« PreviousContinue »
drops of laudanum, and a little portable soup. But as he was brought to them again, immediately after the success of their sweating experiment, they attempted to try the same process upon
him. The trial was made, and he was found too weak either to sit up or to be supported in the hole. They therefore fairly gave him over, and desired the Indians to take him home; but his friends and his father still lingered there in that state of painful and believing hope, which it was distressing to behold. A second trial therefore was made to gratify them: the hole was enlarged, and the father went in with him, and held him in a proper position. They could not produce so coinplete a perspiration as was wished; and when he was taken out, he complained of suffering considerable pain; a few drops of landanum relieved him; he rested well, and the next day was able to use his arms. The second day he had recovered strength enough to wash his face. On the third the sweating was repeated with full effect, and he then inoved one of his legs and some of his toes; and all that is said of him afterwards, is, that he gradually recovered.
This mode of treating disorders was practised by most of the American nations, when the new world was discovered. Lescarbot describes it in Canada, where it was performed as rudely as in this instance, a hole being dug for the purpose. The Mexicans built commodious stoves for the purpose, which they called Temuzcalli, and which are particularly described by the Abate Clavigero. A note to Marchand's voyage says, that the Indians on the N. W. coast, about latitude 58° 40, employ the hot sand bath, as the most efficacious cure for siphylis; and that Roblet, the surgeon, in this voyage, tried it, with success that appeared miraculous, in the scurvy. It is well known that our own sailors have used the earth bath for the same disease; a fact which led the notorious Dr. Graham, in the days of his insanity, to prescribe it in a manner which could hardly fail of sometimes proving fatal. We were present at two of his public exhibitions. The patients were buried up to the chin for four hours; during the two first they suffered severely from cold, as their countenances and chattering teeth would have plainly indicated, if they had not described their feelings. During the third hour they gradually recovered their warmth, and, for the last, were in so profuse a perspiration, that when they were released, the earth reeked like a fresh dung-hill. This is plainly the worst way of producing the effect common to all these methods. pour bath seems the best, and we cannot but think that it deserves to have a full trial given it in our hospitals.
On the 10th June they renewed their journey; but on the 17th they were convinced that it was not yet practicable to cross the moimtains, and therefore were for the first time compelled to make
A A 3
a retrograde movement. A week afterwards they attempted it again. In the course of that time, the snow had melted about four feet; they had good guides, and it was found better travelling over the snow, than over the fallen timber and rocks, which in summer obstructed the way. Having surmounted the difficulties of this passage, the party separated on the mountain : Captain Lewis went with nine men by the most direct route to the Falls of the Missouri, from whence he was to ascend Maria river, and ascertain if any branch of it reached as far south as latitude 50° Captain Clarke, with the rest of the party, made for the head of the Jefferson; there they divided again : Serjeant Ordway and nine men went from thence in the canoes down the Missouri; and Captain Clarke proceeded to the Yellowstone river, at its nearest approach to the Three Forks of the Missouri, and there built canoes to explore that important stream along the whole of its course. The junction of these two great rivers was the appointed place of meeting.
Captain Lewis's route was much shorter than that which they had taken on their outward journey. He got once more into the land of mosquitos; the horses suffered so much from these insects that they were obliged to kindle large fires and place the poor animals in the midst of the smoke: in such myriads were they that they frequently drew them in with their breath; and the very dog howled with the torture they gave him. Is there no odour which would re pel this plague? He who should discover one would be a benefactor to his species. They came also among their old enemies the bears; but the abundance of buffaloes after their short commons made amends for all. These animals seemed to prefer pools, which were so strongly impregnated with salt as to be unfit for the use of man, to the water of the river. Captain Lewis proceeded far enough to ascertain that no branch of the Maria extended as far north as 50°, and consequently that it would not make the desired boundary. He fell in with a party of Minnetarees of the north; the tribe bore a bad character, and these men did not belie it; for after meeting in apparent friendship and encamping together for the night, they endeavoured to rob the Americans of their horses and guns.
In the scuffle that ensued one of the Indians was stabbed through the heart, and Captain Lewis shot another in the belly; the man, however, rose and fired in return, and Captain Lewis felt the wind of the ball. He was destined to a narrower escape a few days afterwards; when one of his own men mistook him for an elk ! and shot him through the thigh. When they came to the appointed place of meeting they saw that Captain Clarke had been encamped there, but found'no letter. These words, however, were traced in the sand, W.C. a few miles farther down on the right hand side.' Captain Clarke had not intended to trust to a writing
in the sand; but another division of the party arriving before Captain Lewis, and thinking that he had preceded them, removed his letter.
Captain Clarke, on his part, had reached the Yellowstone a little below the place where it issues from the Rocky Mountains. It now appeared that the communication between these great rivers was short and easy. From the Three Forks of the Missouri to this place was 48 miles, chiefly over a level plain; and from the Forks of the eastern branch of the Gallatin, which is there navigable for small canoes, it is only 18, with an excellent road over a high dry country. The Yellowstone here is a bold, deep, and rapid stream 120 yards wide. As no large timber could be found, Captain Clarke made two small canoes and lashed them together; they were 28 feet. long, about 18 inches deep, and from 16 to 24 inches wide. Serjeant Pryor, with two companions, was then entrusted with the horses to take them to the Mandans, and the rest of the party began their voyage. The buffaloes were here in such numbers that a herd of them one day crossing the river stopt the canoe for an hour; the river, including an island over which they passed, was a mile in width, and the herd stretched as thick as they could swim from one side to another during the whole of that time. The course of this river, from the point where they reached it till its junction with the Missouri, was computed at more than 800 miles, navigable the whole way, without any falls or any moving sand bars, (which are very frequent in the Missouri,) and only one ledge of rocks, and that not difficult to pass. The point of junction was considered to be one of the best places for an establishment for the western fur trade. It was impossible to wait here for Captain Lewis because of the mosquitos; they were in such multitudes that the men could not shoot for them; they could not be kept from the barrel of the rifle long enough for a man to take aim. Pryor and his party soon followed; the horses were stolen from them by some Indians; they then struck for the river, and made skin canoes, or rather coracles, such as they had seen among the Mandans and Ricaras. These vessels were perfect basins, seven feet three in diameter, sixteen inches deep; made of skins stretched over a wooden skeleton; each capable of carrying six or eight men with their loads. They made two that they might divide their guns and ammunition, lest, in case of accident, all should be lost. But in these frail vessels they passed, with perfect security, all the shoals and rapids of the river without taking in water even during the highest winds. Where a boat is to be committed to the stream, probably no other shape could be so safe.
On the 12th August the whole party were once more collected. They found on their return that great changes had taken place in A A 4
the bed of the Missouri since they ascended it, so shifting are its sands; and they observed that in the course of 1000 miles, though it had received above twenty rivers, some of them of considerable width, besides many smaller streams, its waters were not augmented, -80 great is the evaporation. When they came to the first village and saw some cows feeding on the bank, the whole party, with an involuntary impulse, raised a shout of joy. Several settlements had been made in this direction during their absence; so fast is the progress of civilization of America, where it is extended by the very eagerness
with which men recede from civilized life. On the 22d September they reached the spot from whence they had set out, after having travelled nearly 9000 miles, and performed with equal ability, perseverance, and success, one of the most arduous journeys that ever was undertaken. They had been given up as lost. Captain Lewis, we are sorry to say, died while this work was preparing
for the press.
Little is now wanting to complete the geography of North America and our knowledge of its native tribes. It might have been thought this expedition would have put an end to the fables respecting the Missouri; there is, however, a noble one in the Evangelical Magazine for January last. We are told there, upon the authority of an American publication, that about 1000 miles up the river there is a mountain said to be 180 miles in length and 45 in width, composed entirely of solid rock salt; several bushels of which (O. most admirable evidence !) had been brought to St. Louis, and a specimen sent to Marietta. Should the existence of such a mountain,' the writer gravely adds, be fully verified by farther evidence, it must be numbered among the most wonderful productions of nature, or rather of the God of Nature !
ART. III. The Miscellaneous Works of Edward Gibbon, Esq.
with Memoirs of his Life and Writings, composed by himself'; illustrated from his Letters, with occasional Notes and Narrative by the Right Hon. John, Lord Sheffield. A new Edition, with considerable Additions. In 5 vols. 8vo. London. 1815.
half century, have taken place in British literature, none is more conspicuous than the appearance of three historians, the least of whom may be entitled to rank with the first writers of antiquity.
This island, though from the spirit, the vigour, and the intelligence of its inhabitants, ever fruitful in memorable events, and from the mixed nature of its government, ever prone to those civil commotions,
which more agitate the passions and call forth the powers of eloquent and impassioned narrative, than transactions with foreign enemies, had been distinguished rather by the number and the bulk, than by the elegance and finished composition of the volumes, which constitute its historical library. The noble historian indeed of one most interesting period will never be read by any man of taste and feeling without the most lively emotions: more than intimately acquainted, even identified with the transactions which he records, of the clearest head, the warmest heart, the sincerest probity, the most unaffected piety, with an intuition into the views of men never surpassed, and a faculty of delineating characters perhaps never equalled, Lord Clarendon will always remain the pride and delight of Englishmen who love the language of the heart.' But the narrow period which his bistory embraces, the peculiar and fugitive, though picturesque system of manners which he describes, and above all, that air of an advocate which, in despite of his integrity and himself, the irresistible bias of party compelled him to wear, while they leave him in possession of all, and more than all the praise which belonged to his archetype Thucydides, would, perhaps, even by his own suffrage, permit the describers of entire dynasties and empires, when illuminated by genius and informed by elaborate investigation, to assume higher niches in the temple of historic fame.
After an interval of little less than a century, when the written dialect of the northern and southern parts of this island had been nearly assimilated, we have had the satisfaction of beholding from those opposite quarters the rise and full splendour of three historical luminaries who, in different ways, and on different subjects, have at least attained to an equality with their greatest rivals in antiquity. Of these, Hume, the most contracted in his subject, is the most finished in execution—the nameless, numberless graces of his style; the apparent absence of elaboration, yet the real effect produced by efforts the most elaborate; the simplicity of his sen- · tences, the perspicuity of his ideas, the purity of his expression, entitle him to the name and to the praises of another Xenophon. Robertson never attained to the same graceful ease, or the same unbounded variety of expression; with a fine ear and exact judgment in the construction of his sentences, and with an absence of Scotticisms truly wonderful in one who had never ceased to converse with Scotsmen, there is in the sentences of this historian something resembling the pace of an animal disciplined by assiduous practice to the curb, and never moving but in conformity to the rules of the manège. The taste of Hume was Greek, Attic Greek-he had, as far as the genius of the two languages would permit, concocted the very juice and flavour of their style, and transfused it into bis own.