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many of them are naturally intelligent, generous, and most beautiful of their sex, yet they are all despised; while our parsimonious bachelors and unprincipled libertines, who are the primary cause of their degradation, are highly respected. I rarely heard of, or saw a courtesan in the savage nations I visited; because they all mate, like pigeons, for love, and not for money, as we do. I recollect one time, in a country scarce ever visited by civilized man, the savage prince used us with uncommon hospitality, gave us, without solicitation, the very best accommodations, made a savage entertainment and a war-dance for our amusement, and provided the best beds, and offered me a female, which I thought proper to reject. This is the only instance of want of delicacy, and never did I witness a want of hospitality in these children of nature. I never heard of cruel husbands, or scolding wives, because, as they mate for love, when that love ceases they mate no longer; but this very seldom happens. They sometimes have five wives, but generally not more than two. The above generous prince had three wives. There is one custom I greatly admire among savage nations, and that is the tenderness, and modesty with which they treat their wives while pregnant. What an amiable pattern for the male and female saints of Christendom to imitate.
The contrast I have attempted to make between civil and savage society, or, I should rather have said, the shadow of a contrast I have made, though but a mere glimpse, is matter of fact. Still I hope, brief as it is, it will be sufficient to prove that the ills in civil society are imputable to man alone; that God has provided plentifully for the comfortable accommodation of all his creatures, and if they suffer, it is man alone that makes them suffer.
As a favorable sample of savage society, I will quote a brief and authentic account of the Pelew Islands : character of the king and of the natives.
“ The Palos or Pelew Islands are a chain of small islands, situated between the 5th and 9th degree of north latitude, and between 130 and 136 degrees of east longitude from Greenwich, and lie in a N. E. and S. W. direction : they are long but narrow, of a moderate height, well covered with wood, at least such of the islands as our people had an opportunity of seeing. They are circled on the west side by a
reef of coral, of which no end could be seen from any emi. nences they were on; this reef, in some places, extends five ór six leagues from the shore, and in no parts that were visited, less than two or three.
• The reader will bear in mind, that the Antelope was not a ship particularly sent out to explore undiscovered regions, or prepared to investigate the manners of mankind. It had not on board philosophers, botanists, draftsmen, or gentlemen experienced in such scientific pursuits as might enable them to examine, with judgment, objects which presented them. selves, or trace nature through all her labyrinths. Distress threw them on these islands, and when there, every thought was solely occupied on the means of getting away, and liberating themselves from a situation, of all others the most horrible to the imagination, that of being cut off for ever from the society of the rest of the world.
“ Forlorn and melancholy as their lot at first appeared, the gloom it cast over them was soon dispelled, by findingthemselves amongst a humane race of men, who were supe. rior to the wish of taking any advantage of their distress ; who had hearts to feel for what our people suffered; benevolence to relieve their immediate wants; and generosity to co-operate with them in every effort to work out their de. liverance. The English possessed what was in their estimation of the highest value-iron and arms. The Malay wreck had, for the first time, thrown in their way a few pieces of the former; the use and power of the latter had only been discovered to them by the ill fortune of our countrymen. These objects, so desirable to them, they might unquestionably have possessed themselves of, the number of our people capable of bearing arms being only twenty-seven, the captain and surgeon included; but their notions of moral rectitude lay as a barrier against the intrusion of such a thought ;-renouncing every advantage of power, they ap. proached them only with the smiles of benevolence.
“ All the varied courtesies offered to the English by the natives, from whom a very different line of conduct had been apprehended, operated forcibly on their minds; and their misfortune happening at a moment when their assistance was very material for Abba Thulle's service against his enemies; this circumstance soon formed a connexion, and produced an
unreserved intercourse and steady friendship between the natives and our countrymen, which, during the thirteen weeks they remained there, afforded them opportunity of observing the manners and dispositions of the inhabitants, and thereby to form some notion of their government and customs. If they were not enabled to trace the current of power through all its various channels, their observations could pursue it to the fountain-head, from whence the whole seemed to take its rise ; and it appeared, beyond a doubt, that the chief author. ity was lodged in the person of Abba Thulle, the king.
“At Pelew, the king was the first person in the government. He appeared to be considered as the father of his people; and, though divested of all external decorations of royalty, he had every mark of distinction paid to his person.
General character of the Natives. « The conduct of these people towards the English, was, from the first to the last, uniformly courteous and attentive, accompanied with a politeness that surprised those on whore it was bestowed. At all times they seemed so cautious of intruding, that on many occasions they sacrificed their natural curiosity to that respect, which natural good manners appeared to them to exact. Their liberality to the English, at their departure, when individuals poured in all the best they had to give, and that of articles, too, of which they had far from plenty themselves, strongly demonsirated that these testimonies of friendship were the effusion of hearts that glowed with the flame of philanthropy; and when our countrymen, from want of stowage, were compelled to refuse the further marks of kindness which were offered them, the entreating eyes and supplicating gestures with which they solicited their acceptance of what they had brought, most forcibly expressed how much their minds were wounded, to think they had not arrived early enough to have their little tributes of affec tion received.
“Nor was this conduct of theirs an ostentatious civility exercised towards strangers. Separated, as they were, from the rest of the world, the character of a stranger had never entered their imagination. They felt our people were distressed, and in consequence wished they would share what. ever they had to give. It was not that worldly munificence
that bestows and spreads its favours with a distant eye to retribution. Their bosoms had never harboured so contami. nating a thought-No; it was the pure emotions of native benevolence. It was the love of man to man.
It was a scene that pictured human nature in triumphant colouring ; and, whilst their liberality gratified the sense, their virtue struck the heart !
“Our people had also many occasions to observe, that this spirit of urbanity operated in all the intercourse the na. tives had among themselves. The attention and tenderness shown to the women was remarkable, and the deportment of the men to each other mild and affable ; insomuch that, in various scenes of which they were spectators, during their stay on these islands, the English never saw any thing that had the appearance of contest, or passion : every one seemed to attend to his own concerns, without interfering with the business of his neighbour. The men were occupied in their plantations, in cutting wood, making hatchets, line, or small cords ; or some in building houses or canoes; others in making nets or fishing tackle. The forming of darts, spears, and other warlike weapons, engrossed the attention of many more; as also the making of paddles for their boats, the fash. ioning of domestic utensils, and the preparing and burning the chinam. Such as had abilities to conduct any
useful em. ployment were called by the natives Tackalbys; of this class were reckoned the people who built or inlaid the canoes ; such also were those who manufactured the tortoise shell, or made the pottery.
“ As industry, however zealous, must be slow in producing its purpose, unaided by proper implements, and labour rendered extremely tedious from this deficiency, yet, in regions where such advantages are denied, we do not find that the ardour of attempting is abated. A steady perseverance, to a certain degree, accomplishes the end aimed at ; and Europe hath not, without reason, been astonished at the many singu. lar productions imported from the southern discoveries, so neatly and curiously wrought by artless hands, unassisted but by such simple tools as serve only to increase our surpri when we see how much they have effected. Every man, by his daily labour, gained his daily sustenance : necessity im. posing this exertion, no idle or indolent people were seen, not
even among those whom superior rank might have exempted; on the contrary, these excited their inferiors to toil and activity, by their own examples. The king himself was the best maker of hatchets in the island, and was usually at work whenever disengaged from matters of importance. Even the women shared in the common toil; they laboured in the plantations of yams, and it was their province to pluck out all the weeds that shot up from between the stones of the paved causeways. They manufactured the mats and bas. kets, as well as attended to their domestic concerns. The business of tatooing was also carried on by them; those who entered this employment were denominated Tackalbys arthiel, or female artists. Their manners were courteous, though they were far from being of loose or vicious dispositions ;they, in general, rejected connexions with our people, and resented any indelicate or unbecoming freedom with a proper sense of modesty.
“ In such scenes of patient industry, the years of fleeting life passed on; and the cheerful disposition of the natives fully authorized our people to suppose, that there were few hours of it either irksome or oppressive. They were stran. gers to those passions which ambition excites to those cares which affluence awakens. Their existence appeared to glide along like a smooth, undisturbed stream; and when the na. tural occurrences of life ruffled the surface, they possessed a sufficient portion of fortitude to recover soon its wonted calm. Their happiness seemed to be secured to them on the firmest basis ; for the little which Nature and Providence spread before them they enjoyed with a contented cheerfulness; nor were their bosoms habituated to cherish wishes which they had not the power of gratifying. And it will not surely be denied, that in civilized nations, the error of a contrary conduct exhibits, among the inactive, many melancholy, repining countenances ; whilst it prompts more daring and uncontroled spirits to aim at compassing their views by injustice or ra. pine, and to break down the sacred barrier of society.
“ From the general character of these people, the reader, I should conceive, will be disposed to allow, that their lives do credit to human nature ; and that, however untutored, however uninformed, their manners present an interesting picture to mankind. We see a despotic government without