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of heart, strong affections, but soon spent; the most merry creatures that live, feast and dance perpetually; they never have much, nor want much; wealth circu. lateth like the blood, all parts partake; and though none shall want what another hath, yet exact observers of property. :
Some king's have sold, others presented me with several parcels of land; the pay or presents I made them, were not boarded by the particular owners, but the neighbouring kings and their clans being present when the goods were brought out, the parties chiefly concerned consulted what, and to whom they should give them; to every king then, by the hands of a person for that work appointed, is a present sent, so sorted and folded, and, with that gravity, that it is admirable; then that king subdivideth it in like manner among the dependants, they hardly leaving themselves an equal share with one of their subjects: and be it on such occasions as festivals, or at their common meals, the kings distribute, and to themselves last; they care for little, and the reason is, a little contents them : in this they are sufficiently revenged on us; if they are ignorant of our pleasures, they are also free froin our pains.
They are not disquieted with bills of lading and exchange, nor perplexed with chancery suits and exchecquer reckonings; we sweat and toil to live, their pleasure feeds them, I mean their hunting, fishing, and fowling, and this table is spread everywhere; they eat twice a day, morping and evening; their seats and tables are the ground. Since the Europeans came in to these parts, they are grown great lovers of strong liquors, ruw, especially, and for it they exchange the richest of their skins and furs: if they are beated with liquors, they are restless till they have enough to sleep; and this is their cry, Some more, and I will go to sleep ; but when druuk, one of the most wretched spectacles in the world.
In sickness, impatient to be cured; for it, give any thing, especially for their children, to whom they are
extremely natural ; they drink at those times a yeran, or decoction of some roots, in spring water; and if they eat any flesh, it must be of the female of any creature ; if they die they bury them with tbeir apparel, be they men or women, and the nearest of kin flings in something precious with them, as a token of their love; their mourning is blacking of their faces, which they continue for a year; they are choice of the graves of their dead; for, least they should be lost by time, and fall to cominon use, they pick off the grass that grows upon them, and heap up the tallen earth with great care and exactness.
These poor people are under a dark night in things relating to religion, or rather to the tradition of it; yet, they believe a God and immortality without the helps of Metaphysics ; for they say there is a great king that made them, who dwells in a glorious country to the southward of them, and that the souls of the good shall
go thither, where they shall live again. Their worship consists of two parts, sacrifice and cantico: Their sacrifice is their first fruits, the first and fattest bullock they kill, goes to the fire, where he is all burnt with a mouròful ditty of him that performs the ceremony, but with such marvellous fervency and labour of body, that he will even sweat to a foam ; the other part of their cantico, is perforined by round dances, sometimes words, sometimes songs, iben shouts, two being in the middle that begin, and by singing and drumming on a board, direct the chorus ; their postures in the dance are very antick and differing, but all keep measure. This is done with equal earnestness and labour, but great appearance of joy.
In the fall, when the corn coines in, they begin to feast one another; there have been two great festivals already, to which all come that will. I was at one myself; tbeir entertainment was a great seat by a spring, under some shady trees, and twenty bucks, with hot cakes of new corn, both wheat and beans, which they make up in a square form, in the leaves of the stem,
and bake them in the ashes ; and after that they fell to dance; but they that go, must carry a small present of their money, it may be sixpence, which is inade in the bone of a fish; the black is with them as gold, the white silver; they call it all wampum.
Their government is by kings wbich they call sacheina, and those by succession, but always by the motha er's side; for instance, the children of him that is now king, will not succeed, but his brother by the mother, or the children of bis sister, wbose sons (and after them the children of her daughters) will reign; tor no woman inherits: the reason they render for this way of descent is, that their issue may not be spurious. Every king hath bis counsel, and that consists of all the old and wise men of his nation, which perbaps is two hun. dred people. Nothing of moment is undertaken, be it war, peace, selling of land, traffic, without advising with them; and which is more, with the young men too.
It is admirable to consider how powerful the kings are, and how they move by the breath of the people.
I bave had occasion to be in council with them upon treaties of land, and to adjust the terms of trade. Their order is thus; the king sits in the middle of a half inoon, and bath his council, the old and wise on each hand; behind them or at a little distance sit the younge er fry in the same figure; having consulted and resolv. ed their business, the king ordered one of them to speak to me, and be in the name of his king.saluted me; then took me by the hand, and told me, that he was ordered by his king to speak to me; and now it was not he, but the king that spoke, because what be should say, was the king's mind.
He first prayed me to excuse them that they had not complied with me the last time, he feared there might be some fault in the interpreter, being neither Indian nor English; besides it was the Indian custom to de. liberate, and take up much time in council before they resolve; and that if the young people and owners of the land had been as ready as he, I had not met with so much delay.'
Having thus introduced this matter, he fell to the bounds of the land they had agreed tò dispose of, and the price; the land now is little and dear, that which would have bought twenty miles, not buying now two. During the time that this person spoke, not a man of them was observed to whisper or smile; the old grave, the young reverent in their deportment. They do speak litile, but fervently and with elegancy; I have never seen more natural sagacity, considering them without the help of tradition; and he will deserve the ņame of wise, that outwits them in any treaty about a thing they understand.
When the purchase was agreed, great promises passed between us of kindness and good neighbourhood, and that the Indians and English must live in love as long as the sun gave light; which dove, another made a speech to the Indians, in the name of all the sachamakers, or kings, first to tell them what was done; next, to charge and command them to love christians; and particularly to live in peace with me, and the people under my government. That many governors bad been in the river, but that no governor bad come himself to live and stay here before; and having now such a one that had treated theni well, they should never do him or his any wrong: At every sentence of which, they shouted, and said amen, in their way. The justice they have is pecuniary; in case of
any wrong or evil fact, be it murder itself, they atone by feasts and presents of their wampum, which is proportioned to the quality of the offence, or person injured, or the sex they are of. For in case they kill a woman, they pay double; and the reason they render, is, that she breedeth children, which men cannot do. It is rare that they fall out, if sober; and if drunk they forgive it, saying, it was the drink, and not the man that abused them.
We have agreed, that in all differences between us, six of each side shall end the matter. Don't abuse them, but let them have justice, and you win them,
The worst is, they are the worse for the christians, who have propagated their vices, and yielded them tradition for ill, and not for good things. But as low an ebb as they are at, and as inglorious as their condition looks, the christians have not outlived their sight, with all their pretensions to an higher manifestation.
What good, then, might not a good people graft, where there is so distinct a knowledge left between good and evil? I beseech God to incline the hearts of all that come into these parts, to outlive the knowledge of the natives, by a tixt obedience to their greater knowledge of the will of God; for it were miserable indeed for us to fall under the just censure of the poor Indian conscience, while we make profession of things so far transcending.
For their original, I am ready to believe them of the Jewish race; I mean of the stock of the ten tribes; and that for the following reasons: First, they were to go to a land pot planted or known, which to be sure Asia and Africa were, if not Europe, and he that intended that extraordinary judgment upon them, might make the passage not uneasy to them, as it is not impossible in itself, from the eastermost parts of Asia to the westerinost parts of America. In the next place I find them of like countenance, and their children of so lively resemblance, that a man would think himself in Duke's. place or Bury-street in London, when be seeth tbem. But this not all; they agree in rites, they reckon by moons, they offer their first fruits, they have a kind of feast of tabernacles, they are said to lay their altar upo on twelve stones, their mourning a year, customs of women, with many things that do not now occur.
About this time (1607) James'-town was built. In the discovery of Chickahamine river, one George Casson was surprised, and one Sinith, with two others, beset with two hundred savages, his men slain, and himself taken prisoner; but in about a month's time he procured not only his liberty, but was in great favour among them, so that he had a most noble entertainment