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

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The lieutenant told her, that while he resided among them, two French missionaries arrived, in order to convert them to the catholic religion; but when they talked of mysteries and revelations, which they could neither explain nor authenticate, and called in the evidence of miracles which they believed upon hearsay; when they taught that the Supreme Creator of Heaven and Earth had allowed his only Son, his own equal in power and glory, to enter the bowels of a woman, to be born as a human creature, to be insulted, flagellated, and even executed as a malefactor; when they pretended to create God himself, to swallow, digest, revive, and multiply him ad infinitum, by the help of a little flour and water, the Indians were shocked at the impiety of their presumption. — They were examined by the assembly of the sachems who desired them to prove the divinity of their mission by some miracle. — They answered, that it was not in their power. — 'If you were really sent by Heaven for our conversion (said one of the sachems), you would certainly have some supernatural endowments, at least you would have the gift of tongues, in order to explain your doctrine to the different nations among which you are employed; but you are so ignorant of our language, that you cannot express yourselves even on the most trifling subjects.' In a word, the assembly were convinced of their being cheats, and even suspected them of being spies: they ordered them a bag of Indian corn apiece, and appointed a guide to conduct them to the frontiers; but the missionaries having more zeal than discretion, refused to quit the vineyard. — They persisted in saying mass, in preaching, baptizing, and squabbling with the conjurers, or priests of the country, till they had thrown the whole community into confusion. — Then the assembly proceeded to try them as impious impostors, who represented the Almighty as a trifling, weak, capricious being, and pretended to make, unmake, and reproduce him at pleasure; they were, therefore, convicted of blasphemy and sedition, and condemned to the stale, where they died singing Salve regina, in a rapture of joy, for the crown of martyrdom which they had thus obtained.

In the course of this conversation, lieutenant Lismahago dropt some hints by which it appeared he himself was a free-thinker. Our aunt seemed to be startled at certain sarcasms he threw out against the creed of saint Athanasius — He dwelt much upon the words, reason, philosophy, and contradiction in terms — he bid defiance to the eternity of hell-fire; and even threw such squibs at the immortality of the soul, as singed a little the whiskers of Mrs Tabitha's faith; for, by this time she began to look upon Lismahago as a prodigy of learning and sagacity. — In short, he could be no longer insensible to the advances she made towards his affection; and although there was something repulsive in his nature, he overcame it so far as to make some return to her civilities. — Perhaps, he thought it would be no bad scheme, in a superannuated lieutenant on half-pay, to effect a conjunction with an old maid, who, in all probability, had fortune enough to keep him easy and comfortable in the fag-end of his days — An ogling correspondence forthwith commenced between this amiable pair of originals — He began to sweeten the natural acidity of his discourse with the treacle of compliment and commendation — He from time to time offered her snuff, of which he himself took great quantities, and even made her a present of a purse of silk grass, woven by the hands of the amiable Squinkinacoosta, who had used it as a shot-pouch in her hunting expeditions.

From Doncaster northwards, all the windows of all the inns are scrawled with doggeral rhimes, in abuse of the Scotch nation; and what surprised me very much, I did not perceive one line written in the way of recrimination — Curious to hear what Lismahago would say on this subject, I pointed out to him a very scurrilous epigram against his countrymen, which was engraved on one of the windows of the parlour where we sat. — He read it with the most starched composure; and when I asked his opinion of the poetry, 'It is vara terse and vara poignant (said he); but with the help of a wat dish-clout, it might be rendered more clear and parspicuous. — I marvel much that some modern wit has not published a collection of these essays under the title of the Glaziers Triumph over Sawney the Scot — I'm persuaded it would be a vara agreeable offering to the patriots of London and Westminster.' When I expressed some surprize that the natives of Scotland, who travel this way, had not broke all the windows upon the road, 'With submission (replied the lieutenant), that were but shallow policy — it would only serve to make the satire more cutting and severe; and I think it is much better to let it stand in the window, than have it presented in the reckoning.'