صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

feather above it, and returned to his band, when they all disappeared. Ever after, that white feather saved him from the savages; for whenever a party came by and observed it, it was a sign of peace to them. In this instance, we discover that the law of kindness disarmed even savage foes, whose white feather told their red brethren, that the Quaker was a follower of Penn and the friend of their race.

How different was the conduct of the pilgrimfathers in reference to the Indians of New England! When land was wanted by the whites, it was taken—and if the Indians grumbled and resisted, they were met with fire and sword. The consequences were legitimate, and what might have been expected. The red man fought for the land of his fathers, and in desperation battled with those who brought the Bible in one hand, and a musket and a whiskey-bottle in the other. He hid behind every tree, to slay his foes he issued from every forest to destroy his enemies-until a brand was in the dwellings of white men, and the scalps of their women and children were dangling at the belts of merciless savages. These were the bitter fruits of the manner in which the Indians were treated in New England-fruit so different from the peace which followed the conduct of William Penn, that one may be compared to

the storm in its wrath, and the other to the benign influence of sunshine and falling dew.

The consequence of kindness and confidence, united with firmness, was strikingly exempli-. fied in the conduct of two individuals, each of whom stood at the head of a company of soldiers, on our northern frontier, during a portion of the last war. Their names might be given, but as one is still living, they are suppressed. Both had strict discipline in their companiesbut one produced it by excessive flogging-the other, by kindness and firmness. The result of the two modes of government, is as follows:The soldiers of the severe captain hated him, and could they have obtained a favorable opportunity in battle, would have shot him without hesitation. The soldiers of the other captain loved him, and if necessary, would have waded to their knees in blood to follow their beloved leader.

*

[ocr errors]

The power of kindness in subduing enmity, between individuals, is strikingly set forth in the following fact, Some Indians, in March, 1783, attacked and scattered in every direction, a party of men, women and children, belonging to a settlement made in Kentucky, by a brother, of the celebrated Daniel Boone. Col. Floyd,,

*In 1840..

having heard of the affair, instantly collected twenty-five men, and hastened to the place of battle. But the Indians formed an ambuscade for the Colonel and his party, which, as they fell into it without discovering it, ended in their defeat. The Colonel came near losing his life; but Captain Wells noticing that he was on foot, and that the enemy was after him, generously gave up his own horse, mounted the Colonel upon it, and then walked by the side of the horse, to support Floyd, lest he should be faint from his wounds, and fall off." This act of Captain Wells was the more magnanimous, as Floyd and himself were not friends at the time." But the consequences of this very generous conduct, were most excellent. The enmity of Floyd was destroyed, and he and Wells ever after were firm and fast friends.*

The power of kindness to produce reformation, is nobly illustrated in many of the scenes of existence-but perhaps as much so in the following fact, as in any. It is a story from real life, which appeared in the Monthly Repository, for August, 1825, published in London. The Editor of the Repository observes, that he extracted it from a letter which was addressed to himself.

*See Life of Boone, by Flint, p. 194.

[ocr errors]

"Seven or eight years before his decease, our friend found that one of his clerks had wronged him considerably, and I believe even put his life into his power: without appearing to have discovered the circumstance, Mr. desired the young man to come to his dwellinghouse in the afternoon; he watched for his arrival, opened the door himself, and after leading him up into a chamber and locking the door, informed him that all his misconduct was made known. Pale and trembling, the offender dropped upon his knees: the master bade him not be terrified at the punishment, but think of the guilt of the deed which he had done; and after saying as much as he thought would be profitable, he left him, carrying the key from the outside of the door. Before night he took him refreshments, talking to him again, and desired him to go to bed and reflect. When the succeeding day drew to a close, he visited him for the last time, saying, 'I now come to release you; here is a letter to a friend of mine in London, who knows nothing of your crime, and will give you immediate employment. Here is money,' added he, putting a purse into his hand, to support you till your quarter's salary becomes due.' He then conducted him out of the house, unseen by any one. This benevolent treatment awakened the gratitude and

effected the reformation of the young man, who is now a person of highly respectable character." Such was the result of kindness in this case. Had harshness, however, been substituted for kindness, it would not have been surprising if the clerk, instead of becoming "a person of highly respectable character," had gone deeper into crime, and ended his days, either in Botany Bay or on the gallows; as many a person has done before and since he was melted by subdu ing affection.

The late Dr. Bowditch, of Salem, Mass., was a man as eminent for his great and useful talents, as he was beloved by all who were acquainted with him. An instance is related of him, which is a complete manifestation of the command, "If thine enemy hunger, feed him ; if he thirst, give him drink; for in so doing, thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head."

"Dr. Bowditch had been preparing a plan of Salem, which he intended soon to publish. It had been the fruit of much labor and care. By some means or other, an individual in town had surreptitiously got possession of it, and had the audacity to issue proposals to publish it as his own. This was too much for Dr. Bowditch to bear. He instantly went to the person, and burst out into the following strain :—' You villain how dare you do this? What do you

« السابقةمتابعة »