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And then the waving of punkahs-such a delicious breeze, and the silent hurrying to and fro in the distance of the lofty and ample apartmentit was too much for me-my brain grew dizzy-I thought of the Arabian Nights-the Sultana-the enchanters; and a thousand wild and incoherent visions flitted before me; and in fine, I remember nothing till I awoke on the following morning. The light was streaming through the Venetian blinds. I started up, and hastily drawing them aside, beheld (open your eyes well, I pray you) ten good miles of India. The Hoogley, a branch of the Ganges, was rolling beneath me its majestic volume of waters, glittering in the beams of the morning sun. Numberless vessels were plying to and fro; and in it a hundred Hindoos were performing their morning ablutions, washing and praying, and praying and washing, in all sorts of attitudes. Scrubbing seems at first view a singular act of devotion; but we Christian good folks, and Englishmen of India in particular, are not without absurdities to rival those of the Hindoos. stance of this, though it is, as I have said, warm, and occasionally even unto scratching, for new comers (I wonder, by the way, they have not blacks to scratch as well as fan), though Nature here keeps a muslinshop on purpose, and says as plainly as she can say it, "make unto yourselves raiment of this commodity-loose bishop-like sleeves and wavy-pantaloons;" yet our excellent countrymen must needs array themselves in Andre's hats (helmets they might be called), and in Stultz's padded coats. When you dine out, you must appear in an English full dress; but having made your appearance, and demonstrated to the company that you have a wardrobe of such useless things, you are then permitted (unless it be an occasion of state and ceremony) to retire and doff these horrible incumbrances for your white linen jacket, &c. A fashionable Englishman should certainly have his Hoby boots, his coat, and some new waistcoat patterns stuffed into his coffin with him, as some Indian tribes bury their dead with their hatchet, flint, &c.; for I am confident they will never be happy in this world or the next without such things. As for the military, I say nothing about their costume; first, because the red coat seems a necessary component part of a young soldier, and Heaven forefend that our army in India should want recruits; and, secondly, because in these latitudes it quickens promotions, and I have a younger brother a subaltern. But for us civilians-if the good lady of the house must be convinced that we have a coat, &c. why not send them upon a pole before us, and let them flourish free and fair like a Roman trophy? Or, if it be absolutely necessary that ourselves and our garments should make one, why not do, at all events, as the Highland regiment did, when, with a view to doing away the national dress of petticoats and bare legs, they were ordered to appear the next field-day with breeches ?-They came, men and officers, with the breeches under their arms.
But I see my carriage and horses, that is, my palanquin, waiting below; therefore, for the present, adieu. You may, perhaps, hear from me shortly, when I can furnish you with more interesting details of what I shall have seen and heard in this country. I begin to be
wonderfully impressed with the dignity of colours; and these palanquins are the most delightful things imaginable. Let them talk in England as much as they please about "trampling upon the heads of the people," and riding the people to death, and such like stuff; trust me it is only in India we have a true ascendancy over the "lower orders." I will be free, however, to confess between ourselves (for it would be criminal to whisper such things here) that I am sometimes silly enough to imagine, that if there be any retribution in a future state, some of us will be turned into palanquin-bearers.
BREATHE not again that tender air,
Of budding joy-of promise blighted!—
With smiles my early hopes she fed,
With passion-flowers my forehead shaded;
Thus sunny beams delight the bee,
As o'er the fragrant bower he hovers,
Aud dreams not of the snake it covers.
Yet in my heart she buried lies,
Still, still her memory I nourish ;
Again you bid her image rise
But, ah! her falsehoods with it flourish.
Like you she sang-like you
Her eyes, like yours, with smiles would glisten;
I fear I'm lost, and yet I listen.
Then play no more-no more then sing,
For, oh! you touch too keen à string
LETTERTO THE MOHAWK CHIEF AHYONWAEGHS, COMMONLY CALLED JOHN BRANT, ESQ. OF THE GRAND RIVER,
UPPER CANADA. FROM THOMAS CAMPBELL.
London, January 20, 1822. SIR,-Ten days ago I was not aware that such a person existed as the son of the Indian leader Brant *, who is mentioned in my poem "Gertrude of Wyoming." Last week, however, Mr. S. Bannister of Lincoln's Inn, called to inform me of your being in London, and of your having documents in your possession which he believed would change my opinion of your father's memory, and induce me to do it justice. Mr. Bannister distinctly assured me that no declaration of my sentiments on the subject was desired but such as should spontaneously flow from my own judgment of the papers that were to be submitted to me.
I could not be deaf to such an appeal. It was my duty to inspect the justification of a man whose memory I had reprobated, and I felt a satisfaction at the prospect of his character being redressed, which was not likely to have been felt by one who had wilfully wronged it. As far as any intention to wound the feelings of the living was concerned, I really knew not, when I wrote my poem, that the son and daughter of an Indian chief were ever likely to peruse it, or be affected by its contents. And I have observed most persons to whom I have mentioned the circumstance of your appeal to me, smile with the same surprise which I experienced on first receiving it. With regard to your father's character I took it as I found it in popular history. Among the documents in his favour I own that you have shewn me one which I regret that I never saw before, though I might have seen it, viz. the Duke of Rochefoucault's honourable mention of the chief in his travelst. Without meaning, however, in the least to invalidate that nobleman's respectable authority, I must say, that even if I had met with it, it would have still offered only a general and presumptive vindication of your father, and not such a specific one as I now recognize. On the other hand, judge how naturally I adopted accusations against him which had stood in the Annual Register of 1779, as far as I knew, uncontradicted for thirty years. A number of authors had repeated them with a confidence which beguiled at last my suspicion, and I believe that of the public at large. Among those authors were Gordon, Ramsay, Marshall, Belsham, and Weld. The most of them, you may tell me perhaps, wrote with zeal against the American war. Well, but Mr. John Adolphus was never suspected of any such zeal, and yet he has said in his History of England, &c. (vol. iii. p. 110) "that a force of sixteen hundred savages and Americans in disguise, headed by an Indian Col. Butler, and a half
* The name has been almost always inaccurately spelt Brandt in English books. The following testimony is borne to his fair name by Rochefoucault, whose ability and means of forming a correct judgment will not be denied. "Colonel Brandt is an Indian by birth. In the American war he fought under the English banner, and he has since been in England, where he was most graciously received by the king, and met with a kind reception from all classes of people. His manners are semi-European. He is attended by two negroes; has established himself in the English way; has a garden and a farm; dresses after the European fashion ; and nevertheless possesses much influence over the Indians. He assists at present (1795) at the Miami Treaty, which the United States are concluding with the western Indians. He is also much respected by the Americans; and in general bears so excellent a name, that I regret I could not see and become acquainted with him."-Rochefoucault's Travels in North America.
Indian of extraordinary ferocity named Brandt, lulling the fears of the inhabitants (of Wyoming) by treachery, suddenly possessed themselves of two forts, and massacred the garrisons." He says farther, "that all were involved in unsparing slaughter, and that even the devices of torment were exhausted." He possessed, if I possessed them, the means of consulting better authorities; yet he has never to my knowledge made any atonement to your father's memory. When your Canadian friends, therefore, call me to trial for having defamed the warrior Brant, I beg that Mr. John Adolphus may be also included in the summons. And after his own defence and acquittal, I think he is bound, having been one of my historical misleaders, to stand up as my gratuitous counsel, and say, "Gentlemen, you must acquit my client, for he has only fallen into an error, which even my judgment could not escape.
In short, I imbibed my conception of your father from accounts of him that were published when I was scarcely out of my cradle.-And if there were any public, direct and specific challenges to those accounts in England ten years ago, I am yet to learn where they existed.
I rose from perusing the papers you submitted to me certainly with an altered impression of his character. I find that the unfavourable accounts of him were erroneous, even on points not immediately connected with his reputation. It turns out, for instance, that he was a Mohawk Indian of unmixed parentage. This circumstance, however, ought not to be overlooked in estimating the merits of his attainments. He spoke and wrote our language with force and facility, and had enlarged views of the union and policy of the Indian tribes. A gentleman who had been in America, and from whom I sought information respecting him in consequence of your interesting message, told me that though he could not pretend to appreciate his character entirely, he had been struck by the naïveté and eloquence of his conversation. They had talked of music, and Brant said, "I like the harpsichord well, and the organ still better; but I like the drum and trumpet best of all, for they make my heart beat quick." This gentleman also described to me the enthusiasm with which he spoke of written records. Brant projected at that time to have written a History of the Six Nations. The genius of history should be rather partial to such a man.
I find that when he came to England, after the peace of 1783, the most distinguished individuals of all parties and professions treated him, with the utmost kindness. Among these were the late Bishop of London, the late Duke of Northumberland, and Charles Fox. Lord Rawdon, now Marquess of Hastings, gave him his picture. This circumstance argues recommendations from America founded in personal friendship. In Canada the memorials of his moral character represent it as naturally ingenuous and generous. The evidence afforded induces me to believe that he often strove to mitigate the cruelty of Indian warfare. Lastly, you affirm that he was not within many miles of the spot when the battle which decided the fate of Wyoming took place, and from your offer of reference to living witnesses I cannot but admit the assertion. Had I learnt all this of your father when I was writing my poem, he should not have figured in it as the hero of mischief. I cannot, indeed, answer by anticipation what the writers who have either to retract or defend what they may have said about him, may have to allege; I can only say that my own opinion about him is changed. I am now inclined exceedingly to doubt Mr. Weld's anecdote, and for this reason: Brant
was not only trusted, consulted, and distinguished by several emiment British officers in America, but personally beloved by them. Now I could conceive men in power, for defensible reasons of state politics, to have officially trusted and even publicly distinguished at courts or levees an active and sagacious Indian chief, of whose private character they might nevertheless still entertain a very indifferent opinion. But I cannot imagine high-minded and high-bred British officers, forming individual and fond friendships for a man of ferocious character. It comes within my express knowledge that the late General Sir Charles Stuart, fourth son of the Earl of Bute, the father of our present ambassador at Paris, the officer who took Minorca and Calvi, and who commanded our army in Portugal, knew your father in America, often slept under the same tent with him, and had the warmest regard for him. It seems but charity to suppose the man who attracted the esteem of Lord Rawdon and General Stuart, to have possessed amiable qualities, so that I believe you when you affirm that he was merciful as brave. And now I leave the world to judge whether the change of opinion, with which I am touched, arises from false delicacy and flexibility of mind, or from a sense of honour and justice.
Here, properly speaking, ends my reckoning with you about your father's memory: but, as the Canadian newspapers have made some remarks on the subject of Wyoming, with which I cannot fully coincide, and as this letter will probably be read in Canada, I cannot conelude it without a few more words, in case my silence should seem to admit of propositions which are rather beyond the stretch of my creed. I will not, however, give any plain truths which I have to of fer to the Canadian writers the slightest seasoning of bitterness, for they have alluded to me, on the whole, in a friendly and liberal tone. But when they regret my departure from historical truth, I join in their regret only in as far as I have unconsciously misunderstood the character of Brant, and the share of the Indians in the transaction, which I have now reason to suspect was much less than that of the white men. In other circumstances I took the liberty of a versifier to run away from fact into fancy, like a school-boy who never dreams that he is a truant when he rambles on a holiday from school. It seems however, that I falsely represented Wyoming to have been a terrestrial paradise. It was not so, say the Canadian papers, because it contained a great number of Tories; and undoubtedly that cause goes far to account for the fact. Earthly paradises, however, are not earthly things, and Tempe and Arcadia may have had their drawbacks on happiness as well as Wyoming. I must nevertheless still believe that it was a flourishing colony, and that its destruction furnished a just warning to human beings against war and revenge. But the whole catastrophe is affirmed in a Canadian newspaper to have been nothing more than a fair battle. If this be the fact, let accredited signatures come forward to attest it and vindicate the innocence and honourableness of the whole transaction, as your father's character has been vindicated. An error about him by no means proves the whole account of the business to be a fiction. Who would not wish its atrocity to be disproved? But who can think it disproved by a single defender, who writes anonymously, and without definable weight or authority?
In another part of the Canadian newspapers, my theme has been regretted as dishonourable to England. Then it was, at all events, no