Page images

VOL. 4.]

Newfoundland and its Natives.


he had never experienced before. The tion; but finding that his guest was stately garniture of times long past had impenetrable, and that his remonstrana frightful meaning, when appearing, as ces against bis departure were in vain, it now did, not upon a canvass, but he insisted upon shewing Colonel upon a moving shape, at midnight. D- the beauties of his country resiStill endeavouring to shake off those dence, after which he would reluctaotlý impressions which benumbed him, he bid him farewell. In walking round raised himself upon his arm, and faint- the mansion, Colonel

D w as shewn ly asked “ who was there ?” The the outside of the tower where he had phantom turned round-approached the slept, and vowed, mentally, never to bed—and fixed her eyes upon him; so enter it again. He was next led to a that he now beheld a countenance gallery of pictures, where Mr. Nwhere some of the worst passions of the took much delight in displaying a comliving were blended with the cadave- plete series of family portraits, reaching rous appearance of the dead. In the back to a very remote era. Among the midst of traits which indicated noble oldest, there was one of a lady. Colobirth and station, was seen a look of nel

D h ad no sooner got a glimpse cruelty and perfidy, accompanied with of it, than he cried out, “ May I never a certain smile which betrayed even ba- leave this spot, if that is not she,” Mr. ser feelings. The approach of such a N a sked whom he meant? “ The face near his own, was more than Col- detestable phantom that stared me out opel

D c ould support; and when of my senses last night;" and he relathe rose next morning from a feverished every particular that had occurred. and troubled sleep, he could not recol- Mr. N- , overwhelmed with aslect how or when the accursed spectre tonishment, confessed that to the room had departed. When summoned to where his guest had slept, there was atbreakfast, he was asked how he had tached a certain tradition, pointing it spent the night, and he endeavoured to out as having been, at a remote period, conceal his agitation by a general an- the scene of murder and incest. It swer, but took the first opportunity to had long' obtained the repute of being inform his friend Mr. N that, haunted by the spirit of the lady, whose having recollected a certain piece of picture was before him ; but there were business which waited him at London, some circumstances in her history so he found it impossible to protract bis atrocious, that her name was seldom visit a single night. Mr. N— seem- mentioned in his family, and his ancesed surprised, and anxiously sought to tors had always endeavoured as much discover whether any thing occurred to as possible to draw a veil over her merender him displeased with his recep- mory.

From the Literary Gazette.


IN our last Number, and in a Review The Journal describes minutely the

I of Mr. Barrow's recent publication, daily march of the party, from the 13th we jaserted a general summary of Cap- of January, to the 24th, either over tain Buchan's expedition into the inte. smooth snow, or rough and ragged ice, rior of Newfoundland, about eight which destroyed their sledges. Their years ago, and signified that we should course lay up the River of Exploits. probably avail ourselves of the infor- On the evening of the 23d, they obsermation furnished by his interesting ved two natives, from whom they conJournal, to lay before our readers an cealed themselves, intending to follow account of the natives, their habitations, their track next morning; and the narmanners, &c. We thus early acquit rative this proceeds. ourselves of the promise.

“ With the first glimpse of morn we

reached the wished-for track, which assist in bringing up such things as we led us along the western shore to the wore; which at last they seemed pernorth-east, up to a point, on which fectly to comprehend. stood an old wigwam ; from thence it “It will not be expected that I can struck across for the shore we had left. give much information respecting the As the day opened it was requisite to Indians of Newfoundland. Of a peopush forward with celerity to prevent ple so little known, or rather not known being seen, and to surprise the natives, at all, any account, however imperfect, if possible, while asleep. Canoes were must be interesting. It appears then soon descried, and shortly after wig- that they are permanent inhabitants, wams, two close to each other, and a and not occasional visitors. Their third about a hundred yards from the wigwams are of two kinds; one of a cirformer. Having examined the arms, cular form, and the other octagonal. and charged my men to be prompt in The first of these consists simply of a executing such orders as might be give few poles supported by a fork, such as en, at the same time I strictly ordered are common to various tribes in North them to avoid every impropriety, and America ; but this kind is used only as to be especially guarded in their beha. a summer resideuce whilst employed in viour towards the women. The bank the lakes and rivers procuring food for was now ascended with great alacrity the winter. Those in which I found and silence; the party being formed in them were of the octagonal structure, to three divisions, the three wigwams and were constructed with very considwere at once secured ; we called to the erable pains. The diameter, at the people within, but received no answer; base, was nearly twenty-two feet; to the skins which covered the entrance the height of about four feet above the were then removed, and we bebeld surface was a perpendicular wall or groups of men, women, and children fence of wooden piles and earth; 00 lying in the utmost consternation ; they this was affixed a wall-plate, from remained absolutely for some minutes which were projected poles forming a without motion or utterance. My first conical roof, and terminating at the top object was now to remove their fears in a small circle, sufficient for emitting and inspire confidence in us, which the smoke and admitting the light, was soon accomplished by our shaking this and the entrance being the only hands and shewing every friendly dis. apertures ; a right line being draws to position. The women very soon be- equal distances from each of the angular gan to embrace me for my attention to points towards the centre was fitted their children ; from the utmost state of neatly with a kind of lattice-work, alarm they soon became curions, and forming the fronts of so many recesses examined our dress with great attention which were filled with dressed deer. and surprise. They kindled a fire and skins. The fire was placed in the cenpresented us with venison steaks, and tre of the area, around which was for fat run into a solid cake, wbich they med their places of rest, every one lying used with lean meat. Every thing with his feet towards the centre, and promised the utmost cordiality; knives, the head up to the lattice-work partihandkerchiefs, and other little articles tion, somewhat elevated. The whole were presented to them, and in return wigwam was covered in with birch they offered us skins. I had to regret bark, and banked on the outside with our utter ignorance of their language, earth, as high as the upright wall, by and that the presents were at the distance which these abodes, with little fuel, of at least twelve miles. The want of were kept warm even in the inclemency these occasioned me much embarrass- of the winter. Every part was finished ment; I used every endeavour to make in a manner far superior to what might them understand my great desire that reasonably have been expected. Acsome of them should accompany us to cording to the report of William Cull, the place where our baggage was, and (who had been before in the interior)

VOL. 4.]

Newfoundland and its Natives.


the storehouses seen by him were built her demeanour differed very materially with a ridge pole, and had gable ends; from the others; instead of that sudden and the frame of the store which we change from surprise and dismay to acts saw on the island, I conceive to be of of familiarity, she never uttered a word, that description, as it certainly had a nor did she ever recover from the terridge pole. Their canoes were finish- ror our sudden and unexpected visit ed with neatness, the hoops and gunnels had throwo her ioto. The dress of formed of birch, and covered in with these Indians consisted of a loose cosbark cut into sheets, and neatly sewed sack, without sleeves, but puckered at together and lackered over with gum of the collar to prevent its falling off the the spruce-tree. Their household shoulders, and made so long, that when vessels were all made of birch or spruce fastened up round the haunches it bebark, but it did not appear that these comes triple, forming a good security were applied to any purpose of cookery: against accidents happening to the ab. I apprehend they do not boil any part domen; this is fringed round with a of their diet, but broil or roast the cutting of the same substance; they whole; there were two iron boilers, also wear leggins, mockisons, and cuffs, which must have been plundered from the whole made of the deer-skin, and some of our setilers; to what purpose worn with the hair side next to the they may apply these is uncertain, but body, the outside lackered with oil and they appeared to set a great value on earth, admirably adapted to repel the them, foron deserting the wigwam severity of the weather; the only difthey had conveyed them out of our ference in the dress of the two sexes, is sight. They were well supplied with the addition of a hood attached to the axes, on which a high value is set; these back of the cossack of the female for they keep bright and sharp, as also the the reception of children. The males,on blades of their arrows, of which we having occasion to use their bows, have fouod upwards of a hundred new ones to disengage the right shoulder and kneel in a case.

down on the right knee; the bow is kept “ The reports of the settlers have al- perpendicular, and the lower extremity ways magnified the Newfoundland lo- supported against the left foot; their dians into a gigantic stature ; this, how- arrows display some ingenuity, for the ever, is not the case as far as regards blade, which is of iron, is so proporthe tribe we saw, and the idea may tioned to the shaft, that when missing perhaps have originated from the bulk- their object in the water it does not iness of their dress. They are well. sink; the feathers which direct its formed, and appear extremely healthy course become now a buoy, and they and athletic, and the average stature of take it up at pleasure ; the blade of the the men may probably reach five feet arrow is shouldered, but oot barbed. eight inches. With one exception, Their spow shoes, or racketts, as they their hair was black; their features are are called by some, differed from all more prominent than any of the lodian others that I have seen ; the circular tribes that I have ever seen, and from part of the bow, which was cross-barwhat could be discerned through a red with skin-thong, was in breadth lacker of oil and red ochre (or red about fifteen inches, and lengthways earth) with wbich they besmear them- Dear three feet and a half, with a tail selves, I was led to conclude them to of a foot long; this was to counterbalbe fairer than the generality of Indian ance the weight of the front, before the complexions. The exception with re- fore-cross beam. So far their make is gard to the hair, was jo that of a female, like ours, with the difference of length, bearing all the marks of an European, which must be troublesome in the with light sandy hair, and features woods; but if my conjectures are right, strongly resembling the French, appa- they travel but little in the woods when rently about twenty-two years of age ; the snow is on the ground ; now this she carried an infant in her cossack ; being placed on the ground and the foot in it, it forms a curve from the sur- killing deer, at least in sufficient quanti. face, both ends being elevated. Their ties for their subsistence. As our estareason for this is obvious, for the two- blishments increased to the northward fold purpose of preventing any quanti- of Cape Freels, they were obliged to ty of snow from resting before the foot, retreat farther from the coast ; but the and the other to accelerate their motions. same evil that forced the natives to Without causing suspicion, I could not retreat, brought with it the means venture to ascertain their exact num- whereby they might still procure subbers; but I conceived there could not sistence with a more independent life ; be less than thirty-five grown-up per- for as the fisheries increased and the sous, of whom probably two-thirds settlers became more numerous, the nawere women, some of the men being tives were enabled to obtain iron and probably absent; the number of chile other articles by plunder and froin dren was about thirty, and most of wrecks. them not exceeding six years of age, “ There are various opinions as to and never certainly were ficer infants the origin of the Newsoundland laseen.

dians ; some conceiving them to have " Whatever their oumbers may be come from the continent of America, in the interior of Newfoundland, there others that they are the descendants of did not appear to be apy want of pro- the old Norwegian navigators, who are vision ; the quantity of venison we saw supposed to have discovered this island packed up was very considerable ; near a thousand years ago. I had perthere were, besides, on the margin of sons with me that could speak the Northe pond whole carcases, which must wegian and most of the dialects koow have been killed ere the frost set in, in the north of Europe, but they could seyen of them being frozen within the in no wise understand them ; to me ice ; the packs were nearly three feet their speech appeared as a complete jarin length, and in breadth and depth fif- gon, uttered with great rapidity and veteen inches, packed up with fat venison hemence, and differed from all the othen cleared of the bone, and in weight from Indian tribes that I had heard, whose a hundred and fifty to two hundred language generally flows in soft melopounds, each pack being neatly cased dious sounds. round with bark. The lakes and ponds “ The general face of the country in abound with trout, and flocks of wild the interior exhibits a mountainous ap. geese annually visit them in the months pearance, with rivers, ponds, and marsbof May and October ; and their vigo- es in the intermediate levels or valleys; rous appearance points out, that the the timber, which is mostly white and exercise to procure food is only condu- red spruce, fine birch and ash, is much cive to health.

stinted in its growth, and those trees “ The opinion, therefore, of their which have arrived at any considerable numbers being few, because of their dimensions are generally decayed at the not being seen so much as formerly, is, heart. In advancing into the interior, I think, an erroneous one. That they the birch diminishes both in size and should not appear near the coasts of the quantity till it almost wholly disappears. island is easily explained. The settlers In many places the woods are burnt thought they could not do a more meri- down for a considerable extent, and in torious act than to shoot an Indian others young woods have sprung up, whenever they could fall in with him. and their several growths evidently shew They were thus banished from their the fires to have been made at different original haunts into the interior, of periods, but none bad been burnt for which they had probably but little thirty miles below the lake ; this geneknowledge, their chief dependance for ral remark is made from observation on food being fish and sea-fowl. They the banks of the river. The pond on probably were not then, as now, provin which the natives were found does not ded with the proper implements for appear to have been discovered from

VOL. 4.]
Confessions of a Murderer.

465 any excursion from the north side of the Laurie and Whittle in May 1794, there island; but there is no question of its is a pond delineated, which, from rela. having been seen in some route from tive distances aod appearances, I have the Bay of Islands along by the Hum- no doubt to be the same on which our ber River, or from St. George's Bay by unfortunate companions lost their lives. * a communication of waters ; for in or this eatastrophe we gave an account in our Cook and Lane's chart, published by last.-Ed.


From Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine. GOSSCHEN'S DIARY.....NO. 1. almost amounted to a negation of his

crime. The man under sentence of EThe following striking narrative is translated from

the MS. Memoirs of the late Rev. Dr. Gottlieb death was, in all the beauty of youth, Michael Gosschen, a Catholic clergyman of great distinguished above his fellows for eminence in the city of Ratisbon. It was the graceful accomplishments, and the last custom of this divine to preserve, in the shape of

of a poble family. He bad lain a month a diary, a regular account of all the interesting

es particulars which fell in his way, during the ex. in nis dungeon, heavily laden with irons.

in his dungeon, heavily laden with irons. ercise of his sacred profession. Two thick small Only the first week he had been visited quartos, filled with these strange materials, have by several religionists, but he then been put into our hands by the kindness of Count

fiercely ordered the jailor to admit no Frederick von Lindenbaumenberg, to whom the worthy father bequeathed them Many a dark more “ men of God,”-and till the eve story, well fitted to be the groundwork of a ro- of his execution, he had lain in dark mance,-many a tale of guilty love and repen- solitude, abandoned to his own soul. tance,-many a fearful monument of remorse and

It was near midnight when a meshorror, might we extract from this record of dungeons and confessionals. We shall from time sage was sent to me by a magistrate, to time do so, but sparingly, and what is still more that the murderer was desirous of seeDecessary, with selection.]

ing me. I had been with many men N EVER had a murder so agitated in his unhappy situation, and in no

the inhabitants of this city as that case had I failed to calm the agonies of Maria von Richterstein. No heart of grief, and the fears of the world to could be pacified till the murderer was come. But I had known this youthcondemned. But no sooner was his had sat with bim at his father's table doom sealed, and the day fixed for his -I koew also that there was in him a execution, than a great change took strange and fearful mixture of good place in the public feeling. The evi- and evil- I was aware that there were dence, though conclusive, had been circumstances in the history of his prowholly circumstantial. And people genitors not generally known-may, who, before his condemnation, were in his own life-that made him an obas assured of the murderer's guilt as if ject of awful commiseration--and I they had seen him with red hands, be- went to his cell with an agitating sense gan now to conjure up the most con- of the enormity of bis guilt, but a still tradictory and absurd reasons for be more agitating one of the depth of his lieving in the possibility of his inno- misery, and the wildness of his miscence. His own dark and sullen silence fortunes. seemed to some, an indignant expression I entered bis cell, and the phantom of that innocence which he was too struck me with terror. He stood erect proud to avow, some thought they in his irons, like a corpse that had saw in his imperturbable demeanor, a risen from the grave. His face, once resolution to court death, because his so beautiful, was pale as a shroud, and life was miserable, and his reputation drawn into ghastly wrinkles. His blasted, and others, the most oumer- black-matted hair hung over it with a ous, without reason or reflection, felt terrible expression of wrathful and sasuch sympathy with the criminal, as vage misery. And his large eyes,


« PreviousContinue »