« VorigeDoorgaan »
given us a different religion? The Great Spirit does right: he knows what is best for his children.
Brother! We do not want to destroy your religion, or to take it from you. We only want to enjoy our own.
Brother! We are told that you have been preaching to the white people in this place. These people are our neighbors. We will wait a ittle and see what effect your preaching has had upon them. If we find it makes them honest, and less disposed to cheat Indians, we will then consider again of what you have said.
Brother! You have now heard our answer, and this is all we have to say at present. As we are about to part, we will come and take you by the hand : and we hope the Great Spirit will protect you on your journey, and return you safe to your friends.
Dialogue between Mercury, an English duellist, and a North American Savage.—DIALOGUES OF THE DEAD.
Duellist. MERCURY, Charon's boat is on the other side of the wa. ter; allow me, before it returns, to have some conversation with the North American Savage, whom you brought hither at the same time that you conducted me to the shades. I never saw one of that species before, and am curious to know what the animal is. He looks very grim.–Pray, Sir, what is your name? I understand you speak English.
Sarage. Yes, I learned it in my childhood, having been bred up for some years in the town of New York: but before I was a man, I returned to my countrymen, the valiant Mohawks, and having been cheated by one of yours in the sale of some rum, I wished never to have any thing to do with them afterwards. Yet, with the rest of my tribe, I took up the hatchet for them in the war against France, and was killed while I was upon a scalping party. But I died very well satisfied ; for
my friends were victorious, and before I was shot I had scalped seven men and five women and children. In a former war I had done still greater exploits. My name is the Bloody Bear: it was given me to denote my fierceness and valor.
Duellist. Bloody Bear, I respect you, and am much your humble servant. My name is Tom Pushwell, very well known at Arthur's. I am a gentleman by birth, and by profession a gamester, and a man of honor. I have killed men in fair fighting, in honorable singie combat, but I do not understand cutting the throats of women and children.
Savage. Sir, that's ou way of making war. Every nation has its own customs. But, by the grimness in your countenance, and that hole in your breast, I presume you were killed, as I was myself, in some scalping party. How happened it that your enemy did not take off your scalp?
Duellist. Sir, I was killed in a duel. A friend of mine had lent me some money; after two or three years, being himself in great want, he asked me to pay him; I thought his demand an affront to my honor, and sent him a challenge. We met in Hyde Park; the fellow could not fence I was the most adroit swordsman in England. I gave him three or four wounds; but at last he ran upon me with such impetuosity that he put me out of my play, and I could not prevent him from whipping me through the lungs. I died the next day, as a man of honor should, without any sni. velling signs of repentance; and he will follow me soon, for his surgeon
has declared his wounds to be mortal. It is said that his wife is dead of her fright, and that his family of seven children will be undone by his death. So I am well revenged; and that is a comfort. For my part I had no wife. I always hated marriage.
Savage. Mercury, I won't go in a boat with that fellow. He has murdered his countryman; he has murdered his friend. I say I won't go in a boat with that fellow, I will swim over the river ; I can swim like a duck.
Mercury. Swim over the Styx! it must not be done : it is against the laws of Pluto's empire. You must go in the boat, so be quiet.
Savage. Do not tell me of laws; I am a savage! I value no laws. Talk of laws to the Englishman; there are latus in his country, and yet you see he did not regard them, for they could never allow him to kill his fellow-subject in time of peace, because he asked him to pay a debt. The English cannot be so brutal as to make such things lawfu!.
Mercury. You reason well against him. But how comes it that you are so offended with murder ; you who have massacred women in their sleep, and children in their cradles ?
Sarage. I killed none but my enemies ; I never killed my pay thy
own countryman; I never killed my
friend. Here, take my blanket and let it come over in the boat, but see that the murderer does not sit upon it or touch it; if he does I will burn it in the fire I see yonder.
Farewell. I am resolved to swim over the water.
Mercury. By this touch of my wand I take all thy strength from thee. Swim now if thou canst.
Savage. This is a very potent enchanter. Restore me my strength, and I will obey thee.
Mercury. I restore it; but be orderly and do as I bid you, otherwise worse will befali you.
Duellist. Mercury, leave him to me, I will tutor him for you. Sirrah, Savage, dost thou pretend to be ashamed of my company? Dost thou know that I have kept the best company in England ?
Savage. I know thou art a scoundrel ! Not debts ! kill thy friend who lent thee money, for asking thee for it! Get out of my sight, or I will drive thee into the Styx.
Mercury. Stop, I command thee. No violence. Talk to him calmly.
Savage. I inust obey thee. Well, Sir, let me know what merit you had to introduce
you into good company. What could you
do? Duellist. Sir, I gamed as I told you.—Besides that, I kept a good table. I ate as well as any man in England or France.
Savage. Eat! Did you ever eat the chine of a Frenchman, or his leg, or his shoulder? There is fine eating! I have eaten twenty.—My table was always well served. My wife was the best cook for dressing man's flesh in all North America. You will not pretend to compare your eating with mine.
Duellist. I danced very finely.
Savage. I will dance with thee for thy ears.--I can danoe all day long. I can dance the war danco with more spirit and vigor than
any man of my nation ; let us see thee begin it. How thou standest like a post! Has Mercury struck thee with his enfeebling rod; or art thou ashamed to betray thy awkwardness? If he would permit me, I would teach thee to dance in a way that thou hast not yet seen. I would make thee caper and leap like a buck. But what else canst thou do, thou bragging rascal ?
Duellist. Oh, heavens! must I bear this? What can
FIRST CLASS BOOK.
It was your own desire to have a conversation with him. He is not well-bred, but he will tell you some truths which you must hear in this place. It would have been well for you if you had heard them above. He asked of you what you could du besides eating and dancing ?
Duellist. I sang very agreeably.
Savage. Let me hear you sing your death-song, or the war-whoop. I challenge you to sing ;—the fellow is mute. -Mercury, this is a liar.—He tells us nothing but lies. Let me pull out his tongue.
Duellist. The lie given me and, alas ! I dare not resent it. Oh, what a disgrace to the family of the Pushwells !
Mercury. Here Charon, take these two savages to your care. How far the barbarism of the Mohawk will excuse his horrid, acts, I leave Minos to judge; but what excuse can the Englishman plead? The custom of duelling? An excuse this, that in these regions cannot avail. The spirit that made him draw his sword in the combat against his friend, is not the spirit of honor ; it is the spirit of the furies, of Alecto herself. To her he must go, for she has long dwelt in his merciless bosom.
Şavage. If he is to be punished, turn him over to me. I understand the art of tormenting. Sirrah,* I begin with
as a tribute to your boasted honor. Get you into the boat, or I will give you another. I am impatient to have you condemned. Duellist. Oh my honor, my honor, to what infamy art
The Mice.-FENELON. DIOUSE, weary of living in the continual alarm attendant on the carnage committed among
her nation by Mitis and
Rodilardus, thus addressed herself to the tenant of a hole
near her own.
“An excellent thought has just come into my head :-)
* Pron, Sar-rab.
read in some book which I gnawed a few days ago, that there is a fine country, called the Indies, in which inice are in much greater security than here. In that region, the sages believe that the soul of a mouse has been that of a king, a great captain, or some wonderful saint, and that after death it will probably enter the body of a beautiful woman or mighty potentate. If I recollect rightly, this is called metempsychosis. Under this idea, they treat all animals with paternal charity, and build and endow hospitals for mice, where they are fed like people of consequence. Come then, my good sister, let us hasten to a country, the customs of which are so excellent, and where justice is done to our merits.” Her neighbor replied, “But, sister, do not cats enter these hospitals ? if they do, metempsychosis must take place very soon, and in great numbers; and a talon or a tooth might make a fakir, or a king; a miracle we can very well do without." “Do not fear,” said the first mouse, “in these countries order is completely established; the cats have their houses as well as we ours, and they have their hospitals for the sick separate from ours.” After this conversation, our two mice set out together, contriving the even ing before she set sail, to creep along the cordage of a vessel that was to make a long voyage.
They got under weigh, and were enraptured with the sight of the sea, which took them from the abominable shores on which cats exercise their týranny. The sail was pleasant, and they reached Surat, not like merchants, to acquire riches, but to receive good treatment from the Hindoos. They had scarcely entered one of the houses fitted up for mice, when they aspired to the best accommodation. Ono of them pretended to recollect having formerly been a Bramin on the coast of Malabar, and the other protested that she had been a fine lady of the same country, with long ears; but they displayed so much impertinence, that the Indian mice lost all patience. A civil war commenced, and no quarter was given to the two Franks who pretended to impose laws on the others; when, instead of being eaten by cats, they were strangled by their own brethren. From this it is evident, that it is useless to go far in search of safety; as, if we are not modest and wise, we only go into danger: and if we are so, we may be secure at home.