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world. Many centuries have elapsed since the world has witnessed the destructive accuracy of the Benjaminites in their use of the sling and stone; nor does it appear to me that a diminution, in the size and strength of the aboriginals of this country, has occasioned a decrease of accuracy and effect in their use of the bow and arrow. From all the ancient skeletons which have come under my notice, it does not appear that this section of the globe was ever inhabited by a larger race of human beings than that which possessed it at the time of its discovery by the Europeans.

One important pastime of our boys was that of imitating the noise of every bird and beast in the woods. This faculty was not merely a pastime, but a very necessary part of education, on account of its utility in certain circumstances. The imitations of the gobbling and other sounds of wild turkeys, often brought those keen eyed and ever watchful tenants of the forest within reach of the rifle. The bleating of the fawn brought its dam to her death in the same way. The hunter often collected a company of mopish owls to the trees about his camp; and while he amused him. self with their hoarse screaming, his howl would raise and obtain responses from a pack of wolves, so as to inform him of their neighborhood, as well as guard him against their depredations.

This imitative faculty was sometimes requisite as a measure of precaution in war. The Indians, when scattered about in a neighborhood, often collect together, by imitating turkeys by day, and wolves or owls by night. In similar situations our people did the same, I have often witnessed the consternation of a whole neighborhood in consequence of a few screeches of owls. An early and correct use of this imitative faculty was considered as an indication that its possessor would become in due time a good hunter and a valiant warrior,

Throwing the tomahawk was another boyish sport, in which many acquired considerable skill. The tomahawk, with its handle of a certain length, will make a given number of turns in a given distance. Say at

five steps, it will strike with the edge, the handle downwards; at the distance of seven and a half, it will strike with the edge, the handle upwards; and so on. A little experience enabled the boy to measure the distance with his eye, when walking through the woods, and strike a tree with his tomahawk in any way he chose,

The athletic sports of running, jumping and wrestling, were the pastime of boys, in common with the men.

A well grown boy, at the age of twelve or thirteen years, was furnished with a small rifle and shot pouch. He then became a fort soldier, and had his port hole assigned him. Hunting squirrels, turkeys and raccoons, soon made him expert in the use of his gun.

Dancing was the principal amusement of our young people of both sexes. Their dances, to be sure, were of the simplest forins--three and four handed reels and jigs. Country dances, cotilions and minuets, were known. I remember to have seen, once or twice, a dance which was called “the Irish trot:" but I have long since forgotten its figure.

Shooting at marks was a common diversion among the men, when their stock of ammunition would allow it, which, however, was far fro

being always the case. The present mode of shooting off-hand was not. then in practice: it was not considered as any trial of the value of a gun, nor indeed as much of a test of the skill of a marksman. Their shooting was from a rest, and at as great a distance as the length and weight of the barrel of the gun would throw a ball on a horizontal level. Such was their regard to accuracy, in those sportive trials of their rifles, and of their own skill in the use of them, that they often put moss, or some other soft substance on the log or stump from which they shot, for fear of having the bullet thrown from the mark, by the spring of the barrel.— When the rifle was held to the side of a tree for a rest, it was pressed against it as lightly as possible for the same reason.

Rifles of former times were different from those of modern date: few of them carried more than forty-five bullets to the pound, and bullets of a dess size were not thought sufficiently heavy for hunting or war.

Dramatic narrations, chiefly concerning Jack and the Giant, furnished our young people with another source of amusement during their leisure hours. Many of those tales were lengthy, and embraced a considerable range of incident. Jack, always the hero of the story, after encountering many difficulties, and performing many great achievements, came off conqueror of the Giant Many of these stories were tales of knighterrantry, in which case some captive virgin was released from captivity and restored to her lover.

These dramatic narrations concerning Jack and the Giant bore a strong resemblance to the poems of Ossian, the story of the Cyclops and Ulysses in the Odyssey of Homer, and the tale of the Giant and Great-heart in the Pilgrim's Progress, and were so arranged as to the different incidents of the narration, that they were easily committed to memory. They certainly have been handed down from generation to generation from time immemorial. Civilization has indeed banished the use of those ancient dales of romantic heroism; but what then? It has substituted in their place the novel and romance.

It is thus that in every state of society the imagination of man is eternally at war with reason and truth. That fiction should be acceptable to an unenlightened people is not to be wondered at, as the treasures of truth have never been unfolded to their mind; but that a civilised people themselves should, in so many instances, like barbarians, prefer the fairy regions of fiction to the august treasures of truth, developed in the sciences of theology, history, natural and moral philosophy, is truly a sarcasm on human nature. It is as much as to say, that it is essential to our amusement, that, for the time being, we must suspend the exercise of reason, and submit to a voluntary deception.

Singing was another but not very common amusement among our first settlers. Their tunes were rude enough, to be sure. Robin Hood furnished a number of our songs; the balance were mostly tragical, and were denominated "love songs about murder." As to cards, dice, backgammon, and other games of chance, we knew nothing about them.These are amongst the blessed gifts of civilization.

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CHAPTER XXVIII.

WITCHCRAFT.

SHALL not be lengthy on this subject. The belief in witchcraft was prevalent amongst the early settlers of the western country. To the witch was ascribed the tremendous power of inflicting strange and incurable diseases, particularly on children-of destroying cattle by shooting them with hair balls, and a great variety of other means of destruction -of inflicting spells and curses on guns and other things and lastly, of changing men into horses, and after bridling and saddling them, riding them in full speed over hill and dale to their frolics and other places of rendezvous. More ample powers of mischief than these cannot be imagined.

Wizards were men supposed to be possessed of the same mischievous power as the witches; but it was seldom exercised for bad purposes.The power of the wizards was exercised almost exclusively for the purpose of counteracting the malevolent influence of the witches of the other sex. I have known several of those witch-masters, as they were called, who made a public profession of curing the diseases inflicted by the influence of witches; and I have known respectable physicians, who had no greater portion of business in the line of their profession, than many of those witch-masters had in theirs.

The means by which the witch was supposed to inflict diseases, curses, and spells, I never could learn. They were occult sciences, which no one was supposed to understand excepting the witch herself, and no wonder, as no such arts ever existed in any country.

The diseases of children, supposed to be inflicted by witchcraft, were those of the internal dropsy of the brain, and the rickts. The symptoms and cure of these destructive diseases were utterly unknown in former times in this country. Diseases which could neither be accounted for nor cured, were usually ascribed to some supernatural agency of a malignant kind.

For the cure of diseases inflicted by witchcraft, the picture of the supposed witch was drawn on a stump or piece of board, and shot at with a bullet containing a little bit of silver. This bullet transferred a painful and sometimes a mortal spell on that part of the witch corresponding with the part of the portrait struck by the bullet. Another method of

cure was that of getting some of the child's water, which was closely corked up in a vial and hung up in a chimney. This complimented the witch with a stranguary, which lasted as long as the vial remained in the

chimney. The witch had but one way of relieving herself from any spell inflicted on her in any way, which was that of borrowing something, no matter what, of the family to which the subject of the exercise of her witchcraft belonged.

I have known several poor old women much surprised at being refused requests which had usually been granted without hesitation, and almost heart broken when informed of the cause of the refusal.

When cattle or dogs were supposed to be under the influence of witchcraft, they were burnt in the forehead by a branding iron, or when dead, burned wholly to ashes. This inflicted a spell upon the witch which could only be removed by borrowing, as above stated.

Witches were often said to milk the cows of their neighbors. This they did by fixing a new pin in a new towel for each cow intended to be milked. This towel was hung over her own door, and by means of certain incantations, the milk was extracted from the fringes of the towel after the manner of milking a cow. This happened when the cows were too poor to give much milk..

The first German glass-blowers in this country drove the witches out of their furnaces by throwing living puppies into them.

The greater or less amount of belief in witchcraft, necromancy and astrology, serves to show the relative amount of philosophical science in any country. Ignorance is always associated with superstition, which, presenting an endless variety of sources of hope and fear, with regard to the good or bad fortunes of life, keep the benighted mind continually ha-rassed with groundless and delusive, but strong and often deeply distressing impressions of a false faith. For this disease of the mind there is no cure but that of philosophy. This science shows to the enlightened reason of man, that no effect whatever can be produced in the physica! world without a corresponding cause. This science announces that the death bell is but a momentary morbid motion of the nerves of the ear, and the death watch the noise of a bug in the wall, and that the howling: of the dog, and the croaking of the raven, are but the natural languagesof the beast and fowl, and no way prophetic of the death of the sick.The comet, which used to shake pestilence and war from its fiery train, is now viewed with as little emotion as the movements of Jupiter and Saturn in their respective orbits.

An eclipse of the sun, and an unusual freshet of the Tiber, shortly after the assassination of Julius Cæsar by Cassius and Brutus, threw the whole of the Roman empire into consternation. It was supposed that all the gods of heaven and earth were enraged, and about to take revenge for the murder of the emperor; but since the science of astronomy foretells in the calendar the time and the extent of the eclipse, the phenome-non is not viewed as a miraculous and portentous, but as a common and natural event.

That the pythoness and wizard of the Hebrews, the monthly sooth-sayers, astrologers and prognosticators of the Chaldeans, and the sybils of the Greeks and Romans, were mercenary impostors, there can be no doubt.

To say that the pythoness, and all others of her class, were aided in

their operations by the entervention of familiar spirits, does not mend the matter; for spirits, whether good or bad, possess not the power of life and death, health and disease, with regard to man and beast. Prescience is an incommunicable attribute of God, and therefore spirits cannot foretell future events.

The afflictions of Job, through the intervention of Satan, were miracu lous. The possessions mentioned in the New Testament, in all human probabilty, were maniacal diseases, and if, at their cures, the supposed evil spirit spoke with an audible voice, these events were also miraculous, and effected for a special purpose. But from miracles, no general conclusion can be drawn with regard to the divine government of the world. The conclusion is, that the powers professed to be exercised by the occult science of necromancy and other arts of divination, were neither more nor less than impostures.

Amongst the Hebrews, the profession of arts of divination was thought deserving of capital punishment, because the profession was of Pagan origin, and of course incompatible with the profession of theism, and a theocratic form of government. These jugglers perpetrated a debasing superstition among the people. They were also swindlers, who divested their neighbors of large sums of money and valuable presents without an equivalent.

On the ground then of fraud alone, according to the genius of the criminal codes of the ancient governments, the offense deserved capital punishment.

But is the present time better than the past with regard to a superstitious belief in occult influences? Do no traces of the polytheism of our forefathers remain among their christian descendants? This inquiry must be answered in the affirmative. Should an almanac-maker venture to give out the christian calendar without the column containing the signs of the zodiac, the calendar would be condemned as totally deficient, and the whole impression would remain on his hands.

But what are those signs? They are the constellations of the zodiac, that is, clusters of stars, twelve in number, within and including the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. These constellations resemble the animals after which they are named. But what influence do these clusters of stars exert on the animal and the plant? Certainly none at all; and yet we have been taught that the northern constellations govern the divisions of living bodies alternately from the head to the reins, and in like manner the southern from the reins to the feet. The sign then makes a skip from the feet to Aries, who again assumes the government of the head, and so on.

About half these constellations are friendly divinities, and exert a salutary influence on the animal and the plant. The others are malignant in their temper, and govern only for evil purposes. They blast during their reign the seed sown in the earth, and render medicine and the operations of surgery unsuccessful.

We have read of the Hebrews worshipping the hosts of heaven whenever they relapsed into idolatry; and these same constellations were the hosts of heaven which they worshipped. We, it is true, make no offering

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