Manners and Good Things Essay

Submitted By Slappymyface
Words: 2407
Pages: 10

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|Benjamin Franklin |
|Remarks concerning the Savages of North America |
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|Savages we call them, because their Manners differ from ours, which we think the Perfection of |
|Civility. They think the same of theirs. |
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|Perhaps if we could examine the Manners of different Nations with Impartiality, we should find no |
|People so rude as to be without Rules of Politeness, nor any so polite as not to have some Remains of |
|Rudeness |
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|The Indian Men when young are Hunters and Warriors; when old, Counsellors; for all their Government is |
|by Counsel of the Sages; there is no Force there are no Prisons, no Officers to compel Obedience, or |
|inflict Punishment.—Hence they generally study Oratory; the best Speaker having the most Influence. The|
|Indian Women till the Ground, dress the Food, nurse and bring up the Children, & preserve & hand down |
|to Posterity the Memory of public Transactions. These Employments of Men and Women are accounted |
|natural & honorable, Having few artificial Wants, they have abundance of Leisure for Improvement by |
|Conversation. Our laborious Manner of Life compar’d with theirs, they esteem slavish & base; and the |
|Learning on which we value ourselves, they regard as frivolous & useless. An Instance of this occurr’d |
|at the Treaty of Lancaster in Pensilvania, anno 1744, between the Government of Virginia and the Six |
|Nations. After the principal Business was settled, the Commissioners from Virginia acquainted the |
|Indians by a Speech, that there was at Williamsburg a College, with a Fund for Educating Indian youth; |
|and that if the Six Nations would send down half a dozen of their young Lads to that College, the |
|Government would take Care that they should be well provided for, and instructed in all the Learning of|
|the White People. It is one of the Indian Rules of Politeness not to answer a public Proposition the |
|same day that it is made; they think it would be treating it as a light matter, and that they show it |
|Respect by taking time to consider it, as of a Matter important. They therefore deferr’d their Answer |
|till the Day following; when their Speaker began by expressing their deep Sense of the Kindness of the |
|Virginia Government in making them that Offer, for we know, says he, that you highly esteem the kind of|
|Learning taught in those Colleges, and that the Maintenance of our young Men while with you, would be |
|very expensive to you. We are convinc’d therefore that you mean to do us Good by your Proposal, and we |
|thank you heartily. But you who are wise must know, that different Nations have different Conceptions |
|of Things, and you will therefore not take it amiss if our Ideas of this kind of Education happen not |
|to be the same with yours. We have had some Experience of it: Several of our young People were formerly|
|brought up at the Colleges of the Northern Provinces; they were instructed in all your Sciences; but |
|when they came back to us they were bad…