brought up at the colleges of " the northern provinces; they were instructed e in all your fciences; 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 cabin, take a deer, or kill an enemy;
fpoke our language imperfectly; were there« fore neither fit for hunters, warriors, or coun“ fellots; they were totally good for nothing.
16 We are however not the less obliged by your 56 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 6 their fons, we will take great care of their edu6 cation, 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 fit in the foremost ranks, the warriors in the next, and the women and children in the hindmost. The bus finess 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 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 obferve a profound filence. When he has finished, and sits down, they leave him five or six minutes to recollect, that, if he has omitted any thing he intended to say, or has any 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 favages in conversation, is, indeed, carried to excess; since it does not