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now divides it, real and personal, among all the children, equally, both sons and daughters; and that there is, also, a very great restraint on the power of making dispositions of property by will. It has been supposed that the effect of this might probably be, in time, to break up the soil into such small subdivisions that the proprietors would be too poor to resist the encroachments of executive power. I think far otherwise. What is lost in individual wealth, will be more than gained in numbers, in intelligence, and in a sympathy of sentiment. If, indeed, only one or a few landholders were to resist the crown, like the barons of England, they must of course be great and powerful landholders, with multitudes of retainers, to promise success. But if the proprietors of a given extent of territory are summoned to resistance, there is no reason to believe thut such resistance would be less forcible, or less successful, because the number of such proprietors should be great. Each would perceive his own importance, and his own interest, and would feel that natural elevation of character which the consciousness of property inspires. A common sentiment would unite all, and numbers would not only add strength, but excite enthusiasm. It is true that France possesses a vast military force under the direction of an hereditary executive government; and military power, it is possible, may overthrow any government. It is in vain, however, in this period of the world, to look for security against military power to the arm of the great landholders. That notion is derived from a state of things long since past; a state in which a feudal baron, with his retainers, might stand against the sovereign, who was himself but the greatest baron, and his retainers. But at present, what could the richest landholder do against one regiment of disciplined troops? Other securities, therefore, against the prevalence of military power must be provided. Happily for us, we are not so situated as that any purpose of national defence requires, ordinarily and constantly, such a military force as might seriously endanger our liberties.
“In respect, however, sir, to the recent law of succession in France, to which I have alluded, I would, presumptuously perhaps, hazard a conjecture that if the government do not change the law, the law, in half a century, will change the government; and that this change will be, not in favour of the power of the crown, as some European writers have supposed, but against it. Those writers only reason upon what they think correct general principles in relation to this subject. They acknowledge a want of experience. Here, we have had that erperience; and we know that a multitude of small proprietors, acting with intelligence, and that enthusiasm which a common cause inspires, constitute not only a formidable, but an invincible power.”
” We will, also, add a quotation from St. Pierre, the author of the popular “Studies of Nature.” A law preventing the “unbounded accumulation of landed property," since his day, established for France, removes the cause of his “ astonishment."
“If wealthy families were permitted to purchase the lands lying commodiously for them, such bargains would speedily become fatal to the state. I have often been astonished that there is no law in France to prevent the unbounded accumulation of landed property. The Romans hail censors, who limited the extent of a man's possession to seven acres, as being sufficient for the subsistence of one family. By the word acre was understood as much land as a yoke of oxen could plough in one day. As Rome increased in luxury, it was increased to five hundred; but even this law was soon infringed, and the infraction hurried forward the ruin of the republic. Conquerors have always met with feeble resistance in countries where property is unequally divided. Overgrown estates destroy the spirit of patriotism in those who have every thing, and those who have nothing.'
The last two sentences contain a volume of wisdom for the citizens and statesmen of our country.
All governments have assumed to fix and define the tenure of land, to prescribe the forms of its transfer, and to regulate its descent by inheritance, and the effects of the different laws of tenure may be tolerably well estimated from the facts and illustrations which we have presented.
From the aforegoing examination of this important subject, it seems to follow that the best interests of mankind will be promoted by general laws favouring a diffusion of property. We are not prepared to say whether it would be wise to fix any limit to individual accumula
But we have no doubt of the wisdom of restricting the power of devising by last will and testament within very narrow limits, and of forbidding all devises to eleemosynary institutions and organizations. Gifts, during life, to a limited extent, of land, and to any amount of personal property, should be permitted. And, probably, the exemption of a homestead, of certain dimensions, without reference to value, (dimension being certain, and value variable,) to every family from sale upon execution, and from liability or incumbrance of any kind, would be the best possible cure and preventive of pauperism.
A government organized upon the representative system, recognising no distinctions whatever among its citizens, providing by wise laws for such a diffusion of property as would obviate the evils of excessive accumulation on the one hand, and total deprivation on the other, would probably produce the consummation so devoutly to be wished, the security of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
THE ANCIENT CHEROKEE TRADITIONS AND
(BY JOHN HOWARD PAYNE, ESQ.*)
We proceed to notice some of the principal imaginations upon this
Some say that a number of beings were engaged in creating all things. The sun was made first. The intention of the creators was to have people live always. But the sun, when he passed over, told them there was not land enough, and that people had better die. At length, the daughter of the sun being with them, was bitten by a snake and died. The sun on his return inquired for her, and was told that she was dead. He then consented that people might live always, and told them to take two boxes and go where her spirit was, and bring it back to her body, charging them, that when they had got her spirit they must not open the box till they arrived at the place where the body was. They did so, but just before they arrived, they concluded to open the box so as to look in and see her, and then shut it again; but while doing this, the spirit escaped, and then the fate of all men was decided that they must die.f
It is also stated that anciently the Cherokee supposed a number of beings, more than two, some have conjectured three, came down and made the world. They then attempted to make a man and woman of two rocks. They fashioned them, but while attempting to make them live, another being came and spoiled their work so that they could not succeed. They then made a man and a woman of red clay, and being made of clay, they were mortal; but had they been made of rock, they would have lived for ever. Others, however, ascribed their mortality to another cause. Soon after the creation, it is said, one of the family was bitten by a serpent and died. All possible means were used to bring back his life, but in vain. Being overcome in this first instance,
(* We have been kindly furnished with these very curious traditions gleaned by the learned author during his residence in the Cherokee country, where he had the best opportunity of learning the history of the early faith, superstitions, and customs of these Indians. Mr. Payne contemplates furnishing, at no distant day, a work which he has commenced on this subject, embracing an account of ancient festivals, rites, and religious theories, which must prove highly interesting and valuable.)
| Yv, wi, yo, ku.
the whole race were doomed to follow, not only to death, but to eternal misery. These beings having created the earth, the man and woman, then made the sun and moon, and constituted them gods, to have the entire control and management of every thing then made, and proceed in the work till the creation was complete. These beings having employed seven days in their work, returned to their own place above, and paid no farther attention to the earth they had created. Of their place above, no one has any knowledge but themselves.
It was by others declared that the supreme creators having in seven days created the sun and moon, and given form to the earth, returned to their own abode on high,-a place known only to themselves,where they remain in entire rest— leaving the sun and moon to finish and rule the world, about which they gave themselves no further concern. Hence, whenever the believers in this system offer a prayer to their creator, they mean by the creator 'either the sun or moon. As to which of these two was supreme, there appears to have been a wide difference of opinion. In some of their ancient prayers they speak of the sun as a male, and consider, of course, the moon as a female. In others, however, they invoke the sun as the female, and the moon as the male; because, as they say, the moon is vigilant and travels at night. But both sun and moon, as we have before said, are addressed as the creator. A prayer to the moon as the creator, will be found in a future page among the ceremonies in conjuring against a drought, where he (the moon) is supplicated to cast certain beads around the neck of his wife, the sun, and darken her face, that clouds may come from the mountains. While, in one of the most ancient prayers, to be repeated early in the morning, when going to the water, the sun-designated under the title of creator-is implored to grant them a long and blissful life here, as their only place of happiness; and in many instances a request is added to this creator to take their spirit and bear it with him until he has ascended to the meridian, that is, until noon,
and then restore it to them. The same prayer, with the exception of · the last clause, was also repeated at night. The expression, a, ke, yv,
ku, gv,-squa, ne, lv, nv, hi, sun, my creator, is also often found among their ancient prayers; as we have elsewhere mentioned concerning the supplication for assistance in obtaining the love of a desired female; and indeed it is plain that the sun was generally considered superior in their devotions. To him they first appealed to give efficacy to the roots and herbs they sought for medicine. If, however, the plants failed to cure, they considered the moon—not the sunhaving caused the sickness, and so turned for succour to the moon. Nevertheless, at every new moon, as will be found in our notices upon that subject, they paid special homage to the moon, entreating him, as they then expressed themselves, to take care of them during his term.
Besides the sun and moon, they had many inferior deities; but the sun and moon were considered as supreme over the lower creation,
and all the rest as having been made by them, subject to their direction, and employed in their service. To each special duties were prescribed.
The most active and efficient agent appointed by the sun and moon to take care of mankind, was supposed to be fire; when, therefore, any special favour was needed, it was made known to fire, accompanied by an offering. It was considered as the intermediate being nearest to the sun, and received the same sort of homage from the Cherokee as the same element did from the eastern magi. This was extended to smoke. Smoke was deemed fire's messenger, always in readiness to convey the petition on high. A child, immediately after birth, was sometimes waved over fire. Children woull be brought before fire, and its guardian care entreated for them. Hunters, also, would wave their moccasins and leggings over fire to secure protection from snakes; and it was a custom, in very remote times, for the same reason, to put chickens, as soon as hatched, into a kind of open basket and wave them over fire.
There are old Cherokee who consider fire as having first descended direct from above. Others pretend that after crossing the wide waters, they sent back for it to the man of fire, from whom a little was conveyed over by a spider wrapped in her web. It was thenceforth, they say, kept in their original national heptagon, or rather in a hole or cave dug under it; but this edifice being captured by enemies and destroyed, the fire was lost; although many suppose it only sunk deeper in the ground to avoid unhallowed eyes, and still exists there. Since its disappearance, new fire has always been made at particular times, and with various ceremonies, which are mentioned under their appropriate heads elsewhere, and are continued to the present hour.
It is also stated among the older Cherokee that the creator,-supposed in this case to mean Te, ho, waah,—who supervises the affairs of the universe, and whose abode is in the centre of the sky immediately over head, in the beginning directed certain lines to points upon the earth, which white men express by the words north, south, east, and west. To each of these respective points he sent newly created beings of a different colour. In the north was placed the blue man; in the west, the region which is called the region of the setting sun, the black man was placed, who is called Ewe, kah, waisk, hee,-the fearless; and to the south was sent the white man, the man of purity and peace,—but the first, and the original of all, was the red man; be was placed in the east, (supposed to signify the sun.) These first four beings are now existing on high as the vicegerents of the great supreme, and the mediators between him and their posterity, of whom the red man(the sun) was the first created. To these four beings is power now given over the world, as agents of the great being of all. 'To each one of them our first supplications are to be addressed in regular succession. Whatever is addressed to the black man, the fearless, will