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cularly favourable to satirical comedy, such as that in which I saw figure, Cardinal Somiglia, Leo XII. and his Confessor, the famous banker, Tourlouso, Duke of Bracciano, and other well-known Roman characters. The young gentlemen who spoke for the puppets, imitated not only the accents of these personages, but even the tournure of their ideas, so that the mimicry was admirable. Three or four of the company present had passed the early part of the evening with those grave and potent persons, whom they had then the delicious pleasure of seeing exhibited in little. This species of comedy, when it is not a caricature, but gay and good-naturedly comic and natural, is, at least to my taste, one of the most delightful of intellectual pleasures to be met with in a despotic country. Apropos of despotism ; I forgot to tell you, that the principal actor, or more properly, speaker at the Fiano palace, is regularly sent three or four times a-year to prison for some breach of either moral or political bienseance, which escapes him in the fervour of improvisation. These sojournings in prison would be still more frequent, were it not that the manager of the concern takes care to pay the two or three spies charged by the police to watch the representations of the Fantoccini, and report any impromptu indiscretions they may be guilty of. This manager, who is wise in his generation, instead of paying the bribe to these Arguses after the performance, gives it to them beforehand ; so that being generally half-seas-over at the rising of the curtain, though they may see double with their corporeal eyes, yet their intellectual optics are somewhat obscured. Another circumstance characteristic of a despotic country is, that the manager of this theatre and his partner, who is a carpenter, make up their accounts every night and pay off all demands, as if the undertaking were at an end. I am told their net profit, one evening with another, is about forty francs each representation. Girolemo, the director of the Fantoccini theatre at Milan, died a short time back, after having amassed a fortune of 300,000 francs. For this he was in a great measure indebted to the excellence of his ballets. The degree of grace and moelleux, which he succeeded in communicating to the runds dejambes and entrechats of the little wooden figurantes must have been seen to be credited. It was no unfrequent thing to hear said in Milan, that Girolemo's first puppet excelled the principal dancer at the Scala. The favourite comic personage of Girolemo's pieces was not, as at Rome, Cassandrino. In a country the government of which was not exclusively in the hands of cctibataires, such a character would have been without zest. Gianduja, the comic personage employed by Girolemo, was a Piedmontese valet, who, astonished at the manners and habits of the good people of Milan, makes the most droll observations upon them in his Piedmontese patois. There is not a little humour in the idea of such a personage, who, surprised at every thing he sees, either asks a.reason for it, or else explains it to himself by the most ludicrous and caustic suppositions. In their impromptu comedies, these invariable characters, whose habitudes are traditional and known beforehand, are great favourites with the Italians. They obviate the ennui of an exposition or explanation: hence' the vogue of Harlequin, Pantaloon, Bughelli, &c. It would appear from some antiquarian discoveries lately made at Naples, that similar personages of a fixed and invariable character were employed in the Pieces Attelans, which were played before the time of the Romans and under them at Capua and the neighbouring towns. I shall terminate this long letter by recommending the English dramatic authors to try th eir pieces with puppets before venturing thetn before the public. Such an essay would be infinitely more useful to them than the counsel of ev en their sincerest friends. I can assure you that on the second time of witnessing the Fantoccini, you are no longer affected by the exiguity of their stature, and that the illusion is very nearly as perfect as upon the larger boards trod by living actors. At all events for satirical comedy the Fantoccini present an unique resource. I have just heard of a comedy of this kind lately played at Naples, of so dangerous a nature, that the actors and audience amounted only to six persons—three being spectators. On the second night's representation, the spectators changed places with the actors, in order that the latter might share in the amusement in their turn. The entertainment, I understand, was piquant in the extreme. I can only at present tell you the names of the characters, which were, the King ot Naples, the Prince Royal making a formal complaint of his wife, and the Duchess of Florida, the left-handed spouse of Ferdinand. I can well imagine what a rich harvest of the ludicrous the buffoon-like manner of speaking of the king, who discusses even the gravest matters of state in the language and with the gestures of a lazzaroni, must have offered. This monarch, in his truly royal naivetes, has said a hundred things equally as amusing as the Sansdot of Moliere's Avare, or the pauvre homme of his Tartvffe; but tempting as the subject is, I must halt here, for it is too dangerous a one to trust to the ineffectual guardianship of wafers or wax. Besides, my letter is already of too unconscionable a length, particularly as I fear that your incredulity will revolt against much of what I have been saying (though said most truly) upon the comedies, tragedies, satires, and ballets of the Italian Fantoccini. B.
Several attempts have been recently made to attract attention to the state of the North American Indians, both in our own possessions and those of the United States, with a view to ameliorate their condition and prevent their utter extinction. All that relates to the developement of the character of man in his savage as well as civilized state, is calculated to accelerate the progress of knowledge and must be generally beneficial to mankind. Mr. Hunter, it is well known, lately published a work of a very singular character upon this subject, calculated to throw light upon the habits and manners of the singular race, who scantily peopled the northern regions of America, prior to its discovery by Europeans, many tribes of which have altogether disappeared". Numberless peculiar customs and singularities of language distinguish this people from the Aborigines of every other known territory, and it is doubtful whether any offer a more interesting subject of research. The North American Indian stands in the highest rank of uncultivated man. His religious creed, at least that of many of the tribes west of the Mississipi, resembles" that of the Jews, in being a pure theism. He is a lover of freedom, and nothing can bend him to slavery, being indissolubly attached to roaming the vast forests and beautiful savannahs of his native land. He exhibits great nobleness of character, singular magnanimity, strong parental and filial attachments, a love of truth and sincerity in his intercourse with his friends, and a degree of bravery and sagacity in war; almost incredible. He is a cruel and revengeful enemy, but he rarely becomes an enemy without adequate cause. Persecuted, belied, and cheated, by the whites, he has been represented as destitute of virtues, worthless, and ferocious; when in reality he frequently exhibits great generosity, elevation of spirit, and energy of address, which are not surpassed among the inhabitants of civilized communities. The Indian attacks upon the whites have rarely or ever been made without ample provocation; among themselves they have been encouraged by the colonists in their intestine wars, and have been paid by them per scalp, for the destruction of their brethren. The robberies and murders of Indians often perpetrated by backwoods-men, and the knavery of white traders, the continual encroachments of the colonists upon them, the sufferings they have undergone from the introduction of ardent spirits, and the feuds that have been carefully promoted between the different tribes, have rapidly diminished their population; and the time approaches very fast when in all the vast tract east of the Mississipi not a single aboriginal American will remain. The traditions of the Iroquois abound with touching relations of the injustice they have sustained from the whites, from their first settling in the country. “We and our tribes,” say they, “lived in peace and harmony with each other before the white people came into this country; our council-house" extended far to the north and the south. In the middle of it we could meet from all parts to smoke the pipe of peace together; when the white men arrived in the south we received them as friends, we did the same when they arrived in the east. It was we, it was our forefathers, who made them welcome and let them sit down by our side. The land they settled on was ours. We knew not but the Great Spirit had sent them to us for some good purpose, and therefore we thought they must be a good people. We were mistaken; for no sooner had they obtained a footing in our lands, than they began to pull our council-house" down, first at one end and then at the other, and at last, meeting in the centre where the council-fire was yet burning bright, they put it out and extinguished it with our own blood!t with the blood of those t who with us had received them —who had welcomed them in our land! Their blood ran in streams into our fire, and extinguished it so entirely, that not one spark was left us whereby to kindle a new fire; we were compelled to withdraw ourselves beyond the great swamp, and to fly to our good uncle the Delamattenos, who kindly gave us a tract of land to live on. How long we shall be permitted to remain in this asylum the Great Spirit only knows. The whites will not rest contented until they shall have destroyed the last of us, and made us disappear entirely from the face of the earth.”|| The introduction of civilization into America and the establishment of a mighty empire there, has not been effected without the committal
* Alliances. -
of many wanton crimes. The murders, robberies, injustice, and oppression of the native Indians, the kidnapping and carrying them off for slaves, the assembling them under peaceful pretences and betraying them, men, women, and children, to destruction, together with the occupation of their hunting grounds and native soil, form another singular example of the inscrutable government of mundane events; and how much national and individual injustice and crime are permitted to take place, to work out a remote and extensive good. The outrages committed upon the Indians never wanted an excuse, though nine times out often a provocation fully sufficient to justify them was given on the parts of the whites. Mr. J. Buchanan,* his Majesty's consul for New York, has published a volume, which though principally a compilation from the observations of others, to which are added those observations which he himself has been enabled to make upon the subject, contains many singular examples of injustice towards the Indians, of the state of suffering in which they at present exist, and of the claims they have upon civilized nations for the wrongs which they endure at their hands. As this volume throws into one view the various traits of the Indian character, it is both useful and entertaining. Mr. Hunter is gone again to the woods of the Missouri, with the advantage of much knowledge acquired both in England and America, to attempt some amelioration of their condition, and we trust our colonial Government will profit by the example thus set before it.
The Indian traditions have preserved with great accuracy the appearance of the whites among them, and the unprincipled conduct of the first settlers. The Dutch demanded from them as much land as a hide would cover, to raise greens for their soup; this being granted, they cut the hide into slips and encircled a large piece of ground with it on New York island, "upon which they built strong houses" and planted "great guns" against them.t The conduct of the English to their disgrace, was even less ceremonious than this. They asked no leave of the Indians, but took possession of what land they wanted, en-" croached upon their hunting and fishing-grounds, and very quickly got into disputes with them and spilled their blood. The tribe of Indians to whom the land belonged, which was thus occupied by the British, after having welcomed the destroyers to their shores and even hunted for them, fled into Pennsylvania and remained there until Miquon, the Englishman, (William Penn) whose name they even now regard with reverence, came and procured an interval of peace for them. At his death they were again persecuted and driven afar from their new home.
That the Indians possess capacity for civilized life, when they can be brought to feel a relish for it, may be judged of from the following account of a visit made by Mr. Buchanan to Miss Brandt, as late as 1819, at the residence of herself and brother, the Indian chief of the same name in our service. The house of Mr. Brandt is situated near the magnificent shores of the vast lake Ontario. It has a noble and commanding aspect, and stands on a spot of great natural beauty. The visitor entered the house unobserved, and passed into a parlour well
* Sketches of the North American Indiana, their History, Manners and Customs. By J. Buchanan. Hvu. 1 vol. t Is not this story of the hide a fahle borrowed from antiquity? Eo.
furnished with looking-glasses, carpet, mahogany tables, and fashionable chairs. A guitar hung against the wall, and also a book-case containing a number of elementary works, and a prayer-book in the Mohawk tongue.
"Soon," says Mr. B. "in walked a charming noble-looking Indian girl, dressed partly m the native, and partly in the English costume. Her hair was confinedon the head in a silk net, but the lower tresses, escaping from thence, flowed down on her shoulders under a tunic or morning dress of black silk ; she wore a petticoat of the same material and colour, which reached very little below the knees. Her silk stockings and kid shoes were, like the rest of her dress, black. The grace and dignity of her movement, the style pf her dress and manner, so new, so unexpected, filled us all with astonishment. With great ease, yet by no means in that common-place mode so generally prevalent on such occasions, she enquired how we had found the roads, accommodation, &c. No flutter was at all apparent on account of the delay in getting breakfast; no fidgeting and fuss-making, no running in and out, no idle expressions of regret, such as Oh dear me I had 1 known of your coming, you would not have been kept in this way; but with perfect ease she raantaincd the conversation, until a Squaw, wearing a man's hat, brought in a tray with preparations for breakfast. A table cloth of fine white damask being laid, we were regaled with tea, coffee, hot rolls, butter in water, and ice-coolers, eggs, smoked-beef and ham, broiled chickens, &c.; all served in a truly neat and comfortable style. The delay, we afterwards discovered, arose from the desire of our hostess to supply us with hot rolls, which were actually baked while we wailed. 1 have been thus minute in my description of these comforts, as they were so little to be expected in the house of an Indian. After breakfast, Miss Brandt, as we must still call her, took my daughters out to walk, and look at the picturesque scenery of the country. She and her brother had previously expressed a hope that we would stay all day, but though I wished of all things to do so, and had determined in the event of their pressing their invitation, to accept it, yet I declined the proposal at first, and thus forfeited a pleasure which we all of us longed in our hearts to enjoy, for, as I afterwards learned, it is not the custom of any uncorrupted Indian to repeat a request if once rejected. They believe that those to whom they offer any mark of friendship, and who give a reason for refusing it, do so jn perfect sincerity, and that it would be rudeness to require them to alter their determination, or break their word. And as the Indian never makes a shew of civility, but when prompted by a genuine feeling, so he thinks others are actuated by similar candour. I really feel ashamed when I consider how severe a rebuke this carries with it to us, who boast of civilization, but who are so much carried away by the general insincerity of expression pervading all ranks, that few indeed are to be found, who speak just what they wish orknow."
The mother of Miss Brandt and her other children resided on an Indian settlement, on the Grand River running into lake Erie; preferring their ancient manners and customs to those to which her son and daughter had conformed. It is pleasing to add that the land on which the house is built, and the surrounding estate, were a gift from the British Government to Captain Brandt, their father, a celebrated Indian chief and translator of a portion of the Scriptures into the Mohawk tongue. So much for the capacity of the Indians to acquire the habits of civilization. Of their natural eloquence nothing need be said here, as reference may easily be made to vol. II. p. 60. of the New Monthly Magazine. The speech of Tecumseh, endeavouring to rouse the Osages to join the British and make war with the Americans, as recorded by Mr. Hunter, is another most striking piece of eloquence.
The affection of the Indian for his children is not exceeded by that