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their assistance. Though they do every thing, they are maintained at trifling expense, for as they always cook, the very licking of their fingers, in scarce times, is sufficient for their subsistence.” (P. 55.) “ Notwithstanding the northern Indians are at times so voracious, they bear hunger with an incredible degree of fortitude. I have more than once seen them at the end of three or four days fasting, as merry and jocose on the subject, as if they had voluntarily imposed it on themselves; they would ask each other “if they had now any inclination for an intrigue with a strange woman.” (P. 70.) “Finding great plenty of deer in the neighbourhood of our little encampment, it was agreed by all parties to remain a few days, in order to dry and pound some meat to make it lighter for carriage.” (P. 73.) “A woman and her two children joined us next morning, They were the first strangers we had met since we left the fort, though we had travelled several hundred miles.” (P. 74.) “One of their dishes is made of the raw liver of a deer cut in small pieces, and mixed up with the contents of the stomach of the same animal, and the further digestion has proceeded, the better it is suited to their taste. They will eat venison, seals, and sea-horse paws, though they have been a whole year sewed in skin bags. Nay, I have even seen them eat whole hands full of maggots produced in meat by fly-blows, and it is their constant custom when their noses bleed by any accident to lick the blood into their mouths and swallow it. To such distresses are they frequently driven by hunger, that we are no longer surprised at finding they can relish any thing, but rather admire the wisdom and kindness of Providence in forming the palates and powers of all creatures in

a manner most adapted to the food, climate, and circumstances of their situation.” (P. 160-61.) “Several of the Indians being very ill, the conjurers, who are always the doctors, and pretend to perform great cures, began to try their skill for their recovery. They use no medicine. Sucking the part affected, blowing and singing to it, haughing, spitting, and uttering a heap of unintelligible jargon, compose the whole process of the cure. “Besides the above, they have recourse in the illness of a friend to a very extraordinary piece of superstition, pretending to swallow hatchets, ice chisels, broad bayonets, knives, and the like, out of a superstitious notion that undertaking such desperate feats will have some influence in appeasing death, and procure a respite for their patient.” (P. 190-91.) Other superstitions are detailed of a nature too indelicate for recital in this place. My object also is to direct the reader's attention principally to those circumstances in the habits of these savage tribes which are more immediately connected with the hardships endured from a scanty supply of food, and with the causes to which the scantiness of that supply may be attributed. I wish to enable him to form a fair judgment whether the pressure of population against food in these regions be a dispensation of Providence from which they can only escape by a decrease in the number of the people; or a salutary consequence of vice from which a little industry would relieve them. “We came to a tent of northern Indians, from whom Matonabee, an Indian chief, purchased another wife; so that he had now no less than seven, most of whom would for size have made good grenadiers. He prided himself much upon the height and strength of his wives, and would frequently say few women could carry or haul heavier loads; and though they had in general a very maseuline appearance, yet he preferred them to those of a more delicate form and moderate stature. In a country like this, where a partner in exeessive hard labour is the chief motive for the union, there seems to be great propriety in such a choice.” “The wives are all kept at the greatest distance, and the rank they hold in the opinion of the men cannot be better explained, than by observing the method of treating or serving them at meals. When the men kill any large beast, the women are sent to bring it to the tent: when it is brought there, every operation it undergoes, such as splitting, drying, curing, &c. is performed by the women. When any thing is to be prepared for eating, the women cook it; and when it is done, the wives and daughters of the greatest captains in the country are never served till all the males, even those who are in the capacity of servants, have eaten what they think proper; and in times of scarcity it is frequently their lot to be left without a single morsel. It is, however, natural to think they help themselves in secret; but this must be done with great prudence, as in such times it frequently subjects them to a very severe beating.” (P. 90-1.) This chief, Matonabee, hanged himself about thirteen years after this period, an accident that was attended with the most melancholy consequences; no less than six of his wives and four of his children having been starved to death the following winter for want of his support. “One of the Indians' wives, who for some time past had been in a consumption, became so weak as to be incapable of travelling, among these people the

most deplorable state to which a human being can be brought. No expedients were taken for her recovery : so that without much ceremony she was left unassisted to perish above ground. This is the common, and indeed theconstant, practice of the Indians. When a grown person is so ill, especially in the summer (when they cannot be hauled), as not to be able to walk, and too heavy to be carried, they say it is better to leave one who is past recovery, than for the whole family to sit down with them and starve to death; well knowing that they cannot be of any service to the afflicted. On these occasions, therefore, the friends and relations of the sick generally leave them some victuals and water, and perhaps a little firing. When those articles are provided, the persons to be left are acquainted with the road which the others intend to go, and then, after covering them up with deer-skins, &c. they take their leave and walk away crying. Sometimes persons thus left recover, and come up with their friends, or wander about till they meet with other Indians whom they accompany. The poor woman above-mentioned came up with us three several times, after having been left in the manner described. At length, poor creature she dropped behind, and no one attempted to go back in search of her. A custom apparently so unnatural is not, perhaps, to be found among any other of the human race.” (P. 202-3.) “Old age is the greatest calamity that can befall a northern Indian ; for when he is past labour he is neglected and treated with great disrespect even by his own children. They not only serve him last at meals, but generally give him the coarsest and worst of the victuals ; and such of the skins, as they do not choose to wear, are made up into clothes in the clumsiest manner for their aged parents; who, as they had treated their fathers and mothers with the same neglect, submit patiently to their lot, knowing it to be the common misfortune attendant on old age. So that they wait patiently for the melancholy hour, when being no longer capable of walking they are to be left alone to starve and perish for want. One half at least of the aged persons of both sexes absolutely die in this miserable condition.” (P. 345.) “We saw the tracts of some strangers. My companions, the Indians, were at the trouble of searching for them, and finding them to be poor inoffensive people, plundered them not only of the few furs which they had, but took also one of their young women from them.” (P. 273.) I think that every crime of which human nature is capable, except deliberate murder, has now been recorded of these poor half-starved savages. In exhibiting to view this yet remaining feature of the depravity of their nature, I must recite a story, the atrocity and cruelty of which can only be equalled by the gross superstition of the perpetrators. I have, nevertheless, been induced to record it in these pages, with the feeble hope of exciting the attention of some of the Benevolent Societies of Europe to so wide a field for their philanthropic exertions. It seems that in a glen on the banks of the Copper-mine River lay a small encampment of harmless and peaceable Eskimaux, whom Mr. Hearne's companions, notwithstanding his remonstrances, resolved to murder and to plunder. Having crept unperceived into ambush within two hundred yards of their tents, the following scene took place. The small number of their in

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