Page images

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 savages of the wilderness.

Penn. We leave that to the wise Disposer of events, who governs all nations at his will. If we conduct with strict justice tovards 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 legislator is to provide a military strength which may defend the whole system. The world, William Penn, is a land of robbers. Any state or commonwealtb erected therein must be well fenced and secured by good military institutions ; the happier it is in all other respects, 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.

Penn. These 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 men. 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 sayest should be true, 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 Guatemozin, which troubles and affrights thee? O wretched man! I wonder not that thou dost tremble and shake, when thou thinkest of the many murders thou hast committed, the many thousands of those innocent Indians thou hast butchered, without an accusation of a crime! Remember there is day coming when thou must answer for all thy barbarities ! What wouldst thou give to part with the renown of thy conquest, 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 !


WHEN I was a child at seven years old, says Dr. Franklin, my friends on a holiday filled my little pockets with coppers

I went directly to a shop where they sold toys for children; and being charmed with the sound of a whistle, which I met by the way, in the hands of another boy, I voluntarily offered, and gave all my money for one.

2. I then came home, and went whistling all over the house, much pleased with my Whistle ; but disturbing all the family. My brothers, and sisters, 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 put 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 me pleasure.

4. This, however, was afterwards of use to me; the impression 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 so 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, who gave too much for the Whistle.

6. When I saw one too anubitious of court favours, sacrifacing his time in attendance at levees, his repose, his liberty,


bis virtue, and perhaps his friends, to attain it, I bave said to myself, This man gives too much for the Whistle.

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

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, sacrificing every laudable improvement of the mind or of his fortune, to mere corporal sensations, and ruining his health in the pursuit ; Mistaken man, say !, you are providing pain for yourself instead of pleasure ; you give too much for your Whistle.

10. If I see one fon 1 of fine clothes, tine furniture, fine houses, fine equipage, all above his fortune, for which he contracts debts, and ends his career in prison ; alas ! say I, he has paid dear, very dear for his Whistle.

11. In short, I conceived that great part of the miseries uf 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 Whistles.


IN 1347, the city of Calais in France was besieged by Edward III, king of England, and for more than a year had resisted the utmost efforts of his forces to reduce it. The English made their approaches and attacks without remission, but the citizens were as obstinate in repelling them.

2. At length famine did more for Edward than arms. After the citizens had devoured the lean carcasses of their starved cattle, and domestic animals, they fed on boiled leather and vermin. In this extremity they boldly resolved to attack the enemy's camp. The battle was long and

bloody, but the citizens who survived the slaughter were obliged again to retire within their gates, their governor having been taken prisoner.

3. On the captivity of the governor, the command devolved upon Eustace de Saint Pierre, the mayor of the city, a man of humble birth, but of exalted virtue. Eustace, seeing the necessity of an immediate capitulation, now offered to deliver the city to Edward, with all the possessions and wealth of the inhabitants, provided he would spare their lives and permit them to depart free.

4. As Edward had long since expected to ascend the throne of France; he was exasperated to the last degree against the little band whose sole valor had defeated his designs. He therefore determined to take exemplary vengeance upon them, and Sir Walter Manny was sent to iaform the wretched inhabitants of his final decision.

5. Consider, replied the governor. that this is not the treatment to which brave men are entitled. If any English knight had been in my situation, Edward himself would have expected the same conduct from him. But I inform you, that if we must perish, we will not perish unre

revenged, for we are not yet so reduced, but we can sell our lives at a high price to the victors.

6Manny was struck with the justness of the sentiment, and he at last prevailed upon Edward to mitigate the sentence. The best terms, however, which he would offer them were, that six of their most respectable citizens should suf- . fer death. They were to come to his camp, bringing the keys of the city in their hands, bareheaded and barefooted, with ropes about their necks. And on these conditions be promised to spare the lives of the remainder.

7. All that remained of the unfortunate inhabitants, were collected ið a great square, expecting with anxious hearts the sentence of their conqueror. When Sir Walter had declared his message, consternation and dismay were impressed upon every countenance.

To a long and dead silence, deep sighs and groans succeeded, ' when Eustace thus ad dressed the assembly.

8. My friends, we must either submit to the terms of our unfeeling conqueror, or yield up our wives and daugbters, and our tender infants to a bloody and brutal soldiery,

Look about you my friends, and fix your eyes on those you wish to deliver up, the victims of your own safety. Is there any here who has not watched for you, who has not fought and bled for


? 9. Is it your preservers then whom you would destine to destruction ? You will not, you cannot do it. There is but one expedient left, a gracious, a glorious, a god-like expedient. Is there any one here to whom virtue is dearer than life? Let him offer himself as a sacrifice for the safety of his people.

10. He spoke, but an universal silence ensued. Each man looked around for an example of that virtue and magnanimity in others, which he wished to approve in himself, but had not resolution enough to put in practice. At length St. Pierre resumed, it had been base in me, my fellow-citizens to propose any suffering to others, which I should have been unwilling to undergo in my own person ; but I held it ungenerous to deprive any man of the honour which might attend the first offer on so glorious an occasion.

11. I am willing to be the first to give my life for your sakes; I give it freely, I give it cheerfully. Who comes next? Your son, exclaimed a youth not yet come to maturity. Ah, my child, cried St. Pierre, I am then twice sacrificed. Thy years are few but full, my son, for the victim of virtue has fulfilled the great purpose of his being. Who next, my friends, this is the hour of heroes?

12. Your kinsman, cried John d'Aire! Your kinsman, cried James Wissant! Your kinsman, cried Peter Wissant ! Ah! exclaimed Sir Walter Manny, bursting into tears, why was not I a citizen of Calais ? The sixth victim was still wanting, and the number of those who pressed forward was so great, that he was supplied by lot.

13. The keys were then delivered to Sir Walter, who took the six prisoners into his custody, and ordered the gates to be opened. The English by this time were informcd of what had passed in the city, and each of the soldiers prepared a portion of his own victuals to entertain the half famished inhabitants.

14. At length St. Pierre and his fellow-citizens appeared, with Sir Walter Manny, and a guard. The tents of the

« PreviousContinue »