Page images
PDF
EPUB

that purpose.

a propitiatory sacrifice. But the Mandans are no sins of their tribe, however numerous or heinous, more, and the “Big Canoe” now rears its headamidst committed within the preceding year. a heap of mouldering ruins.

“On the ninth day of the feast, by some magical Let us turn to another account of Indian cere- process, the sins of the nation thus collected are monies, practised among those nations which at transfused from the several members of the comthe commencement of the revolutionary war were mittee into one of their number. The dogs are known as the confederacy of the Six Nations. The then taken down ; and the whole weight of the account, which we transcribe from Mr. Stone's nation's iniquity, by another magical process, is life of Joseph Brant-Thayendanegia-chief of the transfused into their lifeless carcasses. The bodies Mohawks, the head tribe of the Six Nations, is of the dogs are next laid upon an altar of wood, to given as witnessed among the Senecas, now a half-which fire is applied, and the whole consumed; the civilized tribe, dwelling in the state of New York, masters of the sacrifice throwing the tobacco and near Lake Erie, and numbering about 1200, but other odoriferous articles into the flames, the formerly amounting to nearly as many thou- incense ascending from which is supposed to be sands.

acceptable to the Great Spirit. The sacrifice “ The great annual feast of thanksgiving and re-ended, the people all partake of a bountiful feast; mission of sin, held by the Senecas and other tribes after which follow the war and peace dances, and of the confederacy, is their greatest national and the smoking of the calumet. Thus refreshed, and most solemn sacrifice. It is invariably held at the relieved from the burden of sin, at peace with time of the old moon in January, and is celebrated the Great Spirit and with each other, the warriors with great parade; the ceremonies being conducted with their families return each to his own house, with the utmost order, harmony, and decorum,under prepared to enter upon the business and the duties the direction of a large committee appointed for of another year; the chiefs during the festival

having carefully reviewed the past, and adjusted “ The festivities continue nine days ; on the first their policy for the future." of which two white dogs, without spot or blemish, Most Indian ceremonies are accompanied by if such can be found, are strangled, fantastically dances of some kind, in which the young warriors decorated, and hung up before the door of the coun are the chief performers. These we have described cil-house, at the height of twenty feet. Not a drop are in honour of the Great Spirit. They debase of blood is allowed to be shed in compassing their themselves, it is true, even while they vainly seek death, as the victims would thereby be rendered to do the Omnipotent honour; and when they turn unfit for the sacrifice. The ceremonies of their frolic the same ceremonies, as is too often the case, to commence. In the course of the first day, every the indulgence of the lowest appetites, they sink to lodge in the town is visited by the committee ; each the bottom of the slough from which they have member being provided with a shovel, with which appeared on the point of escaping.

E. he removes the ashes and coals from every hearth, and scatters them to the winds. In this manner the fire of every lodge is extinguished, to be rekindled only by striking virgin sparks from the

A GLIMPSE OF PAST AGES. flint. The discharge of a gun at every lodge If some observers of our race have laboured to announces that the work of purification, even of portray the uncivilised as links in the chain of fire itself

, has been performed ; and with this being, connecting ourselves with the beasts of the ceremony end the labours of the first day.

earth, others have striven to cast a false yet attrac“'The ceremonies of the second day are opened tive colouring over the circumstances of savage life. with a dance by the committee, after which, The island his perhaps been traversed beneath a dressed in bear-skins, the members visit every sky without a cloud; the eye has dwelt with delodge, with baskets to take up alms—receiving light on all the diversity of hill and dale, stupenwhatever is bestowed, but particularly tobacco, dous mountains and rocky precipices, clothed alike and other articles used for incense in the sacrifice. with every variety of verdure, from the tender Two or three days are occupied in receiving these blade to the deep and rich foliage of the breadgrateful donations, during which time the people fruit tree, or the waving plumes of the lofty and at the council-house are engaged in dances and graceful cocoa-nut grove-while the stream has other recreations. On the fifth day masks are gently passed on its way, and all has been subliadded to the bear-skin dresses of the masters of mity, beauty, and melody,—and the visitor, enathe festival, some ludicrous and others frightful, moured of a spot which might have reminded him in which they run about the village, smearing of Eden, has invested its inhabitants with the innothemselves with dirt, and bedaubing all such as cence of the dwellers in Paradise. There has frerefuse to add to the contents of their baskets of quently been a yielding to fascination where there incense. While thus engaged, the collectors are has been no absolutely sinister design. The true supposed to receive into their own bodies all the philanthropist, however, will guard against all such

A GLIMPSE OF PAST AGES.

5 seductions as sedulously as against a failure in in- was engaged in pastoral life. Among the descendtegrity which may be more palpable. Truth has ants of the former there was an early invention of grievously suffered from exaggeration no less than the arts. Tubal Cain was the first artificer of wardetraction ; while humanity, always benefited by like instruments, instructing in every work of iron just representations, has groaned under wrongs and of brass. Jubal was the father of all them which ought to have been redressed, and multitudes that handled the harp and the organ.” Naamah on multitudes have perished as a prey of unmiti- was probably the first inventress of some of the gated evils.

more exquisite kinds of needle-work. Theophrastus That man as a savage, though traversing the complained that nature denies men in later times loveliest regions of this world, demands our com- that length of days for cultivating their reason passion, we are fully prepared to contend. Is not which is bestowed on many inferior animals ; but even one fact amply sufficient to set the question at the long life of the antediluvians would unquestionrest,-that in such circumstances the better parts ably befavourable to the progress of intelligence,and of his nature—the mental and the moral—are held proportionateadvances would consequently be made. in the most abject vassalage by the sensual ? It is The remnants of the mass of knowledge and skill often manifest that even the physical suffers from the thus accumulated and preserved in the ark, were tyranny it maintains, reminding us of the frenzied the means of powerfully acting on after-times. It strokes of the despot which always recoil on him is probable that Noah was devoted to husbandry self. Or, to give only another fact, which has manya from his earliest years. The cares of the shepherd parallel ;-Holden, when describing his adventures devolved on his eldest son Shem, and were transin Lord North’s Island, says “ the female portion mitted to his renowned descendant Abraham, of the inhabitants outstrip the men in cruelty and whose posterity followed the same employment in savage depravity; so much so that we were fre- the fertile pastures of Canaan for many succeeding quently indebted to the tender-mercies of the men ages. In the wealth, power, and splendour of pafor escapes from death at the hands of the women." triarchal shepherds, appear the rudiments of regal We ask then pity-genuine, heart-felt pity-for grandeur and anthority, and in their retainers the the savage, and with it all the means that can raise elements of stupendous and mighty empires. When, him to his proper dignity and happiness.

however, mankind feel the pressure of want, and Benevolence, when sincere, will always sympa- can obtain the means of removing it, changes will thise with the advancement of our race ; and as arise. Though no hunter will rear a domestic stock to this noble principle we hope to make a frequent while success in the chase is sure, and no herdsappeal, this paper will be appropriated to a sketch man will enter on the toils and anxieties of agriof the progress of society during a part of its career. culture while the pastures suffice for the unlimited Here, then, we ask the aid of authentic history. increase of his cattle, yet let necessity come, or at But, as we travel back to distant ages, where can least be in prospect, and there will be a great alterit be found? Assuredly not in that remote anti-ation in their course. An illustration of this is quity which sometimes boldly advances and chal- afforded by the history of Egypt. It was the land lenges our confidence.

in which want was first felt, and there, happily, it It has been said, for instance, that the records of could be most easily relieved. As the habitable the Chinese extend back for myriads of ages : but country was of limited extent; recourse would be the fact has been unknown or wilfully overlooked had to agriculture, on which the Nile, “ the true that these people have a mythological as well as a Ceres of antiquity," poured out a rich reward. In chronological period; the one containing the his- such employments there is a peculiar encouragetory of their gods, the other that of men ; the ment to civilisation ; for the industry of each indiformer considered by them as fabulous, the latter vidual is beneficial to the whole community, and as true. Were it otherwise, they have absolutely the facility for providing for the wants of all enno events for their circles of years. The vagueness ables many to employ themselves in other occupaof their statements proves, therefore, that a wild tions. While the mere tillage of the soil may be imagination has been employed either to amuse or performed by a small number, the rest of the people delude the credulous; and hence these periods are are led to devise some methods of employing thempassed over by faithful historians of “the Celestial selves in other ways, and consequently the energies Empire."

of the mind are called forth to create and supply Amidst the obscurity and darkness of fables, the numerous artificial wants. An order of things, books of Moses shed on us a solitary but heaven- unknown to the hunter and the shepherd, naturally enkindled light, and reveal all that can be known and inevitably succeeds in proportion to the advance of the earliest condition of man. At the head of of the rising state. artificial systems with which we occasionally meet, Still further, the inundations of the Nile would he may stand forth as a savage, but such was never also induce men to live in towns, crowding togeassuredly his original state. Cain, though excluded ther in elevated spots ; while the barks, which from Eden, was a tiller of the ground, while Abel conducted from city to city, would at length, by following the course of the Nile, be borne into the waters of the Mediterranean sea. How remark

THE DESERT OF LONDON. able are these circumstances of the people of Egypt ! They were made, by the position they occupied, That we do not discover more subjects of wonder agriculturists, dwellers in cities, and mariners also. and interest in the every-day, but unnoted, occur

Nor were other circumstances less memorable. rences of life, is to be charged rather on our own The pyramids, obelisks, and temples of that coun- want of observation, than on the barrenness of the try, which have long arrested the attention of the things around us. Life itself is but an aggregate traveller, date their erection at a period when of wonders. The Desert of London !-it would Greece was traversed by a few tribes of roving almost seem to involve a contradiction in terms; barbarians. The site of almost every city of note and yet there is a desert in London, whose extent in Upper Egypt is marked by the ruins of a temple is bounded only by the length and breadth of that which was at once the royal residence, and the great human hive, the English Metropolis. We place where the chief estates of the people held do not allude to a moral desert, for moral desert their various assemblies. The discoveries of mo- there is none-there is no barrenness in the human dern times have deciphered the inscriptions by heart_if it yield not wheat it will produce tares. which these relics are profusely covered, preserv- The reader will smile, perhaps, when we tell him ing the dates of the building of these edifices, and that the Desert to which we refer is the House-tops ! casting much light on the purposes to which they Let him smile, but “not in scorn;" for it is on the were appropriated. Here also we may trace the House-tops that, in numberless instances, the first, effect of position. As the inhabitants of Tyre, Sidon, and therefore the most fearful step in crime is and Palestine were indebted to their forests of cedar taken. Let the said reader repair to any elevated for becoming skilful workers in wood, so the Egyp- station and look abroad upon the vast panorama.tians, from their quarries and the facility they ac- What will he behold ?-a great red desert of tiles, quired in hollowing them out, attained that aptitude broken only by church-steeples, the tall chimneys of for working in stone so manifest in their edifices. manufactories, or the humbler “stacks” which in

The ruins of Egypt demonstrate at this hour its dicate an infinitude of fire-sides. The sounds of life ancient greatness. It seems, on entering one of the accumulated din of rattling wheels and hurried its temples, as if the labours of the builders had footsteps-roll upwards from the busy streets ; the been suddenly interrupted, and they would speedily ear is conscious of the neighbourhood of thousands ; return to resume their toils. Fragments of edifices the pulsations of the mighty heart are felt; yet to brought down to desolation nearly three thousand the eye all is solitude. But is it the desert—the years ago, have the freshness of recent completion. solitude which at the first glance it appears ? Let Paintings, covering the walls of buildings which us look a little closer. What crouching form is have been roofless for ages, still remain undefaced. that and that—and that, more distant still? and In them are depicted the various processes of the what crazy tenements and platforms are those mechanical arts practised by the people. Books, which and there bestride the various “flats" household utensils, the tools of the artificer, the and gable roofs? These are the pigeon-poachers colours and reeds of sacred scribes, models of and their traps. On this desert many a mechanic dwellings, granaries, and boats, with various articles spends his leisure hours in decoying his neighbour's of luxury,—all indicative of high civilization—have pigeons. The gains are small, but the excitement been taken from the tombs. It is manifest that is great ; much artifice and patience being essential manufactures had advanced to the production of to success. At the utmost, a “green dragon” may open linen, embroidered with a dark threaded produce two shillings, or a fine “pouter" a crownworsted; the tastefully inlaying of wood; the mak- piece. It is calculated that we have in London ing of glass ; and the counterfeiting of amethysts upwards of two thousand men thus graduating for and other precious stones. Who then can deny to the penal settlements; and if we take into account the country in which these various objects appear their associates, at least four thousand others famithe claim to an early and distinguished elevation? liarised with the offence,-to say nothing of the Nor was it attained for itself alone ; its advance contamination of whole families who practise it. ment secured the progress of multitudes within Pigeon-poaching is the parent crime of a numerous the range of its widely extending influence. If progeny. Egypt appeared as the mistress of knowledge and Now poaching, by a law of which we question arts, Greece, of whom so many nations have bor- not the wisdom, has been denounced and punished rowed intelligence, from whose stores Rome derived as a crime ; and we know, by painful experience, its erudition-Greece was content to sit down at that it also is the harbinger of crimes of a deeper the feet of Egypt in the character of a disciple. dye. The town poacher, with at least the full But here another chapter of human improvement share of the guilt, has none of the excuses which opens ; it must now be reserved ; an early number may be urged by the rural one, who may plead to of our Journal may afford it space.

X. his conscience, as he often does at the bar of his DESERT OF LONDON.-CUBAN SLAVE-MERCHANT.

country, that the hare and the pheasant are “feræ Are landed boldly on the coast, and soon naturæ," and that human laws can no more make Are penn'd, like cattle, in the barricone; them otherwise than they can change their habits,

Trick'd out for sale, and huddled in a mass, or restrict them to one particular ownership or

Exposed to every broker who may pass, manor. But the pigeon-stealer has no such plea

Rudely examined, roused with the “ courbash," he knows that every bird he entraps has an owner.

And walk'd, and run, and startled with the lash,

Or ranged in line, are sold by parcel there, The crime can only be deemed a minor one as

Spectres of men ! the pictures of despair. respects the value of the thing stolen ; and there

Their owner comes, “ the royal merchant" deigns is little doubt that a man who would decoy a

To view his chattels, and to count his gains. pigeon, would steal a horse, or pick a pocket, but To him what boots it how these slaves were made, for the increased chances of detection and measure What wrongs the poor have suffer'd by his trade! of punishment. It is the difficulty of detection To him what boots it, if the sale is good, that, in a mind unrestrained by religious or moral How many perislı'd in the fray of blood ! principle, betrays into the first forgetfulness of How many peaceful hamlets were attack’d, meum and tuum; and the boundary once passed, The poor defenceless villages were sack'd ! who shall say at what enormity the criminal may

How many wretched beings in each town stop? Our picture has yet a darker shade-the Maim'd at the onslaught, or in flight cut down, day on which the pigeon-poacher chiefly plies his How many infants from the breast were torn, craft is the summer Sabbath, when

And frenzied mothers dragg'd away forlorn !

To him what boots it how the ship is cramm'd ; “ The bell that calls the poor to pray"

How many hundreds in the hold are jamm'd ;

How small the space; what piteous cries below; is pealing from every steeple around him, and What frightful tumults in that den of woe ; should remind the sinner of Him whose voice, Or how the hatches, when the gale comes on, amid the thunders of Sinai, proclaimed, “Thou Are batten'd down, and ev'ry hope seems gone ; SHALT NOT STEAL.” Little deems he that while What struggling hands in vain are lifted there; he is spreading the lur for his unwary prey, there

Or how the lips are parch'd that move in prayer, is a being eagerly on the watch to entrap his soul, On all around, the dying and the dead.

Or utter imprecations wild and dread, even as a bird in the snare of the fowler, and that what cares the merchant for that crowded hold; in every repeated offence he is adding a mesh The voyage pays if half the slaves are sold ! to the net which “ that wicked one” is drawing What does it matter to that proud senor, closer and closer around him! How urgently then How many sick have sunk to rise no more ; does the condition of the pigeon-poacher commend How many children in the waving throng, itself to Christian zeal and benevolence ! H. Crush'd in the crowd, or trampled by the strong!

What boots it, in that dungeon of despair,
How many beings gasp and pant for air !
How many creatures draw infected breath,
And drag out life, ay, in the midst of death!

Yet to look down, my God, one instant there,
THE CUBAN SLAVE-MERCHANT. The shrieks and groans of that live mass to hear ;

To breathe that horrid atmosphere, and dwell Tue Cuban merchant prosecutes his trade

But for one moment in that human hell ! Without a qualm, or a reproach being made ;

It matters little, if he sell the sound, Sits at his desk, and with composure sends

How many sick, that might not sell, were drown'd; A formal order to his Gold-coast friends

How many wretched creatures pined away, For some five hundred “ bultos” of effects,

Or wasted bodies made their “plash " per day ! And bids them ship “ the goods” as he directs.

They're only negroes !—True, they count not here ; That human cargo, to its full amount,

Perhaps their cries and groans may count elsewhere ; Is duly bought and shipp'd on his account ;

And one on high may say for these and all, Stow'd to the best advantage in the hold,

A price was paid, and it redeem'd from thrall. And limb and limb, in chains, as you behold ;

If the proud “merchants who are princes” here, On every breast, the well-known brand, J. G.

Believe his word, or his commandments fear, In letters bold, engraved on flesh you see.

How can they dare to advocate this trade, The slaves betimes are in their fetters used

Or call the sacred Scriptures to its aid ! To dance and sing, and forcibly amused,

How can they have the boldness to lay claim, To make the negroes merry when they pine,

And boast their title, to the Christian name; Or seem to brood o'er some conceal'd design.

Or yet pretend to walk in reason's light, And when the voyage to its close draws near,

And wage eternal war with human right! No pains are spared to make the slaves appear

Dr. Madden. In fit condition for the market stall. Their limbs are greased, their heads are shaved, and all

* A kind of barracks in which the newly-imported slaves are These naked wretches, wasted as they are,

placed until they are sold. And mark'd with many a recent wound and scar,

NO. 1.THE COUNTRY.

nature wanting ; the mountains on the eastern side NEW ZEALAND.

of North Island contain volcanoes ; and Mr. Polack witnessed an eruption in Walkai, an island in the

Bay of Plenty ; some of the plateaux are cleft by OVER the prodigious extent of the Pacific Ocean, yawning fissures of unfathomed depth ; and the vast numbers of islands are grouped remote from south-western coast presents the inhospitable faces the great continents of the earth, and scarcely in- of craggy and stupendous rocks. So dreary and cluded in either of its four quarters. Those which desolate is the north extremity of these islands, that lie for the most part north of the equator are in the natives have fixed upon it as their “Styx,” cluded in the general term Polynesia ; while the leading to the abodes of the dead *. islands in the South Pacific have derived, from Let us, however, bear out this description by as their position, the name of Australasia.

minute a survey of New Zealand as our space afThe latter assemblage of islands is divided by fords. The general face of the territory is unduMr. Barrow into eight groups ; of which New Hol- lating. A chain of eminences extends throughland, or Australia, Van Diemen’s Land, and New out its entire length, rising with a varied ascent Zealand, are the most considerable.

from inconsiderable hills to lofty mountains. ComThe latter country, which has, of late, occupied so mencing from the capes North and Van Diemen, much the attention of practical as well as of theo- the northernmost points, we find low ranges, which retical colonists—consists of two large islands and gradually swell into mountains as they traverse a small one, each separated by a narrow strait; southward; till Cook's Strait interrupts them, to besides innumerable surrounding islets that rise divide North from South Island. In the latter they out of the bays which frequently indent the coast. continue increasing in altitude, and reach to from The country describes an irregular, but, on the 12 to 14,000 feet, which height Mount Egmont, whole, a long figure, extending from north to south; on the western side of South Island, is supposed and has been computed to contain an area of 62,160 to attain t. The chain, having been divided by square miles, or about 39,782,400 square acres ; the Forneaux Strait, terminates in Stewart's Island, to medium breadth being about eighty miles, with a which, though decreasing in height, it gives a length something over 800 miles. The native names mountainous character. The components of the of these islands not being very well adapted for New Zealand mountains have only been conjecEuropean pronunciation, “North Island” has been tured from their general appearance; from the soils substituted for Eaheinomauwe, and “ South,” or, ac- brought down into the lower lands by torrents, cording to Polack, “ Victoria Island,” for T'Arai precipitated from their snowy summits, and by Poenammoo. The smallest tract is called “Stewart's collateral facts collected in various parts of the Island."

islands. The general appearance of the main ridge, New Zealand exhibits a world in miniature. It running in one scarcely interrupted direction, bewould seem as if nature, isolating this country from tokens the presence of metallic ores. In some of the great continents, had atoned for its banishment the rocks, whose strata are exposed by the sea, by concentrating within it all the varied features metalliferous veins have been detected. Iron has and resources which lie so widely apart in the more been found in considerable quantities in Mercury extensive surfaces of the earth. It has its Alpine Bay, and manganese near the banks of the river districts, snow-clad and bristling with glaciers, Cowa-cowa. No coal-mines have been discovered, whose drainage, falling in foaming cataracts, but peat-coal exists under the vegetable soil of is received into numerous, and some of them North Cape I. The natives appear to make no use considerable rivers ; its table lands and plains even of the few metals yet met with ; their axes, sometimes flat t, at others undulated by rounded arms, and ornaments being cut from porphyry, and fertile hills. Valleys overspread with rich ver- jade, and other hard stones. The soils change with dure; and forests, the trees of which occasionally almost every mile ; but being constantly refreshed rise to a height that leaves no similarity between by disintegrations from the sides of the moun. them and the tallest pines of Norway #, also com

tains, are generally fertile, all the rivers in the land bine to form the scenery of New Zealand. Nor are being bordered with extensive banks of rich alluthe more forbidding aspects and phenomena of viums 9. Hence it would appear that though the * The other groups are known as 4. Papua, or New Guinea;

more formidable mountains of South Island would 3. New Britain ; 6 Solomon Islands; 7. New Hebrides ; and, restrict cultivation in extent, yet they give to the 8. Now Carolina.

available land a deeper and more productive soil + These plains so far deceived Tasman, who in 1642 discovered

than that of the northern, less rugged, and, thereNew Zealand, that he named it after the flat and swampy district of his native country; a misnomer reminding a Quarterly

fore, more extensively cultivateable island. Even Reviewer of Fluellen's ingenious parallel between Monmouth * Id. vol. i. pp. 329 and 245.

# Dr. Forster's Observations, &c., p. 32. # Nicholas, “ Voyage to New Zealand," vol. ij. p. 245.- # Forster, p. 28. -Nicholas, vol. ii. pp. 250–255.-Polack, vol. i. Polack's “ New Zealand," vol. 1. 290.

$ Polack, vol. i. p. 257.

and Macedon.

p. 328.

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »