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DIALOGUE BETWEEN THE GHOSTS OF AN ENGLISH
DUELLIST, A NORTH-AMERICAN SAVAGE, AND
MERCURY. Duellist. Mbother side of the water. Allow me,
ERCURYCharon's boat is on the before it returns, to have some conversation with the North-American savage, whom you brought hither with me. I never before saw one of that species. He looks very grim. Pray, Sir, what is your name? I understand you speak English.
Savage. Yes, I learned it in my childhood, having been bred for some years among the English of NewYork. But, before I was a man, I returned to my valiant countrymen, the Mohawks; and having been villanously cheated by one of yours in the sale of some rum, I never cared to have any thing to do with them afterwards. Yet I took up the hatchet for them with the rest of my tribe in the late war against France, and was killed while I was out upon a scalping party. But I died very well satisfied: for my brethren were victorious; and before I was shot, I had gloriously scalped seven men, and five women and children. In a former war, I had performed still greater exploits. My name is the Bloody Bear: it was given me to express my fierceness and valor. ** Duel. Bloody Bear, I respect you, and am much your humble servant. My name is Tom Pushwell, very well known at Arthur's. I am a gentleman by my birth, and by profession a gamester and man of honor. I have killed men in fair fighting, in honorable single combat; but don't understand cutting the throats of women and children.
Sav. Sir, that is our way of making war. Every nation has its customs. But by the grimness of your countenance, and that hole in your breast, I presume you were killed as I was, in some scalping party. How happened it that your enemy did not take off your scalp?
Duel. Sir, I was killed in a duel. A friend of mine had lent me a sum of money; and after two or three years, Being in great want himself, he asked me to pay him. I thought his demand, which was somewhat pertinptory, an affront to my honor, and sent him a challenge. We met in Hyde Park. The fellow could not fence: but I was absolutely the adroitest swordsman in England. So I gave him three or four wounds; but at last he ran upon me with such impetuosity, that he put me out of my play, and I could not prevent him from whipping me through the lungs. I died the next day, as a man of honor should; without any snivelling signs of contrition or repentance: and he will follow me soon; for his surgeon has declared his wounds to be mortal. It is said that his wife is dead of grief, and that his family or seven children will be undone by his death. So I am well revenged, and that is a comfort., For my part, I had no wife. I always hated marriage: my mistress will take good care of herself, and my children are provided for at the foundling hospital.
Sav. Mercury I won't go in the boat with that fellow. He has murdered his countryman: he has murdered his friend: I say positively, I won't go in the boat with that fellow. I will swim over the river: I can swim like a duck.
Mer. Swim over the Styx! it must not be done: it is against the laws of Pluto's empire. You must go in the boat and be quiet.
Sav. Don't tell me of laws: I am a savage: I value no laws. Talk of laws to the Englishman: there are laws in his country; and yet you see he did not regard them. For they could never allow him to kill his fellow-subject, in time of peace, because he asked him to pay an honest debt. I know, indeed, that the English are a barbarous nation: but they can't possibly be so brutal as to make such things lawful.
Mer. You reason well against him. But how comes it that you are so offended with murder; you, who have frequently massacred women in their sleep, and children in their cradle?
Sav. I killed none but my enemies: I never killed my own countrymen: I never killed
friend. Here, take my blanket, and let it come over in the boat; but see that the murderer does not sit upon it, or touch it. If he does, I will burn it instantly in the fire I see yonder. Farewel. I am determined to swim over the water.
Mer. By this touch of my wand, I deprive thee of all thy strength. Swim now if thou canst.
Sav. This is a potent enchanter. Restore me my strength, and I promise to obey thee.
Mer. I restore it; but be orderiy, and do as I bid you; otherwise worse will befal
you. Duel. Mercury, leave him to me. I'll tutor him for you. Sirrah Savage, dost thou pretend to be ashamed of my company? Dost thou not know that I have kept the best company in England?
Sav. I know thou art a scoundrel. Not pay thy debts! kill thy friend who lent thee money for asking thee for it! Get out of my sight. I will drive thee into the Styx.
Mer. Stop. I command thee. No violence. Talk to him calmly.
Sav. I must obey thee. Well, Sir, let me know what merit you had to introduce you into good company? What could you do?
Duel. Sir, I gamed, as I told you. Besides, I kept a good table. I eat as well as any man either in England or France.
Sao. Eat! did you ever eat the liver of a Frenchman, or his leg, or his shoulder? There is fine eating for you! I have eat twenty. My table was always well served. My wife was esteemed the best cook for the dressing of man's flesh in all North America. You will not pretend to compare your eating with mine? Duel. I dance very finely.
Sav. I'll dance with thee for thy ears. I can dance all day long. I can dance the war dance with more spirit than any man in my nation. Let us see thee begin it. How thou standest like a post! Has Mercury struck thee with his enfeebling 'rod? Or art thou ashamed to let us see how awkward thou art? If he would permit me, I would teach thee to dance in a way that thou hast never yet learned. But what else canst thou do, thou bragging rascal?
Duel. O misery! must I bear all this! What can I do with this fellow? I have neither sword nor pistol; and his shade seems to be twice as strong as mine.
Mer. You must answer his questions. It was your own desire to have a conversation withi him. He is not well-bred; but he will tell you some truths which you must necessarily hear, when you come before Rhadamanthus. He asked you what you could do beside eating and dancing
Duel. I sang very agreeably.
Sav. Let me hear you sing your death song, or the warhoop. I challenge you to .sing. Come, begin. The fellow is mute. Mercury, this is a liar. He has told us nothing but lies. Let me put out his tongue.
Duel. The lie given me! and alas! I dare not resent it! What an indelible disgrace to the family of the Pushwells! This is indeed torinenting.
Mer. Here, Charon, take these two savages to your care. How far the barbarism of the Mohawk will excuse his horrid acts, I leave Minos to judge. But what can be said for the Englishman? Can we plead the custom of Duelling! A bad excuse at the best! but here it cannot avail. The spirit that urged him to draw his sword against his friend is not that of honor, it is the spirit of the furies; and to them he must go.
Sav. If he is to be punished for his wickedness, turn him over to me. I perfectly understand the art of tora menting. Sirrah, I begin my work with this box on your ears, and will soon teach you better manners than you
have yet learned. Dúel. Oh my honor, my honor, to what infamy art thou fallen!
SPEECH OF AN INDIAN CHIEF, OF THE STOCKBRIDGE
TRIBE, TO THE MASSACHUSETTS CONGRESS, THE YEAR 1775.
first came over the great waters, I was great and you were little; very small. I then took you in for a friend, and kept you under my arms, so that no one might injure you. Since that time we have ever been true friends: there has never been any quarrel between us. But now our conditions are changed. You are become great and tall. You reach to the clouds. You are seen all round the world. I am become small; very little. I am not so high as your knee. Now you take care of me; and I look to you for protection.
Brothers! I am sorry to hear of this great quarrel between you and Old England. It appears that blood must soon be shed to end this quarrel. We never till this day understood the foundation of this quarrel between you and the country you came from. Brothers! Whenever I see your blood running, you will soon find me about you to revenge my brothers' blood. Although I am low and very small, I will gripe hold of your enemy's heel, that he cannot run so fast, and so light, as if he had nothing at his heels.
Brothers! You know I am not so wise as you are, therefore I ask your advice in what I am now going to say. I have been thinking, before you come to action, to take a run to the westward, and feel the mind of my Indian brethren, the Six Nations, and know how they stand; whether they are on your side, or for