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made: they think it would be treating it as a light matter, and that they show it respect by taking time tu consider it, as of a matter important. They there. fore deferred their answer till the day following: when their speaker began by expressing their deep sense of the kindness of the Virginia government, in making them that offer; " for we knuw," says he, “ that yon highly esteemi the kind of learning taught in those colleges, and that the maintenance of our young men while with you would be very expensive to you.
W are convinced, therefore, that you mean to do u good by your proposal; and we thank you heartily But you who are wise must krow, that different na tions 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 saine with yours. We have had sone experience of it ; several of our young people were formerly brought up at the colleges of the northern provinces; they were in strucied 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 cabin, take a deer, or kill an enemy; spoke our language unperfectly; were therefore neither fit for hunters warriors, or counsellors: they were totally good fo nothing. We are however not the less obliged by your-kind otser, though we decline accepting of 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 cducation, instruct them in all we know, and make men of them.
Having frequent occasions to hold public councils shey have acquired great order and decency in con fucting them. The old men sit in the foremost sanks, the warriors in the next, and the wonieu ans children in the hindniost. The busincss of the we inen is to take notice of what passes, imprint it in their memories, for they have no writing, and communicate it to the children. Thcy are the cords of the council, and they preserve traditions of the stipulations in treaties a hundred years back; which, When we compare with our writing, we always find exact. He that would speak. rises. 'The rest ohsérve a profound sience. 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 convereation, is reckoned highly indecent. How different this is from the conduct of a polite British House of Cummons, where scarce a day passes without somecon fusion, that makes the speaker oarse in calling t« order; and how different froin the mode of conversation, in many polite coinpanies of Europe, where if you do not deliver your sentences with great rapidity, you are cut off in the middle of it by the impa. tient loquacity of those you converse with, and never suffered to finish it!
The puliteness of these savages in conversation is Indeed carried to excess ; since it does not pennit them to contradict or deny the truth of whai is asserted in their presence. By this ineans they, inte deed, avoid disputes; but then it beconies difficult to know their minds, or what impression you make upon them. The missionaries, who have attempted to convert them to Christianity, all complain of this as one of the great difficulties of their mission. TI Indians near with patience the truths of the gospel explained to them, and give their usual trsens of assent and approbation : you would think they were convinced. No such matiermi is mere civuity.
A Swedish minister having assembled the chiefs of the Susquehannah Indians, made a sermon to them, acquainting thein with the principal historical facts on which our religion is founded: such as the fall of our first parents by eating an apple; the com. iig of Christ to repair the mischief; bis miracles and sufferings, &c.- When he had finished, an Indian orator sinod up to thank him. “What you have told us," savs he, “ is all very good. It is indeed lad to cat apples. It is better to make them all into cider. We are much obliged to your kindness in coming so far to tell us those things which you have heard freakdo,
your mothers. In return, I will tell you some of those which we have heard from ours.
“ 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 mo broil some parts of it. When they were about to satisfy their hunger, they Leheld a beautiful young woman descend from the clouds, and seat herself on that hill which you see yonder among the blue moun. tains. They said to each other, it is a spirit that perhaps has smelt our broiled venison, and wishes to at 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. Corne 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 ihat ancient time, have been constantly cultivated among us, lo our great advantage. Where her right hand had touched the ground, they found maize; where her left hand touched it, they found kidney. beans; and where her backside had sat on it, they found inbacco.". 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 ours?"
When any of thom come into our towns, our peo ple are apt to crowd round them, gaze upon them, and inconimode them where they desire to be privato this they esteem great rudeness, and the effect of the want of instruction in the rules of civility and good
“ We have,” say they, “as inuch curiosity as you, and when you come into cur towns, we wish for opportunities of looking at you, but for this
purpose we hide 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 tra. velling strangers to enter a village abruptly, with. out giving notice of their approach. Therefore, ao 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 then 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 of. sers of service, if the strangers have occasion for guides, or any necessaries for continuing their jour. ney; and nothing is exacted for the entertainment.
The same hospitality, esteemed among them as a principal virtue, is practised by private persons; of which Conrad Weiser, our interpreter, gave me the following instance. He had been naturalized among the Six Nations, and spoke well the Mohuck language. In going through the Indian country, to carry a message from our governor to the council at Onondaga, he called at the habitation of Canasse. tego, an old acquaintance, who embraced him, spread furs for him to sit on, placed before him some boiled beans and venison, and mixed some rum and water for his drink. When he was well refreshed, and had lit his pipe, Canassetego bega: to converse with him: asked him how he nad fared the many years sinco they had seen each other, whence he then came, what occasioned the journey, &c. Conrad answered all his questions; and when the discourse began to flag, the Indian, to continue it, said, “Conrad, you have lived long among the white people, and know something of their customs; I have been sometimes al Albany, and have observed, that once in seven daya
they shut up their shops, and assenible all in the great house; tell me what it is for? What do they do there "" " They meet there,” says Conrail, " 10 hear and learn good things?” “ I do not doubt,” says the Indian, " that they tell you so, they have told me the same : but I doubt the truth of what they say, and I will tell you my reasons. I went lately to Albany, to sell my skins and buy blankets, knives, powder, rum, &c. You know I used generally to deal with Hans Hanson ; but I was a little inclined his time to try some other merchants. However, I called first upon Hans, and asked him what he would give for beaver. He said he could not give more than four shillings a pound: but, says he, I cannot talk on business now; this is the day when we meet tos, gether to learn good things, and I am going to meeting. So I thought to myself, since I cannot do any husiness to-day, I may as well go to the meeting too, and I went with him. There stood up a man in black, and began to talk to the people very angrily. I did not understaud what he said: but, perceiving that he looked much at me, and at Ilanson, I imagine ed he was angry at seeing me there; so I went out, sat down near the house, struck fire and lit my pipe, waiting till the meeting should break up. I thought too, that the man had mentioned something of beaver; ( suspected it might be the subject of their meeting. So, when they came out, I accosted my merchant, • Well, Hans,' says I, • I hope you have agreed to give more than four shillings a pound.' •No,' says he, • I canont give so much ;'I cannot give more than three shillings and sixpence. I then spoke to seve. ral other dealers, but they all sung the same song, three and six pence, three and six pence. This made it clear to me that my suspicion was right; and that, whatever they pretended of meeting to learn good things, the real purpose was to consult how to cheat Indians in the price of beaver. Consider but a Mle, Conrad, and you must be of my opinion. If they meet so often to learn good things they would certainly have learned some before this time. But they are still ignorant. You know our practice. If A white man, in travelling through our country, edo