The MayPole At Merry Mount Essay Research — страница 2

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Indian mind, in the rare cases where it existed at all, seems to have been of the vaguest possible description. Morton was not a man likely to be fastidious, and his reference to the ‘lasses in beaver coats,’ is suggestive.” This is as near as Adams ever gets to a full statement of the facts. In Parkman, “Jesuits in North America,” (ch. iv) there is a very graphic account of the missionary Le Jeune’s ex-perience among the Algonquins, in which he describes the in-terior of a wigwam on a winter’s evening. “Heated to suffo-cation, the sorcerer, in the closest possible approach to nudity, lay on his back, with his right knee planted upright and his left leg crossed on it, discoursing volubly to the company, who, on their part, listened in positions scarcely less

remote from decency.” Le Jeune says, “Les filles et les jeunes femmes sont l’exterieur tr s honnestement couvertes, mais entre elles leurs discours vent puants, commes des cloaques.” Parkman says that “chastity in women was recognized as a virtue by many tribes.” Of the New England Indians Wil-liams remarks, “Single fornications they count no sin, but after marriage they count it heinous for either of them to be false.” Judging by an incident mentioned by Morton, how-ever, adultery does not seem to have been looked upon as a very grave offense among the Indians of the vicinity in which he lived. “The colour of their eies being so generally black made a salvage, that had a young infant whose eies were gray, showed him to us, and said they were English mens eies;

I tould the Father that his son was nan weeteo, which is a bastard; hee replied tita cheshetue squaa, which is, he could not tell, his wife might play the whore; and his childe the father desired might have an English name, because of the liteness of his eies, which his father had in admiration because of the novelty amongst their nation.” Strachey (Historic p. 65) says of the Virginians: “Their young women goe not shadowed (clothed) amongst their own companie, until they be nigh eleven or twelve returns of the leafe old, nor are they much ashamed thereof, and therefore would the before remembered Pocahuntas, a well featured, but wanton yong girle, Powhatan’s daughter, sometymes resorting to our fort, of the age of eleven or twelve years, get the boyes forth with her into

the market place, and make them wheele, falling on their hands, turning up their heels upwards, whome she would followe, and wheele so her self, naked as she was, all the fort over; but being over twelve years, they put on a kind of semecinctum lethern apron before their bellies, and are very shamefaced to be seen bare. ” wantons before marriage and household drudges after, it is extremely questionable whether they had any conception of it.” (i. e. female chastity.) From conflicting reports from many sources the truth seems to be that the state of affairs with respect to this trait of female chastity was a matter largely of individual inclination. Some would be chaste and others wanton as the blood ruled them or the local fashion of the moment seemed to warrant. Were a wife

too flagrantly adulterous no husband would want her; thus, the case would decide itself. And so “Morton’s inclination to boisterous revelry cul-minated at last in that proceeding which scandalized the Ply-mouth elders and passed into history.” Book III, Chapter 14, of “The New English Canaan” presents it as follows: “The Inhabitants of Pasonagessit having translated the name of their habitation from the ancient Salvage name to Ma-re Mount, and being resolved to have the new name confirmed for a memorial to after ages, did devise amongst themselves to have it performed in a solemn maner, with Revels and merri-ment after the old English custome; (they) prepared to sett up a Maypole upon the festivall day of Philip and Jacob (1627), and therefore brewed a barrell of

excellent beare and provided a case of bottles, to be spent, with other good cheare, for all commers of that day. And because they would have it in compleat forme, they had prepared a song fitting to the time and present occasion. And upon May day they brought the Maypole to the place appointed, with drumes, gunnes, pis-tols and other fitting instruments, for the purpose; and there erected it with the help of Salvages, that came thether to see the manner of our Revels. A goodly pine tree of 80 foot longe was reared up, with a peare of buckshorns nayled one somewhat neare unto the top of it: where it stood, as a faire sea mark for directions how to finde out the way to mine Hoste of Ma-re Mount.” Bradford’s account was very different “They also set up a May-pole, drinking