Page images
PDF
EPUB

THE UNITED STATES LITERARY GAZETTE.

Published on the first and fifteenth day of every month, by Cummings, Hilliard, & Co. No. 1 Cornhill, Boston.- -Terms, $5 per annum, payable in July.
Vol. I.
BOSTON, JANUARY 1, 1826.

No. 18.
REVIEWS.

culties, has learned little of its precepts, and a deep feeling of reverence and dependence.

imbibed little of its spirit in the purer days Early associations, as well domestic as poliLetters on the Gospels. By Miss Hannah of his own being. While we are thus dis- tical and religious, were unreluctantly given Adams. Boston. 1824. 18mo. pp. 216.

posed to ascribe much of the obscurity which up by his followers, wherever they inter

has been charged on Christianity to the state fered at all with the service he required of It has been objected to Christianity, that it of mind of the objector, we as freely ac- them. It was on their part the unheard of is not sufficiently simple for the mass of men; knowledge that there is much in it which service of self-devotion to God, and to man, that its doctrines are obscure, and not always requires explanation. This is particularly with the strange condition and early expereconcilable with one another. It is said, the case with all those parts of it which re- rience, of contempt, hatred, hardship, and more time is required of men to learn the fer to circumstances of place, manners, and suffering. Still it was undertaken and perrule of duty than their condition and occu- character of the age in which Jesus Christ formed. If imperfectly, this was not on acpations allow. It has mysteries, it is added, appeared.

count of any reservation in favour of former which are too deep for comprehension; and, There are two circumstances in its his- practice or belief. It was the reservation of nevertheless, these are articles of faith, and tory, about which we shall make a passing nature, and belonged to that infirmity which unless they are believed, the main pillars of remark, not because of any obscurity, but was essential to their human condition. Still Christianity are wanting,—our faith is vain. because they are parts of its evidence, and a vast change was made, a great effect was

These and other objections are urged because they have a connexion with the re- produced. A new standard of excellence against christianity, by individuals of vari- marks we are about to offeron the work named was given to men, and they were made betous conditions and different ages. They at the head of this article. One of these is ter by it. derive some of their claims to consideration the character, the life, and doctrines of the This effect was produced by the character from the classes who bring them; and there author of the religion, when contrasted with and instructions of Jesus Christ. We have is one class, which, while it furnishes most the times in which he lived. The other is already spoken of the first. It remains to instances, bas still other claims on our re- the effect produced by all these on his fol- speak more fully of the last. The prevailing gard. It is the class of the young, who are lowers. Jesus Christ spoke as no man had character of the Gospels, which contain these coming into life ; who are making their way ever spoken before, and lived as no man had instructions, is naturalness. They were inin the world; who have good dispositions, ever lived. He is alone amidst his own age, deed accompanied and enforced by miracles. and whose characters are to be much formed and all the preceding. We have no difficul!y But these, however wonderful and appalling by things without and around them. The in finding him; and learn nothing of his his- when they were wrought, never occupy the religious character to these is of great value. tory in that of any portion of our race. He front ground. They are subservient and They are within the reach of many and va- is without prejudice, where it was most ex- secondary every where to the instructions, rious influences. There is a joyousness in clusive; a disinterested and wide lover of the doctrines themselves. Jesus Christ did not their natures, which is occapied with every man, where selfishness was a tolerated prin- come to our earth to astonish its inhabitants thing they see and hear. Their natures go ciple both of religion and philosophy. Claim- by his wonderful works. His sole purpose before them in the pursuit of happy things; ing and demonstrating a direct communica- was to exalt and purify the moral nature, and they are never wearied, for variety is tion with heaven, he is poor and houseless and to fit it for the eternity which was its always before them. It is of great conse- on the earth.

destiny. Men were not to be forced into quence to such a state of mind, that the ob- Now this is wholly unlike all that had virtue any more than they bad been before. ject which most interests it, should be of the been known of man before. Human expe. No overwhelming influence is exerted any least questionable character. It must be rience had never met with its likeness. In where in his history. He is said to have obvious and simple, while it is lovely. It all the preceding times men retained some- taught as one having authority; but it was should be lasting in its nature, to corres- thing of the earlier ages, and were fair pro- the authority of knowledge. He knew the pond with the natural freshness which every ducts of their own. Times indeed have their whole extent of moral infirmity, and while day will bring to it. It should be animating livery, but the latest is always some modi- he mourned over the ruin, he loved it; and in its interest, that the tone of the mind be fication of the preceding. Human infirmity was bent on its restoration (the object of his not weakened. It should be of perpetual has descended in an unbroken succession. coming), let the sacrifice to him personally and increasing interest, because the mind It is the strongest feature in the moral crea- be what it might. He knew what it would enlarges with its objects, and when these tion. A moral naturalist would find in it be, and its whole effect on the human race. are exhausted, it will swell over and beyond one of the strong characters by which to With such knowledge, and with such a purthem.

determine and describe the species. Jesus posé, the authority of his instructions was Now Christianity is, of all others, the Christ has not this cbaracter of human iden- telt and acknowledged by strangers and by subject itself about which such a state of tity, and in this simple fact, he comes to us friends. His instructions belong, if we may mind may be most safely and usefully em- with an bitherto unknown claim, not merely use the expression, to the mind itself. They ployed. Much that distinguishes it from all to distinction, but to belief.

reach its wants in their utmost extent and others, fits it especially for the susceptibility The miracle of his own character had its variety. They belong to it, because their of our natures when young. It brings dis- effect on the followers of Jesus Christ. It effect is to give to it its highest dignity; and tinctly into view a character as lovely as run counter to all their expectations, and thus to fit it for the eternity which they it is elevated; one who was particularly at disappointed their strongest hopes. But it every where declare to be its portion. They tracted by the beauty and simplicity of our was in beautiful harmony with all they were bring out, and keep in operation the whole nature, as exhibited in the young, and who taught, and with all the preternatural they powers of the mind; for their direct effect is even made children the illustrators of his witnessed. It thus became and continued to give it an interest, and the strongest insublimest doctrines. A work by such an a part, and a most important part of the terest too, in topics wholly intellectual, such author must be fitted for such an age, and evidence on which the claims of Jesus Christ as its own nature and purposes; the being it may be, that he who objects to it its diffi Irested. With the belief was closely allied and attributes of God; the means of soral

purity; and the relation of this to the fu-, and more readily convinced by a material, has afforded us to find that even literary ture state.

representation, than by an unadorned doc- conflicts may leave the moral dignity unThis character of the Gospels deserves trine; and would see the truth in an illustra- hurt, and to find that this latest work of a special notice, when taken in connexion tion, where the simple annunciation of the life devoted to letters, should have so truly with the prevailing opinions and doctrines same truth would be either not received or the spirit of the subject to which it is deof the times in which their author lived. It not applied. This was not true of the first voted. We close with a single extract, and does so in the next view we shall take of it. Christians merely. It is true of all men, with an unhesitating recommendation of the The instructions of Jesus Christ were not and of all ages. “Jesus Christ availed him- volume to our readers. given for the use of a particular set of men, self of these facts in our moral history, and! Our blessed Lord continues his discourse, by inor for a limited period of time. They are at the same time availed himself of every culcating heavenlymindedness, and the practice of designed for all ages, and for all men. It circumstance, however local or however virtues, to which the Jewish teachers were generalis in their leading, their sole object, that temporary, which might give attractivenessly strangers. He warns bis hearers against covetthis unlimited purpose must be looked for; or power to his instructions. He used the ousness; and reprehends, in particular, the prace and it is in the fact, that this object cannot intellectual and the physical language of and very much devoted to the world. They re

tice of the Pharisees, who were very avaricious, be wholly attained on earth, but may be the times. His doctrines were new, but sorted to any measures just or unjust, to obtain approached more and more nearly, that they they were for the mind as he found it, and riches. Our Saviour exhorted his hearers not to present a perpetual motive for the highest for the mind as it always would be. His lay up treasures on earth, where moth and rust efforts. The great object of these instruc- illustrations are borrowed from the serene steal.' In the Eastern countries, where the fashion tions being thus to act upon the mind and sky over his head, and from the beautiful of clothes did not alter, as with us, the treasures of heart, the direct effect upon the individual flowers in his path. The high mountain, the rich consisted not only of gold and silver, but is to preserve in him the consciousness of and the deep valley; the vast ocean, and of costly habits, and finely wrought vessels, liable his being an intellectual being. Now we the narrow river; the fowl of heaven, and to be destroyed in the manner bere mentioned. Our value fairly what we have, just so far as we the wild beast of the desert, the whole

ma- their treasure be on earth, there would their hearts know its nature and its uses. And we value terial creation, are all made means of in- be also. Ye cannot,' says he serve two masters; ourselves too in an exact proportion to our struction. The same is true of habits and ye cannot serve God and Mammon. Mammon direct influence upon others, by means we manners; and even etiquette, perhaps the was a Syrian word, signifying riches, which are understand, as well as can command. A most evanescent of them all, contributes here represented under the figure of a person who man who feels be has a mind, and knows so its share in unfolding the deepest myste- has been deified or rather been raised to universal much about it as to be conscious of its oper- ries, and discovering the most sublime and dominion by the folly of mankind. ations, and has found his dignity and his awful truths. If there be an apparent in- extreme anxiety respecting our earthly subsistence,

Our Lord proceeds to caution his hearers against pleasure too in these, has a real and lasting consistency in this, its reason and its motive and gives a striking exhortation to trust in the possession in himself. The mind is no longer are deep seated in ourselves. In this late day, providential care of our heavenly Father. It add. the mere instrument of circumstances, and is not the providence of God as frequently ed a peculiar force to our Saviour's words, that adapted to these by accident, as the eye and rocognized and acknowledged in the protec- beauties of nature. He could point to the fowls of the ear are to the distances of different ob- tion it affords to the sparrow or the lily, as the air, and the flowers of the field, and show his jects of sight or sound. It is felt to be a in its daily care for us? and are not the auditors, that the whole creation attested the truth power of vast and strange attributes, plan- storms of the unconscious elements more of his instructions. Behold the fowls of the air : ning all, and doing all. The Gospels have eloquent and powerful with us, than the in- for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather this power every where in view. Their telligent nature, the strong power of con

into barns, and yet your heavenly father feedeth purpose with it is its indefinite progress to- science, the noble intellect, with which God ravens, in particular, are mentioned in Luke's Gos.

them; are ye not much better than they?' The wards the good and the great. They distinct has endowed us?

pel, and our Lord, in directing his disciples to trust ly call upon men to recognize this power in This clothing of his instructions with the in God for their subsistence, bids them consider the all they do, and in the perfection of its oper- times and places in which they were given, ravens. It may appear to some surprising, that so ations with us, it reveals to us some of the is a cause of obscu to us, with whom abject a creature should be so frequently recognised mysteries of a spiritual being. times are so altered, and places so wholly Preserver of all things. When the Most High

in Scripture, as an object of care to the Maker and We have been led to these reflections by unlike. But the scholar of the bible reads challenge, Job out of the whirlwind, he demanded, the design of the author, in the " Letters on it with its history; and the obscurity, van Who provided for the raven his food? When his the Gospels,” as stated in the Preface. They ishes. Our author has done it for those young ones cry unto God, they wander for lack of are written for the young, to enable “ them who have not time or inclination for a col- meat.

The Psalmist uses it as an argument for to read the New Testament with more pleas- lateral history, and thus has inade the Gos- praising God. «The Lord giveth food to the young ure and advantage, and that they may be pels accessible to the young. This little driven rather prematurely from their nest, before induced to make the sacred Scriptures the volume is written with great simplicity. they are all able to subs ist by their own industry; object of their daily study, the rule of their The language is perfectly fitted to the In this case, pinched with hunger, and abandoned life, and their guide to everlasting happiness.” author's great object. She writes as one by their parents, they fill the air with their cries; The difficulties which it is in part the ob- always may, who has habitually, and for a destitute and helpless condition. Nor do they cry

as it were complaining to God concerning their ject of these Letters to explain, may seem long time, thought seriously about, and in vain, the Almighty Benefactor supplies all their to contradict the views offered above. The studied her subject. It seems the ordinary wants. But the cate of Providence is not confined Gospels were said to be perfect in their occupation of her mind, that she has car

to the young.

It extends also to their parents character, and of perpetual and universal ried to her book; not the result of its oc- (who • neither sow nor reap, have neither storeapplication. They allude, however, to much casional direction, and after long intervals. house nor barn”), and provides food for them from that was purely local and temporary, and it is hence all equally well done, and the the character of this bird may serve the more

Even the meanness of of course of limited and accidental experi- interest which is excited to read it, keeps strongly, in a considerate mind, to excite and estab

But the propriety and wisdom of up till the whole is read. We have been lish a firm reliance on the wise and bountiful arthis can be shown by a moment's con- highly gratified with this work. We ex- rangements of Providence. The argument of our sideration; and so far from diminishing the press ourselves freely and fully about it, Almighty hear not in vain the croaking of a young

Lord is exceedingly strong and pointed. If the force of our argument, it will give it new because we would pay our tribute, however raven, he surely will not turn a deaf ear to the súpconfirmation. The doctrines of Jesus Christ small it may be, to one who has been so plications of his people. were entirely new, and his authority to long known among us in the high ranks of Our divine Instructer again turns our attention teach them was shown by miracles. But the most dignified and useful literature. It to the beauties of nature, to demonstrate the provi; they were addressed to men, using their own has not been a career without its troubles, dential care of our heavenly Father. Consider,' minds; who were to be taught, as other men that the author has so honourably pursued. they toil not, neither do they spin; and yet I say

says hé, the lilies of the field, how they grow; are; who understood language as it is ordi- We would not have alluded to them, but for unto you, that even Solomon, in all his glory, was narily understood; who would be more struck, l an opportunity to express the pleasure it not arrayed like one of these.'

'It is,' says Sir J.

ence.

pp. 181.

E. Smith, 'natural to presume that our Saviour, ac- scientific, and philosophical subjects; and danger lest this should be the case; and we cording to his usual custom, called the attention of information, too, which he would not be apt doubt not that she will take our warning in his hearers to some ohject at hand; and as the

to forget, and which it would be well for good part. She professes to think that it fields of the Levant were overrun with the Amaryllis Lutea, whose golden liliaceous flowers, in him to remember. Now these works are would be presumptuous to write books for autumn, afford one of the most brilliant and gors highly honourable to their authors, and they children, after Miss Edgeworth and Mrs geous objects in nature, the expression of, Solomon are most excellent and serviceable in their Barbauld, were it not for the circumstance, in all his glory, arrayed like one of these, is pecu- degree; but they are also worse than un- that the works of these distinguished authors liarly appropriate. A deseription of probably the profitable, if the limitations and true nature are emphatically English. From her Prefsame species of flower is given by Mr Salt, in his of their real use are mistaken or forgotten. ace, we should infer, that she wrote in the says he, we discovered a new and beautiful species One good which they effect, is the teaching hope of making her productions equal in inof Amaryllis

, which bore from ten to twelve spikes of useful knowledge; but there is a greater terest to those of the authors referred to, by of bloom on each stem, springing from the common good which they may, and should effect; compensating for the want of their “ “ simple receptacle. The general colour of the corolla was they may form in the mind a habit of en- elegance of expression," or their “ pointed white, and every peta! was marked with a single joying the acquisition of truth; they may purity of moral,” by introducing American was sweet scented; and its smell though much mature the love of knowledge with needful scenes or characters. But we doubt not more powerfnl, resembled the lily of the valley.

aliment, and thus strengthen it, and greatly that she had a bigher aim; and we hope, Our Saviour's words, •Consider the lilies,' &c. promote the improvement of the intellectual that she will make her works American, acquire additional force aud beauty, when we call character, by helping to establish a deep not merely by talking about American facts, to mind, that they were suggested by the sight of and abiding association between pleasure but by making thein better suited to the the splendid species of Lily which abounds in Pal: and advancement in learning. But they growing character of this country, and freeing his divine Sermon on the Mount, pointing to cannot be made to do the whole work of ing them from evils which are attached to those superb flowers, which decked the surround- education, por any thing like it. The pri- the best works of this sort. She loses no ing plain, and deducing from their beauty lessons of mal obligation of labour is still in full force; opportunity of illustrating and enforcing the contentment, and reliance on the bounty of our it cannot be evaded by any subterfuge, nor great principle, that use is the only measure heavenly Father.

got rid of by a compromise ; it refuses to of value; and she may, we believe, give to

admit of an exception in favour of any per- her future productions characteristics which Evenings in New England. Intended for son or thing, and imposes upon all who share will make it quite unnecessary to apologize Juvenile Amusement and Instruction. By man's nature, the law, that no true good is for writing after Miss Edgeworth. This an American Lady. Boston. 1824. 18mo. to be won without full payment of the pur- highly gifted and very celebrated lady has

chase money. We believe, that the steps faults, which we doubt not that the author This work is another added to the many which lead to the highest learning may be of these “ Evenings" will avoid. As Miss existing proofs, that American writers can so arranged, that the ascent from each to Edgeworth's code of morals, we rather insupply all the departments of letters from the next may be easy; and therefore great cline to think she favours that philosophy our own resources. Perhaps no kind or genuises may iinprove the manner of teach- which identifies the most perfect morality class of literary productions now remains ing by amusement, until all things knowable with the inost sagacious selfishness. Be this unattempted, though true it is, that in are thus taught. Still the great objects of as it may, she certainly, so far as she is an some, not to say many of them, high ex- education remain to be accomplished. The author, habitually and systematically ex. cellence is as yet unattained. The book intellect is not disciplined ; its powers have empts the beart and the mind from the connow before us belongs to a peculiar class, not been developed and fortified by habits trol of the highest, most operative, and most the invention of which was reserved al- of patient, strenuous, and incumbent exer- universal motives; and thinks processes and most until these days; it is intended at tion. Perhaps it has acquired all that it can means of improvement may be devised which once to amuse and instruct children, and so get, but it has not done, nor learned to do, will be sufficiently pure and powerful withto do this, as that these two apparently dis- all that it could and ought to do. Learning out having any regard to these motives. We tinct

purposes shall be so far from opposing is but one of the objects of education; and are certain that the principles and the syseach other, that they may be effected by the it is a sad mistake to regard it as the prin. tem of our author will be very different. If same means, and in fact be blended into one cipal object. We have thought that the she regards it as her vocation, to provide identity. Unless we misrecollect, Mr Day's writers for children in England, exhibited a food for the childish or youthful mind, let Sandford and Merton was the first book, in strong tendency to mistake an accumulation her acquaint herself with the wants and charwhich distinguished talents were strongly of facts in the memory for a general im- acter of the understanding, in that stage of exerted to give to children important infor-provement of the intellect. We hope that its growth for which she must suit the alimation, in such a way as to make them seek this mistake will not be adopted here; and ment she offers; let her acquire accurately and love it. Miss Edgeworth, Mrs Bar- that works, which belong to the class of the knowledge she would communicate; and bauld, Mrs Hannah More, and a host of which we have spoken, however full of use- let her labour in her employment, and bow other lesser names have followed in this path. ful information they may be, and however her mind to it in good earnesty and she will Such has been their success, that at this cunningly they may insinuate this informa- surely succeed. It is obvious, that her inmoment the most entertaining books which tion into the reader's mind, will be still re- tellect has strength and brightness enough, can be put into a child's hands,-those garded as only preparatory to education. If and needs only culture and discipline ; which he would be most apt to seek in bis they are made to lead the youthful mind whether it be peculiarly adapted to this play-hours, and beg as a favour, are at the gradually and naturally to those exercises kind of work, yet remains to be fully same time eminently instructive; more so in which it will put forth its strength forci- proved. For ourselves, we think this is a in fact than most of those which aim only bly, and advance by its own efforts, then good book, well adapted to its purposes, and at instruction. As striking instances of they will be useful, and worthy of all en. likely to do good to many; and we will now what we mean, we would select from Miss couragement; but if the reading of such proceed to describe its contents somewhat Edgeworth's works,“ Lame Jervas,” and books is permitted to supersede more effi- more particularly, and make such extracts “Murad the Unlucky.” Judging from our cient modes of intellectual discipline, then, as shall give a just notion of its character. own feelings, or rather from the recollec- and just so far, will they be injurious. All the pieces are short, and most of them tion of our feelings when we first read them We have not prefaced our notice of the are in the form of dialogues between an many years since, we should say that more “ Evenings in New England” with these re- aunt and her nephew and niece. The subinteresting and entertaining tales never marks, because they are peculiarly applica-jects are various, and for the most part are were written; and certainly it would be dif- ble to this work; indeed there is no indica- well chosen and well treated. The followficult to indicate the same number of pages tion that the author estimates the value and ing may serve as a specimen. in many works, which would give the young importance of her employment above its true

Lucy. Aunt, I am tired to death of reading Hisreader so much information upon moral, rate. But, as she is human, there is some tory. I have been two or three months studying disparaging observation on our manners and guages, there is given a delineation of the The American Indians live in a state of customs, from the other side of the Atlantic. grammatical character of thirty-four Ameri- society which affords every encouragement Our republican feelings have been too ready can languages, and translations of the Lord's to the growth, and every facility for the to be irritated, by any intimations of our prayer into fifty-nine different dialects of development of, the sterner qualities of later birth, and induced us to show rather these languages. Although much that is human nature. The men live almost wholly an overweening jealousy, that our elder kdown upon these subjects is known but by the chase, and its vicissitudes make them brethren were disposed to snub us before imperfectly, and many facts and circum- babitually patient of fatigue and bunger;company. But we are bappy to perceive the stances which would throw a strong light their hunting grounds are seldom very acsigns of a time, which is fast approaching, upon important subjects, are probably be- curately divided, and a herd of deer affords when we shall be sensible of our vast superi- yond the reach of investigation; still much a strong temptation to pass such lines of ority in those fundamental points, upon which has been recovered and added to the mass separation as there may be; and thus occathe true prosperity and happiness of a nation of human knowledge, which may be made sions for war are constantly occurring, and must depend; and have too much real pride to yield valuable instruction. All inquiries frequent wars give them all the qualities to be disturbed by any view of our deficiency respecting the American Indians may be proper to the warrior. But their warfare in matters not essential; when we shall feel arranged into four general divisions--as is rather characterized by stratagem and that there are worse practices than spitting they relate to their character, their religion, surprise than force; they seldom fight openly on the floor, and worse things than bad inns their languages, or their history. There and fiercely until all their tricks, all the and bad coaches; when we shall reflect, that certainly is at the present day a disposition, resources of their ingenuity are exhausted; it is neither impossible, nor very difficult, which is much more amiable than philosophi- to be detected and out-manœuvred is almost to macadamize our roads, and induct Betty cal, to give these savages credit for all the the same thing as to be defeated, and the Chambermaid, Dick Ostler, and Sam Boots moral excellence and dignity which is in warrior has more frequent occasion to siginto places that have never yet known any degree compatible with their known nalize himself by skill, or sullen, obstinate them; and console ourselves under the condition; and to throw into deep shade, or endurance, than by prowess in fair and open consideration, that these things will cost perhaps apologize for, all those follies and fight; and therefore their courage is passive time and money, by regarding the fearful vices which are attributed to them upon rather than active. Insensibility is with price at which the nations of the old world authority that cannot be questioned This them a point of honour; public esteem is must purchase, if they ever obtain them, is in great part but a reaction from the made to depend upon it, and it is carried to the privileges which we inherit.

prejudices and fears of those days when an extreme which astonishes those who do

they were believed to have allied them- not recollect, that all men in all ages have

selves with the powers of darkness,--to equally acknowledged this power of public Sketch of the History, Manners, and Cus- " kill and destroy by treachery, poison, and opinion ; Curtius before the gulf in the Fo

toms of the North American Indians. By sorcery;"--when the courage of our fathers rum, the leader of a forlorn hope in modern James Buchanan, Esq. His Majesty's quailed before the sad omen of a lunar days, and perhaps the Hindu devotee standConsul for the State of New York. Lon- eclipse, because in the centre of the moon ing for weeks upon a pointed cone, all illusdon. 1824. 8vo. pp. 371.

they discerned an unusual black spot, not a trate the power and energy of those feelings This work was written, or rather compiled, little resembling the scalp of an Indian;"- which support the Indian throngh his deathin this country; but the author is an En- when the venerable Hubbard could find no torture. There is no reason to believe that glishman, in the service of the king of Great language sufficiently expressive of his feel. they are by nature inferior in point of inBritain, and his Sketches were published in ings towards these * perfidious, cruel, devil. tellect to Europeans, or those of European London. We may therefore consider it as ish, savage miscreants,”-and even went so descent. Education has done for some of an English work, intended principally to give far as to “ hope that God will find some them all that it could do for men born to a foreign people information respecting way to cut off the deceitful enemies of his among civilized nations, and the instances the aboriginal inbabitants of this country. people, and not suffer them to live out half which have certainly occurred of half-eduThe subject will no doubt be interesting to their days!” Since those days, our relations cated Indians relapsing into an entirely many readers; for our Indians are a pecu- with these savages have changed ;--they savage life, prove little more, than that liar people, in whose history, customs, and now are the oppressed and desolate few;- there is in the absolute freedom and irrecondition, there is much that will arrest we are the people of the land, and they are sponsibility of these children of the woods, and well reward the attention of every one the scanty, forlorn, and powerless intruders, something which is most fascinating to the who loves to look upon human nature in all who are glad to hide their misery in any weakness and pride of human nature. Many its actual varieties of situation and character. corner whither they may go, when we bid virtues are unquestionably compatible with Learned and able men have laboured to ac- them crawl out of our way. They fought the character which their condition and quaint themselves with every thing that can against us with the arrow, the bullet, and babits both reveal and create. No doubt a now be learned respecting the past and pres- the tomahawk, and they fought in vain ;- benevolent and perfectly amiable being like ent generations of this expiring people. In in our contest with them, we have allied our: Mr Heckewelder, might remember many our own country great and successful efforts selves with pestilence and famine, and that instances of mildness, forbearance, kindness, have been made to investigate the present far fiercer foe to humanity than either, and pure charity, which occurred during bis condition of our Indians thoroughly, and the intemperance; and they are well nigh ex- long intimacy with them. But if, on the scholars of Germany have toiled with their tirpated. When the warwhoop disturbed one hand, it would be unfair not to admit usual energy and success to bring together the repose of our villages, and a savage foe that these instances prove the Indian charall the detached parts and fragments of beset every path, and men were obliged to acter to be capable of an occasional exhi. knowledge, which could be found in the bear their arms with them to the house of bition of these favourable traits; on the many works published in various lan- God, these ferocious and dreadful enemies other, it would be altogether unreasonable guages respecting different subjects con- were of necessity feared and hated beyond to infer from them, that these savages live in nected with different parts of this continent. the degree which different circumstances the habitual exercise of such virtues. Surely Their industry in these researches has been would have justified. For this there was there cannot be any doubt, that the Indians carried to an almost astonishing degree, excuse enough; but it will not be reasona- are rather ferocious than mild, rather imand rewarded by a proportionate success. ble that we should go to the opposite ex- placable than forgiving, and rather less Probably all the principal customs of the treme, and suffer our sympathy and sorrow honest and trust-worthy than men among Indians are now known, and all of their past for these wretched remnants of nations, or whom deception and stratagem are more history is ascertained which ever can be even our remorse for the miseries we have dishonourable. We do not believe that learned; with respect to their languages, it inflicted upon them, to influence our opinions, there is any great and peculiar mystery in is enough to say, that in the “Miltiades,” when we are investigating their character the Indian character, or that the laws which a work upon the general science of lan- as an important fact in the history of man. I govern human nature in all other cases, do

not apply in this. They have their virtues Journey to the Northern Ocean, and quoted | which I was going. I mentioned the circumstance and their vices, and we see no reason for by Dr Jarvis, in his Discourse delivered be- to the chief of the place, and told him that I thought believing that the proportion between the fore the New York Historical Society.

it impossible that we should have rain while the sky

was so clear as it then was, and had been for near good and the bad that is in them, constitutes any very striking difference between them him (Hearne) to kill one of his enemies, who was announced by some signs or change in the atmo

Matonabbee, one of their chiefs, had requested five weeks together, without its being previously and other men. With the utmost good-will at that time several hnndred miles distant."To sphere. But the chief answered : Chenos knows to the cause which Mr Buchanan labours to please this great man,' says he, “and not expecting very well what he is about; he can at any time advance, we advise him not to rest upon the that any harm could possibly arise from it, I drew predict what the weather will be ; he takes his peculiar excellence of their character, their a rough sketch of two human figures on a piece of observations morning and evening from the river claims to better treatment at our hands than paper, in the attitude of wrestling; in the hand of or something in it.' On my return from this place

one of them I drew the figure of a bayonet, pointing after three o'clock in the afternoon, the sky still they have hitherto received.

to the breast of the other. This,' said I to Maton- continued the same until about four o'clock, when The religious opinions, traditions, and abbee, pointing to the figure which was holding the all at once the horizon became overcast

, and withrites of the Indians, have been investigated bayonet, 'is 1, and the other is your enemy.' ° Op-out any thunder or wind, it began to rain, and conwith great care, and many facts have been posite to those figures I drew a pine tree, over tinued so for several hours together, until the ground ascertained and used in support of many tree projected a human hand. This paper I gave

which I placed a large human eye, and out of the becaine thoroughly soaked.' theories. That which has attracted most to Matonabbee, with instructions to make it as pub- of the American aborigines have been

It was not until lately, that the languages attention, identifies these savages with the lic as possible. The following year when he came studied with great care; and valuable reremains of the ten tribes of Israel. Mr to trade, he informed me that the man was dead.

sults have rewarded the labour bestowed Adair, whose means of obtaining knowledge Matouabbee assured me, that the man was in perrespecting the Indians, were very great, and fect health when he heard of my design against upon these pursuits. Mr Duponceau, who

him, but almost immediately afterward became is the best authority upon these subjects, more lately, Dr Boudinot, have urged with quite gloomy, and, refusing all kinds of sustenance, and whose authority is indisputable, declares great force, every thing which can be sug- in a very few days died.'

that, the American languages in general gested in support of this hypothesis. Re

Their jugglers and priests, of course, en-are copious both in words and in grammatisemblances, some of which seem almost too deavour to confirm this disposition, and ac- cal forms, and that their structure is exceedexact to be referred to chance, unquestion quire a skill and facility in carrying through ingly methodical and regular. That their ably exist between many rites and religious their impostures, which might well deceive peculiar and complicated forms,—which he customs observed by the Indians, and those a wiser people. An instance of the sagacity calls polysynthetic,-appear to characterize which were imposed by divine authority of a juggler thus employed, which Mr all these languages, from one extremity of upon the Jews. But it is difficult to ascertain Heckewelder relates, proves at least, that the continent to the other, and that they how far the authority for some of the most changes in the weather are indicated more differ essentially from those of the dead and important may be relied on; and, without distinctly and earlier, than casual observers living languages of the old hemisphere. The adverting to the fatal objections against this of such things would suppose.

polysynthetic construction of language, Mr theory which may be drawn from the physical structure and peculiarities of language drouth happened in the Muskingum country, so that the greatest number of ideas are comprised

In the summer of the year 1799, a most uncommon Duponceau explains to mean," that in which of the natives of this country, it may be every thing growing, even the grass and the leaves in the least number of words.” This is efsafely asserted, that many nations of the of the trees, appeared perishing; an old man named fected in the Indian languages by constructold continent are as closely assimilated to Chenos, who was born on the river Delaware, was the Jews, by an identity of religious ritual, applied to by the women, to bring down rain, and ing compound words, by interweaving toas are the aborigines of this. Somewhat was well feed for the purpose. Having failed in gether the most significant sounds or syllasimilar ceremonies are practised by nations his first attempt, he was feed a second time; and bles of each simple word, in such a manner who have not gone beyond a certain degree obliged me to pass by the place where he was at those ideas which the primitive words would

it bappened that one morning, when my business as to excite in the mind immediately all of civilization in all parts of the world. work, as I knew him very well, I asked him at once have singly expressed; and also by combinSacrifices, the worship of the principal what he was doing? I am hired,' said he,

ing the various parts of speech, particularly heavenly bodies, and of spiritual powers in a very hard day's work.' various forms, and some measure of vener

Q. And, pray, what work?

the verb, so that the various forms and inflec

A. Why, to bring down rain from the sky. tions will express, with the principal action, ation for consecrated periods and places, are

Q. Who hired you to do that?

the greatest possible number of the ideas of always found among the savage nations of A. The women of the village; don't you see how moral and physical subjects connected with the old world, and have always

been among much rain is wanted, and that the corn and every it. Thus there are many words of these them, if we may trust to the evidence of thing else is perishing? records, and of monuments which go back

Q. But can you make it rain ?

languages, which are made to convey very beyond all record; and they are now ascer

A. I can, and you shall be convinced of it this different ideas by the simple addition or subvery day.

traction of a letter. “Wunachquin” means tained to have existed among all the tribes He had, by this time, encompassed a square of the nut of a tree, the leaves of which reof American Indians. Perhaps the only about five feet each way, with stakes and barks, so conclusion which can be rationally deduced that it might resemble a pig pen of about three feet semble a hand;" and "nadholineen” means from these facts, is, that all the religions in in height, and now, with his face uplifted and turned come with the canoe, and take us across the world had one common origin;-that closely shutting up with bark the opening which between the northern and southern lan

towards the north, he muttered something, then the river." With regard to the similarity there was a time when the parents of the had been left on the north side, he turned in the inhabitants of the earth knew, from sources same manner, still muttering some words, towards guages, in respect of grammatical conwhich are now closed, that God is, and what the south, as if invoking some superior being, and struction, we will give Mr Duponceau's

It will be remembered, that He is, and what are the laws and relations having cut through the hark on the southwest cor own words. which govern and connect the various parts her, so as to make an opening of two feet, he said: such is the difference between the words of

now we shall have rain enough!' Hearing down these different languages, that the principal of his creation ;-and that as the weakness the river the sound of setting poles striking against nations of America can understand each and wickedness of men varied in character a canoe, he inquired of me what it was? I told him other no better, than different nations in and measure, this knowledge was lost or it was our Indians going up the river to make a bush perverted in different modes and degrees. net for fishing. •Send them home again!' said he; Europe or Asia. Perhaps there have been po nations more I told him to let them come on, and speak 10 them trate the extraordinary similarity which subsists

· tell them that this will not be a fit day for fishing! I beg leave to adduce one single example to illussuperstitious than the Indians; many in himself, if he pleased. He did so, and as soon as between the languages of the north and south. The stances are known of individuals losing all they came near him, he told them that they must Abbé Molina, amidst a number of compound verbs strength and health, from the anxiety and by no means think of fishing, that day, for there in the Araucanian lauguage, instances the verb horror which some unlucky omen or fearful should come a heavy rain which would wet them iduancloclavin,' 'I do not wish to eat with him.' circumstance had caused, and literally dying in a jocular manner, "give us only rain, and we any similar verb in the Delaware, and be immedi

all through. No matter, Father!' answered they I once asked Mr Heckewelder whether there was from the fear of death. A remarkable in- will cheerfully bear the soaking. They then passed ately gave me n'schingiwipoma, 'I do not like to stance of this is related by Hearne, in his I on, and I proceeded to Goschachking, the village to eat with him.' A stronger feature of resemblance

« PreviousContinue »