Cultural Institution Blesok • Established 1998
New in Blesok

the art is inside

ISSN 1409-6900 | UDK 82+7     Blesok no. 06 | volume II | January, 1999



[размена]



SLOVOKULT.DE
KRUG
BALKANI
OKF







                     Peer-reviewed journal
Blesok no. 06January, 1999
Essays

Traits of Indian Character

/9
p. 1
Washington Irving

“I appeal to any white man if ever he entered Logan's cabin hungry, and he gave him not to eat; if ever he came cold and naked, and he clothed him not.”
       – SPEECH OF AN INDIAN CHIEF

    There is something in the character and habits of the North American savage, taken in connection with the scenery over which he is accustomed to range, its vast lakes, boundless forests, majestic rivers, and trackless plains, that is, to my mind, wonderfully striking and sublime. He is formed for the wilderness as the Arab is for the desert. His nature is stern, simple, and enduring; fitted to grapple with difficulties, and to support privations. There seems but little soil in his heart for the support of the kindly virtues, and yet, if we would but take the trouble to penetrate through that proud stoicism and habitual taciturnity which lock up his character from casual observation we should find him linked to his fellow man of civilized life by more of those sympathies and affections than are usually ascribed to him.
    It has been the lot of the unfortunate aborigines of America, in the early periods of colonization, to be doubly wronged by the white men. They have been dispossessed of their hereditary possessions by mercenary and frequently wanton warfare, and their characters have been traduced by bigoted and interested writers. The colonist often treated them like beasts of the forest, and the author has endeavored to justify him in his outrages. The former found it easier to exterminate than to civilize, the latter to vilify than to discriminate. The appellations of savage and pagan were deemed sufficient to sanction the hostilities of both; and thus the poor wanderers of the forest were persecuted and defamed, not because they were guilty, but because they were ignorant.
    The rights of the savage have seldom been properly appreciated or respected by the white man. In peace he has too often been the dupe of artful traffic; in war he has been regarded as a ferocious animal whose life or death was a question of mere precaution and convenience. Man is cruelly wasteful of life when his own safety is endangered, and he is sheltered by impunity; and little mercy is to be expected from him when he feels the sting of the reptile and is conscious of the power to destroy.
    The same prejudices, which were indulged thus early,






"Blesok" editions 01-93 are also available at CEEOL web site.

By purchasing our titles, you are directly supporting our activities. Thank you!



50%


FOLLOW US:
Visit us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Google+