Imatges de pàgina
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vinced that I must indulge my reverie no further. I now returned to our Ajouppa, and lying down near the savages, soon sunk into profound sleep.

On awaking in the morning, I found my companions ready for departure. My guide had saddled our horses ; the warriors were armed; and the women busy in collecting their baggage; which consited of skins, maize, and smoked bear. I arose, and taking from my portmanteau some powder and ball, and a box made of red wood, distributed these among iny associates of the night, who appeared to be pleased with my generosity. We then separated not without signs of mutual regard and regret, each touching his forehead and breast, according to the custom of these children of nature, which appeared to me very superior to the ceremonies practised by

Even to the young Indian, who cordially took the hand which I offered, we all parted with hearts full of each other. Our friends pursued their way to the North, being directed by the mosses, and we to the West under the guidance of my compass. The warriors departed first, the women followed, carrying the baggage and infants on their backs, suspended in furs. The

us.

little creatures looked back at us and smiled. My eyes

for a long time followed this affecting and maternal spectacle, till at length the group entirely disappeared among the thickets.

Benevolent savages, who so hospitably entertained me, and whom I doubtless shall never again behold, let me be bere permitted to pay the tribute of my gratitude. May you long enjoy your precious independence in those delightful solitudes, where my wishes for your happiness will ever follow you. What corner, my friends, of

your immense deserts, do you at present inhabit Are

Are you still together, and always happy ? Do you sometimes talk about the stranger of the forest ? Do you picture to yourselves the kind of country which he inha: bits? Do you atter wishes for his happiness, while you recline upon

the banks of your solitary rivers ? Generous family! His lot is much changed since the night he passed with you ; but it is at least a consolation to him, while per • secuted by his countrymen beyond the seas, that his name is, in some unknown wilderness at the other extremity of the world, still pronounced with tender recollection by the poor

Indians.

ANECDOTE

Of a Frenchman, who dwelt among the Savages.

PHILIP DE Coce, who was born in a little village of Pitou, went to Canada in his infancy, served there as a soldier, at the age of twenty years, during the war of 1754, and after the battle of Quebec retired to the country of the Five Nations, where, having married an Indian, woman, he renounced the customs of his native land to adopt the manners of the savages. When I was travelling through the wilds of America, I was not a little surprised to hear that I had a countryman established as a resident, at some distance in the woods. I visited him with eagerness, and found him employed in pointing some stakes at the door of his hut. He cast a look towards me, which was cold enough, and continued his work ; but the moment I ad. dressed him in French, he started at the recollection of his country, and the big tear stood in his

P

VOL. I.

I saw

eye.

These well-known accents suddenly roused, in the heart of the old man, all the sensations of his infancy. In youth we little regret the pleasures of our first years; but the further we advance into life the. more interesting to us becomes the recollection of them; for then

every one of our days supplies a sad subject for com. parison. Philip intreated me to enter his dwell. ing, and I followed him. He had considerable difficulty in expressing what he meant. him labour to regain the ancient ideas of civilized man, and I watched him most closely. For instance, I had an opportunity of observing that there were two kinds of relative things absolutely effaced from his mind, viz. that of any superfluity being proper, and that of annoying others without an absolute necessity for it. I did not chuse to put my grand question, till after some hours of conversation had restored to him a sufficiency of words and ideas. At last I said to him: "Philip, are you happy?" He knew not at first how to reply.-" Happy,” said he, reflecting “happy! Yes; but happy only since I became a savage.--" And how do you pass

your life?” asked I.--He laughed.-" I understand you,” continued I. You think such a question unworthy of an answer. But should you not like to resume your former mode of living, and return to your country? "_" My country! France ! If I were not 90 old, - I should like to see it again.” --" And you would not remain there?” added I.-The motion of Philip's head answered my question sufficiently. “ But what induced you,” continued I, “to become what you call a savage ? "_“I don't know," said he--"instinct." This expression put an end to my doubts and questions. I remained two days with Philip, in order to observe him, and never saw him swerve for a single moment from the assertion he had made. His soul, free from the conflict of social passions, appeared to me, in the language of the savages with whom he dwelt, calm as the field of battle after the war, riors had smoked together the calumet of peace.

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