Page:Life among the Apaches.djvu/102

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a telescope, and he will express unfeigned delight, but will, at the same time, regard you with additional distrust and suspicion. In fine, all your efforts are treated as the advances of an invidious enemy, and no expenditure of time or industry has ever been successful in this field of operation. How can we cultivate and improve human beings who resolutely refuse cultivation and improvement, and brand all our efforts as so many snares laid for their subjection? But it is useless to prolong a discussion of this subject; experientia docet, and experience has shown the futility of all attempts to cultivate, civilize and christianize the North American savage.

The deplorable condition of the Californian Indians, after years upon years of Jesuit teachings, and the foundation of numerous missions, surrounded with large and pacific Indian populations, only offers another proof that the savage tribes of this continent are not susceptible of permanent and radical improvement. Instead of being bettered, civilized and christianized, they have contracted all the worst features of the white race and retained all the more despicable characteristics of their own, while the native dignity, courage and primitive virtues of the Indian have been completely annihilated. In all the world there is no more despicable people than the indigenous tribes of California, which have been, for years, under the sway and tuition of the Jesuit fathers, who piously thought they were doing God good service. In all the attributes of manhood, in everything which dignifies uncivilized human nature, the untamed tribes are infinitely their superiors. Superstition, cowardice, filth, sloth, drunkenness, moral depravity, and the most revolting licentiousness have replaced the sterner and more simple qualities of the wild Indian tribes. In the desire to do them good, we have done them the most harm. In the hope of excising their savage defects, we have in-