« ZurückWeiter »
from the native arts, by the great disproportion of ments of which he has given figures. At a future the refinements in the former to the general period many aboriginal curiosities will, probably, average of the country.
be discovered by the European colonists, in tilling “ When we examine barbarous nations, we no the ground: Mr. Polack found several pieces of longer find the uniformity which is so evident in obsidian, or volcanic glass, while turning up a civilized countries; however low their condition garden on his estate in the Bay of Islands, which may be, they usually possess one or two processes doubtless were originally brought from the southso far surpassing the intellectual condition of the ward by the natives, for the purpose of making people, that we can with difficulty believe them to chisels and other implements from the sharp angube of native invention. The boomerang of the lar points of the chrystallized substance. The New Hollanders, for instance, is a weapon far sur- manufacture of such instruments from obsidian in passing Australian ingenuity; the peculiarities of that part of the island appears to have ceased at a its shape, and mode of use, are such as necessarily very remote period, in consequence of the incesto involve a long series of projectile experiments, sant wars between the tribes. ' before it could have been brought to perfection ; “ It is impossible to look at the specimens we but the Australians, as we now find them, are possess of the tattooing of the New Zealanders, utterly destitute of the contrivance, the observa- and the ornamental carvings on their boats and tion, and the patience, which such experiments door-posts, without feeling convinced that the would require. It was for some time believed figures must have had some symbolic signification, that this weapon was peculiar to the islands of the sense of which is lost. It is generally known the Southern seas, and consequently, that it must that the pattern for tattooing is not capricious, have been a native invention ; but on examina- but that it has direct reference to the tribe and tion of the pictured representations on the Egyptian rank of the individual. •Tribes,' says Mr. Pomonuments, we find that a weapon similar to the lack, "are known by such distinctive marks, and boomerang was employed by those who hunted many chiefs, whose countenances have never been water-birds on the Nile ; and allusions to a seen by a distant tribe, are known simply by the missile of the same kind occur in the earlier distinguishing mark which has been peculiarly enGreek poets.
graved on their countenances. We had several - The advance in the arts among barbarians is opportunities of testing this fact, from having usually found in weapons of war, or instruments taken some likenesses of the chiefs residing at the of music. The contrast is very striking between north, and on shewing them to some families resithe elaborate workmanship of a New Zealand | dent at a distance upwards of four hundred miles, spear, and the clumsy appearance of one of their they were immediately distinguished and named, fish hooks; the wooden club or sword is a formi- though no connexion existed between these perdable weapon in the South seas: but the sub- sons, nor had they even at any period seen each stitute for the spade is the most miserable ineffi- other. Yet to Europeans, unobservant of national cient implement that can well be imagined. But characteristics, and to new comers in the country, among the New Zealanders, proofs have been the marks of the moko appear as if performed by recently discovered of a greater advance in the the same person from the same pattern, but the mechanical arts having existed at an unknown contrary is the fact, an exceedingly marked differage, than they were found to possess when first ence exists.' In another place he says, 'tattooing their country was visited by Europeans.
is the sign-manual and crest of a native chief. In “From time immemorial, the New Zealanders title-deeds of land purchases, or receipts, of any have been in the habit of burying with their dead description, the moko, or fac-similes, on the face the favourite axes, and implements of stone, that of a chief, are correctly represented by him on were highly prized by their chiefs, while in this paper. The initials, or crest on the seal, attached state of existence. Some years ago, the removal to the watch, or ring, of a Eurepean, is accounted of one of these articles would have been deemed by a native as the moko of its owner.” an act of impious sacrilege; but this feeling is fast disappearing, and the priests, who alone know But the portion of this extremely diversiwhere these sacred cemetries situated, fied work that we confess struck us with generally die, keeping the secret.
But in 1835, most interest, is that having direct or inferMr. Polack* informs us, “an influential priest was bribed to dispose of an ancient adze, called toki ential reference to the traces of lost civilipu tangata by the people: it was extremely an
zation. cient, and had been buried in sandy soil for many years; the place of its interment was only known
“The infectious disorders which, in moments to the priest, who had noted the spot by the of profound peace, we have unfortunately introbranching of a particular tree called Rátá.' We duced, have proved infinitely more destructive and afterwards discovered that had the circumstance merciless than our engines of war. By the smallbeen known of the priest having sold it, probably pox alone it has been computed that half the the infuriate sticklers for sanctity would have sa- Indian population of North America has been crificed the seller to their resentment. The adze swept away. There is something particularly was formed of a blue granite, inserted in a handle affecting in the idea of the inhabitants, even of a of the rátá, or red pine wood, carved agreeably to wigwam, being suddenly attacked by something native taste. The instrument, from disuse, is from the Old World, which, almost on the selfscarcely to be met with in the country.' An en.
same day, has rendered them all incapable of prograving of the adze is given in Mr. Polack's very viding for each other or even for themselves; and interesting work; and both in beauty of execu
it is dreadful to consider in how many instances, tion, and adaptation to its purpose, it is obviously by the simultaneous death of the adults, the young superior to any of the other mechanical imple and helpless must have been left in the lone wilder.
ness to starve!' * Manpers of New Zealanders, i. 70.
""Not only whole families,' continues the Re
viewer, “but whole tribes, have been almost extin- | naturally drive some of them to attempt tillage ; guished by this single disease, which is supposed but instead of making the attempt to teach the to have proved fatal to at least seven millions of Indians a new means of obtaining subsistence, the Indians. The Pawnee nation have been reduced Americans adopt the easy expedient of driving by it from 25,000 to 10,000. When Mr. Catlin them beyond the frontiers, to enjoy temporary lately visited the Mandan tribe, it consisted of rest, until a new race of backwoodsmen shoulder 2000 people, particularly distinguished by their their axes and go ahead' into this new territory." handsome appearance, and by their high character "Lexical conformity, that is, agreement between for courage and probity. They received him with words, does not exist; but an examination of the affectionate kindness, and not only admitted him structure pervading all the American languages, to all their most secret mysteries, but installed him has established beyond all doubt, that they all amongthe learned of their tribe, and afforddeil him form one individual family, closely knitted together every possible assistance. He had scarcely left them, in all its parts by the most essential of ties, gramwhen two of the fur traders unintentionally in- matical analogy. “This analogy,' says Dr. Wisefected them with the small-pox, which caused the man, “is not of a vague, indefinite kind, but comdeath of the whole tribe! Not an individual has plex in the extreme, and affecting the most necessurvived ; and had not Mr. Catlin felt deep and sary and elementary parts of grammar; for it honourable interest in their fate, it is more than consists chiefly in the peculiar methods of modi. probable it never would have reached the coast of fying conjugationally the meanings and relations the Atlantic, or been recorded in history. And of verbs by the insertion of syllables; and this thus, by a single calamity, has been swept away form lecl the late W. von Humboldt to give the a whole nation, respecting whom it was proverbial American languages a family name, as forming among the traders, that never had the Mandans their conjugations by what he termed agglutibeen known to kill a white man!'
nation.' But disease, however infectious, has not been “Nor is this analogy partial; it extends over so destructive in its influence as the introduction both the great divisions of the New World, and of ardent spirits, which has been sanctioned and gives a family air to languages spoken under the encouraged by the American government, and torrid and arctic zones by the wildest and more defended by some public writers who affect to be civilized tribes. * This wonderful uniformity,' greatly shocked at the British smuggling of opium ' says Malte Brun, in the peculiar manner of into China. From the moment that the Indian forming the conjugations of verbs from one extastes “the infernal fire-water," he is a ruined man. tremity of America to the other, favours in a sinEven in our own country, with all the moral gular manner, the supposition of a primitive restraints resulting from a high state of civiliza: people, which formed the common stock of the tion, a habitual drunkard is universally deemed American indigenous nations. The languages of irreclaimable. But the uneducated savage, who the New World, therefore, when carefully exhas never been trained to check any impulse or amined, instead of proving diversity of origin, control any passion, yields to the temptation at exhibit on the contrary divergence from a comonce; his strength decays, his health declines, his
mon centre of civilization. intelleet suffers, his moral powers are overthrown
“ There was, no doubt, a marked difference - and the being, thus degraded, is brought before between the religious systems of the Mexicans and us, and we are gravely asked, does such a crea
Peruvians : that of the former was gloomy, santure possess capacities for civilization ? Could guinary, and based upon fear; that of the latter men of this race have devised and erected struc
was cheerful, mild, and founded upon love. But tures which we, with all the means and appliances this marked dissiinilitude by no means proves that of modern art, can scarcely surpass ?
the two systems may not have been derived from “Before we answer such a question-before we
the same root. There is just the same difference affirm that capacity for improvement is denied to between the two great sects of India; the worany race of created men, we demand that the shippers of Vishnu the Preserver, and of Siva aborigines should be presenteil to us such as they the Destroyer. Bothu religions were elementary ; were found by William Penn and his associates, that is, they were based on the worship of some not such as they have been made by the six or eight hundrei traders scattered over the prairies; sical objects, as the sun, the moon, the earth, etc.;
object, power, or principle of nature; either phymany, or rather most of whom have fed as out
or abstractions, as the creating, preserving, and laws from the world for the most horrible erimes, destroying; or, what seems to have been most and who are daily employed in deluging the poor usual, the object anıl the principle may have been Indians with whiskey, in order to obtain their combined, and the plıysical phenomena worshipped peltries for an indadequate consideration. An ex, mainly, or only, as the expressions of a creating tensive and well-devised system has been framed
or destroying power. From this common starting for the demoralization, the degradation, and the point, it is very possible to derive the most oppo. final extermination of the aborigines of North site creeds, according to the prevalence of gratiAmerica, and those who are ruthlessly carrying tude or fear in the minds of those by whom the on the operation, tell us that because a race has first elements are wrought into a system. And the declined it can never be improved. But the very systein of sacrifice adopted by a nation will at fact of the Indians having become degraded is a
once shew which principle has prevailed in the clear proof that their intellect is not stationary: developement of its religion, for sacrifices may be The fact that they have received corruption, is either offerings to testify love, or bribes to avert evidence that they are susceptible of ameliora- danger. Wherever there is an organized priesttion. We have already shewn that it is far more hood, and especially where there is a sacerdotal difficult to civilize hunting than agricultural tribes; caste, we find the more gloomy creed and the cruel but we not did say that the case of the hunters was ritual prevalent; but where circumstances have utterly hopeless. As enclosed and cultivated weakened the sacerdotal power, a tendency to a land extends, the sheer pressure of want would
more cheerful faith and milder observances
becomes manifest. The religion of colonies where the empire of the Incas was not established, generally exhibits this improvement on the creed human sacrifices were as common as in Mexico. and worship of the parent state. The Carthagi- “ When we comppre two systems of religion, nians brought the worship of Moloch with them which were originally derived from the same elefrom Palestine, but they never indulged in such ments, but which became wholly different in the sanguinary rites as were used by their ancestors course of their respective developements,—such in Canaan. It was among the Grecian colonies for instance as the creeds of the Pelasgi and the of Asia Minor, that the Hellenic religion assumed Hellenes, of the Brahmins and the Bhuddhists, the poetic form in which it is presented to us by and most probably of the Mexicans and PeruHomer, for in the dramatic poets, and particularly vians,-we shall find that the system which most in Æschylus, we find traces of a darker creed, closely assimilated the deities to human form was which favoured human sacrifices. In the countries the most favourable to purity of morals and adjacent to Hindústan, which indubitably derived developement of intellectual power. In Asia, their religion along with the first elements of where the human form was attributed to the gods, civilization from India, it is not Brahminism which it was but a secondary affair ; the indispensable prevails, but Buddhism, a mixed political and phi- means of presenting them to the senses, and nothing losophical reform of the ancient Hindú faith.
Hence the greater part of the Asiatic na. * The difference between the religious systems tions never hesitated to depart from the human of Mexico and Peru is not, in fact, greater than form, or to disfigure it, in order to strengthen the that between those of India and Ceylon, or Brah- symbolical representation. The Hindu makes no minism and Buddhism. It is a singular coinci- scruple of giving his gods twenty arms; the Phry. dence that the Peruvians had one Buddhistic gian Diana had as many breasts; the Egyptians notion prominent in their creed, the successive in gave their deities the heads of birds and beasts. carnations of Deity in the persons of their rulers; All these disfigurations have a common origin ; there is a perfect similarity between the attributes the human form was but a subordinate object, of the Incas of Peru and the Lamas of Tibet. the chief aim was a more distinct designation of It deserves to be added, that in the provinces the symbol.”
Where is gone the radiant lightness,
Boyhood o'er our young day throws ?
That with childhood's being grows?
Like a lute whose tones are dead;
Where have boyhood's feelings fled ?
What though deep we drain the wine-cup
What though smiles our lips may crown;
They'll not our remembrance drown.
It conceals a sickening brain ;
Boyhood's feeling back again!
Often when the look is proudest,
It but hides a sinking heart;
It may be the actor's part.
Seeming in mirth's steps to tread,
Ghosts of boyhood's feeling fied !
At length the wished-for day arrived, and I of all. In my early days of service with the received my discharge from the Legion. A British Legion, I recollected him, though vessel was to sail from Santandre on the evidently shaken in health, and with the third day for London, and having made all gloom of some unforgotten sorrow graven on my arrangements to set out next morning his face; yet, an active and most efficient for that port, in order to be ready for em- officer. But a few months in the service of barkation, I sallied out towards evening to Queen Christina had made a woful change in take a last survey of the position of the con- his appearance. He had advanced to middle tending armies, and to bid farewell to my age, and had held a commission in the Britless fortunate companions.
ish army; but he had been long retired from 1 advanced a litūle way in front of our po- the service, and had lived for several years sition, and being wearied by my necessary in a comfortable and contented home, whence preparations during the day, weakened as í he had been driven, I could learn, by unexwas by want of sufficient nourishment, and pected and undeserved misfortune. Many the hardships which all of us had undergone, an actor in scenes of youthful folly and unI sat down at the foot of a tree to rest my- deserved afflictions, were assembled in that self and look about me. I had been so long collection of thoughtless boys and disapseated that the shades of night were closing pointed men,-those for whom life was still over the scene ; and though my eyes had at untried, and those who had found its young first been fixed on the opposing lines of Don hopes deceitful. His habits of retirement, Carlos, I must confess that my every and his advancing years, had rendered thought, nay, even my very consciousness Hayden unfit for such a campaign as we of being, had wandered away many many had encountered; and if I, in the vigour of miles to my home and my friends, whom 1 youth, and with a strong constitution, was hoped so soon to revisit. "I sat so long that forced to admit that my spirit was broken at last it became necessary to think of retir- and my strength exhausted, it is easy to ing, when my former captain approached the conceive what must have been the sufferings spot, and leaned against the tree beside me. of Hayden. Under these circuumstances,
Sayers,” said he, “I am worn out ut. I should have been willing enough to terly. Another week of this kind of life will oblige himn in this instance, but I dreaded end
my troubles. The flesh is worn from some entanglement which might delay my my bones by sickness, hardships, and priva- so much wished for departure-therefore I tions, and I am required to go on an ad. answered. “What have I to do with priekets vanced picket to night, whilst my limbs are or duties now; you know I have got my disscarcely able to support me. I observed you charge, and am about to set out for hoine sitting here, and with difficulty dragged my- to-morrow.” self so far. I did not wish to interrupt you “Ah, I know that,” said he," and a forbefore, for I too have known the luxury of tunate fellow you are, to be able to quit this such anticipations as you now enjoy ; the land, and happier still to have a home to go truest, the best, perhaps the only joys, which to," and he sighed deeply—"nevertheless,” many men are fated to enjoy, but”-he he continued, “ you might do me this one ceased abruptly, and a sigh, such as comes service to night, the last probably which man but once from the breast of man, explained shall do me, unless I may be lucky enough the rest too truly. With an altered tone to find some one, to rake a little of this he continued, “could you take this night's Spanish earth over my bones.” duty for me, for I am utterly unable ?" I was deeply affected by the tone of ulter
Hayden was one of those men, who, with desolation in which these words were scarce an obvious effort of their own, steal spoken, and, whatever might be the result, into the affections of all who, in the turmoil I could hold out no longer. of life, still preserve some traces of our ear- Well," I said, “ if you get the direclier and better nature. Kind, generous, mild, tions from the orderly-room to that effect, and brave, he was the unpretending friend I have no objection to do so much for you,
It was a
under a clear understanding, however, that | been used to little better at home, and saw no I act as your substitute only.” As I arose great changes for the worse in those circumfrom my seat to accompany him to the stances, which had put our better nurtured rear, Hayden grasped ine by the hand, and English almost hors de combat. With the I could see the tears gush froin his eyes, as aid of these, some bushes were collected, he gazed into my face. He spoke not a and a fire made on the ground floor; I word, and I felt in my soul, that a noble stretched myself down beside it, to wear away heart was breaking. Supporting his totter- the time with reflection. ing steps, we proceeded to the rear. The The first two hours passed without any necessary order was got; and having con- alarm; and having roused up my Irish friends, veyed Hayden to his comfortless hut, and who were stretched beside the fire, I proceeded laid him on his bed of damp straw, I pro- to relieve the sentinels outside. ceeded to unpack my sword, which, after clear star-lit night, through which objects events will show, was never destined to orna- could be seen, though indistinctly, at some ment that hook over my aunt's mantlepiece, distance. Every thing seemed quiet in the for which I intended it; and rolling myself camp of the enemy, and having gone my in my watch-coat, with the twenty men who rounds and discovered nothing to excile attenwere appointed for the duty, I proceeded to tion I returned again to my quarters. The our picket station.
relieved men, fortunately for theinselves, overThe position in which I now found myself come as they were with watching and fatigue, was our most advanced post, and right in did not care to ascend to their comrades above, front of the enemy's centre. It was a small but flung themselves on the floor, and were cottage, standing by itself, with only a few immediately one and all sound asleep. I bushes and the remains of a garden hedge lay down beside them to continue my.
melanbehind it, the front being quite exposed, and choly ruminations; and, truly, no one ever alınost in line with a sinall battery of the did “ chew the cud” of reflection more bitenemy. It was clear to me that this was a terly than I did then. I thought of the day position which I could not long hold, if the when I was about to make application for a Carlist leader had any wish to dislodge me; commission, at the Spanish office in the West and our leaders seemed to be pretty much of Strand. How, with a friend who had likethe same opinion, as they had erected an wise the same object in view, and the same earthen breastwork, with a shallow trench be- anxious hopes as myself, I walked for inore fore it, about a hundred yards behind the than an hour up and down the southern Arhouse, which should serve as a place of re- cade, awaiting the opening of those doors treat in case of attack, and a rallying point within which were soon to be determined the from which to check the advance of the fates of so inany anxious expectants. How enemy. However, I had nothing for it but we did talk of what was to come; and what to make the best of circumstances, such as visions of future joy passed before us;they were. So, having planted the sentries, honours and wealth, the well-earned rewards I proceeded to make myself as comfortable as of merit and success. And when those doors I could. There was a loft to the cottage, were opened, how eagerly did we rugh in with which was gained by a trap-door and a lad- the rest, who thronged the lobby and the der; thither the inain body of the guard stairs. There were men of iniddle age, young ascended, and having stretched themselves men, and many whom I may call boys, all along the boards, were immediately buried in eager for the same object, which unpropitious sleep. Amongst those whom I now com- fate suffered many to succeed in ; and when manded, there were three or four Irishmen, one more favoured than the rest re-appeared and it was astonishing to observe what spirit from the folding doors, within which the disand activity these men still manifested. They tributor of (as we thought) fortune's chosen had suffered the same hardship as the rest, favours was ensconced, with smiling face, and and from their utter carelessness had, I think, the credentials of success in his hand, how he endured still greater privations. There was was stared at, as if the embryo of some future
scarcely an appearance of flesh on their limbs; Wellington or Napoleon!' Yet, where are • yet, notwithstanding all, whilst the rest of the they now ? Many mouldering amongst the
Legion were, in truth, totally unfit for duty, rocks and wilds of Spain, and many gone they were active and sprightly, and still ex. hoine shorn of their limbs, broken in spirit
, hibited their national vivacity. Why, I can- and ruined in constitution-veterans at eighnot tell, but so it was, as every one knows teen, to be nursed by their friends, whose who witnessed the scenes of the late Spanish fondest hope was to see them push their own warfare; but perhaps the poor fellows had way with credit through the world. Well,