« السابقةمتابعة »
can was no less taken with the dress, complexion, and shape of an European, covered from head to foot. The Indian grew immediately enamoured of him, and consequently solicitous for his preservation. She therefore conveyed him to a cave, where she gave him a delicious repast of fruits, and led him to a stream to slake his thirst. In the midst of these good offices, she would sometimes play with his hair, and delight in the opposition of its colour to that of her fingers: then open his bosom, then laugh at him for covering it. She was, it seems, a person of distinction, for she every day came to him in a different dress, of the most beautiful shells, bugles, and bredes. She likewise brought him a great many spoils, which her other lovers had presented to her, so that his cave was richly adorned with all the spotted skins of beasts, and most party-coloured feathers of fowls, which that world afforded. To make his confinement more tolerable, she would carry him in the dusk of the evening, or by the favour of moonlight, to unfrequented groves and solitudes, and show him where to lie down in safety, and sleep amidst the falls of waters and melody of nightingales. Her part was to watch and hold him awake in her arms, for fear of her countrymen, and wake him on occasions to consult his safety. In this manner did the lovers pass away their time, till they had learned a language of their own, in which the voyager communicated to his mistress how happy he should be to have her in his country, where she should be clothed in such silks as his waistcoat was made of, and be carried in houses drawn by horses, without being exposed to wind or weather. All this he promised her the enjoyment of, without such fears and alarms as they were there tormented with. In this tender correspondence these lovers lived for several months, when Yarico, instructed by her lover, discovered a vessel on the coast, to which she made signals; and in the night, with the utmost joy and satisfaction, accompanied him to a ship's crew of his countrymen bound to Barbadoes. When a vessel from the main arrives in that island, it seems the planters come down to the shore, where there is an immediate market of the Indians and other slaves, as with us of horses and oxen. “To be short, Mr. Thomas Inkle, now coming into English territories, began seriously to reflect upon his loss of time, and to weigh with himself how many days' interest of his
money he had lost during his stay with Yarico. This thought made the young man very pensive, and careful what account he should be able to give his friends of his voyage. Upon which consideration, the prudent and frugal young man sold Yarico to a Barbadian merchant; notwithstanding that the poor girl, to incline him to commiserate her condition, told him that she was with child by him: but he only made use of that information, to rise in his demands upon the purchaser.’”
I was so touched with this story (which I think should be always a counterpart to the Ephesian Matron) that I left the room with tears in my eyes, which a woman of Arietta's good sense did, I am sure, take for greater applause than any compliments I could make her.
GEORGE BERKELEY (1685–1753)
FROM A PROPOSAL FOR A COLLEGE TO BE ERECTED IN THE SUMMER ISLANDS"
Although there are several excellent persons of the Church of England, whose good intentions and endeavours have not been wanting to propagate the Gospel in foreign parts, who have even combined into Societies for that very purpose, and given great encouragement, not only for English missionaries in the West Indies, but also for the reformed of other nations, led by their example, to propagate Christianity in the East; it is nevertheless acknowledged that there is at this day but little sense of religion, and a most notorious corruption of manners, in the English Colonies settled on the Continent of America, and the Islands. It is also acknowledged that the Gospel hath hitherto made but a very inconsiderable progress among the neighbouring Americans, who still continue in much the same ignorance and barbarism in which we found them above a hundred years ago.
I shall therefore venture to submit my thoughts, upon a point that I have long considered, to better judgments, in hopes that any expedient will be favourably hearkened to which is proposed for the remedy of these evils. Now, in order to effect this, it should
1 The complete title is: A Proposal for the Better Supplying of Churches in our Foreign Plantations, and for Converting the Savage Americans to Christianity, by a College to be erected in the Summer Islands, otherwise called the Isles of Bermudas.
seem the natural proper method to provide, in the first place, a constant supply of worthy clergymen for the English churches in those parts; and, in the second place, a like constant supply of zealous missionaries, well fitted for propagating Christianity among the savages. For, though the surest means to reform the morals, and soften the behaviour of men be, to preach to them the pure uncorrupt doctrine of the Gospel, yet it cannot be denied that the success of preaching dependeth in good measure on the character and skill of the preacher. Forasmuch as mankind are more apt to copy characters than to practise precepts, and forasmuch as argument, to attain its full strength, doth not less require the life of zeal than the weight of reason; and the same doctrine which maketh great impression when delivered with decency and address loseth very much of its force by passing through awkward or unskilful hands. Now the clergy sent over to America have proved, too many of them, very meanly qualified both in learning and morals for the discharge of their office. And indeed little can be exPected from the example or instruction of those who quit their native country on no other motive than that they are unable to procure a livelihood in it, which is known to be often the case. To this may be imputed the small care that hath been taken to convert the negroes of our Plantations, who, to the infamy of England and scandal of the world, continue heathen under Christian masters, and in Christian countries. Which could never be, if our planters were rightly instructed and made sensible that they disappointed their own baptism by denying it to those who belong to them: that it would be of advantage to their affairs to have slaves who should “obey in all things their masters according to the flesh, not with eye-service as men-pleasers, but in singleness of heart, as fearing God:” that Gospel liberty consists with temporal servitude; and that their slaves would only become better slaves by being Christian. And though it be allowed that some of the clergy in our Colonies have approved themSelves men of merit, it will at the same time be allowed that the most zealous and able missionary from England must find himself but ill qualified for converting the American heathen, if we consider the difference of language, their wild way of living, and, above all, the great jealousy and prejudice which
savage nations have towards foreigners, or innovations introduced by them. These considerations make it evident, that a College or Seminary in those parts is very much wanted; and therefore the providing such a Seminary is earnestly proposed and recommended to all those who have it in their power to contribute to so good a work. By this, two ends would be obtained: First, the youth of our English Plantations might be themselves fitted for the ministry; and men of merit would be then glad to fill the churches of their native country, which are now a drain for the very dregs and refuse of ours. At present, there are, I am told, many churches vacant in our Plantations, and many very ill supplied; nor can all the vigilance and wisdom of that great prelate, whose peculiar care it is, prevent this, so long as the aforesaid churches are supplied from England. And supplied they must be with such as can be picked up in England or Ireland, until a nursery of learning for the education of the natives is founded. This indeed might provide a constant succession of learned and exemplary pastors; and what effect this might be supposed to have on their flocks I need not say. Secondly, the children of savage Americans, brought up in such a Seminary, and well instructed in religion and learning, might make the ablest and properest missionaries for spreading the Gospel among their countrymen; who would be less apt to suspect, and readier to embrace a doctrine recommended by neighbours or relations, men of their own blood and language, than if it were proposed by foreigners, who would not improbably be thought to have designs on the liberty or property of their converts. The young Americans necessary for this purpose may, in the beginning, be procured, either by peaceable methods from those savage nations which border on our Colonies, and are in friendship with us, or by taking captive the children of our enemies. It is proposed to admit into the aforesaid College only such savages as are under ten years of age, before evil habits have taken a deep root; and yet not so early as to prevent retaining their mother-tongue, which should be preserved by intercourse among themselves. It is farther proposed to ground these young Americans thoroughly in religion and morality, and to give them a good tincture of other learning; particularly of eloquence, history, and practical mathematics; to which it may not be improper to add some skill in physic. If there were a yearly supply of ten or a dozen such missionaries sent abroad into their respective countries, after they had received the degree of master of arts in the aforesaid College, and holy orders in England (till such time as Episcopacy be established in those parts), it is hardly to be doubted but, in a little time, the world would see good and great effects thereof. For, to any considering man, the employing American missionaries for the conversion of America will, of all others, appear the most likely method to succeed; especially if care be taken that, during the whole course of their education, an eye should be had to their mission; that they should be taught betimes to consider themselves as trained up in that sole view, without any other prospect of provision or employment; that a zeal for religion and love of their country should be early and constantly instilled into their minds, by repeated lectures and admonitions; that they should not only be incited by the common topics of religion and nature, but farther animated and inflamed by the great examples in past ages of public spirit and virtue, to rescue their countrymen from their savage manners to a life of civility and religion. If his Majesty would graciously please to grant a Charter for a College to be erected in a proper place for these uses, it is to be hoped a fund may be soon raised, by the contribution of well-disposed persons, sufficient for building and endowing the same. For, as the necessary expense would be small, so there are men of religion and humanity in England who would be pleased to see any design set forward for the glory of God and the good of mankind. A small expense would suffice to subsist and educate the American missionaries in a plain simple manner, such as might make it easy for them to return to the coarse and poor methods of life in use among their countrymen; and nothing can contribute more to lessen this expense, than a judicious choice of the situation where the Seminary is to stand. Many things ought to be considered in the choice of a situation. It should be in a good air; in a place where provisions are cheap and plenty; where an intercourse might easily be kept up with all parts of America and the Islands; in a place of security, not exposed
to the insults of pirates, savages, or other enemies; where there is no great trade which might tempt the Readers or Fellows of the College to become merchants, to the neglect of their proper business; where there are neither riches nor luxury to divert or lessen their application, or to make them uneasy and dissatisfied with a homely frugal subsistence; lastly, where the inhabitants, if such a place may be found, are noted for innocence and simplicity of manners. I need not say of how great importance this point would be towards forming the morals of young students, and what mighty influence it must have on the mission.
It is evident the College long since projected in Barbadoes would be defective in many of these particulars; for, though it may have its use among the inhabitants, yet a place of so high trade, so much wealth and luxury, and such dissolute morals (not to mention the great price and scarcity of provisions) must, at first sight, seem a very improper situation for a general Seminary intended for the forming missionaries, and educating youth in religion and sobriety of manners. The same objections lie against the neighbouring islands.
And, if we consider the accounts given of their avarice and licentiousness, their coldness in the practice of religion, and their aversion from propagating it (which appears in the withholding their slaves from baptism), it is to be feared, that the inhabitants in the populous parts of our Plantations on the Continent are not much fitter than those in the islands above mentioned, to influence or assist such a design. And, as to the more remote and less frequented parts, the difficulty of being supplied with necessaries, the danger of being exposed to the inroads of savages, and, above als, the want of intercourse-with other places, render them improper situations for a Seminary of religion and learning.
It will not be amiss to insert here an observation I remember to have seen in an Abstract of the Proceedings, &c., annexed to the Dean of Canterbury's Sermon before the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts; that the savage Indians who live on the Continent will not suffer their children to learn English or Dutch, lest they should be debauched by conversing with their European neighbours; which is a melancholy but strong confirmation of the truth of what hath been now advanced.
A general intercourse and correspondence with all the English Colonies, both on the Islands and the Continent, and with other parts of America, hath been before laid down as a necessary circumstance, the reason whereof is very evident. But this circumstance is hardly to be found. For, on the Continent, where there are neither inns, nor carriages, nor bridges over the rivers, there is no travelling by land between distant places. And the English settlements are reputed to extend along the sea-coast for the space of fifteen hundred miles. It is therefore plain there can be no convenient communication between them otherwise than by sea; no advantage therefore, in this point, can be gained by settling on the Continent.
There is another consideration which equally regards the Continent and the Islands, that the general course of trade and correspondence lies from all those Colonies to Great Britain alone. Whereas, for our present purpose, it would be necessary to pitch upon a place, if such could be found, which maintains a constant intercourse with all the other Colonies, and whose commerce lies chiefly or altogether (not in Europe, but) in America.
There is but one spot that I can find to which this circumstance agrees; and that is, the Isles of Bermuda, otherwise called the Summer Islands. These, having no rich commodity or manufacture, such as sugar, tobacco, or the like, wherewithal to trade to England, are obliged to become carriers for America, as the Dutch are for Europe. The Bermudans are excellent ship-wrights and sailors, and have a great number of very good sloops, which are always passing and repassing from all parts of America. They drive a constant trade to the islands of Jamaica, Barbadoes, Antigua, &c., with butter, onions, cabbages, and other roots and vegetables, which they slave in great plenty and perfection. They have also some small manufactures of joiner's Work and matting, which they export to the Plantations on the Continent. Hence Bermudan sloops are oftener seen in the ports of America than in any other. And, indeed, by the best information I could get, it appears they are the only people of all the British Plantations who hold a general correspondence with the rest. . And as the commerce of Bermuda renders it a very fit place wherein to erect a Seminary, $o likewise doth its situation, it being placed between our Plantations on the Continent and
those in the Isles, so as equally to respect both. To which may be added, that it lies in the way of vessels passing from America to Great Britain; all which makes it plain that the youth, to be educated in a Seminary placed in the Summer Islands would have frequent opportunities of going thither and corresponding with their friends. It must indeed be owned that some will be obliged to go a long way to any one place which we suppose resorted to from all parts of our Plantations; but if we were to look out a spot the nearest approaching to an equal distance from all the rest, I believe it would be found to be Bermuda. It remains that we see whether it enjoys the other qualities or conditions laid down as well as this. The Summer Islands are situated near the latitude of thirty-three degrees; no part of the world enjoys a purer air, or a more temperate climate, the great ocean which environs them at once moderating the heat of the south winds, and the severity of the north-west. Such a latitude on the Continent might be thought too hot; but the air in Bermuda is perpetually fanned and kept cool by seabreezes, which render the weather the most healthy and delightful that could be wished, being (as is affirmed by persons who have long lived there) of one equal tenor almost through. out the whole year, like the latter end of a fine May; insomuch that it is resorted to as the Montpelier of America. Nor are these isles (if we may believe the accounts given of them) less remarkable for plenty than for health; there being, besides beef, mutton, and fowl, great abundance of fruits, and garden-stuff of all kinds in perfection: to this, if we add the great plenty and variety of fish which is every day taken on their coasts, it would seem, that a Seminary could nowhere be supplied with better provisions, or cheaper than here. About forty years ago, upon cutting down many tall cedars that sheltered their orange trees from the north wind (which sometimes blows even there so as to affect that delicate plant), great part of their orange plantation, suffered; but other, cedars are since grown up, and no doubt a little industry would again produce as great plenty of oranges as ever was there heretofore. I mention this because some have inferred from the present scarcity of that fruit, for which Bermuda was once so famous, that there hath been a change in the soil and climate for the worse. But this, as hath been observed, proceeded from another cause, which is now in great measure taken away. Bermuda is a cluster of small islands, which lie in a very narrow compass, containing, in all, not quite twenty thousand acres. This group of isles is (to use Mr. Waller's expression) walled round with rocks, which render them inaccessible to pirates or enemies; there being but two narrow entrances, both well guarded by forts. It would therefore be impossible to find anywhere a more secure retreat for students.’ The trade of Bermuda consists only in gardenstuff, and some poor manufactures, principally of cedar and the palmetto-leaf. Bermuda hats are worn by our ladies: they are made of a sort of mat, or (as they call it) platting made of the palmetto-leaf, which is the only commodity that I can find exported from Bermuda to Great Britain; and as there is no prospect of making a fortune by this small trade, so it cannot be supposed to tempt the Fellows of the College to engage in it, to the neglect of their peculiar business, which might possibly be the case elsewhere. Such as their trade is, such is their wealth; the inhabitants being much poorer than the other Colonies, who do not fail to despise them upon that account. . But, if they have less wealth, they have withal less vice and expensive folly than their neighbours. They are represented as a contented, plain, innocent sort of people, free from avarice and luxury, as well as the other corruptions that attend those vices. I am also informed that they are more constant attendants on Divine service, more kind and respectful to their pastor (when they have one), and shew much more humanity to their slaves, and charity to one another, than is ob served among the English in the other Plantations. One reason of this may be that condemned criminals, being employed in the manufactures of sugar and tobacco, were never transported thither. But, whatever be the cause, the facts are attested by a clergyman of good credit, who lived among them. Among a people of this character, and in a situation thus circumstantiated, it would seem that a Seminary of religion and learning might very fitly be placed. The correspondence with other parts of America, the goodness of the air, the plenty and security of the place, the frugality and innocence of the inhabitants, all conspiring to favour such a design. Thus much at least is evident, that young students would be there less liable to be corrupted in their morals; and the governing part would be
easier, and better contented with a small sti pend, and a retired academical life, in a corner from whence avarice and luxury are excluded, than they can be supposed to be in the midst of a full trade and great riches, attended with all that high living and parade which our planters affect, and which, as well as all fashionable vices, should be far removed from the eyes of the young American missionaries, who are to lead a life of poverty and self-denial among their countrymen. After all, it must be acknowledged, that though everything else should concur with our wishes, yet if a set of good Governors and Teachers be wanting, who are acquainted with the methods of education, and have the zeal and ability requisite for carrying on a design of this nature, it would certainly come to nothing. An institution of this kind should be set on foot by men of prudence, spirit, and zeal, as well as competent learning, who should be led to it by other motives than the necessity of picking up a maintenance. For, upon this view, what man of merit can be supposed to quit his native country, and take up with a poor college subsistence in another part of the world, where there are so many considerable parishes actually void, and so many others ill supplied for want of fitting incumbents? Is it likely that Fellowships of fifty or sixty pounds a year should tempt abler or worthier men than benefices of many times their value? And except able and worthy men do first engage in this affair, with a resolution to exert themselves in forming the manners of the youth, and giving them a proper education, it is evident the Mission and the College will be but in a very bad way. This inconvenience seems the most difficult to provide against, and if not provided against, it will be the most likely to obstruct any design of this nature. So true it is, that where ignorance or ill manners once take place in a Seminary, they are sure to be handed down in a succession of illiterate or worthless men. But this apprehension, which seems so well grounded, that a College in any part of America would either lie unprovided, or be worse provided than their churches are, hath no place in Bermuda; there being at this time several gentlemen, in all respects very well qualified, and in possession of good preferments and fair prospects at home, who, having seriously considered the great benefits that may arise to the Church and to Mankind from such an under