Page images
PDF
EPUB

Penn. An honest right of fair purchase. We gave the native Indians a variety of articles which they wanted ; and they, in return, gave us lands which they did not want. All was amicably agreed on ;, and not a drop of blood thed to stain our acquifition.

Cort. I am afraid there was a little fraud in the purchase. Thy followers, William Peno, are said to think that cheating, in a quiet and sober way, is no moral line

Penn. The righteous are always calumniated by the wicked. But it was a light which an angel might contemplate with delight; to behold the colony which I settled! To see us living with the Indians like innocent lambs, and ta. ming the ferocity of their manners by the gentleness of ours ! To see the whole country, which' before was an uncultivated wilderness, rendered as fair and as fertile as the garden of Eden! O Fernando Cortez! Fernando Cortez! didst thou leave the great Mexican empire in that fate? No, thou didst turn those delightful and populous regions into a defert, a desert flooded with blood. Doft thou not remeniber that most infernal scene, when the noble emperor

Guatemozin was stretched out by thy soldiers upon hot burning coals, to make him discover into what part of the lake of Mexico he had thrown the royal treasures ? Are not his groans ever founding in the ears of thy conscience? Do they not rend thy hard heart, and strike thee with more horror than the yells of the furies.

Cort. Alas, I was not present when that direful act was done ! Had I been there, the mildness: of my nature never would have suffered me to endure the fight. I certainly fhould have forbidden it.

Penn. Thou waft the captain of that band of robbers, who did this horrid deed. The advantage they had drawn from thy counsels and conduct.enabled them to commit it ; and thy skill faved them afterwards from the vengeance which was due to so enormous a crime. The enraged Mexicans would have properly punished them for it, if they had not had thee for their general, thou. beard-hearted, bloody-thirsty wretch.

Cort. The righteous I find can rail, William Penn. But how do you hope to preserve this admirable colony you have settled 'Your people, you

tell
me,
live like innocent lambs.

Are

[ocr errors]

E 2

Are there no wolves in America to devour those lambs Do you expect the natives will always continue in peace with your successors ? Or, if they should make war, do you expect to oppose them by prayers and presents? If this. be your policy, your devoted colony will soon become an: easy prey to the favages of the wilderness.

Penn. We leave that to the wise Disposer of events,whor governs

all nations at his will. If we conduct with striệt justice towards the Indians, He will doubtless defend us against all their invasions.

Cort. Is this the wisdom of a great legislator!' I have heard some of your countrymen compare you to Solon ! Did Solon, think you, give laws to a people, and leave those laws and that people to the mercy of every invader ? The first business of a legislature is to provide a military Itrength which may defend the whole system. The world, William Penn, is a land of robbers. Any state or commonwealth erected therein must be well fenced and secured: by good military institutions; or, the happier it is in all other refpects, the greater will be its danger, the more speedy its destruction. Your plan of government must be changed; these Indian nations must be extirpated, or your colony; will be lost.

Penu. There are suggestions of human wisdom. The doctrines I held were inspired. They came from above. .

Cort. It is blasphemy to say that any folly could come from the fountain of wisdom. Whatever is inconsistent with the great laws of nature cannot be the effect of inspiration. . Self-defence is as necessary to nations as to mená. And shall individuals have a right which nations have not? True : religion, William Penn, is never inconsistent with reason. and the great laws of nature..

Penn. Though what thou fayeft should be trae, it does not come well from thy mouth. A tyrant talk of reason ! : Go to the inquisition, and tell them of reason, and the great laws of nature. They will broil thee, as thy soldiers broiled the unhappy Guatemozin. Why dost thou turn pale? Is it the name of the inquisition, or the name of Guatemos. zin, which troubles and affrights thee? O wretched man ! I wonder not that thou dost tremble and shake, when thou thinkelt of the many murders thou hast committed, the many

thousands

thoufands of those innocent. Indians thou haft butchered, without an accusation of a crime!. Remember there is a day coming when thou.must answer for all thy barbarities ! What wouldst thou give to part with the renown of thy conquests, and to have a conscience as pure and undisturbed as mine?

Cort.. I feel the force of thy words. They pierce me like daggers.. I can never, never be happy, while I retain any, memory of the ills. I have caused !.

[ocr errors]

THE WHISTLE.

WHEN I was a child, at seven years old, says Dr. Franklin, my friends on a holiday filled my little pockets with coppers.. I wept directly to a shop where they fold

toys for children; and being charmed with the found of a Whistle, which I met by the way, in the hands of an-. other boy, I voluntarily offered, and gave all my money

for one

I then came home, and went whistling all over the house, much pleased with my Whistle ; but disturbing all the family. My brothers and lifters, and cousins, understanding the bargain I had made, told me, I had given four times as much for it, as it was worth.

3. This pụt me in mind of what good things I might have bought with the rest of the money. And they laughed at me so much for my folly, that I cried with vexation ; and the reflection gave me more chagrin than the Whistle gave ne pleasure.

4. This; however, was afterwards of use to me; the impreffion continuing on my mind, so that often when I was tempted to buy some unnecessary thing, I said to myself, Don't give too much for the Whistle.. And. fo I saved my money:

5. As I grew up and came into the world, and observed the actions of men, I thought I met with many, very many, , wbo gave too much for the whiffle.

6. When I saw one too antious of court favors, facrificing his time in attendance at leyees, his repose, his lib

erty,

[ocr errors]

erty, his virtue, and perhaps his friends, to attain it, I have said to myself, This min gives too much for his Whistle.,

7. When I saw another fond of popularity, constantly employing himself in political bustles, neglecting his owo affairs, and ruining them by that neglect, He pays indeed, said I, too much for bis Whilie.

8. If I knew a miser, who gave up every kind of comfortable living, all the pleasure of doing good to others, all the esteem of his fellow citizens, and the joys of benevolent friendship, for the sake of accumulating wealth, Poor man, said I, you do indeed pay too much for the Whistle.

9. When I meet with a man of pleasure, facrificing every laudable improvement of the mind or of his fortune, to mere corporal sensations, and ruining his health in the pursuit ; Mistaken man, fåy I, you are providing pain for yourself instead of pleafure; you give too much for your Whistle.

10. If I see one fond of fine clothes, fine furniture, fine houses, fine equipage, all above his fortune, for which he contracts debts, and ends his career in prison ; Alas ! fay. I,. he has paid dear, very, dear, for his Whiple

. In short, I conceived that great part of the miseries of mankind were brought upon them by the false estimates they had made of the value of things, and by their giving too much for their Whiffles.

II.

TRUE PATRIOTISM, DISPLAYED AT THE

SIEGE OF CAL'AIS.

IN

1347, the town of Calais in France was besieged by Edward III. of England, and reduced to the lalt extremity by famine and the fatigue of the inhabitants. John of Vienna, the governor, foreseeing the necessity of farrendering his fortress, appeared upon the walls and de-fired a parley,

2:- Sir Walter Manny was sent to him by Edward, whom the governor addressed in the following words,. “ I have : been entrusted by my sovereigo with the command of this tOWO.. It is almost a yo't fince you besieged me'; and I. have endeayored, as well as those under me, to do my

duty.

duty. But you are acquainted wirh our present condition. We are perishing with hunger, and have no hopes of relief. I am willing, therefore, to surrender ; and desire, as the fole condition, that you would insure the lives and liberties of these brave men, who have so long shared with me every danger and fatigue."

3. Manny replied, that the king was so incensed against the townsmen of Calais for their obstinate resistance, he was determined to take exeinplary vengeance on them; and would receive no terms which ihould restrain him in the punishment of the offenders.

4. “Confider," replied the governor, " that this is not the treatment to which brave men are entitled. If any English knight had been in my situation, your king would have expected the fame conduct froin him. The inhabitants of Calais have done for their sovereign what merits the esteem of every prince ;, much more, of fo gallant a prince as Edward.

5. “ But I inform you, that, if we must perish, we shall Bot perish unrevenged; and that we are not yet fo reduced, but we can sell our lives at a high price to the victors. It is the interest of both sides to prevent these desperate extremities; and I expect that you yourself, brave knight, will interpose your good offices with your prince in our behalf."

6. Manny was ftruck with the jaftness of the fentiment, and reprefented to the king the danger of reprisals, if he fhould offer such treatment to the inhabitants. Edward was at last persuaded to mitigate the rigor of the conditious demanded.

7. He only insisted that fix of the noii respectable citizens should be sent to him, to be disposed of as he thought proper. They were to come to his camp, carrying the keys of the city in their hands, bareheaded and barefooted, with ropes about their necks. And on these conditions, he promised to spare the lives of all the remainder.

8. When this intelligence was conveyed to Calais, it ftruck the inhabitants with new consternation. To facriface fix of their fellow.citizens to certain destruction for fignalizing their valor in a common cause, appeared to them is a more fercre than that general punishment with which

they

« PreviousContinue »