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We might merely refer to the printed volume of his journals, and the history of the campaigns of 1812 and 1813, on our northern. frontier, in citing affinities of nature ; but we are tempted to introduce brief abstracts of Pike's sufferings in his first and second expeditions, in order to illustrate what he eagerly encountered after what he had endured. His subsequent military career was but a continued obedience to the same complexional impulses :
“On the 9th of August 1805, Pike embarked at St. Louis, on his first expedition to the head of the Mississippi, and proceeded up that river with twenty men, in a stout boat, provisioned for four months; but they were soon obliged to leave their boats and proceed on their journey by land, or in canoes, which they built after leaving their large boat, and carried with them on their march. For eight months and twenty days, this adventurous soldier and his faithful band were almost continually exposed to hardship and peril, depending for provisions upon the precarious fortunes of the chase, enduring the most piercing cold, and cheerfully submitting to the most constant and harassing toils. They were sometimes for days together without food, and they frequently slept, without cover, upon the bare earth, or the snow, during the bitterest inclemency of a northern winter. During this voyage, Pike had no intelligent companion upon whom he could rely for any sort of advice or aid, and he literally performed the duties of astronomer, sur. veyor, commanding officer, clerk, spy, guide, and hunter; frequently preceding the party for many miles, in order to reconnoitre, or rambling for whole days in search of deer or other game, for provision; and then, returning to his men in the evening, hungry and fatigued, he would sit down in the open air, to copy, by the light of a fire, the notes of his journey, and to plot out the courses of the next day.”
“Within two months after his return from this expedition, Pike was selected, by General Wilkinson, for a second perilous journey of hardship and adventure. The principal purpose of this expedition was, like that of the former, to explore the interior of Louisiana.
“In the course of this second journey, our adventurous soldier, after leaving the Osage village, encountered hardships, in comparison of which the severities of his former journey seemed to him ease and luxury.
“ Winter overtook the party, unprovided with any clothing fit to protect them from cold and storms. Their horses died, and for weeks they were obliged to explore their way on foot through the wilderness, carrying packs of sixty or seventy pounds weight, besides their arms, exposed to the bitterest severity of the cold, relying solely on the produce of the chase for subsistence, and often for two or three days altogether without food. Several of the men had their feet frozen, and all, except Pike and one other, were in some degree injured by the intensity of the cold. Amidst these distresses, after a three months' winter march, they explored their way to what they supposed to be the Red River. Here they were met by a party of Spanish cavalry, by whom Pike was informed, to his great astonishment, that they were not on the Red River, but on the Rio del Norte, and in the Spanish territory. An opposition to this force would have been idle, and he reluctantly submitted to accompany the Spaniards to Santa Fe, to appear before the governor. Though, to his great mortification, his expedition was thus broken off, all hardship was now at an end. He was treated on the road with great respect and hospitality, though watched and guarded with much jealousy; but he still insisted on wearing his sword, and that his men should retain their arms. Indeed it was his resolution, had he or any of his people been ill used, to surprise the guard, carry off their horses, and make the best of their way to Apaches.
“When he arrived at Santa Fe, his whole dress was a blanket-coat, blue trow. sers, moccasins, and a scarlet cloth cap, lined with a foxskin; his men were in leather coats, with leggings, &c.; and not a hat in the whole party. But he ap; peared before the governor with his usual spirit, and insisted on being treated
with the respect due to an American officer. From Santa Fe he was sent to the capital of the province of Biscay, to be examined by the commandant general, where he was well received and entertained for some time, after which he was sent on his way home, under the escort of a strong party of horse. He arrived with his little band at Natchitoches on the 1st of July 1807.
"The most vexatious circumstance attending this unexpected sequel to his expedition, was the seizure of all his papers, except his private journal, by the Spanish government. He had been fitted out with a complete set of mathematical instruments, and had made frequent and accurate observations. He had thus ascertained the geographical situation of the most important points with much precision, and had collected materials for an accurate map of a great part of the country which he traversed.
“Pike, upon his return, received the thanks of the government; a committee of the house of representatives expressed their bigh sense of his zeal, perseverance, and intelligence,' and the administration bestowed upon him a more solid testimony of approbation, by a rapid promotion in the army."
The philosophical perspicacity of Ledyard is evinced to particular advantage in his sketches of the inhabitants of the South Sea Islands, and the Siberian Tartars. His speculations are broad and ingenious, and so well conveyed, that they leave no doubt of his ability to instruct the world in a creditable and original style. According to Mr. Sparks, he is believed to have been the first to advance the opinion, that the inhabitants of the South Sea Islands, scattered as they are through an ocean of vast extent, were derived from one common origin. The biographer himself affirms, that the fact, which he relates as certain, of the accidental
of three Otaheiteans, in a canoe, between Otaheite and Watteeoo, a distance of more than fifteen hundred miles, is enough to settle the question as to the manner in which the innumerable clusters of islands in the Pacific Ocean were peopled. We must confess that we cannot, in such a case, abide by a conclusion resting on the occurrence of a mere possible contingency. It is mentioned that the Missionaries, during a residence of thirty years in the Society Islands, have discovered nothing among the traditions or customs of the people, from which their origin can be deduced. Mr. Sparks suggests, that nothing will probably put the question beyond controversy, but the discovery of a language, among some of the tribes of Asia or America, which bears a close resemblance to the Polynesian. With regard to the test of language, we were struck with the evidence, on that head, of so experienced a traveller as Ledyard, and cannot forbear quoting it in application to much of the philosophizing of our day:
“I have not, as yet, taken any vocabularies of the Tartar languages. If I take any, they will be very short ones. Nothing is more apt to deceive, than vocan bularies, when taken by an entire stranger. Men of scientific curiosity make use of them in investigating questions of philosophy, as well as history; and I think often with too much confidence, since nothing is more difficult, than to take a vocabulary, that shall answer any good ends for such a purpose. The different sounds of the same letters, and of the same combinations of letters, in the languages of Europe, present an insurmountable obstacle to making a vos VOL. III.NO. 5,
cabulary, which shall be of general use. The different manner, also, in which persons of the same language, would write the words of a new language, would be such, that a stranger might suppose them to be two languages. Most uncul. tivated languages are very difficult to be orthographized in another language. They are generally guttural; but when not so, the ear of a foreigner cannot accommodate itself to the inflection of the speaker's voice, soon enough to catch the true sound. This must be done instantaneously; and, even in a language with which we are acquainted, we are not able to do it for several years. I seize, for instance, the accidental moment, when a savage is inclined to give me the names of things. The medium of this conversation is only signs. The savage may wish to give me the word for head, and lays his hand on the top of his head. I am not certain whether he means the head, or the top of the head, or perhaps the hair of the head. He may wish to say leg, and puts his hand to the calf; I cannot tell whether he means the leg, or the calf, or flesh, or the flesh. There are other difficulties. The island of Onalaska is on the coast of America, opposite to Asia. There are a few Russian traders on it. Being there with Captain Cook, I was walking one day on the shore in company with a native, who spoke the Russian language. I did not understand it. I was writing the names of several things; and pointed to the ship, supposing he would understand that I wanted the name of it. He answered me in a phrase, which, in Russ, meant, I know. I wrote down, a ship. I gave him some snuff, which he took, and held out his hand for more, making use of a word, which signified, in Russ, a little; I wrote, more."
Ledyard was “satisfied” that America was peopled from Asia, and that all red people are of the same family. It was a favourite doctrine with him, which is oft repeated in his letters and journals, as - the result of assiduous and extensive inquiry,” that the varieties of colour and feature, in the human species, originate from natural causes, and are the effect of external and local circumstances. He reserved the negroes, because he had not seen them on their native soil; but he expected to find the same causes existing in Africa, to render the negro blacker than the Indian, as in Asia, to render the Indian darker than the European. Touching feature and conformation, he thought he had seen enough among the Tartars to constitute certainty. He notices, incidentally, that the greater part of mankind, compared with European civilization, are uncivilized, and this part are all darker than the other; that there are no white savages, and few barbarous people who are not brown or black; that, if the faces of the Tartars have not a variety of expression, it is owing to their secluded way of life, their segregation ; that in Europe, mechanical employments, having been continued for a long time among the same people, have had a considerable influence in giving a uniform character to their features. We are aware that the points upon which Ledyard touches, have been systematically and elaborately discussed, with a larger and more diversified mass of fact and conjecture; with other materials for reasoning, and with stronger lights of science; but the extent of his personal opportunities, and the earnestness and sharpness of his investigations, entitle us to array him as an authoritative witness upon the broader topics embraced in this paragraph of one of his letters to Mr. Jefferson :
“I am satisfied, that the great general analogy in the customs of men, can only be accounted for, by supposing them all to compose one family; and, by extending the idea, and uniting customs, traditions, and history, I am satisfied, that this common origin was such, or nearly, as related by Moses, and commonly believed among the nations of the earth. There is, also, a transposition of things on the globe, that must have been produced by some cause equal to the effect, which is vast and curio Whether I repose on arguments dr rom.facts observed by myself, or send imagination forth to find a cause, they both declare to me a general deluge.'
ART. V. -Poems: By RICHARD H. DANA: Boston: 1827.
12mo. pp. 113.
The circumstances under which an American literature must be formed, are peculiar. We have had no intellectual infancy. The discovery of our country was the result of science; its settlement was effected by the operation of religious principle. The eye of mature reason has been on every action. We remember our first hour. We have had no age of barbarism ; no dark remote antiquity. We began with experience. We laid our foundation in results.
The point from which human cultivation dates, is the age of impulse ; when the passions, strong in ignorance, not restrained hy interest, or balanced by thought, make the whole existence of a people, a battle of right against power. This is the age of usurpation of the right to govern and to judge, of communications with Heaven, pretended and believed, of violence in all the private ways of life, of high virtues, and foul crimes. This is the age of Poetry. It was such an age as that in Britain, France, and Spain, which bequeathed to more quiet times, the rich treasures of legend, of ballads and romance; matter for the matured genius of those countries to work into every combination of art; streams of pure nature flowing down from distant and dim antiquity; models, whose surfaces and detail, a more polished age may think rude, and attempt to refine upon; but, whose grand features and leading lines, it may never hope to seize, or even approach.
Discovered America, like the statue of Prometheus touched by an enlivening fire, awoke, as far as poetry is concerned, in adult vigour. She raised her voice, and listed her arm for the first time in battle. She can neither have the associations of childhood, nor remember the romance of youth. She must begin, where others have ended. Her poetry must be one of refinement; it must be the result of a study of nature, and character, on educated minds and tastes formed. We need not complain of the want of a school of art. The earlier literature of Britain, is
as much our school, as it was that of Spencer, or Milton ; for we may derive the same advantages from it that they did. Our own history, the private events of our own country, are a vast mass of virgin material for creature genius thus formed. We look forward, therefore, to our literature, with a firm hopė, like that we feel with regard to our political prospects. We will no more be bullied out of the one, than laughed out of the other.
We have always felt gratified at the appearance of American poems, particularly those of a creature kind; for we think there is much credit due to the mere attempt. For this reason, we have felt indulgently disposed towards the authors of the first crude poems that were published here. We always believed, that America would have her day of poetry; and were rather delighted at the first gleam of its dawn, than displeased that we had not at once the light and heat of high noon.
The volume which Mr. Dana has lately given us, we place among those works, which reward us for our patience and forbearance, and put the obligation at once on our side. It is not, however, the hope of relieving ourselves in this respect, that prompts us in speaking of what he has done; but the simple love of talking about what pleases us, the overflowing of our spirits, when we are full of any thing, that induces us to give our opinion. From the prose writings that appeared several years since, we had formed a high opinion of Mr. Dana's power. Some discussion on the English poets, attributed to him some years since, showed how intimate was his acquaintance with the inspired minds of England. He seemed, indeed, to have grown up among them; and to have acquired the susceptibilities, the form, and tinge of his genius, in the atmosphere that glows around them. We have often thought of the result of such a mind's embodying its conceptions in the language of poetry; for we felt that the spirit was there. We had a feeling like what we remember to have experienced in travelling through a picturesque country, in the grey of the morning,-a longing for the sun to get up, and throw his light over its varied surface, and bring out all its beauty of feature, and riches of colour, in the forest, the rocks, and the water. Still the volume surprised us. We found an originality, a feeling for nature, a purity and elevation of sentiment, that convinced us that the author's mind had never had full vent before.
There is an agreeable variety in the subjects of the poems before us; and the style, language, and versification, are equally varied. Indeed, the author's language seems to us a perfect medium-his story, his descriptions, and the thoughts and feelings awakened by them, come through it with great clearness, depth, and strength. He is never lantern-led by conceits; we never find him running after glittering combinations of words, or assuming sentiments. He never seems to us as mounting his Pegasus.