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nothing is exacted for the entertain. ment.
The fame hospitality, esteemed among them as a principal virtue, is practised by private persons; of which Conrad Wei. Jer, our interpreter, gave me the following instance. He had been naturalized among the Six Nations, and spoke well the Mohuck language. In going through the Indian country, to carry a message from our governor to the council at Onondaga, he called at the habitation of Canassetego, an old acquaintance, who embraced him, spread furs for him to fit on, placed before him fome boiled beans and venison, and mixed fome rum and water for his drink. When he was well refreshed, and had lit his pipe, Canafsetego began to converse 'with him : asked how he had fared the
many years fince they had seen each other, whence he then came, what occafioned the journey, &c. Conrad an..
swered all his questions; and when the discourse began to flag, the Indian, to, continue it, said, “Conrad, you have lived “ long among the white people, and “ know something of their customs ; “ I have been sometimes at Albany, and * have observed, that once in seven days " they shut up their shops, and assemble “ all in the great house ; tell mewhat it " is for? What do they do there ?"
They meet there,” says Conrad,“ to “ hear and learn good things.” “I do
not doubt,” says the Indian, “ that “they tell you so ; they have told me « the fame : but I doubt the truth of " what they say, and I will tell you
my reasons. I went lately to Albany s to sell my skins and buy blankets, “ knives, powder, rum, &c. You know “ I used generally to deal with Hans “ Hanson ; but I was a little inclined o this time to try some other merchants.
However, I called first upon Hans,
“ and asked him what he would give for “ beaver. He said he could not give 6 more than four shillings a pound : “ but, says he, I cannot talk on business " now; this is the day when we meet “ together to learn good things, and I am “going to the meeting. So I thought to “ myself, since I cannot do any
business “ to-day, I may as well go to the meeting too,
and I went with him. There stood up a man in black, and began to talk “ to the people very angrily. I did not « understand what he faid ; but perceive
ing that he looked much at me, and " at Hanson, I imagined he was angry " at seeing me there ; so I went out, « sat down near the house, ftruck fire, “ and lit my pipe, waiting till the meet“ing should break up. I thought too " that the man had mentioned something « of beaver, and I suspected it might be " the subject of their meeting. So when “they came out I accosted my merchant.
"Well, Hans, says I, I hope you have “agreed to give more than four shillings " a pound.” “No,” says he, “ I cannot
give so much, I cannot give more than " three shillings and fixpence.” I then “ spoke to several other dealers, but they * all sung the same fong, three and fix
pence, three and fixpence. This made " it clear to me that my suspicion was “ right; and that whatever they pre"tended of meeting to learn good things, “ the real purpose was to consult how " to cheat Indians in the price of beaver.
Consider but a little, Conrad, and
you must be of my opinion. If they r met so often to learn good things, they
would certainly have learned some be« fore this time. But they are still igno“ rant. You know our practice. If a white
man, in travelling through our coun
try, enters one of our cabins, we all r treat him as I do you; we dry him if " he is wet, we warm hiin if he is cold, O2
“ and give him meat and drink, that he
may allay his thirst and hunger ; and “ we spread soft furs for him to rest and “ sleep on : we demand nothing in re“ turn*. But if I go into a white man's “house at Albany, and ask for victuals “ and drink, they say, Where is your money ;
and if I have none, they fay, “Get out, you Indian dog. You see " they have not yet learned those little
good things that we need no meetings 66 to be instructed in, because our mos “thers taught them to us when we were
* It is remarkable, that in all ages and countries, hospitality has been allowed as the virtue of those, whom the civilized were pleased to call Barbarians ; the Greeks celebrated the Scythians for it. The Saracens possessed it eminently; and it is to this day the reigning virtue of the wild Arabs. St. Paul too, in the relation of his voyage and shipwreck, on the island of Melita, says, “ The barbarous people “ shewed us no little kindness ; for they kindled
a fire, and received us every one, because of the “ present rain, and because of the cold.” This note is taken from a small collection of Franklin's papers, printed for Dilly.