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It is high time, for the fake of humanity, that a ftop were put to this enormity. The United States of America, though better fituated than any European nation to make profit by privateering (most of the trade of Europe, with the Weft Indies, paffing before their doors), are, as far as in them lies, endeavouring to abolish the practice, by offering, in all their treaties with other powers, an article, engaging folemnly, that, in cafe of future war, no privateer fhall be commiffioned on either fide; and that unarmed merchant-fhips, on both fides, fhall purfue their voyages unmolefted*. This will be a happy improvement of the law
*This offer having been accepted by the late king of Pruffia, a treaty of amity and commerce was concluded between that monarch and the United States, containing the following humane, philanthropic article; in the formation of which Dr. Franklin, as one of the American plenipotentiaríes, was principally concerned, viz.
If war fhould arife between the two contracting parties, the merchants of either country, then refiding in the other, shall be allowed to remain nine months to collect their debts and fettle their affairs, and may depart freely, carrying off all their effects without moleftation or hindrance: and all women and children, fcholars of every faculty, cultivators of the earth, artifans, manufacturers, and fishermen, unarmed and inhabiting unfortified towns, villages, or places, and in general all others whofe occupations are for the common fubfistence and benefit of mankind, fhall be allowed to continue their refpective employments, and fhall not be molested in their perfons, nor fhall their houses or goods be burnt, or otherwife destroyed, nor their fields wafted, by the armed force of the enemy into whofe power, by the events of war, they may happen to fall; but if any thing is neceffary to be taken from them for the use of such armed force, the fame fhall be paid for at a reasonable price. And all merchant and trading veffels employed in exchanging the products of different places, and thereby rendering the neceffaries, conveniences, and com
law of nations. The humane and the just cannot but wish general success to the propofition.
With unchangeable esteem and affection,
I am, my dear friend,
forts of human life more eafy to be obtained, and more gené ral, fhall be allowed to pass free and unmolested; and neither of the contracting powers fhall grant or iffue any commiffion to any private armed veffels, empowering them to take or deftroy fuch trading veffels, or interrupt fuch commerce.
REMARKS CONCERNING THE SAVAGES OF
SAVAGES we call them, because their manners differ from ours, which we think the perfection of civility; they think the fame of theirs.
Perhaps, if we could examine the manners of different nations with impartiality, we fhould find no people fo rude as to be without any rules of politenefs; nor any fo polite as not to have fome remains of rudeness.
The Indian men, when young, are hunters and warriors; when old, counsellors; for all their government is by the counfel or advice of the fages; there is no force, there are no prisons, no officers to compel obedience, or inflict punishment. Hence they generally ftudy oratory; the best fpeaker having the moft influence. The Indian women till the ground, drefs the food, nurse and bring up the children, and preferve and hand down to pofterity the memory of public tranfactions. These employments of men and women are accounted natural and honourable. Having few artificial wants, they have abundance of leifure for improvement by conversation. Our laborious manner of life, compared with theirs, they efteem flavish and base; and the learning on which we value ourselves, they regard as frive lous and useless. An inftance of this occurred at the treaty of Lancaster, in Pennsylvania, anno 1744, between the government of Virginia and the Six Nations. After the principal business was fettled, the commiffioners from Virginia acquainted the Indians by a speech, that there was at Williamsburg
liamsburg a college, with a fund, for educating Indian youth; and that if the chiefs of the Six Nations would fend down half a dozen of their fons to that college, the government would take care that they fhould be well provided for, and inftructed in all the learning of the white people. It is one of the Indian rules of politenefs not to anfwer a public propofition the fame day that it is made; they think it would be treating it as a light matter; and that they fhew it refpect by taking time to confider it, as of a matter important. They therefore deferred their anfwer till the day following; when their fpeaker began, by expreff ing their deep fenfe of the kindnefs of the Virginia government, in making them that offer;
for we know," fays he," that you highly "esteem the kind of learning taught in thofe colleges, and that the maintenance of our young men, while with you, would be very "expensive to you. We are convinced, there"fore, that you mean to do us good by your "propofal; and we thank you heartily. But
r you who are wife must know, that different "nations have different conceptions of things; " and you will therefore not take it amifs, if our "ideas of this kind of education happen not to "be the fame with yours. We have had fome "experience of it: feveral of our young people "were formerly brought up at the colleges of "the northern provinces; they were inftructed " in all your fciences; but when they came back to us, they were bad runners; ignorant of every means of living in the woods; unable to bear "either cold or hunger; knew neither how to "build a cabin, take a deer, or kill an enemy; fpoke our language imperfectly; were there"fore neither fit for hunters, warriors, or coun"fellors; they were totally good for nothing.
"We are however not the lefs obliged by your "kind offer, though we decline accepting it; "and to fhow our grateful fense of it, if the "gentlemen of Virginia will fend us a dozen of "their fons, we will take great care of their edu"cation, inftruct them in all we know, and make men of them."
Having frequent occafions to hold public councils, they have acquired great order and decency in conducting them. The old men fit in the foremoft ranks, the warriors in the next, and the women and children in the hindmoft. The bufiness of the women is to take exact notice of what paffes, imprint it in their memories, for they have no writing, and communicate it to their children. They are the records of the council, and they preserve tradition of the ftipulations in treaties a hundred years back; which, when we compare with our writings, we always find exact. He that would fpeak, rifes. The reft obferve a profound filence. When he has finished, and fits down, they leave him five or fix minutes to recollect, that, if he has omitted any thing he intended to fay, or has any thing to add, he may rise again and deliver it. To interrupt another, even in common conversation, is reckoned highly indecent. How different this is from the conduct of a polite British House of Commons, where scarce a day paffes without fome confufion, that makes the speaker hoarfe in calling to order; and how different from the mode of converfation in many polite companies of Europe, where, if you do not deliver your fentence with great rapidity, you are cut off in the middle of it by the impatient loquacity of thofe you converse with, and never fuffered to finish it!
The politeness of these favages in converfation, is, indeed, carried to excefs; fince it does not S