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lighted by the last fires of day, decorated with all the pomp of nature, animated by the soft whistle of Virginian nightingales, and the cooing of wild pigeons; while the simple inhabitants were seated on the point of a rock, at some distance from their cottages, and quietly observed our vessel as it passed along the river beneath them.

The tour, which I made on this occasion, was in fact only a prelude to a journey of much greater importance, the plan of which I communicated, on my return, to M. de Malesherbes, who was to have laid it before government. I intended nothing less than to decide, by a land investigation, the great question of a passage from the South sea into the Atlantic by the North. It is known that, in spite of the efforts made by Captain Cook, and subsequent navigators, this point has always remained doubtful. In 1786 a merchantman pretended to have entered an interior sea of North America at 48 lat. N. and those on board asserted that all, which had been considered as continental coast to the North of California, was a long chain of islands extremely close to each other.

On the other hand, a traveller from Hudson's Bay saw | the sea at 720 lat. N. at the mouth of the river Cuivre. : It is said that a frigate arrived last summer, which had

been sent by the British Admiralty to ascertain the truth or fallacy of the discovery made by the merchantman a. bove mentioned, and that this frigate confirms the truth of Cook's reports. Be this as it may, I will just state what was my plan.

If government had favoured the project, I should have embarked for New York. There I should have had two immense covered waggons made, to be drawn by four yoke of oxen. I should have also procured six small horses, such as those which I used on my first expedition." I should have taken with me three European servants, and three savages of the Five-Nations. Reasons operate to prevent the mention of some particulars of the plan which it was my intention to follow; the whole forms a small volume in my possession, which would not be useless to those who explore unknown regions. Suffice it to say that I would have renounced all ideas of traversing the deserts of America, if it would have cost the simple inhabitants a single tear. I should have wished that among the savages, the man with a long beard might, long after my departure, be spoken of as the friend and benefactor of the human race.

When I had made every preparation, I should have set out directly towards the West, proceeding along the lakes of Canada to the source of the Mississippi, which I should have ascertained. Then descending by'the plains of Upper Louisiana as far as the 40th degree of Northern latitude, I should have resumed my course to the West, so as to have reached the coast of the South Sea a little above the head of the gulph of California. Following the coast and keeping the sea always in sight, I should next have proceeded due North, thereby turning my back on New Mexico. If no discovery had altered my line of progress, I should have pursued my way to the mouth of Cook's Inlet, and thence to the river Cuivre in 72 degrees lat. N. Finally, if I had no where found a passage, and could not double the most Northern Cape of America, I should have re-entered the United States, by Hudson's Bay, Labrador and Canada.

Such was the immense and perilous voyage, which I proposed to undertake for the service of my country and Europe. I calculated that it would occupy (all accidents apart) five to six years. There can be no doubt of its utility. I should have given an account of the three kingdoms of Nature, of the people and their manners I should have sketched the principal views, @co:

As to the perils of the journey, they were undoubted, ly great, and those, who make nice calculations on this subject, will probably not be disposed to travel among savage nations. People alarm themselves, however, too much in this respect. When I was exposed to any danger, in America, it was always local and caused by my own imprudence, not by the inhabitants. For instance, when I was at the cataract of Niagara, the Indian ladder being broken which had formerly been there, I wished, in spite of my guides representations, to descend to the bottom of the fall by means of a rock, the craggy points of which projected. It was about two hundred feet high, and I made the attempt. In spite of the roaring cataract, and frightful abyss which gaped beneath me, my head did not swim, and I descended about forty feet but here the rock became smooth and vertical ; nor were there any longer roots or fissures for my feet to rest upon. I remained hanging all my length by my hands, neither being able to reascend nor proceed, feeling my fingers open by degrees from the weight of my body, and considering death inevitable. There are few men, who have, in the course of their lives, passed two such minutes as I experienced over the yawning horrors of Niagara. My" bands at length opened and I fell. By most extraordianary good fortune I alighted on the naked rock. It was hard enough to have dashed me in pieces, and yet I did not feel much injured. I was within half an inch of the abyss, yet had not rolled into it; but' when the cold water began to penetrate to my skin, I perceived that I had not escaped so easily as I at first imagined. I felt in

.' supportable pain in my left arm ; I had broken it above the elbow. My guide, who observed me from abovė, : and to whom I made signs, ran to look for some savages; who with much trouble drew me up by birch cords, and! carried me to their habitations.


This was not the only risk I ran at Niagara. On arriving at the cataract, I alighted and fastened my horse's bridle round my arm.

As I leaned forward to look down, a rattle-snake moved in the neighbouring bushes. The horse took fright, reared on his hind legs and approached the edge of the precipice. I could not disengage my arm from the bridle, and the animal, with increasing alarm, drew me after him. His feet were already on the point of slipping over the brink of the gulph, and he was kept from destruction by nothing but the reins. My doom seemed to be fixed, when the animal, astonished at the new danger which he all at once perceived, made a final effort, and sprung ten feet from the edge of the precipice.

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IT is a feeling, natural on the part of the unfortunate, to aim at the illusions of happiness by the recollection of past pleasures. When I feel weary of existence, when I feel my heart torn by the effects of a commerce with mankind, I involuntarily turn aside, and cast a look of regret. Enchanting meditations! Secret and ineffable charms of a soul which enjoys itself, it was amidst the immense deserts of America that I completely tasted you! Every one boasts of loving liberty, and hardly any one has a just idea of it. When I travelled among the Indian tribes of Canada -when I quitted the habitations of Europeans, and found myself, for the first time, alone, amidst boundless forests, having all nature, as it were prostrate at my feet, a strange revolution took place in my sensations. I was seized with a sort of delirium, and followed no track, but went from tree to tree, and indifferently to the right or left, saying to myself: “Here there is no multiplicity of roads, no towns, no confined houses, no Presidents, Republics and Kings, no laws and no human beings.

-Human beings! Yes--some worthy savages, who care noth

about me, nor s about them; who, like myself wander wherever inclination leads them, eat when they wish


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