Page:Eskimo Life.djvu/359

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.

about their father, and 'were permitted, at their own request, to pitch their tents in the colony.' After a few days the prisoner was set at liberty, and they went away. One might suppose that after such treatment the Greenlanders would bear ill-will to the foreigners; but their good-humour and hospitality are incomparable. As luck would have it, the following winter, Hans Egede's son, Paul, who had taken part in this high-handed proceeding, was driven by stress of weather to a place where he was surprised to find the angekok Elik. It was not particularly pleasant, as he himself confesses; but to his astonishment he was invited to take up his quarters with the angekok, who spread a reindeer skin for him upon his own sleeping-bench. There Paul Egede had to remain for three days, and was entertained with the best of everything.[1] This is indeed 'To return good for evil' and 'To do good to them that hate you'; but Egede attributed it to the Greenlanders' willingness 'to put up with punishment when they feel they have deserved it.'

Hans Egede had also another habit, which does not show the greatest possible consideration towards the natives; he would now and then take children to his house, against their parents' wishes, and keep them there to learn the language from them. In this

  1. P. Egede, Efterretninger om Grönland, p. 21; compare also p. 25.