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esteemed of classical purity, while the few who aimed at pecủa liarity of expression are despised as barbarous writers. We could inftance many English books, which have been published within these few years, that have attained a temporary celebrity by this false kind of merit, on which their authors value themselves, being flattered with the idea that it will always continue to please; but vain are these hopes. Uncommon expressions may catch the attention of the unthinking multitude, and be for å while admired; but the fame 'unsteadiness which gives them their present vogue, will bestow the preference on others's which enjoy the advantage of novelty, Thus will old affectaz tions be continually expelled by new; and all will, at length, link into oblivion; while a style that is perfpicuous, natural, and expreffive, will continue to please, from age to age, and be consigned with honour to immortality.
Art. V. Carver's American Travels, concluded : See Review for
February ITAVING given, in the Review above referred to, an ac
into the interior of North America, and of the progress which he actually made, in the execution of his truly important and well-designed plan, we will now proceed to lay before our Readers a few specimens of his manner of relating the occurrences of his adventure,
It is the privilege of travellers to excite our attention, by telling us something wonderful; and they are in the right of it; for ordinary matters do not ftrike us :
we want, like the good people of old time, to hear some new, i. e. some strange thing: -Here then is a strange story, and strange, indeed, as it appears to be, our Author himself, who tells it at fecond-hand, seems to believe it. It is a story of a ferpent.Serpents have long been the subjects of extraordinary narrations.
Speaking of the great number of rattle-snakes which our Author observed in the country of the Winnebagos, (situated between Lake Michigan and the Mililippi] the Captain relates the following story concerning one of these reptiles, on the authority of a Monfieur Pinnifance, a French trader; and of which the Frenchman affured Mr. Carver he was an eye-witniefs, viz.
• An Indian, belonging to the Menomonie' nation, having taken a rattlesnake; found means to came it; and when he had done this," treated it as a deity; calling it bis Greac Father, and carrying it with him in a box wherever he went. This the Indian had done for feveral summers, when Mont. Pinnifance accidentally met with him at this Carrying-Place, just as he was setting off for a winter's hunti' The French gentleman was- fürprised, one day, to see the Indian REV. Apr. 1779.
place the box which contained, his god on the ground, and opening the door give him his liberty ; telling 'him, whilft he did it, to be sure and return by the time he himself should come back, which was to be in the month of May following. As this was bat O&tober, Monsieur told the Indian, whose fimplicity astonished him, that he fancied he might wait long enough when May arrived, for the arrival of his Great Father. The Indian was so confident of his creature's obedience, that he offered.to lay the Frenchman a wager of two gallons of rum, that at the time appointed he would come and, crawl into his box. This was agreed on, and the second week in May following fixed for the determination of the wager. At that period they both met there again ; when the Indian set down his box, and called for his Great Father. The snake heard him not ; and the time being now expired, he acknowledged that he had loft. However, without seeming to be discouraged, he offered to double the bett if his Great Father came not within two days more. This was further agreed on ; when, behold, on the second day, about one o'clock, the snake arrived, and, of his own accord, crawled into the box, which was placed ready for him. The French gentleman vouched for the truth of this story, and from the accounts I have often received of the docility of those creatures, I see no reason to. doubt his veracity.'
We have, here, likewise, an extraordinary account of the remains of an intrenchment, in the Indian country, which can hardly be supposed to have been the work of that people :
• Une day. having landed on the shore of the Missisippi, some miles below Lake Pepin, whillt my attendants were preparing my dinner, I walked out to take a view of the adjacent country. I had not proceeded far, before I came to a fine, level, open plain, on which I perceived, at a little di:tance, a partial elevation that had the appearance of an intrenchment. On a nearer inspection, I had greater reason to suppose that it had really been intended for this, many centuries.ago. Notwithstanding it was now.covered with grass, I could plainly discern that it had once been a breast-work of about four feet in height, extending the best part of a mile, and sufficiently capacious to cover five thousand men. Its form was somewhat circular, and its flanks reached to the river. Though much defaced by time, every angle was distinguishable, and appeared as regular, and fathioned with as much military fkill, as if planned by Vauban him. felf. The ditch was not visible, but I thought, on examining more curiously, that I could perceive there certainly had been one. From its fituation also, I am convinced that it must have been designed for this purpose. It fronted the country, and the rear was covered by the river ; nor was there any riling ground for a considerable way that commanded it; a few ftraggling oaks were alone to be seen near it. In many places small tracks were worn across it by the feet of the elks and deer, and from the depth of the bed of earth by which, it was covered, I was able to draw certain conclusions of its great antiquity. I examined all the angles and every part with great at. tention, and have often blamed myself once, for not encamping on the spot, and drawing an exact plan of it. To Mew that this description is not the offspring of a heated imagination, or the chime4
rical tale of a miltaken traveller, I find on enquiry since my return, that Mons. St. Pierre and several traders, have, at different timesi, taken notice of similar appearances, on which they have formed the fame conjectures, but without examining them so minutely as I did. How a work of this kind could exist in a country that has hitherto (according to the general received opinion) been the seat of war to untutored Indians alone, whose whole stock of military knowledge has only, till within two centuries, amounted to drawing ihe bow, and whose only brealt-work even at present is the thicket, I know not. I have given as exact an account as possible of this fingular appearance, and leave to future explorers of these distant regions to discover whether it is a production of nature or art. Perhaps the hints I have here given might lead to a more perfect investigation of it, and give us very different ideas of the ancient state of realms that we at present believe to have been from the earliest period only the habitations of savages.'
On first perusing this account, we were tempted to offer some conjectures on the extraordinary effect of Nature's operations, in many curious instances, where Art almost seems to have been imitated; and, particularly, where beautiful resemblances are seen (or fancied) in rare stones, or in the grain of wood.-But, without actually viewing the supposed intrenchment mentioned by Mr. Carver, it were vain to reason upon it, on any principles of analogy.-It may, in fact, have been not an accidental appearance, formed, as other inequalities have been, by the hand of Nature, on the surface of the earth, but a military work, performed in remote ages, of the history of which we are totally ignorant ; and compared with which, all known history is modern.
The following intelligence of a nation of Indians, inhabiting the country to the north-west of the heads of the rivers Messorie and the St. Pierre, who are, as yet, uncontaminated by European intercourse, (may they ever continue so!) our Author received from some of the tribes bordering on the Misisippi, with whom he became intimate, by residing for a considerable time among them, and doing them certain services, which gained their esteem : -6 The Indians farther told me, that there was a nation rather fmaller and whiter than the neighbouring tribes, who cultivate the ground, and (as far as I could gather from their expressions) in some measure, the arts. To this account they added, that some of the nations, who inhabit those parts that lie to the west of the Shining Mountains, have gold so plenty among them that they make their most common utensils of it. These mountains (which our Author elsewhere describes] divide the waters that fall into the South Sea from those that run into the Atlantic.
• The people dwelling near them are supposed to be some of the different tribes that were tributary to the Mexican kings, and who fled from their native country to seek an asylum in these parts, about the time of the conqueft of Mexico by the Spaniards, more than two centuries ago. U 2
• As fome confirmation of this fufpofition it is remarked, that they have chosen the most interior parts for their retreat, being till prepoffessed with a notion that the fea-coasts have been in felled ever fince with monsters vomiting fire, and hurling about thunder and lightning ; from whose bowels issued men, who, with unseen inftruments, or by the power of magic, killed the harmless Indians at an astonishing distance. From such as these, their forefathers (accord. ing to a tradition among them that still remains unimpaired) filed to the retired abodes they now intiabit. For as they found that the floating monsters which had thus terrified them could not approach the land, and that those who had descended from their fides did not care to make excursions to any considerable diftance from them, they formed a resolution to betake themselves to some country, that lay far from the sea-coafts, where only they could be secure from such diabolical enemies. They accordingly set out with their families, and after a long peregrination settled themfelves near these moun. tains, where they concluded they had found a place of perfect fecurity."
All this, however, is Indian intelligence, and (as our Author candidly remarkos) may want confirmation,'
While our Author resided among the Afinipoils, the Killiftinoes, and the Naudowessies, he was eye-witness to one of the most curious and masterly pieces of priestoraft that, perhaps, ever was practised. He was waiting, impatiently, with many othersy for the arrival of certain Indian traders, with goods and proviGons, which were much wanted :
One day, says he, whilft we were alt expresing our wishes for his desirable event, and looking from an eminence in hopes of fee. ing them come over the Lake, the chief priest belonging to the band. of the Killistinoes told us, that he would endeavour to obtain a coo. ference with the Great Spirit, and know from him when the traders, would arrive. I paid little attention to this declaration, fuppofing that it would be productive of some juggling trick, just fufficiently covered to deceive the ignorant Indians. But the king of that tribe telling me that this was chiefly undertaken by the priest to alleviate my anxiety, and at the same time to convince me how much intereft he had with the Great Spirit; I thought is neceffary to reftrain my animadverfions on his delign.
The following: evening was fixod upon for this fpiritual confere ence. When everything had been properly prepared, the king came to me and lod me to a capacious tent, the covering of which was drawn up, so as to render what was transacting within visible to those who stood without. We found the tent surrounded by a great number of the Indians, but we readily gained admission, and seated ourselves on skins laid on che ground for that purpose.
• In the centre l observed that there was a place of an oblong tape, which was composed of Itakes fuck in the ground, with in tervals between, so as to form a kind of chett or cofin, large enough to contain the body of a an.. These were of a middle fize, and placed as such a dutance from each other, that whatever lay within them was readily to be difcerned. The cent was perfe&tly illumi.
nated by a great number of torches made of splinters cut from the pine or birch tree, which the Indians held in their hands.
. In a few minutes the prieft entered; when an amazing large elk's kin being spread on the ground, just at my feet, he laid himself down upon it, after having stript himfelf of every garment ex cept that which he wore clofe about his middle. Being now pro. Itrate on his back, he first laid hold of one side of the kin, and folded it over him, and then the other ; leaving only his head uns covered. This was no sooner done, than two of the young men who stood by took about forty yards of Atrong cord, made also of an elk's hide, and rolled it right round his body, so that he was com: pletely swathed within the skin. Being thus bound up like as Egyptian mummy, one took him by the heels, and the other by the head, and lifted him over the pales into the inclosure. I could now also discern him as plain as I had hitherto done, and I took care not to turn my eyes a moment from the object before me, that I might the more readily dete& the artifice, for such I doubted not but that it would turn out to be.
« The priest had not lain in this situation more than a few seconds, when he began to mutter. This he continued to do for some rime, and then by degrees grew louder and louder, till at length he spoke articulately; however, what he uttered was in such a mixed jargon of the Chipeway, Ottawaw, and Killifinde languages, that I could understand bat very little of it, Having continued in this tone for a confiderable while, he at last exerted his voice to its utmost pitch, sometimes raving and sometimes praying, till he had worked himself into such an agitation, that he foamed at his mouth.
• After having remained near three-quarters of an hour in the place, and continued his vociferation with unabated 'vigour, he seemed to be quite exhausted, and remained fpeechless. But in an inftant he sprung upon his feet, notwithftanding at the time he was put in, it appeared impoflible for him to move either his legs or arms, and taking off his covering, as quick as if the bands with which it had been bound were burned alunder, he began to address those who food around in a firm and audible voice : “My Brothers,"? faid he, “ the Great Spirit has deigned to hold a Talk with his fervant at my earneft request
. He has not, indeed, told me when the persons we expect will be here, but to-morrow, soon after the sun has reached his highest point in the heavens, a canoe will arrive, and the people in that will inform us when the traders will come.' Having said this, he stepped out of the inclosure, and after he had put on his robes, dismissed the assembly. I own I was greatly afto. nifhed at what I had seen, but as I observed that every eye in the company was fixed on me with a view to discover' my sentiments, I carefully concealed every emocion.
• The next day the fun shone bright, and long before noon all the Indians were gathered together on the eminence that overlooked the: Lake. The old king came to me and asked me, whether I had so: much confidence in what the prieft had foretold, as to join his people on the hill, and wait for the completion of it? I told him that I was at a loss what opinion to form of the predi&tion, but that I would readily attend him. On this we walked together to the place where