Imagens da página
PDF
ePub

His reputation spread daily, scholars flocked to him in crowds, competition sunk before him, and in the course of a very few years, he found himself in the enjoyment of an income superior to that of any college patronage in the United States—with to him the infinitely higher gratification of having risen above the pity of the world, and fought his own blind way to honorable independence.

LESSON XXI.
Philip of Mount Hope.-Exeter News Letter.

A Few days previous to the commencement of the distressing war in 1675, which brought almost unparalleled suffering upon the people of New England, and ended in the destruction of Philip and his warlike tribe: this Chief assembled his warriors on the strong-hold at Mount Hope, under pretence of attending a feast; but undoubtedly his true object was, to consult them about the impending war, and to remind them of their allegiance,

Philip was arrayed in his royal dress, which consisted of a red blanket, confined at the waist by a broad belt, curiously wrought with wampum of divers colors in various figures of birds and flowers, from which depended two horns of glazed powder; a similar belt .enriched his head, hanging down from his back: to this were attached two flags which waved behind him: on his neck he wore another belt reach. ing to his breast, ornamented with a brilliant star.

Thus equipped, he proceeded to the field entirely surrounded by the thick forest, where, seating himself, he waited with characteristic patience, the arrival of his expected guests. He soon saw Anawon approaching alone, and, knowing his decisive aversion to the project of war, felt rather inclined not to discuss the affair with him, unless in the presence of others. However, there being no alternative, Philip cordially extended him his hand, saying,

My brother is come to sup with me.' 'Anawon is come,' said the chief, gravely seating himself near the king.

Notwithstanding the well known taciturnity of the Indians, Philip's haughty spirit was offended at the manner (f his favorite, and said, . I believe Anawon has fled from Hobbomoc

Thus provoked, in his turn, Anawon's Indian notions of dignity allowed him not to betray his real feelings, and he calmly replied - 'Anawon is not a coward. He never fled from friend or foe. He led the Wampanoags against the enemies of Woosamequin: Philip made him his captain.'

• My brother Anawon is a great warrior. He has been very brave in battle. He is the foe of the English. He will take their scalps, and burn their wigwams,' answered the cunning Philip.

But Anawon shook his head doubtfully, as he said, -'It is true. The captain of the Wampanoags is no friend to the white people. He will fight them; but they are many. The great Spirit is angry with us, and our young men will be slain.'

• If Anawon is afraid, let him go away with the children and squaws,' retorted Philip.

“He is not afraid to die in battle, but he will never be taken alive by the English.'

• Anawon speaks like himself., We shall drive the white dogs from the face of the earth,' said Philip exultingly.

Will king Philip say this, when their arrows pierce his breast? They will take away his wife and his children. They will live in the houses of his fathers."

The stern warrior wept at this picture of desolation, but his proud spirit would not retract, and he answered, “The English have slain your young men. They have sent them to the happy hunting grounds unprepared for the chase. They are in the land of my fathers. Philip has made many brave men; and they will follow their king to the battle.'

The decided tone in which this sentence was uttered, prevented further remonstrance on the part of Anawon; and, seeing a host of warriors approaching, he only said as he rose, Anawon is Philip's warrior.'

The feast was in true Indian style, the food being placed on the grass, without any of the appendages of civilized life; the revellers seated themselves promiscuously, without regard to rank or age. To this succeeded the war-dance and song. Then the wily Philip rose and harangued his guests, upon the injuries they had sustained from their white neighbors: he artfully exaggerated their treatment to Alexander, their false ally: represented, in the fairest point of view, the advantages they would derive from possessing the territory of the English, and above all, the glory they would acquire. The possibility of being vanquished he

never even hinted. His address was doubly persuasive by the appropriate gestures, with which it was accompanied, and when he said at the close, 'The voice of King Philip is for war!' War was unanimously decided upon.

The lofty spirit of Philip was true to his resolution: no misfortune could compel him to accede to terms of peace, and his hatred to the colonists ended only with his life.

LESSON XXII.

Comparison between the Turks and the Persians.-OLIVIER.

In Turkey, every thing bears the stamp of barbarism and cruelty: in Persia, every thing bespeaks a mild and civilized nation. The Turks are vain, supercilious, inhospitable: the Persians polite, complimentary and obliging.

Though at the present day equally superstitious with the Turks, the Persians are not so fanatical: in some particulars, they carry their scruples to a greater length than the former; in general, they will not eat with a person of a different religion; they will not drink out of a cup or a glass which has been used by a Christian, a Jew, or an Indian, and yet they admit any one into their mosques.

They listen with patience to all the objections you have to urge against their religion, and to whatever you may say against their prophet and their Imams; whereas the Turk would murder you, if in his hearing you were to speak irreverently of Mahomet and his laws. The Persian looks at you with pity, and prays to heaven that the truth may be revealed to you in all its lustre. He avoids the subject of religion, but continues to treat you with the same kindness and friendship as ever.

Equally brave with the Turk, more active but less patient, he is, like the other, cruel in battle and implacable towards his armed foe; but more tractable after the combat, and more sociable after peace.

Insurrections for overthrowing the sovereign or his ministers, for plundering caravans, or for laying a city or a province under contribution, are less frequent in Persia than in Turkey. The Persian, however, ranks beneath the Turk in point of morals, and perhaps also of character. If the first is better informed, more polite, more gentle, than

the second; if he less frequently disturbs the tranquillity of the state; if he does not so often threaten the lives and property of his fellow citizens; if he pays more respect to weakness in either sex; he possesses neither that pride nor that magnanimity, neither that self-esteem, that confidence in friendship, nor that devoted attachment to his benefactor, which occasionally produce great things in the Turk.

The Persians seem to be a degenerate people, whose vices have increased during the troubles of the country; whose virtues are perhaps at present but the shadow of what they once were, when the laws were in full vigor, when talents were encouraged, when integrity was honored, and when each, secure in the possession of his property, could augment it by honest exertions.

The Turks, on the other hand, are a new nation, having all the coarseness, rudeness, and ignorance, of one which civilization has not polished, and which instruction has not meliorated. Under an able government, the Persians would rebuild their cities, reestablish their commerce, and repair the injuries which their agriculture has sustained. With a vigorous, active, and intelligent government, the Turk would perhaps once more strike terror into Europe.

LESSON XXIII.

Herculaneum and Pompeii.-Kotzebue.

An inexhaustible mine of ancient curiosities exists in the ruins of Herculaneum, a city lying between Naples and Mount Vesuvius, which, in the first year of the reign of Titus,was overwhelmed by a stream of lava from the neighporing volcano.

This lava is now of a consistency which renders it extremely difficult to be removed; being composed of bituminous particles, mixed with cinders, minerals, and vitrified substances, which altogether form a close and ponderous mass.

In the revolution of many ages, the spot it stood upon was entirely forgotten: but in the year 1713 it was accidentally discovered by some laborers, who, in digging a well, struck upou a statue on the benches of the theatre.

Several curiosities were dug out and sent to France, but the search was soon discontinued; and Herculaneum remained in obscurity till the year 1736, when the king of Naples employed men to dig perpendicularly eighty feet deep; whereupon not only the city made its appearance, but also the bed of the river which ran through it.

In the temple of Jupiter were found a statue of gold, and the inscription that decorated the great doors of the entrance. Many curious appendages of opulence and luxury have since been discovered in various parts of the city, and were arranged in a wing of the palace of Naples, among which are statues, busts, and altars; domestic, musical, and surgical instruments; tripods, mirrors of polished metal, silver kettles, and a lady's toilet furnished with combs, thimbles, rings, earrings, &c.

A large quantity of manuscripts was also found among the ruins; and very sanguine hopes were entertained by the learned, that many works of the ancients would be restored to light, and that a new mine of science was on the point of being opened; but the difficulty of unrolling the burnt parchments, and of deciphering the obscure letters, has proved such an obstacle, that very little progress has been made in the work.

· The streets of Herculaneum seem to have been perfectly straight and regular; the houses well built, and generally uniform; and the rooms paved either with large Roman bricks, mosaic work, or fine marble. It appears that the town was not filled up so unexpectedly with the melted lava, as to prevent the greatest part of the inhabitants from escaping with their richest effects; for there were not more than a dozen skeletons found, and but little gold or precious stones.

The town of Pompeii was involved in the same dreadful catastrophe; but was not discovered till near forty years after the discovery of Herculaneum. Few skeletons were found in the streets of Pompeii; but in the houses there were many, in situations which plainly proved, that they were endeavoring to escape, when the tremendous torrent of burn. ing lava intercepted their retreat.

« AnteriorContinuar »