Page 37 - Father Maillard at a Micmac Feast, 1758
ISSUE : Issue 16
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1977/6/1
the name of all the girls and women there. The introduction of which is too curious to omit, as it so strongly characterizes the sentiments of the savages of that sex, and confirms the general observation, that where their bosom once harbours cruelty, they carry it greater lengths than even the men, whom frequently they instigate to it. *'You men I who look on me as of an infirm and weak sex, and consequently of all ne? cessity subordinate to you, know that in what I sun, the Creator has given to my share, talents and properties at least of as much worth as your's. I have had the faculty of bringing into the world war? riors, great hunters, and admirable mana? gers of canoes. This hand, withered as you see it now, whose veins represent the root of a tree, has more than once struck a knife into the hearts of the prisoners, who were given up to me for my sport. Let the river-sides, I say, for I call them to witness for me, as well as the woods of such a country, attest their having seen me more than once tear out the heart, en? trails, and tongue, of those delivered up to me, without changing color, roast pieces of their flesh, yet palpitating and warm with life, and cram them down the throats of others, whom the like fate awaited. vVith how many scalps have I not seen my head adorned, as well as those of my daughtersI "With what pathetic exhortations have not I upon occasion roused up the spirit of our young men, to go in quest of the like tro? phies, that they might achieve the rewards, honor, and renown annexed to the acquisi? tion of them: but it is not in these points alone that I have signalized myself* I have often brought about alliances, which there was no room to think could ever be made; and I have been so fortunate, that all the couples whose marriages I have procured, have been prolific, and furnished our na? tion with supports, defenders, and subjects, to eternize our race, and to protect us from the insults of our enemies* These old firs, these ancient spruce-trees, full of knots from the top to the root, whose bark is falling off with age, and who yet preserve their gum and powers of life, do not amiss resemble me. I am no longer what I was; all my skin is wrinkled and furrowed, my bones are almost everywhere starting through it. As to my outv>?ard form, I may well be rec? koned amongst the things, fit for nothing but to be totally neglected and thrown a- side; but I have still within me the where? withal to attract the attention of those who know meo*' After this introduction follow the thanks? giving and encomiums, much in the same taste as the first haranguer's amongst the guests. This is what is practised in all the more solemn entertainments, both on the men and women??s side. Nor can you imagine, how great the influence such praises have over them, derived as they are from the merit of hunting, amd how greatly they con? tribute to inflame their passion for it. Nor is it surprising, considering how much almost the vidiole of their livelihood de? pends upon the game of all sorts that is the object of their chase* f 1'is text is taken from Abbe Maillard's An Account of the Customs and Manners of the Micmakis and Maricheets Savage Nations, now Dependent on the Government of C*B*, 1758. CampGill ''' Lighthouse Cape Breton Shopping Plaza Sydney River, Nova Scotia The Shop with the Answer to all Your Lighting Needs peedy Propane PULING STATIONS: Speedy Propane Bulk Plant Kings Road, Sydney J.E.Benoit, Arichat Robin's, Cheticamp MacGregor *s Irving ' Pleasant Bay Fraser*s Campground, Baddeck Inlet Campground, Baddeck Bob Wilson's Fina' Reserve
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