« PreviousContinue »
real, agricultural, civil and literary: in short, elevate the sword above the gown, the military over the civil power, and I will warrant them; not only all the penury, slavery and wretchednes, of the lower classes of Europe, but also all the vice and profligacy, which is to be found in their jails, penitentiaries, hulks, transports, bridewells, newgates, toll-booths and barracks.
THE WARS OF THE OSAGES,
In reading an account of the military customs of the Osages in the last Missionary Herald, I was much interested by the great similarity of feeling and character, which is exhibited by all savages, red or white, who make military glory their chief end and object. It shows that human nature, unenlightened by the Gospel, is the same in forest and city, and that the love of military fame, while it is the most baleful and destructive passion of the human mind, is also the most
common, the most selfish, and the basest of all; and to make use of expressions already familiar to my readers,—differs, in savage and in civilized life, only as the uncouth and rusty tomahawk.differs from the bright and polished sword, the same in substance and in purpose ; or as the diamond, cut and polished by art, differs from the black and shapeless coal ; though this may disgust, and that may dazzle, they are, as chemists inform us, of the same nature, and are ranked in the same genus.
They go to war in a body, but return separately; and their fighting is done in savage style. One attack during one campaign suffices, especially if they obtain a few scalps. They have too great an individual interest to admit of patriot-m. Every man has his personal glory to win, by killing an enemy; so that where a warrior has obtained a single scalp, regarding it as a great deal of glory for him, he is ready to return."
Let us note the similarity between the christian and pagan warrior.
6. Their fighting is done in savage style." I should like to know what fighting is not done in savage
style, and if it makes any difference to a dying man, whether his heart be pierced by a bullet or an arrow: or whether he is stabbed by a dirk or a scalping knife. During the bombardment of Copenhagen, by the British, a shell fell into the house of a professor of the college, there, while he and his four amiable and accomplished daughters were sitting at a table, and exploding, destroyed all five. The story was told me near the spot. Is there any thing more savage in Osage warfare than this ? Is there in nature a more heart-rending sight than the body of a beautiful woman torn to pieces by the bursting of a bombshell, of four sisters and their father torn limb from limb, and the fragments mingled in one promiscuous ruin ? But this is civilized warfare : the British are Christians and the attack on Copenhagen was one of the most unjustifiable and unprovoked of any in history.
Again “one attack during one campaign suffices” a victorious savage, in which he is more moderate than the Christian warrior, who presses on’a defeated enemy, until, to use the martial term, they have annihilated
him. “Every man has personal glory to win, by killing an enemy,” but more moderate than the Christian, and less blood-thirsty, one scalp suffices him for one campaign.
The road to honor is also the same with white and red. 6. This is by personal exploits. Seven acts of personal prowess prescribed by custom, constitute the highest order or degree of honor and glory. They who have done these seven are entitled to the first place in the medicine ceremony. Each one is allowed to make his own statement, and it is received as true, unless some one is able to contradict it.” Thus with us, when a man is ambitious of power, whether civil or military, he has only to league with others, to blow up a war, and then, when he has taken the seven scalps, he may claim the first place in the civil government : though he be as unfit for the station, as a boatswain of a man of war is to go supercargo of an Indiaman. " Each one is allowed to make his own statement." Thus it is with us ; but if any one should dare to contradict our boasting statements, he is called a traitor to the country, and an enemy to her glory.
** The leaders of a party neither shoot, nor strike. These are men whose glory has been established. They, therefore, order the attack : but they themselves keep back and give the youth an opportunity to acquire laurels." It is much so with us ; but there is some difference. The leading Osages have been renowned-in war,and taken many scalps and no one else pushes on a war, and compels others to fight. That arises from their having no agents nor contractors. These savages make war for glory only, while with us civilized, the expectation of a profitable job, is often the cause of war. Napoleon acted the Osage, to the life, at the battle of Waterloo. He had acquired enough of the glory of personal courage, at the bridge of Lodi : so he permitted his Cuirassiers, to gather laurels from the Scotch Greys, while he remained safe and snug behind the hills, out of the reach of cannon shot.
The Osages have also religious forms on going to war, and if they had chaplains, they would undoubtedly set them praying to God for leave to scalp their enemies. But in lieu of chaplains, “Dreamers relate their dreams,