Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

'224 Their Funerals*.

Their apparent insensibility, under pains andt wounds is .well-known; yet had they awful apprehensions of death. That they fliould be surpris* ed and amazed, at the arts and implements of civilized men, is not incredible.

The first ship they saw,. was supposed to be a walking island, the masts to be trees,, the sails white clouds, the explosion of their artillery, thunder and -lightning* Attempting to go on board topick strawberries* they, were saluted with a broad side.. They cried out, "So big walk, so big speak, and by and by kill,n At the first windmill they saw,.they were alarmed and afraid to-aprproach. They considered the first ploughman as a wizard, and told hjm, he was almost a,devil. They readily believed the history of, the Old Testament, of the creation, fall, and deluge, but. when they-, were told of a Saviour, they cried out, JPocatnie, i. e. is it possible?

They were a healthy, stout race of frien, living: sometimes an hundred years; but when sick > and all hope of recovery was-past, then their bursting sobs and sighs* their ringing hands, their Sowing tears* and dismal cries and shrieks, were enough to excite sympathy and tears from marble eyes.. After the corpse was brought to the grave, they wepfcand mourned, and so again when it was laid in the grave, and after it was buried they often shed tears.for a long time afterward, sometimes for a year, morning and night, they poured forth Dress, and divisions of Time. 225

many groans, and raised many " Irish like bowlings." In time of mourning, their faces were painted black. They believed in a paradise far southwest, at the portal of which lay a great dog, preventing the entrance of wicked souls. They buried the arms, and much of the treasure of the deceased with him; one to affright the dog, the other to purchase peculiar privileges. The wicked they conceived pass to the dark abodes of Abbamacko, where they were tortured according to the opinions of ancient pagans.

Their dress, when they wore any, was of the skins of beasts; often wearing nothing but a short apron before. The Pawahs are their physicians, who roar and howl over them with many magical ceremonies. A hot house and cold bath were one of their principcil remedies; the method was, to sit in the hot house an hour, which was a cave terribly heated, and then plunge into some brook or pond. When they had burned the wood near them, they removed to another place; and when the English first came to this country, the Indians supposed it was for wood. Their division of time was by sleeps, moons, and winters. By being abroad so much, they had some knowledge of the stars, and what is surprising, they called Charles' Wain PaukiinnawaiV) or the hear, the name given it by Europeans,,

226 Hardships of the Women.

Their women, as is common among savages* performed almost all the drudgery of the family. They built the houses, covering them with mats, so that they were warmer, than those of the English; not a drop of rain, not a breath of wind pen* etrated them. Some of these were fifty or sixty feet long. These were to be removed from place to place at the command of the husbands. Every year they had their fishing place, their hunting place, and their planting place, where the house remained the longest.

The women planted, and hoed, and harvested all the corn, brought home all the fish and game, dressed, and cured, and cooked it: but like A^b wives, ate not till their husbands had done. They were modest in thejr dress, and chaste in their conduct.

On this account, and several others, as anointing their heads, giving dowries for their wives, observing a feast of harvest,, offering sacrifices, and grievous mournings for their dead, they have been supposed descendants of Abram.* There are doubtless several striking points of resemblance between the Israelites and Indians; but a further acquaintance with the history of man, shows that customs very ftmilar are common in every corner of the globe, among those nations, who are in the ravage state of society.

f-&o.ps& Williams, Mr. Eliot,

Customs, 227

Many of the savage customs are laudable and humane. When any are sick, their friendsresort to them, and often remain till death or recovery. When they recover, on account of the expense they have been at, their friends send them provisions and other comforts. The aged are treated with great respeft; their names are all significant, and are changed according to character and circumstances. To which we may add, if the year proved dry, they had great and solemn meetings from all parts to supplicate their gods, and beg for rain. These devotions they continued sometimes ten days, a fortnight, and three weeks, or till rain came. When a field was to be cleared, or any great work accomplished, all the neighbours, men, women, and children, freely lent their assistance; fifty or an hundred were sometimes seen labouring together. The ties of brotherhood were so strong, that sometimes when a person had committed murder and fled* his brother was executed in his stead. It was common for a man to pay the debts of his deceased brother. Their virgins were distinguished by a modest falling down of their hair over their eyes. Their affe&ion was very strong for their children, who by indulgence, were saucy and undutifuL A father would sometimes, through grief and rage for the loss of a child, stab himself. Sometimes they would, by break of day, call up their wives and surviving children and families, to make lamentation, with S28 Society for propagating the Gospel.

abundance of tears, crying out, "O God> thou hast taken away my child; thou art angry with nie; O, turn thine anger from me, and spare the rest of my children*" If they received any good in hunting^ fishing, or agriculture, they acknowledged it came from God. If they met with a fall, or any accident, they would say, God was angry with them. When they observed any distinguished excellence, they would say, it was a god. At the architecture, the husbandry, and other arts of the English, they often exclaimed, "you are a god, or they are gods," implying that all excellencies are in God. After the season of harvest and hunting, they had anniversary religious festivals. Do not some pretended christians blush at these things?

Their strongest profession of honesty and integrity was, my heart is good, implying that all goodness was in the heart.*

C H A P. XVIIL

The society for propagating the gospel, the faith* Jul labours of the New England ministers to instruct the natives in the religion of Jesus Christ.

IN 1650, a society in England, instituted for propagating the gospel, began a correspondence with the commissioners of the united

* Rogrr Willi Am*

« PoprzedniaDalej »