Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

their spirit of invention and industry. To from following him by the necessar these qualities, they add foresight : their limits of our review. canoes, when they are not employed afloat, The operations of the fur-trade ha are carefully placed under sheds, and some

been very languid on the northern pai times drawn into the habitation. Their weapons for hunting and their implements

of the west coast of Queen Charlotte' for fishing, little different from those of the island: the English had perhaps ex Techinkitânayans, bespeak pains in the exe- hausted the riches of the country. Th cution. They still employ the paddle to hope of procuring furs on the coast o move their canoes ; but they have already the continent at Nootka Sound, appeare discovered the utility of the sail, and they no better founded : these consideration have been seen, with the wind aft, to spread prompted captain Marchand to direc a blanket for performing the same office; as his course towards Berkley Sound, wher they have a spirit of imitation, we may pre- he assured himself a more abundan sume that it will not be long before they harvest : but here he was unfortunate improve among them the art of rigging and working their little vessels.

for the dissipation of the fog which en “ Music seems not to be unknown to these abled him to steer for the entrance of th islanders ; I am not speaking merely of that sound, discovered to him a three-maste. chanting, of that music in chorus, which, in vessel coming out of the harbour wher some of the tribes of the north-west coast of he intended to trade! Having been thu America, appears to be a species of a religious anticipated, he wisely determined, if pos rite; but surgeon Roblet mentions that he saw, sible,“ to get the start in the market in the habitations, some of those flutes with se- of China, of the ships which had got the veral pipes, imitating in miniature part of an organ, known among the musical instruments

start of him on the coast of America of the ancients, by the name of Pan's pipe, and to endeavour to compensate for the and one of the attributes of that divinity. smallness of the cargo, by the advan He reckoned on some of those futes as many tageous price that might be obtained for as eleven pipes : does this instrument give it.” he immediately directed his route more than the whole gamut, more than the for China. On his arrival at Macao, he coinplete system of seven tones and the octave? Or, what would be more astonishing, ment had, under severe penalties, pro

was informed, that the Chinese govern. is there but one gamut with the hali tones

hibited all introduction of furs into the necessary

for
varying modulation?"

southern parts of the empire, and par. To music, these islanders of the north. ticularly that of otter skins; this pro. west coast of America unite some know. hibition, which was supposed to have ledge of architecture, sculpture, and been made in favour of the Russians, by painting : captain Chanal and surgeon the new treaty of commerce between the Roblet went on shore at North Island in Emperor of China and the Empress of Coxe's Channel, and found habitations Russia, had already been attempted, with two stories, fifty feet in length, thirty- without any success, to be evaded by five in breadth, and twelve or fifteen in ships from other countries. Thus disheight: they describe the ingenious and concerted in all his commercial specula, solid frame work and junction of the ma- tions, captain Marchand resolved to proterials; they describe to us various carv, ceed without delay to the Isle of France, ed figures of birds, fishes, and other ani, In his passage of the China sea, capmals; they describe articles of furniture tain Marchand has corrected some hy. in use among the natives, ornamented drographical errors of importance; one with carved work in intaglio and in re- in the chart of the China sea by Alexlief, partly they describe pictures painted ander Dalrymple; another on the gene. on wood, nine feet long by five broad, on ral chart of the world by lieutenant which all the parts of the human body, Roberts, annexed to captain Cook's third drawn separately, are represented in dif- voyage. “The error in Dalrymple's ferent colours: in short, so many vestiges chart lies in the longitude of Puli-Sapata, of ancient civilization are observable reverts on that of the Two Brothers, and among these savages, as to corroborate is owing to the difference of meridian the supposition, that these islands of the on this chart between Pulo-Sapata and north-west coast of America were origi- Macao being too great by 50 min. of a nally peopled from another country. For degree.” “The error in the chart of the purpose of making it appear that that Cook's third_voyage, consists in its country was Asia, the editor M. Fleurieu placing the Two Brothers to the north, has entered into an elaborate and learned about 33 deg. east of Pulo-Sapata; wherediscussion, whither we are prohibited as, by the route which the Solide follow

ed, in passing from the former islands to city, torn by civil war, experienced all the latter, the Two Brothers must be situ- the horrors of a long siege: in the midst ated to the north about 22 deg. west of of fire and devastation, the furs belongPuto-Sapata, nearly in the position in which ing to the house of Baux were seized ; they are seen in Dalrymple's chart.” and, being forgotten under the seals,

After having passed ten weeks at notwithstanding their remonstranices, the Isle of France, in order to repair which were rendered more urgent by the ship, and make preparations for a long danger of delay, they became a prey to Foyage, the Solide got under way, and the worms.” came to anchor in the inner road of We have already devoted so much Toulon, on the 14th of August 1792, space to these volumes, that we can now having happily completed her voyage only allow ourselves to offer a particular Yound the world.

recommendation of them to seamen, who As to the success of her commercial will find much useful information as to speculations—baffled at China, “ as a the velocity and direction of the cursole and wretched resource, the cargo of rents, and their influence on the ship's furs was brought to France. It was course: they will find many nautical immediately sent to Lyons, where the observations exhibiting much accuracy commercial concerns of the place, and and science, and will altogether acknow. the favourable season, might promise no ledge, that captain Marchand is an able inconsiderable advantages in the sale; navigator, and that Monsieur Fleurieu but it arrived there only a few days was perfectly qualified to compose the before the period when that unfortunate narrative of his voyage. Art. II. An Account of a Geographical and Astronomical Expedition to the Northern

Parts of Russia; by COMMODORE BILLINGS, in the Years 1785 to 1794. The zbole narrated from original Papers, by MARTIN SAUER, Secretary to the Expedition, 4to. pages 380, 15 Plates and Maps.

THE history of this Russian expedi- agers did not ascertain the geographical situation is remarkable: an Englishman's tions of places, nor explain the advantages Fork upon the Russian empire, induced that they offered to the country to which the empress to have her own dominions they belonged; nor, in short, any thing more

than their mere existence. explored, and the journal of the under. taking is now published in England by knowledging the sovereignty of Russia, in

“ The amazing extent of dominion acan Englishman.

dependent of her late acquisitions by con“ The extraordinary discoveries of the quest, became now the fashionable topic of Eer-inemorable circumnavigator Cook, in- conversation at court. Mr. Coxe, being at spired all Europe with an enthusiastic desire St. Petersburg, took advantage of the favourof being acquainted with the parts of the able moment to suggest an expedition, to glube still remaining unknown. Russia, complete the geographical knowledge of the though more interested in these events than most distant possessions of that empire, and any other power, being engaged in different of such northern parts of the opposite conpursuits, did not consider the distant and tinent as captain Cook could not possibly trarren regions belonging to her own empire ascertain. The learned Dr. Pallas, then in as of sufficient importance to justify the ex great favour, undertook to make the necespence and trouble of exploring them ; until sary representations to her imperial majesty, the genius of the country was completely who, well pleased with the hint, immediately roused by the animating intelligence come approved of the plan drawn out by these two municated in the “ Account of the Russian gentlemen; and count Besborodko was, in Discoveries between Asia and America, by consequence, ordered to prepare a mandate the Reverend William Coxe,” which the for the admiralty : this was in the autumn late Catherine the second commanded to be of the year 1784. Mr. Billings, who had translated for her own perusal, although the just received a lieutenancy, said, that he had original papers were in the archives of the been the astronomer's assistant in captain admiralty at St. Petersburg.

Cook's last voyage; and he was therefore " The court of Russia was astonished at the thought a proper person to conduct the endiscoveries already made, by its own rising terprize.” saljects, of islands, and of a continent; of

The instructions of her imperial mawhich latter it had indeed an idea, but not the smallest notion of its extent or proximity jesty state, that the expedition was deto its own territories, and only supposed that signed “ for the exact determination of it might be America. However, these voy- the longitude and latitude of the mouth

1

of the river Kovima, and the situation of “ Wednesday the 15th, between three and the great promontory of the Tshutski, four o'clock in the morning, the weather as far as the East Cape ; for forming an being calm and cloudy, about fifty small exact chart of the islands in the Eastern

canoes, with Lamuti, Yakuti, and a few Ocean extending to the coast of Ameri- Russians, went out to sea, and returned with ca; in short, for bringing to perfection immense number of the sea-duck called Tur

the tide at noon, driving before them an the knowledge acquired under her glori- pan. When they were got into the bay of ous reign of the seas lying between the kutchtui, about a mile from its discharge continent of Siberia and the opposite into the sea, they were surrounded by more coast of America.

than 200 canoes, drawn up in a regular line, Captain Billings and his company were forming a crescent. Thus enclosed, the tide to proceed by land to Ochotsk. 'Two left them in about six inches water, and all vessels were there to be built for his voy- (the policy master) appointed by the com

the canoes were aground. A signal oficer age to the Eastern Ocean : while they mandant, gave the word for a general attack, were preparing, he was to march over

when a scene of the most whimical conto the river Omolon, and from thence fusion ensued. Men, women, and c!ldren, proceed to survey the Kovima, and the plunged in an instant into the water; some promontory of the Tshutski to the East armed with short bludgeons, and others with Cape; he had therefore two distinct ex- strings and nets. While one knocked on peditions to attempt.

the head all that came in his or her way, Nothing worthy of notice occurred on others of the same party strung or netted their road to Ochotsk, except, indeed, other. No field of battle is subject to such a

them, all hurly burly, huddling over each that admiral Zshemtshuzshnikoff made variety of incidents and transitions. An illa point of drinking the king's health at directed blowy sometimes lights on the hand Kazan; such is the orthography of this of a friend, instead of the head of the foe. gentleman's name, that should his ma Suddenly the shrieks, scolding, and swearjesty be graciously, disposed to return ing of the women, and wrangling among all, the compliment, he would find it very change to peals of laughter and merriment; difficult to drink the health of admiral and the supplication of the ducks, and the Zshemtshuzshnikoff. The Siberians noise of myriads of gulls hovering about, throughout the whole country are re- haps, that were ever heard. The women

form the strangest medley of sounds, perpresented as more industrious and in- caught by far the greater quantity; and the dependant than the Russian peasantry. whole number destroyed amounted to more

A little poem sung by a Yakut Tartar than 6500.
should be quoted :

“ The Turpan is as large as a domestic

duck. The neck short; the bill black, “ In crossing a very boggy spot, our short, and narrow, with a callous knob on guide sung

melancholy song, which was the nostrils. The feathers black, with dark thus interpreted: “ This is the sad spot grey spots. They moult all the quill feathers that was moistened by the tears of ihe venerabie Tshogonnoi. The worthy, old driven, therefore, into shallow water, they

at once, and consequently cannot fly; being man! most skilful in the chase, and the constant protector of his friend. 'Twas here diving, and become an easy prey.

are prevenied from effecting their escape by

They that, unable to support the fatigues of the

very fishy, but make an agreeable journey, his companion, his friend, his last change of food for the poor inhabitants, horse, fell. He sat down by the side of his When salted and smoke-dried, they are last horse, and vented his anguish in the esteemed an excellent whet, with a dram, bitterest of tears: Yes, the bitterest of tears; before dinner," for he never failed in the duties of a Sochalar*. He never deserved to weep. (The

There are occasional peculiarities in third day he was relieved by a traveller and assisted home).” The name of the place is Mr. Sauer's style, which we should ata Tshogonnoi Utabyta (the tours of Tsho- tribute to affectation, if that gentleman gonnoi)."

had not been so long accustomed to

speak a foreign language, that his own A few days after their arrival at is probably not quite familiar to him. Ochotsk, they were spectators of a duck The supplication of the ducks is one of chase, which seems to have been upon these objectionable phrases. The word as extensive a circle of slaughter as one casque is used for a grenadier's cap. of the great mogui's hunting parties, “ Nothing grows within five versts of

1

taste

* The Yakuti call themselves Sochu, and the singular is Sochalar.

the sea. Here stunted and withered fell near twenty times. The top of the larch trees commence scaniity.Fisa is saddle is square and Aat, projecting a few the chief food, but the finny trihe appear inches over the sides of the eleer; the seat is late.”. Numberless instances of such secured by drawing up the calves of the legs bioated phraseology might be produced, towards the thighs, and clinging fast to the for which we believe we have assigned

projecting parts of the widle, which at first

causes astonishing pain to the thighs: by the right cause.

the third day, howtier, I became a very exThe city of Ochotsk is a wretched pert rider; the ship-builder cuild noi maplace. It stands up.n a neck of land nage it at all, and went for the most part on chiefy composed of sand, shingles and foot;, of course iny travelling was not very drift wood, the whole thrown up by the expeditious.” surf. The town contains “ 132 miser Our author crossed the track of couna able wooden houses, a church and bel- try over which the Tungoose wander, fry, several rotten store houses, and a He asked them, why they had no settled double row of shops badly stocked.” places of residence? They answered, The air is unwholesome in the extreme. that they knew no greater curse than to Fogs, mists, and chilling winds con- live in one place like a Russian or Yasantly prevail. The scurvy rages there kut, where filth accumulates, and fills with great violence, owing, perhaps, as the habitation with stench and disease. much to want of cleanliness in the people The savages' reply, was more reasonable as to the climate. Every spring is a than Mr. Sauer's own reflection, “ the time of scarcity : the dogs then become romantic desolation of the scenes that so ravenous, that it is not uncommon frequently surrounded me, elevated my for them to destroy one another; and soul to a perfect conviction, that man is the first horses that arrive are generally the lord of the creation!” He arrived at forn to pieces. What a picture! The Virchni Kovima on the 28th September. toasted beef tasted so fishy that the Here they built two vessels to proceed strangers thought it had been basted down the river, and were detained eight with train oil. In the afternoon, says months. Want of provisions was the Mr. Sauer, we drank tea at the com first evil they endured; all hands remandant's; this also tasted of fish; and duced to a sorry pittance of bread and When I mentioned it to our host, he salt. The winter set in with severity: recommended the next cup without the mercury in their thermometer was cream, which was very good. He told frequently frozen. Their spirit thermome, that the cattle had been fed for the meter never froze ; it varied from 32° last ten weeks entirely upon the offals of to 41° below 0 of Reaumur, fish, and that the cows preferred dried salmon to hay.

“ At 37° it was almost impossible to fell From this city the party proceeded timber, which was as hard as the hatchet. inland to Virchni Kovima. Mr. Sauer

except it was perfectly dr; ; and in the

greatest severity, the hatchets, on striking the travelled upon a rein-deer, a mode of wood, broke like glass. · Indeed it was iniriding neither safe nor agreeable.

possible to work in the open air, which com

pelled us to make many holidays much " Having with me the ship-builder and against our inclination. mat servant, at three P. M. I left the party, “ The effects of the cold are wonderfu'. mounted on a beautiful young rein-ricer; Upon coming out of a warın room, it is althe saddle placed on its shoulders, without lutely necessary to breath through a handstirrups; no bridle, but a leather thong, kerchief; and you find yourself immediately about five fathom long, tied round the head surrounded by an atmosphere, arising from of the deer; this is kept in the rider's left the breathi and the heat of the body, which hand, that he may prevent its escape if he encloses you in a mist, and consists of small fillsand, when refreshing, have a litile scope nodules of hoar ice. Breathing causes a noise to select its food. A strong stick, about like the tearing of coarse paper, or the breakhre feet long, assists the rider to mount; ing of thin twigs, and the expired breath is though the Tungoose, for this purpose, use immediately condensed in the fine substance their baw; standing on the right side of the mentioned above, The northern lights are deer, they put the left leg upon the saddle, constant, and very brilliant ; they secin close kan on the stick with the right hand, and to you, and you may sometimes hear thein spring up with astonishing apparent case: shoot along; they assume an amazing diver*, however, could not effect it by any sity of shapes; and the Tungoose say, that beans without assistance; and, during about they are spirits at variance fighting in the Ezee hours travelling, I dare say that we air."

The scurvy next attacked. Their secretary, and several necessary hands, were beasts suffered still more than them- orded to follow with all possible speed. selves. The poor horses employed in

“ We arrived the 16th January 1788, and dragging timber from the woods, exhi. I took up my abode with my friend brigadier bited such a picture of misery as perhaps

Troepolski.

“ In the evening of the 24th February, never before existed; they were fed with while I was playing at cards with the brigtbrush wood and the tops of willows, dier and some company of his, a secretary having neither grass nor hay: they sel- belonging to one of the courts of justice came dom worked longer than a fortnight, in, and told us, with great concern, that the then tired, and died. Mr. Sauer recom- governor-general had received positive orders mends the rich to go there to learn the from the empress, immediately to send one pleasure and advantage of prayer, and of the expedition, an Englishman, under the Jacobins to enjoy liberty and equa- But that he did not know the name of the

guard to the private inquisition at Mosco; lity! On the 25th of May they left this miserable place, and entered the river private party at the governor-general's, Now,

person, and that captain Billings was with a Kovima, and on June 24th came into the as Ledyard and I were the only Englishmen Icy Sea. Captain Billings proceeded but here, I could not help smiling at the news, a little

way

along the coast : the author, when two hussars came into the room, and and apparently with good reason, thought told me that the coinmandant wished to see it practicable to advance: one of the me immediately. The consternation into

which the visitors were thrown is not to be company, M. Sharetskeff, offered to at. tempt it in the boat with six hands, de. described. I assured them that it must be a

mistake, and went with the guards to the signing to sleep on shore every night. commandant. Here I foundMr. Ledyard Major Shmaleff, the ablest of the party, under arrest. He told me, that he had sent was for proceeding; but the captain ap- for captain Billings, but he would not come pears to have been deficient in all the

to him. He then began to explain his siturequisites for such a command, and heation, and said that he was taken up as a accordingly returned without fulfilling French spy, whereas captain Billings could this object of his expedition.

prove

the contrary; but he supposed that he In November they arrived at Yakutsk.

knew nothing of the matter, and requested

that I would inform him. I did so; but the Here they met with an extraordinary

captain assured me, that it was an absolute man, whose after-fate is well known.

order froin the enipress, and he could not At Yakutsk we found, to our great sur

help him. He, however, sent him a few prise, Mr. Ledyard, an old companion of cured him his linen quite wet from the wash

rubles, and gave him a pelisse ; and I procaptain Billings, in Cook's voyage round the world; he then served in the capacity of a

tub. Ledyard took a friendly leave of me,

desired his remembrance to his friends, and, corporal, but now called himself an American colonel, and wished to cross over to the

with astonishing composure, leaped into the

kibitka, and drove oft, with two guards, one American continent with our expedition, for

on each side. I wished to travel with him a the purpose of exploring it on foot.

little way, but was not pormitted. I thereCaptain lieutenant Bering, who had fore returned to my company, and explained been sent the 12th of February last from the the matter to them ; but, though this eased Kovima, to superintend the forwarding the their minds with regard to my fate, it did necessaries for the expedition to Ochotsk, not restore their harmony. Ledyard's behawas also here. He had forwarded many ar viour, however, had been haughty, and not ticles during the summer, and sent some of at all condescending, which certainly made the anchors and heavy baggage to the river him enemies," Mayo, to be transported to Yudomski Krest by the water communication. The guns, They proceeded to Ochotsk in Sep. medicines, sailors' clothing, &c. weighing tember, and finding that their ships could upwards of 100 tons, still remained at Ir- not be ready for sea before the following kutsk, where they had lain ever since last July, returned to winter at Yakutsk, winter.

Here the author employed himself in col. “ Captain Billings resolved to go himself lecting information concerning the tribe to Irkutsk to see these articles forwarded of the Yakuts, or Socha, as they call down the Lena, so soon as the river should

themselves. The ceremony of conse, open in the spring. Accordingly, on the 29th December, he set out with carriages on

crating their Koumiss is curious. sledges, which we had made on purpose, “ The mares having cast, a short time is Mr. Ledyard, Robeck, Lemun, his first allowed the colts to suck, that they may acmåte, and I, accompanied him; the Russian quire strength; they are then tied up,

« ForrigeFortsett »