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is not unusual to see upon the table of the better classes, the last new book and the daily papers of the eastern cities; and the writer has heard the young daughter of a Cherokee chief laugh at a visit she had received from a storekeeper of some wealth, who lived near the line of the United States, because the vulgar man did not know how to use a silver fork. Such are they at present. If unmolested, their friendship cultivated, and a fixed confidence established, their condition may still improve; they may become the supporters of civilization, and have rank among the nations of the earth. But very much remains to be done before such a consummation—as we shall briefly point Out. One of the first necessities of good government is, that the people should have confidence in the laws, and their ministration; that they should believe, not only that the laws are, in themselves, just, but that they will be certain in their execution—no extraneous power intervening to set aside their solemn sanction, and render nugatory the ancestral right and the codified tradition of their race. For Indians, especially, there should be a firm and regular government, fashioned according to their native institutions. The commands of the chief should be enforced ; he should have control over the soil of his tribe, as the territory of the United States is obedient to the Constitution. He should have cognizance of all offences committed thereon, and the executive or military power should no more interfere to screen or save from punishment, any one obnoxious to the requirements of their law, than in the United States they should dare to anticipate or correct the decisions of judicial authority. Now, if a Cherokee commits an offence, he is not left to their own law ; if guilty, he is not punished, because, it may be, some meddling commanding officer, not content with tyrannizing over the officers and men under his control, is ambitious to govern a nation, and to show his power by setting at defiance their lawfully constituted authorities. Lately, an officer of the United States army shot down a Cherokee citizen, in cold blood, it is said, and certainly with most culpable carelessness; yet he, by a system of connivance and false certificates, was allowed to escape, not only from charges which might properly have been taken cognizance of by the military court, but from the higher penalty to be laid on such as anywhere de

stroy God's image. Now this cannot but have a bad effect. The Cherokee knows that, technically, the laws of the United States protect him, when within their boundaries; and when he sees the manner in which these laws are enforced, he necessarily feels himself wronged; and it is not to be wondered at if the bitter animosity, for which they have had always but too much cause, but which has been made to smoulder in the ashes, begins to burn again with redoubled violence. For the white man, on the other hand, beyond , the line of the United States, there is no law—as the Buccaneers admitted no peace south of the equator. If offences are punished among the Cherokees and other tribes, when committed by one red man against another, it is because they are a law-fearing people, and their chiefs men of justice and intellect. An imperium in imperio cannot exist. . The Cherokee law and courts either should be annihilated or be made supreme. The first of these alternatives the stipulations of solemn treaties forbid; and the other becomes the only means of escape from the renewal of a state of savage warfare and retrogression to a worse state of barbarity than the Red Man existed in before the landing of Raleigh and the adventurers who followed him. The next necessity of the well-being of a people, is that o should be satisfied with their laws. It is idle to expect so complex a piece of machinery, as the polity of a people, to work well without that consent which alone can take off the friction of their contact and pressure. To ensure this, they should be allowed to frame the whole superstructure of their government themselves. The expediency of interference by the United States, even to keep the peace, may be doubted, except in case of war among the tribes; for armed interventions terminate mostly in the destruction of the party for whose preservation the first steps were taken. If they are to walk or run with a strong step, they must learn to rise by their own efforts. For a people, self education is the only kind that can shape out a prosperous and permanent existence. The experience of the world strengthens the position we have assumed. Every great nation has arrived at abiding strength by the cumbersome and difficult steps of a first progress. The object is to civilize the Cherokee and other Indians in the broadest signification of the term. We have but to leave them alone, and time, the great

improver and soother of evils, will enable them to look upwards, in spite of the mighty weight imposed upon them. et the Indian make his own laws. They may at first be had ones, but so were all the externals of his life; he has improved the one—he may equally improve the other. Suffer no interference with them ; let men be sent to watch over them, to foster them, but not to govern. It is especially necessary to do away with the present Indian agency, which embraces in one person, the multiform capacity of soldier, governor, ambassador, and trader. Let these persons be forbidden to be any thing but guardians of the rights of the white man, and agents of communication between the tribes among which they shall respectively be located, and the government of the United States—standing somewhat in the capacity of our Consuls abroad. Has it ever been conceived as possible, that an Indian Agent, with a salary of $750 per annum, is the repository of the dangerous power of making an Indian Chief ? of granting away the power of life and death over a people Such is the case. Some years since, so great a violence was committed upon the Otoes; a people who, at that time, were in a perilous condition, especially requiring that their Chief should be possessed, if possible, of their fullest considence, and

not only the objective but subjective affection of his tribe. Was it ever imagined, that an Indian Agent should dictate to the tribe to which he was commissioned, what treaty they should make with the power from whom he was commissioned 2 Yet, that such a wrong has been suffered, is witnessed by the treaties recently made with the PotAwat AMIES of the Lakes, with the Seminoles, and others. Must not this be reformed : Shall it continue a reproach to the Government, that it farms out its subject states, as the Roman emperors did their provinces—a reward for political partizanship and corruption Will it not now, by thus reforming this method of communicating with the native tribes, reform all their abuses Will it not raise to the dignity of true manhood a people surely worthy of some higher destiny, than that to which the fatality of their race, and the course of circumstances over which they could have no control, seem hopelessly committing them? Let these things be considered with the attention and generous bearing, which an enlightened and powerful nation should hold towards one broken and feeble, but strug. to redeem themselves from the epths of a savage existence, nor yet able to forget that they are of the ancient inheritors of the land.

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MENU, the legislator of the Hindoos, and, in their belief, the grandson of Brahma, is said to have lived at the beginning of the world, and to have given laws for all the ages. The antiquity of the dialect in which the code of Menu is composed, makes it probable, that his laws were promulgated as early as the thirteenth century, B. c.

The word menu, is supposed to be the same in origin with the Latin mens, and the English mind, and so nearly resembles Menai, the name of the first king and lawgiver of Egypt, it is easy to conjecture that Menu and Menai are the same person.

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Vyasa, the ancient compiler and commentator of Hindoo scripture, classes the books of Menu among writings that cannot be impugned by an authority merely human. So sacred are they, none but the twice-born' may read them : and the neglect of their perusal, to the third generation, is punished by loss of caste.

Of this code, the sage Vrihaspati (who is believed to be at this time the regent of the planet Jupiter,) declares, that it is the most perfect in the world, because it expresses the whole spirit of the Vedas.

The body of the law is named, in Sanscrit, dherma-shastra; dherma, like the Latin term, meaning law, or limit; and shastra, any inspired work. The most learned and respectable of the Brahmins, who filled the civil and judicial offices, were anciently devoted to the study of the law and its commentaries; but at this day, the original code is known only to the few, and is becoming obsolete. * It is said to have been communicated by the divine lawgiver to certain of the celestial sages; . in their turn, gave it by inspiration to Bhrigu, a learned Brahmin. This first communication was the ancient and original law, of which portions are quoted in the Vedas; and from which the present code was compiled and modified. The divine sages, wishing to learn of Menu the origin of law and of the world, approached him while he sat absorbed in the contemplation of Supreme Good; and with every testimony of respect, made known their desire. Menu, in compliance, began with a history of creation, and of the institution of caste. Creation, as it is described by Menu, was a work of Brahma, who is the principal person of the three that emanated from Brehm, the Wast, ineffable, One. Brahma, the first of created gods, gave origin to the world by conceiving it in his thought. While he wakes, all things exist; his sleep is their dissolution, and is periodic ; and, during its continuance, all things are dissolved and reabsorbed; being forms only, of which his thought is the substance. The first thought of Brahma was, to produce the world like an egg, in the ocean of Being. But he was in the egg, and resolved himself therein; producing the male and female principle: but these were at the first confused and mingled together. By other efforts of thought, Brahma originated the forms of things, in succession, ending with Man. Matter is of a feminine, form of a masculine, nature: their conjunction gives origin to Maia, or Nature; who is Delusion (appearance). The cosmogony of Menu bears only a remote resemblance to that of Moses, and is debased by many puerilities and barbarisms. Although an easy conjecture may derive it from the books of Hermes,

* Institutes of Menu, translated by Sir William Jones.

f Ibid. (Preface.)

it has a character and method that is unlike anything Egyptian: and the description of the four castes, which are declared, by Menu, to have sprung from the mouth, the arm, the thigh, and the foot, of Brahma, carries the difference of orders to a height unimagined by the Egyptians; for that people regarded all castes (if we may believe Diodorus,) as equal before God. Nor is there anything of puerility or formality, equal to this derivation of castes, in what is left to us of Egyptian mythology; but, in all, a certain antique ndeur and simplicity, though defaced y many grossnesses. Menu, continuing his conversation with the sages, describes the duties that were allotted to the four classes, and dwells upon the sacredness of Brahmins, affirming, that their very birth is an incarnation of Dherma, the Spirit of Justice, for that the priest is born to promote justice; and, by right of primogeniture, (being first created,) is the virtual sovereign and possessor of the world. Menu takes especial care to impress the sacredness of custom; declaring that it is transcendent law, and commanding all twice-born persons (as they revere the divine Spirit that is within” them,) to observe it with the utmost reverence. The twice-born classes are commanded by the lawgiver, to dwell in the region of the Ganges and its tributaries; as in the only region, suitable for sacrifice and ablution; but a soudra may dwell where he best can ; and it is evident, the Hindoo lawgiver regards him as but little elevated above brutes, and esteems his salvation to be of no greater moment than that of a bull or a serpent. Anciently, when the laws of Menu were first promulgated, the young Brahmin, after initiation, became a mendicant; begging food, from door to door, for the sustenance of his preceptor and himself. Menu commands him to beg first of his relations, beginning with the nearest; and, growing bolder, to ask food of any respectable person; taking care to betray no shame, but to beg as though it was lawful, and his right: and accordingly, nothing is more impudent than one of these sacred vagabonds. The preceptor, becoming a kind of

* Man, according to Menu, has a three-fold life; the organic soul of the body, which is transmigratory; the passion, intelligence and affection; and that Divine Spirit, which is the source of Justice, and one with God.

chief of beggars, and supported by his student's earnings, is commanded, in his turn, to observe a thousand austerities and ceremonies. The duties prescribed to a pupil, are a mixture of dietetics and mysticism, ingeniously adapted to preserve health, while they enslave the imagination. If he desires long life, he must take food, while looking toward the east; if same, toward the south; if prosperity, toward the west; if truth and its reward, toward the north: “and let him honor his food,” says Menu, “and eat it without contempt; for food, eaten with respect, gives health and force : but taken irreverently, destroys both.” With the greatest ingenuity, rules for cleanliness and worship are so blended as to produce an impression on the superstitious mind; making daily necessities received of religious duty, and religious duty compel to the care of health. It is apparent that this code had not justice for its aim, nor the good of the people, nor the common weal of the nation; but only to uphold and continue unimpaired, the power and number of the priestly order. Girls, of the sacred caste, are subjected to a very strict and careful regimen; but are forbidden the Vedas, and limited to the duties of a wife and mother. Great care is taken, lest the preceptor abuse his pupil; and the student is forbidden to perform for him any gross or personal offices. At the beginning and close of each reading in the Veda, he must reverently embrace the feet of his preceptor; and the preceptor must pronounce silently the mysterious O'M, the initials of the unknown name; for, it is added, unless that syllable be said, at the beginning and end of each reading, the remembrance of what was read will slip away from the reader's mind. Nothing is more earnestly inculcated than the repetition of prayers; they are to be said at food, and before and after bathing ; at sunrise and sunset, and on all occasions, where any pretext will serve to introduce them. The prayer of prayers is the Gayatri; whose repetition is alone sufficient to expiate all sin, and secure immortal bliss. The student must suppress his breath, and with a subdued mind, silently adore the Supreme. “The act,” says Menu, “ of repeating His holy name is ten times better than the appointed sacrifice; an hundred times, when no man hears it;

and a thousand, when it is purely mental.” All sensualities are forbidden to the {. Brahmin who is a student of the edas; only, at certain times, he may hear music, and wear a chaplet of flowers. The greatest humility is commanded toward superiors;– “ For,” says Menu, “ the vital spirits of a young man mount upward, to depart from him, when an elder approaches; but, by rising and sautation, he recovers them.” Salutations must be suitable to the rank of the person who is saluted; and women, (especially when they are near relations.) must receive the kindest and the most respectful of all. The conduct of the preceptor is guarded with no less care. He must do nothing to the degradation or injury of his pupil; his gesture and behavior must be such as may ensure respect. Among the multitude, silence is enjoined upon him; and his knowledge and advice must be given to those only who need and ask it. The whole duty of veneration seems to be exhausted in this law; nor is it easy to conceive a code that should enforce it better. “Wealth, kindred, aye, moral conduct, and divine knowledge,” says the legislator, “entitle men to respect, but the last, most ;” and, in rank, the youngest initiated Brahmin is held to be more venerable than the oldest soldier. He commands all persons, of whatever condition, to observe open civilities, and to grade them with the nicest attention. Hindoo courtesy is easy and prompt, unincumbered by such formalities as are used in China. The traveler must not force a woman, or a very old man, to turn from the path ; and must give way to one afflicted with disease, or carrying a burden; to a prince, a bridegroom, a priest, or one borne upon a wheeled car. It is remarked of this people, that none are more polite in intercourse with strangers; and that in the streets of their cities, they glide easily along without jostling or crowding. Menu enforces obedience to parents: declaring, that, by honoring his mother, a young man gains happiness in the possent life; but that by obeying his father, he secures an ethereal, and by his preceptor, a celestial beatitude. Above all, the pupil must learn goodness, and study to imitate the excellence he sees in others. “A believer in scripture,” says the lawgiver, “may receive a lesson of the highest virtue even from the meanest of men; from poison, nectar may be taken ; from gross matters, gold; from a foe, prudence; and from a child, gentleness of speech.” The third chapter of the code of Menu, treats of marriage. Eight kinds are mentioned, of which two are illicit. The holiest wedlock, is by the gift of a daughter to a learned Brahmin, by the intervention of a pious priest. The bride must be clad only in a white robe, divested of all ornament. In the inferior forms less ceremony is observed, and the bride may be gaily adorned. The relations make gifts to the bride, which are her dowry and paraphernalia. But gifts are often given by the bridegroom, to serve as a kind of purchase; though Menu forbids the purchase of a wife, condemning the custom as barbarous and unlawful. A young Brahmin, with the consent of his preceptor, may marry as soon as , he has committed a portion of each of the four Vedas; but this condition is no longer enforced. Marriages, in India, are now made by the parents,

between very young children. Marriages

must not be contracted, within the sixth degree of consanguinity; nor must the Bramin take to wife a girl who is deformed, or subject to any loathsome, or fatal disease; nor one who has an inauspicious or barbarous name. The young man is commanded to choose a girl of good family, who is delicate, and well formed ; and to avoid one of a family in which all the children are daughters. For the violation of these laws, Menu apportions penances of every degree; and threatens torments, in the world to come. Every unexpiated offence has its punishment appointed in the future state; and the degree of purgatorial pain is fitted to the enormity of the sin. The idea of the Hindoo purgatory may be traced to the Egyptian doctrine of transmigration. At an uncertain period, or immediately after death, the animal soul,” (upon which the punishment of sin was believed to fall,) must enter another body, that it may suffer torment. As the degree and number of offences is infinite, the gradations of punishment must be fitted to these degrees: Since that existence itself is painful, and a kind

of imprisonment of the soul: and that there are believed to be many existences, both in inferior and superior worlds; making an unbroken scale, from demons in the lower deep, to vehicles of ether inhabited by blessed spirits;–all conditions of life, (even among gods,) are regarded by the Vedas, as probationary, and subject to pain. Where there is existence, says Menu, there is pain and desire: and every state from fire to ether, is a state of change and strife : the soul struggles to ascend, inhabiting all bodies in turn from devils to Brahmins; and thence to genii and deities, until it is lost again in the Ineffable. The redemption of souls out of purgatory, is suposed to be effected by the prayers of their children. Hence in the ancient poetry of India, Woman is named the giver of heaven if for, by her, the son is born, whose prayers and offerings shall redeem the soul. The son of a wife by the most sacred form of marriage, is able, by the monthly offering, to redeem the souls of six generations of . his ancestors; and a Brahmin by force of piety alone, in this life, may rescue ten of i. descendants from the pains of hell. A portion of the third chapter of Menu's institutes is devoted to conjectures that even now exercise the ingenuity of physiologists. The husband is commanded to indulge his wife in every innocent gratification, “for if she be not elegantly attired,” says Menu, “she will not please her husband; but if the wife is beautifully adorned, the whole house is embellished.” A householder, if he be religious, must observe five sacraments; to atone for the death of small animals and insects, which he destroys unguardedly in his house. These sacraments are, the reading of scripture; the offering of cakes and water to the manes of ancestors; the offering to fire, which is a sacrament of gods; giving food to animals, which is a sacrament of spirits; and the entertaining guests, the sacrament of men. “He who fails of these, lives not, though he breathes.” The rules of each sacrament are minutely given. A o sacrifice to the spirits and sages must be made in the house; that to deities, in the open air.

* Or vital spirit, (supposed to be “a spark from the Eternal.”)

f Colebroke, As. Res.

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