Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 26, 1915.djvu/32

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Presidential Address.

killed and wounded men, women, and children indiscriminately, and scalped even the women."[1] Or, again, the Cheyenne fire-eater, for all his gallantry towards a foeman worthy of his steel, would display among his trophies a bagful of the right hands of infants gathered among his deadly enemies, the Shoshoni. Possibly he attributed some talismanic or "medicinal" potency to his prize; but we shall hardly err in supposing that incontinent vainglory and an utter insensibility to human suffering and to the claims of the weak were among the primary conditions of the horrid custom.[2] There is no need to enlarge on other manifestations of the ferocity of these savage Paladins, such as notably the torturing of their prisoners. And yet the evil passions provoked by war may be curiously specialized, the discharge of purely spiteful feeling being confined to certain traditional channels; so that, for instance, that last indignity that can be offered to the weakness of woman, the outrage of rape, was utterly unknown amongst these warrior stocks.[3] Take him all in all, however, the Indian brave affords a standing instance of a manly man and yet a man emotionally starved and arrested. No civilized person, who has tasted of the richer moral experience which ripens under conditions of enduring and widespread peace, would be willing to purchase military capacity at the price of becoming in heart and soul a typical Iroquois, or even, let us say, a typical Roman. Civilization must move, not backwards, but forwards. The problem of the modern world in respect to the development of character is, shortly, this: how to acquire hardihood without hardness.

Now that wars may one day cease upon earth is a pious aspiration, to gainsay which may be churlish. It is, at any

  1. Prinz Maximilian, op. cit. 257.
  2. J. G. Bourke, The Medicine Men of the Apache, in Smithsonian Institution, Ann. Rep. Bur. Ethn. ix. 481 ff.
  3. Cf. Catlin, op. cit. ii. 240, or H. R. Schoolcraft, Historical and Statistical Information respecting the Indian Tribes of the United States, iii. 188.