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as it Alles, the Edge always sticks in the Tree, and
Thrice to its Pitch his lofty Voice be rears,
The Five Nations have such absolute Notions of Liberty, that they allow of no Kind of Superiority of one over another, and banish all Servitude from their Territories. They never make any Prisoner a Slave ; but it is customary among them to make a Compliment of Naturalization into the Five Nations ; and, confidering how highly they value themselves above all others, this must be no small Compliment. This is not done by any general Act of the Nation, but every single Person has a Right to do it, by a Kind of Adoption. The first Time I was among the Mohawks, I had this Compliment from one of their old Sachems, which he did, by giving me his own Name, Cayenderongue. He had been a notable Warrior; and he told me, that now I had a Right to assume to myself all the Acts of Valour he had performed, and that now my Name would echo from Hill to Hill all over the Five Naţions. As for my Part, I thought no more of it at that Time, than as an Artifice to draw a Belly full of strong Liquor from me, for himself and his Companions; but when about ten or twelve Years afterwards, my Business led me again among them, I direct
ed the Interpreter to say something from me to the Sachems ; he was for some Time at a Lofs to understand their Answer, till he had asked me whether I had any Name among them: I then found that I was really known to them by that Name, and that the old Sachem, from the Time he had given me his Name, had affumed another to himself. I was adopted, at that Time, into the Tribe of the Bear, and, for that Reason, I often afterwards had the kind Compliment of Brother Bear.
The Hospitality of these Indians is no less remarkable, than their other Virtues ; as soon as any Stranger comes, they are sure to offer him Victuals. If there be several in Company, and come from a-far, one of their best Houses is cleaned and given up
for their Entertainment. Their Complaisance, on these Oce cafions, goes even farther than Christian Civility allows of, as they have no other Rule for it, than the furnishing their Guest with every Thing they think will be agreeable to him ; for this Reason, some of their prettiest Girls are always ordered to wash themfelves, and dress in their best Apparel, in order to be presented to the Stranger, for his Choice ; and the young Lady, who has the Honour to be preferred on these Occasions, performs all the Duties of a fond Wife, during the Stranger's Stay: But this last Piece of Hospitality is now either laid aside by the Mohawks, or, at least, they never offer it to any Christian. This Nation indeed has laid aside many of its anci: ent Customs, and so likewise have the other Nations, with whom we are best acquainted ; and have adopted many of ours ; so that it is not easy now to distinguish their original and genuine Manners, from those which they have lately acquired; and for this Reafon it is, that they now seldom offer Victuals to Persons of any Distinction, because they know, that their Food and Cookery is not agreeable to our delicate Palates. Their Men value themselves, in having all Kind of Food in equal Esteem. A Mohawk Sachem
told me with a Kind of Pride, That a Man eats every Thing without Distinction, Bears, Cats, Dogs, Snakes, Frogs, &c. intimating, that it is Womanish, to have any Delicacy in the Choice of Food.
I can However give two strong Instances of the Hof. pitality of the Mohawks, which fell under my own Observation ; and which shew, that they have the very fame Notion of Hospitality, which we find in the ancient Poets. When I was last in the Mohawks Country, the Sachenas told me, that they had an Englishman among their People, a Servant who had run from his Master in New York. I immmediately told them, that they must deliver him up. No, they answered, we never serve any Man so, who puts himself under our Protection. On this I insisted on the Injury they did thereby to his Master; and they allowed it might be an Injury, and replied, though we never will deliver him up, we are willing to pay the Value of the Servant to the Master. Another Man made his Escape from the Goal of Albany,where he was in Prison on an Execution for Debt; the Mohawks received him, and, as they protected him against the Sheriff and his Officers, they not only paid the Debt for him, but gave him Land, over and above sufficient for a good Farm, whereon he lived when I was last there. To this it may be added, all their extraordinary Visits are accompanied with giving and receiving Presents of some Value; as we learn likewise from Homer was the Practice in old Times.
Polygamy is not usual among them; and indeed, in any Nation, where all are on a Par, as to Riches and Power, Plurality of Wives cannot well be introduced. As all kind of Slavery is banished from the Countries of the Five Nations, so they keep themselves free also from the Bondage of Wedlock; and when either of the Parties becomes disgusted, they separate without Formality or Ignominy to either, unless it be occasioned by some scandalous Offence in
one of them. And in Case of Divorce, the Children, according to the natural Course of all Animals, follow the Mother. The Women here bring forth their Children with as much Ease as other Animals, and without the Help of a Midwife, a:d, soon after their Delivery, return to their usual Employment. They alone alfo perform all the Drudgery about their Houses, they plant their Corn, and labour it, in every Respect, till it is brought to the Table: They likewise cut all their Fire-wood, and bring it Home on their Backs, and in their Marches bear the Burdens. The Men difdain all kind of Labour, and employ themselves alone in Hunting, as the only proper Business for Soldiers. At Times, when it is not proper to hunt, one finds the old Men in Companies, in Conversation; the young Men at their Exercises, shooting at Marks, throwing the Hatchet, Wrestling, or Running, and the Women all busy at Labour in the Fields.
On these Occasions, the State of Lacedæmon ever occurs to my Mind, which that of the Five Nations, in many Respects, resembles ; their Laws, or Curtoms, being, in both, form’d to render the Minds and Bodies of the People fit for War.
Theft is very scandalous among them; and it is necessary it should be so among all Indians, since they have no Locks, but those of their Minds, to preserve their Goods.
There is one Vice which the Indians have all fallen into, since their Acquaintance with the Christians, and of which they could not be guilty before that Time, that is, Drunkenness: It is strange, how all the Indian Nations, and almost every Person among them, Male and Female, are infatuated with the Love of strong Drink; they know no Bounds to their Defire, while they can swallow it down, and then indeed the greatest Man among them scarcely deserves the Name of a Brute.
They never have been taught to conquer any Parfion, but by some contrary Paffion; and the Traders, with whom they chiefly converse, are so far from giving them any Abhorrence of this Vice, that they encourage it all they can, not only for the Profit of the Liquor they fell, but that they may have an Opportunity to impose upon them. And this, as they chiefly drink Spirits, has destroyed greater Numbers, than all their Wars and Diseases put together.
The People of the Five Nations are much given to Speech-making, ever the natural Consequence of a perfect Republican Government: Where no single Person has a Power to compel, the Arts of Persuasion alone must prevail. As their best Speakers distinguish themselves in their publick Councils and Treaties with other Nations, and thereby gain the Esteem and Applause of their Countrymen, (the only. Superiority which any one of them has over the others) it is probable they apply
themselves to this Art, by some Kind of Study and Exercise, in a great Measure. It is impossible for me to judge how far they excel, as I am ignorant of their Language ; but the Speakers whom I have heard, had all a great Fluency of Words, and much more Grace in their Manner, than any Man could expect, among a People intirely ignorant of all the liberal Arts and Sci
I am inform’d, that they are very nice in the Turn of their Expressions, and that few of themselves are so far Masters of their Language, as never to offend the Ears of their Indian Auditory, by an unpolite Expression. They have, it seems, a certain Urbanitas, or Atticism, in their Language, of which the common Ears are ever sensible, though only their great Speakers at- ; tain to it. They are so much given to Speech-making, that their common Complements, to any Person they respect, at meeting and parting, are made in Harangues.