Obrazy na stronie

Wynd, Edinburgh, either has it him- public carriage. Some other things self, or knows where it is to be found.” were put up with the Manuscripts..

The above information was correct. The whole arrived without any acciThere is strong presumptive evidence, dent, and was laid in a cellar. But that the Manuscripts of King James the patriotism of the Frenchman bethe Second were destroyed, but the coming suspicious, perhaps upon acNarrative, as described, was then, and count of his connection with the Engis now, in the hands of Dr Cameron, lish College, he was put in prison ; Roman Catholic Bishop in Edinburgh. and his wife, apprehensive of the conIt could not be in possession of a per- sequences of being found to have Engson who is better qualified to judge lish manuscripts, richly bound and orof its merits, and on whose fidelity, namented with Royal arms, in her should he be induced to print it, the house, cut off the boards, and destroypublic might more implicitly rely.- ed them. The Manuscripts, thus disI am indebted to his accuracy and figured, and more easily huddled up friendship, for some additional infor- in any sort of bundle, were secretly mation respecting the manner in which carried with papers belonging to the the Manuscripts of the Scotch College Frenchman himself, to his countrywere lost. As the facts are in them- house; and buried in the garden.selves curious, I lay before the reader They were not, however, permitted his succinct and interesting relation of to remain long there; the lady's fears them, contained in a letter to me, da.. increased, and the Manuscripts were ted Edinburgh, March 2, 1808. taken up and reduced to ashes.

Before Lord Gower, the British • This is the substance of the acEmbassador, left Paris, in the begin- count given to Mr Innes, and reported ning of the French Revolution, he by him to me in June 1802, in Paris. wrote to Principal Gordon, and offer- I desired it might be authenticated by ed to take charge of those valuable a proces verbale. A letter was therepapers, (King James's Manuscripts, fore written to St Omer, either by Mr &c.) and deposit them in some place Innes, or by Mr Cleghorn, a lay gentleof safety in Britain. I know not what man, who had resided in the English answer was returned, but nothing was College of St Omer, and was persondone. Not long thereafter, the Prin- ally acquainted with the Frenchman, cipal came to England, and the care and happened to be at Paris at this of every thing in the College devolved time. The answer given to this letter on Mr Alexander Innes, the only Bri- was, that the good man, under the tish subject who remained in it. Ac pressure of old age and other infirmis bout the same time, Mr Stapleton, ties, was alarmed by the proposal of then President of the English College a discussion and investigation, which of St Omer, afterwards Bishop in revived in his memory past sufferings, England, went to Paris, previously to and might, perhaps, lead to a renewal his retiring from France, and Mr In- of them. Any further correspondence hes, who had resolved not to abandon upon the subject seemed useless, espehis post, consulted with him about the cially as I instructed Mr Innes to go to means of preserving the manuscripts. St Omer, and clear up every doubt, in Mr Stapleton thought, if he had them a formal and legal manner, that some at St Omer, he could, with small risk, authentic document might be handed convey them to England. It was down to posterity concerning those therefore resolved, that they should be valuable Manuscripts. I did not forer carefully packed up, addressed to a see that war was to be kindled up anew, Frenchman, a confidential friend of or that my friend Me Innes was to die Mr Stapleton, and remitted by some 90 s0011.

M “Mr Cleghorn, whom I mentioned even at this early period, is sometimes above, is at present in the Catholic se- found subjected to a degree of despominary of Old Hall Green, Pucker- tism, of which the severity can hardly idge, Hertfordshire. He can probab- be paralleled in more civilized ages. ly name another gentleman who saw One instance, indeed, that of the Natthe Manuscripts at St Omer, and saved ches, was here so striking, as inevitasome small things, (but unconnected bly to force itself upon the attention. with the Manuscripts,) which he car. It has generally been regarded, howried away in his pocket, and has still ever, as a mere accidental occurrence, in his possession.

and as forming a singular exception to “ I need not trouble your Lordship that freedom, which forins the general with my reflections upon this relation: characteristic of savage life. But exbut I ought not to omit that I was tensive discoveries, made since the time told, sometimes, that all the Manu- of these writers, have brought to light scripts, as well as their boards, were a number of new societies, in which consumed by fire in the cellar in which the sovereign meets with the same unthey had been deposited upon their ar. limited submission. On an attentive rival at St Omer."

examination, too, of the accounts handThe gentleman alluded to in the ed down from antiquity, we shall dislatter part of the above letter, is Mr cover evident traces of the existence Mostyn, from whom Mr Butler of of these early sovereignties. Upon Lincoln's Inn very kindly procured a the whole, it appears to me evident, statement of the particulars relating that this is a regular and constant to this subject, in the year 1804, and stage through which man is destined transmitted it to Mr Fox. It contains to pass; and there is none, perhaps, in substance, though with some addi- which is more essential to the civilizational circumstances, and slight varia- tion of the species. tions, the same account as Mr Came- This form of government was, in ron's, up to the period of the writer's North America, by no means confinleaving St Omer, which was previous to ed to the Natches. It prevailed ethe imprisonment of the Frenchman.

qually among the different nations of · Mr Fox, in a letter to Mr Laing, Florida and Virginia ; nay, it extendremarks, that,“ to know that a paper ed, in a greater or less degree, over is lost, is next best to getting a sight the whole east coast of North Ameriof it, and in some instances nearly as ca, from the Gulph of Mexico, to the good.” So many rumours have been river St Lawrence, without excepting circulated, and so many misapprehen- even the bleak shores of Nova Scotia. sions prevailed, respecting the contents The vicinity of the sea, by yielding and the fate of the manu

nuscripts former- subsistence with ease and abundance, ly deposited in the Scotch College at thus at once increasing numbers and Paris, that it is hoped the above ac- diminishing the necessity of labour, count, the result of the Historian's re- accelerates the arrival of this state of searches, will not be deemed out of its things. In Nootka Sound, on the place in a Preface to a History of the north-west coast, we find several nutimes to which those manuscripts related. merous tribes living in a state of com

plete subjection. Most of the fertile

and beautiful islands of the south sea; On certain Forms of Despotism which the Society, the Marquesas, the Sand

prevail in the Savage State. wich, the Friendly, and the Pelew IsFrom Murray's Enquiries Historical and lands, exist under this form of governMoral"

ment. To them, may be added, the RITERS on this subject have most fruitful and populous part of New not failed to observe, that man, Zealand.


and can

In ancient history, too, we discover him as the object of supreme veneranot glimpses merely, but distinct tra- tion. Hence the obedience, the blind ces of this form of society. The most submission paid to him, are absolutely populous and civilized of the Scythian without a parallel. tribes, particularly the Massagetes; We may observe, moreover, that the Scandinavians, the Britons, evie the despotism thus established is coludently exhibit all its leading charac- pletely the despotism of opinion. In teristics.

the great states afterwards formed, a. Man in a rude stete, as we have re- small body of men armed and collectpeatedly observed, is liable, in every ed round the person of the sovereign, passion, to run into extremes. Of this may keep in awe extensive provinces, We have already seen instances in those incapable of acting in concert, ignoof pride and resentment; and the case rant of each others sentiments, and deis the same with that of admiration. prived of the means of communicaThe untutored mind, when confined tion. But here all the subjects are above all to a narrow round of ob- collected within a small compass; they jects, is, in all cases, liable to be affec- are equally armed *, assemble ted, in an unlimited degree, by this on all occasions with the utmost facisentiment. Any being, then, who pos- lity. The savage chief, however, withsesses a striking superiority over others, out palace, without guards, and withespecially if that superiority be benefi- ont attendants, sleeps safer, resting on cently exerted, becomes, as it were, its the assured fidelity of his subjects, idol, and is worshipped with a reve- than the eastern monarch, surrounded rence which knows no bounds. This by myriads of satellites, in the most propensity, indeed, with the devotion- secret recesses of his haram. The hisal character which it assumes, may, torian of Louisiana observes, that aperhaps, be considered as a secret ten. mong all the monarchs he knew of, dency of the soul towards that Being that of the Natches alone was absowho is alone worthy of this unbound- lutely secure from all danger of rebeled affection.

lion. The Chiefs of the South Sea We daily see the veneration with islands were thus seen by our navigawhich such persons, above all, when tors, without any external marks of placed in rural and sequestered situa- royalty, going about unattended and tions, regard men superior in rank, by unguarded, often paddling their own whom they are treated with kindness. canoes ; and were distinguishable only Now, in the societies we are now con- by the awful prostrations, and signs of sidering, the chief, who has once risen profound homage, with which their to distinction by personal qualities, or presence was hailed. Advantage was the supposed favour of the divinity,

fre. becomes the grand object on which the eyes of all are constantly fixed.

* To this observation, I have met There is not, as in a more cultivated

only with two exceptions ; one of the society, any variety of objects to di- Suiones in Scandinavia ; and the other, versify the passions, or prevent them of a savage nation in South America.--from all centering in this single point. In both these cases, the arms were all Nor is the authority of the sovereign, kept in a place by themselves, under as in the most absolute of subsequent the royal custody. Yet this is so diferformas of government, checked by any ent from the general practice, that I restraint of law, of custom, of public

should suspect it to be rather a mere are

rangement of convenience, than a sympopinion ; for these are not yet form- tom of jealous precaution. (Charlevoix, ed; nor is there any sentiment capa. Paraguay, I. 71. Tacitus, de Moribus ble of rivalling that, which represents Germanorum, 44.)

frequently taken of this circumstance, were set aside to be his attendants duon occasion of the thefts which were ring life, and his followers in death. habitually committed by those island- To their number were added a few, ers. The chief was seized and carried who, by long and earnest solicitation, on shipboard, upon which the stolen had succeeded in having their names article was instantly restored. This placed upon this list. All the wives mode of procedure, however, demand of the sovereign also accompanied him ed peculiar delicacy, and it was an to the tomb, with the exception of unsuccessful attempt to practice it, such as had infants at the breast; and which proved fatal to Captain Cooke. they have been known to give their The whole narrative of that unfortu- children to another, and even to deniate event, affords a striking illustra- stroy them, rather than forfeit this prition of the strength of this passion vilege. On the appointed day, all among these savages. The anxiety these persons assembled to grace the and alarm which appear whenever obsequies of their chief: and while danger seems to threaten their king; every other countenance was overspread the eager enquiries whether any inju- with mourning, theirs was chearful ry be intended him : and above all, and serene. They walked forth, dreson the fall of one of their chiefs, the sed in their gayest attire, and met intrepidity with which they faced their fate, dancing and singing, with those arms, which before had struck inconceivable joy and exultation*. them with such terror ; after standing This custom prevailed very extenwhose fire, they rushed forward and sively, not only in Americat, but in massacred all who could not effect other parts of the world. Ancient their escape ; all this indicates a spon- Scythia, almost in every thing the taneous zeal and fidelity, which could counterpart of America, possessed also not be the result of fear or compul. this trait of resemblance. It contision.

nued to be practised even by the MexiBesides that obedience and submis. cans and Peruvians. Among the forsion which is common to them with mer, every nobleman (chief or lord the subjects of all absolute govern- of some town) had at death a priest ments, other niodes of homage are and several of his slaves baried with practised, peculiar to themselves, and him. At the death of the sovereign, eminently characteristic of their ha- two hundred persons were sacrificed Is bits of thinking. Among the most re- As the reverence for their princeš gramarkable of these, is the celebration dually declines, this sacrifice may be of their prince's obsequies by human supposed to become less and less vosacrifices. This too, in its original at luntary, till at length compulsion be least, is completely spontaneous, and comes necessary s. When this is the is considered as a privilege of the first case, the custom may be supposed aporder. For this they chearfully sacri- prouching to its final abolition. fice their own lives, and the lives of Among other tribes, life is sacrificed those who are dearest to them. They even on slighter occasions. In the consider, as their first happiness, that

Caof dying along with their sovereign, and being laid in the same grave. Of all others, the most noted for

Charlevoix, VI. Lettres edifiantes, this strange and savage custom, seem

VIII. 13, 14. Pratz, Hist. of Louisi. to have been the nation of the Nat- ana, 354-7.

+ Ramusio, III. 53. ches. Among them, a certain num

| Purchas, V. 877-8. ber of persons, who had been born

Ś Astley's Collection of Voyages and about the same time with their prince, Travels, 11. 537.

Canaries, when a lord came of age, or on enquiring the reason, learned that married, several of his people precipi- it was in honour of a certain great tated themselves from a high rock, in man who had recently arrived there. celebration of those happy events * The same navigator having invited the Every reader must have heard of the king of the Friendly Islands into his Schiek, or Old Man of the Mountain, cabin, the monarch's attendants inso fainous in the time of the Crusades. stantly took the alarm, and remonstraIt was upon this devotion of his people, ted against a measure which would enupon the alacrity with which, at his able any one to walk above his macommand, they faced inevitable de- jesty * struction, that he founded the system Among the ancient Ethiopians, if of assassination which rendered him so the sovereign lost a leg or an arm, all formidable. It is related, that one his courtiers thought it incumbent on day, standing with an European an- them to mutilate themselves in like bassador on the brink of a precipice, manner t. he, with the mere view of displaying We have now seen this authority his absolute power, called to him a boy, of the savage chieftain under two aswho, at his command, instantly threw pects; while forming, and after arrihimself down, and was dashed to ving at its full maturity. But there pieces.

is a third aspect under which it must It was customary with the Floridans be viewed, before we can understand to make their first-born a sacrifice to completely the phenomena which it their king; and in the presence of an exhibits ; this is that of its decay. assembled multitude, the inhuman ce- Power, and, above all, despotic power, remony was performed, amid shouts after subsisting for a certain period, and savage rejoicingst. Among the inevitably sinks into a state of debili. Ansicans, with whom human flesh is ty. Such seems to be the provision considered as the most delicious food, made by nature against its permanence, the nobles are said often to present which would keep the human mind in themselves and families, for the pur- a state of perpetual childhood; and for pose of being served up as a dish at furnishing to a people, at certain inthe table of their master f.

tervals, the opportunity of acquiring Among other nations, we find cus- such a measure of liberty, as circumtoms less fatal indeed, but no less ex- stances may render them capable of. pressive of unbounded veneration. In The sources of this debility are not Otaheite, on the death of the sove- difficult to trace. The chiefs, finding reign, the whole people take new

themselves in the undisputed possession names; as if, by this mighty change, of this high authority, no longer feel they had all been converted into dif- the same impulse to exertion. It is ferent beings. When he has entered no longer necessary for them to disany house, it is from that time sacred play those qualities, or that attention to him; no other person must set foot to the interest of their people, which within it. Captain Cook having land- first raised them to distinction. They ed at a village in the Sandwich Islands, abandon themselves to indolence and found all the inhabitants lying pros voluptuousness. Poulaho, king of the trate at the doors of their houses: and Friendly Islands, had got so fat with

indolence and eating, that he was * Astley's Collection of Voyages and scarcely able to drag himself along t.

The Travels, II. 535. † De Bry, America, II. 33. Purchas, * Cooke's Third Voyage, I. 265.

+ Diodorus Siculus. De Bry, India Orientalis, III. 12. Cooke's Third Voyage, I. 264, &c.

V. 848.

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