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Mr. B. It was indeed !
Ed. Have civilized nations any right to behave so to savages ?
Mr. B. I think you may readily answer that question yourself. Suppose you were a savage--what would be your opinion?
Ed. I dare say I should think it very wrong. But can savages think about right and wrong as we do?
Mr. B. Why not? are they not men ?
Ed. Yes-but not like civilized men, sure!
Mr. B. I know no important difference between ourselves and those people we are pleased to call savage, but in the degree of knowledge and virtue possessed by each. And I believe many individuals among the Greenlanders, as well as other unpolished people, exceed in these respects many among us.
present case, I am sure the Danish
sailors showed themselves the greatest savages.
Ed. But what did they take away the Greenlanders for ?
Mr. B. The pretence was, that they might be brought to be instructed in a Christian country, and then sent back to civilize their countrymen.
Ed. And was not that a good thing ?
Afr. B. Certainly—if it were done by proper means; but to attempt it by an act of violence and injustice could not be right; for they could teach them nothing so good as their example was bad: and the poor people were not likely to learn willingly from those who had begun with injuring them so cruelly.
Ed. I remember Capt. Cook brought over somebody from Otaheite; and poor Lee Boo was brought here from the Pelew Islands. But I believe they both came of their own accord.
Mr. B. They did. And it is a great
proof of the better way of thinking of modern voyagers than of former ones, that they do not consider it as justifiable to use violence even for the supposed benefit of the people they visit.
Ed. I have read of taking possession of a newly discovered country by setting up the king's standard, or some such ceremony, though it was full of inhabitants.
Mr. B. Such was formerly the custom; and a more impudent mockery of all right and justice cannot be conceived. Yet this, I am sorry to say, is the title by which European nations claim the greatest part of their foreign settlements.
Ed. And might not the natives drive them out again, if they were able ?
Mr. B. I am sure I do not know why they might not; for force can never give right.
Now, Harry, tell me what you think of the story
Harry. I think it very strange that people should want to go back to such a cold dismal place as Greenland.
Mr. B. Why what country do you hove best in all the world ?
H. England to be sure !
Mr. B. But England is by no means the warmest and finest country.
Here are no grapes growing in the fields, nor oranges in the woods and hedges, as there are in more southern climates.
H. I should like them very well, to be sure--but then England is my own native country, where you
and mamma and all my friends live. Besides, it is a very pleasant country, too.
Mr. B. As to your first reason, you must be sensible that the Greenlander can say just the same; and the poor fellow who left a wife and children
behind must have had the strongest of : all ties to make him wish to return. Do you think I should be easy to be separated from all of you ?
H. No-and I am sure we should not be easy, neither.
Mr. B. Home, my dear, wherever it is, is the spot towards which a good heart is the most strongly drawn. Then, as for the pleasantness of a place, that all depends upon habit. The Greenlander, being accustomed to the way of living, and all the objects of his own country,could not relish any other so well. He loved whale-fat and seal as well as you can do pudding and beef. He thought rowing his little boat amid the boisterous waves, pleasanter employment than driving a plough or a cart. He fenced against the winter's cold by warm clothing, and the long night of many weeks, which you would think so gloomy, was to him a season of ease