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perseverance, labour, and design, which demonstrate considerable progress in the arts of civilized life. A learned writer has said, “I perceive no reason why the Asiatic North might not be an officina virorum, as well as the European. The over-teeming country to the east of the Ripbæn mountains, must find it necessary to discharge its inhabitants. The first great wave of people was forced forward by the next to it, inore tumid and more powerful than itself: successive and new impulses continually arriving, short rest was given to that wbich spread over a more eastern tract: disturbed again and again, it covered fresh regions. At length, reaching the farthest limits of the old world, it found a new one, with ample space to occupy, unmolested for ages.'* After the north of Asia had thus exbausted its exuberant population by such a great migration, it would require a very long period of time to produce a co-operation of causes, sufficient to effect anotber. The first mighty stream of people that lowed into America, must have remained free from external pressure for ages. Availing themselves of this period of tranquillity, they would devote theinselves to the arts of peace, make rapid progress in civilization, and acquire an immense population. In course of time, discord and war would rage among them, and compel the establishment of places of security. At last, they became alarmed by the irruption of a borde of barbarians, who rushed like an overwhelming flood from the North of Asia.
A multitude, like which the populous North
“ The great law of self-preservation compelled them to stand on their defence, to resist these ruthless invaders, and to construct numerous and extensive
* Pennant's Arctic Zoology, vol. 1. n. 260.
Milion's Paradise Lost, book 1. p. 62.
works for protection. And for a long series of time the scale of victory was suspended in doubt, and they firmly withstood the torrent: but like the Romans in the decline of their empire, they were finally worn down and destroyed, by successive inroads, and renewed attacks. And the fortifications of which we have treated, are the only remaining monuments of these ancient and exterminated nations. This is, perhaps, the airy nothing of imagination, and may be reckoned the extrava. gant dream of a visionary mind: but may we not, considering the wonderful events of the past and present times, and the inscrutable dispensations of an overruling Providence, may we not look forward into futurity, and without departing from the rigid laws of probability, predict the occurrence of similar scenes, at some remote period of time. And, perhaps, in the decrepitude of our empire, some transcendent genius, whose powers of mind shall only be bounded by that inpenetrable circle which prescribes the limits of human nature,* inay rally the barbarous nations of Asia, under the standard of a mighty empire. Following the tract of the Russian colonies and commerce toward the northwest coast, and availing himself of the navigation, arms, and military skill of civilized nations, he may, after subverting the neighbouring despotisms of the old world, bend his course toward European America. The destinies of our country may then be decided on the waters of the Missouri, or on the banks of Lake Superior. And if Asia shall then revenge upon our posterity, the injuries we have inflicted on her sons, a new, a long, and a gloomy night of Gothic darkness will set in upon mankind. And when, after the efflux of ages, the returning effulgence of intellectual light shall again gladden the nations, then the wide-spread ruins of our cloud-capp'd towers, of our solemn temples, and of our magnificent cities, will, like the works of which we have treated, become the subject of curious research and elaborate investigation.
* Roscoe's Lorenzo De Medicis, p. 241.
BLOME'S STATE OF HIS MAJESTY'S ISLES AND
TERITORIES IN AMERICA.
[London, Printed, 1687.]
.NATIVES OF PENNSYLVANIA.
The natives I shall consider in their persons, language, manners, religion, and government, with my sense of their original. For their persons, they are generally tall, straight, well built, and of singular proportion; they tread strong and clever, and mostly walk with a lofty chin; of complexion black, but by design, as the gipsies in England; they grease themselves with bear's fat clarified, and using no defence against sun or weather, their skins must needs be swartby; their eye is little and black not unlike a straight-looked Jew; the thick lip and flat nose, so frequent to the East Indians and blacks, are not common to them; for I have seen as comely European-like faces among them of both sexes, as on your side the sea; and truly an Ital. ian complexion hath not much more of the white, and the noses of several of them have as much of the Roman.
Their language is lofty, yet narrow, but like the Hebrew in signification, full like short-hand in writing; one word serveth in the place of three, and the rest are supplied by the understanding of the hearer; imperfect in their tenses, wanting in their moods, participles, adverbs, conjunctions, and interjections. I have made
business to understand it that I might not want an interpreter on any occasion, and I must say I know not a language spoken in Europe that bath words of more sweetness or greatness, in accent and emphasis tban theirs.
Of their customs and manners there is much to be said. I will begin with children: so soon as they are born, they wash them in water, and while very young and in cold weather to choose, they plunge them in the rivers, to barden and embolden them; having wrapt them in a clout, they lay them on a straight thin board, a little more than the length and breadih of the child, and swaddle it fast upon the board, to make it straight; wherefore all indians have flat heads, and thus they carry them at their backs. The children will go very young, at nine months commonly; they wear only a small clout round their waist till they are big; if boys, they go a fishing till ripe for the woods, which is about fifteen ; then they bunt, and having given some proofs of their manhood, by a good return of skins, they may inarry, else it is a shame to think of a wife.
The girls stay with their mothers, and help to Hoe the ground, plant corn, and carry burtheps; and they do well to use them to that young, which they must do when they are old, for the wives are the true servants of their husbands; otherwise the men are very affectionate to them.
When the young women are fit for marriage, they wear something upon their heads for an advertisement, but so as their
faces are hardly to be seen, but when they please. The age they marry at, if women, is about thirteen and fourteen, if men, seventeen and eighteen, they are rarely older: their houses are mats, or barks of trees, set on poles, in the fashion of an English barn, but out of the power of the winds, for they are hardly bigher than a man; they lie on reeds or grass. In travel they lodge in the woods about a great fire, with the mantle duffies they wear by day, wrapt about them, and a few boughs stuck round them,
Their diet is maize or Indian corn, divers ways prepared; sometimes roasted in the ashes, sometimes beaten and boiled with water, which they call Homine, they also make cakes, not unpleasant to eat; they have likewise several sorts of beans and pease, that are good nourishinent, and the woods and rivers are their larder.
If an European comes to see them, or calls for lodg. ing at their bouse or wigwam, they give bim the best place and first cut. If they come to visit us, they salute us with an It hah! wbich is as much as to say, good be to you, and sit thein down which is mostly on the ground, close to their heels, their legs upright; may be tbey speak not a word more, but observe all passages. If you give them any thing to eat or drink, well, for they will not ask; and be it little or much, if it be with kindness they are well pleased, else they go away sullen, but say nothing. They are great concealers of their own resentments, brought to it I believe by the revenge that hath been practised ainong them ; in either of these they are not exceeded by the Italians. A tragical instance fell out since I came into the country; a king's daughter, thinking herself slighted by her husband, in suffering another woman to lie down between them, rose up, went out, pluckt a root out of the ground, and eat it, upon which she immediately died, and for which, last week, he made an offering to her kindred, for atonement, liberty, and marriage, as two others did to the kindred of their wives that died a natural death; for till widowers bave done so they must not marry again. Some of the young women are said to take undue liberty before marriage for a portion; but when married, chaste : when wiib child, they know their husbands no more, till delivered; and during their month, they touch no meat, they eat but with a stick, lest they should defile it; nor do their husbands frequent them till that time be expired.
But in liberality they excel; nothing is too good for their friends; give them a fine gun, coat, or other things, it may pass twenty hands before it sticks; light