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and come into the canoe with a beautiful female. At first they mistook her for a goddess, and their astonishment was not lessened when they recognised her countenance, and found her to be a person whom they had no doubt was killed in the general massacre of her family; and this they thought must be her apparition. But how agreeably was their wonder softened down into the most interesting feelings, when the young chief related to them the discovery of the cavern, and the whole circumstance of her escape! All the young men on board could not refrain from envying him his happiness in the possession of so lovely and interesting a creature. They arrived safe at one of the Fiji islands, and resided with a certain chief there for two years: at the end of which time hearing of the death of the tyrant of Vavaoo, the young chief returned with his wife to the last-mentioned island, and lived long in peace and happiness.
THE WILD MAN.
In the year 1774, a savage, or wild man, was discovered by the shepherds who fed their flocks in the neighbourhood of the forest of Yuary. This man, who inhabited the rocks that lay near the forest, was very tall, covered with hair like a bear, nimble as the hisars, of a gay humour, and in all appearance of a mild character, as he neither did nor seemed to intend harm to any body. He often visited the cottages, without ever attempting to carry off any thing. He had no knowledge of bread, milk, or cheese. His greatest amusement was to see the sheep running, and to scatter them, and he testified his pleasure at this sight by loud fits of laughter, but never attempted to hurt these innocent animals. When the shepherds (as was frequently the case) let loose the dogs after him, he fled with the swiftness of an arrow shot from a bow, and never allowed the dogs to come too near him. One morning he came to the cottage of some workmen, and one of them endeavouring to get near him and catch him by the leg, he laughed heartily, and then made bis escape. He seemed to be about thirty years of age. As the forest in question is very extensive, and has a communication with vast woods that belong to the Spanish territory, it is natural to suppose that this solitary but cheerful creature had been lost in his infancy, and had subsisted on herbs.
PETER, THE WILD BOY.
“PETER, commonly known by the name of Peter, the wild boy, lies buried in this churchyard *, opposite to the porch. In the year 1725 he was found in the woods near Hamelen, a fortified town in the electorate of Hanover, when his majesty George I. with his attendants, was hunting in the forest of Hertswold. He was supposed to be then about twelve years of age, and had subsisted in these woods upon the bark of trees, leaves, berries, &c. for some considerable length of tiine. How long he had continued in that wild state is altogether uncertain ; but that he had formerly been under the care of some person, was evident from the remains of a shirt-collar about his neck at the time when he was found. As Hamelen was a town where criminals were confined to work upon the fortifications, it was then conjectured at Hanover that Peter might be the issue of one of those criminals, who had either wandered into the woods and could not find his way back again, or being discovered to be an idiot, was inhumanly turned out by his parents, and left to perish or shift for himself. In the following year, 1726, he was brought over
* North Church.
to England. ***** Notwithstanding there appeared to be no natural defect in his organs of speech, after all the pains that had been taken with him, he could never be brought distinctly to articulate a single syllable, and proved totally incapable of receiving any instruction.”-North Church Parish Register, Hertfordshire.
The register proceeds to give a long and particular account of Peter's being put under the care of various persons. He appeared to have been unable to speak to the very last, though every endeavour was made for his instruction. He danced to music, however, and could hum a tune.
For a further description of this singular being, who lived till the age of 72, I refer my readers to the Parish Register, to the Annual Register, (Dodsley's) for 1784 and 5, and to all the other periodical works and miscellaneous collections of that period.
It seems that he was generally considered to be an idiot, though his countenance bore not that appearance. There is no reason to believe that he could speak when he was lost; and his being left in the woods or lost there, before the organs of speech were exercised, will account for his never arriving at a distinct utterance of the simplest expressions. That he danced when he heard a tune, till he was exhausted with fatigue, can easily be accounted for, and it proves him to have been no idiot.
This is further evinced by the account of a Mr. Burgess, transmitted to Lord Monboddo, and inserted by him in his Ancient Metaphysics, by which it appears that Peter could count twenty, and answer various questions distinctly.
END OF VOL. I.