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many buffaloes in this country, which his nation wished to be permitted to hunt a while longer; and after he was dead, and the buffalo extinguished, his nation might plant corn, and raise animals like the whites. He gave thanks for their new clothes, professed friendship for the whites, and hoped soon to return to his own country.
The next orator, in a different language, began by shewing his hands, and stating that they were cleanunstained with blood; that he had, from a boy, been a friend to the whites, and had been, on that account, an object of suspicion among his own tribe. He said he had seen our towns and our churches, and that we worshipped the great spirit one way, and they worshipped him another. He, like the first speaker, deprecated the habits of civilization so long as buffalo were abundant in their country.
One speaker began by saying that he had been very wicked in his life; he had been like a mad dog; he had killed men belonging to all three tribes, pointing to the rest; but, since he had known his father, (major O'Fallon,) he had been at peace. For the last three years, he had been as if his arms were broke-he had not struck a blow.
An ardent attachment to their country, as well as their habits of life, were frequently manifested. They said to their great father," you have a fine country, great towns, large houses to live in, fine clothes to wear; but we love our country as much as you love yours. You love to work--we don't want to work as long as we can kill buffalo and steal horses. Our villages are small-we won't lie and say they are as large as yours -but our men are as brave. Such as you see us, such are the men we have left behind us."
Two of them spoke with great humility of the red people, compared with the whites, whom they distinctly admitted, that the great spirit had made their superiours. They all expressed the pleasure they derived, from their new clothes, and one said, he felt in his new dress like an animal that had shed his own hair and come out sleek in the spring.
Though they in general have a composedness and selfposession which is unknown to civilized men, it was clear that the first speaker was not quite at his ease. Each succeeding orator, however, seemed to feel less of embarrassment or rather reserve, until the fourth was as loud as you ever heard lawyer at a country
After the chiefs and half chiefs had spoken, each of their followers also made a short speech. One of these, a young man, about 25 years of age, upwards of six feet high, with a remarkably handsome face, shewed a hesitation at first, that produced a general smile from the more experienced orators. He was fluent enough, however, after he had begun. He said that his father had died when he was very young, and that he had grown up like the grass which again shoots forth, after it seems to have been killed by the frost. He was not yet a great man-he was a mere boy-he was not equal to his chief, but he endeavoured to keep close behind him (putting one fore-finger behind the other.) He hoped one day to be a leader in his tribe. This youth had been mentioned by his chief, in warm terms of commendation and friendship, and an epaulette indirectly solicited for him.
When our lordly sex had finished their speeches, which they seemed as fond of making as are the members of some other great councils, the squaw, a comely young woman of eighteen, urged by some of them, apparently in sport, approached the president, and hanging her head on one side, with a pleasing smile, and yet more pleasing timidity, said that her great father had given the red men new clothes like white men, and they looked very well in them; that those who had no silver medals, would look still better if they had them, and that she too would like to be dressed as a white woman, if her great father would give her a new dress. I suspected the first part of her speech was suggested by others, and the last was as natural as her blushes and smiles. You see that the love of finery is not created by civilization; it merely becomes more chaste and discriminating.
Before the presents were delivered, the chief of the great Pawnees decorated himself in a singular head dress of turkey feathers, so stuck in the ridge of a long slip of wampum as to form a crown round his brows, and a large oval down his back, which it almost completely covered. An elderly chief, of the Missouri tribe, who proved to be the husband of the squaw, followed his example, and substituted his native head dress for that which had been given him. This consisted of a profusion of horse-hair, stained, of a bright scarlet, and surmounted (risum teneatis ?) with two polished taper horns, as long as those of an ox. There was, however, I assure you, nothing in the looks or demeanour of his spouse to justify the wicked ideas which this illomened ornament suggested.
After the conference was at an end, they partook of wine, cake and other refreshments, of which they were no wise sparing; and then, lighting their pipes, offered them to the president, chief justice, and others, to take a whiff, in token of peace and amity.
It is impossible to see these people, and believe, as I do, that they are destined, in no very long lapse of time, to disappear from the face of the earth, without feeling for them great interest. With some vices and much grossness, they possess many fine traits of character; and we never can forget that they were the native lords of that soil, which they are gradually yielding to their invaders. Yes, I firmly believe that all our liberal and humane attempts to civilize them will prove hopeless and unavailing. Whether it is that they acquire our bad habits before our good ones, or that their course of life has, by its long continuance, so modified the nature of their race that it cannot thrive under the restraints of civilization, I know not; but it is certain, that all the tribes which have remained among us, have gradually dwindled to insignificance or become entirely extinct. You know that every experiment to rear the young wild duck has failed, and that they die as certainly by your kindness, as your neglect. It may be so with them. Considering the race to be thus transient, I have often wished that more pains were bestowed, and by more
competent persons, in recording what is most remarkable and peculiar among them, now that these peculiarities are fresh and unchanged by their connection with And I am sorry that I have not been able to give you a more faithful picture of a scene which, I believe, above all others, is calculated to shew them to the best advantage. I am sure I have given you but a faint idea of the very lively gratification it afforded.
XII. SARAH BISHOP.
THE following lines are founded upon the history of Sarah Bishop, a hermitess, who lived 25 years in the clift of a rock, on the mountain which forms the boundary between this state, and that of New-York. She used often to visit the adjacent villages, but had little intercourse with the inhabitants. Her name, and some obscure hints of the occasion of her misfortunes, were all that could be gathered from her, respecting her earlier life. She was found dead on the mountain about fifteen years ago, standing erect, her feet somewhat pressed into the mire. The following lines are believed to convey a correct representation of her in the main; for the appearance of the grey stranger at the end of the story, however, I will not vouch.
FOR many a year the mountain hag
For she lived in a cave of the dizzy crag,
Up the beetling cliff she was seen at night,
And she came again with the morning light,
And when winter came with its shrieking blast,
Old Sarah no more was seen,
'Till the snow wreath away from the mountain passed, And the forests were waving in green.
Her face was wrinkled, but, passionless, seemed
Her long snowy locks like the winter drift,
And her house was a cave in a giddy rock,
And 'twas deeply scarred by the lightning's shock,
As alone on the cliff she musingly sate,
The fox at her fingers would snap-
The raven would sit on her snow-white pate,
And the rattlesnake coil in her lap.
And the vulture looked down with a welcoming eye
And the haughty eagle hovered so nigh,
But when winter rolled dark its sullen wave
Old Sarah, deserted, crept cold to her cave,
No fire illumined her dismal den,
For she saw in the dark with a wizzard ken,
And 'twas said that she muttered a foreign name,
And a tale of perfidy-madness-and shame,
Years-years passed away, and a stranger came
He saw her-she stood on the jutting cliff,
Yet a statue she seemed, for her limbs were stiff,
Like a desolate ruin she stood on the brink,
And her cold clay, with horror, seemed to shrink,
He approached--but the hurrying gust swept on,
And high on the crag, the wild eagle, alone,