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tion festival; but as this kind of com- return to Weltminfter, as to the region poture, though perfectly agreeable to of quiet; when I shall personally allure my compatriots, is not extremely fa- you that I am vourable either to contemplation or Your obedient humble Servant, composition, I shall, like the Spectator,
CONJECTURES ON THE ORIGIN OF THE NATIONS OF AMERICA. WAS America known to the An- of Spain descended from their first
cients? is a question which, Sovereign Quezalkoal, and are con though frequently discussed, has never vinced that Spain was conquered by been decided. Plato tells us, that the the Mexicans many ages before the Egyptian Priets Ipoke to Solon of a discovery of America. This does not certain island, called Atlantis, situated, agree with the records of hiltory; and 1.aid they, several days voyage from the in this relpect the Mexicans are the Straits of Gibraltar. This island, ac- dupes of that vanity which has percording to the report of the Priests, fuaded other nations that the sciences, was of grater extent than all Lybia, arts, and political institutions, origihut had been swallowed up by the ica nated with them. I shall mention only and a violent earthquake. Diodorus one example. Most of the European Siculus likewise speaks of a large island, literati are convinced, that Pythagoras towards which the Phænicians were communicated to the Indians bis ideas driven by a tempeft. He adds, that on the metempfychosis, and that these the Carthaginians were anxious to fame Indians owed their political insti. ķeep the knowledge of this isand from tutions to the Egyptians : on the con. every other commercial nation, that trary, it is certain that Pythagoras, and they might enjoy the exclusive advan. the other Greek philosophers, so far tage of it.
from carrying their science to India, If Plato only had spoken of this learned from the Indians all that they ill.ind of Atlantis, what he says might themselves knew. be considered as allegorical : but the At the present day, there are many testimony of Solon, or of the Egyptian learned men who will not even give Prielts, gives some function to the tra themselves the trouble to examine dition. What Diodorus Siculus ad- whether the Egyptians instructed the vances will not bear a critical exami Indians, or the Indians the Egyptians ; nation, because he speaks from fabu because, from the testimony of Latin lous traditions. But supposing his authors, copied from the Greeks, they reports were well grounded. they are accustomed to believe, that the might relate to the Canary Iands, Egyptians were in every thing the Ireland, or England.
predecessors and instructors of the lu. It is not my intention to enter into a dians. difcuffion of this subject, but only, to I do not think that either the first or examine in whiat manner America may third supposition I have flated can be have been pecpied. There are three defended; but it might lead to long Tuppogtions to choose froin : either discussions, as well as every other abthe Americans are the aborigines of furd opinion broached aniecedent to America, or they caine ihither from the present time. some other part of the globe, or we If we did not possess the information ourselves are colonies from that couns in the facred pages, it would be sufi. try. If we had not the testimony of cient to conlider the indolence, the Genesis, we might defend the first inactivity, and want of sciences and propolition, and likewise the second. arts, amongst the natives of America, The queition on the ecernity of the in comparison with the genius, inven. world was never decided by the Hea- tion, and industry, of the anciene then philosophers. There have been world, in order to be convinced that nations, the Athenians for instance, the Americans never left their counwho maintained that they were not try to visit the relt of the world. Thus delcended from any other people. As it is America that has been fought, or to the third fuppofition, it is certain at leait visited, either accidentally or that the Mexicans imagine the Kings by design, by foreign nations.
In what manner" has this communi SINGULAR FORM OF GOVERNMENT. Cation operated ? The solution of this
In the kingdom of Calicut, and in question would require a perfect ac
the Malabar States, the King is not quaintance with the language of every succeeded by his.fon, but by his fiiter's nation of the globe, their characters, fon. The Princes marry from amongst religion, manners, and customs.
It 'the people, and their children have not would first be necessary to be able to the rank of Princes. The Princesses compare the languages of the Welt
marry Bramins, and the children of Coast of Africa with those of the South
thefe Bramins compose the Royal American nations. It would not be
Family. The eldest of thelė Princes impossible to procure a vocabulary of succeeds to the throne; and thus there a few hundred words in all the known
is scarcely ever any minority. The languages of the univerle. La Conda
fame system is observed in Africa, mine thought this the only method
amongtt the nations inhabiting between likely to discover the origin of the
the Senegal and Riovolta. Americans.
In America, in the illand of Haïti, Før this purpose such a vocabulary now St. Domingo, the dignity of would be infinitely preferable to the Princes was hereditary ; but when the Lord's Prayer, which has been trans.
Cacique died without children, the lated into the various languages of sovereignty devolved to the children numerous savage tribes ; but as these of his liters, to the exclusion of bis savages have no words to express moral brother's children. or metaphysical ideas, it is difficult to
Upon the death of an Iroquois Chief, comprehend how that prayer can be the fuccellion is transferred to the chil. translated into their language.
dren of his mother's sister. It Should not be too haltily con
The same regulation is established cluded from the resemblance of words amongit the Hurons, the Natches, and that the origin of certain nations is the the favages of the Mississippi : they say, fame. Will it be maintained, for in- that the children of a Chief's lifter may stance, that the Greenland and Latin with greater certainty be considered as languages have some affinity, because of the blood of that Chief than his own.x the word ignack and the word ignio children. buth signify fire? On the other hand, Some are too difficult on the subject of the affinity of language, without confi In ancient as well as in modern dering with sufficient attention that history, we find examples of the custom every nation poflefling certain letters of interring their wives and flaves toand certain sounds peculiar to itself, gether with the bodies of Princes and cannot pronounce all the founds of Chiefs. Herodorus, speaking of the another language, and that thence re. Scythians, near the Borysthenes, says, sults a strongly-marked variation in the that when the Sovereign died, one of words.
his concubines, his cup bearer, bis It would probably require above a cook, two other domeitics, and likecentury to make such a collection of wile his horses and golden cups, were words as I am speaking of ; and this interred with him. Lucian teils us the difficulty alone seems imperiously to fame thing. The Romans facrificed forbid this method. There remains prisoners at the funerals of distins another, which is, to compare the guished persons : there prisoners were customs, usages, and manners of life, obliged to fight each other till they of the Americans and of other nations were all deitroyed. Cæfar relates, that in every age. It is true that two the Solduriidevoted themielves to death nations, very remote from each other, when their patrons died. may have a striking coincidence, with He fays in another place, that the out being descended from the fame custom of burning the servants and stock; but when very singular, and dependents of powerful men, upon the seemingly unnatural, cuitonis are found death of the latter, had been aban. amongst different nations, they must doned. The ancient Danes buried either have been invented in hoth widows with their husbands. The hil. countries, or have been imitated by torian Dalin allerts, that the same one or the other : the latt supposition thing was customary in Sweden. De is the most probable.
Guines informs us, that amongst the
Turkish nation called Houi Re, at the we see that Moses forbade the Israetites funeral of a man, those of his wives to imitate the Pagans in this particą. who had not borne hin children were lar. buried with him ; and even at the pre Originally, dying persons had their sent day, the women of India frequently hair cut off, because it was imagined burn themselves on the corpses of their that they would not be received into husbands.
Pluto's kingdom if this precaution Marco Polo relates, that at the in- were neglected. Alcestes and Dido terment of the Mogol Tartars, all those afford initances of this custom. In who happened to meet the procession the sequel, the relatives likewise cut on the way were killed, in order to off their hair as a sign of mourning. provide him with servants in the other The Scythians of the Borysthenes, world. In the Mogol tombs that are according to the testimony of Hero'continually discovered are found quan- dotus, likewise cut off their hair at tities of bones, placed round those of the funeral of their Kings. The Greek the principal person, which probably and Latin Poets make frequent mention belonged to the persons facrificed for of this cutton ; it actually constituted the purpose of accompanying him in an offering ; and we see that Hecuba the tomb. Amongft the Jakuts, now parted with her boary locks as a sacriunder the dominion of Rutlia, and who fice at the tomb of Hector. Petro. formerly were subject to Mogol Princes, nius, speaking of the Ephefian matron, the chief domestic of the deceased fays, that the placed her hair on the burned himself in ftate on a tomb breast of her deceased husband. Buf erected for the purpose, and went to bequius, Ambassador of Ferdinand serve his master in the other world. King of Hungary to Solyman the Sul. This custom was doubtless common tan of the Turks, says, that on most of among the Manteloux Tartars ; for the tombs in Servia you find hair which Duhalde informs us, that the Emperor has been laid there by the relatives as a Schnutchi, the founder of the dynalty token of grief. The Servians being now on the throne of China, having Christians could not offer their hair as a loft a fon and daughter, ordered twen- facrifice : but experience thews, that ty people to be put to death to appeale though a nation may change its reli. the manes of the deceased. Cham-hi, gion, yet it always.preserves fome cethe successor of that Prince, found it remony of that which it abandons. very difficult to abolish this custom. This practice even occurs amongit 'The fame practice was likewise found some modern nations. In 1716 a Chi. amongft the Afghans, a predatory na- nese Ambassador having died at a small tion inhabiting the Persian confines, town situated at the mouth of the river and amongst the inhabitants of the Irtish, his oldelt domestic threw a hand. Philippines. In the kingdoms of Whi- ful of his hair on the funeral pile of dah and Benin, a great number of his bis master. The Mataram or King of fubje&s are immured alive in the tomb Java, at the interment of his rebellious of the King, when he dies. These brother, which was conducted with kingdoms are situated on the western great pomp, cut off his hair, and threw coait of Africa, that is to say, on that it upon the tomb. part of the ancient continent the near. The Caraibs of the Antilles, male eft to the new.
and female, cut off their hair in mourn: In the island of Haïti, or St. Do. ing. The women of Virginia throw mingo, when a Cacique died, a great their hair upon the tombs of their number of people was interred alive relations. The women of Brazil (h:1ye with him, and particularly some of his their heads when they lose their relawives, and they commonly contested tives, and their mourning continues who should enjoy that honour. till their hair has grown again. The
The custom of putting Naves to death tribes of Florida cut their hair likewise when their master died palled from the upon the death of their relations; and American islands to the Mexicans and when they lose a Chief, they keep Peruvians, and from thence to the their heads shaved for the space of iwo Natches.
The Iroquois of both sexes testified SHAVING THE HEAD A SIGN OF
their grief by cutting off their hair. MOURNING.
In this case, the women durst not go This custom is very ancient ; and abroad till it had grown again. The
OF THE DEAD. =
cuftom is modified, and they now ob. dread these visitations of the dead, and tain permission of their relatives to their very idea is disagreeable to the facrifice only a portion of their tresses living. Amongst favage tribes, those on the tombs of their husbands.' who have the lame name as the de.
It may be remarked in this place, ceased inftantly change it, that nothing that the wonen of Canada' confider it may be left which night bring him to as the greatest affront that can be their recollection ; and he who has offered them to cut off their hair en cealed to live, is to the rest of the na. tirely, or only in part.
tion as if he had never existed. DESTRUCTION OF THE HABITATIONS HUSBANDS WHO GO TO BED WHEN
THEIR WIVES LIE IN. The ancient Mogols used to demo Strabo tells us, that in the north of lifh and destroy the rents of their Offi- Spain the husband was put to bed when cers after their death. Now, when the his wife was delivered of a child : Chieftain of these Tartar's dies, they this custom is still prevalent in some abandon their habitations for the whole districts contiguous to the Pyrenees. time that the mourning continues. Diodorus Siculus relates the same thing The Telengutians destroy the habita. of the Corsicans'; and Apollonius tions of the dead. The Jakutians Rhodius says, that the Tibarenes, a were accustomed to quit for good the people inhabiting the fores of the habitations in which any person had Euxine Sea, had the same cuitom. died.
Marco Polo relates, that in the proThefe two nations, which are Tartar vince of Arcladam, the women, after hordes, may have inherited this custom lying in, get up as soon as poffible, from the Mogols. The PerGans enter and the husband, going to bed in their tain an averlion for the houses in which place, nurses the child for the space of their fathers expired. None of their forty days. This practice is also pre. nation would venture to live in a house valent in Japan. of which the owner had been put to Amongft the Charaibs of Guiana je death by order of the Sovereign, for is likewile customary for the husbands feur the same fate should'at some future to take to their beds when their wives period befal him. When a Laplander lie in. They receive visits, and the has expired, his neighbours haiten to same attention as if they were actually destroy his hut. When the King of indisposed. This cuftom is rigorously Whydah, in Africa, dies, his palace is observed ; for even when they are pulled down, and another erected with upon a hoftile expedition, as soon as the materials.
any of them hears that his wife has The Charaibs are accustomed to de. brought him an increase of family, he molith the habitation in which the haftens away to betake himself to bed. father of a family has died, and to Labat tells us, that in these cases the construct another on the same spot. husband observes a fast of thirty days; In Peru it was the practice to wail up but this ceremony only takes place for the apartment in which the Inca had the first born, otherwise the Charaibs, died.
who have frequently five or fix wives, Amongst the Pagans this aversion to would bave more faits than the Capua the habitations of deceased persons chins. Fermin, in his description of arose principally from the opinion, Surinam, confirms the fact of their that in the other world the dead lying in bed, but is Glent relative to followed the fame occupation as they the fast. The Dutch physician Piso had in this, and would, consequently, says, that when the Brasil women stand in need of the things they had feel the pangs of child birth approach. left behind them : thus their working ing, they go from home into the tools are frequently interred with the woods; that, with a stone, they cut remains of the deceased. Without this the navel. ftring of the new-born infant, precaution their spirits would return and that after having boiled they eat it. to demand what was detained from At the same cime the husband betakes. them, and would torment their suc. himself to bed, and is fed with invigocesors. They suppose, that if the rating and nourishing things to recover habitation were not destroyed, the soul his strength. Captain Woodes Rogers' of the deceased would haunt it. They relates exact.y the same circumstance.
ARROWS Vol. XLII, Nov. 1897.
ARROWS A SYMBOL OF A PROCLAMA- Claudian informs us, that the Piets,
natives of Albion, and the Gelones, These arrows were blunt, and had a people of Greek origin inhabiting no feathers : they rather resembled
the shores of the Dnieper, marked their small sticks than arrows. They were
skin with various figures with an iron originally employed to predict future inftrument. The Tonguses of Siberia events. The name of the thing that are acquainted with this practice, ac; was the subject of inquiry was written cording to Gmelin. In the iBand of on two different arrows. A third; Miangis, near Mindanao, the men and without inscription, was enclosed with women cut upon the skin certain irre the two others in a covered vessel. gular figures, into which they intro: One was drawn out, and the chance duce a coloured powder, and over all that caused one to be taken in pre- they rub themselves with grease. Damference to the others was explained in pier, who had examined this kind of various ways.
This method of di. painting on the skin of a Miangi Vination was particularly customary Prince, says, that it is very skilfully in the Northern kingdoms. " When executed, and produces a pretty effect; an army enters the country," says the that the leaves and flowers are exNorwegian law, “or if an insurrection tremely well imitated, and exhibit a appear in any part of the kingdom, proficiency that one would not have let a ttick of meslage be sent."
fufpected amongft thefe favages. Lady In Sweden, the orders for the assem. Montague informs us, that in the vicibly of the Magistrates for the admini. nity of Tunis the women adorn them. Aration of jultice, and in general every felves with certain figures which they îneflage of the Government, was illveu trace on the neck and arms, and render in the same manner. Probably they indelible by burning a certain powder were then still ignorant of the art of in them. The women living near the writing, and these sticks served as a
river Gambia, in their infancy, have fymbol of the will of the Prince. The figures pricked with a hot needle on Same custom was observed amongst the their arms, breast, and neck. Thele Mogol Tartars in Siberia, as well as figures, which are indelible, resemble amongst the Oftiacks.
works in filk. In the kingdom of Burlée says, that the favages of Chili, Whidah, the young girls destined for when they wished to make war upon
the service of the great Serpent un: the Spaniards, sent an arrow, with a
dergo an operation, which confifts in cord attached to it, to their different scratching the skin with an iron inftru. allies. When the Chief accepted the ment, and produces figures resembling arrow, he entered into an engagement
fatin-work. to support the war : and, to confirm his In America, the Lame practice is intention, he made a knot upon the common amongst the favages of the cord, upon which it was transmitted ifthmus of Darien. Wafer fays, that to another Chief. The messenger re. they prick their skin with a thorn till turned with his arrow decorated with the blood illues out, and then rub knots. Le Gentil, who made a voy. themselves with a powder which leaves age to the same country, tays, that the traces that cannot be effaced. This knots are of different colours, and indi. custom is found amongst the tribes of cate not only the plan of the projected Florida, Virginia, Louisiana, and Cae war, but likewise the time and place of
nada. rendezvous, &c.
After battles, certain ancient nations Herodotus tells us, that the figures were accustomed to cut the fin of the traced on the skin amongst certain na Nain round the forehead and ears, and tions were marks of nobility. Ammi- to take away the scalp, wbich they fixed anus Marcellinus says, that the Huns to the end of a pole, and carried in cut certain figures on the chins of their triumph. Herodotus has a passage on new born male children, with the in this subject, which is badly tranflated tention, as they afferted, to prevent by Gronovius. The Scythians de the beard from growing. This ex taclied with a bone the flesh that ad. planation is probably inaccurate ; for hered to the skin, and gave the latter the Huns, like their neighbours the the consistence of leather, to render Chinese, had scarcely any beards. durable these monuments of their vic