Stránka:book 1913.djvu/74

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52 The Book of Woodcraft torments, and an equanimity which neither misfortunes nor reverses can shake. Toward each other they behave with a natural politeness and attention, entertaining a high respect for the aged, and a consideration for their equals which appears scarcely reconciliable with that freedom and independence of which they are so jealous." (Moeurs des Sauv. Amer., 1724, quoted in "Century of Dishonor" p. 378.) Long afterward the judicial Morgan in his League of the Iroquois, says, (p. 55) : "In legislation, in eloquence, in fortitude, and in military sagacity, they had no equals. "Crimes and offences were so infrequent, under their social system, that the Iroquois can scarcely be said to have had a criminal code." Captain John H. Bourke, who spent most of his active life as an Indian fighter, and who, by training, was an Indian hater, was at last, even in the horror of an Indian- crushing campaign, compelled to admit: "The American Indian, born free as the eagle, woidd not tolerate restraint, would not brook injustice; therefore, the restraint imposed must be manifestly for his benefit, and the government to which he was subjected must be eminently one of kindness, mercy and absolute justice, without necessarily degenerating into weakness. The American Indian despises a liar. The American Indian is the most generous of mortals; at all his dances and feasts, the widow and the orphan are the first to be remembered." (Bourke's "On the Border with Crook," p. 226.) "Bad as the Indians often are, " says this same frontier veteran, "I have never yet seen one so demoralized that he was not an example in honor and nobility to the wretches who enrich them- selves by plundering him of the little our Government appor- tions for him." (Bourke's "On the Border with Crook," p. 445-)