The Natchez, Volume 1

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Page xxxiv - I conceived the idea of writing the epopee of the man of nature, or of painting the manners of savages, by connecting them with some known event. After the discovery of America, I saw no subject of greater interest, especially for Frenchmen, than the massacre of the colony of the Natchez at Louisiana, in 1727. All the Indian tribes conspiring, after two centuries of oppression, to restore liberty to the New World, appeared to me to offer as fine a subject for the pen as the conquest of Mexico.
Page 29 - The infantry, white and light as snow, quickly formed in front of the heavy machines, which disgorge flame and iron. Marseilles, the galleys of which ascend the ancient Egyptus; L'Orient, which sends forth its ships to the seas of Taprobane itself; Touraine, with its delicious fruits; Flanders, with its blood-red harvests; Roman Lyons; German Strasburg; Toulouse, so celebrated for its troubadours; Rheims, whither kings repair to receive their crowns; Paris, to which they carry them back; all the...
Page vi - I had it from a traveller, who was a witness of them, and on whose sincerity I have good reason to depend. The husband of this woman not being noble, that is to say, of the family of the Great Chief, his eldest son strangled him, according to custom : then they cleared the cabin of all it contained, and they erected in it a kind of triumphal car, in which the body of the deceased woman, and that of her husband, were placed. A moment after they ranged round these carcasses...
Page xxiv - Is toward the place whither they intend to carry the war. Those who would enlist present themselves to the chief, well dressed, their faces smeared with various colors, and declare to him the desire they have to learn the art of war under his orders; that they are disposed to endure all the fatigues of war, and ready to die, If needful, for their country [ !]• When the chief has the number of soldiers that the expedition requires, which he intends to make, he causes a drink to be prepared at his...
Page iv - Vega speaks of this nation as of a powerful people, and about six years ago they reckoned among them four thousand warriors. It appears that they were more numerous in the time of M. de la Salle, and even when M. d'Iberville discovered the mouth of the Mississippi. At present the Natchez cannot raise two thousand fighting men.
Page 28 - It was commanded by Folard, the immoveable Folard, who, amidst the most imminent dangers, could calculate the curve of the ball or the bomb, point out the hill which it was requisite to seize, and trace the figures and resolve the problems of Pythagoras on the very theatre of slaughter, amidst fire and death. The infantry, white and light as snow, quickly formed in front of the heavy machines, which disgorge flame and iron. Marseilles, the galleys of which ascend the ancient Egyptus; L'Orient, which...
Page ii - ... these bones in the altar itself, to make room for the last dead. I can say nothing on this last article, only that I saw some bones in one or two chests, but they made not half a human body; that they appeared to be very old, and that they were not on the table which they say...
Page xiv - SIS. the first produce of the harvest, and of every thing that they gather ; and they do the same by all the presents that are made to their nation. They expose them at the door of the temple ; the keeper of which, after presenting them to the Spirit, carries them to the king, who distributes them to whom he pleases. The seeds are in like manner offered before the temple, with great ceremony. But the offerings which are made of bread and flour every new moon are for the use of the keepers of the...
Page viii - However that may be, on the occasion I am speaking of, the fathers and mothers who had strangled their children, took them up in their hands and ranged themselves on both sides...

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