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parents, like the instinctive fondness of animals, ceases almost entirely as soon as their offspring attain maturi. ty. Little instruction fits them for that mode of life, to which they are destined. The parents, as if their duty were accomplished when they have conducted their children through the helpless years of infancy, leave them afterwards at entire liberty. Even in their tender age, they seldom advise or admonish, they never chide or chastise them. They suffer them to be absolute masters of their own actions. In an American hut, a father, a mother, and their posterity live together like persons assembled by accident, without seeming to feel the obligation of the duties mutually arising from this connexion. As filial love is not cherished by the continuance of attention or good offices, the recol. lection of benefits received in early infancy is too faint to excite it. Parents are not objects of greater regard than other persons. Their children treat them always with neglect, and often with such harshness and insolence, as to fill those who have been witnesses of their conduct, with horror.-Several tribes depend entirely upon the bounty of nature for subsistence, and are unacquainted with every species of cultivation. They neither sow nor plant. The roots which the earth produces spontaneously, the fruits, the berries, and the seeds, which they gather in the woods, together with lizards, and other reptiles, which multiply amazingly with the heat of the climate in a fat soil, moistened by frequent rains, supply them with food during some part of the year. At other times they subsist by fishing ; and Nature seems to have indulged the laziness of the South American tribes, by the liberality with which she ministers in this way to their wants. The vast rivers of that region in America abound with an infinite va. riety of the most delicate fish. The lakes and marshes, formed by the annual overflowing of the waters, are filled with all the different species ; where they remain shut up, as in natural reservoirs, for the use of the inhabitants. They swarm in such shoals, that, in some places, they are caught without art or industry. In others, the natives have discovered a method of infecting the water with the gum of certain plants, by which the fish are so intoxicated, that they float on the sur. face, and are taken with the hand. Some tribes have ingenuity enough to preserve them without salt, by dry. ing or smoking them upon hurdles over a slow fire. None but tribes contiguous to great rivers can sustain themselves in this manner. The greater part of the American nations, dispersed over the forests with which their country is covered, do not procure subsistence with the same facility. For, although these forests, especially in the southern continent of America, are stored plentifully with game, considerable efforts of activity and ingenuity are requisite in pursuit of it. Necessity incited the natives to the one, and taught them the other. Hunting became their principal occupation; and, as it called forth strenuous exertions of courage, of force, and of invention, it was deemed no less honourable than necessary. This occupation was peculiar to the men. They were trained to it from their earliest youth. A bold and dexterous hunter ranked next in fame to the distinguished warrior, and an alliance with the former is often courted in preference to one with the latter. Hardly any device which the ingenuity of man has discovered, for ensnaring or destroying wild animals, was unknown to the Americans. While engaged in this favourite exercise, they shake off the indolence peculiar to their nature, the latent powers and vigour of their minds are roused, and they become active, persevering and indefatigable. Their sagacity in finding their prey, and their address in killing it, are equal. They discern the footsteps of a wild beast, which escape every other eye, and can follow them with certainty, through the pathless forest. If they attack their game openly, their arrow seldom errs from the mark; if they endeavour to circumvent it by art, it is almost impossible to avoid their toils. Their ingenuity, always on the stretch, and sharpened by emulation as well as necessity, has struck out many inventions, which greatly facilitate success in the chase. The most singular of these is the discovery of a poison, in which they dip the arrows employed in hunting. The slightest wound with those envenomed shafts is mortal. If they only. pierce the skin, the blood fixes and congeals in a moment, and the strongest animal falls motionless to the ground. Nor does this poison, notwithstanding its violence and subtilty infect the flesh of the animal which it kills. That may be eaten with perfect safety, and retains its native relish and qualities.-But the life of a hunter gradually leads man to a state more advanced. If a savage trusts to his bow alone for food, he and his family will be often reduced to extreme distress. Their experience of this surmounts the abhorrence of labour, natural to savage nations, and compels them to have recourse to culture, as subsidiary to hunting. In particular situations, some small tribes may subsist by fishing, independent of any production of the earth raised by their own industry: but, throughout all America, we scarcely meet with any nation of hunters, which does not practise some species of cultivation. The agricul. ture of the Americans, however, is neither extensive nor laborious. As game and fish are their principal food, all they aim at by cultivation is to supply any occasional defect of these. In the southern continent of America, the natives confined their industry to rearing a few plants, which, in a rich soil and warm climate, were easily trained to maturity. One of these is pimento, a small tree, yielding a strong aromatic spice. The Americans, who, like other inhabitants of warm climates, delight in whatever is hot and of poignant flavour, deem this seasoning a necessary of life, and mingle it copiously with every kind of food they take. -In the warmer and more mild climates of America, none of the rude tribes were clothed. But, though naked, they were not unadorned. They dressed their hair in many different forms. They fastened bits of gold, or shells, or shining stones, in their ears, their noses, and cheeks. They stained their skins with a great variety of figures; and they spent much time and submitted to great pain, in ornamenting their persons in this fantastic manner. Not satisfied with those simple decorations, they have a wonderful propensity to alter the natural form of their bodies, in order to render it (as they imagine) more perfect and beautiful. This practice was universal among the rudest of the American tribes. Their operations for that purpose begin as soon as an infant is born. Some flatten the crowns of their heads; some squeeze them into the shape of a cone; others mould them, as much as possible, into a square figure: and they often endanger the lives of their posterity, by their violent and absurd efforts to derange the plan of Nature, or to improve upon her designs. But in all their attempts, either to adorn or to new model their persons, it seems to have been less the object of the Americans to please, or to appear beautiful, than to give an air of dignity and terror to their aspect. It was when the warrior had in view to enter the council of his nation, or to take the field against its enemies, that he assumed his choicest ornaments, and decked his person with the nicest care. The decorations of the women were few and simple; whatever was precious or splendid was reserved for the men. In several tribes, the women were obliged to spend a considerable part of their time every day, in adorning and painting their husbands, and could bestow little attention in orna. menting themselves. To deck his person was the distinction of a warrior, as well as one of his most serious occupations. All the different tribes, which remain unclothed, are accustomed to anoint and rub their bodies with the grease of animals; with viscous gums, and with oils of different kinds. By this they check that profuse perspiration, which, in the torrid zone, wastes the vigour of the frame, and abridges the period of hu man life. By this, too, they provide a defence against the extreme moisture during the rainy season. They likewise, at certain seasons, temper paint of different colours with those unctuous substances, and bedaub themselves plentifully with that composition, by which their skins are protected, not only from the penetrating heat of the sun, but also from the vast tribes of insects, which infest those regions.—Some of the American tribes were so extremely rude, and had advanced so little beyond the primeval simplicity of nature, that they had no houses at all. During the day they take shelter from the scorching rays of the sun, under thick trees; at night they form a shed with their branches and leaves. In the rainy season they retire into caves formed by the hand of nature, or hollowed out by their
own industry. But even among the tribes which are more improved, the structure of their houses is extremely mean and simple. They are wretched huts, the doors of which are so low, that it is necessary to creep on the hands and feet, in order to enter them. They are without windows, and have a large hole in the middle of the roof to convey out the smoke. Some of their houses are so large as to contain accommodation for fourscore or a hundred persons. These are built for the reception of different families; which dwell together under the same roof, and often around a common fire, without separate apartments, or any kind of screen or partition between the spaces, which they respectively occupy.
VINDICTIVE AND WARLIKE CHARACTER OF THE
INTEREST is not either the most frequent or the most powerful motive of the incessant hostilities among rude nations. These must be imputed to the passion of revenge; which
rages with such violence in the breast of savages,
eagerness to gratify it may be considered as the distinguishing characteristic of men in their uncivilized state. The desire of vengeance is the first, and almost the only principle, which a savage instils into the mind of his children. This grows up with him as he advances in life ; and, as his attention is directed to few objects, it acquires a degree of force, unknown among men, whose passions are dissipated and weakened by the variety of their occupations and pursuits. The desire of vengeance, which takes possession of the heart of savages, resembles the instinctive rage of an animal rather than the passion of man. It turns, with undiscerning fury, even against inanimate objects. If hurt accidentally by a stone, they often seize it in a transport of anger, and endeavour to wreak their vengeance upon it. If struck with an arrow in battle, they will tear it from the wound, break and bite it with their teeth, and dash it on the ground. With respect to their enemies, the rage of vengeance knows