Tobias Smollett, The Expedition of Humphry Clinker: Ch. 50

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The description of poor Murphy's sufferings, which threw my sister Liddy into a swoon, extracted some sighs from the breast of Mrs Tabby: when she understood he had been rendered unfit for marriage, she began to spit, and ejaculated, 'Jesus, what cruel barbarians!' and she made wry faces at the lady's nuptial repast; but she was eagerly curious to know the particulars of her marriage-dress; whether she wore high-breasted stays or bodice, a robe of silk or velvet, and laces of Mechlin or minionette — she supposed, as they were connected with the French, she used rouge, and had her hair dressed in the Parisian fashion. The captain would have declined giving a catagorical explanation of all these particulars, observing, in general, that the Indians were too tenacious of their own customs to adopt the modes of any nation whatsoever; he said, moreover, that neither the simplicity of their manners nor the commerce of their country, would admit of those articles of luxury which are deemed magnificence in Europe; and that they were too virtuous and sensible to encourage the introduction of any fashion which might help to render them corrupt and effeminate.

These observations served only to inflame her desire of knowing the particulars about which she had enquired; and, with all his evasion, he could not help discovering the following circumstances — that his princess had neither shoes, stockings, shift, nor any kind of linen — that her bridal dress consisted of a petticoat of red bays, and a fringed blanket, fastened about her shoulders with a copper skewer; but of ornaments she had great plenty. — Her hair was curiously plaited, and interwoven with bobbins of human bone — one eye-lid was painted green, and the other yellow; the cheeks were blue, the lips white, the teeth red, and there was a black list drawn down the middle of the forehead as far as the tip of the nose — a couple of gaudy parrot's feathers were stuck through the division of the nostrils — there was a blue stone set in the chin, her ear-rings consisted of two pieces of hickery, of the size and shape of drum-sticks — her arms and legs were adorned with bracelets of wampum — her breast glittered with numerous strings of glass beads — she wore a curious pouch, or pocket of woven grass, elegantly painted with various colours — about her neck was hung the fresh scalp of a Mohawk warrior, whom her deceased lover had lately slain in battle — and, finally, she was anointed from head to foot with bear's grease, which sent forth a most agreeable odour.

One would imagine that these paraphernalia would not have been much admired by a modern fine lady; but Mrs Tabitha was resolved to approve of all the captains connexions. — She wished, indeed, the squaw had been better provided with linen; but she owned there was much taste and fancy in her ornaments; she made no doubt, therefore, that madam Squinkinacoosta was a young lady of good sense and rare accomplishments, and a good christian at bottom. Then she asked whether his consort had been high church or low-church, presbyterian or anabaptist, or had been favoured with any glimmering of the new light of the gospel? When he confessed that she and her whole nation were utter strangers to the christian faith, she gazed at him with signs of astonishment, and Humphry Clinker, who chanced to be in the room, uttered a hollow groan.

After some pause, 'In the name of God, captain Lismahago (cried she), what religion do they profess?' 'As to religion, madam (answered the lieutenant), it is among those Indians a matter of great simplicity — they never heard of any Alliance between Church and State. — They, in general, worship two contending principles; one the Fountain of all Good, the other the source of all evil. The common people there, as in other countries, run into the absurdities of superstition; but sensible men pay adoration to a Supreme Being, who created and sustains the universe.' 'O! what pity (exclaimed the pious Tabby), that some holy man has not been inspired to go and convert these poor heathens!'