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Even granting the truth in what the Hindoos who tried to establish the ChurCatholics mean by the virtue of "detach-ruck Pooja or Swinging Festival, but were ment," grauting, that is, that we ought to prevented by the Government; 25,000 live a life that is not all absorbed and were negroes; 20,000 Portuguese of Mawrapped up in earthly duties, that can bear deira, nominally Catholic, and some, 50,000 to contemplate a complete transformation or so Chinese, who have either no religion of those duties, - even granting this, En- at all or adopt that of the ruling race. glishmen are likely to attain it, so far as The tongues spoken are endless, the variethey ever can, rather by exhausting the full ties of civilization as numerous, but still meaning of them, and finding out that they above them all calmly sits the Englishman, are not enough for the whole life within us, insisting on order, and in the main securing than by any sudden rupture of them. We, it, except when circumstances bring to light as a nation, if we ever do attain "detach- the inexplicable antipathy entertained by the ment," shall do so by exhausting the power Chinaman for the negro, an antipathy appaof " attachment," not by being shaken free rently deeper seated than that of the Anglofrom earthly ties. We suspect an era of Saxon. Among them all, the least known earthquake would demoralize us even more and the most interesting are the Aborigines, than it would demoralize most other races whom the Government for many reasons, of our globe. the principal, perhaps, being that we, and not they, are the intruders, have very much let alone. They have, however, an attraction for the Missionaries, and the author of this volume has resided years among them, and appears to have visited some of their observer, a fair draughtsman, and the work most sequestered retreats. He is a keen leaves a strong impression of his personal truthfulness, -not an invariable quality of explorers.
From The Spectator.
THE INDIANS OF GUIANA.*
MR. BRETT has had good materials to work with, but he has not used them well. We make no objection, except on the score of taste, to the odd little tags or sentences of artificial and unctuous piety with which he studs his writing, for he is evidently a sincere man yielding to a professional habit; but his book is discursive to weariness, and his information disjointed. He has adopted the chronological form of narrative, and facts about the same tribe have often to be sought at wide intervals. Most Englishmen will, how ever, gain something from his book; for few Englishmen, we suspect, are aware of the remarkable experiment working itself out in Guiana, of the amazing precipitate of man which has gradually there deposited itself under British protection. Imagine a tropical Delta, or a series of three Deltas, 200 miles in breadth, and of an almost unknown depth into the interior, pierced by many rivers, and inhabited, so far as it is inhabited at all that is, on the coastalmost every dusky race under the sun, native Americans," savage as the Red Indians, but more amenable to authority; negroes, Portuguese from Madeira, Hindoos from Bengal and the Nerbudda Valley, Mohammedans from all parts of India, Pagans from the Nagpore jungles, and Chinese from the Southern provinces. Of the 100,000 immigrants imported within 30 years of the Emancipation, 50,000 were from India, some of them Mussulmans who still observe the Mohurrum; and more
The general type of the natives of Guiana is quite uniform. "Their skin is of a copper tint, a little darker than that of the natives of Southern Europe. Their hair is straight and coarse, and continues jet black till an advanced period of life. Their eyes are also black and keen, and their sight and hearing very acute." The men wear nothing of their own accord but a vals coronals of feathers; and the women strip of cotton about the loins, and on festismall aprons of beads, and necklaces either of beads or teeth taken from wild animals; but the Missionaries teach them some rules of dress as essential to godly, or at all events to decorous, life. They dwell in thatched huts with sloping roofs, which usually contain two apartments, one for the - by man and his goods, the other for the women and children. Most of them allow polygwomen, and are expert both with the bow amy, throw the drudgery of life on their and arrow and the blow-pipe, a weapon almost peculiar to themselves. Thus far they differ little from other savages, and especially from the Aborigines of India, but selves. The most remarkable of these is they have a few customs peculiar to themtheir mode of avenging murder. When tribe indicates the murderer, and the nearany one is put to death the sorcerer of the est relative then goes through certain ceremonies, which end in his becoming a
* The Indian Tribes of Guiana. By Rev. W. H.
Brett. London: Bell and Daldy.
"Kanaima," that is, a man possessed with the deity of that name. He devotes himself to the slaughter of the murderer, or some one of his family, lives by rule, and appears to work himself up to a state of madness, in which he is as dangerous as a wild beast. When his victim is found he first renders him dumb by pressing poison into his mouth, then kills him; and then if the relatives remove the body visits his grave to run a stake through his heart, in order that he may taste it. If he can fulfil all these ceremonies he goes home composed, if not, he wanders on till overtaken by madness or starvation. This custom is dying out on the coast, but is still preserved in the interior, and, perhaps, accounts for the dislike of many tribes to quarrelling. The uniformity of the native clans is only apparent, as the word "native" includes several tribes, notably the Arawaks, Acawoios, Waraus, and Caribs. The Arawaks, or Lokono, are a gentle tribe, much favoured by the Dutch, who take readily to Christianity and civilization, seldom quarrel, and would, but for a tendency to get drunk on chewed cassava, very much resemble the less civilized inhabitants of Bengal. They are willing to learn, are interested in maps and pictures, and exhibit, as we gather from several anecdotes, a livelier conscience than most semi-civilized people. The Waraus seem to be precisely like the Sonthals, cling to the coast, are indolent, but capable of hard labour, and, unlike most American savages, are of a jovial disposition. The Acawoios are a fiercer tribe, who combine the avocation of traders and pirates. They undertake immense journeys, which they make in armed parties, to Venezuela or Brazil, usually massacring the people of any village en route not strong enough to resist them. They are brave to audacity, and are dreaded by their neighbours, and exhibit the phenomenon, rare, though not unknown among savages, of discontent with their own creed. In 1845 an impostor, supposed to have been a white man, summoned them to encamp in a sort of paradise, as he described it, and they marched in in hundreds from all parts of their territory, received orders from a concealed voice, and remained encamped, waiting apparently for a new revelation, till after twelve months' delay they came to the conclusion that they had been duped by the Devil. Once civilized, they become excellent Christians. Quiet resolution and strength of purpose seem to be characteristic of this more than of any other aboriginal tribe; and they enter thoroughly into whatever business they
take in hand, whether it be for evil or for good. So at least we found it with this clan, then separate from all their brethren. Having believed and embraced Christianity, they were evidently trying to live up to it. Of those who first came to us, there remained, in a few years, not one unbaptised, nor a couple unmarried." It appears that even in the wild state their women are chaste, and they are probably the only savages in the world who habitually speak low, -a mark of a character given to selfrestraint. Even the Acawoios, however, yield both in courage and cruelty, to the Caribs, the warrior tribe which once ruled the whole of this region, was declared by the Dutch to eat its enemies, and was unquestionably fierce and courageous beyond any other in America. The Caribs are now comparatively civilized, though still liable to ferocious bursts of passion, and in Guiana, as everywhere, they are rapidly dying out.
On the Corentyn, the eastern boundary of the colony, rude carvings are constantly seen in places whence the human race has died out, the Caribs having apparently worn themselves out with war, slave-hunting, and the orgies to which the latter habit gave rise. They had probably adopted, moreover, some habit of infanticide, for in 1866 the average of children among a few scattered families which still remained was only one per couple. In one place where they had been numerous, only 29 Caribs remained, still honoured by the Indians of other tribes as the descendants of a once irresistible race. The same decline is visible in all provinces, and this not only within our rule, but in districts which no white man has ever visited - a strange fact, as it disposes of one plausible theory, that the presence of Europeans impresses the native imagination till, hopeless of rivalling or enduring the invaders, they perish of melancholy. At all events, unlike the aborigines of India and the negroes, they are perishing, and officials expect speedily to record their extinction.
The creed of all these races seems to be of the same kind, a general belief in a Supreme being, and a special belief in evil spirits, furies or demons whom he allows to torment mankind—an idea almost universal among races who have found nature hostile. They hold that man was created by God, or His son Sigu, and tell wild and poetic legends to account for the natural facts around them. They believe in the future life, and bury their dead upright to show that they are not beasts, and have a tradition of a deluge, and like other American Indians repeat stories of great men
called the Merrimac, and that she would soon leave Richmond, prepared to destroy our fleet and burn our towns, without meeting with any power that could probably resist her. The whole country was alarmed, as well as the Government.
Under these circumstances a special agent was directed by telegraph to wait upon Commodore Vanderbilt at 11 o'clock at night and ask him for what sum of money he could agree to blockade this iron-clad and keep her from getting out of port. Commodore Vanderbilt instantly said to the agent:
who taught them improvements and then "went upwards." The Waraus are said to hold a belief about the fall of man not widely differing from that of the author of Genesis, indeed, so like it, that we are inclined to suspect Mr. Brett of a too credulous attention to a native who had heard the Christian account. There is, however, little evidence that any tribe in Guiana had ever reached a civilized stage, and some that they were once wilder than they are, Mr. Brett having discovered great mounds of shells filled with the skeletons of men who had evidently been eaten, the bones having been carefully cracked to extract "Telegraph to Mr. Stanton that I will the marrow. The modern Indians speak see him at once," and went immediately to with horror of cannibalism, and Mr. Brett, Washington, called upon Mr. Stanton, and who knows them so thoroughly, apparently said to him: "I have come on about this regrets the extinction which seems to be business. Who is there to be consulted? their doom. They will be replaced, it If any one, call him, as I have no time to seems clear, either by a composite race, talk it over twice." Mr. Stanton replied, with negro blood predominating in its "The President, Mr. Lincoln, must be conveins, a race hardy, prolific, and somewhat sulted." "Then," said the Commodore, untamable; or by Chinese, whom the Euro-let us go to his house at once," which peans greatly prefer to all other immi- they did. grants, as they bring with them, at all Mr. Lincoln said: "Can you stop this events, the capacity for speedy civilization. iron-clad ?" The Chinaman, it is well known, prospers in all climates, and we may yet discover in Guiana the secret which Lord Dalhousie used to say was beyond English power, how to govern Chinamen so that their Trades' Unions should not be stronger than the law.
COMMODORE VANDERBILT AND THE WAR - AN INTERESTING ANECDOTE.
WE find the following interesting anec-
To the Editors of the Evening Post:·
The Commodore replied:
Yes, at least there are nine chances out of ten I can. I will take my ship, the C. Vanderbilt, cover her machinery, &c., with 500 bales of cotton, raise the steam, and rush her with overwhelming force on the ironclad, and sink her before she can escape, or cripple us." Mr. Lincoln then said: "How much money will you demand for such a service?" Commodore Vanderbilt replied that the Government had not money enough to hire him; that he had not come to speculate upon the trials of his country, but to try and help her in this her hour of need; that he would give them his ship without charge; that he would instantly order her by telegraph to be equipped and on her way toward Richmond in thirty-six hours, which of his own captains, and the Commodore in was done, she sailing under the order of one
person on board.
Having reached Hampton Roads, among our blockading squadron, the Commander of the fleet went on board the ship. After some consultation, Commodore Vanderbilt No private citizen has probably ever asked him if the iron-clad would probably shown more patriotism than Cornelius Van- come out. The Commander replied: She derbilt. His liberality to the Government will." Then," said Commodore Vanderduring the darkest period of the rebellion bilt, "I have one favor to ask of you, and should be recorded in the heart of every that is, if she should come, you will keep true American, and his example handed your fleet out of the way, that I may have down to animate remotest ages. All this room to sink her." The iron-clad, as is was proved in this way. Mr. Stanton, well known, did come out, and was disabled while Secretary of War, had, from his scouts and put back by the Monitor, sent from within the rebel lines, ascertained that the New York. The object being accomplished, rebels had about completed their iron-clad | Commodore Vanderbilt left his ship and
came home, and has never asked or received one cent for his ship, ever since held as Government property, and which at the moment they took her was worth fully $1, 500,000. Instead of giving them this sum he could have made almost any terms for himself.
This interview with the President and Secretary at once enabled them to see that they had in their presence an extraordinary man. Mr. Lincoln said: "Can you not turn one of your other ships into an ironclad?" 66 Yes," was the reply, "I think I can, and have her ready in six weeks; but must first consult my engineers and headbuilders; my price for this smaller ship will be $500,000." Mr. Lincoln turned to Mr. Stanton and said: "We accept these terms it is a bargain." Commodore Vanderbilt at once gave orders to equip this smaller ship, and see if she was capable for what she was intended. After some time, during which she had been nearly cased in bar iron, the Commodore found, to his regret, that he could not make her what was needed, and he at once released the Government from their contract, and thus relieved his noble gift from all suspicion of receiving with it any pecuniary advantage.
charge himself with the duty of handing them down to posterity; the school-books will contain the account, and the eyes of children yet unborn will glisten as they read and reflect upon such true and lofty patriotism; which is an invaluable inheritance to our country, and should be placed on the same shelf in the archives where are deposited the famous deeds of our most distinguished men.
Noble, generous, and self-sacrificing as all this is, its brilliancy is obscured by the absence of all ostentation in the quiet, retiring and unpretending manner in which the great work was done.
In 1813, the Austrian Government being distressed for money, they went to the Rothschilds, who granted a loan, probably as a mere business transaction. So great was the gratitude of the Emperor that he created all the brothers of the eminent house barons, which titles they have since enjoyed, and to which all Europe considers them entitled. No distinguished citizen has ever expressed less desire for notoriety than Commodore Vanderbilt. No man has ever conducted large transactions with a more decided and independent mind, and no man enjoys a higher reputation for gentleness of These great transactions should be com- character, conciliation, and princely liberalmemorated on canvas. The historian willity to those with whom he contends.
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