ページの画像
PDF
ePub
[graphic][merged small][merged small]

the bargain was a fair one, and insisted that the Indians ought to abide by it; and if not, should be compelled to it. “Compelled !' exclaimed Penn, 'how can you compel them without bloodshed? Don't you see this lonks to murder?' Then, turning with a benignant smile to the Indians, he said: “Well, brothers, if you have given us too much land for the goods first agreed on, how much more will satisfy you?'

“ This proposal gratified them, and they mentioned the quantity of cloth, and number of fish-hooks, with which they would be satisfied. These were cheerfully given, and the Indians, shaking hands with Penn, went away smiling. After they were gone, the governor, looking round on his friends, exclaimed, “How sweet and cheap a thing is charity! Some of you spoke just now of compelling these poor creatures to stick to their bargain, that is, in plain English, to fight and kill them, and all about a little piece of land.'

“For this generous and truly Christian line of conduct, followed out in all his actions to the Indians, he was nobly rewarded. The untamed savage of the forest became the warm friend of the white stranger, towards Penn and his followers they buried the war-hatchet, and ever evinced the strongest respect for them. When the colony of Pennsylvania was pressed for provisions, and none could be obtained from other settlements, and which scarcity arose from the increasing number of inhabitants not having time to raise the necessary food, the Indians cheerfully came forward and assisted the colony by the fruits of their labours in hunting. This kindness they practised with pleasure, because they considered it an accommodation to their good father Onas' and his friends. And though Penn has long been dead, yet he is not forgotten by the red men, for many of the Indians possess a knowledge of his peaceable disposition, and speak of him with a tone and feeling very different from what they manifest when speaking of whites who came to them with words of treachery on their tongues, kegs of fire-water' in their hands, and oppression, and the unprincipled supremacy of power, in their whole dealings.”

The spirit which animated and guided the founders of Pennsylvania continues to influence their descendants. An American writer relates the following incident in illustration of the disarming force of kindness :

“An intelligent Quaker of Cincinnati related to me the following circumstance, as evidence that the principle of non-resistance possesses great influence, even over the savage. During the last American war a Quaker lived among the inhabitants of a small settlement on our western frontier. When the savages commenced their desolating outbreaks every inhabitant fled to the interior settlements, with the exception of the Quaker and his family. He determined to remain, and rely wholly upon the simple rule of disarming his

[graphic]

enemies with entire confidence and kindness. One morning he observed, through his window, a file of savages issuing from the forest in the direction of his house. He immediately went out and met them, and put out his hand to the leader of the party. But neither he nor the rest gave him any notice ; they entered his house and searched it for arms, and, had they found any, most probably would have murdered every member of the family. There were none, however, and they quietly partook of the provisions which he placed before them, and left him in peace. At the entrance of the forest he observed that they stopped and appeared to be holding a council. Soon one of their number left the rest, and came running towards the dwelling. He reached the door, and fastened a simple white feather above it, and returned to his band, when they all disappeared. Ever after, that white feather saved him from the savages, for whenever a party came by and observed it, it was a sign of peace to them. In this instance we discover that the law of kindness disarmed even savage foes, whose white feather told their red brethren that the Quaker was a follower of Penn, the friend of their race.”

No reward can be more gratifying to a generous spirit than that which converts an enemy into a friend, and a wronger and evil-doer into one guided by a like spirit, and actuated by principles similar to his own. The

« 前へ次へ »