Sidor som bilder

o lypens up a field still more richly stored with novelty and just La subjects of philosophicala investigation : and whilst we here disElk rover the acuteness of his natural understanding, we are, at the oksame time, enabled to draw exact conclusions concerning the wafate of his life, and the state of utter neglect in which his mind ats had so long been left by the profligacy and baseness of human beings. Though his heart was filled with a child-like gentleness

and kindness, which rendered him incapable of hurting a worm or a fly, much less, a man--though, in all the various relations

of life, his conduct evinced that his soul was as pure and spotEkiless as the reflex of the eternal in the soul of an angel,b yet, as

has already been observed, he brought with him from his dun.

geon to the light of the world, not an idea, not the least presenCtiment of the existence of a God, not the shadow of a belief sin a more elevated, invisible intelligence than himself. Raised

like an animal, slumbering even while awake, in the desert of - his narrow dungeon, sensible only of the crudest wants of ani. mal nature, occupied with nothing but the taking of his food

and the eternal sameness of his wooden horses, his life may be o compared to that of an oyster, which, adhering to its rock, is

sensible of nothing but the absorption of its food, and perceives

nothing but the everlasting, uniform dashing of the waves, findting in its narrow shell no room for the most limited idea of a

world without. But Caspar was soon enabled to form a just

conception of spiritual existences, and of a God; and he has a now become as sincerely pious as he is innocent and amiable.

In October, 1828, an attempt was made, at mid-day, to mur. ruder Caspar in the house of his patron and tutor, professor Dau-mer, with whom he then resided. The foul assassin who rush

ved in upon him, gave him a severe wound in his forehead with ma sharp instrument, which was supposed to have been aimed at my his throat. The blood-thirsty wretch (who is believed to be - known at Nuremberg, and is supposed to be either the former

keeper of Caspar, or one instrumental in his incarceration) made y his escape, and, at the time of the writing of this narrative, had Si continued to elude the arm of justice.

In 1831, Caspar was adopted, by the Earl of Stanhope, as - his foster son ; and long ered this, he has probably taken him

home with him to England.* Thus, this tender plant has hapFEB F11-18-zôf'fa-kål. lane'jêl. «Eg-zist'ênse-not, unse. dare.

* The eartbly career of the ill-fated Caspar Hauser, was short ; his life, enigma. tically wonderful; his end, tragical. On the 14th of December, 1833, he was met in the Palace Garden, at Anspach, by the same villain (according to Caspar's account) that attempted to assassinate him in 1828. In this last attempt, the assassin was

pily been transferred to a more genial soil, where it will be nourished and protected from the rude blasts of a bustling world.*

SECTION XI. Traits of Indian Character. IRVING. THERE is something in the character and habits of the North American savage', taken in connexion with the scenery over which he is accustomed to range', its vast lakes', boundless for. ests', majestick rivers', and trackless plains', that is', to my mind', wonderfully striking and sublime'. He is formed for the wilderness', as the Arab is for the desert'. His nature is stern', simple', and enduring'; fitted to grapple with difficulties', and to support privations'. There seems but little soil in his heartb fora the growth of the kindly virtues'; and yet', if we would but take the trouble to penetrate through that proud stoicism and habitual taciturnity which lock up his character from casual observation', we should find him linked to his fel. low man of civilized life by more of those sympathies and affections than are usually ascribed to him'.

It was the lot of the unfortunate aborigines of America', in the early periods of colonization', to be doubly wronged by the white men'. They have been dispossessedof their hereditary domains by mercenary and frequently wanton warfare'; and their characters have been traduced by bigoted and interested writers'. The colonist'. . has often treated them like beasts of the forest'; and the author'. . has endeavoured to justify him in his outrages'. The former found it easier to exterminate than to civilize the latter', to vilify than to discriminate'. The appellations of savage and pagan', were deemed sufficient to

aFor-not, fer, nor, f'r. bin hiz heart-not, in iz art. cto him-not, to im. dDis-pôz-zést'. In'tér lést-ed.

but too successful in the accomplishment of his diabolical purpose. Drawing suddenly a concealed dagger, he plunged it twice into the breast of Caspar, who, after lingering three days, expired of his wounds. The villain fled; and, at the date of the latest accounts, he had not been apprehended. Suspicion had fallen upon a merchant of Bavaria.-It appears that Lord Stanhope had not taken Caspar to Eng. land; but, up to the time of his death, had contributed to his support at Anspach.

* These extracts are not designed to supersede the labours of the worthy translator of “Caspar Hauser," but are presented with the view of bringing these la bours into notice of recommending to the reading portion of the community, one of the most interesting and valuable publications of the present day-a cheap little volume which opens a new and rich vein of instruction, not unworthy the attention of the physiologist, the naturalist, and the philosopher.

- sanction the hostilities of both'; and thus'. . the poor wanderers

of the forest were persecuted and defamed', not because they were'a. .guilty', but because they were*. . ignorant'.

The rights of the savage have seldom been properly appreciated or respected by the white man'. In peace', he has too often been the dupe of artful traffick'; in war', he has been regarded as a ferocious animal', whose life or death was a question of mere precaution and convenience'. Man is cruelly wasteful of life when his own safety is endangered', and he is sheltered by impunity'; and little mercy is to be expected from him when he feels the sting of the reptile',' and is conscious of the power

to destroy'. et - The same prejudices which were indulged thus early', exist', E in common circulation', at the present day'. Certain learned

societies', it is true', have endeavored', with laudable diligence', to investigate and record the real characters and manners of the Indian tribes'. The American government',' too', has wisely and humanely exerted itself to inculcate a friendly and forbearing spirit towards them', and to protect them from fraud anda injustice'. The current opinion of the Indian character', however', is too apt to be formed from the miserable hordes which infest the

frontiers', and hang on the skirts of the settlements'.e These': . are too commonly composed of degenerate beings', corrupted and enfeebled by the vices of society', without being benefited by its civilization'. That proud independence which formed the main pillar of savage virtue', has been shaken down', and

the whole moral fabrick lies in ruins'. Their spirits'. . are hu* miliated and debased by a sense of inferiority', and their native

courage'. . cowed and daunted' by the superior knowledge and es power of their enlightened neighbours'. Society has advanced

upon them like one of those withering airs that will sometimes breathe desolation over a whole region of fertility'. It has ener

vated their strength', multiplied their diseases', and superinduMineced upon their original barbarity the low vices of artificial life'.

It has given them a thousand superfluous wants', whilst it has diminished their means of mere existence'. It has driven be. fore it the animals of the chase', which fly from the sound of the axe and the smoke of the settlement, and seek refuge in the depths of remoter forests and yet untrodden wilds'. . Thus do we too often find the Indiansi on our frontiers to be the mere wrecks and remnants of once powerful tribes', that have linger. ed in the vicinity of the settlements', and sunk into precarious

Wér. ÞRép'til. Gův'ůrn'ment-not, guv'ur'munt. dând-not, un. «Set-tliménts-not, munts. Dånt'éd. E.ner'vated. bEg-zist'énse.

In'de-anz. 21

and vagabond existence'. Poverty', repining and hopeless poverty', a canker of the mind unknown in savage life', cor. rodes their spirits', and blights every free and noble quality of their natures'. They become drunken', indolent', feeble', thier. ish', and pusillanimous'. They loiter', like vagrants', about the settlements', among spacious dwellings replete with elaborate comforts', which only render them sensible of the comparative wretchedness of their own condition'. Luxury'. .spreads its ample board before their eyes'; but they are excluded from the banquet'. Plenty'. . revels over the fields'; but they are starving in the midst of its abundance': the whole wilderness has blos. somed into a garden'; but they feel as reptiles that infest it'.

How different was their state', while yet the undisputed lords of the soil'! Their wants were few', and the means of gratification within their reach'. They saw every one round them sharing the same lot', enduring the same hardships', feeding on the same aliments', arrayed in the same rude garments'. No roof then rose'. . but it was open to the homeless stranger'; no smoke curled among the trees'. . but he was welcome to sit down by its fire', and join the hunter in his repast'. “For',” says an old historian of New-England', “their life is so void of care', and they are so loving also', that they make use of those things they enjoy as common goods', and are therein so compassionate', that rather than one should starve through want', they would starve all': thus do they pass their time merrily', not regarding our pomp', but are better content with their own', which some men esteem so meanly of'.” Such were the Indians', whilst in the pride and energy of their primitive natures'. They re. semble those wild plants which thrive best in the shades of the forest', but shrink from the hand of cultivation', and perish beneath the influence of the sun'.

In discussing the savage character', writers have been too prone to indulge in vulgar prejudice and passionate exaggera. tion', instead of the candid temper of true philosophy'. They have not sufficiently considered the peculiar circumstances in which the Indians have been placed', and the peculiar principles under which they have been educated'. No being acts more rigidly from rule than the Indian'. His whole conduct is regulated according to some general maxims early implanted in his mind'. The moral laws that govern him', are', to be sure', but few'; but then', he conforms to them all';—the white man abounds in laws of religion', morals', and manners'; but how many does he violate'!

*Eg-zist'ense. A-bůn’danse-not, dunse. «Wêr. F2.los’d'fë.

A frequent ground of accusation against the Indians', is their disregard of treaties', and the treachery and wantonness with * which', in time of apparenta peace', they will suddenly fly to

hostilities'. The intercourse of the white men with the Indians',

however', is too apt to be cold', distrustful', oppressive', and insultE: ing'. They seldom treat them with that confidence and frank.

ness which are indispensable to real friendship'; nor is sufficient

caution observed not to offend against those feelings of pride or # superstition', which often prompt the Indian to hostility quicker El than mere considerations of interest'. The solitary savage'..

feels silently', but'.. acutely'. His sensibilities are not diffused over so wide a surface as those of the white man'; but they run in steadier and deeper channels'. His pride', his affections', his superstitions', are all directed towards fewer objects'; but the wounds inflicted on them', are proportionably severe', and furnish motives of hostility which we cannot sufficiently appreciate'. Where a community is also limited in number', and forms one great patriarchal family', as in an Indian tribe', the injurye of an individual', is the injuryo of the whole'; and the sentiment of vengeance is almost instantaneously diffused'. One council-fire is sufficient for the discussion and arrangement of a plan of hostilities'. Here', all the fighting men and sages assem. ble'. Eloquence and superstition'.. combine to inflame the minds of the warriours'. The orator' .. awakens their martial ardour', and they are wrought up to a kind of religious desperation by the visions of the prophet and the dreamer'.

[ocr errors]

SECTION XII. Traits of Indian Character-Continued.-IB. We stigmatize the Indians', also', as cowardly and treach. erous', because they use stratagem in warfare', in preference to open force'; but', if courage intrinsically consists in the defiance of danger and pain', the life of the Indian is a continual ex. hibition of it'. He lives in a state of perpetual hostility and risk'. Peril and adventured are congenial to his nature';e or', rather', seem necessary to arouse his faculties', and to give an interest to his existence'. Surrounded by hostile' tribes', whose mode of warfare is by ambush and surprisal', he is always prepared for fight', and lives with his weapons in his hands'.

Ap-på'rent. "Kồn'fe-dense-not, dunse. In ́jú're not, in'je'rė. Ad-yền tshire. Natshire. HỒstui.

« FöregåendeFortsätt »