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fects upon the imagination of the a phenomenon is peculiarly unfortuIndians, is taken from a letter, pub- nate for Americans, and sufficient lished in an eastern gazette, from to ensure success to Indians, if they Mr., Griswald, of Detroit, to Mr. strike on that day; and it was geneGardiner, of Walpole, New Hamp- rally reported, a short time previous shire.
to the late eclipse, that an attack For several months, this antici. under its auspices was agreed to be pated phenomenon was a subject of made upon this and other American inquiry with the Indians, as many posts in this quarter. stories had been told them, partly Besides that of war, the minds of by ignorant and partly by designing the Indians were filled with other persons, of terrible things which terrific anticipations. Some whole would accompany that event. The villages appeared impressed, that troubled aspect of our national af. the darkness would be equal to that fairs with foreign powers at that of the darkest night, and would conperiod facilitated the propagation' tinue for months, and many imaginof visionary and awful predictions. ed it would be a dark year. They Hundreds came to me to consult on expected the sun would be put out the subject of the eclipse, and its for that space of time, that vegetathreatened accompaniments and bles and animals would perish, to. consequences : some large parties gether with most Indians who lived came in from a distance on purpose on the casual produce of the chace. to inquire on this subject. They But the more general expectation knew that white people could foretel was, that it would be only a dark eclipses, and supposed we must be day, or, as they expressed it, a night able too to predict the attendant day. And they supposed the day circumstances of wind and weather, would be productive of the nost and every effect upon the earth. dreadful storms of wind, hail, and Most of them believe this faculty is other elementary concussions beyond given to white people by the Great the power of man to describe. I Spirit, which he has thought proper found but one Indian, out of some to deny to Indians, and appear to hundreds that came in from the wil. have little notion that it depends upon derness, who appeared to possess calculations upon natural principles. any just conceptions of the expected
It has long (perhaps always) been phenomenon. It was the son of an a general sentiment of Indians, that intelligent chief, now dead, who dean eclipse, particularly of the sun, clared that he had no fears, for he is an expression, or rather token, of believed he had seen such a thing, the anger of the Great Spirit, and when a boy, and his father taught the degree of his anger is indicated him it was caused by the night-sun by the magnitude of the eclipse. (their term for the moon) getting The expectation of a total eclipse, over the day-sun, and thus stopping therefore, was sufficient to prepare its light for a short time. them for the reception of every ex Seeing the general attention of travagant tale and direful prognos- the Indians thus excited, and wish
Among other ideas, that ing to allay their painful apprehenof war, bloody war, naturally oc- sions, as well as prevent any possible curred, and was easily fomented, in consequences of a serious nature, I conjunction with their existing cir. thought it my duty to instruct them cumstances. It was not difficult for as far as they were capable of una designing person of influence derstanding into the cause and paamong them to point out to their ture of an eclipse, told them the day satisfaction how and where this ca- and precise time of day it would lamity was to take place, and whose happen, its duration, appearance, blood must be shed. It is said, the &c., and as to the dreadful accompaIndians defeated general Harmer on niments of storm and wind, I disthe day of an eclipse, and have since countenanced such an expectation, entertained a persuasion that such though something of the kind might
take place as on other days, but as- mankind. Every country, age, and sured them they would survive it, sex has professed to seek happiness, and expressed my hope of seeing a So many have thought upon this clear sky on that day, that I might subject ; so many have proposed behold the phenomenon in all its rules to govern the pursuit; so magrandeur, and the stars in their glo- ny have sought, and so few will acry surrounding it. They were thank- knowledge that they have attained ful for these assurances, and some happiness, that it might appear vain look encouragement, while others and useless to continue the inquiry, remained fearful and perplexed. or to attempt to aid the exertion.
The eclipse made its appearance Happiness, however, remains as under every favourable circumstance important, and, to many, as unfixed, that could be wished, and agreeable as ever. It still continues to be the to all I had told the Indians. The wish of every heart, the object of day was remarkably fine, without every mind. a cloud or a gust of wind. It com Wherefore, it may be asked, is menced here about an hour earlier our attention now drawn anew to than the calculations at New York this exhausted subject, this uncer. and Albany. The disk of the sun tain object? Why are we again led was completely covered for the to meditate on human happiness ; to space of three minutes, the stars ap- form which there is no sure recipe ; peared very brilliant within the to attain which there is no certain compass of the eclipse's shadow on mode; to secure and preserve which every side of the sun's place, the there is no effectual method, no cergreatest obscuration was equal to tain plan? that of the clearest star-light even There are few subjects on which ing, the brutes and the fowls gave we do not approach nearer to the signs that they thought it night, and right issue by a comparison with were retiring to repose, when they those which are in any degree si. were recalled by the bursting forth milar, by a calm observation of cir. of the light. Its effects upon the In. cumstances, and a cheerful use of dians were different; those whom I our unbiassed understandings. Let saw during the greatest darkness, us make an experiment of the effi. appeared thoughitul, but held their cacy of these means in our present courage. Others, I was told, ran up inquiry after happiness. They aland down with agitation. Some fell ways assist us in other pursuits. on their knees and prayed; while In the prime of our lives, in the a few wrapped themselves in their high noon of our days, when we enblankets, and lay down to die. After deavour to obtain some interesting it was seen to pass off without harm, single object; such as a comfortable and the day proceed as usual, all dwelling, the means of family extook courage, and became very soci- pences, or a valuable connection, al. By the evening many were we remember that our continuance ready to be drunk. A general mus. here is, on a medium, a little more ter of the militia had been ordered than thirty years*, and that it is ex. on that day, which was well attend- tended, in many cases, to fifty, sixty, ed, and had a good effect. Governor eighty, ninety, and a hundred years. Hull liad arrived in season to take We therefore consider it as an unthe field.
satisfactory tenure, if we cannot pos
sess our habitation, our income, or For the Literary Magazine,
our connection beyond the passing year. We strenuously and indeed
wisely exert ourselves to secure THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS.
those comforts and biessings for life, THE pursuit of happiness has engaged the meditations of philoso Thirty-three years are said to be phers, and the ardent wishes of all the medium of human life.
for the whole period through which a day compared with the life to we can possess and enjoy them. come), and entirely to neglect preHappiness, Duty, and Prudence are paration for the countless ages of all consulted in such exertions. And our future continuance in being. On here we find a light to open on the our sure and certain arrival on the road of man towards genuine, and farther margin of the river of life, substantial, and permanent happi. we ought not to be found without ness. In order to attain and secure house or home, or stock of any thing it, we must be duly aware of the all. to carry us on through those eternal important and certain truth, that centuries, whose number is without our lives are not confined to the end. medium of thirty-three years; nor It follows, then, with a plainness yet to fifty, nor to a hundred years, and certainty which a child must but that they are extended through perceive, and the runner cannot fail an endless series of innumerable to read, that a constant and daily ages, in the scene beyond the tomb. care cheerfully and abundantly to We must not, therefore, confine our provide for the world to come attention to necessaries, comforts, and should mix itself with all our conblessings for a single year, nor for cerns, should engage a portion of all this little portion of terrestrial exist. our days, and should always have a ence, even at the longest term : but place in our hearts and minds. The we must take good care to provide effect of such a course of feeling, those necessaries, those comforts, reflection, and conduct would heightand those blessings, that will wear en the sweets of all our pleasures, beyond time, and endure with eter- lessen our greatest difficulties, and nity. Let not the gay inquirer for allay our deepest sorrows here bethe road to happiness fly from this low. It would dissipate all our little as gloomy, or even as too grave, or vexations, and would banish despair, as serious overmuch, for it is surely by the great and alluring prospect a cause to rejoice, and be glad at beyond the grave. heart, that we can extend our hap As the subject before us has natupiness far beyond this little span of rally expanded itself into a plan of human life; and that whatever may happiness for the whole term of the be our difficulties, our evils, and our existence of man, embracing his life sorrows here, we can have true and in the two worlds, it may be well abundant joys hereafter. If it be that we should now consider the reasonable and prudent to provide duties of the earlier and terrestrial comforts and pleasures for the cur stage of our being. rent year, and for the course and Well governed attachments to evening of this life, it must certainly himself, to his family, to his neighappear to be perfectly irrational, bours, to his country, and to all and imprudent in the extreine, en mankind (mixed ever and in all tirely to neglect all thought, all pro- places with a reverential sense of vision for the innumerable ages of duty to the Author of his being), the next great stage of our exist. should manifest themselves in a cona
It would be little short of stant attention to those temporal phrenzy for one, who had only ar. objects of his bounden duties and rived at manhood, to spend a good proper regards. He ever may, with estate in a single day, and thus to candour and moderation, he ever cast away all thoughts, to omit all should attend to the just rights and provision for the rest of this life, interests of himself and of the family short and transient as it is. So is it which Providence has committed to surely far more than insanity to de- his most faithful, tenderest care, and vote all our time, all our cares, and this will absolutely include a 'rega. all our talents and exertions, to a lar and patient attention to some bare provision for our short terres. useful calling in life, by which an trial existence (which is less than honest subsistence, the comforts of
his old age, and the education and he has not done to others what he de. establishment of his dependent fa- sires them to do to him. He has set mily, may be most effectually and at nought that sound and beautiful incompletely secured. If he has, from junction of the most perfect religion whatever cause, heretofore neglect- the world has ever known. Let us ed this duty, particularly imposed then hasten, on the road to happiness, on him by Divine Providence, let to the precious chamber of self-trahim hasten to resume and perform mination. Let us there look very it well, if he expects comfort, and strictly into our conscientious know. esteem, and peace here, or bappi. ledge of secret, as well as known ness hereafter. No rational, no wrongs, of every name and kind, done possible plan of human happiness to our neighbours. Let us estimate admits of neglected obligations of so them and the just compensation with high a grade. All power, human interest, and damages, and costs, and and divine, in proportion as it is charges, in ful measure. Let us good, and vise, and great, must frown restore the whole amount, with a upon the comfortless violator of his free hand and willing heart. Let household duties.
us atone for every form of injury, But though the indispensible ne- insult, and wrong done. We shall cessity of a correct deportment in then enjoy the sweet luxury of bring these important temporal concerns just, and it is in truth a pleasure of may be safely declared, yet it should the highest gout, whose flavour will be, at the same time, well remem rest upon the palate of the soul, in bered, that the duties which prepare all time, through our whole existence us for both worlds imperiously de- in the two worlds, here and hereafter. mand our thorough and constant at The cordial forgiveness of all tention.
those who have injured us is as neAt the opening of this deeply in- cessary as the duty of retribution, to teresting portion of our subject, two a happy state of mind and feelings inestimable preparatives for a state in our present life. Nor is it less and course of true happiness present important as an act of preparation, themselves to our minds: the frank which will greatly contribute to fit and thorough reparation of all inju- us for a better state of existence. ries, which we may have done or Our perfect religion, which never occasioned to others through life, enjoins what is wrong, nor ever proand the cordial forgiveness of the hibits what is right, and which injuries we may have ourselves sus. leaves no duty without a plain and tained. No man who has in any strong precept, inculcates, by its way violated or neglected justice can highest authority, and by all its ex. fail to derive comfort from the re. amples, the cordial forgiveness of flection, that he has rendered back injuries, and the return of benefits the things which belonged to others, for acts of unkindness and enmity. with a full allowance for use or The Hebrew, the mahometan, interest ; nor can a worthy mind, and the pagan must bow to the subcapable of the inseparable happiness lime goodness of Jesus Christ, on of the two worlds, know any comfort this subject. His stated prayer prounder a sense of uncompensated poses to our Heavenly Father, that wrongs, of whatever nature or de. our own temper and conduct towards gree, frum himself to a fellow crea. our enemies may govern the dispenture. He cannot feel convinced that sation towards ourselves. « Forhe merits the comfort of the just give us our trespasses, as we forgive here, nor those of the just made per- them that trespass against us. fect, in the scene beyond the grave; The exchange of an irritable, angry, nor can he be of a constįtution to en- and revengeful heart or temper for joy a state of happiness so uncongenial one which, in the niidst of suffering, with himself. He must feel always can pity, forgive, and overcome an the uncomfortable impression, that enemy by kindness, must be attend,
ed with the most comfortable feel- from whose bourne no traveller reings in this life, often with much turns, without whose confines no advantage, and it must greatly pre man who once enters shall ever pare every happy man, who can at. pass? Do we not see around us editain such a temper and disposition, fices of charity, of comfort, of relief, for the highest conceivable state of of youthful instruction, of piety and permanent felicity, of which our religion, and of every form of benenatures are capable, and to the con- ficence? Are the “ talerits of gold ception of which our minds can rise. and silver,” with which Providence The highest example in our religion, has entrusted us, hid in a napkin, and in the history of persons claim- and unemployed, so far as they are ing religious belief, confidence, and applicable to such purposes? Have influence in any age, nation, or coun we tasted little or none of the detry, is that of the great first teacher lightful potion, with which the sweet of christianity enduring a death of cup of active benevolence overflows? the utmost agony, and of the most Do we compare the pleasure of reextreme human reproach, to prove, presentations of misery relieved, among other things, the sincerity of which we and our families procure those exhortations and injunctions at a theatre, in every season, for by which he advised, persuaded, and half a hundred dollars of direct cost enjoined his followers to forgive their and incidental expences, with the enemies, and to do good to those superior and true luxury of admithat injure, even unto such a death, nistering relief to real misery, the ignominious and excruciating through the channel of a benevolent death of the cross. The conception of institution wisely founded, and well such a plan of religious conduct is and faithfully administered? The truly peculiar, and eminently sub- bosom of sensibility heaves a comlime. Its execution is more than hu. plaining sigh, because man. A mortal to soar so high in magnanimous thought and deed, when “ Nor peace, nor ease the heart can sinking into an agonizing death, must know, be moved by divine influence. The Which, like the needle true, spirit itself must be divine. How Turns at the touch of joy or woe, must that human bosom overflow And, turning, trembles too." with comfort, and expand with happiness, which can fill itself with a Let it seek the true balm for its heart, and soul, and mind to forgive wounded nerves, the sweet conits enemies, and to return benefits for sciousness of doing good. Let it their unkindness and hostility! A allay the agitations of its joys by the disposition thus sweedy formed, a calm remembrance of a well directtemper thus divinely governed, pre. ed beneficence. Let it exchange its pare their happy possessor for the mortification at the untutored rudehighest felicities of the two worlds. ness of the savage, or simplicity of
The joys of beneficence, the plea- the indigent, for the pleasure of givsures of doing good to our depen- ing its mite towards the inestimable dents, our neighbours, our friends, institutions, which teach the young our country, and mankind, are not idea how to shoot,” among the infant ranked so high as they certainly poor, and the oppressed races of the should be in the estimate of human black, the red, and the yellow men. enjoyments. If we dwell with rap The pleasures of public spirit will ture on the inimitable conduct of not be placed at a low degree in the the good Samaritan, do we drink as scale of human enjoyments. To do deeply as we may of his cup of una- good to our neighbours, and to our dulterated pleasure ; a cup which country, is beneficence on a great will give joy to the mind here, and scale. It is conferring benefits on health to the soul in our endless many, and must ever be ranked as journey through that future land, a primary virtue, whether we con