MAP of the CITY of QUEBEC.
  • A Cape Diamond
  • B The Glaciene
  • C St Lewis
  • D St Tisula
  • E St. John
  • F The Polas [...]
  • G Redoubt et Cape Diamond
  • H R [...]val Redoubt and Barracks
  • I Dauphine [...]s Redoubt and Barracks
  • K Jesuits Church
  • L St. Johns Gale
  • M Palace
  • N [...]t St. Lewis and Governor's House
  • O N [...] [...] Battery
  • P Greal [...]
  • Q Cathedral
  • R Seminary
  • S Jesuit's College
  • T Recollects
  • U Parade
  • V Market Place
  • W Market Place in the lower Town
  • X Ursuline's Convent
  • Y Hotel Dieu
  • Z Intendant's Palace
  • 1 St Lewis Gate
  • 2 Intrenchments along St. Charles River
  • 3 Cut de Sac
  • 4 The King's Yard
  • 5 Narrow Entrance into the Lower Town

[Page] THE Habitable World DESCRIBED.

Inscribed by Permission to His Royal Highness Frederick DUKE OF YORK, &c. &c.


LONDON: Published as the Act directs, by the Author▪ No. 62. Wardour-Street Soho


THE HABITABLE WORLD DESCRIBED, OR THE PRESENT STATE OF THE PEOPLE IN ALL PARTS OF THE GLOBE, FROM NORTH TO SOUTH; SHEWING The Situation, Extent, Climate, Productions, Animals, &c. of the different Kingdoms and States; Including all the new Discoveries: TOGETHER WITH The Genius, Manners, Customs, Trade, Religion, Forms of Govern­ment, &c. of the Inhabitants, and every thing respecting them, that can be either entertaining or informing to the Reader, collected from the earliest and latest Accounts of Historians and Travellers of all Nations; With some that have never been published in this Kingdom; And, nothing advanced but on the best Authorities.

WITH A great Variety of MAPS and COPPER-PLATES, engraved in a capital Stile, the Subjects of which are mostly new, and such as have never yet been given in any English work.



LONDON. Printed for the AUTHOR, at the Literary-Press, No. 62, WARDOUR-STREET, SOHO; and sold by all Booksellers.



CHAP. III. Of their Disposition, Amusements, Manners, and Method of Travelling.

THE coldness of the climate, and the sharpness of the air, naturally gives the hordes good health and a vigorous constitution; and this confirmed, by a hardy education, coarse fare, &c. qualifies them for any difficulties they may have to encounter, and makes them good soldiers; but, at the same time, cramps their activity and renders them indolent and averse to study. There are certainly among them, learned, able, and great men; but this seems not to be the general talent of this nation, they being more apt to sit down with superficial acquisitions, than to acquire scientific know­ledge, by study.

[Page 2]The nobility and gentry mostly apply themselves to a military life, in which they are more renowned for courage and enduring fatigue and hardships, than for stratagem and intrigue. They have a graceful deportment, value much their own consequence, make the best appearance they can; and, to gain the respect of others, are more expensive in the number of attendants, sumptuous houses, costly apparel, and well-furnished tables, than in other less noticed occasions. They never descend to any employ­ments in the church, law, physic, or trade, and though, to gain experience in maritime affairs, they will submit to the lowest offices abroad, yet, at home, no gentleman will accept the command of a merchant-ship. The burghers are not very intelligent in trade, nor able to do their business, without credit from abroad; rather inclined to impose on those they can over-reach, than follow their calling in a fair way. The peasants, when sober, for they are much addicted to drinking spirituous liquors, are very obsequious and respectful, but drink makes them mad and ungovernable; most of them live in a very poor condition, and are taught, by necessity, to practice several arts in a rude manner; as making their shoes, cloaths, &c. the several instruments of husbandry, and other necessaries which they cannot afford to buy; and to keep them to this, no more than one taylor, or such other handicraftsman is permitted to dwell in the same parish, be it ever so large; and many of them are more than 20 miles in circuit.

[Page 3]They are a people by no means dull of apprehension; have no phlegm in their characters; are chearful, but not like noisy and bustling people, that laugh one mo­ment and are dejected the next. They have not quite the vivacity of the French, but, on the whole, as much as the English.

It may, in general, be said of the whole nation, that they are a people very religious in their way, and con­stant frequenters of the church, that they are eminently loyal, and affected to monarchy; grave even to formality, much more out of necessity than principles of temperance; apt to entertain suspicions, and to envy each other as well as strangers; more inclined to pilfering and such secret frauds than open violences, as breaking into houses, or highway-robberies; crimes as rarely com­mitted in this, as in any country whatever.

In matters of trade, they more easily do the drudgery, than dive into the mystery either of commerce or manu­factures, in which they usually set up for masters before they are half-taught; so that in all things that require ingenuity, neatness, and dexterity, they are forced to apply to strangers.

The manners of all ranks of people in Sweden are very engaging. The superior classes have an easy, natural politeness, which prejudices you in their favour at first acquaintance. They have not a swift, or [Page 4] formal, nor pert, or foppish, but a plain, easy carriage and manner, the result of good sense and humanity. Their conversation is agreeable, paying great attention to foreigners, without troubling them with national customs and ceremonies. Duels are not common, yet the men have very just ideas of honour, and are as un­willing to put up affronts, as more tenacious and quarrel-some nations: and with respect to the peasantry, they are a quiet, inoffensive, happy, and contented people. There are few cottages in Sweden that have not lands annexed to them, from 20 to 30 acres, and the pro­duce of this land, as their wives and daughters are employed in husbandry, enables them to be better clothed and make a better appearance than the peasantry of England.

Mr. Coxe, who has given us such inslated accounts of the politeness and hospitality of the Polish and Russian gentry, tells us, that the Swedish nobility are equally so, although with much less magnificence and expence in their houses, retinue, and entertainments; which arises from a circumstance that must give pleasure to every friend of humanity. The possession of land not being in this country, as in Poland and Russia, appropriated to any particular description of men; property is more equally diffused, and such vast accumulations of wealth, or ex­tent of domains, do not centre in the hands of a few grandees.

[Page 5]The sports and exercises peculiar to the Swedes and other Northern nations, are their running races on sledges, and sailing in yachts, upon the ice; in which they will turn and alter their course, sailing with in­credible swiftness, much beyond any vessel in the water, and with much less danger of oversetting.

Music is esteemed one of the polite accomplishments among the ladies; it is, indeed, almost a general science in this country. Many of their music-masters are held in high repute; and this vocation is thought so honour­able, as to introduce them to all assemblies, with persons of the first distinction.

Among the highlanders, the shepherdesses blow a kind of long trumpet, made of birch-bark, and called in the Swedish language, Lur. This musical instrument is some­times four yards in length, has a strong and sharp sound, and, in calm weather, can be heard at the distance of four or five miles. It is generally used in the woods and mountains, to frighten away wild beasts.

The court at Stockholm is not very brilliant, owing probably to the circumscribed revenue of the crown. Both King and Queen wear the national dress, and at the drawing-room, his Majesty, according to etiquette, salutes every senator's lady. After the King and Queen have paid their compliments to the company, they retire with part of it to an adjacent apartment, and play [Page 6] with them at Trente et quarente, or Ombre. About nine, they withdraw to a public supper. Opposite to their Majesties, at a small distance from the lower end of the table, ranges of tabourets or stools are placed for sena­tors' and ambassadors' wives, no other ladies being per­mitted to sit; so that none below those ranks can make their appearance at these entertainments. A senator here is a privy-counsellor, of which their are 18. During supper the King and Queen talk with the nobility and foreign ministers who stand near them.

The way of dividing the residence of winter and summer, as practised in England, takes place here but in part. Many of the nobility, and richest of the gentry, reside the whole year at Stockholm, scarce ever seeing their estates; others live entirely in the country, seldom, if ever, visiting the capital: some, however, have houses at Stockholm, for the winter season, having a very good house for their summer-residence in the country, decorated with gardens and plantations.

The ordinary salutation of the Swedes is bowing to each other, as in England; but the inhabitants of the northern parts take hold of your right hand, and lay it over their left, making strange faces at the same time. They are immoderately fond of spirituous liquors; quaff their pipes after meals, and push the bottle about, pretty briskly.

[Page 7]It is the etiquette of the country to salute the hand of every lady you are introduced to, but never the cheek, though the men frequently salute the cheek of each other. Mr. Wraxhall gives us an interesting account of an embarrassment he laboured under from this etiquette, he was unaccustomed to in England. Having been ad­mitted frequently into the company of an enchanting, young lady of 20 years of age, with whom he was exceedingly smitten, he longed much to salute her, but knew not how to bring it about; for though a lover or an acquaintance may here take the most unbounded familia­rity with the hand of his mistress, which he may kiss, squeeze, press, or do with, almost whatever he has a mind, yet her lips, nay her very cheek is a palladium, which she guards with unremitting vigilance, and to which neither eloquence or subtlety can usually procure him any access. He was resolved however to try whether he could not surmount this vexatious obstacle, and attain one conquest over this tyranny of prescription. Con­vinced that no address, no contrivance could avail him, without the additional face of authority and example to influence her, he bethought himself of a stratagem, and had already bound his brows with the myrtles he was certain he should gather. "When I bade," says he, "the whole company adieu, I began with the mistress of the mansion, an old lady of 60, who was the aunt of this young lady, and the widow of an English gen­tleman, and returning her my warmest acknowledge­ments for her friendship and hospitality, bowed most [Page 8] respectfully on her hand, which she gave me to salute. And now, Madam, said I, in English, I shall take leave of you in the English style, I am sure you have no objection. So saying, I put my arms about her neck, and kissed her cheek. She was pleased with my gallantry, and said to me, laughingly, "Go and serve Charlotte so." I ad­vanced, elate with joy, and throwing into my at­titude and countenance the utmost humility and suppli­cation, asked if I might not aspire to such an honour. I should not, however, have waited for an explicit con­sent, and was just going to reap the fruit of my intrigue and labour, when she, stepping back hastily two paces, laid her hand on her breast, with an air which implied more than any words could have done, and throwing a look at me of surprize and refusal, Monsieur, said she, Il faut souv nir que je suis Swedoise.—She needed not to be more minute or firm in her determination; I saw that I had undertaken an enterprize above my capacity, and had only to endeavour to retire with honour. I dis­dained all approach to violence, and was resolved, that what I could not receive from her own consent, I would never attempt to seize by compulsion. Her hand she tendered me, and, making a virtue of necessity, I im­printed on it a cold kiss, and bade her farewell. She at­tended me to the gate, and followed me with her eyes, whilst the carriage was in sight."

Marriages in Sweden are totally governed by the will of the parents, and founded so much upon interest, that the inclination of the parties is little regarded, nor is the [Page 9] nation much troubled with the extravagance of lovers. A stolen match is scarce heard of in an age, nor can the church give licence to marry, without publication of banns. Persons of condition of both sexes are seldom married, till they are 30 years of age; because, per­haps, their parents cannot afford to make them a settle­ment suitable to their rank, and, of course, the young couple is not in a situation to maintain a family, till the death of relations or advancement in life enables them so to do. The women are, in general, more eminent for chastity before marriage, than fidelity afterwards. They are very fruitful, and seldom fail of a numerous issue. Among the common people, the wife hath much the worst of it, being put to all the drudgery without doors as well as within, and looks upon herself rather in the light of a servant, than that of a wife.

Domestic quarrels, of course, rarely happen, husbands being as apt to keep the authority in their own hands, as the wives by nature, custom, or necessity, are inclined to be obedient. Divorces and separations scarce ever occur, but among the lower class of people, where the innocent party is permitted to marry again. Cousin-germans cannot marry without the King's dispensation, which is more frequently granted than refused.

In wedding-entertainments they have even affected pomp and supersluity beyond their circumstances; and [Page 10] often, by the excess of this one day, many have involved themselves for years.

The same is observable in their funeral-solemnities, which are usually accompanied with more jollity and feasting then becomes the occasion. And, that they may have more time to make preparations, it is not uncus­tomary to convey the corps to some vault in or near the church, where it shall remain unburied for months, and sometimes for years, rather than disgrace the family by an ordinary funeral. This was more, however, the practice of the last age than the present; these and other unnecessary expences beginning to be laid aside, in conformity to the frugality of the court, and in compliance with their for­tunes, which have been much reduced by taxes and the resumption of great part of their estates by the Crown on one pretence or other.

By the laws of Sweden, the father's estate, whether hereditary or acquired, is divided among his children; every son having an equal share in it, and a daughter half as much as the son. Nor can the father give a greater share to one more than another; unless he can obtain the concurrence of a court of law, through the undutifulness of any of his children; in which case he can only beque [...]th one tenth of his acquired property to such child as h [...] shall think proper. This also reduces the fortune of individuals.

[Page 11]Travelling in Sweden is perfectly commodious to one acquainted with the usual method of procuring horses. At the different towns and villages upon the high roads, post-horses are not always regularly stationed; but if the traveller sends forward to a peasant to appoint relays, at a certain, stipulated place and time, his orders are punctually executed. The usual practice of supplying post-horses is regulated in a manner very convenient and cheap to travellers, yet extremely burthensome to the natives. All persons possessing land of a certain tenure, are bound to send one or more horses, two or three times in the month, to the neighbouring post-house; if they are not wanted, they return, after waiting 24 hours, without any compensation for their labour and loss of time, and if employed, receive a very inadequate recompence. 32 stivers or 10d. English, being only paid in the towns for each horse, for a Swedish mile, equal to two leagues English, and half the above sum for a mile, in the villages; which is not more than one penny, or one penny half-penny sterling, for each horse, per English mile. Mr. Coxe says, that for the distance of 500 miles, from Stockholm to Carlserone, his whole expence, including the prime cost of his cart, (which is the common travelling machine in this country, with two armed chairs fixed on with springs) the hire of post-horses, gratuities to drivers, and accommodations on the road, did not amount to 20l. English, though his Swedish servant occasionally taxed him with want of oeconomy. The drivers, being the peasants themselves, who usually attend with their own horses, [Page 12] are contented with a small acknowledgement of 2d. and 3d. for each post.

One post, says Mr. Coxe, I was driven by a peasant's daughter, and as the roads were, in many parts, exceed­ingly steep, it required some strength, and much dex­terity, to direct the horses and prevent the carriage from being overturned, their harness consisting only of ropes tied together. I proposed that my servant, who was an expert driver, should take the reins; the girl, being offended at my questioning her skill, peremptorily re­jected my proposal, and placing herself in the postillion's seat, drove off, at full speed, governing the horses in such a skilful manner, that she soon quieted my apprehensions, and we arrived at the end of the post, without the slightest alarm; no was I, in future, in the least, apprehensive of trusting myself to the guidance of a Swedish, country girl. The horses here are small, about 3l. English in value each, but lively and active; two were usually the compliment for my cart, and they went generally at the rate of six or seven miles an hour; the postillion never rode, but sat upon a small bench at the extremity of the cart. When more than two horses are harnessed to a carriage, they are all abreast.

To prevent persons from being detained from the wilful negligence of those who are obliged to furnish horses; each traveller signs a book, which is kept for that pur­pose, noting in this book, how long he had been retarded by their neglect. This book is produced at every [Page 13] quarterly meeting of the magistrates, when the offender is punished, according to his deserts.

Considering the many rocks and rugged mountains in this country, the highways are better than can be ima­gined; they are plained and made easy by the peasants, who receive their orders from the governors of the re­spective provinces, from time to time, and obey them punctually; insomuch, that Motraye observes, there are scarce better ways in any country in Europe, nor is there a place where a man travels with more security and less charge; but out of the great roads there are very poor accommodations. The high roads in Sweden wind agreeably through the country, are made with stone or gravel, and are as good as our turnpikes in England, and yet not a single toll is exacted from the traveller. Each landholder is obliged to keep a certain part of the road good, in proportion to his property; and for the purpose of ascertaining their respective portions, small pieces of wood, or stone, numbered, are fixed at different distances, on each side of the way.

Though we have no great reason, says Conset, to com­plain in England of our turnpike roads, yet, nothing with us is to be compared with these. Swamps, morasses, &c. are all made equally good, and their fine woods and gravel-roads, have so beautiful an effect, that the traveller might frequently suppose himself entering the avenue or approach to some great mansion.

[Page 14]When you leave these high roads, the stages are long, and though you meet with much civility, the accommo­dations are but indifferent. If your wine is carried with you, and you have your own horses and attendants, and can ride the whole journey, every peasant's house is open to you, and with the utmost hospitality; and they will, for very trisling rewards, do whatever is in their power to serve you; they will get you fish, wild fowl, and venison, excellent of the kind; with which you may load a horse, from place to place, and, as wine is easily carried, this will remedy every inconvenience.

In winter-time, the most expeditious way of travelling is in their sledges, especially in those parts of the country which abound in lakes and rivers; for these being all frozen, there are no obstacles in their way, and a travel­ler may more readily carry provisions with him in a sledge, than on horseback. And the want of the sun is so well supplied by the brightness of the snow and the clearness of the sky, at this time of year, that travel­ling by night is, as I have observed, as usual as in the day.

In passing from Stockholm to Finland, the Gulph of Bothnia is to be crossed. This passage in summer-time is in vessels, but, about 40 miles from Abo, where the Gulphs of Bothnia and Finland unite, this branch of the sea, being frozen in winter, is crossed in sledges, and the road, on this frozen surface, is marked out by two rows of small t [...]es, placed upright in the ice, as a direction for travellers.

CHAP. IV. Of their Trade, Manufactures, and Revenue.

SWEDEN was, a long time, without any trade or com­merce, and formerly used to be supplied with foreign commodities by the Hans-towns, but, by the state of commerce laid before the diet in 1752, it appears that trade was making great advances. The exports from Sweden are iron, in bars and wrought, other wrought metals, timber, pitch, tar, pot-ash, salt-petre, gun­powder, cobalt, cordage, wooden ware, furs, Morocco leather, as it is called, and dried fish. The imports are grain, flesh, bacon, cheese, butter, tallow, salt, wine, brandy, drugs, hides, hemp, flax, wool, silk, and several foreign manufactures. They now study their commerce so much, as to take pains to improve their agriculture and fisheries, and employ none but Swedish bottoms, to carry on the trade of the kingdom.

The general direction of their trade belongs to the col­lege of commerce, which consists of the president of the treasury, and four counsellors, who hear causes of that nature, and redress any disorder that happens; and the bank of Stockholm is a great benefit to it.

[Page 16]In 1731, an East India Company was established; but this is no more than a society of merchants, who send annually two or three vessels to China; and in 1740, the herrings, which till then had never approached the western shore of Sweden, flocking in shoals to that coast; the inhabitants of Gotheburg, or Gotenburg, established a fishery, which has been attended with considerable ad­vantage. An English consul and several merchants of our nation here reside, and a chapel, with a regular chaplain, is appropriated to their service.

Among the manufactures which they have been eager to establish, is the woollen. They have made some progress in coarse cloths, and begin to work some that are fine; an improvement which has been much owing to their gaining a better breed of sheep from England, and which, with much assiduity, has been dispersed over most parts of the kingdom.

They have also some linen fabricks, in which are wrought both hemp and flax, but these are not nearly sufficient to supply their home-consumption. Of glass and paper they import very little. Hardware is a con­siderable article among them, not in the stile of our Birmingham manufacture, but chiefly in the foundery way. They cast great quantities of cannon, and export them; also balls in great number, and many other articles. They are unrivalled in their iron and copper-mines, which are far more considerable than those of any other [Page 17] country in Europe; so that they apply copper to most of the purposes that we do lead, in England, such as roofing of churches and other buildings. Holland and France are their best customers, but no country pays them so much in money as England. In iron and timber we pay them a balance of some hundred thousand pounds annually. The peasants are chiefly employed in the manufacture of iron and copper, and most forges of iron employ from four to 1400 workmen each. Through­out the country there are many of these forges, and no Cyclops were ever more dexterous in working their materials. I have seen them, says Wraxhall, stand close to, and hammer in their coarse frocks of linen, a bar of ore, as I have before observed the heat and refulgence of which were almost insupportable to me at ten feet distance, and with the sparks of which they were covered from head to foot.

Building ships for foreigners is also a trade among them, and encouraged by government, and they go fair to underfell the English and Dutch in ship-building, by many per cent.

The revenue of Sweden is but small; not above 1,200,000l. a year, nor has it been improved for many years. It arises either out of the demesne lands of the crown, from the customs, the coin, copper and silver mines, tythes which the crown seized at the Reformation, [Page 18] and were before appropriated to bishopricks and monas­teries, poll-tax, fines, stamped paper, and other duties. Of money, they have some gold and silver pieces, but these are very scarce, they having many years since been called in, and the holders of them obliged to exchange them for copper pieces, on which the king stamped an ima­ginary value. They have also bank-notes, so low as one shilling and six-pence each, rising gradually from that sum to very large amounts. It is often diverting to see them come loaded with copper-coin, to give change for a 50 dollar note, equal to 12s. 6d. English; nor can they convert it into current cash by any other means. It is said that Corregio, the painter, caught the fever of which he died, by wheeling home, in a barrow, in a very hot day, the money he had received in payment for one of his pieces, the price having been laid down in copper. Corregio, however, was not a Swede; but the Swedes, till the invention of bank-paper, were accustomed to wheel about their money in barrows. An abundance of copper-coin may be seen also in other countries. In France, among the lower class, such large sums are often paid in copper, that tradesmen will not be at the trouble of counting it, but pay it away, by weight.

CHAP. V. Of their Language, Learning, and Religion.

THE Swedish language, has such an affinity with the Danish and Norwegian dialects, that the inhabitants of the three kingdoms readily understand each other. But Finland and Lapland have dialects of their own; that of the Finlanders is quite different from most of the other northern dialects, but like that of the Laplanders, with which its idiom perfectly agrees, it has a great affinity with the Hebrew.

In Pagan times, the Runic characters were in use here, as appears from the Runensteine, or Runic stones set up near the sepulchres of the dead, which are still to be seen in most of the provinces. Persons of rank at present, speak and write chiefly French and High Dutch.

The Swedish language has so great a resemblance to the English, that a quick English ear may readily com­prehend many expressions in common conversation: The following phrases for example: "Come let us go." —"Let us see."—"Stand still."—"Hold your tongue." —"Go on."—Are thus written in the Swedish tongue:—"Kom let oss go."—"Let oss se."—" Stand still."— [Page 20] Hold din tunga.—Go an. But, they are generally pro­nounced more in the Scotch than the English accent; and Mr. Coxe says, it appeared to him as if the Swedes were talking broad Scotch. Nor is it any matter of wonder; for it is probable that the Scottish mode of speaking is the same as was formerly used in England; and that whilst we have gradually softened our former pronunciation, the Scotch have retained it. With respect to the simila­rity between the Swedish and the English, we may remark that they are both dialects of the Teutonic or German; and if, in the pronunciation, they resemble more each other, than their original stock, it is owing to this circumstance; that we are certainly descended from the Swedes and Danes, whose languages are only different dialects; and the old Saxon, which gave rise to the English, was probably first introduced into our island by settlers, or invaders from these northern kingdoms. There are obsolete, English words, very common in Scot­land; and that the similarity of the English and Swedish was greater formerly than at present, appears from the following anecdote taking from the Swedish history.

Everinus was the first Bishop, by birth an Englishman, he came, in 1026, into Sweden, at the request of King Olaus Scotkonung, in order to assist in converting the natives of Old Upsala to Christianity. The similarity of the English and Swedish languages is mentioned as the motive that first brought him, and afterwards several of his countrymen there as preachers of the Gospel.

[Page 21]In Sweden, the nobility and gentry seem to apply them­selves more to the study of arms than of arts, and to despise an academical education. It is the meanest of the people who resort to their universities to qualify themselves for holy orders. The law also is a contempt­able profession, only taken up by those who know not how otherwise to subsist; but persons of rank have lately exhibited some noble proofs of their munificence for the improvement of literature. They sent Haselquist, the natural philosopher, into the East for discoveries; and Queen Christina purchased his collection of curiosities. Puffendorf, that able civilian, statesman, and historian, was a native of Sweden; and so also was the late cele­brated Linnaeus, who carried certain branches of natural philosophy to the highest pitch; and, in the midst of the late distractions, the fine arts, drawing, sculpture, and architecture were encouraged and protected; and yet, according to Mr. Wraxhall, who made great enquiries on this head, the few artists on which they lavish en­comiums are rather celebrated for their rarity than their greatness or lustre. The knowledge of agriculture, both in theory and practice, is here carried to a considerable height, and we apprehend the general characters of the Swedes being a dull and heavy people, is more owing to the want of opportunity of exerting their talents, than of not having talents to exert.

The public revenue and wealth of Sweden being inti­mately connected with the mines, particularly those of [Page 22] iron, mineralogy has been eminently encouraged and cultivated in that kingdom. To this cause we may in a great measure attribute the acknowledged skill of the Swedish chymists, as superior to those of many other nations. The Swedes have no poets, some have at­tempted poetry in Latin, but have made nothing of it.

Sweden contains three universities, Upsal, Lund, and Abo, and 12 seminaries called Gymnesia, for the educa­cation of youth, six of which are of royal foundation. In every large town there is also a school, maintained at the expence of the crown, in which boys generally con­tinue till they are 11 years old, when they are removed to the Gymnesia, and thence, at about 16, to the universi­ties. In the Gymnesia, and many of the greater schools, the Greek, Latin, and Hebrew languages are taught, and the bishops, in their respective dioceses, where they are obliged to reside, inspect these seminaries and schools.

At the head of the university of Upsal is a chancellor, (always a man of high rank and consequence) chosen by the professors, and confirmed by the King. In his absence the archbishop of Upsal acts for him. It has a court of justice belonging to it, and has about 20 professors, whose salaries are from 70 l. to 100 l. a year.

Youth here do not inhabit any distinct colleges, as in our universities, but lodge in the town, and attend the professors, who have in common no regular dress any [Page 23] more than the students, but, on days of ceremony, wear a black silk cloak. Doctors of divinity are distinguished by a black silk hat; doctors of law by a white one, and those of physic by one of green or sky blue. The average number of students is about 500.

This university is certainly the first seminary of the north, for academical education, and has produced, from the time of its institution, persons eminent in every branch of science. The learned publications which have been given to the world by its members, sufficiently prove the flourishing state of literature in this country. There are very few instances, says Marshall, of a young man understanding the dead languages, and not being, at the same time, master of two or three very useful, living ones, which is more than can be said of our youth in England.

The university-library contains many valuable books and manuscripts, and among the most valuable of the latter, is a copy of the four gospels, supposed to be one of the Gothic translations made by Ulphilas, the apostle of the Goths, in the fourth century: Mr. Coxe examined it, and says, it is a quarto volume, and the letters, all in capitals, painted in silver upon leaves, (whether of vellum, parchment, or papyrus, he knows not) stained violet-colour. The initials of the words, and some few passages are painted in gold, in the same manner as in the finest, missals. Most of the golden characters are become green by time, but the silver letters are in good [Page 24] preservation. This manuscript was first discovered in 1597, in the library of the Benedictine abbey of Wer­den in Westphalia; hence it was transferred to Prague, and thence sent as a present, in 1648, by Count Ko­ningsmark to Queen Christina of Sweden; by her it was given to Isaac Vossius, the Dutchman; and on his death, was purchased for about 250 l. by Count Magnus Gabriel de la Gardïe, and by him presented to the university of Upsal. This copy, undoubtedly a translation from the original Greek, is considered as a work of great autho­rity, and a literary treasure of high antiquity.

The two other universities are on the same plan, but not so numerous.

The Royal Society at Upsal is the oldest, literary aca­demy of that kind in the north, and was instituted in 1720. They have also a Royal Academy of Sciences at Stockholm, and an academy for the Polite Arts at Drot­ningholm.

The established religion of this country is Lutheranism; the reformation as well as in Denmark and Norway, be­ginning soon after the neighbouring parts of Germany had imbibed the tenets of Luther. All orders of men here agree in a constant attendance on divine service, and a zeal for their own way, without any nice enquiries into disputable points, either of their own faith, or that of other churches. They are surprizingly uniform and [Page 25] unremitting in matters of religion, and they will suffer the religious exercise of any dissenting Protestants; and it is said have such an aversion to popery, that castration is the fate of every Roman-catholic priest there discovered; nay, they go such lengths, says Motraye, that they will not admit any dissenter to reside among them; nor would they give a chaplain of the English ambassador christian burial, nor suffer the English to read their funeral service at the grave, though at that time, which was in 1720, the English fleet was their only security against the ravages of the Muscovites. The Archbishop of Upsal was con­sulted on this point, and went so far as to prohibit the Swedish clergy assisting at the funeral, or carry him to the grave, as they do a departed brother.

But, notwithstanding their great aversion to popery, we learn from Conset, who was there in 1786, that with respect to outward splendor, they adopt the Popish mode of worship. The priest, in approaching the altar, puts on a rich embroidered cope, and officiates accord­ing to many Roman-catholic customs. Above the altar-table, in St. Nicholas's church at Stockholm, is the ascension of our Saviour, represented in solid gold, inlaid with silver of most exquisite workmanship, and many crucifixes of solid gold and silver about it. After ser­vice, rigid as they are in it, they go to plays, operas, and all kinds of amusements. They have music in their churches, and such as inspires the mind with religious awe.

[Page 26]The religion of Finland, and that of Lapland, is Lutheran.

The church is governed by an archbishop and 14 bishops, who are not troubled with the administration of secular affairs, but are obliged to reside in their dioceses, except at the meeting of the diet. Their revenues are very moderate, the archbishopric of Upsal not being more than 1000 l. a year; the bishopricks from 300 l. to 400 l. Under the bishops are three superin­tendants, with episcopal powers and authority; these are the King's first chaplain, the rector of St. Nicholas in Stockholm, and the first chaplain of the navy. Over each 10 churches is a rural dean. The churches in Sweden and Finland are short in number of 2000, and the clergy, all together, do not exceed 4000, all the sons of peasants, or mean burghers, whose incomes are small, arising from glebe-land, and one third of the tithes; the king having the other two.

The clergy of each diocese, on the death of their bishop, propose three persons to the King, and he no­minates one to succeed; the same in the choice of the superintendants; but on the election of the archbishop, all the chapters have a vote; the determination, however, is in the King. His Majesty has the patronage of most churches, some few only being in the disposal of the nobility. Many of their churches are adorned with sculptures, painting, gilding, &c. all are kept neat and [Page 27] clean, and furnished as well in country as city, with rich altar-cloths, copes, and other vestments.

Foreign ministers enjoy the free exercise of their reli­gion in their own families, but no one else. The chil­dren of strangers must be baptized by Lutheran ministers, and educated in their religion, or they have not the pri­vileges of Swedish subject.

If any Swedish subject changes his religion, he is banished, and loses his property. If any one continues excommunicated above a year, he is imprisoned a month, fed on bread and water, and then banished; and if any one brings into the country teachers of another religion, he is fined and banished.

CHAP. VI. Of their Government, Forces, and Laws.

THE form of the Swedish government has been often changed. Before the year 1772, says Coxe, it consisted of 51 articles, all tending to abridge the power of the crown, and render the Swedish monarchy the most limited in Europe; but in the revolution [Page 28] of 1772, the King threw off his shackles, and by com­pulsion made himself absolute master of his empire. The whole executive power is vested in him; and though he has a senate, or privy-council, consisting of 18 members, with a salary of 300 l. each, he is perfect master of that senate, can appoint and remove all the members of it, and is not bound to follow their advice, further than he likes. He has the command both of army and navy, nominates to all civil offices, has the sole power of con­vening and dissolving the states, is not obliged to assemble them but when he pleases, has rendered the taxes per­petual, enjoys a fixed revenue, and has the entire disposal of the public money; but though such are his peroga­tives, yet he has no power to enact or alter laws, raise money, declare war, or alter the coin, without the consent of the states, and if called upon by them, when convened, is obliged to account for the expenditure of the public money.

The diet, in which the supreme authority resides, is composed of the King and four estates of the people, convened in four houses. 1. the nobles; 2. the clergy; 3. the citizens; and 4. the peasants.

1. The house of nobles is divided into three; counts, barons, and untitled nobility. A family once enobled, continues so throughout all its branches, and all have the same general privileges. The King can create new nobility, but in this he is limited in number. They [Page 29] must not exceed in all 1350. The head of each noble family in the direct line, is, by birth, a member of this house, and represents his whole family. If he happens to be a senator, it incapacitates him from a seat in the house of nobles, but he can transfer his seat to another noble; and can vote by proxy. England is the only country in Europe, says Mr. Charles Sheridan, where the distinction of noble and not noble is carried no further than the nature of the government requires; because there the nobility do not, as such, form a distinct class from the rest of the nation; it being only the head of each noble family, who is there entitled to the honours and privileges of the peerage: it is not the man who can count a long train of titled ancestors, but the hereditary legislator, who is himself noble. The younger branches of noble families in England are soon lost in the general mass of people; and thus become a link con­necting the interests of the two classes, and forming a chain, no part of which can be touched, without affect­ing, as it were, by an electrical communication, all the rest. In countries where a person ennobled can transmit his honours to all his posterity, there is no such link of connection, but on the contrary a line is drawn be­tween them to perpetuity, a line which cuts the chain of society in two, the severed ends of which appear rather to repel, than attract each other.

2. The house of the clergy consists of the 14 bishops, the archbishop at their head, and a certain number of [Page 30] clergymen chosen by the clerical body in each archdea­conry; the number is from 50 to 80.

3. The house of the citizens consists of about 200 members, chosen by certain staple towns, of which there are in Sweden 104.

4. The house of peasants consists of about 100 mem­bers, such as we should call yeomen; men who hold small farms of their own, or of the crown, and who cultivate such farms themselves. This description in­cludes only those whose ancestors were also farmers, and does not entitle either nobles, citizens, or even country-gentlemen, though they may purchase the peasant's estate, either to vote or be returned a member. And it is said the King has made a late regulation, that none but such peasants shall hold any office under government.

The constituents of each house allow their represen­tatives a daily sum from 15s. English, to 5s. a day, during their attendance at the diet.

By the above mode of representation we see, that the country-gentlemen, be their landed property ever so large, are not represented in the diet, have no vote for members, and cannot be chosen themselves; men uni­versally allowed the most respectable, and incorrupt part of the body politic, whilst mechanics and farmers possess this important privilege.

[Page 31]The states of the kingdom thus composed, assemble at Stockholm; the business of the state, and the enaction of laws is carried on much the same as in our parliament in England. When the different houses have resolved on any law, they attend the king in his palace, and go, in procession, from the several places in the city where they assemble. The town-guard turns out under arms as they pass. The first noble, venerable in age, and dressed in the court-fashion precedes; the rest of the nobility walk in pairs; then the archbishop of Upsal, with a gold chain about his neck; the other bishops and clergy, two and two; next the chief magistrate of Stockholm at the head of the burghers; and lastly, the poor peasants, the sin­gularity of whose apparel and lank hair, form a remarka­ble contrast with those of the other houses; but though appearances do not favour these people, they are far from being deficient in the politicks of their own coun­try; are firm in opinion; not to be bribed or biassed, but adhere strictly to the welfare and credit of their nation. The Swedes boast of having formed their diet on the model of the English parliament; if they did they have improved it; for it would be happy for this country, if we could boast of the same integrity.

The King's titles are King of the Goths and Vandals, great Prince of Finland, Duke of Schonem; Prince of Rugen, Lord of Ingermanland and Wismar, Prince Palatine the Rhine, Duke of Bavaria; Cleves, Bergen, Pomeran, [Page 32] &c. and in this country there are three orders of knight-hood; the North Star, consisting of 24 members; the order of Vasa, and that of the Sword, created at the last revolution.

Sweden had a greater extent of territory than at present. In the course of this century it has lost Livonia, Ingermannland, and a considerable part of Fin­land; and the Russians are endeavouring to deprive it of the remainder of that country. It has lost also the duchy of Bremen, and particularly of Verden, the city of Stettin in Pomerania, and the districts lying between the Oder and Pene, together with the islands of Wollin and Usedom, and the duchy of Deux Ponts. Of its former conquests it still retains Bohus Lehn, a tract of land in Norway, part of Upper Pomerania, the island of Rugen, and the town of Wismar.

The Swedish army is divided into national militia, and regiments in garrison. The latter are on the German footing, are composed of natives and foreigners, pro­perly enlisted and paid in money. The militia are fur­nished by the several districts of the kingdom. Each holder of a certain quantity of crown-land, called a Hemman, worth about 60l. a year, provides a soldier, assigns for his maintenance a small portion of ground, a cottage, and a barn, and allows him 100 copper-dol­lars a year, that is, 1l. 7s. 8d. 3f. English; a susit of coarse cloaths, and two pair of shoes. When this sol­dier [Page 33] is on duty, the landholder cultivates his ground; but when he is not on duty, the landholder may call on him to work, at the rate of a common labourer, which is about 3d. English per day. On the death of a soldier the ground and house goes to his successor. Of the cavalry, a man and a horse is furnished by a certain number of hemmans, and by them maintained. Each province being divided into a number of hemmans suf­ficient to support a regiment; the smaller provinces furnish the regiments of infantry, and the larger those of cavalry. Each regiment, from 1000 to 1600 men, of which 96 are officers. The estate appropriated to the colonel by the King, as his pay, is in value about 300l. a year, lies in the center of the province, and of the ground assigned to his regiment; that of a captain, in the midst of those belonging to his company; and in a similar gradation to the corporal, whose allotment is 13, 899 square yards. In time of peace, they are called out to exercise three weeks in every year, at which time the landholder is obliged to transport the man and his baggage, and defray his expences during his stay. They are also exercised, in small parties, every Sunday after service. If it be time of war, when these troops are marched out of the kingdom, the crown pays the men, and re­ceives the contribution, from the landholders. In 1779, the army consisted of 12, 700 regular troops, and 34, 800 militia, in the whole 47, 500 men. The King's body­guard consists of a troop of halbardiers, and amounts to 136 men, who all rank as cornets.

[Page 34] Marshal, who was there in 1770, says, the army was well-disciplined, and sufficient for the defence of the kingdom, against any force that is likely to march against it, for that Sweden has nothing to fear but from Russia; but Conset, who saw an encampment of Swedish soldiers in 1786, says, they made a very indifferent, military ap­pearance; from the awkwardness and apparent want of discipline, he took them for some new-raised Lapland militia. He took a view also of the Swedish ordnance, which were then exercising for a review; and says, it would be too humiliating to draw a comparison between what he saw and the English artillery. The soldiers, in general, looked old and inactive; their regimentals are bad and unbecoming, especially those of the officers, which are both whimsical, gaudy, and ridiculously orna­mented with ribbons, dyed feathers, &c.

Wraxball was present at a review in 1774, and gives the following account of it. It was at Abo in Finland, in a large park, about an English mile without the gates of the city, a place, from its irregularity of ground, finely adapted for a martial entertainment. The rising parts of it are covered with small woods of fir, and it is divided by a branch of die Lake Meler, over which is a floating bridge. The King of Sweden commanded about two regiments, mostly infantry; his younger brother had under him near 1000 troops, horse and foot. They were entirely ignorant of each others motions; his majesty only endea­vouring to surround the inferior army, and the prince [Page 35] exerting his endeavours to effect a secure retreat. The King, dressed in his uniform, was mounted on a cream-coloured horse, and appeared as much animated and in­terested in this essay of arms, as he could have been on a day of battle. It was about five in the evening, on the 21st of June, when it began. I cannot pretend to pur­sue the two generals, says he, through their different manoeuvres, which passed in too rapid a succession, and were of two intricate and uncertain a nature to admit of a minute description. The result was, however, favourable to the King; his brother having neglected to seize on a post which might have commanded a retreat, found his error too late, and when he would have availed himself of this passage, discovered, that his rival troops were already in possession of it, having crossed the river in boats for that purpose. After having endeavoured, in vain, to force them from this post, he formed his infantry into a hollow square, and maintained a brisk fire, on all sides, for a con­siderable time; but finding himself surrounded by a much superior body of forces, and no possibility of escape, he delivered up his sword to the King, and his soldiers became prisoners of war. His cavalry had, however, seized on a small, but most advantageous, spot, and, unter­rified by the fate of their companions, refused to sur­render, and demanded permission to march off the ground with all military honours; and their fate was not decided when Mr. Wraxhall left die spot, at 11 o'clock at night. It was, he says, a very elegant and gallant diversion, finely adapted to cultivate and practise the operations [Page 36] of a campaign, and keep alive the knowledge of war, even in the midst of profound peace.

Their principal magazines of arms are at Stockholm, and the castle of Jioncoping, towards the confines of Den­mark. There are no fortified places in the heart of Sweden, except the castle of Jioncoping, but there are some on the frontiers, particulaily in Finland.

Their rocks are a better defence then either walls or bastions; it is but guarding their passes, and no enemy can penetrate far into their country. On the frontiers, to­wards Norway, there are some little forts, and the castle of Bohus, situated on a rock in the midst of a deep river, a little above the city of Gothenburg, at the entrance of the Sound; with the town that lies upon the sea, opposite Denmark, and in one place is not more than four miles across, are places of strength. Carlscroon, where the royal navy is laid up, and Calmer upon the eastern coast, over against the island of Oeland are fortified; there are two small forts, at the entrance of the harbour of Stockholm, and on the north, they are sufficiently covered by the snowy mountains of Lapland.

The war-office, or college, has the direction of the military forces, &c. An academy has been erected for instructing young gentleman in fortification, &c. A college of invalids is founded, at Wadstena, for 28 field-officers, 19 subalterns, and 22 privates, who are [Page 37] there provided with every necessary. Besides these, above 500 field-officers, as many subalterns, and 4000 privates have pensions.

Sweden abounds in all kinds of naval stores, and has a navy distributed in three ports, Carlscroon, Gottenburg, and Stockholm. The whole fleet, in 1779, consisted of about 30 ships of the line, including those of 40 guns, and 15 frigates, besides galleys, prames, and xebecs; but, as several were out of repair, they could only be reckoned at 20 ships of the line and 10 frigates.

The seamen belonging to government are registered, and amount to 18, 000; some of these receive pay in money, and others are supported as the national militia, by small allotments of land, in the islands and on the sea coasts. Of these 18, 000 sailors, only 6000 are experi­enced seamen, the rest are mere peasants; but, in emer­gencies, the sailors of merchantmen are pressed, in ex­change for registered seamen.

Sweden is not only divided into counties and provinces, but the whole kingdom is again divided into 25 govern­ments, over each of which is placed a Landshofding, or governor, like our lord-lieutenant and sheriff; to him the execution of the judicial sentences is committed, the collection of the revenue in his government, and the care of the forests and crown-lands.

[Page 38]The supreme court of justice, is a court of appeal, from other civil courts, where the matter in dispute amounts to 70l. and upwards. There is a court under this, and in every corporation and district, there is a court of justice, with a standing or continued jury of 12 men, to decide all facts; and in every diocese they have an ecclesiastical court.

They have four, superior, national courts called Hof-Raett; one at Stockholm for Sweden proper, one at Lind­ [...]oping for Gothland, one at Abo for South Finland, and another at Vasa, for North Finland; and no sentence of death, passed by an inferior court, can be carried into execution, unless ratified by these tribunals.

The inferior tribunals are a kind of assizes, held three times a year, under the county judges, and the 12 stand­ing jurymen are 12 peasants appointed for life, seven of whom form a court. The judge, in criminal cases, asks their opinion, but they are generally so ignorant as to give a verdict agreeable to the opinion of the judge, and so little are they thought of, that any man remarkable for his indolence and inattention is commonly said to be as sleepy as a juryman.

Law-suits, about property, are soon decided, for all sales and mortages of estates are registered; nor is a law­suit very expensive; the greatest charge is their stamped paper, on which the process is written, from 2d. to 7s. [Page 39] a sheet, according to the value of the matter in dispute. Every man may plead his own cause; no counsel is ad­mitted; indeed, so contemptible is the practice of the law, that no gentleman will undertake it.

The usual modes of execution are beheading and hang­ing; every capital convict may petition the King, and so mild are the penal laws, that several offences which, in other countries, are considered as capital, are punished here by whipping, never to exceed 120 stripes; feeding on bread and water for 28 days; imprisonment and hard labour. Here is no torture; and all prosecutions for crimes are carried on at the public charge.

Duelling, where one of the parties is killed, is pu­nished with the death of the survivor, and if neither fall, both suffer two years imprisonment, pay a fine of 1000 crowns, and live the two years on bread and water. The national courts act as courts of honour, and when any one has received an affront, usually order the offending party to beg pardon pub­lickly.

CHAP. VII. Of Swedish Lapland.

I HAVE already spoken of Swedish Lapland in the first volume of this work; but shall take this opportunity of saying, that since the plates were engraved for that volume, I have been able to a procure more accurate description of the rein-deer, a drawing of which from life is given in the view of the entrance to the city of Upsal.

Mr. Conset has also favoured us with the translation of a Lapland song, which is presumed my readers will be pleased with. There are two elegant odes in No 366 and 406 of the Spectator; but they do not disgrace the following:

The snows are dissolving on Tornao's rude side,
And the ice of Lulhea flows down the dark tide,
Thy dark stream, oh Lulhea, flows freely away,
And the snow-drop unfolds her pale beauties to day.
Far off the keen terrors of Winter retire,
And the North's dancing streamers relinquish their fire,
The sun's genial beams swell the buds on the tree,
And Enna chaunts forth her wild warblings with glee.
The rein-deer unharness'd in freedom shall play,
And safely o'er Od [...]n's steep precipice stray;
The wolf to the forest's recesses shall sly,
And howl to the moon, as she glides through the sky.
Then haste, my fair Luah, oh haste to the grove,
And pass the sweet season in rapture and love;
In youth let our bosoms in extacy glow,
For the winter of life ne'er a transport can know.

The accounts given by Mr. Coxe and Conset, who were there lately, confirm those we have already given, of course, shall refer my readers to them; observing only with respect to the rein-deer, that they castrate them when young, that they are weak in the back, and cannot carry any great weight, that they can rarely draw more than one person in a sledge, that they will travel almost the whole day without food, and that their common pace is about four miles an hour; if pressed, they will go from 70 to 84 English miles a day, but such hard drawing generally destroys them.

In the desarts between Tornao and Cape Nord, M. Maupertuis tells us, that when he was there, in July, 1736, he was much tormented with great flies with green heads; that at this time of the year they are so insufferable as to drive the Laplanders and their rein-deer from their habi­tations, to seek shelter on the sea-coasts. These flies fetch blood wherever they fix. At the foot of the moun­tain [Page 42] Horrila [...]eo they were still more merciless, and were not to be driven off with smoke, for the natives defend themselves from these flies by great fires. These insects, continues he, poisoned our victuals also; no sooner was a dish of meat served up, but it was covered with them, whilst another swarm, with all the rapaciousness of birds of prey, were fluttering about, to carry off some pieces of mutton that were dressing for us.

A word or two on their Lapland magic, and I have done. Motraye having seen a good deal of their tricks, says, if there is any such science as magic, it must not be looked for among the Laplanders, who labour under the grossest ignorance. The magic ascribed to these people, has ever been looked upon as supernatural and diaboli­cal, though it appears to be nothing more than a feigned, enthusiastic fit, accompanied with some strokes on their drum, and other trifling ceremonies. Motraye thinks it may be said of these enchanters, as a famous physician said of a woman who pretended to be possessed; "much is owing to nature, more to design; but nothing at all to the devil." When the Laplanders were first seen at a distance, cloathed from head to foot in hairy skins, it revived the antiquated fables of fawns and satyrs, espe­cially as they seemed to fly from those who approached them, and might, with some propriety, be said to have wings upon their feet; for, with their wooden skidders, they skid over the snows and ice, swifter then the fleetest horse can run, and, to this day, they fly from men they see [Page 43] in a strange dress. How natural was it for persons then who first visited this country, though but moderately tinctured with superstition, to look upon the natives as creatures of another species; and with the additions which their fancies might create, as inhabitants of another world, or at least conversant with those of the lower regions; though, at this day, we find them to be men like ourselves, differing from us only in their habits, and some other circumstances, occasioned by their situation, as the difference of the climate and so on.

Though many princes and ecclesiastics have shewn themselves very zealous for the extirpation of witchcraft, and have, upon incompetent evidence, condemned some poor wretches to suffer for this pretended crime; yet none could ever yet demonstrate that they entertained any commerce with the devil. There have been those, who would have given themselves to the devil, in the most solemn manner, in hopes of finding their account in it, and have been convicted of the intention, but none of them ever succeeded in their design. For exam­ple, Baron L—s, a Danish officer, who was in pri­son some years since at Stockholm, on a charge of having sold himself by contract to the devil, on condition he would direct him how to procure a sum of money which he wanted, and to that end had, with his own blood, signed a bond, by which he and some others of his ne­cessitous companions transferred their souls to Satan, after their death, on condition that he would be propitious to [Page 44] them in this particular. But neither the baron, nor any of his friends finding any benefit by the conveyance they had made of themselves to the old gentleman, though they went in the night to gibbets and burying-places, to invoke and treat with him on this head; one of them observing that no voice was heard, or apparition ap­proached, to deliver them from their distress, determined to do for himself, what the devil would, or could, not do for him; and accordingly soon after robbed and murdered a man, for which he was apprehended and executed; when he confessed the arts they had used, as above, to supply their necessities, and the original bond was found torn to pieces in Baron L—'s chamber.



CHAP. I. Of the Country, &c.

IF we consider the extent of the dominions of the King of Denmark, we may reckon him one of the greatest in Europe; but if we look to the importance and value of them, the kingdom may be considered as even less than Portugal.

His titles are King of Denmark and Norway, of the Goths and Vandals, Duke of Sleswick and Holstein, Stormar and Ditmarsh, Earl in Oldenburgh and Delmenhurst, all which countries he actually possesses, either in whole or in part; so that except the title of the Goths and Vandals, equally enjoyed by the King of Sweden, and which the Crown of [Page 46] Denmark has retained ever since it was master of Sweden, (as we in England do that of France), all the rest are sub­stantial titles.

Denmark is bounded on all sides by the sea, except one small neck of land, where it joins to Holstein. The Ger­man ocean washes it on the west and north-west, the en­trance into the Baltic, called the Categate, on the north and north-east; the Baltic on the east, and river Eyder on the south, which is supposed to have been the boundary of the Roman empire, and which having its source very near the east sea, takes its course westward, and falls into the ocean at Toningten, a strong town of the duke of Holstein Gottorp. So that if a canal was made about 12 English miles long, from this river to Kiel, it would be a perfect island; but in this account the duchy of Holstein is not included, one half of which belongs only to Denmark, and the other half to the Duke of Holstein Gottorp.

Such a canal is now almost completed, designed to form a junction between the Baltic and German ocean. From its beginning, to the deep water in the river Eyder, into which it opens, the distance is about 20 English miles. The expence of this cut, as it is under­taken by contract, is about 200,000l. The breadth of the canal at top is 100 feet, at bottom 54 feet, the lowest depth of water 10 feet, and in the whole length there are six sluices. Common merchantmen of about 120 tuns burden will be here able to pass and save a long, [Page 47] circuitous voyage round the extremity of Jutland, as may be seen by the map, and in which vessels are liable to be detained by contrary winds. Indeed this round-about navigation is so tedious, that goods shipped at Copenhagen for Hamburgh, are not unusually sent to Lubec by sea, and from thence by land to Hamburgh; but by this canal, a vessel may pass immediately from the Baltic into the German ocean, and proceed, without un­loading, to Hamburgh or Holland.

All Denmark, as it is bounded, lies in length between 54 degrees 45 minutes, and 58 degrees 15 minutes north latitude; its breadth is no where proportionable, but, at a large computation, it may be reckoned two-thirds the size of Ireland.

The kingdom of Norway, which belongs to the Crown of Denmark, has been already treated of in the first vo­lume of this work.

Holstein, which includes Ditmarsh and Stormar, is bounded by the duchy of Sleswick on the north, the duchy of Saxe Lawenburg on the south-east, the river Elbe on the south-west, and the rest of it is washed by the German ocean and Baltic sea. It is between latitudes and 55 54 north.

Oldenburgh and Delmenhurst are two counties in Ger­many, that lie together, detached from all the territories [Page 48] of Denmark. The two rivers Elbe and Weser, and the duchy of Bremen interposing between them and Holstein. They are bounded on the north-east by the Weser, on the west by East Friezland and the County of Embden, and on the south, by part of the bishoprick of Munster. They are a small territory of about 35 English miles in diameter, the middle of which is in the latitude of 53 degrees 30 minutes.

The rest of the King of Denmark's territories, not men­tioned in the enumeration of his titles, are the islands of Faro, Iceland, and Greenland, in the north sea; the islands of St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix, with some of the C [...]bb [...]e islands in the West Indies; the town of Tran­quebar with its territories, and the island of Nicobar on the coast of Coromandel in Asia, and the citadel of Chris­tianburg on the coast of Guinea in Africa. The north sea islands have been described in Vol. I. the colonies detached will be spoken of hereafter; we shall now only speak of what is properly called Denmark, which consists of two large, and several small islands, with the penin­sula of Jutland.

Jutland is the largest and most fertile country, but the islands are more considerable, on account of their situa­tion, particularly Zealand, because Copenhagen, the capi­tal of the empire is the [...]e seated, and the famous passage of the Sound is bordered by its shore. I will begin then with Zealand.

[Page 49]Zealand is the largest of all the Danish islands, it is nearly of a circular form, and is about 700 English miles round. The soil is fertile, producing no bread-corn except rye, but yields plentiful crops of fine oats and barley. There are but few meadows in it, and yet there is no want of good hay, most of their grass, which is short and sure, growing by the sides of their corn-fields, or in scattered spots of marshy grounds. It has no rivers, nor above half a score brooks capable of turning a mill; but to supply the deficiency of water there is a great number of fine lakes, sufficiently stored with fish. A gentleman remarkable for his wit, speaking of this island, replied in French, to Mr. Wraxhall, who asked him if the country was pleasant and agreeable; Monsieur il n'y a sur cette isle, ni montagne, ni riviere; mais pour des lacs; grace à Dieu, il y en assez. It is very flat, but well scattered with woods of oak and beech, and cultivated with great industry. By the great number of tumuli scattered on all sides, says Mr. Wraxhall, I thought myself sometimes on some of the Wiltshire or Hampshire downs. These tumuli resemble, in size and appearance, those in England, and are probably ancient Saxon sepulchres, but this is only conjecture, as none of them have been opened. There are also, and likewise in Sleswick and Holstein, several collections of stones set up in a circular form, some of which are very large, and resemble those at Stonehenge in Wilts, though on a smaller scale, of the origin of which the Danes are totally ignorant.

[Page 50]Mr. Coxe observed many such in the West Gothland in Sweden, between Lalange and Lidkioping, some in a rough state, a few hewn flat and broad, and others re­sembling pillars, pointed at top in the rudest manner. The peasants in Sweden call them Gothic stones, and say they were erected by the Goths, whom they represent as a race of giants formerly inhabiting these countries.

The whole island is divided into 16 distinct counties, called ampts, or prefectures, and contains two cities, Copenhagen and Roskild.

The air in and about Copenhagen is but indifferent, owing to its low situation and the frequent fogs; yet owing to the pureness of their firing, which is beech-wood, colds of the lungs are very rare. Near a fourth part of Zea­land is forest, lying open for the King's hunting and his game, flags, wild-boars, roe-bucks, &c. The face of the land is pleasant in many places, abounding with little hills, fine verdure, woods and lakes, with a very agreeable diversity. For sea-ports, that most excellent one of Copenhagen must make amends for want of them, not only in this, but among other of the islands; there being few others capable of harbouring a vessel of 200 tons burden. But this is not a sensible want, as there are no commodities in this island to export.

Here, and in all Denmark are but two seasons of the year, winter and summer. Spring and autumn are sel­dom [Page 51] known, the spring never. There is an imme­diate transition from heat to cold, and from cold to heat. During the three months of June, July, and August, the heat is much more intense than in England, and very sultry in the night, but 'tis a gloomy heat, an interposi­tion of thick vapours being perceived before the sun. In Copenhagen for these three months they are plagued with flies, which they endeavour to destroy by a poisoned water; in the laying of which in their kitchens and chambers, whole bushels of red flies may be swept toge­ther in one room.

The next island to Zealand in size is Funen. The dio­cese of Funen includes the islands of Langeland, Laaland, Falster, and some others. It has two governors; Funen and Langeland are under the one, Laaland and Falster under the other.

The island of Funen lies between the great and little belt, is, according to Busching 10 geographical miles long and nine broad. His geographical mile is about six miles English. It is so fertile and pleasant, that most of the noble families in the kingdom have resided here for many years. The lands are as well cultivated as in most of the counties in England, some inclosed with low, neatly kept hedges, and the open parts all under tillage.

[Page 52]Funen has no mountains or rocks, but consists of gentle hills and declivities, with fine spreading vales; some of the higher grounds prettily topped with woods, and there being many rivulets, the whole country is beautiful, and resembles many agreeable tracts in England. There is plenty of good pastures and meadows, and numerous herds of black cattle and hogs. The capital city of this diocese is Odense in Funen.

Langeland is seven geographical miles long from north to south, and one broad; very fertile, and is a county of itself, containing seven parishes.

Laaland is seven and a half geographical miles long, and three broad, and is the most fertile spot in all Denmark; but as the country lies low, the soil is damp, and the air unwholesome. The nobility here are numerous, and have very fine seats and large estates.

The island of Falster, in soil, &c. resembles the two described above; it is six geographical miles long, three wide in the north, and only one towards the south, and is two leagues distant from Zealand. It may be called the orchard of Denmark, for it yields abundance of fruit and all sorts of game. This island is commonly the dowry of the Queens of Denmark. It has a medicinal spring.

[Page 53]Amack is a small island joined to the city of Copenhagen by two bridges, one of these a drawbridge; it is a geogra­phical mile and a half in length, or, according to Coxe, four English miles long and two broad, quite level, with­out woods, except a few thickets. As the soil is so un­commonly rich and fertile, it is considered as the kitchen-garden and storehouse of the city; it is laid out in gar­dens and pastures, the inhabitants supplying Copenhagen market twice a week with vegetables, milk, butter, and cheese. It is divided into two parishes, and peopled with about 800 families; the descendants of some north Hollanders, invited to settle here by Christian II. in 1516, at the request of his queen, who was a native of the Netherlands, and who were brought here to make butter and cheese for the court. The island contains nine villages.

The Amackers still retain the habit, language, and custom of their predecessors, with all their cleanliness and industry, nor will they intermarry with the Danes. Their district is a medley of Low Dutch, German, and Danish, and the ministers speak in Low Dutch as well as Danish. Part of the city of Copenhagen, called Christian Shafen stands on the isle of Amack. The inhabitants have their own inferior tribunal, but, in capital offences, are amenable to the King's Court of Justice at Copenhagen. The old national Friezland habit is still in use amongst them. It resembles the habit of the ancient quakers, as represented in the pictures of the Dutch and Flemish [Page 54] painters. The men wear broad, trimmed hats, black jackets, fall glazed breeches of the same colour, loose at the knee and tied round about the waist. The women are in black jacket, and petticoats, with a piece of blue glazed cloth bound on their heads.

Jutland, part of the ancient Cimbrica Chersonesus, is the largest part of the kingdom, and may be computed at two thirds of the whole. It is divided into two Stifts [...], or principal governments. This and the duchy of Sleswick, form a peninsula, the north part of which is Jutland. It is 38 geographical miles long, and from between 15 to 20 broad, and of all the territories be­longing to Denmark yields the greatest revenue; the middle part of it, excepting a few spots of arable land, is nothing but heath and moor, which, however, afford good pasture for oxen, sheep, and goats; but the other parts, which are of greater extent, are exceedingly fertile, the inhabitants annually exporting large quantities of grain to Sweden, Norway, and Holland, and also lean oxen, bacon, and hogs; so that Jutland is called the land of bacon and rye-bread. It yields also great plenty of sea-fish and river-fish, having many fresh-water lakes. The chief b [...]gs and gulf [...] are on the east side of the peninsula, and of these the principal is the gulf of Lym, called Lymsurt, which runs from the Categate, 20 geo­graphical miles into land, widening as it goes, and form­ing many small islands. It is navigable, and abounds with fish, and, as the west side of Jutland, is separated [Page 55] from the north sea only by a narrow tract of land. There are other gulphs that form good harbours.

Jutland is every where interspersed with hills and emi­nencies, and on the east with fine woods of oak, beech, fir, birch, &c. but the west side not being so woody, the inhabitants burn turf and heath for fuel. Here is also great plenty of game. The air is rather keen and cold. The Jutlanders are of a robust, vigorous constitution, and resolute temper, and seem to have raised themselves to a state of freedom superior to that of the other inhabi­tants of Denmark. Many of the Jutland peasants have freeholds, for which they pay only a small acknowledg­ment to the lord of the manor, and the public taxes. But the Danish language is spoken here with less purity and elegance than in the other provinces, and the Jutlanders have also a particular accent. It has four chief cities, Aalborg, Wiborg, Aarhuus, and Ripen, which are all bishops sees.

The duchy of Sleswick is called South Jutland. It is divided from the duchy of Holstein, and consequently from the German empire, by the rivers Eyder and Lewens, which are its south boundaries; has the Baltic on the east, the north sea on the west; extends from Rensburgh to Koldingen, about 18 geographical miles in length, and in breadth from eight to 14. It is a fiat country, and plentifully supplied with corn, cattle, and fish.

[Page 56]The inhabitants are a mixture of Danes, Juts, Lower Saxons, and Friesians; besides these there are Hollanders settled in Frederickstadt, and Flemings in Northstrand, which occasions a variety of dialects in this country. The German language is spoken in many places, and divine service is performed in High Dutch.

Lutheranism is the prevailing religion in this duchy, except at Frederickstadt where all sects are tolerated. On the island of Nordstrand, the Roman-catholicks have a parish-church and a chapel.

The island of Nordstrand lies on the north sea, and was formerly three Danish miles long and a mile broad. It was inhabited by savage Friesians, contained 22 parishes, and abounded in cattle and corn. It has been ever subject to inundations, but on the 11th of October, 1634, about 10 at night, the whole island was over­flowed, and the impetuosity of the waves was so great, that 6,408 persons, 1,332 houses, 30 windmills, six steeples, and 50,000 head of cattle were washed away by the sea. In Eiderstedt, besides 664 houses, in­volved in the same ruin, 2,107 persons, 6,100 head of cattle, and 6,738 sheep and hogs perished at the same time. Of all Nordstrand nothing now remains but one small parish, which owed its safety to the height of its situation.

[Page 57]It must be remarked as a great natural defect of the kingdom of Denmark, that throughout the whole there is not one river navigable for vessels of any considerable burden, unless we reckon the Elbe, which is rather the boundary of the kingdom than belonging to it.

That part of the duchy of Sleswick which runs from Rensburgh through Sleswick to Hadersleve, from whence we cross the little belt, which is nine English miles over; this part of the duchy is well cultivated, is, in general, flat and open, but occasion­ally exhibits variegated landscapes, of heath, arable land, and pasture, enclosed with quickset hedges, and studded with beech and oak. The farms have an ap­pearance of great neatness, and there are many ranges of new cottages lately erected at the expence of the Crown for colonists. These cottages are spacious, and resemble those of Westphalia, containing, under the same roof, a large barn with divisions for cattle, and two rooms at the fur­ther end for the family. Each family is supplied with ploughs, carts, and other necessary implements of hus­bandry, two horses, and a pension for three years.

Marshall travelled through the whole peninsula of Jutland, and found very little waste land, the whole under cultivation, and, on enquiry, was informed that the nobi­lity reside in castles of their own, and are all cultivators of their own land, by means of peasants, who are generally in a state of villainage. At Hodsedburgh, he says, he had [Page 58] the accident to break his chaise, but Count Roncellen, the owner of a neighbouring castle, being in sight, and on horseback, rode up to him, and invited him, after some enquiries, to his chateau, saying he would send his smith to repair it; for smiths and wheelers in this country are scarce, except in the larger villages.

At this nobleman's house he was very hospitably en­tertained, and as it will give my readers some insight into the disposition of the people, and, though a digression, relieve him from dry description, I will relate what Mr. Marshall saw and learned, in his own words:

"When we arrived," says he, "at the castle, the Count carried me through, several large rooms, to one where his breakfast equipage was spread, and introduced me to his friends. All the company spoke French. Breakfast was presently served, and consisted only of coffee and milk, and water-gruel for the Count, which seemed to [...] regular diet. In conversation, he told me, that the nobility and gentry of large fortunes cultivated their own estates, though of great extent; that he had let some farms in the English way, but the chief of his estate was in his own hands. I was with him some days, and he took me round his domain. In the course of our ramble, we reached the confines of a little town on the side of a hill in a s [...]i [...]ul spot, with a river at the bottom of the declivity. Of this town, said the count, I have built every house at my own expence, and filled them with [Page 59] manufacturers. We entered it. He shewed me the fabrics which he had established. They were chiefly of wool. A great number of spinners, combers, and weavers, who made a coarse cloth, worn by the poor of this country. The manager of the works was an English­man, whom the Count had brought with him from England. He informed me, he had 400 hands employed in woollen goods alone; that he wrought up all the sorts of cloathing which found a ready market there. He said the profits arising from this manufactory were small as to him, but they were no object, they paid all the expences of the buildings he had erected, and he was a clear gainer of the number of people, whom he had thus settled on his estate, and who consumed the produce of his land.

"He had also another manufactory of leather, having erected several tanneries, which prepared the hides for manufacturing into doublets, breeches, boots, stockings, and shoes. Of these artists he employed hear 300, and sound a quick sale for their manufacture and more profi­table than his woollen manufacture. He next shewed me his fabric of turnery ware. He had laid in large stocks of beech-wood, elm, horn-beam, holly, &c. and had esta­blished many artists in this way; wooden dishes, platters, cups, saucers, bowls, scoops, &c. things in common use amongst the villagers; of these he had 120 em­ployed. He had also a small linen-manufactory, which employs about 40 hands, working up coarse linen for [Page 60] sheets, shirts, &c. and which was, when he was there in 1769, and 1770, very much on the increase.

"Not one of this patriotic nobleman's works so much pleased him as his manufactories of iron. Of these he worked all sorts of implements in common use, whether for the furniture of houses, or domestic utensils; machines for artists, such as wheelwrights, carpenters, blacksmiths, as also all implements for husbandry, and all these in great numbers, for which he found a ready vent. In this iron fabrick he employed more than 200 men.

"In all these manufactories he employed more than 1000 persons, and the success of them has proved so great, as to fix above 2000 inhabitants in the town he built for them, which consists of 300 houses. The streets are laid out very regularly, intersecting each other at right angles. In the centre is a large market-place, and in the midst of it, a small, but neat, church. The whole town is well paved; the houses are but small, but all built with brick and tiled, which make a regular and, good appearance.

"The bricks and tiles are burnt in adjoining kilns be­longing to the Count, and the timber is cut in his own forests; so that his expences were very small, to what they would have been in other circumstances; but notwith­standing this in the course of 23 years since he began these works, he had expended 33,000 ducats, or near 16,000l. [Page 61] sterling. This account includes the church, the paving of the town, and the erection of the works and build­ings for the several manufactories above-mentioned; be­sides the houses and shares of houses, for some persons advanced part of the money towards building their own. Exclusive of this expence he had been employed three years in erecting a handsome bridge over the river, a wharf on the banks of it, with warehouses for merchan­dize, and dry and wet docks for buildings barges, and decked sloops on the river. The tide flows up to the town, though at a considerable distance from the sea; and the Count, among his noble plans, has schemed the fixing a trade at it. This town is situated between Pal­lisberg and Winguard; the river falls into the gulph that Ringshopping stands on; but he has been employed in cutting a canal about two miles long, to gain a better navigation into a bay to the northward, near Wosberg. By this means he hopes to navigate brigs of 100 tons; whereas, at present (1770), he had only five sloops, each of 50 tons. These he wholly employs himself, in bringing materials for his manufactures from the Baltick, England, and Holland. His bridge, wharfs, docks, and warehouses, he calculates will cost him 16,000 ducats, and his navigation above 3000.

"I do not remember," continues our author, "ever receiving so much pleasure, from viewing these great and noble exertions of princely magnificence, infinitely ex­ceeding all the costly ornaments which in some countries [Page 62] are given to the seats of the great. They reflect im­mortal honour on the worthy Count, who has the spirit thus to prosecute the noblest works which Europe can exhibit. Other noblemen in Denmark have fortunes equal to this illustrious Count: in England we have for­tunes double and treble to his; but where are we to find an expenditure of a great estate, that reflects equal lustre on the owner?" Mr. Marshall may well say this.—"In England a great fortune is dissipated, in horse-racing, women, and gaming, without either benefit to the possessor, or the country belonging to him.

"The beginning of all my undertakings," said that illustrious nobleman, "I ever find the most difficult. In establishing the woollen manufactury, I had infinite trou­ble at first, in opening a regular channel, through which I could receive the wool; for our own was so bad, that I could scarce use any of it; and next, to get people used to the different branches, from picking and sorting for the spinners, quite to the weavers. Most of the people I procured from Germany and Flanders; but a few who proved more useful to me, than all the rest, from Scotland, and two or three from England. To all these people I have been obliged to give large salaries, to build them good houses, and put up with many irre­gularities; but I was indefatigable in making my own people learn of them, what they could perform; and the best way of doing this, I found, was to give premiums to foreigners for every hand they made perfect in each [Page 63] branch of work. Several of these persons are dead, and I have not taken any pains to recruit their number; for my Danes are now, many of them, as expert as their masters. I have, however, very often, straggling par­ties of Germans, who come to ask work, which I never fail giving them, and building houses for them, if they continue in the mind of settling: but as I still mean to at­tempt new manufactures, I must have recourse to other countries for a few hands to instruct us.

"From the first outset of my undertaking, I found it necessary to unite the character of merchant and manu­facturer; for had it not been for the possession of a little shipping, which supplied me with the materials I wanted, I should never have been able to have brought my works to the height at which they have now arrived. My sloops are strong and well built, and would run without danger or difficulty, even to the Mediterranean, if I had occasion to send them; with the advantage of coming up into the very heart of my town. I once had a brig of 200 tons, but finding this vessel inconvenient, I parted with her, and now confine myself to sloops. I have a Dutch ship-carpenter, who builds them for me; and he has six Danes who work under him. I have also two herring busses on the stocks, with which I purpose attempting the herring-fishery; having engaged three Dutch fisher­men, used to barrelling. If I meet with success, I shall encrease my number of busses; and when my canal is completed, I will build some larger sloops, and a brig [Page 64] or two of 100 tons, to carry the product of my fishery up the Streights, and bring back salt in return.

"My great object is to make every part of my general plan unite, to form one whole, by rendering each division of it the support of another. All these works have a wonderful efficacy in increasing the people on my estate. Though not a hut was standing in this place 23 years ago, there are now above 2000 inhabi­tants. My buildings increase considerably every year. I have a great number of brick and lime-burners, masons, smiths, and carpenters, that do nothing else but build houses for new-comers. This work regulates all the rest; it is the first I provide cash for, and what I can spare from this, I expend on the other works. I built 35 houses last year, and the number this year will be near 40, and from the applications I have re­ceived, I apprehend, I shall next year build more than 60. I will next shew the effect this population has had upon my husbandry.

"The extent of this nobleman's estate is nine English miles one way, and more than four another, but some­what indented. It is a fine, variegated country of hill and dale, with some mountains well watered with rivers, streams, and lakes; and part of it nobly spread with ex­ceeding fine timber.

[Page 65]"On riding over the estate, I found not only the vallies under high cultivation, but the sides of the hills, with great numbers of farm-houses and cottages, the inhabitants of which seemed as easy, chearful, and happy, as if they had been resident in England; they all appeared pleased with the presence of their lord, and esteem him as their master and father. When I came to this estate, said the Count, I found it farmed by my fathers bailiffs and vassals; but soon discovering these bailiffs to be rascals, I turned them all out; disposed of the land to such industrious and saving people as were then on the estate, and to whom I let farms according to their ability of living and stocking. I did not leave them totally to the customs of their own country, but procured husbandmen and implements from Flanders; gave pre­miums to the best ploughmen, and to those who produced the greatest crops, and best adapted to wintering of cattle; so that I have improved my lands, and made these bring in a rent of 18 s. English per acre, that, when I first became possessed of, were waste tracks. This is wholly owing to the market occasioned by my new colony, which has not only enriched me, but every tenant on my estate.

"The waste tracks I manage thus: I allow the farmers the expence of inclosing whatever they like to take, con­tiguous to their farms, provided they take no more land than they keep well cultivated, and I take no rent for such fields for five years. After this, they pay me for them about half the value, which continues as long as the [Page 66] improver lives; but on his death, I raise it to the full value. These terms they think so reasonable, that there is not a peasant among them, but what makes a small addition every year, and others who get or save money, have new farms on the same terms; paying me, in addi­tion, interest for the money I expend in buildings for them. I am very attentive to these new tracts of culti­vated land, to see that they do not neglect them; for I never suffer a piece of land, once inclosed, to remain untilled; and as I see my town and people increase an­nually, a ready market is found for the produce of these new inclosures.

"Where I found land very stony or boggy, lest the apparent sterility of such lands should discourage my tenants from taking them, I was at half the expence of removing the stones or draining the bogs, or advanced money for their doing it. This has induced them to sur­mount all difficulties, and I have the pleasure to con­template that several tracts of rich meadow, worth 18 s. per acre, were reclaimed from a bog worth nothing."

My readers will naturally with me look upon this very patriotic nobleman rather as a being of romance, a vision of perfection, than a real instance of so many public and private virtues. Mr. Marshall is very minute and particular in his account of the manner in which this gentleman proceeded, and if any man of large fortune and domain should catch fire from this abridged state of it, and wish [Page 67] to imitate it, I will refer him to the author from whom I took it: Marshall's Travels through Denmark.

The land which the Count kept in his own hands was originally the worst part of his whole estate; finding no person inclined to farm it, he undertook it himself. It spreads every way for three or four miles round his town, and is now the richest land of the whole.

"In all the improvements," said the Count to Mr. Marshall, "which I have made on my estate, by letting my lands to the peasants, I have adhered strictly to the rule of proceeding on the very contrary conduct which is common among nine-tenths of the nobility of the king­dom. They keep their tenants as poor and humble as possible; I, on the contrary, do every thing to enable them to enrich themselves, and would rather inspire them with the manly boldness of the poor in your country, than keep them in the slavery of ours. My peasants grow daily into wealthy farmers, and are all in easy and happy circumstances. They marry and beget numerous posterities. The population of my estate increases, and with the people, the general markets for products, which I have all along aimed at, and which is just so much clear gain in my pocket. I have not a man on my estate that is not profitable to me in some way or other, and it is incredible how quick they increase. There is not such a thing as a marriageable man or woman on it, that is unmarried. Every man and woman that applys to [Page 68] me for a house, are sure of having one built for them, if I know them to be of good character and industrious; and they have all a small piece of land, and are chearful and contented. In such a situation, marriages must abound, and the people increase in a manner which no part of Europe has any idea of. Among all my people there is not one that is burdensome to the rest; no old peasant, or labourer, but what has saved enough, before he grew old, to live happily in his latter days; very few but what become little farmers before they are too ad­vanced in life, and in a state which their relations would think it shameful to let them want their assistance.

"The example of my own estate," continued the Count, "proves to me, that nothing is wanting to make a country populous, and consequently rich, but giving the people an object for their industry to work upon; the most idle will of themselves be converted to industry; if their industry is beneficial to them, and they have no dependance on any thing else. No people are naturally more indolent then the common people of Denmark; but in the most populous part of Holland, they are not more active and industrious than all the people on my estate; which change has been effected merely by throw­ing them into the pursuit of gain, and leaving them quietly to enjoy it. The natural increase of mankind is prodigious, when marriages are no burden, but chil­dren riches.

[Page 69]"But I mean to bound my progress; convinced that where land is cultivated to the utmost, the cultivators themselves could not consume the produce. It is neces­sary for the welfare of states, that there should be a bal­lance kept up between commerce and agriculture, and that manufactures should be established, to produce a mar­ket, to carry off the surplus, which the cultivators cannot consume themselves. Under this consideration, when every part of my estate is fully improved, and a market provided for all its products, at a good price, not a high one, (for extremes are not permanent) I will neither build another house or another ship. I will sit down content with that degree of success, not having a doubt but it will be lasting; because the agriculture, manu­factures and commerce will be balanced and dependant on each other, exactly to the respective amount of each; and as there will be no fabricks wrought, but what are of universal demand, and no commerce pushed on, but what the fabrics employ; and as all the people in each of these branches will be dependant for their provisions and necessaries on the track of culture around them, and on no other, all dangerous excess will be guarded against, and a regular industry will maintain itself, without being hurt by the acquisition of great riches.

It is to be here remarked, that in Denmark the King, as the clergy have here, has the tenth of all land-pro­ducts, and this in many parts of the kingdom is ga­thered in kind, and sold by his superintendants; but [Page 70] landlords may compound, though the composition is generally high. Count Roncellen always paid the com­position rather than his tenants should be discouraged by this tax; nor would he suffer his estate to be overrun by hunters, so common in Denmark.

Were our young nobility and gentry in England to ap­ply themselves to agriculture, they would render better service to their country, and find their life more agreea­ble than that of arms, the pay of which is utterly incom­petent to the expensive life they are thus thrown into. Unlooked-for promotions make, on the whole, very poor amends for such a regular life of poverty; but in husbandry, if they gave an active attention to it, they would find far better revenues, with much less expen­sive life, than any service can confer; and at the same time, the profession has nothing dishonourable in it, and every exertion made would tend to promote, in the highest degree, the interest of their country.

"I will close this account," says Mr. Marshall, "with observing, that Count Roncellen's fortune is as considera­ble as the greatest estates in England, and yet his way of living in the castle is not superior to that of an English gentleman of two or three thousand pounds a year. His table was always well spread with plenty of every thing that was in season; but then his own estate produces every thing but sugar, spices, and wine. He has river and sea-fish in great perfection. His forest yields him venison [Page 71] and game, and other parts of his land plenty of wild fowl; all which, with the cultivated products, afford ample materials for a regular table. In his wines, he is by no means expensive; and his dress, comparatively speaking, costs him nothing. All his revenue, therefore, which increases much every year, is expended as fast as it comes in, in the noble undertakings of which I have given an account. Such an expenditure does as much benefit to the state, as honour to himself, and is a way of laying out a great income, that can never be sufficiently praised.

"Perhaps, also, it is as full of enjoyment as any other disposition of it can be. Let us suppose an English nobleman of thirty or forty thousand pounds a year, living in the usual course of dissipation, electioneering, and gam­ing, and you will ever see in them a species of remorse and distrust at the cramped situation which successive mortgages bring on; and if the income is exceeded, the expenditure of it gives but a momentary pleasure, and never a lasting satisfaction; but, on the contrary, let us picture to ourselves, a nobleman spending such an in­come, the year round, upon the spot that yields it to him, in building, planting, improving wastes, making roads, cutting canals, establishing manufactories, opening har­bours, attracting commerce; in a word, executing such noble works as Count Roncellen has been employed in, and I think, that such an employment of a great fortune must be infinitely superior, in self-satisfaction and enjoy­ment, [Page 72] to the other disposition of it. This alone insures an increase, and adding every day to a man's wealth, at the same time that every shiliing he makes is more beneficial to the community than to himself."

CHAP. II. Of the Cities, &c.

THE chief cities of Denmark, are Copenhagen, Elsinore, and Roskild in Zealand; Odensee in Funen; Wiborg in North Jutland, and Sleswick in South Jutland: but I will speak of each in their turn.

Copenhagen is the capital of the empire. It lies in the Baltick, or East Sea, in 55 degrees, 40 minutes, north latitude, about five geographical miles from the Sound. Its situation is marshy and low, but on the land-side there are several beautiful lakes, which furnish the in­habitants with plenty of fresh-water. The environs are very pleasant, and directly opposite to the city lies the fertile isle of Amack, forming the harbour. At a dis­tance the city makes a magnificent appearance, accord­ing to Lord Molesworth, who wrote in the beginning of this century, and is nearly equal in size to Bristol, as it [Page]

PLAN of the City of COPENHAGEN.
  • a New Palace
  • b Royal Palace
  • c Warton Hospital
  • d St. Peters Church
  • e The University
  • f St. Mary's Church
  • g The Royal College
  • h Rosenburg Palace & Garden
  • i Fredericks Church
  • k Academy of Royal Cadets
  • l Fredericks Hospital
  • m Botanic Garden
  • n Octagon or Fredericks Palace
  • o Garrison Church
  • p Charlottenburgh Palace
  • q Kings New Market
  • r St Nicholas's Church
  • s Bremerholm Church
  • t The Exchange
  • u The Dock Yard
  • w Fredericks Church
  • x St. Saviours Church

[Page 73] was then, but was increasing annually, as Bristol has done. "It is the best built city," says Mr. Coxe, "in the north; for although Petersburgh excells it in superb edifices, yet, as it contains no wooden houses, it does not display that striking contrast of meanness and magni­ficence. It is surrounded, on the land, with regular ram­parts and bastions, a broad ditch full of water, and a few out-works. Its circumference measures between four and five English miles. The streets are well paved, with a footway on each side, but too narrow and incon­venient for general use. The greatest part of the build­ings are of brick, and a few are of free-stone, brought from Germany. The houses of the nobility are, in general, splendid, and constructed in the Italian style of architecture. The Gother street, which runs in a straight line across the whole city, and divides the old from the new town, is above 4,200 feet long, the breadth of the King's market, and the area about the new harbour in­cluded. The city contains four royal castles, ten parishes, and nine other churches, a considerable num­ber of public and private palaces; above 4,000 burghers houses, several of which are inhabited by ten or more families, eleven market and public places, areas or squares, 186 streets, and 100,000 inhabitants. The metropolis is divided into three principal parts, viz. Old Copenhagen, New Copenhagen, and Christian­hafen. The last two are more modern then the first, and are laid out in broad streets, running in a straight [Page 74] line. In the night, the city is illuminated with lanthorns, and the streets are kept clean, at the yearly expence of 10 or 12,000 rix dollars.

The most striking object is the harbour and naval arse­nal; it is capacious enough to hold 500 men of war, and yet only one ship can enter at a time, which entrance is defended by several batteries of great guns; and there are several platforms near it, with three forts. There are no tides in the Baltick, but the depth of water, in the harbour, renders it perfectly secure, for the greatest ships; so that it is just­y reckoned one of the best harbours in the world. The King's fleet, (for this is the princi­pal sea-port in the kingdom,) lies regularly arranged be­tween booms, and over against them magazines, with the name of each ship on the door of the store-room belong­ing to it; and every thing is kept in the completest order. The admiralty is on the bank of the haven, and the arsenal is well furnished with cannon and stores. Adjoining to these buildings is a citadel, which com­mands the harbour.

Commerce, according to Coxe, is here very busy: the haven is always crouded with merchant-ships, and the streets are intersected by broad canals, which bring ships close up to the walls of the quays. But Mr. Wraxhall says, though Copenhagen is one of the finest ports in the world, it can boast of little commerce; and yet Coxe and Wraxhall are cotemporary writers. Wraxhall fur­ther [Page 75] says, the public places are filled with officers, either in the land or sea-service, and they appear to constitute three-fourths of the audience at the play and opera. They have a Danish comedy twice a week, and an Italian opera, in the palace, every Saturday.

The palace, which was erected by Christian VI. and was finished in 1740, is a large pile of building, the front of stone, and the wings of bricks stuccoed. The suite of apartments is princely, but the external appear­ance more grand than elegant.

The round tower of Trinity church, says Dr. Oliver, who was there in the beginning of this century, is a master-piece of its kind, and very singular. It is round, 150 feet high, and 60 feet diameter, being flat on the top, and surrounded with an iron balustrade. The ascent is spiral, and without steps, from the bot­tom to the top, wide enough for two carriages, and so easy, that a coach and horses may go up and down again with ease. This tower was originally designed for an ob­servatory; but it then served as a parade; for the gentry, when they had a mind to take the air in their coaches, drove to the top, round the ring, and down again.

The police of this city is well regulated, and people may pass through any part of it, at midnight, with great safety. The streets are as quiet at eleven o'clock at night, as in a country village or town, and scarce a coach after this is heard to rattle through them.

[Page 76]St. Saviour's church is the most magnificent and ele­gant of all the churches in Copenhagen. It stands in Christianhafen in the Isle of Amack; and has a beautiful steeple, with a spiral ascent to the top on the outside.

Between Copenhagen and Christianhafen, is a high pillar erected in the middle of the water, on which is a statue, representing a naked female; on her left side stands the figure of a swan, which extends its long neck behind her back, and bringing its head over the right shoulder of the statue, sticks its bill in the mouth of it. This pillar and statue are looked upon as a symbolical representation of the city of Copenhagen.

There is a noble foundation for the poor in this city, called Wartow Hospital, containing 300 beds for the sick and poor, and every one, besides his lodging, has a rix-dollar weekly. A small commodious church stands close to the hospital, and so contrived, that the sick and bed-ridden may hear divine service and sermons in their beds.

The royal palace, called Rosenburg, in the west quarter of this city, is a grand structure, much too splendid and magnificent for a King of Denmark, and has some very extensive [...]nd ornamented gardens, which, in summer, serve the inhabitants for a public walk. The grand apartment of this palace is hung with tapestry, re­presenting the various actions, by sea and land, which [Page 77] diversified the ancient wars between the Swedes and Danes; who seem always to have had the same national rival­ship and animosity, as between the French and English. At one end of this apartment are three silver lions, as large as life, who, by their fierceness and rudeness, seem to characterise the age in which they were cast. It is a kind of savage magnificence, seldom seen in the ban­queting rooms of the present effeminate and luxurious times. In the museum of the palace, which consists of eight rooms, is a sword of Charles XII. of Sweden, the hilt and guard of brass, and the blade four feet long; and the chair in which Tycho Brahè, the astronomer, used to sit. The collection of paintings is very large, and con­tains some beautiful originals; among a great variety of natural and artificial curiosities. Among the former are:

1. A petrified child, which was cut out of its mother's belly at Sens, in Champagne, in the year 1582, where it was supposed to have lain 28 years. It is evidently a human foetus, says Dr. Oliver, who handled it; its upper part is of a gypseus nature, not so hard as the lower, the thighs and buttocks being as hard and perfect stone as can be, of a red colour, and of a grain and superficies ex­actly like those taken out of a bladder: purchased from Venice, by Frederick III.

2. Two elephants teeth, that weigh 150lb. each.

3. Several heads of hares, with divers sorts of horns, brought out of Saxony.

4. An egg, said to be laid by a woman, of the size of a pullet's egg. This, Ol. Wormius says, was sent [Page 78] him by very good hands, and confirmed by people of credit. He tells us the woman brought forth two, with the usual pains, her neighbours being called in to her assistance. The first they broke, and found a yolk and a white, as in that of a hen. The second was kept and sent to him, and is here preserved.

5. Several large pieces of silver ore, dug in Norway, one of which weighed 560lb. four feet six inches long, and four feet round, valued at 5,000 crowns. The whole mass has not above a fourth part of any baser metal or earth mixed with it.

6. The thigh bone of a human body, three feet three inches long: the head of it, two feet 5 inches round, and the middle, 19 inches and a half about.

7. Two scollop shells, weighing 224lb. each.

8. A cherry-stone, on which some hundreds of heads are curiously engraved.

Besides the above, there is in the gardens of the palace a throne made of unicorns horns, on which all the Kings of Denmark are seated at their coronation.

The royal library consists of a great variety of books in all languages, well conditioned, and well chosen; the books of each country being placed by themselves. The room is spacious and well built, and has a large gallery, supported by pillars, on each side. With the addition of Gudius's library from Glucstadt, it might be reckoned one of the first in Europe.

[Page 79]The annual list of births in Copenhagen, being on an average 2,830, and that of the deaths 2,955, we may compute that it contains near 80,000 inhabitants.

Elsinoor lies about 20 miles from Copenhagen, is a sea­port town, directly opposite to Helsingberg in Sweden, and separated from that by the Sound, or passage into the Baltick, which, from town to town, according to Mr. Coxe, is but three miles over, and which he crossed, though the wind was against him, in an hour and a half. From Copenhagen across to Malmoe, in Sweden, is six or seven leagues.

This town is remarkable for two things, as being the scene of Shakespere's Hamlet, and the place where Queen Matilda, the sister of our King, George III. of England, was confined. It is well built; the houses are of brick, similar to those in Holland. Next to Copen­hagen, it is the most commercial place in Denmark. It contains two churches, and about 5,000 inhabitants, amongst whom are a considerable number of foreign merchants, and the consuls of the principal nations, trading to the Baltic, to regulate the tolls paid by ships, passing the Sound (of which I shall speak here-after), and to see that no injustice is done to their country­men. The passage of the Sound is guarded by the for­tress of Cronberg, situated on the edge of a peninsular promontory, the nearest point of land from the opposite coast of Sweden. It is strongly fortified, and every [Page 80] vessel that passes, lowers her topsails, and pays a toll. The palace of Cronberg, which stands in the fortress, is that in which the late unfortunate Queen was impri­soned in January, 1772.

Adjoining to a royal hunting palace, which stands half a mile from Cronberg, is a garden, called Hamlet's Garden, and said to be the very spot where his father was murdered. As this is a history, that will, from Shakespere's play, interest an English reader; and as Saxo-Grammaticus, the Danish historian, who relates it, is but in few hands, and has never been translated, some little account of this famous prince may not be unaccept­able. Saxo-Grammaticus wrote in the 12th century.

Hamlet was the son of Gertrude, a daughter of a King of Denmark, by a King of Jutland, who reigned be­fore the introduction of christianity into that part of the world: Fengo murders his brother, the King of Jutland, marries Gertrude, and ascends his throne. Hamlet, his nephew, and son-in-law, struck with horror at this tran­saction, to avoid his uncle's jealousy, feigns himself mad; but Fengo suspecting it, tries, by various means, to get at the real state of his mind, and among other attempts throws a young woman in his way, in a retired place, with directions, if possible, to extort from Hamlet, a confession of his madness; but it did not succeed. On this woman is grounded Shakespere's Ophelia. Another attempt of Fengo, was his quitting Elsinoor, and concert­ing


[Page 81] a meeting between Hamlet and his mother, and or­dering a courtier to conceal himself, unknown to them, behind the hangings of the room where they were to meet. This man conceals himself in the Queen's apartment under a heap of straw, which used formerly to be spread over floors as an article of luxury. Hamlet, on entering the room, suspecting the presence of some spy, affects madness, imitates the crowing of a cock, beating his arms againsts his sides, as a cock doth his wings, jumps on the heap of straw, and feeling the man within concealed, draws his sword and kills him, then cut the body to pieces, boiled it, and gave it to the hogs. After this he declared to his mother, that he only affected to be foolish, reproached her for her incestuous marriage, with her husband's brother and murderer, and thus re­calls the Queen to virtue. Fengo returns to Elsinoor, sends Hamlet to England, under the care of two cour­tiers, and privately, by a letter to the King of England, requests him to put Hamlet to death. Hamlet discovers this, alters the letter, by which means the two courtiers are put to death, and Hamlet is betrothed to the King of England's daughter. The next year he returns to Den­mark, where they understood he was dead, and surprizes his enemies. He affects insanity again, invites the prin­cipal nobles to an entertainment, makes them drunk, and in that state covers them with a large curtain, which he pegged to the ground, set fire to the palace, and burnt them to ashes. During this conflagration, he flew to Fengo's apartment, and put him to death. The next [Page 82] morning, when the populace assembled to view the ruins of the palace, Hamlet called together the remaining nobles, harrangued them in a masterly speech, proved his uncle to have been the murderer of his father, and jus­tified his own conduct. His speech had the desired effect, and he was proclaimed King with repeated acclama­tions.

Hamlet, thus raised to the throne, sails to England, asks the King of England's daughter in marriage, but is told she is dead; and advised, by the King, to go to Scotland, and address the Scotch Queen Hermetrude, with a view that this lady, who was of a cruel cast, and abhorred all proposals of marriage, might order him to be assassinated, as she had done some others before. But Hamlet succeeds better, marries her, and returns with her to England, and being there informed by the princess to whom he had been betrothed, that her father meditated his death; to avoid danger, cloathed himself in armour under his robe; slew the King of England, mar­ried the princess, and sailed to Denmark with his two wives, but was soon after killed in a combat with his uncle by his mother's side.

Roskild was formerly the royal residence, and metro­polis of Denmark, and contained 27 churches, and as many convents. At present it is scarce half an English mile round, and has not more than 1,620 inhabitants. The houses are brick, and look neat. The only re­mains [Page 83] of its original grandeur, are the ruins of the palace, and the cathedral, which is a brick-building with two spires, and in which the Kings of Denmark are buried. It was erected by Harold VI. King of England and Den­mark, who died in 980, and is interred here. Indeed the church is full of monuments of succeeding Kings.

There is a spring of such fine, wholesome water in this place, that some is carried daily to Copenhagen, for the use of the court.

Odensee, the capital of the Isle of Funen, is a city of such high antiquity, that Danish antiquarians derive its foundation from Oden, the god of the Gothic nations. It contains about 5,200 inhabitants, who carry on a trade in grain and leather; is a bishoprick, and has four churches, besides the cathedral. The King has here a small palace.

Wiburg is the capital of North Jutland, is a bishop's see, and the residence of a general-governor. This is one of the most ancient cities of the kingdom, and had formerly 12 churches, which are now reduced to three. It has three market-places, and 28 streets.

Sleswick is the capital of South Jutland, and is the residence of the governor and state-officers. It is situated in a most charming, pleasant country, and is built in the form of a crescent; it is between two and [Page 84] three English miles in length, and contains about 5,630 inhabitants. The houses are of brick, and, in neatness and manner, resemble a Dutch town. The inhabitants dress also like the Dutch, and many of them speak that language. Close to Sleswick is the old palace of Gottorp, formerly the ducal residence, but now inhabited by the governor, Prince Charles, of Hesse Cassel. It is a large brick-building, surrounded by a rampart, and a moat. The city had formerly seven parish-churches, and six convents; but now one can scarce trace out the places where many of them stood. The cathedral is a grand structure, both within and without, but has neither steeple nor tower.

There are many palaces in Denmark. Fredericks­burg is a magnificent structure, situated on a hill, a small distance from Copenhagen. It is spacious on all sides, and has an exceeding fine prospect. The garden, which lies below the hill, is very extensive, and contains a great number of pleasant walks, several groves, a la­byrinth, a theatre, a great many statues, fountains, and summer-houses, and a fine cascade. From the palace the descent is by two flights of broad stone-steps to the garden, in which is a menagery, stocked with several uncommon animals, lion, tygers, &c. with an orangery and a yard with pheasants and falcons. From this palace, a pleasant avenue, planted with a double row of trees, extends half way to Copenhagen. To this account of Busching, we will add Wraxhall's, who describes it as a [Page 85] a large chateau, moated round with a triple ditch. It was founded by Frederick the Fourth. It partakes of the Greek and Gothic styles; but, in the front of the grand quadrangle are Tuscan and Doric pillars, and on the summit, spires and turrets. Some of the rooms are splendid, though furnished in the antique taste, but it is little visited by the present family.

Jagersburg is a royal hunting seat, where the hunting officers reside, and where is a repository for all hunting implements. The park is rather a wood, or forest, very extensive, and full of game. In the middle is an edifice, called the Hermitage, 30 ells long, and 20 broad, very elegantly decorated. In the lowest story is a curious machine, by which the dinner, &c. is conveyed up and down, to and from the King's table, in the second story.

The palace of Cronberg stands in the fortress of that place, about 20 miles from Copenhagen. It is a square Gothic building, of free-stone, and was the prison of the late unfortunate Queen Matilda, the sister of our present Sovereign of England.

CHAP. III. Of the People, their Customs, and Manners.

MOLESWORTH has been always considered as the most candid and accurate writer on the state of Denmark, at the time in which he wrote, but this was near 100 years ago; and Marshall declares that almost every circumstance is so essentially changed since his time, that little related by him can be depended upon, as to the state of Denmark at the present hour.

By a numeration of the people in 1759, the subjects of Denmark, Norway, Holstein, the islands in the Baltick, and the districts of Oldenburgh and Delmenhurst, in Westphalia, amounted to 2,444,000 exclusive of the inhabitants of Iceland, Greenland, and the Danish colo­nies.

From all the opportunities, says Marshall, which I have had of seeing and conversing with the Danes, and which I have done with all ranks, they appear to be a brave, courteous, and humane people. The upper class have a high spirit, value themselves upon the titles and privileges they derive from the Crown, and are accordingly fond of shew and magnificence. They have [Page 87] as much vivacity as any people in Europe, except the French nobility, and live in a mean between the English and the Germans, more sumptuous than the latter, but not with such a general consistency as the former. In their dress, and even in their gallantry, they endeavour to imitate the French, though they are a complete contrast to that nation; and the French lan­guage is universal among them. In their houses, they are not only expensive in the building them, but also in furnishing them, exceeding the Germans, but not equalling the English. At their tables they resemble the Germans in cookery, but do not sit so long at their meals. In Germany, four courses and a desert, will take up four hours and a half, which in England is dispatched in one hour; but the Danes seldom rise from table under two hours. Some of the nobility have French cooks, and in their wines are expensive and curious. Their tables are well covered with fish of the best sorts, abun­dance of wild fowl, and fine venison; but their butchers-meat is not equal to ours. They have hot-houses and hot walls, fronted with glass, and, of course, all the luxu­ries which these afford.

In the second class of people, there is a much greater difference between them and the same rank in England, than between the Danish and English nobility: they are not so comfortable in their circumstances; scarce any of the gentry are masters of such estates, as to put them on [Page 88] a par with the nobles, and, of course, they do not make a proportionable appearance.

The lower class are still more inferior than the Eng­lish, and cannot be compared to the common people here, either for ease or happiness; yet they are by no means in that state of vassalage, as they were in Moles­worth's time; several edicts having been published by the Crown, for restraining the ancient villenage; and as to the common people, in towns and cities, they are as free as in other absolute dominions.

In person, the lower class is, in general, as well made, and, as stout, as the Germans. They make good soldiers, and with gentle usage, are docile and tractable; but, in villages, they are ignorant and clownish, yet good hus­bandmen.

The Danish army finds employment for young men of small fortune. The employments about court pro­vide for others, and many freely embark for the East and West Indies, are remarkable active and diligent, and often return home, with good fortunes. The gentry seem extremely disposed to treat a stranger with every mark of urbanity and politeness; but an Englishman, at court, is at present received with great coldness.

In their amusements, the Danes follow the fashions of the French and English; cards lead the way, and such [Page 89] ladies as can afford it, have at Copenhagen, their as­semblies almost as regularly as any in London. The men are great chess-players; billiards and tenis are favourite diversions. They have a French theatre, and a Danish one, where translations from the English and French are indifferently performed. Attempts have been made for an Italian Opera, but with little success.

Copenhagen principally flourishes from the residence of the court, which is much the most brilliant object in Denmark. There are many great officers of state, which, with the numerous inferior ones, and the guards, render the town very gay.

Molesworth gives us an account of the following cus­toms and amusements, which, as they are not noticed or contradicted by later writers, we may suppose still exist, or with little alteration; for we find, in all countries, pro­vincial customs and festivities are preserved for ages; and as they will enliven the scene, I shall lay them before my reader.

The ordinary diversions of the court are progresses, which are made once a quarter, at least, to Sleswick or Holstein, either to review the troops, or inspect the for­tifications at Rendsburg. These are no expence to the treasury, as waggons and horses are found by the boors, who also pay a personal attendance, and are ready for all necessary services, for five or six weeks every sum­mer. [Page 90] The court removes to Jagersburg, a small hunt­ing seat, situated on a small lake, its foundation in the water, not far from the sea, and within four English miles of Copenhagen; and for five or six weeks more it resides at Fredericksburg, the chief country-palace of the Kings of Denmark; which has a fine park about it, well filled with red deer, embellished with fine ponds and lofty trees; but yet it falls short of many of our noble­men's country-seats in England. At Fredericksburg the court spends most of its time in stag-hunting; when the King lays aside all formalities, and eats and drinks freely with his domestics: and, after a hard day's hunting, they will often adjourn to the wine-cellar, and there drink to excess. About five or six in the afternoon the hunt­ing assizes are solemnly held in the great court before the palace; the stag is drawn into the midst of it by the huntsmen, who are all clothed in red, with great brass hunting-horns, about their necks; and is there broken up with great ceremony, whilst the hounds attend with much noise and impatience. One that is most likely to fee the huntsman best, is invited to take essay, and is presented with the deer's foot. Then the proclamation is made: If any one can inform the King (who is both supreme judge and executioner) of any transgression against the known laws of hunting that day committed, let him stand forth and accuse; the accused is generally found guilty; and then two gentlemen lead him to the stag, and make him kneel down between the horns, turning down his head, with his breech up, and removing the


[Page 91] skirts of his coat, his Majesty, with a small, long wand, gives the offender some lashes on his posteriors; whilst the huntsmen, with their brass horns, and the dogs, with their loud openings, proclaim the King's justice, and the criminals punishment; the queen, ladies, and others, standing round in a circle, as spectators. This is as often repeated, as there happens to be delinquents; who as soon as the chastisement is over, rise up and make their obeysance,

— proudly boasting,
Of their magnificent rib-roasting.

After all is over, the hounds are permitted to fall to, and devour the deer.

At another season, swan-hunting is the royal pastime. Wild swans haunt a certain island, not far from Copen­hagen, and breed there. About the time, when the young ones are near as large as the old, before their feathers are grown long enough to fly, the King, with the queen, ladies, and others of the court, go to the killing of them: the foreign ministers are usually invited to take part in this sport. Every person of condition has a pinnace allotted to him; and, when they come near the haunt, they surround the place, and inclose a great multitude of young swans, which they destroy with guns, till they have killed some thousands. What is killed by [Page 92] the whole company, is brought to the court, which claims the feathers and down, the flesh being good for nothing.

On Shrove-Tuesday, the King, queen, royal family, home and foreign ministers, and state-officers that compose the court, clothe themseves in the habit of the North Holland boors, with great trunk-hose, short doublets, and large, blue thrum-caps; the ladies in blue petticoats, and odd head-dresses, &c. and, thus accoutred, get up in their waggons, a man before and a woman behind, driving themselves, and go to a country-village, called Amack, about three miles from town, where they dance to the sound of bag-pipes, and squeaking fiddles, and have a country-dinner, which they eat out of earthen and wooden platters, with wooden spoons, &c. and, hav­ing passed the day in these diversions, where all are equal, with little regard to Majesty, they return home at night in the same manner, and are entertained at a comedy and magnificent supper and ball, in the same dress as they wore the whole day.

Every winter, as soon as the snow is firm enough to bear, the Danes take to their sledges for amusement, the King and court first giving the example; for so great a respect do they bear to majesty, that they never cross a new bridge, till the king has first crossed it: nay, all the clocks of Copenhagen strike the hours after the court clock. The court then first make their appearance in [Page 93] their sledges, making several tours about town, in great pomp, with kettle-drums and trumpets; the horses which draw the sledges, being richly adorned with trap­pings and harness, full of small bells, to give warning to such as stand in their way. After the court has been thus abroad, the burghers, and others, trot about the streets all night, in their fur-gowns, with each his female in the sledge with him, and this they esteem a great and pleasant amusement.

In travelling to Fredericksburg, Jagersburg, and many other places, from Copenhagen, there are two high roads, one for the people, which is commonly bad, and another for the King, in good condition; but others, who can procure a key to the gates, are indulged with passing on the latter.

The vehicles, says Wraxhall, for travelling, are an in­definable somewhat, begot by a coach upon a cart, and partaking very much of both kinds; are drawn by four little Danish horses, and, what with whipping and spur­ring, they make shift to travel about four English miles and a half an hour.

It is a difficult matter, says Molesworth, for strangers to find conveniences of lodging or eating in Denmark; even in Copenhagen, there are few, if any, lodgings to let in private houses; and, in the taverns, a man must be con­tented [Page 94] to eat and drink in a public room, with other company, and at the same table.

Among all the hardships which are imposed on the peasantry of Denmark, says Molesworth, that of the obli­gation they lie under, of furnishing the royal family, and all their attendants, with horses and travelling waggons, is one of the greatest. Whenever the court travels, the peasants that lie near the road, or in that district, are summoned to attend, with their horses and waggons, at certain stages, where they are to relieve each other; and this they often do, always at their own expence, for two or three days together; no regard being had to the season, which is generally harvest-time, or to any other conve­nience of these poor wretches. I have frequently seen them, with hundreds of waggons, in a company, attend­ing the arrival of the court, bewailing their sad condi­tion; and, as soon as their King comes up, and his coaches, with those of his attendants, six or eight boors horses, not much larger then calves, are put to each coach, and every lackey of the King's suite then seizes on a boor and waggon for his own use; when, unless the poor, trembling peasant does every thing to please his em­ployer, by driving on and taking all patiently, without a reply, he is beaten and abused. Nor is this only the case when the King travels, but when he pleases to grant his warrant to any officer or man of rank, that has a journey to make.

[Page 95]The tables of the better sort are generally well served, but their meat is lean, and, excepting their beaf and veal, ill-tasted. Wether-mutton is very scarce, and sel­dom good; wild ducks scarcely eatable, and plovers never. Here are no wild pheasants, woodcocks, rabbits, or fallow-deer. Red deer are the King's game, and not to be purchased. Hares, however, are good, and their bacon is excellent. Sea-fish is scarce, and not good; but river-fish makes amends for all, here being the best carp, perch, and craw-fish that are to be found any where. Fine fruit, so far north, is not to be expected: but the gentry, who pride themselves in their gardens, have such as is tolerable, and have melons, grapes, peaches, and all sorts of sallad, very early. Their butter is good, but their cheese indifferent, and their cookery far from pleasing to an English palate.

Molesworth gives us the following account of the first green goose that was ever eaten in Denmark. He says, that the common people are mean-spirited, and so in­clined to cheating, that they suspect others of doing the same; so that, if you offer them a great price for a thing, which they have not been used to sell, they will refuse to part with it, suspecting that you see an advantage in the purchase, as yet unknown to them, and which they hope to find out. "Seeing great flocks of green geese," says his Lordship, "in the fields near the town, I sent to buy some; but, they not being used to sell or eat geese in that country, till they are full grown, could not [Page 96] be persuaded to part with one, though double the price of a full-grown goose was bid for it. They inquired, Why we wished to buy them? What we meant to do with them? &c. for they would not believe any one would be so foolish as to eat them, whilst young and small. However, a week after, an old woman, to whom money had been offered for a dozen, came and brought me four to sell, saying, that neither she nor her geese had thriven, since she refused to sell them at a good price; for a kite had, the night before, killed eight of her stock, and that now the remaining four were at my service. Thus the superstition of this old woman, occa­sioned the first green goose to be brought to market; for after that they found the English fattened them and killed them for the table, the market was never without them; where they will ask the same price for stinking meat as for fresh; for lean meat as for fat. The sure way not to obtain, is to seem eager to purchase; and indeed, among all classes of the people, to ask a thing importu­nately, is the certain method of not having it complied with, though otherwise, the person asked would be desir­ous of its being done.

According to lord Molesworth, the King of Den­mark's court, as to pomp and magnificence, can scarcely be called a royal one. The luxury and extravagance of southern courts had not, in his time, reached so far north. In this court, no ensigns of majesty appear, let the oc­casion be ever so solemn, except such as are military. [Page 97] All those which a standing army can afford, such as horse and foot-guards; trabans, which answer to our beef-eaters; kettle-drums, and trumpets, &c. are there in perfection, and in use every day, as much as in camp; but badges of peace, as swords of state, heralds, maces, chancellor's purse, &c. are not known.

The King sits down to dinner with his family and general officers of the army, till his table is full. The Court-mareschal invites whom he pleases to eat with the King, till all have had the honour in turns. A page in livery says grace, before and after meat; for no chaplain appears, either here, or in any of the protestant courts abroad, but in the pulpit. The attendants are one or two gentlemen, and the rest livery-servants. No ceremony of the knee is used to the King. The kettle-drums and trum­pets, which are ranged in a large place before the palace, proclaim aloud the very minute when he sits down to table.

The city of Copenhagen is under very good regula­tions. There are select companies appointed to watch and extinguish fires; no persons daring to approach within a certain distance, lest, under a pretence of assisting, they should plunder. Chimney-sweepers are obliged to keep a register of all chimnies they sweep, that, in case of any accident, those, by whose neglect or covetousness it hap­pens, may be answerable for it. No torches or flambeaus are allowed to be carried in the streets, on account of [Page 98] the great quantities of fir, timber, and the constant high winds that are here; instead of which, all persons use large, round lanthorns, carried at the end of long sticks.

Among other good regulations, that of the apothe­caries is none of the least commendable; for, no one is permitted to exercise this trade, unless appointed by the college of physicians, and confirmed by the King him­self. There are but two allowed in the whole city of Copenhagen, and one to every other considerable town. Their shops and drugs are carefully inspected twice or thrice a year by the magistrates, accompanied by the physicians; and such drugs as are of no efficacy, or spoilt by age, are taken from them, and flung away. The prices of these drugs are also fixed, so that a child may be sent to an apothecary's shop without being im­posed on; and nothing is sold, that is not exceedingly good, and at very moderate rates. They sell all for ready money, yet keep an account of what they sell, to whom, and by whose prescription; so that the great mis­chief of accidental or wilful poisoning, is either prevented, or, if practised, easily discovered and punished.

They are much addicted, says Molesworth, to drink­ing, and the liquors most in fashion, in his time, were Rhenish-wine, cherry-brandy, and all sorts of French wines. The men are fond of them, and the women do not refuse them. The poor, who are able to indulge, do it in bad beer, and Danish brandy, distilled from barley.

[Page 99]Apoplexies and the falling sickness are the epidemical distempers here; and one shall scarce pass through Copenhagen, without seeing one or two poor creatures in a fit, in the streets, with a circle of gazers and assist­ants about them. It is very usual here to have them die of a slacht, as they call it, which is an apoplexy, proceeding from trouble of mind; but, on the other hand, few, or none, are afflicted with coughs, catarrhs, or consumptions, so common in this country; so that, in Denmark, the preachers are never disturbed at church, as in England.

Their marriages, says Molesworth, are usually pre­ceded by contracts, which will last, sometimes, three or four or more years, before they proceed to a public wedding by the ministers; though often the young couple grow better acquainted before these formalities are dispatched. The gentry give portions which their daughters; but the burghers and peasants, if able, give cloaths, furniture, and a great wedding-dinner, but no­thing more, till they die.

Sumptuous burials and monuments are general among the nobility; and it is usual to keep the corpse of a person of quality in a vault, or the chancel of some church, for several years, till a fit opportunity offers to to celebrate the funeral. The poorer sort are buried in great, thick chests; and in the towns, there are about [Page 100] a dozen of common mourners, belonging to each parish, whose business it is, to carry and attend them to their graves.

CHAP. IV. Of their Trade and Manufactures.

HAVING already spoken of the trade of Norway, I shall confine myself to the kingdom of Denmark, which is extremely well situated for commerce, her harbours well adapted for ships of great burden, and her seamen very expert in navigation. But Denmark pos­sesses very few commodities for exportation. It is, how­ever, very rich in timber, and other materials for ship-building, with which it supplies other nations, besides its own. There is no comparison between the present trade of Denmark, and what it was 50 years ago. Scarcely any thing has been omitted by government, that could promote and enlarge its commerce. Besides the registry of ships, and the increase of the number and tonnage of them, there have been numerous advantages given to trade, which are shewn in most of the branches of the nation's dealing with other countries. They have an East India-company, whose trade is increasing, and [Page 101] profits considerable and regular. Their West-India colonies thrive more than ever, and a rise in the crown-revenues, and an increase of shipping and population, is the best criterion of an improvement of their general commerce.

In 1755, an African company was established, and in 1736, a loan-bank was erected, where great or small sums, not under 100 rix-dollars, are lent, on pledges, at four per cent.

They export, now, fir, and other timber, black cattle, stock-fish, tallow, hides, train-oil, tar, pitch, iron, and furs, and import salt, wine, brandy, and silk, from France, Portugal, and Italy; broad-cloths, clocks, cabinet-work, locks, &c. from England. They possess the islands of St. Croix, St. Thomas, and the small island of St. John, in the West-Indies; which are free ports, renowned for smuggling, and the fort of Christianburg, on the coast of Guinea, and carry on a considerable com­merce with the Mediterranean.

Of the Baltick sea they have in a great measure the command, being possessed of the passage of the Sound, which is a narrow streight, between two and three miles over, between Sweden and Denmark, through which all ships pass and repass, to and from the Baltick. This pass is guarded by the fortress of Cronberg. A toll is paid to the Crown of Denmark, by all ships that pass this way. [Page 102] This toll seems to have taken its rise, and to have been first laid on, by consent of the traders into the Baltick, for the maintenance of light-houses, at certain places on that coast. And though there is another passage into this sea, by a streight between the islands of Funen and Seeland, called the Great-belt, yet, that was disused, and ships, by the same consent, were obliged to pass the Sound, that they might all pay their quota towards the support of such lights. But there being no fixed rule or treaty, with respect to the sums to be paid by the many nations that passed this way, the Danes, in process of time, grew arbitrary, and exacted more or less, accord­ing to the strength, or weakness, of those they had to deal with, or according to their friendship with those states, to whom the several ships belonged. Many have been the treaties respecting this toll within these 200 years; and the King of Denmark's title to the right of exacting it, is now so slightly grounded, and his not having posses­sion of the castle of Helsingburg, in Sweden, on the other side, which once he had, that it is continued only by favour, and the public law of Europe. It has been generally asserted, that the castle of Cronberg guards the Sound; and that all ships must, on account of the shoal-water and currents, steer so near the batteries, as to be exposed to their fire: but this is not the case; on account of the numerous and opposite currents, the safest passage is near the fortress, but the water, in any part, is of sufficient depth for vessels to keep at a distance from the batteries; and the largest ships can even sail close to [Page 103] the coast of Sweden: but the several nations consent to pay a small toll, from one to one and a half per cent. on their cargoes, and every ship lowers her top-sails as she passes. The Danes, however, are obliged to take the master of the vessel's word, for the quality and quantity of the lading, and find it prudent not to be too strict in their enquiries; but, if the English and Dutch were to refuse payment, other states would soon do the same, and the chain would be broken. To prevent vessels passing by the Greater or Lesser Belt, without paying equal toll, men of war are there stationed, so chat the profits of the Sound amount to about 100,000 l. a year.

In the last century, there were scarce any manufactures carried on in Denmark, but now there are artists of great eminence at Copenhagen, and every branch of mecha­nic arts is well executed throughout the kingdom. Gold and silver-lace, silk stuffs and velvets, cloths, cotton and woollen stuffs, stockings, tapestry, hats, bastard and genuine porcelain and fire-arms, are there manufactured. There are also paper and copper-mills, different sorts of iron-wares made, silk and cotton printing-houses, with manufactories of soap, steel, starch, glue, lacker, tobacco, sugar, &c.

In 1738, a general warehouse or magazine was opened at the Exchange, in Copenhagen, to which manufactu­rers bring all the wares, which they cannot dispose of in other towns, and are paid ready money for them; and [Page 104] from this warehouse the goods are delivered out on credit to retailers.

The post-office is on a very regular footing. In all towns the couriers for letters go out and come in twice a week. There are travelling post-carriages; and at every town, a person may hire one for himself at a rea­sonable fixed rate. The roads are measured all over the kingdom, and, at every quarter of a Danish mile, the ground is a little raised, and a stone erected on it.

The Danes are no proficients in the fine arts, not having encouragement enough to make any progress. The kingdom, says Marshall, is too poor to yield a mar­ket even to first portrait-painters; the only art that makes any decent figure at Copenhagen, is music; where some very capital German and Italian performers meet with pretty good encouragement.

CHAP. V. Of their Languages, Learning, and Religion.

THE Danish language is merely a dialect of the Swedish and Norwegian, and the inhabitants of these three northern kingdoms understand each other, excepting in some few words and phrases. With regard to [Page 105] the pronunciation it has a perfect affinity with the Eng­lish, is not unlike the whining, unpleasing, tone of the Irish; has many monosyllables, the same with the English, in which our's originated. The court, and many burghers, speak Dutch in common conversation, and French to strangers, and the nobility have made great advances in English, which is now taught as a branch of polite and necessary education. A company of English players occasionally visit Copenhagen, and find good encou­ragement.

The number of learned men in Denmark is as consi­derable as in any other country in Europe of the same extent, and where the sciences are in a flourishing state. There is scarce any branch of literature, in which men of genius have not acquitted themselves with honour. This is the language of Busching; but Marshall says, learning of all kinds is but at a low ebb. Denmark certainly produced formerly very learned men, for instance, the famous mathematician Tycho Brahe, of whom they are now so proud, as to preserve, amongst the most va­luable of their curiosities, the chair in which he used to sit, when he made his astronomical observations at Ura­nibourg, and the wood which composes it, is held in reverence. They can boast also of the Bartholines for physic and anatomy, and Borichius, who bequeathed a considerable legacy to the university of Copenhagen. Their Icelandic authors I have spoken of, when treating [Page 106] of that island; but I must not omit Christian Oeder, to whom we are indebted for the Flora Danica.

The Kings of Denmark have occasionally deputed, and still continue to send, at their expence, learned men through their own territories, and into various parts of the world, for the purpose of extending the bounds of knowledge.

Besides the university at Copenhagen, which con­sists of four spacious colleges, that of Kiel, at Soroe, for noblemen's children, and the Gymnasia, or seminaries at Odensee and Altona, there are several schools well en­dowed in country-towns, where the masters are not only liberally provided for, but the scholars are also instructed, and partly maintained, gratis. In this university, the professors have liberal salaries, and many of the students have apartments and instruction free.

At Copenhagen is also a royal academy of sciences, established in 1743, who have published 15 volumes of their transactions; and a society for the improvement of northern history and languages. Here is likewise two schools for the children of the nobility and gentry, whose fortunes are too circumscribed to bear the expence of a proper education, one is for boys, the other for girls; at that for boys, the day scholars pay only 6l. a year, and the boarders 20l. They learn history, geography, and arithmetic, are instructed in the articles of their religion; [Page 107] and have masters for the German, French, and English languages.

Lutheranism is the established religion of the country; but, in Copenhagen, the Calvinists have a church to themselves; the Papists frequent the chapels of foreign Roman-catholic ministers, and the Jews have a syna­gogue. It is a blessing which Denmark enjoys, that the people, in general, have but one faith, which prevents all factions and disputes about religion. So that the Prince is little inconvenienced; for as long as the priests are dependent on the Crown, and the people, in matters of conscience, governed by the priests, as is the case here, the Sovereign may be as arbitrary as he pleases: and, in consideration of this advantage, the clergy are much favoured, and suffered to sink into bigotry. The clergy, however, are not admitted into civil affairs, nor have they any thing to do with government; the pulpit only is left free to them, and here they tyrannize, not only taking vast liberties of reprehending vices, but censuring and lashing particular persons of the highest rank, which is passed unnoticed, whilst they interfere not with state-matters. The common people admire them for this bold­ness, and the best part of their income arising from the voluntary contributions of the people, they take care to cultivate the good opinion of the mob; whom they keep, at the same time, in awe, by the practice of con­fession before they administer the sacrament, which every one that receives is obliged to undergo. They do not [Page 108] read their sermons as in England, but get them by heart, and pronounce them with a great deal of action. Holy-days and feast-days are observed as solemnly as sundays; and in Copenhagen the city-gates are shut during service, so that no one can go in or out; the common class of people are great frequenters of the churches, which are kept much more decently and cleanly than with us. In­deed, though they have thrown off the Pope's supre­macy, they still reserve the gaudiness of their churches, their crucifixes, and some of their ceremonies. They are all great lovers of organs, and have many very good ones, and skilful organists, who entertain the congrega­tion with music, for half an hour, either before or after service.

There are six bishops in Denmark, but no archbi­shops. These are appointed by the King, but, accord­ing to Molesworth, have no temporalities, keep no ec­clesiastical courts, have no cathedrals, with deans, pre­bends, &c. but are only primi inter pares, having rank above the inferior clergy of their province, and the in­spection into their doctrine and manners. Busching says, each bishoprick has a small cathedral, and four or five canons; one of these bishops is a metropolitan, viz. the bishop of Iceland, whose income is 1000l. English; the rest from 600l. to 400l. They are allowed to have two or three parishes each, but their habit is common with other ministers, namely, a plaited, black gown, with short sleeves, a large stiff ruff about the neck, and a [Page 109] cap with edges like our masters of arts; except that theirs is round, whereas ours is square.

The other clergy are provosts or archdeacons, priests, and chaplains. Of provosts there are 160, who annually visit the preachers and schoolmasters within their archdeaconry, decide disputes between the clergy and their people, and appear at the provincial synod twice a year. These provosts have a rix-dollar, about 4s. 6d. sterling yearly, from every church in their juris­diction. Next to these are the preachers, or parish-priests, who receive their salaries, as with us, in glebe, tithes and surplice-fees, and, in some places, from vo­luntary contributions. These livings seldom exceed in value 400l. sterling, for all short of 60l. except in Jut­land, where there are a few, scarce worth 20l. The assistants to these preachers are the chaplains. For every large parish, has, besides the parish-church, one or more additional chapels of ease. A preacher's widow receives half the income of her husband's living, from the suc­cessor, the first year (Coxe says the whole), and an eighth part for the remainder of her life. In the princi­pal town of every diocese, there is also a widow's box, in which every preacher puts in a certain sum, and his wife, if she survives him, enjoys an annuity in propor­tion to what he has contributed. Most of their clergy understand English, and admit that they draw the best of their divinity from English books. They hate a Calvinist as much as a Papist, but have great respect for [Page 110] the church of England—say, there is little difference between their doctrine and ours, and wish for a union with us.

CHAP. VI. Of their Government, Laws, Forces, &c.

TILL the revolution in 1660, the crown of Den­mark was elective, and the government a kind of aristocracy, but in that year, it was changed to as absolutely a monarchy as any in the world. The Sove­reign is now declared as independent upon earth, acknow­ledge no higher power than God; he has an unlimited authority, to make, alter, repeal, and dispense with laws; can make peace and declare war, form alliances, and levy taxes; in short, he enjoys all the rights and pre­rogatives which an hereditary, absolute, and despotic king can enjoy.

Five persons compose the King's privy-council. Four of them are constantly at court, and the fifth at Ham­burgh, by the weekly advices of whom, the others gene­rally regulate all their deliberations. Hamburgh is a kind of commonwealth of its own, but the kings of [Page 111] Denmark still lay claim to certain privileges within its walls.

The Danes are divided into nobles, burghers, and peasants, and the noblesse is distinguished by the appel­lations of the higher and lower nobility. In the rank of higher nobles are counts and barons, for there are no dukes or princes. Counts have the right of primo geni­ture. Their younger sons and daughters are stiled barons and baronesses: in their counties they have the right of patronage, and of appointing a judge and secretary, from whose sentence there is no appeal but to the su­preme court of judicature. They pay no contributions or tithes for their estates in chief, and are allowed 300 acres of land, over and above, free from all impositions. Barons have similar privileges, only not so extensive. Lords of manors, have, besides their manors, 200 acres of land, within two miles of their manors, free from contribution. Burghers are the freemen of towns; and peasants answer to our freeholders and copyholders.

There are here two orders of knighthood, the prin­cipal is that of the Elephant, whose ensigns are, a silver star on the left breast, and a white enamelled elephant, hung to a blue ribband, worn over the left shoulder to the right side. The second is the Danebrog order, whose badge is a gold cross, enamelled, and set with diamonds, hanging to a watered, white ribband, with a red border, [Page 112] worn over the right shoulder to the left side, and a silver-star.

The country is divided into general governments, called Stifts-Amts, and the Stifts-Amtmann, or governor, is always a person of distinction, generally a knight of one of the orders, and has authority over the revenues, towns, and country, within his jurisdiction. Under the Stifts-Amtmann are the Amtmanner, or prefects, who are also noblemen. The civil government in the cities and post-towns is lodged in a burgo-master and council, but in smaller towns in the Byevogt, or King's head-borough.

The salaries of the judges are but small, but do not consist of fees. Every man may, if he pleases, plead his own cause, in any of the courts; but the poor, and such as cannot speak for themselves, have advocates ap­pointed for them: insomuch that the charges of the law are so easy, that a complaint may go through all the courts for less than 12l. sterling. The smallness of the expence, however, is no encouragement to those that love going to law, for the laws themselves provide effectu­ally against the mischief, and take away the very root of litigiousness, being so plain and clear, that a trouble­some person never finds his account in promoting vexa­tious suits, but meets with all the disappointments one would wish him.

[Page 113]Advocates, or counsellors, are not regularly bred as with us, but any one may take up the profession that pleases. The supreme court of judicature, which I have mentioned, is at Copenhagen, where the king sits sometimes in person, and is always composed of the prime nobility of the kingdom.

In criminal matters, such great severity is practised, that high-treason is never heard of; there are no clip­pers or coiners, no robbers on the highway, nor house-breakers; the most usual capital crimes are manslaughter and stealing, on which occasion the criminal is beheaded with a sword, very dextrously by a headsman, at one stroke, who is, from a variety of offices which he under­takes, generally very rich, though no one will be seen in his company. He empties the necessary-houses, and removes dead dogs and horses out of houses and stables. No Danish servant will do this, but the headsman un­dertakes it, and performs it by an under-servant called a Racker, and has his own price for so doing. All mis­demeanours are punished by servitude in chains, for a certain length of time.

I must not omit to take notice, on the authority of lord Molesworth, that, in this country, it is only the nobility with titles that have the liberty of making a will, to dispose of any estate, otherwise than as the law shall, of course, direct; and that such must be approved and signed by the King, during the life of the testator.

[Page 114]There is no buying or selling of land in this country; but should a person, possessing an estate, wish to leave the country altogether; if he can find a purchaser for his land, he is at liberty to sell; but, one third part of such purchase-money is the property of the King.

The revenue of the Crown arises from taxes, customs, and crown-lands, the gross receipt of which amounted, in 1769, to 1,252,454l. and the expenditure was 936,130l. of which the army estimates come to 350,000l. and those of the navy to 180,000l. The national debt, in 1771, was 3,418,000l. the interest of which was dis­charged by an annual payment of 131,392l. which must be added to the yearly expenditure. This revenue com­pared to that of England is very small, but in Denmark, where every commodity is very cheap, it is an immense sum. The army, if subsidies be reckoned, as the King finds only arms, to vast numbers, costs little or nothing; and the navy is maintained at a very easy rate. The num­ber on constant pay, during peace, is not large; and the rest are retained by a month's pay in the year, to be ready at call; so that the expence of the navy is little more than the building of ships, and providing of stores.

The army is composed of the troops of Denmark and Holstein, and those of Norway. Those of the two former amount to 67,000 horse and foot; those of the latter to 31,000; in the whole, 98,000.

[Page 115]From their insular situation, the Danes have always excelled as a maritime people. The greatest part of the Danish navy is stationed in the harbour of Copenhagen, which lies within the fortifications; but the depth of water being only 20 feet, the ships do not take in their lower tier of guns till out of port. The number of registered seamen are 40,000. Each receives 8 s. a year, as long as he sends a certificate of his being alive, but is subject to a recall in case of war: the marines are in number 800, and the ships as follows; 38 of the line, and about 20 frigates.

The chief nursery for the officers of the navy is the academy of marine cadets, where 60 are maintained and instructed at the expence of the Crown. Every year they make a cruize on board a frigate. Other youths are admitted into this academy, at the expence of their friends.


CHAP. I. Of the Country, Villages, People, Houses, Employments, &c.

AMERICA extends from the north pole to the 57th degrees of south latitude, and is upwards of 8,000 miles in length. It sees both hemispheres; it has two summers, and a double winter; enjoys all the variety of climates which the earth affords, and is washed by the two greatest oceans, by which it carries on a great and direct commerce with the other three parts of the world. It is composed of two vast continents, one on the north, the other on the south, joined by the great kingdom of Mexico, which forms a sort of Isthmus, 1500 miles

A Map of Part of NORTH AMERICA from Lat. 40. to Lat. 62.

[Page 117] long, and at one part, at Darien, so very narrow, as to make the communication between the two oceans, east and west, by no means difficult.

America, in general, is not a mountainous country, yet, has the greatest mountains in the world, and is better watered. In North America, part of which we are now going to treat of, the great river Missisippi, rising from unknown sources, runs an immense course, from north to south, and receives the vast influx of the Ohio and Ouabache, and other immense rivers, scarcely in­ferior to the Rhine or the Danube, navigable almost to their very sources, and laying open the inmost recesses of this continent. Near the heads of these, are five vast lakes, or rather seas of fresh water running into each other, and all communicating with the ocean, by the river St. Laurence, which passes through them. The eastern side of North America, besides the noble rivers Hudson, Delaware, Susquehanna, Patowmack, sup­plies several others of great depth, length, and commo­dious navigation. Many parts of the settlements are so intersected with navigable rivers and creeks, that the planters may be said, without exaggeration, to have each a harbour at his own door.

The Labrador coast, which is the country of the Eskimaux Indians, and lies near the north pole, we have treated of in the first volume of this work; that which we are now going to describe, belongs to the [Page 118] English, having been originally settled by the French, but by them ceded to us.

The aborigines of America, throughout the whole extent of the two vast continents, which they inhabit, and amongst the infinite number of nations and tribes, into which they are divided, differ very little from each other in their manners and customs; and they all form a very striking picture of the most distant antiquity.

When the Europeans first came among them, they found the people quite naked, except those parts which is common for the most uncultivated people to conceal. Since that time, they have generally a coarse blanket to cover them, which they buy from us. The whole fashion of their lives is of a piece, hardy, poor, and squallid. Their only occupation is hunting. Agri­culture is left to the women. Merchandize they con­temn; but as I shall have occasion to describe them more particularly, I will not anticipate what I shall be obliged to repeat.

The first land on the approach to Canada, in the great Atlantic ocean, is the island of Newfoundland, be­longing to the English, situated between 47 and 52 de­grees north latitude. This island is of a triangular form, about 350 miles long from north to south, and about 200 miles broad at the base, or broadest part from east to west, and is about 7 leagues distant from the continent.

[Page 119]Notwithstanding it lies more to the southward than England, the winters are much colder, and the earth is covered with snow, every year, for four or five months; so that it is scarce habitable when the sun is in the south­ern signs. This must be owing to its vicinity to a vast, frozen continent, over which the north-west wind blow­ing for many hundred miles, makes the countries that lie on that side of the Atlantic, much colder than those on this side, in the same latitudes. At midsummer, how­ever, it is much hotter there than with us. The sea­sons, however, after all, are very temperate, neither are there any great extremities of heat and cold. It is a healthy place, and agrees very well with English consti­tutions. The soil is exceedingly fruitful, and, without any art or cultivation, produces plants, fruits, and grain, fit for man and beast. Bilberries, barberries, raspberries, cherries, gooseberries, strawberries, white and red, pears, filberds, &c. grow in such plenty, that a man may sooner tire himself with eating, than searching for them. Wheat, bailey, rye, pease, and vetches, were found in the country, when it was first discovered. In short, there is scarce any fruit, root, pulse, or plant, that will flourish in England, that will not thrive here. The highlands are clothed with woods that preserve their ver­dure all the winter, and the plains are watered with ponds, brooks, and rivers, which refresh the meadows, and make the grass high and rank.

[Page 120]The animals of the island are buffaloes, deer, hares, foxes, squirrels, wolves, bears, amphibious beavers, and others. Of small birds, and wild fowl, they have the same as with us, with the addition of the penguin: and their harbours and rivers are well stocked with a variety of fish. All the world knows the reputa­tion of Newfoundland for cod; but the great rarity of all animals, is the mermaid; which, if we believe the word of Captain Whitburn, who wrote an account of this island, in the last century, is an inhabitant of these seas. He affirms that as he was standing one day, early in the morning, at St. John's harbour, he saw a creature making very swiftly towards him, which by the eyes, nose, chin, ears, neck, forehead, and in a word, by all the upper parts, which were very well proportioned, ap­peared to be a woman. The hair, indeed, was to be excepted; for instead of that, there were, all round about, upon the head, as it were, blue streaks, which much resembled hair, and hung down to the neck. The captain says, he looked at it stedfastly, and so did another of his company, that stood not far from him, and staid till it came within the length of a long pike from him, and then he retreated. When the creature saw him withdrawing, it turned about also, and made away, which gave him an opportunity of viewing the shoulders and back parts of it, down to the waist. From the middle, to the lower part, (to use his own words) it went pointing, in proportion like a broad-hooked arrow; but how it was in the fore-part of the body, [Page 121] from the neck and shoulders downwards, he could not discern, because it did not advance towards him, so much above the water, as it appeared when it went away. This Syren had a mind to the Captain's company in some palace or other, within the dominions of Neptune, but he (though otherwise of good breeding) refused the favour, and slighted her, knowing there was no good wine in that country, but a guzzling of salt-water, which kind of drinking-bout would have cost him his life, and deprived him of christian burial. She had shewn him the charms of her face, but thought him unworthy of those of her voice, which the poets of old have so wonderfully extolled. But to be serious, this same creature came swiftly to the side of a boat, in which were some of the Captain's men, and endeavoured to get into it. The fellows were scared at the sight, and ready to leap out of the boat, when they perceived it attempting to get in. One of them, however, recovered spirit enough to manage his oar, with which he struck the Syren such a blow across the head, as to make her let go her hold, and drop into the water. This did not kill her, for she came up afterwards to some boats in the harbour, which, being near the shore, the men got out and ran away. As a man could have no interest in forming this story, it may be credited as well as many other wonderful accounts of strange monsters in the world.

[Page 122]Whether there were any original natives of this island, we cannot take upon us to say; when it was first discovered, the English saw some people on shore, painted with oker, and cloathed with stag-skins (formed into a sort of gowns) that reached to half way the leg, the sleeves coming down half way the arm, and beaver-skins about their neck. They were bare-legged, and most of them bare-footed. Their heads were uncovered. They wore their hair pretty long, a great lock behind, plaited with feathers, with a feather in it, standing upright, on the crown of the head, and a small lock plaited before. Their hair was of different colours; and their cloaths, as well as their bodies, were painted red.

Whether these were natives of the island, or wanderers from other parts, is unknown; but, at present, there do not seem to be any ancient inhabitants. The island is over-run by the Eskimaux Indians, of whom we have treated; and as to Europeans, there do not remain, in the winter, above 1000 families, in the towns of Pla­centia, Bonavista, and St. John.

The small islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon, situated to the southward of Newfoundland, in the year 1763, when the island was ceded to us, were reserved to France, on condition they should erect no fortifications there, nor keep more than 50 soldiers to inforce the police. By this treaty, they are at liberty to fish in the Gulph of St. Lawrence; but not within three leagues of any of [Page 123] the coasts belonging to England, and are permitted to dry their nets on the northern more of the island.

The great bank of Newfoundland, so renowned for its cod-fishery, is a shoal, or properly a great mountain, hid under water, about 20 leagues from shore, extend­ing 150 leagues from north to south, beginning in 41 degrees north latitude. Its great width, from east to west, is about 90 leagues. The anchorage here is from 25 to 60 fathoms.

Great-Britain and North America, at the lowest com­putation, employ annually 3,000 sail of small vessels in this fishery, on board of which, and on shore, to cure and pack the fish, are upwards of 10,000 people, and it is an excellent nursery for seamen. The cod we sell abroad from this fishery, yields full, to us, 300,000l. a year.

Every thing in the cod, while fresh, is good; but the best parts of it, viz. the head, the tongue, the liver, as it takes more salt to preserve these, than they would be worth salted, are thrown away. The largest cod, says Charlevoix, I ever saw on the bank, was not three feet long. It is a very voracious fish, and we often found in their stomachs pieces of broken pots, and bits of iron and glass. The cod can turn itself inside out, like a pocket, and it is thus that it frees itself of any thing that troubles it. This fishing season is from the beginning of May, to the end of August.

[Page 124]We have more than once, continues this author, had the diversion of seeing a fight between a whale and the sword-fish, and nothing is more entertaining. The sword-fish is as thick as a cow, seven or eight feet long, gradually lessening to the tail. It takes its name from its weapon, a kind of sword, three feet long, and four inches wide, fixed above its nose, and having a row of teeth on each side an inch long, at an equal distance from each other. This fish is good with any sauce, and its head better eating than a calf's head. It is bigger and squarer.

The whale and the sword-fish never meet without fighting, and the latter, they say, is always the aggressor. Sometimes two sword-fishes join against a whale, and then it is not an equal match. The whale has no weapon but its tail, which to make use of, it plunges its head under water, and if it can strike its enemy with a blow of its tail, it is sure to kill it; but the sword-fish is dexterous enough to shun it, instantly falls on the whale, and runs its weapon into its back; but as it seldom reaches the fat, it does not materially hurt the whale. When the whale sees the sword-fish dart, it plunges, but the sword-fish pursues, and obliges it to appear again. Then the fight begins again, and continues till the sword-fish loses sight of the whale, which fights always retreating, and swims best on the surface of the water.

[Page 125]Cape Breton is an island, about 120 miles long, and 50 broad, a barren, desart land, affording scarce any trees or herbage; lying between Newfoundland and Nova Scotia; the chief town of which is Louisburgh. It has been taken and retaken by the French and English more than once; is at present in possession of the English, but the town of Louisburgh, which was once well for­tified by the French, is now dismantled.

The island of St. John, in the Gulph of St. Lawrence, is also an English island, 60 miles long, and between 30 and 40 broad, with many fine rivers. On the reduction of Cape Breton, in 1758, the inhabitants, in number about 4,000, submitted to the British arms, It is a pleasant, fertile place, and settled by English families; many tracks of land being given to the English officers, at the peace of 1763.

The Gulph of St. Lawrence is 80 leagues long, in which, about half-way up, are two rocks, rising about 60 feet per­pendicular above the sea; the largest of which is not above two or three hundred paces in circumference. They stand close to each other, and what is remarkable their surface and sides are so covered with the dung of birds, that we cannot see their colour. They have been often visited, and boats have been there loaded with birds eggs. The stench of these rocks is almost insupportable, and it is wonder­ful that, in such a multitude of nests, every bird imme­diately finds its own. On firing a gun, this flying com­monwealth [Page 126] is alarmed, and there is formed, above the two islands, a thick cloud of these birds, two or three leagues round.

The gulph, or river, at the entrance, is 30 leagues wide, and adjoining, is the Bay of Gaspe, in which is a natural curiosity, viz. a steep rock, 30 fathoms long, 10 high, and 4 broad, called the Pierced Island, which looks like an old wall, and has in the midst of it an opening like an arch, through which a boat with its sails up may pass; and not far from the island of Miscou is another curious production of nature in this gulph. There rises out of the sea a spring of fresh water, which makes a jet above the sea-water pretty high, like a fountain.

In the gulph of St. Lawrence are some good har­bours, and some few islands, one of which, Anticosto, is 40 leagues long, but very barren, and without a har­bour. As soon as this island is passed, the River St. Lawrence narrows, so that land may be seen on both sides. One hundred and ten leagues from the sea, the water, as at Woolwich, on the Thames, is a little brackish; and, at the entrance of the two canals, that form the island of Orleans, a little below Quebec, which stands on this river, and where it is about one mile across; I say, at the entrance of the two canals there is a phe­nomenon pretty difficult to explain, especially if we con­sider its great rapidity, notwithstanding its breadth. The tide flows here regularly five hours, and ebbs seven; at Ta­doussac, [Page 127] below this, it ebbs and flows six hours; and the higher we go up the river, the more the flood di­minishes, and the ebb increases, till we come 20 leagues above Quebec, when it flows three hours, and ebbs nine. When it is half flood in the port of Tadoussac, it is but just beginning to flow at Checoutimi, 25 leagues higher up the river Saguenay, at the mouth of which Tadoussac stands, and yet it is high water at the three places at the same time. This happens, no doubt, because the ra­pidity of the river Saguenay, greater than that of St. Lawrence, running against the tide, makes an equilibrium, for some time, between Checoutimi and the entrance of the Saguenay into the great river St. Lawrence.

The river up to the isle of Orleans, 112 leagues from the sea, is never less than four or five leagues wide, but above the island it grows narrower all at once, so that at Quebec it is only a mile broad. Quebec, in the language of the country, means shut up. The first thing that ap­pears, on entering the road of Quebec, is a fine sheet of water, 30 feet wide, and 40 high, called the Fall of Montmorenci. It is directly at the entrance of the little channel of the isle of Orleans. Every one would judge, that such a large fall of water, which runs continually, was the discharge of some fine river, but it is only de­rived from an inconsiderable current, from a lake which, in some places, is not ancle deep.

Quebec is a league higher, in the very place where the river is narrowest. The moorings are over-against [Page 128] the city, where there is 25 fathom water, and good an­chorage. When it was founded in 1608, the tide rose to the foot of the rock, but since that time the river has re­tired by degrees, and left a great space dry, where they have built the lower city, but high enough above the shore to be secure from inundations. The upper city stands upon a rock of marble and slate. On landing, we enter a pretty long street, which takes up the whole breadth of the place, and leads to the upper city; and the way is so steep, that we rise by steps, and of course can only go on foot. This street is bordered with stone house pretty well built, with their backs close to the rock, so that they have but little depth. In the upper city is a place of arms before the fort, which is a regu­lar and beautiful citadel, covering the whole town, and where the governor resides. It is not a large place, though the capital of Canada, containing about seven or eight thousand inhabitants. Ships of the greatest burden load and unload here, and many are here built.

This city is a bishopric, but the cathedral is mean, serving as a parish-church to all the place. It has a small church besides in the lower city. The bishop's pa­lace is a long square, and makes a good appearance; the gardens extend to the brow of the rock, and command all the road. Here is a college of Jesuits, two convents, two hospitals, but the greatest beauty of the place is its society. There seems to be every thing for all sorts of people to pass their time very agreeably, and they do


[Page 129] so in reality, every one endeavouring to contribute the utmost towards it. They play, they make parties of pleasure in summer in chariots or canoes; in winter, in sledges on the snow, or skaiting on the ice. The news current is but little, because the country furnishes scarce any; and the news from Europe comes generally alto­gether. There is nobody rich here, for they spend their money as freely as they get it, on their tables and their dress.

Twenty-five leagues higher up the river St. Law­rence, is the town of Three Rivers, where the river is half a league wide; it is but a small place, but prettily situated, having some good iron mines in its neighbour­hood. There is a convent of Recollets, a fine hospital, and a nunnery of Ursulines. It is fortified, and has a good garrison.

From Three Rivers to Montreal, through the countries of the Irroquois Indians, the river St. Law­rence is full of islands. On the side of Quebec the land is good, but for a long winter, universally covered with snow. Thirty leagues above Three Rivers is the isle of Montreal, in the same river St. Lawrence, an island ten leagues long from east to west, and near four broad. There is a mountain in this island, with two heads of unequal height, almost in the middle, but the town is built only half a league from the south coast. It has a very chearful aspect, is well situated, open, and well built. The agreeableness of its environs, and its pros­pects, [Page 130] inspire a certain gaiety, of which every one feels the effect. Montreal is a long square, situated on the bank of the river, which, rising insensibly, divides the town in its length into high and low; but the ascent from one to the other is scarcely perceivable. The streets are regular, and well cut. It contains three con­vents, with handsome churches, and an hospital for the sick. The fortifications are good, and the inhabitants are said to be about 5,000. As the town rises from the river, every house, (and all are handsome), may be seen at one view from the harbour. The river here is only navigable by canoes, or small craft, having several falls between this and Quebec. Yet the Indian fair, and their trade the whole year, make it no incon­siderable place. The Hotel Dieu, and the King's maga­zines, are in the lower town, and almost all the traders live there: the convents and the parish-church are situ­ated in the upper town, and the governor and the greatest part of the officers there reside. The parish-church has more the appearance of a cathedral than that at Quebec, and the service is performed with a modesty and dignity which inspires respect for the majesty of God, who is here adored.

Between the island of Montreal and the continent, on the north side, there is another island, about eight leagues long and two leagues over. The channel, which sepa­rates the two islands, runs through the midst of fine meadows, but its course is impeded towards the middle [Page 131] by a torrent or water-fall. The third arm of the river is strewed, as it were, with such a number of small islands, that there is almost as much land as water.

From Quebec to Montreal, which is about 170 miles distance, the country on both sides the river is very well settled, and has an agreeable effect upon the eye; the farms lie pretty close all the way; several gentlemen's houses, neatly built, shew themselves at intervals, and there is all the appearance of a flourishing colony; but there are no towns or villages, but that of Three Rivers which I have mentioned.

With all the attention of the Court of France to the trade and peopling of this colony, they have not been able thoroughly to overcome the consequences of those difficulties which the climate, whilst the place was un­settled, threw in their way. Their losses in the wars with the brave and fierce Irroquois Indians, and the bad navi­gation of the river St. Lawrence, which is an incurable evil, have kept back the colony; therefore, though it is the oldest of all the French establishments, and prior to our settling of New England, the inhabitants are not above 100,000 in number.

That which has been the security of Montreal, and its environs, are two villages of Irroquois christians, and the fort of Chambly. The first is that of the fall of St. Louis, situated on the continent, on the south side [Page 132] of the river, three leagues above Montreal, which is very populous, and has always been esteemed one of the strongest barriers against the heathen Irroquois, and the people of New-York. It has a good church. The situation is charming; and the river St. Lawrence, which is very wide here, and full of islands, has a fine effect. The second village is that of the Mountain, over-against the west end of the island of Montreal. These two villages have produced many brave men, and their fer­vor in religion was wonderful, before the avarice of traders had introduced brandy among them, which has occa­sioned such disorders, that in the squares and streets of Montreal is often seen the most frightful spectacles, the certain consequence of the drunkenness of these barba­rians: husbands and wives; fathers, mothers, and their children; brothers and sisters, taking each other by the throat, tearing each others ears, and biting one another, like furious wolves. The air often resounds in the night with howlings, more horrible than those which the wild beasts make in the woods.

The great trade for skins is carried on at Montreal, by the savages of the north and west, resorting here at certain seasons, from all parts of Canada, to the distance of 1,000 miles. Little fleets of Indians are seen on the river in the month of June, when this sair begins, and continues for three months. On this occasion, many solemnities are observed; guards are placed, and the governor assists to preserve order.

[Page 133]Fort Chambly is situated about 17 leagues up the river Richlieu, which empties itself into the river St. Lawrence, near the town of Three Rivers. It is built with stone, flanked with four bastions, and has a pretty good garrison; it is eight leagues from Lake Champ­lain, at the extremity of which stands Crown-Point.

Having now described the principal settlements on the river St. Lawrence, I will speak of Canada more generally.

Canada, as ceded by France to England, and now possessed by us, was commonly called New France. It had no bounds to the north, but, on the side of Hudson's Bay; and no other on the east but the sea: the English Colonies, now the united states of America, on the south, Louisiana to the south-east, and the Spanish territories to the west. In this great extent of country, there are but three mother-tongues, from which all others are derived. These are the Sioux, the Algonguin, and the Huron. We know but little of the people that speak the first of these languages, and no one knows how far it extends. The Sioux were a peace­able people, before the Hurons and Outaouais took re­fuge in the country, from the fury of die Irroquois.

The Sioux have a plurality of wives, and severely punish those who fail in conjugal fidelity; by cutting off the end of their noses, and cutting a circle in a part of the [Page 134] skin, on the top of their heads, and pulling it off; that is, scalping them. Some of these people are said to have a Chinese accent. They dwell commonly in meadows, under tents, made of skins, and well wrought, living on wild oats, which grow abundantly in their marshes, and by hunting, especially the buffaloes that are covered with wool, and which are seen in herds of thousands each, in their meadows. They have no fixed abode, but travel in great companies, like the Tartars, and never stay longer in one place, than the chace detains them.

In Canada, there are five fresh-water lakes, the smallest of which is larger than any known lake in the world. This is Lake Ontario, which is not less than 200 leagues round. Oswego is longer, but not so broad; Huron spreads greatly in width; Michegan is longer one way than the other; but Lake Superior is 500 leagues round, and contains several large islands. They are all navigable by any sized vessels, and all communi­cate with one another, except that the passage between Oswego and Ontario is interrupted by a stupendous cata­ract, called the Falls of Niagara, forming the river of that name, or rather the river of St. Lawrence, which comes out of Lake Oswego or Erie, and passes through Lake Ontario, after a streight of 14 leagues. They call it the river of Niagarra from the fall, and this space is about six leagues. At the entrance of this river is a fort, where it is designed to erect a village.

[Page 135]To reach the height from whence this river falls, we must pass over three mountains, one above ano­ther. The country of Niagara is frightful and savage. On one side we see, under our feet, and as it were in the bottom of an abyss, a great river indeed; but which, in this place, resembles more a torrent by its rapidity, by the whirlpools which a thousand rocks make in it, through which it has much difficulty to find a pas­sage, and by the foam with which it is always covered. On the other side, the view is covered by the three mountains I have mentioned, rising one above another, the last of which loses itself in the clouds, and where the poets might well have said, the Titans would have scaled heaven. In short, turn which way we will, we discover scenes that inspire horror. But travel a little further; go beyond these wild and inhospitable mountains, and we see a rich soil, magnificent forests, pleasant and fruitful hills; and we breathe a pure air, and enjoy a temperate climate, between the two lakes Oswego and Ontario.

This waterfall is about half a mile wide, in the form of a horse-shoe; but it is divided, exactly in the middle, by a very narrow island, about half a mile long, which comes to a point here; but these two parts of the river unite again, before it reaches the rock that almost crosses it, and near the precipice, from which it tumbles per­pendicularly, in its whole breadth 150 feet. No words can express the consternation of travellers at seeing so great a body of water falling, or rather violently thrown [Page 136] from so great a height, upon the rocks below; from which it rebounds again to a very great height, white as snow, being by these violent agitations converted into foam. The noise of this cataract is often heard at the distance of 15 miles, and the vapour arising from it may sometimes be seen at a great distance, in appearance like a cloud, or pillar of smoke, or in form of a rainbow, when the sun shines on it. Many beasts and water-fowl, in attempting to swim across the stream, above the fall, have been found dashed to pieces below, and some­times the Indians, through drunkenness, or carelessness, have shared the same fate.

Charlevoix, who travelled round the Lake Erie, or Oswego, in the month of June, gives the following de­scription of his tour. "If one travelled, as I did then, with a clear sky, and a charming climate, by a water, as bright as the finest fountain, meeting every where with a safe and pleasing place to encamp in; where one might find all manner of game, at little cost, breathing at one's ease, a pure air, and enjoying the sight of the finest countries, one would be tempted to travel all one's life. It put me in mind of those antient patriarchs, who had no fixed abode, dwelt under tents, were in some manner masters of all the countries they travelled over, without the trouble of attendants, or the possession of a great domain. How many oaks represented to me that of Mamre? How many fountains reminded me of that of Jacob? Every day a new situation of my own chusing, [Page 137] a neat and convenient house, set up, and furnished with necessaries in a quarter of an hour, spread with flowers, always fresh, covered with a fine green carpet; and on every side plain and natural beauties, which art had not altered, and which it cannot imitate. If these pleasures suffer some interruption, either by bad weather, or some unforeseen accident, they are the more relished when they re-appear.

They say this is the finest part of Canada; and, in­deed, to judge of it by appearances, nature has denied it nothing, that can render a country beautiful: hills, meadows, fields, fine woods of timber-trees, brooks, fountains, and rivers, and all these of such a good qua­lity, and so happily intermixed, that one could scarce wish for any thing more. The lands are not good for all sorts of grain, but the greatest part are surprisingly fertile, some will produce wheat eight years in succession, with­out manure. The isles here seem to have been placed on purpose to captivate the eye. The rivers and the lakes are full of fish, and the climate temperate, and very healthy.

But, on the other hand, if the weather is so delightful in summer, it is the reverse in winter, which begins in a manner that astonishes those who are not used to it. The first frost fills the river St. Lawrence with ice in a few days, and the earth is soon covered with snow which [Page 138] continues six months, and always to the depth of six feet where the wind has little power.

There is, indeed, no want of wood to provide against the cold, which soon becomes excessive, and lasts till the spring is pretty forward; but it is very melancholy, not to be able to stir out, without being frozen, or without being wrapt up in furs, like a bear. Besides, what a sight is the snow, which dazzles the eyes, and conceals all the beauties of nature! There is no longer any dif­ference between the rivers and the fields; no more va­riety; even the trees are covered with rime, and all their branches hung with icicles, under which it is not safe to pass. What can one think, when we see houses with beards of ice a foot long? And how can one travel in a country where bears for six months dare not venture from their holes? Seldom is there a winter, but persons are carried to the hospitals, to have their legs and arms cut off, that are frozen, past recovery. In short, if the sky is clear, there blows from the western parts a wind that cuts the face. If, indeed, the wind changes to south or east, the weather grows a little milder, but there falls such a thick snow, that we cannot see ten paces before us at noon day. If a thawing air comes, adieu to all the capons, quarters of beef and mutton, the fowls and fish that had been laid up frozen in the store-rooms; so that in spite of the rigour of the excessive cold, the inha­bitants are still obliged to wish for its continuance. But as soon as the month of May arrives, the scene is changed, [Page 139] and the sweetness of the season is the more pleasing, as it succeeds a rigorous one. The heat of the summer, in less than four months time, shews both seed-time and harvest, and the serenity of autumn gives a course of finer days than is seen in Europe. Lands are here plowed in summer, sown from the midst of April to the 10th of May, and the corn is cut from the 15th of August to the 20th of September.

At York Fort, a settlement belonging to the Hudson's Bay Company, which lies in north latitude; 57 degrees, and 93 degrees west longitude, from London, the air, though intensely cold, is very salubrious and healthy, especially in the winter-months; and in the summer, though it is much hotter than in England, yet Euro­peans enjoy a good share of health. The atmosphere is clearest, and most serene, in the coldest weather, and the most piercing cold is felt at sun-rising. In January, Fahrenheit's thermometer is frequently 50 degrees be­low 0, and in summer, the mercury will often rise to 90 degrees above 0, making a difference of 140 degrees, between the extremities of heat and cold. From No­vember to the vernal equinox, rum and brandy will freeze to the consistence of honey, and a cask of water in the open air has burst in the course of 48 hours. The frost is never out of the ground; even in summer, it is not thawed lower than about four feet below the surface, and two feet in the woods. Notwithstanding the natives take every precaution to guard against the [Page 140] consequences of the cold, they frequently fall a prey to its severity. After enduring great torment for a con­siderable time, the cold at last seizes the vital parts, and the unfortunate person soon expires. Women have been found frozen to death, with a young infant likewise frozen, clasping its arms round the mother's neck; others have been found dead, and the babe still alive.

In the coldest weather, the atmosphere is most serene. Throughout the day, the air is generally filled with icy particles, small beyond conception, which being driven by the wind, adhere to every thing in their way. In the evening, the stars begin to shine with refulgent lustre, and the contemplative mind is struck with reve­rence and awe, and sees the aurora borealis darting with inconceivable velocity to all parts of the heavens. Mock suns often appear, which is a sure indication of intense cold; and mock moons, when the vapours, arising from open water, become condensed by the frost.

At Churchill Fort, another settlement of the Hudson's Bay Company, and two degrees more to the northward, the cold is intensely severe. From the end of October to the middle of May, this part of the world is buried in frost and snow; but yet, when the genial rays of the sun begin to extend to these parts of the globe, vegetation is exceedingly quick, and the produce of the garden, may be gathered in the middle of June. The sun rises in the shortest day, at York Fort, at 48 minutes after eight. [Page 141] The woods at Churchill Fort are considerably smaller than those at York Fort; these are junipers, pines, pop­lars, and willows; and, indeed, they are so insignificantly small as to make firing exceedingly scarce; and the fur­ther north the traveller goes, the barer he will find the earth of every vegetable; till at last, not the least herb is to be seen, nor any trace of human steps observed in the frigid waste.

In the interior parts of the country in north latitude 55 degrees, and west longitude, from London, 120, where Mr. Umfreville passed four years, from 1784 to 1787, on the bank of a large river, which empties itself, by many branches, into Lake Bourbon, the climate is something milder than about Quebec. The fruits, which grow spontaneously, are here in greater variety than in the wildernesses of Canada. The natives collect a kind of wild cherries, and sell them to the Hudson's Bay people, who make a beverage of them. Raspberries, strawberries, currants, and an infinity of other sorts, are to be found; so that were a person bewildered here, and alone, without communication, he might, in the sum­mer-season, procure a very comfortable subsistence. Every pond would furnish him with duck and other eggs, and every thicket with a satiety of delicious fruits.

In vallies, and moist situations, the grass grows to a great height. In winter, the snow is not half so deep [Page 142] as near the sea-coast, nor are the hottest days in summer near so sultry. The heavens, in cold, winter-nights, do not exhibit so luminous an appearance as near the sea; nor are the aurora borealis, mock-suns, or mock-moons, near so frequent. In short, the two countries will admit of no comparison; the country here is tem­perate and healthy, the land is dry, pleasant, and fertile, and the animal creation is various and excellent, for the support of man. A person might here pass his days with ease, content, and felicity; and if he did not enjoy an uninterrupted state of health, it would not be the fault of the air he lived in.

On the other hand, the lower country, approaching the sea, is one endless bog, where wild animals are con­stantly swamped. The finest summer's day will begin with a scorching heat, and terminate with a cold easterly sea-fog, that shall obscure the sun for several weeks. The whole country furnishes but one species of quadru­peds, the buffalo, fit for the support of man, and the Europeans are accursed with an afflicting, epidemical dis­order, which they very emphatically term, "The country distemper." This is a violent pain in the breast, supposed to proceed from the cold air being drawn into the lungs, which, impeding the vessels from spreading throughout that organ, hinders the circulation, and renders respiration extremely painful and difficult; though no one dies of it. The venereal disease is also [Page 143] common among them; but the symptoms are much milder than in Europe.

This severity of cold in a more southern latitude than our own, can be only attributed to its vicinage to the north seas, that are covered with monstrous heaps of ice, above eight months in the year, and to the winds com­ing across vast countries, and a great chain of moun­tains, always covered with snow.

There is another province belonging to us, lying east of the river St. Lawrence, and bounded by the Atlantic ocean, this is Nova Scotia, called by the French Arcadia. It has New England and the ocean to the south and west of the river St. Lawrence, and its gulph to the north and north-east, and lies between the 44th and 50th degrees of north latitude, and though in a favourable part of the temperate zone, has a very severe winter of seven months, succeeded by a short summer violently scorching, with­out any intervention of any thing that may be called spring. For, long after the summer season has com­menced, they are wrapt in the gloom of a perpetual fog. The whole country is almost a continued forest. The soil is in general thin and barren, the corn it produces, of a shrivelled kind, like rye, and the grass intermixed with a wild, spungy moss. However, though it is uni­formly bad; there are tracts in Nova Scotia, which do not yield to the best land in New England.

[Page 144]Unpromising as this country is, the French seated themselves here, before they made any establishment in Canada, and their colony increased largely; whereas, at present, if the support of our government was with­drawn from our settlements there, notwithstanding the immense sums that have been expended in them, they would sink into nothing. By the treaty of Utrecht, it became the property of the English, and in 1743, 3000 families were transported there, at one time, at the expence of this country, and three regiments sta­tioned to protect them from the Indians.

The chief town we had formerly in this province, was called Annapolis Royal, but, though the capital, it was a small place, wretchedly fortified, badly built, and as badly inhabited. Though Annapolis stood on the best harbour, as it is said, in all North America, capable of containing 1000 vessels at safe anchor, it never flourished, which induced the new settlers to build the town of Halifax. This is commodiously situated for the fishery, and stands on a fine harbour. It has a good timber entrenchment, strengthened with forts, sufficient to guard it against an Indian enemy.

Halifax has a communication with most parts of the province, either by land-carriage, the sea, or navigable rivers, and in the harbour lies a small squadron of ships, which puts to sea in summer, under a commodore, to protect the Newfoundland fishery. Was it not for this [Page 145] fishery, the inhabitants must often starve, as all their provision comes from New-England. Though the town, all things considered, has a tolerable appear­ance, the adjacent country is not proportionably im­proved. The ground is very hard to be cleared; when cleared, it is worth little, and labour is very dear. But it has suffered most from the incursions of the In­dians, which have been so frequent, and attended with such cruelties, that the people can hardly extend them­selves beyond the cannon of their fort, of course do not raise a fifth part of what is sufficient to maintain them. Though all the fighting men the Indians can raise in this province, do not amount to 500; yet the soldiers, inac­tive by their confinement in barracks, diseased by scurvy, and weakened by drinking, are quite undermatched for the activity, vigilance, patience, and address of the native Americans.

Besides Annapolis and Halifax, there is another set­tlement, a little to the south-west of the latter, called Lunenburg, colonized by a branch of Germans from Halifax, in search of a better soil. These seem to suc­ceed well.

But to return to the Aborigines of Canada. We have spoken of the Sioux. The Assiniboils inhabit about a lake, which bears their name, and which is but little known. The common opinion is, that this lake is 600 leagues in circumference, and contains a number [Page 146] of islands, and that it cannot be approached but by ways almost impassable; that all the borders of it are charm­ing; that the air is very temperate; and that it lies to the north-west of Lake Superior, where the cold is ex­treme. Some of the savages call it Michinipi, that is, The Great Water, and it seems to be the source of the greatest rivers, and all the great lakes of North America, for, by several evidences, they make the river Bour­bon, to rise from it, which falls into Hudson's Bay; the river St. Lawrence, which carries its waters to the ocean; the Missisippi, which discharges itself into the gulph of Mexico; the Messouri, which joins with the last, and a fifth, which empties itself into the south-sea. We cannot assert the truth of it, but Charlevoix says, on the reports of some savages, that there are, about the lake of the Assiniboils, men like Europeans, and who are settled in a country, where silver and gold is in such plenty, that it serves for the most common uses.

Father Marquette, who discovered the Missisippi in 1673, says, that some savages not only spoke to him of the river, which, taking its rise from this lake, runs to the west; but, that they also added, they had seen great ships in its mouth. It appears in the old maps, under the name of Poualaks, and some accounts say, that their country is the boundary to that of the Cristinaux. These Assiniboils, are tall, well-made, strong, active men, inured to cold, and fatigue, who prick their bodies all over with figures of serpents, and [Page 147] other animals, and undertake very long journeys. They differ from the Cristinaux, their neighbours, inasmuch as the latter have a great deal of vivacity, speak with great volubility of tongue, and are always singing and dancing; whereas the Assiniboils are of very grave cast.

The Algonquin and Huron languages, have, between them, almost all the savage nations of Canada that we are acquainted with. He who understands both, might travel, without an interpreter, 1500 leagues of country, and make himself understood by a hundred, different nations, who have each their peculiar tongue.

The Algonquins, or Cannibas, are neighbours to New-England; but, in going up the river St. Lawrence, we meet with no savage nation, till we come to Saguenay, which is many leagues before we reach Quebec. Be­tween Quebec and Montreal, towards Three Rivers, are a few Algonquins, but they do not form a village. Fron Montreal northwards, are some few savage nations. In the more interior parts there are many. The greater part of the Algonguin nations, except those which are more advanced towards the south, employ themselves but little in husbandry, and live almost wholly upon hunting and fishing, so that they are not fixed to any place. Some of them allow plurality of wives; yet, far from multiplying, they decrease every day. There is [Page 148] not any one of these nations that consists of 6000 people, some not of 2000.

The Huron language is not by far so extensive as the Algonquin: when I say the Huron language, I speak in conformity to common opinion; for some maintain, that the Irroquois is the mother-tongue. Be this as it may, all the savages to the south of the river St. Law­rence, from the river Sorel, to the end of the Lake Erie, and even pretty near Virginia, belong to this lan­guage, and he, who understands Huron, understands them all. The Cherokees are a pretty numerous peo­ple, who inhabit the vast meadows between the Lake Erie, and the Missisippi. To what language these belong, is not yet known; but, from a continual con­nexion among all the savages, they can understand each other, without an interpreter.

The Huron language has a copiousness, an energy, and a sublimity, perhaps not to be found united in any of the finest we know; and those, whose native tongue it is, though now but a handful of men, have an eleva­tion of soul, that agrees better with the majesty of their language, than with the sad state to which they are reduced. Some have fancied they found in it a simi­litude with the Hebrew; others, and the greatest num­ber, have maintained it had they same origin as the Greek, but nothing is more trifling than the proofs they bring of it.

[Page 149]The Algonquin has not so much force as the Huron, but has more sweetness and elegance. In the Huron all is conjugated. Both have a richness of expression, a variety of turns, a propriety of terms, a regularity which astonishes; and, what is more suprising, among these barbarians, who never study to speak well, and who never had the use of writing, there is not intro­duced a bad word, an improper term, or a vicious con­struction; and even children preserve all the purity of their language, in their common discourse. On the other hand, the manner in which they animate all they say, leaves no doubt of their comprehending all the worth of their expressions, and all the beauty of their language.

Excess of liquor frequently makes Europeans chearful and merry; but, with the Indian, it has a contrary effect. At this time, he brings his departed friends and relations to remembrance, pathetically laments their death with tears; and, if near their graves, will run and weep over them. Others will sing in chorus, till they cannot hold up their heads, but will roll about their tents, as in a fit of phrensy, and frequently into the fire. On these occasions some quarrel is sure to ensue; but they have sense enough to order the women to put all dangerous weapons out of the way; yet, as they cannot remove their teeth, it is not uncommon to see some of them, the next morning, without a nose: Sometimes they come off with the loss only of an ear, or the joint of a finger: [Page 150] and, in these affrays, no regard is paid to relation­ship; brothers and sisters often fighting with each other. After one of these rencounters, says Umfreville, an Indian entered the fort, one morning, begging to see the surgeon; and as soon as he was admitted into his apartment, addressed him in broken English, with, "Look here, man, here my nose," holding out his hand, with half of his nose in it, which he wanted the surgeon to put on again. The man's nephew had bit it off, and he declared he felt no pain; nor was he sensi­ble of his loss, till the next morning, when, awaking, he found the piece lying by his side.

These Indians, however, when sober, are mild, af­fable, and good-natured, ready to relieve the wants of their distressed brethren; but, on the other hand, are sly, cunning, and artful, glorying in every species of theft and artifice, especially when the deception has been so well executed as to escape detection.

The care which mothers take of their children, whilst in the cradle, is beyond all expression, tends to their perfect form, and proves very clearly that we often spoil all, when we exceed the tenets which nature has taught us. They never leave them, but carry them every where with them, and when they seem ready to sink under the burdens they load themselves with, the cradle of their child is reckoned as nothing. Their cradles are neat beyond measure. The child lies very [Page 151] conveniently, and very easy in them, bound in them only as high as the waist, so that when the cradle is upright, these little creatures have their heads and half their bodies hanging forward and down. In Europe they would fancy a child, so left, would grow quite deformed; but it happens to the contrary. It renders their bodies supple, and they are all of a stature and port, which the best shaped amongst us would envy. The shapes which mothers give to their childrens heads, however, cannot be justified. There are, in this continent, some nations, which they call Flat-heads, whose foreheads are very flat, and the top of their heads somewhat length­ened. This shape is not the work of nature; it is mothers that give it to their children, as soon as born. For this end, they apply to their foreheads, and to the back part of their heads, two masses of clay, or of some other heavy matter, which they bind on tighter and tighter, till the skull has taken the shape they wish. This operation is very painful to the child, and makes it shed at the nose, a whitish matter, pretty thick. But neither this circumstance, nor the cries of the infant, alarm the mother, jealous of giving it a handsome appearance. On the other hand, many of the Al­gonquins, are called Round-heads; their distinction and beauty consisting in having their heads perfectly round, which shape, mothers take care very early to give them.

[Page 152]They are of a very swarthy complexion, and many, about Florida, of a dirty, dark red. But this is not natural. The frequent paints and frictions they use, give this red colour, and considering how much ex­posed they are to the sun, in summer, and the smoke in winter, it is a wonder they are not still darker.

The common idea of savages, has been, that they are a hairy people; but, the savages of North America are quite the reverse; there is not a hair on their whole bodies, except on the head, eye-brows, and eye-lashes, and yet their children are born with a thin hair, and pretty long, all over their bodies, but it disappears after eight days. Old men have some hairs on their chin, as some old women have with us. The hair on their heads are very black, that on their eye-brows and eye-lashes, they pull out by the roots. They esteem this want of hair a great beauty, and think Europeans, with beards, frightful.

From their plain manner of living, they are very swift of foot. One man, Charlevoix tells us, assured him, that before he had eaten any bread, he could travel, on foot, forty leagues a day, and commonly, without fatigue, but that, since he had been used to bread, he could not travel with the same ease.

They are, almost without exception, great walkers, will patiently endure cold, hunger, and fatigue, and [Page 153] bear all misfortunes, with such fortitude and resignation, as to enable them bravely to encounter the prospect of ill, and render the mind serene under the pressure of adversity.

Between Hudson's Bay and California, there are many tribes of Indians, some of whom are known to Europeans, particularly the Ne-heth-aw-a Indians, the Assinne-poetucs, the Fall-Indians, the Sussees, the Black­feet Indians, the Blood-Indians, and the Paegans. These are names they give themselves, and it it is beyond a doubt, that there are European traders settled among them from the other side of the continent; I mean the Spaniards, making their inland excursions from Cali­fornia, as we do from Canada and Hudson's Bay.

All these Indians are much inclined to a lean habit of body, and a corpulent Indian is a much greater curiosity than a sober one; this may be owing to their wandering life. As their country abounds with innumerable herds of deer, elks, and buffaloes, they frequently make great slaughter among them, from a maxim, that the more they kill, the more they have to kill: to which notion they are as much bigotted as the greatest enthusiast. And though they sometimes find the folly of this maxim to their cost, suffering occasionally such extreme hun­ger through it, that parents have been reduced to the sad necessity of devouring their own offspring; yet they have pursued it. Yet they have a philosophy that recon­ciles [Page 154] all this, and a degree of composure, superior to most men. An Indian, after being out a whole day, upon the hunt, exposed to the bleakest winds, and most penetrating cold, without the least thing to satisfy the calls of nature, comes home, warms himself at the fire, smokes a few pipes of tobacco, and then retires to rest, as calm, as if in the midst of plenty. But, this does not proceed from insensibility; for, if he happens to have a family, and this family is reduced to extremity of want, his affection for them gets the better of his philosophy, and he gives way to the most pungent sorrow. He im­putes his distress and want, to super-natural causes, and to the capricious will of some invisible agent, whom he supposes to preside over all his undertakings.

Though I have said that these savages will take pride in over-reaching an European in trade; where trade is not concerned, we shall find instances of honesty and fidelity among them, that would do honour to a people governed by the wisest laws, and restrained by religion, from the commission of every enormity.

If one of these savages commits murder, or any other enormous crime, his conscience may upbraid him; but he is so far from fearing corporal danger, from that society, whose peace he has disturbed; that he will range through the wilds of a pathless country, and seek a living where he pleases, without fear of retaliation; for the country is so extensive, that he will find out a spot to live in, un­molested,


[Page 155] where the offended party cannot, or dare not, go in search of him.

This instance of savage liberty (for I shall speak again of their laws) is just mentioned, to shew, that though the Indian is guilty of taking away the life of a fellow-crea­ture; though he glories in the commission of dextrous theft, and will, without remorse, exercise every injustice on his neighbour with impunity; yet, as he is not re­strained by divine or human laws, from such acts of outrage, nor does the idea of temporal, or eternal, punishment, excite compunction in his mind; surely these enormities are not of so deep a dye, as if com­mitted by one whose mind is enlightened, and who is supposed to have a more just sense of the claims of society, and the injunctions of religion.

Nations are not distinguished here by their dress. The men, when it is hot, have often only something of an apron to cover their nakedness. In winter, they clothe themselves more or less, according to the climate. They wear on their feet a sort of sandals, made of roe-buck skins, smoked; their stockings are also skins, or pieces of stuffs, which they wrap round their legs. A waistcoat, made of skin, covers them to the waist; and they wear over that, a rug, or blanket, when they can get one, or else make themselves a robe of bear-skin, with the hair inwards. The womens' waistcoats reach just below their knees, and when it is very cold, [Page 156] or when they travel, they cover their heads with their blanket, or their robe. Some have little caps, like scull-caps, others a sort of capuchin, fastened to their waistcoats, and a piece of stuff, that serves them for a petticoat, and covers them from the waist to the middle of the leg.

They are all ambitious of having shirts and shifts, but never put them under their waistcoats, till they are dirty, and then they wear them, till they drop to pieces; for they never wash them. Their waistcoats, like their sandals, are generally smoke-dried, to give them a black colour, and rubbed, to supple them. After this they are occasionally washed.

The dress of the Indians, between Hudson's Bay and California, consists of a pair of stockings, made of leather, dressed fine, and pliable, like shammy; a sort of loose jacket, with sleeves of the same kind, and over all is thrown, a drest buffalo-skin, or a blanket. Young men dress their hair in different forms, and paint their faces according to their fancies; but, men advanced in years, seldom tye their hair, or paint their faces. The women's dress is like the men's. Caps are very seldom worn by either male or female; but a drest otter-skin is frequently wound round the heads of the men, the major part of which hangs down the back. (See the plate of the buffalo-pound.)

[Page 157]More to the southward, many make various figures all over their bodies, by pricking or puncturing themselves: others, only in some parts. This is not done merely for or­nament, but they say, it defends them from the cold, ren­ders them less sensible of the other injuries of the air, and frees them from the persecutions of the gnats. It is about Virginia only, that they prick themselves all over. In Canada, the greatest part are satisfied with some figures of birds, serpents, or other animals, and even of leaves, and such like figures, according to their fancy; often in the face, and, sometimes, even, on the eyelids. Many women are marked on the parts of the face, that answer to the jaw-bones, to prevent the tooth-ach.

The operation is not painful in itself. It is performed in this manner: They begin by tracing on the skin, the figure they intend to make; then, in these lines, they prick little holes, close together, with the fins of a fish, or with needles, so as to draw blood; this done, they rub the part so pricked, with charcoal-dust, and other colours, well ground and powdered. These powders sink into the skin, and the figures are never ef­faced; but, soon after the skin swells, and forms a kind of scab, accompanied with inflammation; and if the weather is too hot, or the operation has been carried too far, there is danger of life.

The colours they use on these occasions, are those with which they dye skins, made from certain earths, [Page 158] and the bark of some trees. The men add to this or­nament, the down of swans, or other birds, which they strew upon their hair, after it has been greased, like powder. They add to this feathers of all colours, and bunches of the hair of divers animals, all placed in an odd manner. The placing of their hair, sometimes standing up like bristles on one side, and flatted on the other, or dressed in a variety of fashions; pendants in their ears, and sometimes in their nostrils; a great shell of porcelain, hanging about their neck, or in their breast; some crowns made of plumage of scarce birds, the claws, feet, or heads, of birds of prey, little horns of roe-bucks; all these things make up their finery.

It is observable, that the men take very little pains to adorn any part but their heads. It is just the reverse with the women. They wear scarcely any thing on the head, are fond only of their hair, and would think them­selves disgraced, if it was cut off. When, therefore, at the death of a relation, they cut off any part of it, they mean, by this, to shew the greatest grief for their loss. To preserve their hair, they grease it often, and powder it with the dust of spruce-bark, and sometimes with vermillion; they then wrap it up in the skin of an eel, or serpent, and suffer it thus to hang down in tails to their waist. With respect to their faces, they content them­selves with tracing some lines on them with vermillion, or other colours.

[Page 159]Their nostrils are never bored, and it is only among some nations that they bore their ears; when they do, they wear in them, as do the men, pendants of China beads. When dressed on gala-days, they have robes painted with all sorts of figures, with little collars of porcelain set on them, and a kind of border, worked with porcupine's hair, which they paint also of various colours. In the same manner, they ornament their cradles, which are made of light wood, and have at the upper end hoops of cedar, to keep off the covering from the childs face.

Children's bodies not being confined in their infancy, as with us, they are very supple in their limbs, and much stronger, in proportion, than we are. Mothers suckling them a long time, for six or seven years, adds not a little to their strength, as does the hardy manner in which they are brought up. As soon as they leave the cradle, and can crawl on their hands and feet, they are suffered to go where they will, quite naked, into the water, into the woods, into the dirt, and into the snow. This makes them subject to disorders in the stomach, and lungs, which destroy them early, but inures them, whilst they live, to great hardships and fatigue. In summer, they run, as soon as they are up, to the river or into the lakes, and continue there, a part of the day, playing about like fish, in fine weather.

[Page 160]Their villages have generally no regular form. They are a heap of cabins, without order, or being set in a line. Some like cart-houses, others like tunnels, built of bark, supported by some few posts, sometimes plastered on the outside with mud, in a coarse manner, but, built with less art, neatness, and solidity, than the cabins of the beavers, in this country. They are generally from 15 to 20 feet broad, and often a hun­dred in length; containing several fires, for as many families, about 30 feet between each fire-place.

When the floor is not sufficient for all the inhabitants to sleep on, the young people lie on a wide bench, or kind of broad shelf, about five or six feet high, that runs the whole length of the cabin. The furniture and pro­visions are over this, placed on pieces of wood, put across the roof. Before the door, is usually a kind of porch, where the young people sleep in summer, and which serves for a wood-house in the winter. The doors are made of bark, fixed up like the umbrella of a window, and never shut close. These cabins have nei­ther chimnies, nor windows, but an opening is left in the middle of the roof, by which, part of the smoke goes out, which they are obliged to shut when it rains or snows, and then, if they would not be blinded, and suffocated with smoke, they must put out their fires.

[Page 161]They fortify themselves better than they lodge. Some villages are pretty will pallisadoed with redoubts, where they always take care to have a good provision of water and stones. These pallisadoes are double, and some­times treble, and have commonly battlements at the last enclosure. The posts they are composed of, are in­tervoven with branches of trees, that leave no place open. Before they knew the use of fire-arms, this was sufficient to maintain a long siege. Every village has a pretty, large, open place; but seldom of a regular figure.

The country they inhabit is very wild, and unculti­vated; but, not so much as that which they chuse for hunting. It is a long march to reach it, and they carry on their backs, all they want for five or six months, through ways sometimes so frightful, that one would suppose no wild beast could come there. In the hunting season, they encamp on the spot, erecting a temporary cabin, with poles, fixed in the snow, and covering it with bark, in a conical form; but the pieces of bark are so ill-joined together, that the wind blows through on all sides.

The setting up of these cabins, is the work, only, of half an hour. Branches of pines serve them for matts, and they have no other bed. The snow, heaped round about them, forms a sort of wall, which the winds can­not penetrate; and by the side, and under the shelter of [Page 162] this wall, they sleep as quietly on these branches, covered with a poor skin, as on the softest bed.

There being no outlet in these cabins, at top, for the smoke, there is constantly a cloud above; but the savages accustomed to lie on the ground, are always below this cloud.

On such expeditions, the savages are followed by a great number of dogs, which are very much attached to them. Being never fondled, they are not fawning; but, are bold and skilful hunters. Every man has a great many of these dogs, for they are often killed by the teeth and horns of wild animals, which they attack with a courage that nothing can daunt. Their masters taking little care to feed them, and living by what they can catch, they are always very lean. Having little or no hair on their backs, they are very sensible of the cold, and if they cannot get at the fire, will lie down on the first savage they approach; and if he awakes in the night, he will find himself almost smothered with two or three dogs.

Their villages being always situated near woods, or on the side of some water, and often between both; as soon as the air begins to grow warm, they are very much persecuted with musquitoes, and other, small flies; a much more grievous persecution then the smoke, and [Page 163] which they are often obliged to increase, to get rid of these insects.

The nastiness alone, of the cabins, and the stench which naturally arises from it, is a real punishment to any one but a savage. It is easy to judge how far both must go, among people who never change their linen, or cloaths, but when they will hang on their backs no longer, and who take no care to wash them. In sum­mer they bathe every day, but rub themselves, imme­diately after, with oil, or grease, of a strong scent, extracted from the seed or root of sun-flowers.

All they eat, is not only without any seasoning, and commonly very insipid; but, there reigns in their meals, a slovenliness which exceeds all description. There are few animals, but what feed cleaner. They live a good deal on maize, which is wholesome grain, nourishing, and of light digestion. It is preserved by boiling it in lye, and when they use it, it is again boiled in water, or in broth, and eat with a little salt. It is not an un­pleasant food; but, some think the frequent use of it injurious, as the lye gives it a corrosive quality. Of this grain they make the sagamitty, which is the most com­mon food of the savages; they broil it, pound it, take off the husk, and make a kind of broth of it. They love grease, and a few pound of candles, in a kettle of saga­mitty, is an excellent soup. They even sometimes put [Page 164] things into it, which cannot be mentioned, and are sur­prized to see our stomachs turn at it.

The nations of the south have only vessels of baked earth to dress their meat. In Canada, and all the north, they use wooden kettles, and make the water boil by throwing in red-hot flints. Since their connexion with us, they use iron and tin-kettles. Among the western nations, they substitute wild oats for maize.

Among the wandering savages, who never cultivate the earth; when the chace, and fishery fails, their only resource is a kind of moss, which grows on certain rocks, and which is called, Tripe of the Rocks. It is very insipid, and has but little substance, and is barely suffi­cient to keep them from starving. "I have heard it affirmed," says Charlevoix, "by persons of credit, that some savages eat, by way of dainty, a sort of maize, lest to rot, as we do hemp, in standing water, and take it out, black, and stinking; and those who have a liking to this strange mess, will not lose any of the muddy settlement that drops from it, the very smell of which, makes the stomachs of others heave. It was probably necessity that discovered this secret, and if this does not give it all it's relish, nothing proves more clearly, that there is no disputing about tastes. They have now adopted the use of the potatoes, common to the West Indian islands, and find they thrive very well in Louisiana.

[Page 165]The little works of the women, and which are their common employment in the cabins, are to make thread of the inner membranes of the bark of a tree, which they call white wood, and they work it much as we do hemp. They also dye every thing, and make a variety of articles with bark, and ornament them with figures, in porcupines' hair. They make little cups, and other wooden utensils, paint and embroider buck-skins, and knit girdles and garters, with the wool of the buffalo.

For the most part, they help one another in the work of the field, and when it is time to gather in the harvest, apply to the men for assistance. With their maize they sow our running kidney-beans, and the stalk of the maize supports them. Sun-flowers, water-melons, and pump­kins, they also raise in abundance; but before they sow the seed, make it shoot in smoke, in light and black earth.

As for the men, they glory in their idleness, and in reality, pass above half their lives, in doing nothing; from a persuasion, that daily labour disgraces a man, and is only the duty of the women. Man, they say, is only made for war, hunting, and fishing; but they make all the implements necessary for these great exercises; such as arms, nets, canoes, rigging, their snow-shoes, calling only occasionally the women to assist them. Christian savages employ themselves in other things, but only by way of penance.

[Page 166]Since America has been peopled, they are in no want of convenient tools for all their work. Before this, they were greatly embarrassed to cut down their trees, and fit them for use. They burnt them at the root, and to split and cut them, used hatchets, made of flints, which did not break, but took up a great deal of time to sharpen them. To fix them in a handle, they cut off the head of a young tree, made a notch in it, as if they would have grafted it, in which they thrust the head of the hatchet. After some time, the tree, by growing together, held the hatchet so tight, that it would not come out; they then cut the tree, to such a length as they would have the handle.

CHAP. II. Of their Characters.

SUCH savages as have been converted to christianity, retain nothing of their birth and original, but what is valuable; that is to say, the simplicity and freedom of the first age of the world, with the addition of grace, the faith of the patriarchs, a sincere piety, that rectitude and docility of heart, which is the character of good men; an incredible innocence of manners, a pure [Page 167] christianity, on which the world has never breathed its contagious air, and often actions of the most heroic virtue.

Even in their natural character, with a savage appear­ance, and manners, and customs entirely barbarous, there is observable among them, a social kindness, free from almost all the imperfections which so often dis­turb the peace of society, among us. They appear to be without passion; but, they do that, in cold blood, and sometimes through principle, which the most violent, and unbridled passion produces in those who give no ear to reason. They seem to lead the most wretched life in the world; and, they were, perhaps, the only happy people on earth, before the knowledge of the objects, which so much work upon and seduce us, had excited in them desires which ignorance kept in supineness, and which have not, as yet, made any great ravages among them. We discover in them, a mixture of the purest, and most gentle manners, the imperfections of wild beasts, and virtues and qualities of the heart and mind, which do the greatest honour to human nature. One would think, at first, that they have no form of govern­ment, that they acknowledge neither laws, nor subordi­nation; and, that, living in an entire independance, they suffer themselves to be solely guided by chance, and the wildest caprice. Nevertheless, they enjoy almost all the advantages, that a well regulated authority can procure from the best-governed nations. Born free and inde­pendent, [Page 168] they look with horror, even on the shadow of a despotic power; but seldom depart from certain prin­ciples and customs, founded on good sense, which are to them, a substitute for laws; and which, in some measure, supply the place of a lawful authority. They will not bear the least restraint; but, reason alone keeps them in a kind of subordination; which, for being voluntary, is not the less effectual to obtain the desired end.

A man, highly esteemed by them, would find them docile enough, and would make them do almost what he pleased; but, it is not easy to obtain their esteem, to such a degree. They never give it, but to merit, and superior merit, of which they are as good judges, as those amongst us, who think they have the most dis­cernment.

They rely much on physiognomy; and perhaps there are no men in the world, who are better judges of it. The reason is, they have none of that respect for men, which so readily seduces us; and studying only pure nature, they have a perfect knowledge of it. Not being slaves, as we are, to ambition and interest, the equality of con­ditions, is no way necessary to the support of their society; of course, we seldom meet with those haughty spirits, who, full of their own grandeur or merit, fancy themselves of a different species, disdaining the rest of mankind, by whom, of consequence, they are never trusted or be­loved. [Page 169] Here all men conceive themselves on an equa­lity; and in man, what they most esteem, is the man himself. Here is no distinction of birth; no prerogative allowed to rank, which hurts the rights of individuals; no pre-eminence given to merit, that inspires pride, and makes other people feel too much their inferiority. They have, perhaps, less delicacy of sentiment, than among us, but they have more justness. Religion alone can bring the good qualities of this people to perfection, and cure their evil ones; but, devoid of it, as they are, we can, in their most indifferent actions, find some traces of the primitive religion, which escapes the obser­vation of those, who do not consider them with atten­tion; because they are still more effaced, through want of instruction, than altered by a mixture of a superstitious worship, or fabulous tradition.

Let us be more particular. Fathers and mothers, neglect nothing, to inspire their children with certain principles of honour; which they preserve all their lives; but, of which, they often make a bad application; and, in this, their whole education consists. When they give them instructions on this head, it is always in an indirect way; the most common, is, to relate to them, the brave actions of their ancestors, or of their countrymen. The young people are fired at these stories, and are never easy, till they find an opportunity, of imitating the ex­amples, they are taught to admire. To correct them for their faults, they use intreaties and tears, but never [Page 170] menaces; for menaces would make no impression, on spirits prepossessed with an opinion, that no person has a right to use compulsion.

A mother, who sees her daughter behave ill, cries; on the daughter's asking the cause of her tears, she is satisfied with saying, "You disgrace me." It seldom happens, that this way of reproving is not effectual. But since their intercourse with Europeans, those (and those only) who are converted to christianity, or are settled in the colonies, chastise their children. The greatest chas­tisement, however, is throwing a little water in the childs face. Girls have been known to hang themselves, for having only received a slight reprimand from their mothers, or a few drops of water in their faces, and who have given notice of it, by saying, "You shall lose your daughter." The greatest misfortune is, that it is not to virtue, they exhort their children, but to revenge.

One would expect, that a childhood, so badly disci­plined, should be followed by a youth of turbulence and corruption. No. They are naturally calm, and early masters of themselves. Reason guides them more than other men, and in these northern climes, their constitu­tion does not incline them to excess, or debauchery; yet, we find some customs among them, in which chastity is entirely disregarded; but more from supersti­tion than depravity.

[Page 171]The Hurons, till their intercourse with Europeans, were very lascivious and brutal in their pleasures. Young persons, of both sexes, abandoned themselves, without shame, to all manner of dissoluteness. And it was esteemed no crime for a girl to prostitute herself: their parents were the first to engage them in this way, and many, for interest, did the same by their wives. Many never mar­ried, but took young women, to serve them, as they said, for companions; and all the difference they made between these concubines, and their lawful wives, was, that with the first, an agreement was made. Indeed, all their children were on the same footing; which, in a coun­try where there are no estates to inherit, can produce no inconvenience.

In the southern countries, they have but little restraint in the article of women, who, on their side, are very lascivious; and hence has arose, that corruption of man­ners which has infected the northern nations. The Irro­quois were chaste enough, till they were conversant with the Illinois, and other neighbouring people of Louisiana. Effeminaces and lust, were, in these parts, carried to the highess excess. There are among them, some men, who are not ashamed to dress themselves as women, submit to all female employment, from whence ensued, corruption that cannot be named. These ef­feminate persons never marry, but abandon themselves to the most infamous passions. They are, however, treated with the greatest contempt.

[Page 172]The greatest part of them, have a nobleness and equality of soul, to which, with all the helps we can ob­tain, from philosophy and religion, we seldom arrive. Always masters of themselves, in the most sudden cala­mities; not the least alteration in their countenances is perceived. A prisoner, who knows in what his captivity will end, or which is, perhaps, more surprising, is still uncertain of his fate, does not lose, on this account, a quarter of an hour's sleep. Even the first emotions do not find them at a fault.

A Huron captain was one day insulted and struck by young man. Those who were present, would have punished this audaciousness on the spot. "Let him alone," said the Captain, "did not you feel the earth tremble?—He is sufficiently informed of his folly."

Their constancy in suffering pain, is beyond all ex­pression. A young woman, shall be a whole day in labour, without making one cry. If she shewed the least weakness, she would be esteemed unworthy to be a mother; because, as they say, she would bring forth cowards.

Nothing is more common, than to see persons of all ages, and of both sexes, suffer, for many hours, and sometimes, many days together, the sharpest effects of fire; and all that the most industrious fury can invent, to make it most painful, without letting a sigh escape. [Page 173] They are employed, for the most part, during their suf­ferings, in encouraging their tormentors by the most insulting reproaches.

An Outagama, who was burnt by the Illinois, with the utmost cruelty, perceiving a Frenchman among the spectators, begged of him to help his enemies to torment him; and, on being asked, why he made this request, replied: "Because I should have the comfort of dying by the hands of a man. My greatest grief," adds he, "is, that I never killed a man." "But." said the Illinois, "you have killed such, and such a person." "As for the Illinois," replied the prisoner, "I have killed enough of them, but they are no men."

Some men would call this conduct insensibility; but, to elevate the soul, above the sense of pain, to such a degree, there must always be an effort, which common souls are not capable of. The savages exercise them­selves in this, all their lives, and accustom their children to it, from their tenderest years. Little boys and girls have been seen to tye themselves together, by one arm, and put a lighted coal between them, to see which would shake it off first. In short, we must allow, with Cicero, that a habit of labour, makes us bear pain more easily: But what proves most, that this kind of insensi­bility in these barbarians, is the effect of true courage, is, that it is not found in all of them.

[Page 174]It is not surprising, that with such greatness of soul, and such elevated sentiments, these savages should be intrepid in danger, and of a courage, proof against every thing. It is true, that, in their way, they expose themselves as little as possible, it bring their chief glory, not to buy their victory too dear; and their nations not being numerous, they are unwilling to weaken them; but when they must fight, they do it like lions; and the sight of their blood does but increase their strength and their courage.

But what surprises infinitely, in men, whose whole outward appearance proclaims nothing but barbarity, is to see them behave to each other, with such kindness, and regard, that is not to be found among the most civilized nations. This doubtless proceeds from the words mine and thine, being, as yet, unknown to these savages. We are equally charmed with that natural and unaffected gravity, which reigns in all their behavi­our, in all their actions, and the greatest part of their diversions; as likewise with the civility and deference they shew to their equals, and the respect of young people to the aged; and lastly, never to see them quarrel among themselves, with those indecent ex­pressions, and the oaths and curses, so common amongst us. All which are proofs of good sense, and a great command of temper.

[Page 175]One of their principles, and that of which they are most jealous, is, that one man owes nothing to another. But from this bad maxim they draw a good inference; that is to say, that we must never do an injury to any person, from whom we have received no wrong. There is nothing wanting to their happiness, but to behave between nation and nation, as they do between private persons, and never to attack any people, of whom they have no cause to complain.

On the other hand, it must be allowed, that what we most admire in the savages, is not always pure virtue; that constitution and vanity have a great share in it, and that their best qualities are tarnished by great vices. These men, who, at first view, appear to us so contempti­ble, of all mankind, have the greatest contempt for all others, and the highest opinion of themselves. They are distrustful and suspicious of Europeans; treacherous, when their interest is concerned; dissemblers, and re­vengeful in the extreme. Time does not wear out their revenge; it is the most precious inheritance, which they leave to their children, and which is transmitted from generation to generation, till they find an opportunity to execute it.

As to what we call, more particularly, the qualities of the heart, these savages do not value themselves much on, or consider them as virtues. Friendship, compassion gratitude, attachment, are, with them, less the effect of a [Page 176] good disposition, than of reflection and instinct. The care they take of orphans, widows, and the infirm, and the hospitality they exercise, in such an admirable man­ner; are, to them, only the consequence of their persua­sion, that all things ought to be common among men. Fathers and mothers have a fondness for their children, which rises even to weakness, but which does not in­cline them, to make them virtuous; and which appears to be truly animal; children, on their part, have no natural gratitude for their parents, and even treat their fathers sometimes with indignity. The following is a public notoriety, and will give the reader a good idea of their notions on this head.

An Irroquois, who served a long time in the Euro­pean troops, against his own nation, and even as an officer; met his father in an engagement, and was going to kill him; when he discovered who he was, he with­held his hand, and said to him. "You have once given me life, and now I give it to you. Let me meet with you no more; for I have paid the debt I owed you." Nothing can better prove the necessity of education, and that nature alone does not sufficiently instruct us in our most essential duties. And what demonstrates more evi­dently the advantage of the christian religion is, that it has produced in the hearts of those barbarians, in all these respects, a very wonderful change.

[Page 177]But, if the savages know not how to taste the sweets of friendship, they have at least discovered its usefulness. Every one amongst them has a friend nearly of his own age, between whom there is a mutual engagement, which is indissoluble. Two men, thus united for their common interest, are obliged to do every thing, and to run all hazards, to assist and succour each other. Death itself, as they believe, separates them only for a time. They rely on meeting again in the next world, never to part more, being persuaded, that they shall there want each other's assistance.

We must acknowledge, that, at the first view, the life they lead, appears very hard; but, when it is con­sidered, that custom is second nature, and that the liberty they enjoy, sufficiently compensates the loss of those conveniences they are deprived of; the hardship disappears. What we see every day, in some beggars, by profession; and in several persons in country-life, gives us a sensible proof, that we may be happy in the midst of indigence. But these savages are still more happy; first, because they think themselves so; secondly, be­cause they are in the peaceable possession of the most precious of all the gifts of nature; and lastly, because they are entirely ignorant of, and have not even a desire to know, the false advantages which we so much esteem, which we purchase at the expence of real good, and of which we have so little true enjoyment.

[Page 178]We cannot even say, that they like their own way of living, only because they are not acquainted with the sweetness of ours; for many of the French have lived like them, and have been so well pleased with it, as not to be prevailed on to return, though they might have been much at their case in the colony they left: And, on the other hand, savage children have been taken from the cradle, brought up amongst Europeans, with much care, and nothing omitted to prevent their knowing what passed among their parents; and yet, the force of blood has prevailed over education; and, as soon as they found themselves at liberty, they have torn their gar­ments to pieces, and run into the woods, in search of their countrymen, whose way of life seemed to them more pleasing, than that they led before.

The Irroquois I have mentioned, whose name was La Plaque; and who, in saving his father's life in an engagement, thought he had fully satisfied all the debt he owed him, was made a lieutenant in the French ser­vice to fix him, because he was a very brave man; but he would not continue in their way of living. He returned to his nation, only carrying with him, the French vices, without correcting any of those he brought with him. He loved women to excess. He was well shaped. His valour, and his brave actions, gave him great re­putation. He had a great deal of wit, and very amia­ble manners. He had many intrigues with other men's wives, and his disorders went so far, that it was debated [Page 179] in the council of his canton, whether they should not take him off. It was, however, concluded, by the majority of votes, to spare his life, because, being ex­tremely courageous, he might people the country with good warriors.

With all their defects, it is certain, as men, they have great advantages over us; the chief of which is, a greater perfection of their senses, both external and internal. In spite of the snow that dazzles their eyes, and the smoke, which almost smothers them for six months in the year, their sight never decays. Their hearing is extremely quick, and their smelling is exqui­site; they smell fire a long time before they discover it. On account of this perfection of smelling, they can't bear the scent of musk, nor any strong smell.

Their apprehension is wonderful. It is enough for them to have been once in a place, to have an exact idea of it, which is never effaced. Let a forest be ever so large and pathless, when they have well considered certain marks, by which they guide themselves, they will cross it without wandering.

The inhabitants of Nova Scotia, and of the environs of the gulph of St. Lawrence, in their canoes of bark, (to pass over to the Labrador coast, in search of the Eski­maux, with whom they were at war), would go 30 or 40 leagues on the main sea, without a compass, and [Page 180] make the land, exactly at the place they proposed. The pole-star is their guide by night; and, in the most cloudy weather, they will follow the sun many days, without making any mistake. The best clock cannot give better information of the progress of the sun, then they can, by viewing the sky; so that, do what you can to put them out of their way, 'tis very rare that they lose their route. They are born with this talent. It is not the fruit of observation, nor of long custom. Youth, who never before went out of their village, travel as securely as those, who have been most used to range the country.

As to the stars and planets, the causes of the celestial appearances, meteors, and the like, they are not only perfectly ignorant of, but indifferent about. An eclipse they suppose to be a great combat in the heavens, and they shoot many arrows into the air, to drive away the pretended enemies of the sun and moon. The Hurons, when the moon is eclipsed, suppose she is sick, and to recover her from this sickness, make a great noise, as the Chinese do, from a conception, that the planet is attacked by a dragon. The Hurons accompany their noise with many ceremonies and prayers, and never fail to fall upon the dogs with sticks and stones, to set them a yelping, because they believe the moon loves these animals.

[Page 181]They are not better acquainted with the nature of thunder, which some take for a voice of a particular species of men, flying in the air, others, for the noise of certain birds unknown to them.

Their manner of dividing time, is by months; some reckoning twelve, some thirteen. They have not among them, any distinction of weeks, nor any names for particular days. They have four, fixed parts in the day; sun-rise, and sun-set, noon, and midnight. They have no chronological computations, and if they pre­serve the epochas of certain events, they cannot com­prehend the exact time since they happened. They are satisfied with remembering the facts, and have invented several ways of preserving the remembrance of them; by keeping in their houses, strings of beads, on which are wrought figures, that revive the memory of transac­tions. In counting, they reckon from one to ten, the tens, by 10 to a 100, and the hundreds, by 10 to 1000; beyond this, they cannot go. But, the beauty of their imagination is equal to its vivacity; and this appears in all their discourse. They are quick at repartee, and their speeches are full of shining passages, that would have been applauded in the public assemblies of Rome and Athens. Their eloquence has something in it so strong, so natural, so pathetic, that art cannot attain it, and which the Greeks so much admired in the barba­rians; and, though it does not seem to be supported by action; though they make no gestures, and do not raise [Page 182] their voice; we feel, they are thoroughly affected with what they say, and their eloquence is persuasive.

It would be strange, that, with such a fine imagina­tion, they should not have an excellent memory. Though destitute of all the artificial helps, we have in­vented, to assist us, or supply its defects; it is scarcely credible, of how many matters, with what particular circumstances, and with how much order, they treat in their councils. On some occasions, however, they use little sticks, to recollect the articles they are to discuss; and, by this, they, form a local memory, so certain, that they will speak four or five hours together, without forgetting any thing, and without the least hesitation. Their narration is clear and exact, and though they use many allegories, and other figures, it is animated, and has all the pleasing turns which their language affords.

An Outaouais, who was a bad christian, and a great drunkard, being asked, what he thought brandy was made of, which he loved so well, said, it was an Ex­tract of tongues and hearts; for, added he, when I have drank it, I fear nothing, and I talk to admiration.

CHAP. III. Of their Amusements, and Dances.

THEIR amusements are, the game of the dish, the game of the straws, and that of the bat, with sundry dances.

The game of the dish, or bones, is what they are most fond of, at which they will sometimes lose their rest, and, in some measure, their reason. They will hazard, at it, all they possess, and many will not quit it, till they are stripped, and have lost all they have in their cabins; some have been so rash, as even to stake their liberty. This game is played by two persons; each has eight, little bones, the size of apricot-stones, with six unequal surfaces, two of which are painted black. They make them jump up, by striking the ground, or a table, with a hollow dish, in which they are contained. When they have no dish, they throw them up in the air, with their hands. If in falling, they come up all one colour, the thrower wins five. The game is 40 up, and they substract the number gained by the opposite party. Five bones of the same colour, wins one, for the first time; but, the second time, they win the game. A less number wins nothing. He that [Page 184] wins the game, continues playing, and another takes the losers place. A whole village is often concerned in this game. One village will often play against ano­ther. Each party chuses a marker. At every decisive throw, they shout. The players appear like people possessed, and the spectators are not more calm. They all make a thousand contorsions, talk to the bones, load the spirit or genius of the adverse party, with impre­cations, and the whole village echoes with howlings. If all this does not recover their luck; by treating the company, they may put off the party, till next day.

Then they prepare to return to the engagement. Each invokes his genius, and throws some tobacco into the fire, to his honour. Above all things they consult him for lucky dreams. At break of day, they proceed again to play; but, if the losers fancy, (for they are very superstitious), that the goods in their cabins made them unlucky. The first thing they do, is to change them all. Great parties com­monly last five or six days, and often continue all night. In the mean time, as all the persons present, at least, those who are concerned in the game, are in agita­tion that deprives them of reason; as they quarrel and fight, which never happens among the savages, but on these occasions, and in drunkenness; we may well say, that when they have done playing, they must want rest.

[Page 185]It happens, sometimes, that these parties of play are made by order of the physician, or at the request of a sick person, in hopes of a cure. There needs no more, for this purpose, than a dream, of one or the other, which is always conceived, as the order of some spirit. They then prepare themselves for play, with a great deal of care; assemble for several nights, to try, and see who has the luckiest hand, consult their genii, fast, and the married persons observe continence: and all to obtain a favourable dream. Every morning they relate their dreams; and he, whose dream is sup­posed most favourable, is made to stand next him who holds the dish. They will even go a great way to fetch him; and if, through age or infirmity, he cannot walk, they will carry him on their shoulders.

The game at straws is thus played: These straws are small reeds, about the size of a wheat straw, and about six inches long. Two hundred and one of these, being shuffled together, after a thousand contorsions, and invokings of their genii, they separate them, with a kind of awl, into nine parcels of 10 each; and one of 11. Every one then draws a parcel, and he who gets that containing 11, wins the point agreed on. The whole game is 60 or 80.

The game of the bat, is played with a ball, and bent sticks, ending in a kind of racket. They set up two posts, at a certain distance, according to the number [Page 186] of players, as bounds. For instance, if there are 80, the distance between the posts, is half a league. The players are divided into two bands, each having his sta­tion, and their business is to strike the ball to the post of the adverse party, without letting it fall to the ground, and without touching it with the hand, for in either of these cases the game is lost; and they are so dextrous at catching the ball with their bats, that, sometimes, one game will last many days together.

Of their dances, the first is merely for diversion. As soon as it is night, they set up, in a large cabin, several posts, in a ring, in the midst of which sit the music. On each post is placed a packet of down, of different colours. The young people, mingled together, dance round these posts. The young women have, also, a tuft of coloured down in their bosoms. From time to time, a young man steps out of the ring, takes from the posts a little of the down, of which the girl he likes has some in her bosom, of the same colour; puts it on his head, dances round her, and, by a sign, appoints her a place of rendezvous. When the dance is over, the feast begins, and lasts all day. At night, every one re­tires, and the young women manage matters so well, that, in spite of the vigilance of their mothers, they steal to the place of assignation; and soon after become mothers themselves.

[Page 187]Another dance among them, in which five or six women dance, is called the fire-dance, by the sound of a drum, and a Chichikoué, which is a kind of calibash full of pebbles, and rattled. They range themselves in a line, side by side, with their arms hanging down; and, without breaking the line, sing, and make some steps in cadence, backwards and forwards. This is at night, in a cabin, by fire-light. When the women have danced some time, the fire is put out, and a savage, with a lighted coal in his mouth, makes his appearance and dances, and by the faint gloom of this coal, he looks like a spectre. The mixture of dances, songs, and in­struments, and the fire of the coal, which continues for near half-an-hour, has something odd and savage in it. The contrast of the voices, of the men and women, at a certain distance, has a pretty effect, and if they had a good manner of singing, it would be a pleasure to hear them sing.

Their art of being able to keep a burning coal in their mouths, is a secret they keep to themselves. They rub the inside of their mouths with a particular plant. Some say, it is the leaf of the Canada anemony. Gar­lick and onions will produce this effect, and secure the part from burning, for a short time; but the plant these savages use, will secure them for more than half-an-hour.

[Page 188]There are dances, prescribed by their physicians, for the cure of the sick; but they are generally very lascivious. They are almost always in circles, to the sound of the drum, and the Chichikoué, the men apart from the women. As their music has but two or three notes, and is continually repeated, they dance always in time.

Their other dances are military, one is rather a mili­tary feat. The warriors are the actors; and, it seems, instituted merely to give them an opportunity of publish­ing their great atchievements in war. They decorate the calumet with feathers, and set it up in the most con­spicuous place among them. Calumet is a Norman word, and signifies reed. The calumet of the savages, is properly the tube of a pipe; but they comprehend under this name, the pipe also, as well as its tube. The tube of that for ceremonial uses, is made of a light wood; painted with different colours, and adorned with the head, tails, and feathers of the finest birds. The bowl is made of a reddish marble. The custom is to smoke in the calumet, when it is accepted; and perhaps there is no instance, where the agreement has been violated, which was made by this acceptation. The savages are, at least, persuaded, that the Great Spirit, would not leave such a breach of faith unpunished. If, in the midst of battle, the enemy presents a calumet, it is allowable to refuse it; but, if they receive it, they must instantly lay down their arms, and peace is the consequence. There are calumets for every kind of treaty. In making those smoke in [Page 189] the calumet, with whom they would trade or treat, they call the sun for witness, and as a guarantee of their engagement; for they never fail to blow the smoke towards the sun. There are persons, who have supposed this calumet to have originated in the Cadu­ceus of Mercury; and the more so, because they en­grave a serpent on the tube; but, as the caduceus has no relation to the sun, and there is no tradition among the savages, that gives any room to judge they ever had any knowledge of the Greek mythology, it is most rational to suppose, that these people could not find any signs more natural to denote a strict union, than to smoke in the same pipe; especially if the smoke they draw is offered to a deity, who puts the seal of religion to it. To smoke in the same pipe, therefore, in token of alliance, is the same thing as to drink out of the same cup, as has been practised, at all times, by many nations.

Now this calumet being set up in view, the band of music, and the dancers round it, the spectators divided here and there in companies; the women separate from the men, all seated on the ground, and dressed in their finest robes, at some distance, make a pretty shew.

Before the music a post is erected, on which, at the end of every dance, a warrior advances, and gives a stroke with his hatchet. This is the signal for silence, and this man repeats, with a loud voice, some of his [Page 190] great feats; and, having received the applauses of the spectators, goes, takes his place again, and the dance is continued; which seems to have no meaning, and consists wholly of contorsions.

The dance of discovery is performed by one man, and is a natural representation of all that passes in an expedition of war. At first he advances slowly into the midst of the place, where he remains, for some time, motionless; after which he represents, one after another, the setting out of the warriors, the march, the encamp­ing; he goes on the discovery, makes his approach, stops to take breath; then, all on a sudden, grows furious, and one would imagine, was going to kill every body; then he appears more calm, and takes one of the company as prisoner; he makes a shew of knocking another man's brains out; levels his gun at a third, and, lastly, sets up a running with all his might; then stops, and recovers himself. This is to represent a retreat, at first precipitate, and afterwards less so. Then he expresses, by different cries, the various affections of his mind during his last campaign; and finishes, by reciting all the brave actions he has performed in war.

There are other dances, less compounded, designed merely to give the warriors an opportunity of relating their atchievements. He who gives the feast invites all the village by beat of drum, and they meet in his cabin, if it is large enough to contain them all. The warriors [Page 191] dance, one after another; then, striking on a post for silence, they say what they please, and stop, from time to time, to receive applause, which is generally given in abundance; but if he boasts of feats he never performed, any person is allowed to rub the boasters head with dirt and ashes, or play him any other trick he likes. Commonly they blacken his face, saying, "What I do, is to hide your shame; for, the first time you see the enemy, you will turn pale." This dance is always performed at night.

In the western parts, they have the dance of the bull; in which the dancers form several circles, and the music, which is always the drum, and the chichikoué, is in the middle. They never separate those of the same family. The dancers do not join hands; and every one carries in his hand his arms and his buckler. All the circles do not turn the same way, and though they caper much, and very high, they always keep time and measure.

From time to time, the chief of a family presents his shield, which is covered with a bull's hide. They all strike upon it; and, at every stroke, he repeats some of his exploits. Then he goes, and cuts a piece of tobacco, at a post where some is hung, and gives it to one of his friends. If any one can prove that he has performed greater feats, or had a share in those the other boasts [Page 192] of, he has a right to take the piece of tobacco, that was presented, and give it to another. This dance is followed by a feast.

CHAP. IV. Of the Manner of Hunting, Animals, Marriages, Births, Funerals, &c.

AS the Canadian savages live chiefly by hunting, it may not be unentertaining to give a description of their bear-hunt, which holds the first place in this part of their employ; and which, among those who are not converted to christianity, is performed with the greatest superstition. My readers may compare it with the mode the Laplanders pursue, and which is related in the first volume of this work.

It is always a war chief, who fixes the time, and has the care of inviting the hunters. This invitation is made with great ceremony, and is followed with a fast of eight days, during which they do not drink, even a drop of water: and their fasting is abstaining from all kinds of food. In spite of the extreme weakness which such an abstinence occasions, they never cease singing all the time it lasts. This fast is to induce the genii or spirits to [Page 193] discover the places where they may find many bears. Some even do much more to deserve this favour. Se­veral have been seen to cut their flesh, in several parts of their bodies, to render their genii, or spirits, more pro­pitious; but they do not ask their assistance to conquer these furious animals; they wish only to be told where to find them. As Ajax did not ask Jupiter to give him victory over his enemies, but only day-light enough to make an end of his conquest.

The savages supplicate also, on the same account, the manes of the beasts which they have killed in former huntings. The fast being over, and the place of the hunt being settled, the chief, who is chosen for the chace, gives his party a great feast, but no one dares be thereat, till he has bathed; that is, till he has first plunged him­self into the river, if not frozen, let the weather be ever so severe. Though they have fasted long, at this feast they eat moderately. The master of the feast eats nothing, his whole business, whilst his guests are eating, being to relate his prowess at former huntings. Fresh invocations, of the manes of dead beasts, finish the re­past. Then they begin their march, equipped as for war; their faces besmeared with black, amid the ac­clamations of the whole village; for the chace, among these people, is as noble as war. The alliance of a good hunter, is more sought after, than that of a famous warrior; but a man is not esteemed a good hunter, till he has killed 12 great beasts in one day. Winter is the [Page 194] hunting season. It does not require much running to catch them. When the hunters think they have found the places where a great number are hid, they form a cir­cle, of a quarter of a league in circumference, more or less, according to the number of hunters, and thus draw nearer and nearer, till they quite close in upon them and take them.

When a bear is killed, the hunter puts the end of his lighted pipe between his teeth, blows into the bowl, and, thus filling the mouth and throat of the beast with smoke, conjures its spirit, to bear him no malice, for what he has just done to the body, and not to oppose him in his future huntings. But, as the spirit does not answer, the hunter (to know if his prayer is granted) cuts the string under the bear's tongue, and keeps it till he returns to the village. Then they all throw, with great ceremony, and after many invocations, these strings into the fire. If they crackle, and shrink up, as they always do, it is taken, for a certain sign, that the spirit of the bear is appeased.

The hunters make good cheer, as long as the chace lasts. To see how they are received, the praises be­stowed upon them, the pleased, and self-sufficient airs they take upon themselves; one would say, they were returning from some grand expedition, loaded with the spoils of a whole nation destroyed.

[Page 195]I have already spoke largely of the bears in Lapland; but, I cannot pass over what Charlevoix says of the bears in Canada. He asserts, that, wherever the bears retreat in winter, whether to a hollow tree, or a cavern, they make no provision there, nor do they quit their retreat for six months; that, in fact, a bear never eats for the space of such a winter: they have been kept chained for six months together, in the winter-season, and without food; and yet, have been fat, and clothed with a good fur; whereas, in July, which is in rutting time, they grow very lean, the effect merely of jealousy; but, when this season is passed, the bear grows fat again. A bear's whelp is as good eating as a lamb. The dogs they hunt with, are shaped like a wolf, with upright ears, and a long nose.—I will now speak of the Original.

The original of this country is an animal, which, in Germany, Poland, and Russia, is called the elk, or great-beast. It equals a horse in size. The hind­quarters are large, the tail but one inch long, the horns very high, the legs and feet like those of a hart; a long hair covers the withers, the neck, and upper part of the hams. The head is about two feet long, and he carries it out, which gives him an ill-look. The muzzle is large, and lessens in the upper part, like that of a camel, and its nostrils are so large, that one may easily thrust in half one's arm. Its horns are not less long than those of a hart, and much wider; they are flat, and forked [Page 196] like those of a deer, and are renewed every year. The hair of the original, is a mixture of light grey, and dark red. It grows hollow as the beast grows old, and never loses its elastic power. Beat it ever so long, it springs up again. Matrasses are made of it, and saddles. Its skin is strong, soft, and substantial, and is made into shamois, and excellent buff.

The most northern nations of Canada, take this animal very easily, and without danger. The hunters divide themselves into two companies, one embarks in canoes; and these, keeping at some distance from each other, form a large semi-circle, the two ends of which touch the shore. The other company, on land, perform much the same operation, and enclose a large space. Then these hunters let go their dogs, and rouse all the originals that are within that space, and driving them forward, oblige them to run into the water, where they are fired on from all the canoes.

This animal has another enemy, namely, the carcajou; a sort of wild cat, with a tail so long, that it can twist it several times round its body. When it comes up with an original, it leaps upon him; and, fixing on his neck, twists its long tail round it, then tears out the jugular vein, and thus destroys him.

There being a great difference between the beavers of Europe, and those of Canada, I must not omit this [Page 197] opportunity of speaking of them. The spoils of this animal, has furnished this part of the world with the principal object of his trade. It is, of itself, one of the wonders of nature; and, it may be, to man, a great example of foresight, of industry, skill, and constancy in labour.

The beaver, or castor, is the same creature. It de­rived its latter name from an idea, that, when pursued by the hunters for its testicles, rather than lose its life, it will bite them off, and cast them from him. But this is an idle story; the most valuable part of the beaver is its fur, of which gloves and stockings are made, being soft and warm.

The beaver of Canada is an amphibious quadruped, which cannot remain long in water, and yet can do without being in it, provided it has the opportunity of washing itself occasionally. The largest beaver is something under four feet long, about 15 inches from one hip to another, and weighs about 60 pounds. Its colour varies, according to the different climates where it is found. In the most distant parts of the north, they are commonly quite black; though sometimes they are found there white. In the more temperate countries they are brown, and, by degrees, as they advance towards the south, their colour grows more and more light. Among the Illinois they are almost of a sallow colour, and some have been found of a straw-colour. It is further ob­served, [Page 198] that the less black they are, the less fur they have, and of course, their skins are less valuable.

The castor, or castoreum, so much sought after by the druggists, are four purses, or bags, in the lower belly of the beaver (not its testicles). They contain a soft, resinous, gluey matter, mixt with small fibres; of a strong smell, and easily inflammable. The beaver-fur is too short to be spun, and is fit only to mix with rabbit-wool, to make hats of. If, then, there is any thing to admire in the beaver, it is that its industry, its foresight; their unity, and subordination among themselves, their attention to procure conveniences, the comfort of which brutes were formerly thought insensible of, furnish man with more instruction than the ant, to which the Holy Scriptures send the idle. They are, at least, among the quadrupeds, what the bees are amongst flying insects. They have neither a king nor queen to govern them; but, by virtue of that instinct given to animals, by Him whose providence directs them, every one knows what he has to do, and every thing is done without confusion, and with so much order, as cannot be sufficiently ad­mired. Perhaps, after all, we are so much astonished, only, for want of looking up to that supreme Intelligence, who makes use of those beings who want reason, the better to display his wisdom and power; and to teach us, that our reason itself is, frequently, by our presump­tion, the cause of our going astray.

[Page 199]The first thing done by these creatures, when they want to make a habitation, is to assemble themselves, three or four hundred together, in order to build a little city of Venice, in the midst of water. They first chuse a place where they may find plenty of provisions, and materials for building; but, above all, they must have water. If there is no lake or pond near, they supply the defect, by stopping the course of some brook, by a dyke, or causey. For this purpose they cut some trees, above the place where they intend to build. Three or four beavers set themselves about a great tree, and will soon cut it down with their teeth. This is not all; they contrive it so well, that it always falls on the side next the water, that they may have less distance to carry it when they cut it to pieces; sensible their materials are not so easily conveyed by land, as by water. They have nothing after to do, but to roll these pieces into the water, and guide them to the place where they are to be fixed. These pieces are thicker or thinner, longer or shorter, as the nature and situation of the place require; for one may say, these architects conceive, at once, every thing that relates to their design. Sometimes they em­ploy large trunks of trees, which they lay flat. Some­times the dam, or causey, as it is called here, is made only of stakes; some as thick as a man's thigh, or less, which they drive into the earth, very near each other, and interweave with small branches, and, every where, fill up the hollow spaces with clay, so well applied, that not a drop of water can pass through; and their tail, [Page 200] which is four or five inches broad, serves them, not only for a trowel to build with, but for a hod to carry their mortar. To place and spread the clay, they first use their paws, then their tail. The foundation of the dams are generally 10 or 12 feet thick; but they decrease in thickness upwards, so as to be not more than two feet thick at top. All this is done in exact proportion; for, it is observed, that the side towards the current of the water is always sloping, so as to break the pressure of the water, and the other side is perpendicular. In short, it would be difficult for our best workmen to make any thing more compact or regular. The construction of their cabins is not less wonderful. They are generally erected on piles, in the midst of these little lakes, which the dykes have made; sometimes, by the side of a river, or at the extremity of a point, that advances into the water. Their shape is round, or oval, and their roofs arched. The walls are two feet thick, formed like the causey, and every where so well plastered with clay within, that no air can enter. Two-thirds of the build­ing is out of the water, and in this part every beaver has a separate place, which he strews with leaves, or small branches of fir. It is always free from ordure; and, for this end, besides the common door of the cabin, and another outlet, by which these creatures pass to bathe themselves, there are several openings, by which they can dung into the water. The common cabins lodge eight or 10 beavers; but some have been found which [Page 201] held thirty. They are all near enough each other to have a communication.

These animals are never surprised by the winter. Their buildings are completed by the end of September; and then every one provides his stock for the winter. Whilst they go to and fro in the woods and fields, they live on fruits, and the bark and leaves of trees, cray-fish, and other fish; but when they are to provide for the winter, they content themselves with soft woods, such as the poplar and aspen. They pile it up in such a manner, that they can always take those pieces which are soaked in water; and these piles are larger or smaller, as the winter will prove, longer or shorter; which is as an al­manack to the savages, which never deceives them, in regard to the cold. When the melting of the snow causes floods, and drowns their habitations, they quit them till the month of July, and then return to repair them; and, if they find they have been destroyed by hunters, they make others. There are a variety of stories respecting the sagacity of this animal; but, as I am not writing a natural history, I must refer my readers to Buffon, and others, who have written largely on this subject.

But of all the numerous tribes of quadrupeds in this extensive country, the buffalo merits a description; not only on account of its being the most numerous, but, likewise, for the utility every part of it is convertable to.

[Page 202]The Indians have various methods of killing the buffalo; one of which is, by cautiously approaching them when feeding: the hunter, upon this occasion, lies upon his belly, and will, sometimes, fire his gun 40 or 50 times, without raising his head. They also pursue them on horseback, and shoot them with arrows and guns; the general mode of taking them, is by a pound, constructed in the following manner:

They are either of a circular, or a square form, and differ, according to the manner of the nation by whom they are made. The square ones, about Hudson's-Bay, are composed of trees, laid one upon another, to the height of about five feet, each square side about 50 feet long. On that side on which the animals are to enter, a bank of earth is raised, five feet high, with an easy ascent to the top, so as to be on a level with the top of the enclosure, or the other side of the square. This done, a number of branches of trees are placed from each side of the front, in a straight line, from the raised hill, to the distance of 100 feet, the lines spreading continually from each other, so as to be 200 feet apart, at the distance of 100 feet from the pound. These lines of trees are lengthened out, by a number of poles, 15 feet long, erected at 12 feet distance from each other, with a piece of buffalo dung on the top of each. At the foot of each pole, a man lies concealed, in a buffalo-skin, to keep the animals in a straight direction to the pound. These poles are also placed alike on each side, always in­creasing


[Page 203] in breadth from side to side. Every prepara­tion being now made, three or four men set off on foot, to find a herd of cows, for bulls they consider of little value. These they drive easily along, till they arrive in the neighbourhood of the pound, when one man is dis­patched to give notice to the other Indians, who imme­diately assemble on horseback, on each side the herd, keep­ing a proper distance, so as not to frighten the animals. Thus are they conducted within the poles; should they at­tempt to run out between them, the men, who are placed at the foot of each pole, shake their skins, which drives the herd to the opposite side, where the other men do the same; so that, at last, they are driven up the bank, into the pound, where falling in headlong, one upon another, some break their necks, some their backs, and some their legs; and the confusion becomes so great within, that though the height of the sides, shall not exceed five feet, none will make their escape.

Having mentioned horses, it is necessary to say, that those bred here are variously coloured, as our English horses are, but as small as those found in the north of Scotland. They were originally imported by the Spa­niards, on the eastern side of the continent, and it is but lately that they have become common among the Nehe­thawa Indians, who much esteem them, and shew more affection for them, than they do for their wives. Many broils and animosities among the natives, originate from a desire of being in possession of these animals. One [Page 204] party generally commences hostilities, by stealing the horses of their adversaries; and they, in return, retaliate; so that, at length, a mutual resentment takes place, and war becomes absolutely necessary.

The method of travelling and hunting in the snow, in this country, is not unlike the manner made use of in Lapland, and other northern countries, a kind of snow shoes, or scates. They are here called racquets, are about three feet long, and, in their greatest breadth, 15 or 16 inches wide. These are bound to the feet with thongs, and they scud over the snow with them very fast. Their baggage they draw on sledges.

In many nations of the Algonquin language, a plurality of wives is established, and it is common enough for a man to marry all the sisters; a custom founded on the notion they have, that sisters will agree together better than strangers. In this case, all the wives are upon an equal footing; but, among the true Algonquins, they have two sorts of wives, and the second are slaves to the first.

The Hurons, and Irroquois, are very scrupulous with respect to marriage. Among them, there must be no manner of relation between the parties to be married; and even adoption is comprehended in this law. But the husband, if the wife dies first, must marry her sister, or, in default of such, the woman which his wife's family [Page 205] shall chuse for him. The reason they give for it is the same. But it is mentioned, Deut. 25. v. 6. A husband who should forsake his wife, without a lawful cause, must expect many insults from her relations; and a woman who should leave her husband, without being forced to it, by his ill-treatment, would pass her time still worse.

Among the Miemis, the husband has a right to cut off his wife's nose, if she runs away from him; but, among the Irroquois and the Hurons, they may part by consent. This is done without noise; and the parties, thus sepa­rated, may marry again.

Treaties of marriage, are entirely carried on by the parents; but, the consent of the young couple is al­ways asked. In some places, the women are in no haste to be married; because they are allowed to make what trials of it they please, and the ceremony of marriage only changes their condition for the worse. In general there is great modesty in the young folks, whilst their marriage is in negociation; but, they say, it was quite otherwise formerly. But, what is most incredible, and yet well-attested, is, that, in many places, the new-married couple are together a whole year, living in perfect con­tinence, to shew that they are married for friendship, and not to gratify a sensual passion. A young woman would be even pointed at, that should happen to be with child the first year after her marriage. After this, [Page 206] it will be easier to believe what is said of the young people's behaviour during their courtship, in the places where they are allowed to see one another in private; for though custom admits them to have very private meetings; yet, in the greatest danger that chastity can be exposed to, and even under the veil of night, they say, nothing passes against the rules of the utmost de­corum; and, that not even a word is spoken that can give the least offence to modesty.

During the preliminaries of marriage, the young man is contented to go and sit by the side of the young woman, in her cabin; and, if she suffers it, and continues in her place, it is taken for consent, and the marriage is con­cluded. But, in the midst of all this deference and re­spect, he gives some tokens that he will be soon master; for, among the presents he makes her, there are some which ought less to be regarded as marks of friendship, than as symbols and notices of the slavery to which she is going to be reduced. Such are the collar, a long and broad band of leather, which serves to draw loads, the kettle, and a billet. This is to let her know, that she is to carry burdens, dress provisions, and get wood for firing.

The women, in general, are brought to bed without any pain, and without any assistance; but, there are some, who are a long time in labour, and suffer much. When this happens, they give notice of it to the young [Page 207] people; who, all on a sudden, and when the patient least expects it, come and make great noises at the door of the cabin, the surprise of which has such an effect upon her, as instantly to procure her delivery. The women never lie-in, in their own cabins; many are taken suddenly, and bring forth their children, whilst at work, or on a journey. For others, when they find themselves near their time, they make a little hut with­out the village, where they remain 40 days after delivery. The time being expired, they extinguish all the fires of the cabin, to which she is to return, shake all the clothes, and, at her return, light a new fire. The same formali­ties are pretty nearly observed with respect to all the sex, in the time of their terms; and not only whilst these last, but also whilst a woman is with child, or gives suck, (and they commonly suckle their children three years,) the husband never approaches them. Nothing would be more praise worthy than this custom, if both parties pre­served the fidelity they owe to each other; but there is often a failure on one side or the other: and such is the cor­ruption of the human heart, that the wisest regulations often produce the greatest disorders. It is even said, that the use of certain simples, which have a power to prevent the consequences of the womens' infidelity, is pretty common in this country.

A mother's care to her child, whilst in its cradle, is, as I have observed, uncommon; but the child is no sooner out of it, than it is left to itself, not through [Page 208] want of affection, for that is never lost whilst they live; but, from a persuasion, it is best to leave nature to herself, and without any restraint. The act which ter­minates the first stage of infancy, is giving a name, which, among these people, is an affair of importance.

This ceremony is performed at a feast, where no per­sons are present, but of the same sex with the child that is to be named. Whilst they are eating, the child is on its father or mother's knees, who continually re­commend it to its guardian genius. New names are never invented. Each family has a certain number, which they take by turns.

When they talk to a man in common discourse, they never call him by his proper name; this would be im­polite, but give him the quality he has with respect to the person that speaks to him; where there is no relation, indeed, or affinity between them, they use the term of brother, uncle, nephew, or cousin, according to each other's age, or according to the value they have for the person they address.

There are few men in the world, that have less need of physic. They are not only almost all of a healthy and strong constitution, but they never knew the greatest part of European distempers, till we came among them. The gout, gravel, stone, apoplexy, and many other diseases, so common in Europe, have not yet reached [Page 209] this part of the new world, among the natural inhabi­tants of the country. If they are at any time ill, they apply to their jugglers, whose chief employment is that of physic.

They seldom consider a disease as merely natural, or, among the common remedies they use, allow any to have, in themselves, the virtue of healing. The great use they make of their simples, is for wounds, fractures, dislocations, and ruptures. They blame the great in­cisions our surgeons make, to cleanse wounds. They squeeze out the juice of many plants, and, with this extract, draw out all the corruption, and even the splinters of broken bones, stones, iron, and, in general, all foreign matter that remains in the wounded part. These same juices are all the food the patient has, till the wound is closed.

Whatever their knowledge may be, it is certain, they have very quick and sovereign remedies against the palsy, dropsy, and venereal disease. In the last two, a decoction of the shavings of guiacum wood, and sassa­fras, are their common specifics. And they have a me­thod of uniting a broken bone, and making it solid, in eight days.

In acute diseases, as in the pleurisy, they apply cata­plasms to the side, opposite the pain, which draw, and prevent the humours from settling. But their great [Page 210] remedy, and preservative against all diseases, is sweat­ing. On coming out of a sweating-house, whilst the sweat runs down all parts of their bodies, they will plunge themselves, as do the Russians, into a river; or if no water is near them, they will get some person to throw the coldest water over them. They frequently sweat themselves merely to recover the fatigue of a journey, to calm their spirits, and enable them to converse the better. As soon as a stranger comes into a cabin, they make a fire for him, rub his feet with oil, and then conduct him to a stove, where his host keeps him company.

When a sick man refuses all sorts of food, they sup­pose him ill indeed: in this case, they advise with a juggler; who, at best, is no better than a quack, and these men have a singular method of not being answer­able for events. As soon as they perceive a patient has the symptoms of death, they never fail to prescribe things too difficult to be put into execution; so that they are a [...]w [...]ys sure of an excuse, on account of their orders not having been punctually followed. It is not to be con­ceived to what extravagancies they go on these occa­sions: They will order some patients to counterfeit themselves mad. In some diseases they order dances, which are generally very lascivious. One would think, they aimed more to hasten the patient's death, than his cure; but, what shews the force of imagination [Page 211] is, that these doctors, with all their follies, perform as many cures as ours do.

In some savage nations of America, when the dis­temper is desperate, they kill the patient, to put him out of his pain. In the Canton of Onnontague, they de­stroy young children, that lose their mothers at their birth, or bury them alive with them, from a persua­sion, that another woman cannot nurse them, and that they would pine to death. But this barbarous custom has been lately laid aside. Some mothers forsake the dis­eased, when the doctors give them over, and let them die with hunger and thirst. And there are some, who, to hinder the distortion of the features, in dying persons, close their eyes and mouth, when they see them in the agony of death.

In Nova Scotia, the jugglers are called aulmoins, and it is generally the chief of the village, who is invested with this dignity; of course, though they have not much skill, nor less imposture, they have more authority. When called to a patient, the first thing they do is, to view him attentively for some time, and then to blow upon him. If this has no effect, the reason is, "That the devil is in him, and must come out: yet, let every one be upon his guard; for this evil spirit, out of spite, may fall upon one of the company." Then they enter in to a kind of phrenzy, make strange postures, cry out, [Page 212] threaten the pretended devil, speak to him as if they had seen him, and make passes at him.

When they enter the cabin, they always have the pre­caution, to thrust into the earth a piece of wood, fastened to a string; then, offer the end of the string to all the company present, desiring them to pull up this piece of wood; and as none can scarce ever accomplish it, they tell them, it is the devil that holds it; then feigning to stab this pretended devil, they loosen the wood, by little, and little, by digging the earth round it, after which, it is drawn up with ease, and all present cry out, "Victory!" To this piece of wood is fastened, under it, a little bone, or some such thing, which they shew to the people present, saying, that was the cause of the disease, it was necessary to kill the devil to get at it.

This farce lasts generally four or five hours, at the end of which the doctor wants rest and refreshment. He goes away, assuring the patient, that he will recover, if the distemper has not got the upper hand; that is to say, if the devil, before his retreat, has not already given him a mortal wound. But how is the doctor to know this? He pretends to know it by dreams; but takes special care, not to speak plainly, till he sees what turn the distemper is likely to take. When he judges it in­curable, he retires; and, after his example, every one forsakes the sick person. If, after three days, he is still [Page 213] alive, "The devil," says the doctor, "is resolved he shall recover, and will not let him die. We must, out of charity, put an end to his sufferings." Immediately his dearest friends fetch cold water, and pour it on his face, till he expires. The delusion is such, that many thanks are given to the doctor, with a considerable reward.

Some nations of the south have maxims quite the reverse. They never pay the doctor till after the cure. If the patient dies, the doctor's life is in danger. Accord­ing to the Irroquois, every distemper is a desire of the soul, and death is the consequence of not accomplishing the desire.

In general, when they think themselves past recovery, they meet their fate with a resolution truly stoical, and they often see their days shortened, by the persons that are most dear to them, without shewing the least chagrin. The declaration of the doctor's sentence, is scarcely finished to a dying man, before he makes an effort to harrangue those that are about him. If it is the chief of a family, he first makes his funeral oration, which he finishes, by giving very good counsel to his children. After this, he takes leave of every one, gives orders for a feast, in which they must use all the provisions that remain in the cabin, and then he receives the presents of his family.

[Page 214]During this time, they cut the throats of all the dogs they can catch, that the souls of these animals may go into the other world, and give notice, that such a person will arrive there soon. The feast being over, they begin to weep, but their tears are interrupted, to bid the dying person farewel, and wish him a good journey; to com­fort him on his separation from his friends and relations; and to assure him, that his children will maintain all the glory which he has acquired.

Notwithstanding these people shew so little judge­ment in their manner of treating the sick, they be­have towards the dead, with a generosity and affection that cannot be too much admired. Some mothers have been known to have kept the dead bodies of their chil­dren whole years, and would never go from them; others draw milk from their breasts, and pour it on the tombs of these little creatures. If a village happens to take fire, in which there are any dead bodies, this is the first thing they take care to preserve. They strip them­selves of every thing that is most valuable, to adorn the dead. From time to time, they open their coffins, to change their dress; and they deprive themselves of food to carry it to their sepulchres, and to the places where they fancy their souls walk. In a word, they are at much greater expence for the dead, than the living.

[Page 215]As soon as the sick person expires, the place is filled with mournful cries, which last as long as the family is able to defray the expences; for they must keep open table all this time. The dead body, dressed in the finest robe, with the face painted, the arms, and all that belongs to the deceased, by his side, is exposed, at the cabin door, in the posture it is to be laid in the tomb; and this posture is the same, in many places, as that of the child in its mother's womb. The custom of some nations is, for the relations of the deceased to fast to the end of the funeral; and all this interval is passed in tears and cries, in treating their visitors, in praising the dead, and in mutual compliments. In other places they hire women to weep. They sing, they dance, they weep, without ceasing, always keeping time: but these demonstrations of a borrowed sorrow, do not prevent the effects of nature, from the relations of the dead.

They carry the body to its place of interment, with­out much ceremony; but take care to cover it in its grave, so that the earth shall not touch it. It lies as in a little cave, lined with skin, much richer, and better adorned, than their cabins. A post is then set up on the grave, and a number of things hung on it, that may shew the esteem they had for the deceased. They some­times put on it his portrait, and every thing that may serve to shew to passengers, who he was, and the finest actions of his life. They carry fresh provisions to the [Page 216] grave every morning; and as the dogs, and other beasts, do not fail to reap the benefit of it, they are willing to persuade themselves, that these things have been eaten by the souls of the deceased.

When any one dies in hunting, they expose his body on a very high scaffold, and it remains there till the departure of the troop, who carry it with them to the village. The bodies of those who die in war are burnt, and their ashes brought back, to be laid in the burial-place of their fathers. These burial-places, among the most settled nations, are places like our church-yards, near the village. Others bury their dead in the woods, at the foot of a tree, or dry them, and keep them in chests, till the festival of the dead, which I shall pre­sently describe. But, in some places, they observe an odd ceremony, for those that are drowned, or are frozen to death.

Before I relate it, it will be proper to say, that they believe, when these accidents happen, that the spirits are incensed, and that their anger is not appeased till the body is found. Then, the preliminaries of tears, dances, songs, and feasts being ended, they carry the body to the usual place of interment, or, if it be too far off, to the place where it is to remain, till the festival of the dead. There they dig a very large pit, and make a fire in it; then some young persons approach the corpse, cut cut the flesh, in parts marked out by a master of [Page 217] the ceremonies, and throw them into the fire, with the bowels. The corpse, thus mangled, is put into the place destined for it. During this operation, the female relations of the deceased, go continually round those that are at it, exhorting them to acquit themselves well in what they have undertaken, and put beads of porcelain in their mouth, as we would give sugar-plumbs to chil­dren, to entice them to do what we desire.

The interment is followed by presents, which they make to the afflicted family, and this they call, cover­ing of the dead. Allies, also, make some presents at the death of considerable persons; but, first, the family of the deceased, make a great feast in his name; and this feast is accompanied with games, for which they pro­pose prizes, which are performed in this manner. A chief throws on the tomb three sticks, about a foot long. A young man; a woman, and a maiden, take each of them one, and those of their ages, their sex, and con­dition, strive to wrest them out of their hands. Those with whom the sticks remain, are conquerors. There are also races; and they sometimes shoot at a mark. In short, by a custom, which we find established in all the times of Pagan antiquity, a ceremony, entirely mourn­ful, is terminated by songs, and shouts of victory.

It is true, that the family of the deceased bear no part in these rejoicings. They observe, even in his cabin, after the obsequies, a mourning, the laws of which are [Page 218] very severe. They must have their hair cut off, and their faces blacked. They must stand, with their heads wrapt in a blanket. They must not look at any person, nor make any visit, nor eat any thing hot. They must deprive themselves of all pleasures, wear scarce any thing on their bodies, and never warm themselves at the fire, even in the depth of winter.

After this deep mourning, which lasts two years, they begin a second, more moderate, which continues two or three years longer, and which may be softened, by little and little; but they dispense with nothing that is pre­scribed, without the consent of the people of the cabin, to which the widower, or the widow belongs. These permissions, as well as the end of the mourning, always costs the nearest relation a feast.

On the death of a wife, the husband does not weep; because, according to their ideas, tears do not become men; but this is not general among all the Sioux na­tions. Women weep for their husbands a year. They call him without ceasing, and fill the village with cries and lamentations; especially at sun-rise, noon, and sun­set; and, in some places, when they go out to work, and when they return. Mothers do much the same for their children.

The first, and often the only compliment, they pay to a friend, and even to a stranger, they receive in their [Page 219] cabins, is to weep for the nearest relations he has lost since they last saw him. They put their hands on his head, and give him to understand who it is they weep for, without mentioning his name. All this is founded on nature, and has nothing savage in it. But what I am going to relate, does not appear to be any way excuse­able, that is, the behaviour of these people towards those who die a violent death, even though it be in war, and the service of their country.

They have a notion, that their souls, in the other world, have no communication with the souls of men who die a natural death; and, on this principle, burn them directly, sometimes even before they expire. They never inter them in the common burying-place, and give them no part in the great ceremony, which is re­newed every eight years among some nations, and every ten years among the Hurons, and the Irroquois.

They call it, "The Festival of the Dead," or, "The Feast of Souls;" and is the most singular ceremony, and the most celebrated of the religion of the savages. A place being fixed for the assembly to meet in, they elect a king of the feast, whose duty it is to order every thing, and to invite the neighbouring villages. The day appointed being come, all the savages assemble, and go in procession, two and two, to the burying-place. There every one labours to uncover the bodies; which done, they continue contemplating, in silence, on a [Page 220] spectacle, so capable of exciting the most serious re­flexions. The women first interrupt this religious silence, by sending forth mournful cries, which encrease the horror with which every one is filled.

The first act being ended, they take up the carcases, pick up the dry and separated bones, and put them in parcels, and those who are ordered to carry them, take them on their shoulders. If there are any bodies not entirely decayed, they wash them, clean away the cor­rupted flesh, and all the filth, and wrap them in new robes of beaver-skins. They then return in the same order they came; and, when the procession reaches the village, every one lays in his cabin the burden he was charged with; during the march the women continue their lamen­tations, and the men shew the same signs of grief they did on the day of the death of those whose remains they have been taking up. And this second act is followed by a feast, in each cabin, in honour of the dead of each family.

The following days they make public feasts, accom­panied as on the day of the funeral, with dances, games, and combats, for which there are certain prizes. From time to time, during these gambols, they make loud outcries, which they call the "Cries of the Souls." They make presents to strangers; some of whom come 150 leagues to the ceremony. They also take advan­tage of this general meeting, to treat of common af­fairs, [Page 221] or of the election of a chief. Every thing passes with a great deal of order, decency, and modesty, and every one appears to entertain sentiments suitable to the principal action. Every thing, even in the dances and songs, carries an air of sadness and mourning; and one can see, in them, all hearts pierced with the sharpest sorrow. The most insensible would be affected at the sight of such a spectacle. After some days are past, they go again in procession to a great council-room, built for the purpose; and all these marches and processions are made to the sound of their instruments, accompanied with their best voices, and all marching in time to the music. When they reach the council-room, they hang up the bones and carcasses against the wall, in the same condition they took them from the burying-place, and there lay forth the presents designed for the dead. If among these sad remains, there happens to be those of a chief, his successor gives a great feast in his name, and sings his song. In many places, the bones are carried from village to village, are received every where with great demonstrations of grief and tenderness, and every where they make them presents; and, lastly, they carry them to the place where they are always to remain.

This last, and common burial-place, is a great pit, lined with their finest furs, and the best things they have. The presents designed for the dead, are placed by them­selves. By degrees, as the procession arrives, each [Page 222] family ranges on a kind of scaffold, set up round the pit, and the moment the bones are laid in, the women re­new their lamentations. Then, all present descend into the pit, and every one takes a little of the earth, which they carefully keep, fancying it procures them luck at play. The bodies and bones, ranged in order, are covered with entire new furs, and over that with bark, on which they throw stones, wood, and earth. Every one returns to his own cabin; but the women come, for several days after, and pour broth, made of maize, called, sagamitty, on the place.

CHAP. V. Of their traditions and Religion.

NOTHING is more certain, than that the savages of this continent have an idea of a First Being, but, at the same time, nothing is more obscure. They argue, in general, in making the first spirit, the Lord and Creator of the World; but, when pressed to give an account of this First Spirit, betray many odd fancies. Fables so ill-conceived, systems so ill-digested, and with so little uniformity, that nothing regular can be said upon the subject.

[Page 223]Almost all the Algonquin nations call this first spirit The Great Hare; some call it Michabou; others Atahocan. The greater part say, this Hare being supported in the waters with all his court, all composed of four-footed creatures, like himself, formed the earth out of a grain of sand, taken from the bottom of the ocean, and created men of the dead bodies of animals. There are some, also, that speak of a God of the waters, who opposed the design of the Great Hare, or at least refused to favour it. This God, according to some, is the Great Tiger; but it is to be observed, there are no true tygers in Canada; of course, this tradition might be derived from some other country. They have also a third God, named Malco­mek, whom they invoke during winter.

The Areskoui of the Hurons, and the Agreskoué of the Irroquois, are, in the opinion of these people, the Su­preme Being, and the God of War. These nations do not give the same origin to men as the Algonquins, and do not go so far back as the creation of the world. They say there were six men in the world at first, but who placed them there, they know not. They add, that one of these men went up into heaven, to seek a woman there, named Atakentsie, with whom he lived, and who soon appeared to be with child; that the Lord of Heaven perceiving it, threw her down from the highest part of Heaven, and she was received on the back of a tortoise. That she brought forth two chil­dren, the eldest of which killed the other; a faint ac­count of Cain and Abel.

[Page 224]They have no tradition after this of the other five men, or even of Atakentsie's husband; who, according to some, had but one daughter. The Gods of the savages have, according to their notions, bodies, and live much in the same manner as we do, but without any of the inconveniencies we are subject to. The term spirit signifies, among them, only a being of a more excellent nature than the rest. They have no terms to express what exceeds the tenets of their under­standing, which is extremely confined, in any thing that is not the object of their senses, or in common use; but yet, they give to their pretended spirits a kind of immensity, which renders them present in all places; for wherever they happen to be, they invoke them, and speak to them.

According to the Irroquois, the posterity of him who slew his brother, went no farther than the third generation: there came, then, a deluge, from which no person escaped; and, to re-people the earth, beasts were changed to men. Indeed, the notion of a universal deluge is generally received among the Aborogines of America; but there seems to have been one of a much later date, confined to this continent. Besides the First Being, or Great Spirit, and the other gods confounded with him, they have an infinite number of genii, or subaltern spirits, good and evil, which have their particu­lar worship.

[Page 225]The Irroquois place Atakentsie at the head of the evil spirits; and her son Jouskeka, he who killed his brother, chief of the good. They address the evil genii, only to beg, that they would do them no harm; but they suppose the others to watch over them for their good, and that every man has his own genius, or guardian spirit. This spirit, in the Huron language, is called Okkis; in the Algonquin, Manitou. When they go out on any expedition, they carry their Okkis, or Manitou, with them. They would rather leave their arms behind them than their deities, which are represented under certain symbols. They put them into a sack, painted of various colours, and often, to do honour to the chief, place this sack in the fore-part of his canoe. If there are too many Manitou, to be con­tained in one sack, they distribute them into several, which are entrusted with the lieutenant and elders of each family. In their marches by land, the chief carries his sack himself, and, when he grows weary of the load, all are desirous of easing him. They have recourse to these Manitou when in any danger, and when they would obtain any extraordinary favour. They think they may ask any thing of them, however unreasonable, or con­trary to good behaviour, or honesty. But children, they suppose, are not under their protection. They must first know how to handle a bow and arrow, to merit this favour; and undergo the following preparation to receive it, which is the most important of their life.

[Page 226]They begin, by blacking the child's face. It must then fast eight days, without the least nourishment; and, during this time, his future guardian angel must appear to him in his dreams. The empty brain of the child, just entering en the first stage of youth, can't fail of fur­nishing him with dreams; and every morning they take care to make him relate them. However, the fasting often ends before the time appointed, as few children have strength to bear it so long; but this creates no difficulty. They are acquainted here, as in other places, with the convenient use of dispensations. The thing which the child dreams of most frequently, is supposed to be his genius; but, no doubt, this thing was considered, at first, only as a symbol, or shape, under which the spirit mani­fests itself. But the same has happened to these people, as to all those who have erred in the Romish religion: they have attached themselves to the representation, and lost sight of the reality.

These symbols, however, signify nothing of themselves. Sometimes it is the head of a bird; sometimes the foot of an animal, or a piece of wood; in short, the most ordinary things, and the least valued. They pre­serve them, however, with as much care, as the an­tients did their Penates. They tell you, there is nothing in nature that has not its tutelar spirit; but they are of all degrees, and have not the same power. When they do not comprehend a thing, they assign it to a superior genius; and say, in this case, "It is a spirit." And [Page 227] men of singular talents, are called spirits, being sup­posed, with them, to have a guardian genius, of a more exalted degree, than men have in general.

In spring, 1779, Umfreville tells us, some Indians, who were employed in the neighbourhood of York-fort, in Hudson's-Bay, were so influenced by these superstiti­ous ideas, that they believed the devil, with hideous howlings, frequented their tents every night. They came to the factory quite dejected, and told the gover­nor a lamentable tale, setting forth, with pathetic energy, the distresses they were exposed to from this vi­sitation of the Father of Iniquity. So overcome were they by their apprehensions, that they kept large fires continually burning all night, and sleeping only in the day-time. One of them declared, that he had fired his gun at him, but unluckily missed him. He described him to be of human shape, going about in cloaths, and taking prodigious strides over the snow. The Indians believed that he came in quest of some of their families, a part of which must be sacrificed to aswage his anger. A little brandy, however, properly applied, had a won­derful effect; for, after going through a course of inebria­tion for two days, all the fears that the devil had occa­sioned, were entirely dissipated. It proved aftewards, that this formidable enemy was nothing more than a night-owl, which had frequented the place. This bird, by the dismal noise it makes in the night, often causes such apprehensions in the minds of Indians, as to [Page 228] work on their imaginations, and make them believe the devil is really and substantially present.

The jugglers endeavour to persuade the multitude that they are sometimes in a trance; which kind of madness has existed at all times, and among all nations, and has given birth to all the false religions. The vanity, which is so natural to mankind, has never imagined a more effectual method to rule over the weak; and the multi­tude, at last, draw after them those who pride themselves most in their wisdom. The American impostors are not behind-hand with any in this point, and they know how to obtain all the advantages from it, which they propose. The jugglers never omit to publish, that, during their pretended extacies, their genii give them great information of things done at the greatest distance, and of future events; and as, by chance, (if we will not allow the devil any share in it,) they sometimes happen to divine, or guess pretty right, they acquire a great re­putation, and are reckoned genii of the first order.

As soon as they have taught a child, what he is to consider as his guardian genius for the time to come, they instruct him carefully in the obligations he is under to honour him, to follow the counsel he shall receive from him, in his dreams, to merit his favours, to put all his trust in him, and to dread the effects of his anger, if he neglects his duty towards him. The festival termi­nates in a feast; and the custom is, to prick on the body [Page 229] of the child the figure of his Okki, or his Manitou. One would suppose that such a solemn engagement, the mark of which can never be effaced, should be inviola­ble; but a trifle will sometimes break it.

They do not readily acknowledge themselves in the wrong, even with their gods, and make no difficulty to justify themselves at their expence. Therefore, the first time they have occasion to condemn themselves, or blame their guardian genius, the fault always falls on the latter; they seek another spirit without any ceremony, and this is done with the same precautions as at first.

Different sorts of offerings, or sacrifices, are made to these spirits. To render the god of the waters pro­pitious, they throw into the rivers and lakes petun, or tobacco, or birds that have had their throats cut. In honour of the sun, or inferior spirits, they throw into the fire part of every thing they use, and which they ac­knowledge to hold from them. This is sometimes done from motives of gratitude, but oftener from interest. A dog is the most common victim which they sacrifice; and sometimes they will hang one alive on a tree, by the hind-legs, and leave him there to die raving mad. The war-feast, which is always of dogs, may very well pass also for a sacrifice. In short, they render much the same honour to the mischievous spirits, as to these that are bene­ficent, when they have any thing to fear from their malice.

[Page 230]The belief best established among these people, is that of the immortality of the soul; yet, they do not conceive it purely spiritual, any more than they do their genii. They define a soul to be, as it were, the shadow, and the animated image of the body; and it is in conse­quence of this principle, that they believe every thing in the universe is animated, and it is entirely by tradition that they hold, our souls never die. Their doctrine is, that the soul, separated from the body, has still the same inclinations it had before, which is the reason why they bury with the dead every thing they used whilst living. They are also persuaded, that the soul remains near the corpse at the festival of the dead, which I have described, and that afterwards it goes into the country of souls; where, according to some, it is transformed into a dove.

Others think there are two souls in every man, attri­buting to one [...]l I have just mentioned; and saying, that the other never leaves one body, but to go into some other; which they are of opinion, however, seldom happens but to the souls of children, who, having en­joyed but little of life, are allowed to begin a new one. On this account, they bury children by the high-way-side, that women, as they pass by, may gather their souls. Now, say they, these souls, which so faithfully keep company with their bodies, must be fed; and it is to fulfil this duty, that they carry provisions to the graves. But this does not last long, as they expect such souls, in time, to accustom themselves to fast.

[Page 231]But one thing which these people never sail to per­form, in whatever extremity they find themselves, is, that as among us the spirits of the dead enrich the living, among them, they not only carry to the grave all that the deceased possessed, but also presents from their friends and relations.

The country, say these savages, to which souls go when separated from their bodies, lies very far to the west, and are several months travelling there. They have also great difficulties to surmount, and run through great danger before they arrive there. They talk of a river they have to pass, where many have been wrecked; of a dog from which they find it hard to defend them­selves; of a place of torments, where they expiate their saults; and another where the souls of prisoners of war that have been burnt are tormented.

This notion is the reason why, after the death of these wretches, for fear their souls should stay about the cabins, to revenge their sufferings, they very carefully visit all places, striking continually with a stick, and send­ing forth hideous cries to drive them away.

Among the fabulous stories, which they tell of what passes in hell, which so much resemble those of Homer and Virgil, there is one, that seems copied from Or­pheus and Euridice. There is scarce any thing in it to change, but the names. The happiness which they hope [Page 232] to enjoy in this fancied elysium, they do not consider ab­solutely as the reward of virtue. To have been a good hunter, a gallant warrior, and fortunate in all enterprizes; to have killed and burnt a great number of enemies, are the only titles that give them a right to paradise; all the happiness of which consists in finding places to hunt and fish in that never fail, an eternal spring, great plenty of all things without labour, and all the pleasures of sense. This is all they ask of their gods in this life. All their songs, wiiich are in fact their prayers, run only on the present good. They think themselves sure of being happy in the other world, in proportion to what they have been in this.

The souls of beasts have also, with them, a place in the country of souls. They allow them, likewise, a sort of reason; and not only each species, but each animal, if we believe them, has also its guardian genius. In a word, they make no difference between us and brutes, but that our souls are something of a better sort.

But, among all their superstition and extravagance, there is nothing more idle than what regards their dreams. Sometimes they say, it is the reasonable soul that wanders, whilst the sensitive soul continues to animate the body. Sometimes, it is the familiar ge­nius, that gives good advice about future events. Sometimes, it is a visit they receive from the soul of the object they dream of; but, whatever conception they have of dreams, they are always considered as sacred [Page 233] things, and as the means which their gods most usually employ, to declare their wills to men.

Now it is not the person alone, who dreams, that must satisfy the obligations that he imagines are imposed on by it; but it would also be a crime in any person that he addresses himself to, to refuse him any thing he desired in dreaming; and this often has disagreeable conse­quences. If the thing desired is of such a nature, that it cannot be supplied by a private person, the public take up the matter, and will have it found, if at the distance of 500 leagues. If it is an inanimate thing, they are more easy; but if an animate, its death causes surprizing uneasiness. Nay, if any one takes it into his head to dream that he knocks another man's brains out, he will do it if he can; and he must expect the same if another dreams that of him. But a little presence of mind will remedy this fear. It is only knowing how to oppose such a dream, by another, that contradicts it. "Then," says the first dreamer, "I see plainly, that your spirit is stronger than mine; therefore, let us talk no more about it."

They have a kind of bacchanal, which they call the festival of dreams; but which the Irroquois, and some others, more properly, call, "The turning of the brain." It is celebrated about the end of winter, and commonly lasts 15 days. At this time, they act all kinds of [Page 234] fooleries, and every one runs from cabin to cabin, dis­guised in a thousand ridiculous ways. They break and overset every thing; and no one dares to contradict it. If they meet any one, they desire him to guess their dream; and if they guess it, it is at their own expence; for the guesser must give the thing they dreamt of. When it ends, they return every thing, make a great feast, and study only how to repair the sad effects of the masquerade; for it is commonly no trifling business. Indeed, they take the opportunity of this festival, to give those a sound drubbing, who have affronted or in­jured them; but, when the time is over, every thing is forgotten.

The savages, in general, acknowledge only the ope­rations of the good genii. It is the wizards alone, and those who use enchantments who are reported to hold correspondence with the evil; and it is women chiefly that follow this detestable profession. The jugglers not only forbear it, but profess openly their study is, to prevent their pernicious effects. It is certain, that among those who practice the art of juggling, the boldest are the most respected; and, with a little artifice, they easily persuade people, who are brought up in superstition, though they have seen the birth of these importers: if they chuse to give themselves a supernatural birth, they will find people to credit their assertion, as much as if they had seen them come down from heaven; and who [Page 235] believe their being born like other men, was a mere il­lusion. But, in general, their artifices are so gross, and so common, that there are none but fools and children that are imposed on by them, except it is, when they act as physicians; for every one knows, that in what concerns the recovery of health, the greatest credulity is to be found in all countries, as well among those who pride themselves on their wisdom as among the weaker class of people.

The Blackfoot Paegan, and Blood Indians, have a custom peculiar to themselves, that of cutting off the joints of their fingers, beginning with the little finger, and taking off a joint, as often as superstition prompts them. This is advanced on the credit of Mr. Umfreville, who says, he could never learn the cause of this singular custom; nor did he ever observe any but old men, that had their fingers thus mutilated.

CHAP. VI. Of their Government and Wars.

THE greatest part of the savage nations of the con­tinent of America have a kind of Aristocratic government, which varies almost to infinity. For al­though each village has its chief, independent of all others of the same nation, and in whom his subjects de­pend in a very few things; yet, no affair of importance is concluded without the advice of the elders.

Many nations have each three families, or principal tribes, as ancient, in all probability, as their origin, yet, nevertheless, derived from the same stock; and there is one, who is looked upon as the first, which has a sort of pre-eminence over the other two, who stile those of this tribe brothers, whereas, between themselves, they call each other cousins. These tribes are mixed, with­out being confounded, each having its distinct chief, in every village; and, in the affairs which concern the whole nation, these chiefs assemble to deliberate upon them. Each tribe bears the name of some animal; and the whole nation has also one, whose name they take, and whose figure is their badge, or coat of arms. They sign treaties, by tracing these figures on them, unless [Page 237] particular reasons bid them to substitute others. Thus the Huron nation is the nation of the Porcupine, and its first tribe bears the name of the Bear. The other two, are the Wolf and the Tortoise. The Irroquois nations have the same animals as the Huron; and thus appear to be branches of the same colony.

The conferring, or giving these titles, is always per­formed with great ceremony. The new chief makes a feast, and gives presents, speaks the eulogium of his predecessor, and sings his song. In the north, and in all places where the Algonquin language prevails, the dignity of chief is elective. Among the Hurons, where it is hereditary, the succession is continued by the woman's side; so that at the death of the chief, it is not his son that succeeds him, but his sister's son; or, in case of failure of such, the nearest relation by the female line. If a whole branch is extinct, the noblest matron of the tribe chuses the person she likes best, and declares him chief.

They must, however, be of an age fit to govern; and if the successor is not of age, a regent is chosen, who has all the authority; but who exercises it in the name of the minor. In general, these chiefs do not receive any great marks of respect; and if they are always obeyed, it is, because they know how far their commands will have force. They, indeed, rather intreat, or propose, than command; and never exceed the bounds of the little authority they have. Thus it is reason that governs, and [Page 238] the government is the more effectual, as the obedience is more voluntary; and there is no fear of its degenerating into tyranny.

Besides this, every family chuses themselves a coun­sellor, or an assistant to the chief, who is to watch over their interests, and without whose advice the chief can undertake nothing. These counsellors are particularly obliged to take care of the public treasure; and it be­longs to them, to direct how it is to be employed. In the Huron nations the women name the counsellors; and they often chuse persons of their own sex.

This body of counsellors, or assistants, is the first assembly: that of the elders, or those who have at­tained the age of maturity, is the second; the last, is that of the warriors, or all those who are able to bear arms. This last body has often the chief of the nation, or village, at its head, but he must first have distin­guished himself by some brave action; otherwise, he is obliged to serve as a subaltern, or common soldier; for in these savage armies, there is no intermediate rank.

A great party may, indeed, have several chiefs, be­cause they give this title to all those, who ever had a command; but these are not the less subject to the com­mander of the party. The women have the men's whole authority, among the people of the Huron language, if we except the Irroquois Canton of On­neyouth, [Page 239] where it is alternate between the sexes. But though this is their law, the women seldom interfere, the chiefs transacting all the business in their name.

In the general council of elders, they proceed with such prudence, maturity, and ability; and, for the most part, with such probity, as would have done honour to the Areopagus of Athens, and the senate of Rome, in the most flourishing times of these republics. The reason is, that they conclude nothing hastily, and that the strong passions, which have made such alterations in the systems of policy, even among christians, have not yet prevailed in these savages over the public good. The parties concerned, do not fail to employ secret springs, and such intrigue to accomplish their designs, that one would scarce believe could enter into the thoughts of such barbarians. They possess in the highest degree the great art of concealing their proceedings; and, in general, the glory of the nation, and motives of honour, are the chief springs of all their undertakings. Their great failing is revenge; revenge without bounds, and which their chief honour lies in the gratification of: a fault which christianity only can thoroughly reform, and which all our politeness and religion does not always correct.

Each tribe has its orator in every village, and there are few, but these orators, who have a right to speak in the public councils, and the general assemblies; and [Page 240] these always speak, and to the purpose. One would suppose, that people who have little or no possessions, either public or private, and who have no ambition to extend themselves, should have very few things to ad­just with each other. But the spirit of man, naturally restless, cannot remain without action, and is ingenious in finding itself employment. This is certain, that these savages negotiate continually, and have always some affair on the carpet. They have some treaties to con­clude, or renew, offers of service to make, mutual civi­lities to shew, alliances to court, invitations to join in war, or condolences on the death of a chief to convey. All this is done with a dignity, an attention, nay, with, an ability, worthy of the most important affairs.

The Irroquois nation has, for the last two ages, made the greatest figure in Canada. By their successes in war, they have gained a superiority over the greatest part of the other nations. As to what relates to private persons, and the particular concerns of their villages, they are reduced to a very small compass, and are soon decided. The greatest defect of this government is, that they have no punishment for crimes; but this de­fect has not the same consequences here, as it would have with us; so sel [...]-interest, which governs us, and is the source of almost all our crimes, can scarce have any power over a people, who never think of laying up riches, and who take little thought for the morrow.

[Page 241]To enter into all the police of such barbarous nations, would be little entertainment, or improvement, to our readers, unless their laws were better studied than they are; as the government of each country is generally adapted to its situation, and its wants, a civilized nation can profit little by the laws and practice of barbarians. I will, therefore, drop any further observations on the sub­ject, and proceed to their manner of making war.

I have already noticed, that the god of war, by the Hurons, is called Areskoui, and by the Irroquois Agre­skoué. It is worth remarking, that several of the terms, which relate to war, in the Huron and Irroquois lan­guages, seem to have been derived from the Greek word Ares, who is the Mars, or god of war, in all the countries where they have followed the theology of Homer. Aregouen signifies to make war, and is thus de­clined; Garigo, I make war; Sarego, thou makest war; Arego, he makes war, and so on. Areskoui is not only the Mars of these people, but he is also their chief god, or, as they express it, the Great Spirit, and the Creator and Mas­ter of the World. But it is chiefly for military expeditions that they invoke him, as if the attribute that does him the most honour, was that of the God of Hosts. His name is the war-cry before battle, and in the height of the engagement. On their march, also, they often repeat it, by way of encouraging each other, and to implore his assistance.

[Page 242]To take up the hatchet is to declare war; every pri­vate person has a right to do it, without any one having a power to hinder him, unless it be among the Hurons and Irroquois, where mothers of families can declare or for­bid war, when they please. When war is declared for­mally against two nations, the manner of expressing it, is, "To hang the kettle on the fire;" which has its origin in the barbarous custom of eating the prisoners, and those that were slain, after they had boiled them. They say, also, in direct words, that they are going "To eat a nation;" signifying, that they will make a cruel war against it. When they would engage an ally in their quarrel, they send him a porcelain, that is a great shell, to invite him to drink the blood; or, according to their meaning, the broth of the flesh of their enemies. For the porcelain of these countries, is the Venus shell of Canada, which is there considered as a precious stone. After all, this custom may be very ancient; but it does not follow from hence, that these people were always man-eaters. It was, perhaps, in the primitive times, only an allegorical way of speaking, such as we find often in scripture. The enemies of David, did not, as appears, make it a custom to eat the flesh of their ene­mies, when he said, Psalm xxvii. v. 2. "When the wicked, even mine enemies, and my foes, came upon me, to eat up my flesh." In after times, certain nations, that were become savage and barbarous, substituted the fact, in the room of the figure.

[Page 243]It seldom happens, that these barbarians refuse to en­gage in a war, when they are invited to it by their allies. Indeed, they have no need of invitation to take up arms; the least trifle is a sufficient motive, particularly revenge, for some old or new injury; for time never heals such wounds, however slight they were.

A war, which concerns all the nation, is well weighed, before determined on; and whilst they deliberate, they are extremely careful to avoid every thing that would give the enemy the least cause to suspect they intend to break with them. War being resolved on, they directly consider of the provisions, and the equipage of the women; the dances, songs, feasts, and some superstiti­ous ceremonies. He, who is to command, does not think of raising men, till he has fasted several days, dur­ing which he is smeared with black, holds scarce any conversation with any one, invokes his tutelar spirit, day and night; and, above all, is very careful to observe his dreams. The fast being over, he assembles his friends, and, with a collar of beads in his hand, thus addresses them: ‘The Great Spirit, brethren, approves my sentiments, inspires me with what I ought to do, and authorises my intentions. The blood of such an one, is not wiped away; his body is not covered; and I will acquit myself of the duty I owe him: I am re­solved, therefore, to go to such a place, and eat such a nation. If I perish in the enterprize, or should any who accompany me lose their lives, this collar shall [Page 244] serve to receive us, that we may not continue to lie in the di [...]t:’ meaning, by this, that the collar, which is a badge of honour, shall belong to him, who shall take care to bury the dead. In pronouncing these last words, he lays the collar on the ground, and he who takes it up, declares himself his lieutenant. This done, they heat water, wash the face of the chief, set his hair in order, grease it, and paint it. They also paint his face with various colours, and put on his finest robe. Thus adorned, he sings the death song, in a low tone of voice; and his soldiers, those that chuse to follow him, sing out their war song, with a loud voice, one after another; for every man has his own song, which no other is allowed to sing. There are some, also, peculiar to each family.

After this preliminary, the chief communicates his project to the council, who consult on it alone, and as soon as it is accepted, the chief is admitted. He then makes a feast, of which the principal dish is a dog. All this lasts many days; and though all the people seem employed in the feast, each family puts in its claim to a share of the prisoners that shall be made, in order to re­pair their losses, or revenge their slain. Among the Irroquois, as soon as a military expedition is resolved on, they set the kettle of war on the fire, and give notice to their allies, to bring something for it. The party being formed, the war-chief prepares a new feast, to which all the village is invited; and before any thing [Page 245] is touched, he, or an orator in his name, cries out, ‘Young men, take courage, dress your hair, paint your faces, fill your quivers, and make our forests resound with your songs of war, for the bones of our friends cry out for revenge, and we will relieve the cares of the dead.’

After this speech, and the applauses that never fail to follow it, the chief advances into the midst of the assembly, with his fighting-club, or head-breaker, in his hand, and sings. All his soldiers answer him singing, and swear to support him, or die in the attempt. None, however, drop any expression, that denotes the least de­pendence; they only promise to act with union and harmony. Their songs are followed by dances; which are, sometimes, merely walking to time in a proud step; at others, jumping in lively motions, representing the operations of a campaign, but all to time. The war-chief is only a spectator, with a pipe in his mouth.

To try the warriors, the Irroquois never fail, before an expedition, to proceed in the following manner, not conceiving that any man can have true courage, if he is not master of his passions, and cannot bear the highest provocations. The oldest of the military troop, affront the young people in the grossest manner they can think of, especially those who have never seen an enemy. They throw hot coals upon their heads, reproach them sharply, load them with the most injurious expressions, and carry [Page 246] this game to the greatest extremity. This must be borne with a perfect insensibility; to shew the least impatience, would deem the person so insulted, unworthy to bear arms for ever. On setting out, they take with them certain drugs, that their jugglers have assured them they have given a power to heal the greatest wounds, and which they are idle enough to believe.

On the day of departure, they take their leave of their friends with great demonstrations of real tenderness. Every one desires something that has been used by the warriors, and, in return, give them some pledge of their friendship and assurance of a perpetual remembrance. They scarce enter any cabin, but they take away their robe, to give them a better. Every soldier paints his face, according to his own fancy, but all in a frightful manner. The chief leads the way, sings his death song, and the whole party follows him in a line, keeping pro­found silence; and this they do every morning, when they renew their march. The women go before with provisions, and, when the warriors come up with them, they give their cloaths into their custody, remaining as naked as the season will admit.

The arms of these people formerly were bows and arrows, and a kind of javelin, which, as well as their arrows, were pointed with bone; besides this, they had a little club of hard wood, with a round head, and a cut­ting edge, called a head-breaker. The western savages [Page 247] have bull's-hide bucklers, light, and proof against a musquet ball. They are now furnished with swords and guns; our swords they use like spontoons. With their arms, they never forget to take their manitous, or guardian spirits.

When they embark upon an expedition, the canoes first go a little way, then range themselves close together in a line. This done, the chief rises up, and holding a chichicoué in his hand, thunders out his song of war, and his soldiers answer him by a treble hé, drawn, with all their strength, from the bottom of their breasts. The elders, and chiefs of the council, who remain on shore, exhort the warriors to behave well, and not suffer themselves to be surprized: But this exhortation does not interrupt the chief, who continues singing. The warriors then conjure their relations and friends not to forget them, send forth, altogether, a hideous howl, and run off with such speed as soon to be out of sight.

When out on an expedition, they seldom make any short marches, especially when their troop is numerous. They take, however, presages of every thing; and the jugglers, who accompany them, and whose business it is to explain these predictions, hasten or retard the marches at their pleasure. Whilst they are not in a suspected country, they take little precaution, separate, and each takes his own way to hunt; but, however they may [Page 248] stray from the route, they all return punctually to the place, and at the hour appointed, for their rendezvous.

They encamp a long time before sun-set, and com­monly leave before their camp a large space, sur­rounded with palisadoes, or a sort of lattice, on which they fix their manitous, turned to the place they are go­ing to. They invoke them for an hour, and do the same every morning before they decamp. After this, they have nothing to fear; they conceive the manitous to be their centinels, and the whole army sleeps quietly under their supposed safe-guard. Experience does not undeceive these barbarians, nor bring them out of their presumptuous confidence. It has its source in an indo­lence and laziness, which nothing can conquer.

Every one is an enemy in the way of the warriors; but should they meet, on their march, with any of their allies, or any party equally numerous with them­selves, with whom they have no quarrel, they make friendship with each other. If the allies they meet, are at war with the same enemy, the chief of the strongest party, or of that which took up arms first, gives some scalp [...] to the other, which are the skins of the heads of prisoners taken, or an enemy slain, and which they are always provided with on these occasions; and says to him, "You have done your business;" that is to say, you have ful [...]ll [...]d your engagements; your honour is safe; you may return home. But this is to be understood, [Page 249] when the meeting is accidental, and when they have no occasion for a reinforcement. As soon as they enter on an enemy's country, they stop, make a great feast at night, and then lay down to sleep. When they awake, those who have had any dreams, go from fire to fire, singing their death song, with which they intermix their dreams in an enigmatical manner. Every one racks his brain to guess them; and if no one can do it, the dreamer is at liberty to return home. This gives a fine opportunity to cowards. Next they make new invocations to their spirits, animate each other, more than ever, to do won­ders, swear to assist each other to the utmost, and re­new their march. If they come there by water, they now quit their canoes and hide them. Every evening they send out rangers, who employ two or three hours looking round the country; and, if they have seen nothing, they go to sleep quietly, leaving the camp, as before, to the guard of their manitous.

When they discover the enemy, they send out a party to reconnoitre them; and, on their report, hold a coun­cil. The attack is generally made at day-break. They suppose the enemy is at this time in their deepest sleep; and all night they lie on their bellies, without stirring. The approaches are made in the same posture, crawling on their feet and hands, till they come to the place. Then, all rising up, the chief gives the signal by a little cry, to which all the troop answer, by real howlings, and, at the same time, make their first dis­charge. [Page 250] Then, without giving the enemy any time to look about, fall on them with their clubs. In latter times these people have substituted tomahawks, or little hatchets, instead of head-breakers; and since which, their engagements are more bloody. When the battle is over, they take the scalps of the dead and dying, and never think of making prisoners till the enemy makes no more resistance.

Should they find the enemy on their guard, or too well entrenched, they retreat, if they have time for it, if not, they take the resolution to fight stoutly; and there is sometimes much bloodshed on both sides. The attack of a camp, is the image of fury itself; the barbarous fierceness of the conquerors, and the despair of the van­quished, who know their fate, if they fall into the ene­mies' hands, produce, on both sides, such efforts, as pass all description. The appearance of the combatants, all besmeared with black and red, still increases the horror of the fight. When the victory is no longer doubtful, they directly dispatch all those whom it would be too troublesome to carry off, and seek only to tire out the rest they intend to make prisoners of.

They are naturally intrepid; and, notwithstanding their brutal fierceness, preserve, in the midst of action, much coolness, and never fight in the field, but when they can't avoid it; from an opinion, that victory, marked with the blood of the conquerors, is not properly a victory, [Page 251] and that the glory of a chief, consists principally, in bringing back all his people safe and sound.

The war of these barbarians is commonly made by surprize, and generally succeeds; for as they very frequently neglect the precautions necessary to shun a surprize, so are they active and skilful in surprizing. They have a wonder­ful talent, I may call it instinct, of finding out whether any person has passed a place. On the shortest grass, on the hardest ground, even upon stones, they will discover foot-steps; and by the way they are turned, by the shape of the foot, and the manner they are separated from each other, they will distinguish the foot-steps of different nations, and those of men from those of women.

Till the conquerors are in a country of safety, they march forward expeditiously; and, lest the wounded should retard their retreat, carry them by turns on litters, or in winter, draw them on sledges. When they re-enter their canoes, they make their prisoners sing, and do the same every time they meet their allies, an honour which costs them a feast who receive it, and the unfor­tunate captive something more than the trouble of sing­ing; for they invite their allies to caress them, and to caress a prisoner, is to do him all the mischief they can devise, or maim him in such a manner as to lame him for ever. But there are chiefs who will take care that their prisoners are not too much ill-treated: lest they [Page 252] should escape, they are tied by the neck and arms to one of the oars of the canoe in the day-time, (when they go by land, there is always one that holds them,) and at night they are stretched on the earth quite naked, and some cords, fastened to piquets fixed in the ground, keep their legs, arms, and neck, so confined; and some long cords also confine their hands and feet in such a manner, that they cannot make the least motion without waking the savages who lie upon these cords.

If among the prisoners, there are found any, who, by their wounds are not in a condition to be carried away, they burn them directly; and, as this is done in the first heat, and when they are often in haste to retreat, they are generally quit at an easier rate than the rest, who are reserved for a slower punishment.

The custom among some nations is, that the chief of the victorious party, leaves on the field of battle his fighting club, on which he traces the mark of his na­tion, that of his family, and the oval of his face, with all the figures he had on his face, traced on that oval. Others paint all these marks on the trunk of a tree. Others will add hieroglyphic characters; by means of which, all passers-by are made acquainted with the chief, and all the business of the campaign.

When the warriors, on their return, are arrived at a certain distance from the village from whence they came, [Page 253] they halt, and the chief sends one forward to announce his approach. This man, when within hearing, makes various cries, and the young people, and sometimes the whole village, come out to meet him, and learn the particulars. As the messenger, or herald, relates a fact, one of the party, come out to meet him, repeats it aloud to those that are with him, and they all an­swer by acclamations, or dismal cries, according as the news is mournful, or pleasing. The herald is then conducted to a cabin, where the elders inquire all the particulars, after which, a public crier invites all the young folks to go and meet the warriors, and the women to carry them refreshments. The moment the women join them is, properly speaking, the beginning of the punishment of the prisoners. In some nations, they will adopt a prisoner in the room of some relation they have lost in war; in which case, they escape punishment. But such as are destined to death, and those whose fate are not yet decided, are abandoned to the fury of the women that go out to meet them; and if any woman has lost either her son or her husband, or any other person that was dear to her, though this loss had happened thirty years before, she is a fury, she attacks the first prisoner who falls in her way, has no regard either to humanity or decency, flies at him with rage, and every wound she gives him, one would expect him to fall at her feet, if we did not know the ingenuity of these bar­barians in prolonging the most unheard-of punishment. [Page 254] All the night passes in this manner in the camp of the warriors.

The next day is their triumph. The Irroquois, and some others, affect a great modesty, and a still greater disinterestedness on these occasions. The chiefs enter the village alone, without any mark of victory, keeping profound silence, and retire to their cabins, without shewing the least pretension to the prisoners. Among other nations, the chief marches at the head of his troop with the air of a conqueror, his lieutenant follows him, and a crier goes before renewing the death-cries. The warriors follow two by two, and the prisoners in the midst, crowned with flowers, their faces and hair painted, holding a stick in one hand, a chichikoué in the other, their bodies almost naked, their arms tied above the elbow, by a cord, which the warriors hold, and the prisoners singing their death-song, to the sound of the chichikoué.

This song has something mournful, and yet haughty, in it, and the captive has nothing in him of the air of a man, who suffers or is vanquished. The sense of these songs is pretty nearly as follows: ‘I am brave and intrepid, and fear not death, nor any kind of torture; those who do, are cowards, and less than warriors. Life is nothing to a brave man! May my enemies be con­founded with rage and despair! Oh, that I could de­vour them, and drink their blood to the last drop!’ From time to time they stop them; the people gather [Page 255] round, and make the prisoners dance, who seem to do it with a good will; and, whilst they dance, relate the finest actions of their lives; boast of those they have killed and burnt, and particularly those, if any, for whom the persons present are most concerned; thus rousing the resentment of the masters of their fate. In fact, these boastings make those who hear them quite furious, and they, of course, pay dear for their vanity. By the manner in which they receive the most cruel treatment, one would be led to suppose, they took a pleasure in being tormented.

Sometimes they oblige the prisoners to run through two ranks of savages, armed with stones and sticks, who fall on them as if they would knock them on the head at the first blow; yet they never kill them, taking care, in all their fury, not to touch a part that would en­danger life. In this march to the village, every one has a right to torment them. They are indeed allowed to defend themselves; but were they to attempt it, they would soon be overpowered. When arrived at the vil­lage, they lead them from cabin to cabin, and every where make them pay their welcome. In one place they tear off one of their nails, at another, bite off one of their fingers, or cut it off with a bad knife, that cuts like a saw; an old man shall tear their flesh quite to the bone, or child wound them where he can with an awl; a woman shall whip them, without mercy, till she is so tired, that she cannot lift her arms. But [Page 256] the warriors themselves, who are still their masters, never lay a hand on them, nor can any one mutilate a prisoner, without their leave, which they seldom grant; but, this excepted, they have an entire liberty to make them suffer; and if they lead them through several vil­lages, either of the same nation, or their neighbours, or allies, who have requested it, they are received every where in the same manner.

After these preludes, they set about distributing the captives, and their fate depends on those to whom they are delivered. At the rising of the council, where their fate has been debated, a crier comes forth, and invites all the people to an open place, where the distribution is made, without noise or dispute. Those women who have lost their children or husbands in the war, generally receive the first lot. In the next place, they fulfil their promises at first setting out. If there are not captives enough, they supply the want of them by scalps, which the receivers wear on rejoicing days, or hang up at their cabin doors. On the contrary, if the number of prisoners exceeds the claims, they send the overplus to the villages of their allies. A chief is not re-placed, but by a chief, or by two or three common men, who are always burnt, though those whom they replace have died of disease. The Irroquois never fail to set apart some of their pri­soners for the publick; and these the council dispose of as they please. But mothers of families among them, may still set aside their sentence, and are the mistresses [Page 257] of life and death, even of those who have been con­demned or pardoned by the council.

In general, the greatest number of the prisoners of war, are condemned to die, or to very hard slavery, in which their lives are never secure. Some are adopted, as I have observed, and, from that time, their condition differs nothing from that of the children of the nation. They enter into all the rights of those whose places they supply; and they often acquire so far the spirit of the nation, of which they are become members, that they make no difficulty afterwards of going to war against their own countrymen. The Irroquois would scarce have supported themselves hitherto, but by this policy. Having been at war many years against all the other nations, they would at present have been reduced almost to nothing, had they not taken great care to naturalize a good part of their prisoners.

Sometimes it happens, that instead of sending the sur­plus of these captives into other villages, they give them to private persons who had not asked for any; and they serve these persons as slaves. Adopted prisoners are treated with great tenderness; their wounds, if they have any, are dressed and healed; they live well, are cloathed decently, and nothing omitted to make them forget their sufferings. They call these adopted prisoners, men "raised from the dead;" and give them the name of the person whom they re-place.

[Page 258]Amongst the Hurons and Irroquois, those prisoners, whom they intend to burn, are sometimes as well treated at first, and even till the moment of their execution, as those that have been adopted; like victims fattened for a sacrifice to the god of war. The only difference made between them is, that they blacken the faces all over of those they design to burn. After this they entertain them in the best manner, speak kindly to them, call them by the tender names of son, brother, or nephew, according to the person whose manes they mean to appease by their death: Nay, they will often give them young women to serve them as wives, all the time they have to live. But when they are informed of their fate, they are close kept to prevent their escaping.

When they are delivered to a woman, the mo­ment they inform her every thing is ready for execu­tion, she is no longer a mother, but a fury, who passes from the tenderest caresses, to the greatest paroxysms of rage. She begins by invoking the spirit of him she de­sires to revenge. "Approach," says she, "you are going to be appeased; I prepare a feast for thee; drink great draughts of this broth, which is going to be poured out for thee. Receive the sacrifice I make; this warrior shall be burnt and put into the kettle; they shall apply red hot hatchets to his flesh; they shall tear off his scalp, they shall drink in his scull; make therefore no more complaints; thou shalt be fully satisfied." This form of speech, which is properly the sentence of death, [Page 259] varies as to terms, but the meaning is always much the same. A cryer now makes the captive come from the cabin, and declares aloud the intention of him or her to whom he belongs, and finishes by exhorting the young people to behave well. Another cryer succeeds, and ad­dressing him that is to suffer, says, "Brother, take cou­rage, thou art going to be burnt." And he answers coolly, "That is well, I give thee thanks." Immediately there is a cry throughout the village, and the prisoner is led to the stake, where he is tied, but so that he can run round it. Sometimes when the execution is made in a cabin, from whence there is no danger of escaping, he is suffered to run from one end to another. Before they begin to burn him, he sings, for the last time, his death-song, reciting his atchievements, and almost always in a manner the most insulting to those about him; he next exhorts them not to spare him, but to remember that he is a man and a warrior.

I will not relate all the particulars, that pass in these horrible executions. There are generally as many actors as spectators, men, women, and children, who study to encrease his sufferings and prolong his existence; and the sufferer, instead of shewing any fear, or signs of pain, glories in the torments he undergoes, insults his persecu­tors to his last breath, and dies, as it were, in a state of triumph. There is a haughtiness in heart in these sava­ges, that elevates the spirits, and transports the man in the midst of tortures, which, in some measure, takes off [Page 260] the edge of pain, by diverting the thoughts. In short, where there are no hopes of mercy, despair gives resolu­tion, and inspires boldness.

Mr. Umfreville tells us, that the Hudson's Bay Com­pany being informed, that the Indians frequently brought fine pieces of copper to their settlements in Churchill river, appointed a person, with proper assistants, to ex­amine the river where this valuable acquisition was sup­posed to be concealed. That person gives the following account of his expedition; which will describe the Indian method of going to war in this part of the country. "In latitude 62 degrees, 57 minutes north, and 18 degrees west longitude, from Churchill river," says he, "we built our canoes in 1771; where many northern Indians joined us, and finding we were intended for the copper-mine river that summer, between 70 and 80 stout fellows agreed to accompany us, with no other intent then to kill the Esquimaux. I used my best endeavours to persuade them from this design, but to no purpose; for, instead of my advice having the desired effect, they imputed it to cowardice; that being a character I always despised, I was obliged to sum up my best endeavours, to retrieve my then fading honour, and told them, I cared not if they made the name of an Esquimaux extinct; and though I was no enemy to them, yet, if I found it necessary for my own safety, or for the safety of those who were with me, I should not be afraid of an Esquimaux. This declaration caused great shouts of satisfaction. They then [Page 261] began to prepare their targets, or shields, which are made of boards three feet long, two broad, and three-fourths of an inch thick, and so slung on the left arm, as to be of no hindrance in loading and firing their guns.

"Our war implements being all ready, we set out on our expedition; and, by the 21st of June, were in latitude 68 degrees, 54 minutes north, and 22 degrees 21 minutes west, from Churchill. Here we agreed to leave all the women and every other incumbrance. Accordingly, after staying a few days, to kill as many deer and buffa­loes as would serve them till our return, we proceeded again, and we arrived at the copper-river on the 13th of July, and, as I found afterwards, about 40 miles from its entrance. On our arrival, the Indians dispatched three men before as spies, to see if any Esquimaux were tent­ing about the river. On the 15th of the same month, as I was continuing my survey towards the mouth of the river, we met the three spies above-mentioned, who in­formed us of five tents of Esquimaux being on the west side of the river, and, by their comparison of the distance, I judged it to be about twelve miles off. On their receiving this news, they would pay no more atten­tion to my survey, but their whole thoughts were imme­diately engaged in planning the best method how to steal on them in the night, and kill them while asleep. After having all their apparatus ready for the ensuing slaughter, they began to invoke their different patronizing agents by the following superstition: All the men painted the front [Page 262] of their targets; some with the image of the sun, others with the moon, others with different kinds of birds and beasts of prey, and some with the images of imaginary furies, which, according to their silly imaginations, in­habit the elements. By strict enquiry into the cause of this superstition, I found that each man had the image of that agent painted on his target, which he re­lied on for success in the ensuing enterprize. Some were contented with a single representation, while others (doubtful of the quality of any single being) would have their targets covered to the very margin, with a group of hieroglyphics quite unintelligible. This piece of superstition being compleated, we then began to advance towards the Esquimaux. The number of our company being so far superior to the five tents of Esquimaux, por­tended no less than a total massacre, unless kind Provi­dence should work a miracle in their favour. It was about ten o'clock in the morning when they made their attack upon their unhappy enemies, whom they found fast asleep. In a few minutes the havock was be­gun, myself standing neuter in the rear. Presently, a scene, truly shocking, presented itself to my view; for, as the Esquimaux were surprized at a time when they thought themselves in the midst of security, they had neither power nor time to make any resistance. Men, women, and children, ran out of the tents, stark-naked; but where could they fly for shelter? They soon fell a sacrifice to Indian fury. The shrieks and groans of the expiring were truly horrible; and it was much increased [Page 263] by the sight of a young girl, about 18 years old, whom they killed so near me, that when the first spear was through her, she fell down and twisted herself about my legs; and it was some difficulty for me to disengage my­self from her dying grasps. As the Indians pursued her, I solicited for her life; but this was so far from being granted, that I was not fully assured of my own being en­tirely in safety, for offering to speak in her behalf. When I begged her life, the fellows made no reply, till they had both their spears through her, and fixed into the ground. They then looked sternly in my face, and began to upbraid me, asking me, if I wanted an Esquimaux wife; at the same time paying no regard to the shrieks of the poor girl, who was then turning about the spears like an eel; indeed, I was obliged at last to request them to be more expeditious in dispatching her out of her misery, otherwise I should be obliged, in pity, to assist in that friendly office, by putting an end to a life so mortally wounded. When this horrid work was compleated, we observed seven more tents on the opposite side of the river, the people belonging to them appeared to be in great confusion, but did not offer to make their escape; the Indians fired many shots at them, across the river, but the poor Esquimaux were so unacquainted with the nature of guns, that when the bullets struck the rocks, they ran in crowds to see what was sent them, and seemed curious in examining the pieces of lead they found flat­tened on the rocks, till at last one man was shot through the calf of the leg; after which they immediately em­barked [Page 264] in their canoes, with their wives and children, and paddled to a shoal in the river. After the invaders had killed every soul they could get at, they began break­ing the stone-kettles, and copper-work, which the Es­quimaux made use of, instead of iron; and when they had plundered their tents of every thing worth their notice, they threw the tent-poles into the river; where, finding an old woman spearing of salmon, every man thrusted his spear into her, and barbarously butchered her."

CHAP. VII. On the Hudson-Bay Trade.

HAVING frequently mentioned this company, the reader will, I trust, not be displeased at having some little account of it, and its trade with the Indians of North America.

Though this company has been chartered since the year 1678, and enjoy an exclusive right of trading throughout all the country round Hudson's-Bay, indefi­nitely to the westward, whether explored or unexplored, the number of proprietors in 1749 were only 97, and their stock amounted to no more than 103,000l.

[Page 265]They have six settlements in the Bay, between north latitude 51 and 59, and west longitude from London 78 to 93. In these six settlements they have but 240 people, and employ but two ships, and a sloop to take out sundry articles of merchandize, and bring home peltries, or skins. The burden of these three vessels fall short of six hundred tons, having on board about 75 men, who, with the 240 residing in the country, make the whole number in their employ 315. Besides skins, they bring home a little ivory, whale-oil, and a small quantity of goose-feathers for beds, and goose-quills; and take out British spirits, and sundry trifling articles, of little or no value. A gallon of spirits, which costs the company 20d. will purchase of the Indians eight beaver-skins, worth 6l. sterling, and a four-penny comb will barter for a bear's skin, worth 40s. sterling. It is a pity government should not put an end to this exclu­sive trade, which at present is so trifling an object to them, the annual returns not exceeding 30,000l. and which might, by being at large, be productive of great advantages.

The Canadian merchants have formed themselves into an united company, and carry on a very extensive business over an unlimited extent of country among Indians, who are declared enemies to each other. This company alone, without reckoning these adventurers, who trade in the parts adjacent to the Missisippi, annually procure 1,000 packs of fine peltry, weighing 90lb. each, worth 12s. a [Page 266] pound, whereas the Hudson's-Bay Company do not im­port into England one-fourth of the quantity.

I will close this account with Mr. Umfreville's descrip­tion of the ravages which the small-pox made among the Indians, in the years 1781 and 1782, when an almost uni­versal mortality spread itself throughout the country, in the interior part of Hudson's-Bay, extending its destruc­tive effects through every tribe and nation, sparing nei­ther age nor sex.

The distresses of the Indians, by this visitation, demands pity from every humane person. As the small-pox had never before been among them, and they were utter strangers to its malignity, they were not much alarmed at its first appearance. Numbers, however, began to die on every side. The infection spread rapidly, and hundreds lay expiring, without assistance, without courage, or the least hopes of recovery; for, when an Indian finds himself sick, he resigns himself up to a state of insensible stupefaction. And as the uncertainty of a savage life is such, that one day he shall be exulting in the midst of plenty, and the next pining under the misery of want, they were now deprived of all manner of support.

Without the least medicinal help, or that common aid which their case required, a prey to hunger and disease, these forlorn Indians lay expiring in their tents, under the accumulated weight of every scourge which [Page 267] human nature can experience. Wolves, and other wild beasts, infested and entered their habitations, and dragged them out, whilst life yet remained, to devour their miserable, morbid carcases: even their faithful dogs, worn out with hunger, joined the ferocious wolves in their unnatural depredation. Heads, legs, and arms, lay indiscriminately scattered about, as food for the birds of the air, and the beasts of the mountains; and as none were buried, the very air became infectious, and tended to waft about the baneful contagion. Such has been the fate of many of the tribes inhabiting these parts, and which has nearly terminated in their extinction.

A DESCRIPTION OF CALIFORNIA, From the Spanish of MICHAEL VENEGAS, a Mexican Jesuit, published at Madrid in 1758, and others.

CHAP. I. Of the Country, Animals, and Productions.

THE country we are going to describe is distin­guished in maps by three different names, Cali­fornia, New Albion, and the Islas Carolinas. It was called New Albion by Sir Francis Drake, who, in his second voyage round the world, touched at this country in 1577; but the most ancient name, and that by which it is best known, is California, and such we shall call it.

It is now known that this country is not an island but a peninsula, joined to the continent of America, in the most northern part discovered by the Spaniards, in the South Sea, or Pacific Ocean. It is a large point of land, issuing from the north coast of America, and ex­tending [Page 269] to the south-east, washed, on both sides, by the Pacific Sea, beyond the tropics, so that the south point of it lies in the Torrid Zone, and nearly opposite to the pro­vince of Guadalaxara, on which it depends. The west­ern coast of California runs to the southward, extending 22 degrees to Cape Blanco de San Sebastian, and the eastern or inward coast, on an accurate examination, ap­pears to reach ten degrees, till it meets with the great river Colorado. Between these two coasts is the pe­ninsula of California; and the arm of the sea between the eastern coast of the peninsula and the continent, is called the Gulph or Bay of California, and is in some places 40, some 50, and some 60 leagues broad. Into the upper end of this gulph, the great river Colorado dis­charges its waters. This river lies between 44 and 22 degrees of north latitude. Ellis places Cape Blanco in 124 degrees west longitude from London, which is equal to 144 degrees of the common longitude.

Of all the rivers in the vast extent of the vice-royalty of Mexico, Colorado is the largest, its mouth at its en­trance into the gulph being near a league wide, and ly­ing in north latitude 32 degrees 30 minutes, it runs di­rectly north and south, from the 34th degree till it loses itself in the sea.

Till the beginning of this century, no European had penetrated into the inland parts of California, of course any accounts given of it cannot be relied on. The limits [Page 270] already subdued by Spain, are about 300 leagues north from Cape San Lucas, which is situated in the most southern point. Its breadth, within these limits, from sea to sea, is, in some places, 40 leagues wide, some 30, some 20, and in some only 10 leagues.

The air is in general dry and hot to a great degree, and the earth barren, rugged, and wild, every where over-run with mountains, rocks, and sands, with little water; consequently unfit either for agriculture, plant­ing, or grazing. Keno, who crossed the river Colorado, between 34 and 35 degrees, and took a very careful survey of the countries to the west of this river, assures us, that there are level and fruitful tracts, interspersed with many delightful woods, plenty of water, fine pas­tures, and as proper a country for making settlements as can be desired: the idea therefore of barrenness is not to be extended beyond the 32d degree north. Indeed, though I have said generally, that the peninsula is barren, I would by no means infer, that it is universally so; it is not without plains, here and there, both for pasture and tillage, and even in the centre of California, there are some vallies and rising grounds of a tolerable soil, having springs for drinking, and watering the grounds. In these parts it is, that the poor Californians have their dwellings; and here likewise are the Cabeceras of the Missions, that is, the principal towns where the Missionary usually resides, and the villages within their visitation. But along the whole inward coast, from Cape San Lucas [Page 271] to the river Colorado, there are only two streams, and these but small. On both sides the river Santo Thomé, which rises between 26 and 27 degrees of north latitude, and, after crossing the whole peninsula, empties itself into the South Sea, at 26 degrees; forming, at its mouth, a large harbour: I say, on both sides of this river are christian villiages.

In California are now found all kinds of domestic animals, commonly used in Spain and Mexico; horses, mules, asses, oxen, sheep, hogs, goats, dogs, and cats. They have been imported from New Spain, and thrive here very well: but here are two species of wild animals, not known in Old or New Spain, The first is that which the Californians call Taye; it is about the size of a calf, a year and a half old, and greatly resembles it in figure, except in its head, which is like that of a deer, with very thick horns like a ram; its hoof is large, round, and clo­ven, like that of an ox; its skin is spotted like a deer, but the hair thinner, and it has a short tail like a deer; the flesh is very palatable, and, to some, tastes delicious. The other animal peculiar to this country is the Cayoté, or wild dog, very much resembling a fox. Here are also leopards, such as they call lions in Mexico; goats, cats, and wild hogs, are frequently found in the moun­tains, and Torquemada observes, that, about Monté-Rey are very large bears, tigers, an animal something like a buffalo, and a creature which he thus describes: It is about the size of a steer, but shaped like a stag; its hair resembles that of a pelican, and is a quarter of a [Page 272] yard in length; its neck long; and on its head are horns, like those of a stag; the tail is a yard long, and half a yard broad; and its feet cloven, like the feet of an ox.

With respect to reptiles and insects, besides the com­mon ones, here are also those which usually abound in hot countries, as vipers, efts, scorpions, lizards, &c. but no bugs, and other mischievous insects, so common to America.

Of birds, there are an infinite variety. Among these, for the table, are turtle-doves, herons, quails, pheasants, geese, ducks, and pidgeons. The birds of prey are vultures, hawks, falcons, ossiphrages, horn-owls, ravens, and crows. Of night-birds, there are owls, and many others of a smaller kind, not seen in other parts, nor men­tioned by any naturalists; nor have the narratives of the Jesuits supplied us with a description, or even with the names of them. California has a great variety of sing­ing-birds, as larks, nightingales, and the like, adorned with beautiful plumages. Torquemada says, that about the harbour of Monté-Rey are bustards, peacocks, geese, thrushes, swallows, sparrows, goldfinches, linnets, quails, partridges, blackbirds, water-wagtails, cranes, and other birds resembling turkey-cocks, so large as to be 17 palms from the extremity of one wing to that of the other; and also a particular species of gulls, that live on pilchards and other fish, equal in size to a very large [Page 273] goose, their bill a foot long, with long legs resembling a stork, their beak and feet like those of a goose. They have a vast craw, which in some hangs down like the leather bottles used in Peru for carrying water, in which craws they carry what they catch to their young ones. The friendly disposition of these birds is something sur­prizing, for they assist one another when sick or wounded, and bring that bird provision that is unable to search for it. The Indians profit by this; for, when they want a dish of fish, they will wound and tie a gull to a particu­lar spot, conceal themselves, and, when they think all the provision is brought them which other gulls designed, they advance and seize the contribution: such are the mysterious ways of Providence for the support of his creatures!

There is very little timber in this country, and the mountains all over this vast tract are totally bare of ver­dure, or, at most, only covered with small shrubs, briars, and low trees; but many of them have excellent fruit, some common to Europe, and others peculiar to Ame­rica.

But among the plants and shrubs which most abound in California, the principal is the Pitahaga, a kind of beech, the fruit of which forms the great harvest of the poor inhabitants here. This tree is not known in Europe, and differs from all other trees in the world; its branches are fluted, and rise vertically from the stem, [Page 274] so as to form a very beautiful top; they are without leaves, the fruit growing to the boughs. The fruit is like a horse chesnut, and full of prickles, but the pulp re­sembles that of a sig, only more soft and luscious. In some it is white, in some red, and in others yellow, but always of an exquisite taste; some again are wholly sweet; others of a grateful acid; but its most valuable quality is its being a specific against the distemper de Loanda. There is also a plumb-tree here, that, instead of resin or gum, throws out a very fine and fragrant incense, in such quan­tities that they mix it with tallow for paying the bottoms of ships. Every kind of fruit-tree, and all kinds of esculent roots and herbs growing in New Spain, have been brought here, and have succeeded well.

It is not absolutely ascertained, what kind of minerals are produced in California, but it is natural to suppose, that there are many rich mines, as the opposite coast in the provinces of Lonora and Pimeria are known to abound with them; for in the year 1730, a vein was discovered on an eminence, not far from the garrison of Pimeria, the ore of which, with a little labour, yielded so large a quantity of silver as surprized the inhabitants of New Spain; and it remained some time a question, whether it was a mine or treasures hid by the Indians. Some have also been discovered which contain veins of other metals. Rock-salt is also found here of a white­ness equal to crystal, and samples of it have been car­ried to Mexico.

[Page 275]But if the soil of California is in general barren, the scarcity of provisions is supplied by the adjacent sea; for both in the Pacific Ocean, and in the Gulf of California, the multitude and variety of fishes are incredible.

Of the amphibious kind, there are a species of beaver, and some few sea lions, that frequent the desert islands of both seas. Of the testaceous kind, the most remarkable is the tortoise. On the South-sea coast are some small conches peculiar to it, and perhaps the most beautiful in the world; the lustre exceeding that of the finest mother-of-pearl, and appearing through a tran­sparent varnish of a most vivid blue, like the lapis lazuli. It is thought, that if these were imported into Europe, the aqua marina would no longer be valued. These are univalves, and consequently different from the shell-fish in which the pearls are found, the latter being bi­valves, like our oysters; these last lie so thick along the whole coast, that they may be counted by thousands. They are called Madras perlas, and their abundance has rendered California so famous, that great numbers of per­sons, during the last two centuries, have visited this place, and searched every part of the gulph merely with a view of enriching themselves by these pearls. The sea of California, says Torquemada, affords very rich pearl-fisheries, where, in three or four fathom water, the hostias, or beds of oysters, may be seen as plain as if they were on the surface of the water. This fishery is carried on by divers; but, as the water in the gulph is [Page 276] not very deep, it is attended with less labour and danger than those on the coast of Malabar, and other parts of the East-Indies. Great numbers resort to this fishery, from New Spain, New Galicia, Culiacan, Cinaloa, and Sonora.

Father Piccolo observes, that, in the months of April, May, and June, there falls with the dew a kind of manna, which becomes inspisated on the leaves of the trees, and which has all the sweetness of sugar, though not so white. This good father talks, according to the common opinion, as if this manna dropped from Heaven; but botanists are agreed, that it is a juice exsudating from the plants themselves, as gums, incense, balsams, and resins do. It is no wonder that the trees of Cali­fornia should exsudate manna, since many parts of Spain produce it in an astonishing plenty, and for medical uses equal to that of Calabria, or Sicily. Among the moun­tains of Avila, and the Péderochés, or seven towns of Cordova, situated among the mountains of Andalusia, and other parts, there is as much manna produced, about the dog-days, as is sufficient to supply the whole world, which, till the year 1752, was not noticed, but was used only by the bees in forming their combs; but in the year just mentioned, on the representation of the Royal College of Physicians at Madrid, the king gave orders that two of its members should examine into the qua­lities of this drug, and its efficacy be experimentally proved by exhibiting it to the patients in the hospitals.

CHAP. II. Of the People, Government, &c.

OF all the nations hitherto discovered, the Califor­nians are at least equal to any in the make of their bodies; their faces are also far from disagreeable, though their daubing them with ointments, painting them, and boring holes through their nostrils and ears, are very great disadvantages; their complexion, indeed, is more tanned and swarthy than that of the other Indians of New Spain; but they are in general robust, vigorous, and of a healthy countenance.

There are three nations of Indians in California, who speak three different languages; but the dress throughout the whole peninsula is uniform; for males, whether children or adults, go at all times totally naked. But amidst this naked similiarity there is some diversity in the ornaments used by every nation. In the southern parts the people decorate their heads with strings of pearl, braided with their hair; with these they interweave small feathers, the whole forming an ornament, which, at a distance, resembles a periwig. The nation of Loretto generally wear round their waist a becoming girdle, and on their forehead a curious fillet of net-work; to these some add a neck-cloth, with some well-wrought figures [Page 278] of nacar, and sometimes some small round fruits, like beads, which in some measure resemble a rosary, hang­ing on their breast; they also adorn their arms with bracelets of the same works. The Cochines of the north usually keep their hair short, a few only excepted, who suffer it to hang down upon their shoulders. If they do not use pearls, like those of the south, they have a more splendid ornament, a kind of diadem, or crown, formed of several bands of nacar. To compose this, they first detach the mother of pearl from the shell, give it a fine polish on both sides, and, by means of a slint, divide it into small pieces, in which they bore holes to string them. When one of these Indians offered Sir Francis Drake such a diadem or head dress, he conceived they offered him the crown and sceptre of California.

Though the women in some parts go naked as the men, yet, in general, they shew a great attention to that decency, which is so necessary to the defence of their virtue, and to such a degree that even infant girls are not without a proper covering. Towards Cape San Lucas is a certain species of palm-trees, different from those which produce dates, and from these the Indian women procure materials for their petticoats: in order to which they beat it, as we do flax, till the threads or filaments are separated. Their garments consist of three pieces, two of which form a petticoat, reaching from the girdle to the feet, and the third a short cloak, or mantlet, which covers the body from the shoulders: these pieces are [Page 279] not woven, and the threads are fastened at the top with one another, as in fringes, and hang down in very close and thick skains and tufts; and though they make a sort of linen of these jutas or palm-threads, they only use it for bags in which they keep their instruments. The Indian women of Cape San Lucas wear their hair long, loose, and spread on their shoulders; but their head-dress is the same with that generally worn by all the women of California. It consists of a piece of net-work, made with such ingenuity, that the soldiers of the garrisons likewise use them.

The women of the northern parts wear a different and a meaner garment, being covered only from the waist to the knees. Before, they wear a petticoat made of very thin pieces of sedge, cut off at the knots, and about the size of a straw. These they fasten together with threads, and barely serve to hide those parts which nature has taught them to conceal, but does not defend them from the inclemencies of the weather. In some few places, it is the custom to cover their bodies with cloaks, made with the skins of wild beasts.

One of the highest festivals among the Cochines, is the day in which they annually distribute the skins to the women. All the neighbouring rancherias, or villages, meet at an appointed place, and there, with branches of trees, and bushes, erect a spacious arbour, from which they clear a broad and level way for racers. Here they [Page 280] bring the skins of all the beasts they have killed that year, and lay them as a carpet along the course. None but the chiefs are admitted into the arbour; and when the banquet, which consists of game, fish, and fruit, is over, they intoxicate themselves with cimarron, or wild tobacco. At the entrance of the arbour a sorcerer takes his place, dressed in the habit of ceremony, and, with wild vociferations, proclaims the praises of the hunters. In the mean time, the other Indians run to and fro, in a frantic manner, on the skins; whilst the women, who assist at this cere­mony, sing and dance with equal transport. This con­tinues till the orator is quite spent, when the harangue concludes, and with it the races. The chiefs then come out of the arbour, and distribute to the women the skins for their cloathing that year; and this distribution is cele­brated with fresh rejoicings. The foundation of all this festivity was, that these poor women were acquainted with no greater ornament than the skin of a deer, though it scarcely covered their nakedness, with any tolerable degree of modesty.

The men, however, were, and are such strangers to that virtue, that they consider those principles as igno­minious and disgraceful, which require their being cloathed; and, accordingly, when any of the missionaries, or soldiers, offer them cloaths, they either refuse them, or throw them away. Indeed their ideas, with regard to cloathing, is so different from the rest of the human [Page 281] species, that, Father Salva Tierra tells us, they were highly affronted when he first directed them to cover at least what modesty requires, not being in the least sensible of any indecency from their being naked; and it caused as much laughter to see one of their own coun­trymen cloathed, as a monkey, dressed like an officer, would among us, of which he had a diverting instance.

A missionary, on his arrival at his mission, cloathed two little boys, which he entertained in his house, first to teach them the language, and afterwards to serve him as catechumens. The Father himself was at the pains of cutting out, making, and fitting the cloaths for them. When the lads first went abroad in their new dress, it occasioned such indecent mirth, that the boys, ashamed at being thus the ridicule of their countrymen, pulled off their cloaths, and hung them on a tree. But being un­willing to shew themselves ungrateful to the Father, and at the same time to avoid being reprimanded, they de­termined to divide his kindness, going in the day-time naked among their relations, and at night dressing them­selves to return to the Father.

The houses of the Californians make no better appear­ance than their habits. Those of every rancheria, or village, are merely wretched huts, situated near the few waters found in this country; and as there is a necessity of removing to other places in quest of subsistence, they easily shift their station. Wherever they stop, they [Page 282] shelter themselves under the trees, from the scorching heat of the sun by day, and the coldness and incle­mency of the weather by night. In severe winters they live in caverns, which they either dig themselves, or find in the sides of mountains. Their houses are but a small space, enclosed with stones, laid one upon another, half a yard high, are square, and without any covering but the heavens; dwellings, indeed, so scanty and mean, that an European tomb would be here reckoned a palace. For, within this small precinct, not having room to lie at full length, they sleep in a sitting posture. The mis­sionaries have erected houses for them, with unburnt bricks, covered with sedge, but there seems no possibi­lity of bringing them to live in them, for they shew the greatest uneasiness at being under any covering: a proof, that the greatest part of what are called the necessaries of life, arise purely from fancy, example, and custom.

It is true, they stand in no need of large rooms for depositing their furniture, and the various articles of a wardrobe, with which the greatest part of our houses is taken up. With so little furniture, and so few utensils do the Indians content themselves, that, in removing, they carry all on their back; for they consist only of a boat, a dart, a dish, a bowl, made in the shape of a high-crowned hat, a bone, which serves them for an awl in making it, a little piece of touchwood for kindling a fire, a pitahaya-net, in which they put their fruit and [Page 283] seeds; another in the shape of a purse, or bag, fastened to a kind of prong across their shoulders, in which they carry their children; and, lastly, their bow and arrows, to which some, who affect elegance, add a shell for drinking. Those who live near the coast, have also nets for fishing. This furniture the women carry; the men burthen themselves only with their bows and arrows, and the materials to repair them. These ma­terials are flints, and feathers for the arrows, and nerves for bow-strings, which, not to incommode them in travelling, they carry in a large case, which they hang to their ears, by boring a hole through them. The men also carry a small bit of wood for procuring fire, which is soon done by rubbing it between their hands. They like­wise carry their boats, which are made of the bark of trees, and which it is the province of the women to repair. Every part of their boats is so curiously made, as to be admired by Europeans. They often fetch and and keep water in these boats. It is the business of the men to make the nets; and in this they shew exquisite skill, making them of so many different colours, sizes, and such a variety of workmanship, that it is not easy to describe them; no nets made in Europe being in any respect equal to them, either for beauty, strength, or finishing.

The Californians admit of a plurality of wives, who provide for the family, and are diligent in bringing their husband a sufficient quantity of fruits from the forest, to [Page 284] keep them in good humour; for if once they are dis­carded, no other man will take them: so that the more wives a man has, the better he is provided for; and this principally contributes to keep up the brutal custom. The nation of Loretto is, indeed, more moderate, the chief men among them never having more than two wives, whilst the generality are contented with one. Adultery is accounted a crime that calls for revenge, except on two occasions. One, at their festivals and routs, and the other at their wrestling matches, among the rancherias; as on these occasions it is the scandalous privilege of the victor. Among the Cochines, or Cochinies of the north, scarce any such excess is known; and a missionary, speaking of his district, says, that, amidst the unbounded freedom of these Indians, de­bauchery, or an illegal amour is seldom seen, which he attributes to the uncomfortable life they lead among the mountains, in hunger, cold, nakedness, and the want of every thing desirable.

The manner of negociating their marriages in the nation of Loretto, which inhabits the middle part of California, is to present the bride, by way of earnest, with a batea, or jug, in their language called Olo. Her acceptance of it denotes her consent; and, on her part, she presents him, in return, with a net for his head. This reciprocal exchange of presents confirms the mar­riage. In the other nations, the agreement is concluded at the end of a ball, to which the lover invites the whole


[Page 285] rancheria; but, after all this solemnity of contract, the slightest motive annuls it.

The Californians had adopted that absurdity, which is so much laughed at in the accounts of Brazil, namely, that of the women going, immediately after delivery, to some water to wash themselves and the child; and in other particulars, using no manner of caution, but going to the forest for wood and food, and performing every other service the husband wanted; whilst he lay in his cave, or stretched at full length under a tree, affecting to be extremely ill and weak. Mothers were even known to destroy their children, in any scarcity of food, till Father Salva Tierra put a stop to this unnatural practice, by ordering that a double allowance should be given to women newly delivered. It was also an esta­blished custom among them, like that in the Jewish law, for a widow to marry the brother, or nearest relation of the deceased.

The time of gathering the pitahayas is their vintage, and they celebrate it with particular mirth and rejoicings. "The three pitahaya months," says Salva Tierra, "re­semble the carnival in some parts of Europe, when the men are, in a great measure, stupified or mad. At this time the nation throw aside what little reason they have, giving themselves up to feastings, dancings, entertain­ments of the neighbouring rancherias, and buffooneries; and in these whole nights are spent, to the high diversion [Page 286] of the audience. The actors are chosen for their talent of imitation, and they execute their parts admirably well.

As practice naturally produces perfection, their ex­cellence in these dances is not to be wondered at, it being their whole occupation in time of peace. They dance at their weddings; on any good success in fishing or hunting; at the birth of their children; at a plentiful harvest; at a victory over their enemies; and on any other occasion, without weighing the importance of it. To these festivities the rancherias usually invite one another; and likewise often send challenges for wrestling, leaping, running, shooting with their bow, and trials of strength; and in these and the like sports, days and nights, weeks and months, are often spent in times of peace. But these tranquil seasons are subject to frequent interruptions of wars, factions, and feuds of some nations and rancherias against others. The end of these com­motions is not the acquisition of same, or the enlarge­ment of territory, but usually revenge for affronts, or injuries among private persons; or sometimes they arise from more substantial causes; when a rancheria, or nation has a right to fish, hunt, or gather fruits, where another has a kind of right by prescription, the man­ner of revenge is to commit some hostility, or do some damage to the person chiefly offending; or if he is be­yond their power, to do it to his kindred, or rancheria. After this, all make the cause their own; and if they do [Page 287] not think themselves able to give battle to their enemies, they apply to other rancherias for succour, with whom they are in amity. The manner of declaring war, is with a frightful noise, ordering every one to provide great quantities of reeds and flints, taking care that this declaration shall not reach their adversaries, that, by terrifying them, they may obtain the easier victory. When they come to action, they set up a shout, and en­gage without any regularity, except in relieving the bodies in front, when they give way, either as quite spent, or for want of arrows, which are made of reeds, with sharp flints for their points, but not poisoned. When the en­gagement becomes close, they make use of a kind of wooden spears, with the points sharpened and hardened in the fire, which do equal execution with those pointed with steel. The victory is gained, not so much by address, conduct, strength, and courage, as by keeping up their spirits against their innate fear, or inspiring the enemy with it.

The characteristics of the Californians, as well as of all other Indians, are stupidity, and insensibility; want of knowledge and reflection; inconstancy, impetuosity, and blindness of appetite; an excessive sloth, and abhorrence of all labour and fatigue; an incessant love of pleasure and amusement of every kind, however trifling or brutal; pusil­lanimity and relaxness; in short, a most wretched want of every thing which constitutes the real man, and renders him rational, inventive, tractable, and useful to himself and [Page 288] society. It is not easy for Europeans, who never were out of their own country, to conceive an adequate idea of these people; for, even in the least frequented corners of the globe, there is not a nation so stupid, of such contracted ideas, and so weak both in body and mind, as the unhappy Cali­fornians. Their understanding comprehends little more than what they see, abstract ideas, and much less a chain of reasoning, being fa [...] beyond their power; so that they scarce can improve their first ideas, and these are in general false and inadequate. It is in vain to represent to them any future advantages, which will result to them by doing, or abstaining, from this or that particular, the relation of means and ends being beyond the stretch of their faculties: nor have they the least notion [...] such intentions as will procure them­selves some future good, or guard them against evils. Their insensibility to corporeal objects, shew what little re­gard they have to future rewards and punishments. They have only a few faint glimmerings of moral virtues and vices; so that some things appear good, and others evil, without any reflection; and though they enjoy the light of natural reason, and that divine grace, which is given to all without distinction, yet, the one is so weak, and the other so little attended to, that, without any regard to decency, pleasure and profit are the spring and end of all their actions.

[Page 289]Their will is proportionate to their faculties; and all their passions move in a very narrow sphere. Ambition, they have none; and are more anxious to be accounted strong, than valiant. The most that is observed in them is, some little emulation. To see their companions praised or rewarded, rouses them, and is, indeed, the only thing which stimulates, and prevails on them to shake off their innate sloth. They are equally free from avarice, that destructive passion, which makes such havock in polite nations. The utmost extent of their desires, is to get the present day's food, without much fatigue, taking little care for that of the ensuing day.

This disposition of mind, as it gives them up to an amazing languor, and lassitude, their lives fleeting away in a perpetual inactivity and detestation of labour; so it likewise leads them to be attracted by the first object, which their own fancy, or the persuasion of another, places before them; and at the same time renders them as prone to alter their resolutions with the same facility. They look with indifference on any kindness done them; nor is the bare remembrance of it to be expected from them. Their hatred and revenge are excited by the slightest causes; but they are as easily appeased, and even without any satisfaction, especially if they meet with opposition. For, though courage seems the only thing they value, it may be said, with truth, that they have not the least notion of true bravery. Their rancour and fury last no longer than whilst they meet with resistance. [Page 290] The least thing daunts them; and when once they begin to yield, their fear will induce them to stoop to the basest indignities. As, on the contrary, by obtaining any advantage, or if the enemy becomes disheartened, they swell with the most extravagant pride. In a word, these unhappy mortals may be compared to children, in whom the developement of reason is not compleated. They may, indeed, be called a nation who never arrive at manhood. Their predominant passion is suitable to such an unhappy condition, in which they make so little use of reason; I mean, a violent fondness for all kind of diversion, pleasure, festivals, games, dancing, and revels, in which they brutishly waste their miserable days. However, in the Californians are seen few of those bad dispositions, for which the other Americans are infamous. No strong liquors are used among them; and it is only on their festivals that they intoxicate themselves, and then with the smoke of wild tobacco. What little every one has, is safe from theft; quarrels are rarely known among them; and the several members of a rancheria live in great harmony among themselves, and peaceably with others. All their malice and rage they reserve for their enemies: and so far are they from obstinacy, harshness, or cruelty, that nothing can exceed their docility and gentleness; consequently are easily persuaded to good or evil.

The government of the Californians cannot be sup­posed to exceed the short limits of their capacity, there [Page 291] being among them neither division of lands or posses­sions, and consequently no succession to immoveables; nor, on the other hand, any complaints of illegal intru­sions. Every nation, or language, consists of several rancherias, more or less in number, according to the fertility of the soil; and each rancheria, of one or more families, united by consanguinity. But when the mis­sionaries came among them, neither the rancherias, nor the nations, had a chief or superior, to whom they paid obedience, or whose authority they acknowledged by any kind of tribute, or external ceremony. Every family governed itself, according to their own fancy; and the natural obedience from sons to fathers was very little, after the former were able to provide for themselves. The sorcerers and jugglers, of whom we shall speak, were possessed of some kind of superiority; but this lasted no longer than the time of their festivals, or during the time of sickness, or other incidents, which excited their fear or superstition. However, in the rancherias, and even in the nations, the missionaries found one, two, or more, who gave orders for gathering the produces of the earth; directed the fisheries, and the military expeditions, in case of a quarrel with any other rancheria, or nation. This dignity was not obtained by blood, and descent; nor by age, suffrages, or a formal election; the necessity of applying for instruction to one or more, on some com­mon exigency, rendered it natural, that, with a tacit consent, he who was brave, expert, artful, or eloquent, should be promoted to the command; but his authority [Page 292] was limited to terms, imposed by the fancy of those who, without well knowing how, quietly submitted to him. This leader, or casique, conducted them to the forests, and sea-coasts, in quest of food; sent and re­ceived messages to and from the adjacent states; informed them of dangers, spirited them up to the revenge of in­juries whether real or feigned, done by other rancherias, or nations; and headed them in their wars, ravages, and depredations. In all other particulars every one was entire master of his liberty.

CHAP. III. Of the ancient Religion of the Californians.

THE most interesting subject for curiosity, and which requires the greatest accuracy and attention in treating it, is the ancient religion of the Californians. And the use to be made of such researches, in favour of our holy religion, is, in enumerating the different sects, ancient and modern, of all nations in the world, to increase from their darkness, the lustre of the Christian dispensation. On the other hand, a faithful representa­tion of the shadow of death, in which these Indians lay immersed, will heighten the greatness of the Divine Good­ness, [Page 293] in bringing them into the bosom of the church; many a father missionary has lost his life in the sacred cause; but Christianity has now gained a pretty firm footing among them.

All relations agree, that hitherto no idolatry has been found among the Californians. They neither wor­shipped any creatures, nor had any representations or images of false deities, to whom they paid any kind of adoration. In short, scarce any trace of religion was to be found among them; nor did their external perfor­mances shew the least knowledge of God; yet there was among them a series. of speculative tenets, which must surprize the reader: for they not only have an idea of the unity and nature of God, as a pure spirit, and likewise of the other spiritual beings; but also some faint glimmer­ings of the Trinity; the eternity of the Saviour, and other articles of the Christian religion, though mixed with a thousand absurdities. And this light was so clear in them, that some missionaries have been induced to think, that they were descended from a people who had formerly been Christians.

There is, say they, in heaven, a Lord of great power, called Niparaya, who made the earth and the sea, gives food to all creatures, created the trees and every thing we see, and can do whatever he pleases. We do not see him, because he has not a body like us. This Niparaya has a wife called Anayicoyondi; and though he [Page 294] makes no use of her, not having a body, he has had three sons; of these, one is Quaayayp, i. e. man; and Anayicoyondi was delivered of him in the mountains of Acaragui. Quaayayp has been with the southern In­dians, and taught them. He was very powerful, and had a great number of men; for he went into the earth, and brought people from thence. At length the Indians through hatred killed him; and, at the same time, put a wreath of thorns upon his head. He is dead, but to this day remains very beautiful, and without any cor­ruption. Blood is continually running from him; he does not speak, as being dead, but he has a tecolote, or owl, that speaks for him. They further say, that in heaven there are many more inhabitants than on earth, and that formerly there were great wars in that place: a person of eminent power, whom some learned men call Wac, and others Tuparan, rose up against the supreme Lord Niparaya, and, being joined by numerous adhe­rents, dared to stand a battle with him; but was totally defeated by Niparaya, who immediately deprived Wac Tuparan of all his power, his fine pitahayas, and his other provisions; turned him out of heaven, confined him and his followers in a vast cave under the earth; and created the whales in the sea, to be as guards, that they should not leave their place of confinement: they add, that the supreme Lord Niparaya does not like that people should fight, and that those who die by an arrow or spear do not go to heaven. But, on the contrary, Wac Tuparan wishes that all people were continually [Page 295] fighting, because all who are killed in battle go to his cave. There are two parties among these Indians; one siding with Niparaya, and are a serious discreet people, open to conviction, and readily listen to the Christian truths, which are inforced upon them from their own tenets. The other party is that devoted to Wac Tupa­ran, and are of very perverse dispositions, sorcerers, and unfortunately very numerous. These partisans of Wac Tuparan have several opinions peculiar to themselves, and monstrously absurd; as, that the stars are shining pieces of metal; that the moon was created by Cucu­numic, the stars by Purutabui, and the like.

The tenets of the Loretto nation are as follows: They have no word in their language signifying heaven, but express it by the general word notu, which signifies above, or high. They say, that in the north part of heaven lives the spirit of spirits, which they call Gumongo; that he sends pestilences and sicknesses; and, in former ages, sent down another spirit to visit the earth, to whom they give the name of Guyiaguai: that he was no sooner come than he began to sow the land with pitahayas, and like­wise made the creeks along the coast of the gulph, till he came to a vast stone in a very spacious creek near Loretto, called by the Spaniards Puerto Escondido, where he resided for some time. Here, say they, the other infe­rior spirits, his attendants, used to bring him pitahayas to eat, and fish which they caught in the creek. Guyia­guai's occupation was to make vestments for his priests, [Page 296] who, in their language, are called dicuinochos, of the hides which were offered to him. After some time, Guyia­guai continued his visitation, sowing pitahayas, and making creeks along all the coast of the Loretto nation; and, as a memorial, left a painted table, which the dicuinochos, or priests, make use of at their entertain­ments. They add, that the sun, moon, and the morn­ing and evening stars, are men and women; that every night they fail into the western sea, whence they are under a necessity of swimming out by the way of the east; that the other stars are lights made in heaven by that visiting spirit and his attendants; and that, though they become quenched by the sea-water, he goes toward the sun to light them again. It would be very tedious to enter into the many absurdities of the same kind, which were imposed on this unhappy people by their stupid or designing priests.

The nation of the Cochinies, is not only the most nu­merous and extended, but they have likewise the best genius, and less extravagant opinions and brutality in their customs; their behaviour is remarkably courteous, and they never break their word. They believe that there is in heaven a Lord, whose name, in their lan­guage, signifies, He who lives; that he had a son, with­out a mother, to whom they give two names, one of which imports perfection, or end of clay; the other signifies swift. Besides him, they say, there is another, whose name is, He who makes lords; though they give [Page 297] the name of lord to all the three; yet, when asked, How many lords there are? They answer One, who made the heavens, the earth, the animals, the trees, and fruits; also man and woman. They, likewise, have some notion of devils, saying, that the great Lord called, "He who lives," created certain beings who are not seen, who revolted against him, and are enemies both to him and mankind: to these they give the name of lyars, ensna­rers, or seducers. They add, that when men die, these deceivers come and bury them that they may not see the Lord who lives. The converted Indians could have no design of imposing on the missionaries, in telling them, that, before their conversion, they held opinions, in some respects, like their own; it is reasonable, therefore, to conclude that some storm, or other accident, carried to the coasts of California, some Europeans, or inhabi­bitants of the Philippines, of whom no memory now exists among the Indians; and these, finding themselves among barbarians, endeavoured to instil into them the mysteries of christianity; and that those instructions, in process of time, became more and more disfigured, till the arrival of the missionaries, when the place was con­quered by Spain.

It is now above two centuries since the coast of Cali­fornia has been visited by Europeans. The inhabitants of Mexico, from the western coast of New Spain, have frequented the Gulph of California to fish for pearls; and others have arrived at the western coast, by the way [Page 298] of the South Sea. And, therefore, among a variety of accidents, either as punishment or from misfortune, one or more may have been obliged to remain among these Indians. There are a few negroes among them, the race of those who had been left by a ship from the Phi­lippine Islands. Sir Francis Drake left a pilot on shore, who, after some years, fortunately got away again; and so lately as 1741, the Russians were obliged to leave on the same coast of America, and at a higher latitude, part of a ship's company, who had sailed on a discovery; all which gives room to believe, that some Europeans, under a similar disaster, had not the same good fortune to arrive at a country peopled with Europeans, after wandering over vast tracts inhabited by Barbarians, but, on the contrary, were obliged to pass the remainder of their days among them.

Their Edues, or priests, were what might be expected from this shadow, or imitation of religion; they are fre­quently called Hechiceros, or sorcerers; but it is not to be thought, that these poor creatures had any commerce with apostate spirits. It is known, that the same extravagant credulity obtained here, which not long since deluged the old world, with regard to the ancient, pagan oracles. But the most sagacious missionaries found them out to be [...]rrant impostors, pretending to hold intelligence with [...]rits, the existence of which was believed by the [...]rnians. This supposed commerce with the devil, [...] them great authority among that simple people, [Page 299] and this reverence they strengthened by certain ceremo­nies and gestures, and the introduction of many mystic rites. What also strengthened this authority, was their being the only physicians, from whom they could hope for relief, when sick; and whatever was the medicine, it was always administered with great ostentation and so­lemnity.

The Loretto Indians had schools, in which these pro­fessors instructed their youth in the above opinions, and recommended them as truths of great importance. But the authority of the Californian priests, on no occasion, appears with such splendor as in the public feasts. There are no sacrifices, or any other religious ceremonies at these times; but the whole consists of eating, drinking, dancing, talking, and laughing: yet the presence of their priests makes them considered as religious solemnities; for they act the chief part, and dress themselves in a habit of ceremony, which is only used on extraordinary occasions. This consists of a large cloak, covering them from head to foot, and entirely composed of human hair. The head is adorned with a very high plumage of hawk's feathers, and in their hands they carry a very large fan, formed of the largest feathers of the same bird. The Southern Edues, when they cannot get feathers, adorn, or rather disfigure, their heads with the tails of deer, and the Cochinies of the north, add two strings of the hoofs of the same beast; one as a chain round the neck, and the other as a girdle. The ridiculoussness of this garb, [Page 300] is still heightened by daubing their bodies over with red, black, and different colours; so that the reader's fancy will easily represent what figures they make.

These priests open the entertainment, with sucking the Chacuaco, till they become frantic, and almost drunk with the smoke; thus intoxicated, they begin an oration on their tenets, which they deliver with wild gestures, and frightful vociferations; pretending to be inspired by those spirits which the nation acknowledges; and in their name, denouncing whatever their frenzy or interest sug­gests; at other times, pretending to be the spirits them­selves. Whilst these frantic preachers are haranguing, the others are feasting and dancing; and, being inflamed by gluttony, intemperance, and dancing, the whole concludes in the most abominable gratification of their appetites, all mingling indiscriminately, as if determined to violate every principle of shame, reason, and mo­desty.

Though these feasts are often made without any ne­cessary causes, yet those made at the gathering of the pitahayas, for a victory, for the distribution of the fish caught, and the deer-skins, greatly surpass the others in solemnity; but that on boring the ears and nostrils of children exceeds all: to these all the women and men resort; the ornament of wearing pearls from their nostrils to their ears being common to both sexes. The shrieks of the children on these occasions, incite the fathers to [Page 301] greater and louder shouts, in order to suppress any sym­pathy with the cries and tears of their children. At these feasts, the priests do not omit exercising that authority which they owe to the fears of the people, celebrating, according to their private passions, some, as brave and generous; upbraiding others, as cowards, factious and wicked; and even enjoining them certain penances, the most custom­ary of which is fasting, or abstinence. This is not the only method of chastising them; they sometimes order them to clear the ways along the highest mountains, for the more easy descent of the visiting spirit, when it comes to see them, and at certain distances to lay a heap of stones, where it may stop and rest itself. But what cannot be read without horror, is, that these inhuman im­postors sometimes even order them to throw themselves down from a precipice; and though, in so doing, they must necessarily be dashed to pieces, yet such is the blindness and dread of these poor creatures, that it is very seldom their orders fail of being executed, either willingly or by force. Besides this, these priests raise contributions on all such as demand any provisions, and certain portions of human hair to make their cloaks, all which is paid as a tribute, with a punctual willingness. This tribute children pay in return for their instruction, and the sick adults, on recovery, in gratitude for their cure; and if not, for their care after death; for the Californians are not forsaken by their priests when dead: on the contrary, they redouble their cares, and extend them to the whole rancheria. But when the distemper arrives at such a [Page 302] height, as to be past cure, they assemble all the patient's relations, that he may die with the greater uneasiness. If the patient has a daughter or sister, they in the first place cut off the little finger of her right hand, pretend­ing thereby, that the blood either cures the patient, or at least, removes from the family all sorrow for his death; but is in reality an additional cause of pain and grief. Then follow the visits from the whole rancheria; who after talking to him, and being made acquainted with his des­perate condition, set up a confused howling, sometimes covering their faces, with their hands, and their hair, and repeating this ceremony from time to time, divided into separate companies, and all in the presence of the dying person. The women increase the horror of these howlings with passionate cries and exclamations, setting forth the merits of the patient, in order to move greater compassion. The howling being over, the patient re­quests the company to suck and blow him, in the same manner as the physician had done. This is by filling a tube made out of a hard, black stone, with tobacco, applying the end of it to the part affected, and then with their mouth at the other end, sometimes sucking up the smoke, at others blowing it through the tube, on the diseased part with all their force. This friendly office is performed by every one, as this and the strength of their cries, is the best proof of their degree of affection for the sick person: in the mean time, the doctors thrust their hands into the patient's mouth, pretending to pluck death forcibly out of his body. The women still con­tinuing [Page 203] their outcries, give the patient many severe strokes, in order to awake him, till between one un­easiness and another, they deprive the poor wretch of life, and as soon as dead, they proceed to bury or burn him, as is most convenient. The funerals are immedi­ately performed, without any preparation, amidst a continuance of the same howlings, and without any singu­larity, only burying or burning, with the deceased, all his utensils; and so little do they enquire into the reality of his death, previous to the burning or interment, that one day Salva Tierra tells us, hastening to the spot, where they were going to burn a man, they supposed dead, and per­ceiving some remains of life in him, he snatched him from the fire, and in time recovered him, reproving their rashness and barbarity.

Father Torquemada, speaking of the island of St. Catherine, in the neighbourhood of California, says, "In this island are rancherias, or communities, and in them a temple, with a large, level court, where they perform their sacrifices; and in one, was a large circular space, the place of the altar, with an enclosure of feathers of several birds of different colours; which I understood," says he, "were those of the birds they sacrificed in great numbers: and within the circle, was an image, strangely bedaubed with a variety of colours, representing some devil, according to the manner of the Indians of New Spain, holding in its hand, a figure of the sun and moon. It happened, that when the soldiers came to see this tem­ple, [Page 304] they found within the said circle, two crows, con­siderably larger than ordinary; which at the approach of the Spaniards flew away, but allighted among the rocks in the neighbourhood. The soldiers seeing them of such uncommon size, fired their guns and killed them. At this, an Indian, who had attended the Spaniards as a guide, fell into an agony. I was informed that they be­lieved the devil spoke to them in these crows, and thence held them in great veneration. Sometime after, one of the religious going that way, saw some Indian women washing fish on the shore, but some crows came up to them, and with their beaks, took the fish from their hands, whilst they observed a profound silence, not daring so much as to look at them, much less frighten them away. Nothing therefore could seem more horrible to the Cali­fornians, than that the Spaniards should shoot at these respectable birds."

In the year 1745, there were 16 missionaries settled in different parts of the country, and they had established 39 christian villages.


PERSIA. From SIR JOHN CHARDIN, who was there in the last Century; ELTON, who travelled through the Northern Provinces, in 1739; JONAS HANWAY, who did the same in 1744; and WILLIAM FRANKLIN, who resided eight Months at SHIRAUZ, in 1786 and 1787.

CHAP. I. Of the Country, Climate, and Productions.

THE Persian Empire, founded by Cyrus the Great, 578 years before the Christian aera; was the second of the four ancient monarchies established in the world, and at that period extended from the Gulph of Ormus, and the Red Sea, and from Ethiopia in the south, to the Euxine and Caspian seas on the north; and from the river Indus, now called the Scind, in the east, to the desarts of Lybia, or that part of Africa bordering upon Egypt; the Mediterranean, and Archipelago Seas, on the west. But the boundaries of this kingdom are now said to be, India, or the Mogul's dominions on the [Page 306] east; the ocean, and Persian Gulph, towards the south; the Turkish empire on the west; and Circasia, the Caspian sea, and the river Oxus, that divides it from Usbec-Tartary, towards the north. The most southern part of Persia lies in 25 degrees north latitude, and the most northern part in 45 degrees; of course we may reckon it 1,200 miles long, from north to south; and, the most western part of it lying in 45 degrees of longitude from London; and the most eastern in 67 degrees, its breadth and length are nearly equal; and was it not for the Caspian Sea, which divides the north-east parts of Persia from the north-west, the form of the country would be almost square.

It consists of twelve provinces, of which Fars is the ancient Persis, in which stood the city Persepolis, whose magnificent ruins are the wonder of every traveller. Curdestan, the ancient Assyria, Erack, the ancient Parthia, now reckoned the principal province, and al­most the centre of the empire; Gylan, the ancient Hyr­cania, and Aditbeitzan, the southern part of the an­cient Media. Of the province of Shirven, Armenia is a part.

Persia, extending from the 25th degree of latitude, and to the 45th, the longest day in the south is 13 hours and a half, and in the north above 15 hours. In so great an extent of country, it is natural to suppose that the air and seasons are very different, as in fact they [Page 307] are. In the middle of the kingdom, their winter be­gins in November, and continues till March, with severe frosts, and snow, which falls in great quantities, on their mountains, but not so much in the level countries. From March to May, the wind is usually high, and from thence to September, they have a calm, serene heaven, with not so much as a cloud. And though it is pretty hot in the day-time, the refreshing breezes, which blow constantly morning and evening, as well in the night, make the summer tolerable, especially as the nights are near ten hours long. The climate of Shirauz in the province of Fars, where Mr. Franklin spent eight months, is, says that gentleman, one of the most agreeable in the world; the extremes of heat and cold being seldom felt. During the spring of the year, the uncommonly beautiful flowers, of which they have a great variety of the brightest hues and fragancy, perfume the natural mildness of the air. The beauties of nature are here depicted in their fullest extent, the natural historian and botanist would here meet with ample scope for their favourite investigations; so that the inhabitants of Shirauz confidently assert the pre-emi­nence of their own city, to any other in the world; and the natural beauties of the place call forth the poetical exertions of a Hàfez, a Sàdi, or a Jàmi. In summer, the thermometer seldom rises above 73 degrees in the day-time, and at night, generally sinks to 62 degrees. Their autumn is the worst season of the year; the rains then beginning to fall, and the air reckoned as unhealthy, [Page 308] producing colds, fluxes, and fevers. Though a great deal of heavy snow falls in winter, ice is rarely to be found, except on the mountain-tops, and in the more northern parts of Persia. The air is so pure, at night, and the stars shine with that lustre, that one man may know another well, by their light; and people travel much more in the night than in the day. In this part of Persia, there are very seldom any hurricanes or tem­pests, and very little thunder and lightning; nor is it subject to earthquakes. In the fine weather, particu­larly summer, there is not the least dew, or moisture; and even at other times, the dew is of that nature, that it will not rust the finest steel, if left to dry on it. This dryness in the air causes their buildings to last a long time, and is undoubtedly one of the principal reasons, that the celebrated ruins of Persepolis have endured for so many ages, that place being situated in much such another valley as Shirauz, and but two days journey from it. It very seldom rains, even in the winter, and no country, as appears from the hale complexion, of the natives, is more healthy than the heart of Persia.

In the month of March, says Hanway, the sun shines so strongly on the snow, about Casbin, that the reflec­tion is injurious to the eyes, and half-blinds the people; and the southern parts, particularly about Gombron, we are told by other writers, is so unhealthy about the spring and fall, that the European factors never pass a year, without a dangerous illness carrying off some of [Page 309] them. It is a common thing for two to agree, that if one dies, the survivor shall possess the other's fortune. The months of June, July, and August, are here so very hot, that both natives and foreigners, get up into the mountains at that time. The hot winds which blow from the eastward, over a long tract of sandy desarts, are ready to suffocate them, and sometimes there hap­pens a pestilential blast, that strikes the traveller dead in an instant. It rains but very seldom in the course of the year; and the water they save, is very unwholesome.

The provinces of Georgia, Shirvan, and Aditbeitzan, which lie in the most northern part of Persia, are very dry and warm in the summer, but subject to storms and tempests in the winter, and have as severe frosts for six months, as any countries on the continent, in the same latitude; and as this part of Persia is very mountainous, there is frequently a great difference between the air on the north and south sides of the mountains; and, in a few miles travelling, people think themselves in a different climate; but cold as the mountains are in the north, they are extremely healthy. On the contrary, the slat countries of Ghilan and Mezenderan, which lie upon the Cas­pian Sea, and was the ancient Hyrcania, are very damp, full of stinking morasses, and so unhealthful, that the in­habitants retire into the mountains in the summer-time; all the water they have in the hot season being foul and corrupted.

[Page 310]As Sir John Chardin observes, there is not a country in the world which has more mountains and fewer rivers than Persia; and some of the mountains are considered as the highest on the face of the earth. Mount Taurus branches itself out into different provinces, and runs quite through the country, from west to east. The loftiest mountains are those called Ararat in Armenia, and those which separate Media from Hyrcania, and Hyrcania from Erack. Those that divide Fars from Carmenia are dry, barren rocks, and very lofty, but those of Hyr­cania and Curdestan covered with woods. Near Baku is a mountain that sparkles like diamonds, from the quantity of talc and chrystal with which it abounds. There are through this kingdom vast, sandy desarts, se­veral days journey over, where scarce a drop of water is to be met with; and the land in general on the frontiers lies uncultivated to discourage their enemies from in­vading them. There are, however, some fruitful plains and vallies, where their principal cities stand, which yield plenty of grain and herbage; and no country is more fruitful than the provinces which lie upon the Caspian Sea.

Not one-tenth part of the kingdom is cultivated. Many of the vallies are barren, which formerly were fruitful, when the waters were turned into them. In some provinces there are hundreds of fine aqueducts choaked up and buried in ruins.

[Page 311]With respect to rivers, there is not one in the heart of the country, that will carry a boat of any burthen. The river Oxus that divides Persia from Usbeck-Tartary is a large stream; but as there are no branches of it that rise in the Persian dominions, it is of little use to them. But there are several small rivulets which fall from the mountains, and are conveyed by subterraneous channels, or otherwise, to their principal cities.

Water being so scarce in Persia, there is no place where they husband it better, or have more ingenious contrivances, to convey it to their cities, and into their corn-fields and gardens. This is the care of govern­ment; and there is a great officer in every province who has the charge of the conveyance and distribution of the waters.

They turn all their little rivulets and springs to such parts of the country where they are most wanted. They dig wells also of a prodigious depth and breadth, out of which they draw water with oxen in great leather-buckets; which being emptied into cisterns, is let out occasionally for sundry uses. They have also vast subterranean aque­ducts, through which water is conveyed twenty or thirty leagues. These are two fathoms high, and arched with brick; and at every 20 paces distance, are large holes, like wells, made for the convenience of carrying on the arch without working under-ground too far, and the more easy repairing of them. The distribution of river and [Page 312] spring-water is made one day to one quarter of the town, and another day to another, when every one opens the canal or reservoir in his garden to receive it, and for which an annual sum is paid; and as it is easy for any to divert his neighbour's water into his own channel, such fraud is severely punished.

Besides the ocean, there are two seas belonging to Persia, the Caspian Sea, and the Gulph of Persia. The former we have spoken of when treating of Tartary. The Persians have but few vessels on this sea; but they are not so negligent of the Gulph of Persia, or Bossora, on account of the pearl-fishery, which is reckoned the best in the world. They are masters of both sides of this gulph, as well as the islands in it. The pearl-fishery lies near the island of Baharem. Of the rest of the islands, Ormus, situated at the entrance of this sea, is the most famous, and is about thirty miles round. This was once in the possession of the Portuguese, who then commanded the pearl-fishery, and all the trade of Persia, and who built on it one of the most elegant cities in Asia. But this city is gone, and there is nothing on the island, but an indifferent castle, in possession of the Persians, the trade being removed to Gombron, about two leagues distant. The island itself never produced any thing but salt, which grows in a solid crust, two inches deep, on the surface of the ground; and the hills appear, at a distance, with it, as if covered with snow. Nor is there [Page 313] a drop of fresh water on the island. The Portuguese fetched their water from the continent.

About 160 years ago, the King of Persia, by the assistance of the English East-India Company's ships, expelled the Portuguese; for which they were allowed half the customs of Gombron, which amounted to about 40,000l. a year. But the Persians afterwards took the whole customs themselves, making the English Company some trifling acknowledgment.

Near 23 miles to the south-west of Kislar, on the fron­tiers of Tartary, on the first Circassian mountain, lying on the south of the river Tereck, there is a well about 40 fa­thoms deep, from which issues boiling water into a stone bason. Hence it falls down a precipice near 30 fathoms into the Tereck, in sufficient quantities to turn the wheel of a mill. The Tartars convey it into pits, and find great relief in many complaints from bathing in it. Among several experiments which a surgeon made on this water, he found, that after it was bottled up close, for a short time, the naptha-smell it had, went off. Near this hill are seven springs of the same kind of water, and one, which appears impregnated with alium, being so acid and astringent, as not to be borne long in the mouth. The heat of the water is so great, that a fowl has been boiled in it in nine minutes. This quick coction may be ow­ing to the quantity of naptha in the water. Not far distant, are several small pits dug in the earth, in which [Page 314] there is salt of the utmost purity of colour and bright­ness, which dissolves in the mouth instantaneously, giving a very pungent sensation. Even in cold weather, the warmth of these wells produces near them the verdure and flowers of spring. About half a mile westward of this hill, are seven wells of naptha, in which the wild swine delight to lie. The Tartars use it for their lamps, and to grease the axletrees of their carts.

The chief place for the black, or dark-grey naptha is a small island in the Caspian Sea, now uninhabited, except at times, when they fetch the naptha. The Per­sians load it in bulk, in their wretched vessels, so that sometimes the sea is covered with it for leagues together. When the weather is thick and hazy, the springs boil up the higher; and the naptha often takes fire on the surface of the earth, and runs in a flame into the sea, in great quantities, to an almost incredible distance. It is a kind of oil that will encrust, grow hard, and look like pitch. The people use it, mixt with a small quantity of ashes, to burn in lamps, and boil their food, but it leaves a disagreeable smell. They keep it at a small distance from their houses, in earthen vessels, under ground, to pre­vent accidents from its firing, which it is very liable to do. Every family in its neighbourhood is well supplied with it.

They have also, on the peninsula of Apcheron, a white naptha of a much thinner consistency; but this is found [Page 315] only in small quantities. The Russians drink it, both as a cordial, and a medicine; but it does not intoxicate. It is taken internally for the stone, for disorders in the breast, and in venereal cases, and sore heads, to both the last of which the Persians are very subject. Exter­nally applied, it is of great use in scorbutic pains, cramps, gout, &c. It penetrates into the blood in­stantaneously, and, for a short time, creates great pain. Like spirits of wine, it takes out greasy spots from silk and woollen, but leaves a bad smell. It has been car­ried as a great rarity into India, and being prepared as a Japan, is the most beautiful and lasting of any that has yet been tried.

In the neighbourhood of Baku, on the Caspian Sea, is a phenomenon of a very extraordinary nature; in some manner peculiar to this country, and therefore deserves a particular description. It is called the Everlasting Fire; and to it a sect of Indians and Persians, called Gebers or Gaurs, pay religious worship.

It lies about 10 English miles, north-east by east, from the city of Baku, in the province of Shirvan, on dry, rocky land. Here are several ancient temples, built with stone, supposed to have been all dedicated to fire: most of them are arched vaults, from 10 to 15 feet high. Among others there is a little temple, in which the Indians now worship. Near the altar, about three feet high, is a large, hollow cane, from the end of which [Page 316] issues a blue flame, in colour and gentleness nor unlike a lamp, burning with spirits, but seemingly more pure. These Indians affirm, that this flame has continued ever since the flood; and they believe it will last to the end of time; that if it was resisted or suppressed in that place, it would break out and rise in some other. There are generally 40 or 50 of these poor devotees, who come on a pilgrimage from their own country, and subsist on wild selery, and a kind of Jerusalem artichokes, which are very good food, with other roots and herbs, found a little to the northward.

A little way from this temple is a low cliff of a rock, in which there is a horizontal gap, two feet from the ground, near six feet long, and about three feet broad, out of which issues a constant flame of the colour and nature I have described. When the wind blows, it rises sometimes eight feet high, but much lower in still wea­ther. It is not observed, that the flame makes any im­pression on the rock. This also the Indians worship.

The earth round this place, for more than two miles, has this surprising property, that by taking up two or three inches of the surface, and applying a live coal to it, the part which is so uncovered immediately takes fire, almost before the coal touches the earth. The flame makes the soil hot, but does not consume it, nor affect what is near it, with any degree of heat. Any quantity of this earth, carried to another place, does not [Page 317] produce this effect. Eight horses were once consumed by this fire, being under a roof where the surface of the ground was turned up, and by some accident took flame.

If a cane or tube, even of paper, be set about two inches in the ground, confined, and closed with earth below, and the top of it touched with a live coal and blown upon, a flame will immediately issue, without burning either the cane or paper, provided the edges be covered with clay; and this method they use, for light in their houses, which have only the earth for their floor. Three or four of these lighted canes, will boil water in a pot, and thus they dress their victuals. The flame may be extinguished in the same manner as that of spirits of wine. The ground is dry and stony, and the more stony any particular part is, the stronger and clearer is the flame. It smells sulphureous, like naptha, but not very offensive.

Here are also springs of hot water, which strengthen the stomach by bathing in them, and formerly caused the place to be frequented by a number of Persians, and other people of the first quality from the remotest parts. For there are many stately remains of buildings, an extensive burying-place, and a large mosque, with a fine stone cupola.

[Page 318]Near great towns they improve their lands with street-dirt; but, at a greater distance, they lay their fields into little level squares, banking them round, and then turning the water into them, and flow them. Where the ground is light, they plough it with two or three oxen or buffaloes; but in Ghilan, and other stiff coun­tries, it is as much as eight or ten oxen can do, to draw their ploughs, which are very large.

Rice, wheat, and barley, are almost the only kinds of grain growing in Persia. Oats they have none, and little or no rye. Their seasons are not the same in the north as in the south; for, when they are sowing in one part of the country, they are reaping in another, and in some places it is not more than three months between seed-time and harvest. Their land never lies fallow. It is so meliorated and enriched by flowing, and the heat of the sun afterwards working on the mud, that it is never out of heart; and though we have not so warm a sun, were we to flow some of our ground as they do, I am persuaded it would be a vast improvement, especially where dung and other manure is wanting.

Their kitchen-gardens are well stocked with most of the roots and herbs we have in Europe. They have no less than 20 several sorts of melons, the common people make them their constant food in summer. Those that ripen in the latter part of the season are the best and largest; some of them weigh eight or ten [Page 319] pounds, and are as sweet as sugar. At the tables of persons of quality they have them all the year round, having a method of preserving them under ground, and, it is said, some will eat eight or ten pounds of melon at a meal, and not be sick. The best melons grow in Cho­rassan, near Tartary, and are carried as far as Ispahan for the King's use, and as presents to friends. Cucumbers are another fruit much eaten by the common people. One sort has scarce any seeds in it, and is eaten with­out paring or dressing, and not reckoned unwholesome.

Of grapes they have several kinds, and very sweet, and some so large, that a single grape is a mouthful. The celebrated wine of Shirauz is made of a small black grape without stones. It is very delicious, and though, at first taste, rather unpleasant to a European, yet those who have drank it for some time, prefer it to every other. They wrap up the bunches in linen bags, and let them hang on the trees all the winter, and gather them as wanted. The dryness of the air preserves all kinds of fruit a long time. Cherries here are but indif­ferent, but apples, pears, peaches, quinces, apricots, nectarines, and gage plumbs, are all very good, and in great plenty. The pomegranate is good to a proverb. The Persians call it the fruit of paradise.

Dates are reckoned one of the most delicious fruits of this country. They are no where so good as in Persia. The pulp, which encloses the stone, is a clammy sub­stance, [Page 320] as sweet as honey. The tree which bears them is slender, but tall, and like other palms, has no branches, but on the top, and the fruit grows in clusters of 30 or 40lb. weight. The tree does not bear till it is 15 years old, and, it is said, will continue bearing 100 years. When the fruit is ripe, it is laid in heaps, and, melting, will candy, and preserve itself without sugar.

If they knew any thing of gardening, they would have most of the European fruits in greater perfection, than in any part of Europe; but they understand neither grafting nor inoculating. All their trees run up very high and are loaded with wood. They have apricots of several kinds, that come into season one after another; and their nectarines and peaches weigh 16 or 18 ounces each. They have an apricot, red within, called by them the egg of the sun. These are dryed, and exported in vast quantities. They are boiled in water, which is thickened by the juice of the fruit, and makes a perfect syrup, without sugar.

The pistachio-nuts are almost peculiar to Persia, and transported all the world over. We have them com­monly in London. They have likewise nuts, filberds, almonds, and olives; but know not how to extract oil from, or preserve, the last. They have also plantations of sugar and tobacco.

[Page 321]Among the garden-trees, they have the cypress, the palm, and the mulberry. Of the last, there are large plantations for silk-worms, which they never suffer to grow up to be great trees, because the leaves are best, when the shoots are young. But the tree in as great esteem as any in Persia, is the senna. The body of this tree is very large, and generally 40 or 50 feet high, strait as the mast of a ship, having no branches but on the head. The bark is of a bright grey; and the wood serves them to make doors, rafters, and for other uses in building. The tree which bears the gall-nut is common in many parts of Persia; and there are trees which yield gum-mastic, and frankincense; that which produces the latter is very much like a pear-tree. There are trees also, which pro­duce manna of several sorts. The leaves of the tamerisk manna-tree drop liquid manna in summer-time, which the natives take to be the sweat of the tree congealed upon the leaf. In the morning the ground under it is perfectly fat and greasy with it. The cotton-tree is common all over Persia; and they have another little tree, which yields a kind of silken down, used for quilt­ing and stuffing of pillows. There is also a plant, called hannah, that bears an orange-coloured seed, which they beat to powder, and colour their hands, feet, and faces with, from an opinion, that it keeps the skin smooth, and preserves the complexion.

The excessive heat, in the southern parts of Persia, prevents any flowers growing; but nothing can be more [Page 322] beautiful than the fields of Hyrcania. Here are whole groves of orange-trees, jessamines, and all the flowers we have in Europe. That part of the country which is called Mazenderan is one continued parterre, from Sep­tember to April. The whole country at this time is covered with flowers; and this, though it be their winter-season, is also the best time for fruits. In the other months the heat is so excessive, and the air so unhealth­ful, that the natives, as I have observed, retire to the mountains. In Media, the fields produce tulips, ane­monies, and ranunculas. About Ispahan and other towns, jonquils grow wild; but they have the greatest quantity of lillies and roses. They export abundance of rose-water. In the spring, they have a red flower that resembles a clove, of a beautiful, scarlet colour. Every sprig, bears thirty of these flowers, which form a head as large as a tennis ball. Their roses are white, yellow, and red, and others, white on one side and yellow on the other; but notwithstanding this variety, their gardens are not to be compared to ours. As flowers are so common, they are little regarded; we see them intermixed with fruit-trees, without any order; no borders or knots of flowers. All that is met with in their finest gardens, is, walks planted with trees, fountains, canals, and plea­sure-houses, at proper distances; nor do the Persians take any more pleasure in walking in them, than we do in the fields, but sit down in some alcove, regardless of that ex­quisite variety that every foreigner is enamoured with. In­deed, were these things as common in Europe, and possessed [Page 323] by every cottager, we probably should regard them as little as we do other things, which we enjoy in common with the lowest of mankind.

Persia also affords great plenty of drugs, as cassia, senna, antimony, nux vomica, gum armoniac, galbanum, sal armoniac, and a kind of rhubarb. The Persian pop­pies are in great esteem from the quantity of juice they yield, and the strength of it. They grow four feet high in some places, and have white leaves. The juice is extracted from them in June, when they are ripe. By making little incisions in the head of the poppy, a thick liquor oozes from them, which is gathered in the morn­ing before sun-rise. It is said to have such an effect on those who collect it, that they look, as if they had been buried and taken up again, and their limbs tremble, as if they had the palsy. The liquor thus drawn from them, in a little time, grows thick, and is made up into pills, which we call Opium. The Persian bakers strew poppy-seed upon their bread, which inclines those who eat it to sleep, and eating it is not reckoned unwholesome after their meals. The common people eat the seed almost at any time. Saffron grows plentifully in Persia, and assa-foetida, which to us is the most offensive of all smells, is to them a most refreshing perfume, and is to be found almost every where.

Assa-foetida is a liquor which distils from the plant called Hiltot. It thickens after it is drawn, and grows [Page 324] as hard as gum. Mummy, which is human flesh em­balmed, that has lain in dry earth several ages, and be­come hard as horn, is frequently found in the sands of Chorassan on the ancient Bactria; and some of the bodies are so little altered, it is said, that the features may be plainly distinguished.

The bezoar stone of Persia is held to be much better than the Indian bezoar. This is a stone, with several thin coats over it, found in the entrails of goats and other animals.

Persia is not without its minerals: it is conjectured that, among their vast mountains, there may be some mines of gold and silver, but none are open, nor have they an account that any were ever wrought, except their lead-mines▪ which yield a small quantity of silver, as all lead-mines do, but not enough to pay for extract­ing. They have, however, good mines of iron, steel, copper, and lead. The iron and steel-mines are in Hy [...]cania, Media, and the provinces of E [...]ack and Cho­rasian. Their steel is so full of sulphur, that, if the fil­ings are thrown into the fire, they will give a report like gunpowder. It has a fine, delicate grain, but is as brittle as glass, and the Persian artificers, not under­standing how to temper it, cannot convert it to any nice work.

Sulphur and salt-petre are dug in the mountain Da­maveid, which divides Hyrcania from Erack. Anti­mony [Page 325] is found in Carmenia, and emery is had near Niris. Vitriol, and mercury, they have none; and their tin is imported from abroad. They have two kinds of salt, one, on the surface of the ground, and the other, dug off the rocks. There are plains ten or twelve leagues over, quite covered with salt, as others are with sulphur and alium. The salt is so hard in some parts of Car­menia, that the poor people use it, instead of stone, to build their cottages with.

Their marble is either black, white, or red, and some veined with white and red. It is dug near Hamadan and Lusiana; some of it will divide into large flakes, like slate, but the best comes from Tauris, and is almost as transparent as crystal. This kind is white, mixed with green. In the country about Tauris, also, is found the mineral azure. In Fars and Shirvan is found abun­dance of bole armoniac, and a marl, which the country people use instead of soap. There are some mines of tale, or isinglass, in the same country.

The most valuable mines in Persia, are those where the Tuquois stones are found. There is one at Nisapour in Chorassan, and another in a mountain between Erack and Hyrcania. All that are dug are preserved for the King, and when he has taken those he likes best, he or­ders the rest to be sold.

In the Gulph of Persia, there was formerly the finest pearl-fishery in the world. Chardin says, it did not [Page 326] produce less than the value of 50,000l. English per annum, and that he, saw a pearl taken out of it, that weighed fifty grains, and was perfectly sound. But the large [...] that were usually met with in that sea, did not weigh above ten or twelve grains; all above that weight, the fishermen were obliged to lay by for the King. Whether the pearl-banks are now exhausted, or the people are become inactive, cannot be said, but the pearl-fishery is now in disuse.

There are two seasons for this fishing, the first in March or April, and the other in August or September. At this time, no the oyster-banks, were to be seen 2000 or 3000 fishing boats, in every one of which was a diver. These boats being anchored in five fathom water, the diver strips himself naked, and having fixed a piece of horn, like a pair of spectacles, on his nose, to prevent the water getting in that way, and tied a stone to one of his feet, that he may sink to the bottom, he takes a net, or a basket with him, and descends to the bottom; a rope being fastened under his arms, and another to the basket. When at the bottom, having slipped off the cord which fastened the stone to his foot, he gathers the oysters, or nacres, puts them in his basket, and having remained under water as long as he can, gives a signal to the people in the boat, to draw him up, and after­wards they pull up the basket. In the mean time, the diver refreshes himself with a pipe and tobacco, and dives as before, thus working from eight in the morn­ing [Page 327] till eleven, and, after dinner, from twelve till three in the afternoon. It is said, these divers will continue under water, near half a quarter of an hour at a time. Towards evening, they carry their oysters on shore, where they lay them in heaps, and when they begin to dry, the oysters open of themselves, and the fishers di­ligently search for the pearls.

CHAP. II. Of their Animals.

THERE being very little cover in the middle or southern part of Persia, there are not many wild beasts. Deer they have some, and antelopes, which are much of the same nature, except that they are spotted, and have finer limbs. But in the woody parts, as Hyr­cania, and Cardistan, there are lions, tygers, leopards, wild hogs, jackalls, &c. Jackalls are so very domestic, that Hanway says, whenever he encamped, they would run over his bed in the night, and being very fond of leather, he was afraid they would have run away with his accoutrements; and they make such a barking and howling in the woods, that there was no resting for them; and when one begins to howl, the whole pack [Page 328] does the same. The country about Hamadan, abounds in elks, which are as fleet as birds; no horse can reach them. The Persians call them Giran, and pretend, there is musk near their tails.

Among their cattle, we find camels, horses, mules, asses, oxen, and buffaloes, very serviceable; but the camel, for a beast of burden, much excels all the rest, whether we consider the weight he carries, the dispatch he makes, or the small expence of keeping him. Of these camels there are several kinds, some have two bunches upon their backs, and others but one, and there is a third sort, engendered between a dromedary, which is a camel with two bunches, and a female with one, which are most esteemed, and sell for 20l. or 30l. each; for these seldom tire, and will carry 900, or 1,000 lb. Those which travel between the Persian gulph, and Is­pahan, are of a much less size, and do not carry above 500 or 600 weight; but, notwithstanding this, are almost as serviceable as the other, being swifter of foot, and will gallop like a horse, whereas the other seldom go beyond a foot-pace. These swift camels are kept by the King and great men, to convey their women from place to place, and carry their baggage. They are usually adorned with embroidered cloths, and silver-bells about their necks. A string of six or seven of them are tied together when they travel, and governed by one man. They use neither bridle or halter to hold them in, or whips to drive them, but are governed by [Page 329] the driver's voice, who sings or plays to them, as they travel. It is in vain to beat them, if they tire; they never go the better for it. When they are to take up their burden, the driver touches their knees, on which they lie down on their bellies, till they are loaded, groan­ing, however, and giving signs of uneasiness, under a sense of the fatigue which they are about to undergo. This animal is very ill-qualified to travel on the snow, or wet ground: they carry their legs so wide apart, says Han­way, it often occasions their splitting themselves; so that, when they fall with great burdens, they seldom rise again. He met with several skeletons of camels so killed, lying near the road, the flesh of which had been devoured by wolves. In travelling they let them graze on the road-side, on weeds and thistles, with their burdens on their backs, and sometimes feed them with balls of barley-meal and chaff made into a paste, with which they often mix the cotton-seed. Considering the size of this animal, it is the smallest feeder of any beast; and it is a happy circumstance that they will live without wa­ter two or three days together; for there is scarce any to be met with in those desarts the caravans are obliged to cross. They shed their hair every spring, and are per­fectly naked. Of camels hair abundance of stuffs are made. They are very tame and tractable, except at rutting time, which lasts 30 or 40 days; and then they are more unruly, which makes the drivers increase their loads to keep down their flesh. When once a male has covered a female, he grows sluggish and unwilling to [Page 330] leave her. They copulate as other four-footed ani­mals do, except that the female lies down on her belly, as she does to receive her load. They go eleven months with young.

Oxen, buffaloes, apes, and mules, are also used indif­ferently for carrying of passengers, or burdens; and their land being ploughed by buffaloes and oxen, these beasts are seldom killed for food. The asses of Persia are much larger and swifter than ours, and will perform a journey very well. But the finest beasts are their horses. These are beautiful creatures, and no where better managed than in Persia. The breed of horses in Fars is at pre­sent very indifferent, owing to the ruinous state of the country, but in the province of Dushtistaàn, lying to the south-west, it is remarkably good. They have fine fore­heads, and are well proportioned, light, and sprightly, but only used for the saddle. They are never gelt, and wear their tails at full length. Though they are lovely creatures to look on, they are neither so swift as the Ara­bian horses, nor so hardy as the Tartars; and the King has always a stable of the Arabian breed. Horses are very dear in Persia, some of them being sold for two or three hundred pounds, and seldom for less than fifty pounds each. It is not so much their scarcity that occa­sions this price, as the numbers that are sold to India and Turkey. They have mules also that carry very well, and are sold at 30 and 40 pounds a-piece; and asses, that are taught to pace, are valued at nearly as much.

[Page 331]The common feed for horses is barley and chopped straw. They have no mangers in their stables, but give their horses corn in bags, as our hackney-coach­men do. In the spring, they cut green grass for their horses, but never make any into hay. Sometimes they feed their horses with barley-meal balls, as in India. In­stead of litter, their own dung is dried and beaten to powder, and laid a foot deep for them to lie on; and if any of it be wetted, it is dried in the sun the next day. Their horses' hoofs are much sounder and harder than ours, and they are shod (as are their oxen) with thin, light places.

They daub their horses legs in winter with the yellow herb Hannah, and sometimes anoint their bodies with it as high as the breast, to keep out the cold, as they say; but it appears to be rather done by way of orna­ment; for in some places they do it all the year round.

The King has large stables of horses, dispersed through­out the kingdom, almost in every city, for the public service. A horse is seldom refused to any man that asks for one, if he can, and will, keep it; but then such per­sons are accountable to government for them, when they shall be called out; but till then they may ride them. These troopers horses are sometimes quartered upon people against their consent; and if any horse dies in their hands, oath must be made that it did not die for want of food or care.

[Page 332]Of sheep and goats there are great plenty. The natives seldom eat any other meat. The sheep at Shirauz are of a superior flavour, owing to the excel­lence of the pasturage in that neighbourhood, and are remarkable for the fineness of their fleece. They have broad flat tails, as in Tartary and some other places, so large, that, Mr. Franklin says, he has seen some that weighed more than 30 pounds; but those which are sold in the markets don't weigh above six or seven pounds. [Such a sheep is represented in the Kalmuck Smoking Party, p. 302, vol. II.] They are remarkable also in some parts of Persia for having more horns than ours. I have seen some, says Chardin, with six or seven horns, some stand­ing strait out of their foreheads; so that when their rams engage, there is usually a great deal of blood spilt in the battle. Persian goats are good eating, and their wool or hair is so fine, that great quantities of it are exported. Hogs, there are scarce any; for, as the Mahomedans, who are the governing part of the nation, abhor this ani­mal, the Christians do not endeavour to increase the breed, unless about Georgia and Armenia, where the Christians are very numerous.

Insects, they are not much troubled with in the heart of Persia, which is very dry, unless it be with swarms of locusts which sometimes visit them: these fly in such numbers as to look like a cloud, and darken the sky, and, wherever they alight, destroy the fruits of the earth; but Providence has so ordained it, that there are certain [Page 333] birds, which generally visit the country about the same time, eat up the locusts, and so prevent the ruin of the husbandmen.

There are almost all the same sorts of tame and wild fowl in Persia as in Europe. Turkeys have been im­ported into Ispahan, but do not thrive there. Pigeons they take the utmost care to increase, on account of their dung, with which they raise their melons. Their dove­cots are five times as large ours, of around form, and hand­somely built of brick; and of these, it is said, there are not less than 3,000 in the city of Ispahan alone. This dung is usually sold for 4d. the bisty, or 12 pounds weight; and government has laid a small tax upon it.

As to eagles, hawks, falcons, and other birds of prey, there is no country where they have more, or where they are better instructed to take the prey, than in Persia. The King has 800 or 1,000 of them; and there is no man of any figure, without his hawks and his falconer.

As there are so few rivers, river-fish is very scarce, and seldom eaten; but the Caspian sea and the Persian gulph furnish them with plenty of sea-fish, of almost every kind.

CHAP. III. Of their Cities.

I PROCEED now to describe some of their principal cities; and as Ispahan is the capital, we will begin with that.

Ispahan, or as it is pronounced, Spahawn, lies in 32 degrees 40 minutes north latitude, and 50 degrees east longitude from London, It is situated in the pro­vince of Erack, which was the ancient Parthia, and now reckoned the principal province of the empire, being of very large extent, and almost in the centre of the Persian dominions. It stands in a fine plain, almost surrounded with mountains, which lie about two or three leagues from it, and the form is pretty oval. The river Senderhout runs by it, at about a mile distance; but there are several channels and pipes above the town, which convey the water from it into canals and basons, for the use of the city. The town is without walls, and about ten or twelve miles in circuit. Some travellers have said it is ten leagues round, but they must take in Julpha, a town on the other side of the river, about a mile from Ispahan, and about two miles square; the streets are wider than those of Ispahan, with trees planted in [Page 335] them, and gardens round the houses, so that it resembles a country village. It is inhabited by a colony of Ar­menians, though there are some Georgians, and several other Christian inhabitants, and also some convents of Europeans, but no Mahomedans. But to return to Ispahan.

There were formerly twelve gates to the city, but four of them are now shut up. The streets are generally narrowand crooked, and either exceedingly dirty or dusty, not being paved. Though there are no coaches or carts, yet all the people, of any distinction, riding through them, with great trains of servants, renders them very unpleasant. There are, however, some very fine squares in the town, particularly the Meydan, or Royal Square, into which opens two of the palace gates. On the sides of this square, which is one-third of a mile in length, and more than half as much broad, are buildings much like the New Exchange in the Strand, London, a covered way, with shops on both sides, where every particular trade has a quarter assigned; and there is a second story, where mechanicks have their working shops. There seems to be little difference between these Exchanges and ours, except that those of Ispahan have no windows, but great openings at proper distances to let in the light; and people ride through them as along the streets. In the middle of the square there is a market for horses and cattle, and all manner of goods and eatables are exposed to sale. On that side of the [Page 336] square next the palace, there is a fine row of trees, and a handsome bason of water: and some great brass guns, taken from the Portuguese at Ormus, serve to make a show. At the south end of the square is a great mosque, and another on the east side, over against the great gate of the palace. Several streets are covered and arched over, which makes them pretty dark, and this seems to be peculiar to the Persian towns; as is, that their houses are at some distance from their shops. It is a common thing for a tradesman to go half a mile in the morning to the bazar, or market-place, where his shop is; and at night he locks up his valuable goods in chests and counters, and the rest are left packed up in the open square; and seldom is any thing lost, so care­ful are the watch appointed to guard the market-place, and so very little are the people, in this part of the world, given to thieving. Indeed the speedy and exemplary punishments inflicted upon pilferers, is one great means to deter them from it.

Foreign merchants lodge their goods in the public caravanseras, of which there are not less than 1,500 in the city of Ispahan. These are large buildings erected, from time to time, by charitable people for the use of strangers, which serve them also instead of inns for lodging and diet; but there is this difference between an inn and a caravansera, that, in the last, every one finds his own bedding and cookery, whereas in the first we have not that trouble. There are two things, however, [Page 337] that render a caravansera preferable to an inn; one is, that a person is not subject to extortion, but buys his provision at the best hand; and the other, that let the merchant take up ever so many rooms, he is not dis­turbed in them, and pays but a trifle for warehouse and lodging, and on the road he pays nothing. Most of them are built on the same plan, and differ only in dimensions. There is a handsome portal at the entrance of each cara­vansera, on the sides of which are shops, from whence you enter into a quadrangle, round which there is a cloister, or piazza, and within are lodging-rooms and warehouses for goods. There is also stabling and con­veniences for horses and other beasts on the outside, or they may be brought into the quadrangle, and there tied; which is common on the roads, where there is no danger of robbers. In short, both in the cities, and on the road, these caravanseras are empty, unfurnished inns, which travellers may make use of at their pleasure. Some have basons of water in the centre of he qua­drangle.

As the Mahomedan religion prevents the use of wine, there are no taverns in Ispahan, though some of the Persians will drink pretty plentifully in private; but there are handsome coffee-houses in the principal parts of the town, where people meet and talk politics, though they have no printed news-papers. In such places we meet with some amusement peculiar to the country, as the harangues of their poets, historians, and priests, [Page 338] who hold forth and get a crowd about them, as Dr. Byfield, of comical memory, did formerly in London in the coffee-houses about the Exchange and Temple; and, it seems, they expect a small present from their audi­ence for the entertainment.

The palace, with the gardens belonging to it, takes up above a league in compass. Over the two gates, which come up to the royal meydan, or square, is a gallery, where the Sophi or King used to sit and see mar­tial exercises p [...]rformed on horseback. No part of the palace, where the court resides, reaches this square; but, having entered the principal gate, there is a hall or court-room on the left hand, where the vizier and other judges administer justice on certain days; and, on the right, are rooms where offenders are allowed to take sanctuary. From hence to the hall, where the King usually gives audience, is a handsome covered walk. It is a long room beautifully painted and gilt, and sup­ported by 40 pillars, divided into three parts, one a step higher than the other, on which the great officers stand according to their rank. As to hereditary nobility, there is no such thing in Persia. On the third ascent is the royal throne, raised about a foot and a half from the floor, and about eight feet square, on which is spread a rich carpet. Here the King sits cross-legged upon so­lemn occasions, having a brocaded cushion under him, and another at his back. This is the only part of the palace which foreigners, can see; of the rest, and particu­larly [Page 339] the haram, or women's apartments, as none but eunuchs are permitted to enter them, no exact descrip­tion can be given; but they are said to consist of sepa­rate pleasure-houses, dispersed about the gardens, much in the same form with those of persons of distinction, which I shall describe; and that their great beauty consists in fine walks, fountains, and cascades. Be­yond the garden the Sophi has a large park walled in, where the ladies hunt, and take their pleasure with the prince.

I will endeavour to enliven this detail with some descriptions of the royal harams in Ispahan. A thousand fanciful things have been related, and merely on the strength of imagination, respecting these places, which travellers have never been admitted to see; some par­ticulars, however, have been learned from the eunuchs and women, who frequent those apartments, and furnish the ladies with toys. From these we understand, that the women's quarter of the palace is the most magnificent, and best furnished of the whole, the prince spending the best part of his time here. It is said also, that the eco­nomy of this inward palace is much the same with the outer, and that the women have their several posts and employments here, as the men have in the other; that there are stewards, secretaries, treasurers, guards, &c. all of the fair sex; whose cabals frequently embarrass and frustrate the best-laid designs of the ministers without.

[Page 340]In the haram there are three ranks of women; first, princesses which are born there, whom they call Begum, as they do the princesses of the blood-royal in the court of the Mogul: second, those by whom the King has any children, or who are his mis­tresses, these have the title of Canum, corresponding to that of Chan, or Khan, among the men: and, third, those whom the king has never taken to his embraces, and many of whom he scarcely knows, these are called Katun, or ladies only. All the rest have the appellation of slaves, and are employed in servile of­fices.

In the royal haram are several distinct buildings, which have no communication with each other. When a King dies, those ladies with whom he has conversed as wives, are shut up in a quarter by themselves, from whence they are not permitted to stir out as long as they live, unless it be the mother of the succeeding prince, who has generally great influence in affairs, and almost a sovereign authority within the limits of the haram.

When a son or brother of the King's is marriageable, he generally gives him the choice of a mistress among the ladies of the haram, and sometimes of two or more, according to the love he bears him; he gives him also such a number of domestics as are suitable to his rank, consisting of female slaves and eunuchs, and an apart­ment [Page 341] in the palace, where he remains confined. The mothers of these princes and their servants generally re­tire with them to keep them company; for these princes are never after to have any conversation with the rest of the haram, without the King's leave. If they are ever known to have an intrigue with any other ladies, than those they have made choice of, it is fatal to both parties: a single glance only, is as much as their lives are worth. And what is still worse, they are excluded from the con­versation of all men, except the eunuchs, who are placed about them; so that should they succeed to the crown, they are as ignorant of all worldly affairs, as if they had just dropped from the clouds. As to the young prin­cesses, their mothers generally use their interest with the King to get them married, as soon as they are of a proper age.

There are a great variety of beauties confined in the King of Persia's haram, for the chans and governors are continually sending up a fresh supply of young virgins from all parts of his dominions. If they hear of a beautiful girl in any family, they immediately demand her; and her parents are not much averse to parting with her, but are rather proud they have an opportunity of obliging their prince, especially as it may be a means of raising the whole family. For whenever a young per­son enters the haram, a pension is settled on her nearest relation. If she becomes a confidant, or mistress to the King, the pension is increased; and if he has children [Page 342] by her, she seldom fails to procure the advancement of all her relations. In the haram are the daughters of some of the governors of provinces, and the greatest lords of the court; but there are many more Georgians and Circassian women of meaner birth, these being said to excel the rest of the world in beauty, and some of these generally captivate the young monarch's heart.

What is reported of the unnatural and cruel practices in the haram is very shocking. So long as the King is without children, every one of his mistresses is desirous of having one, in hopes that their issue will succeed to the crown, in which their happiness very much depends; but when they find the King has several children, they do all they can to prevent having them, or to procure abortion; for, except the first happy woman that has a child, the rest, after they have any, are confined to an apartment, where they live in perpetual apprehension of having their children murdered; or, at least, deprived of sight, upon barbarous maxims of state, that there may be no competitors for the crown, as a blind-man is not permitted to reign. This cruelty seldom fails to be executed sooner or later, either in the reign of the pre­sent King, or that of his successor.

Hence it is, that the ladies of the haram dread nothing so much as having children. Their principal aim is to be married to some great man; which they sometimes [Page 343] accomplish by insinuating themselves into the good graces of the King's mother, the mother of his eldest son, or the King himself. The King's mother holds a constant correspondence with the ministers of state, who frequently desire her to bestow on them one of the ladies of the haram, in hopes of advancing their interest at court; and happy is she who is thus given to a great man, as she thereby becomes a wife, according to the Persian law, is mistress of his house, and is treated as the daughter of a King.

The women of the haram, when they grow too nu­merous, are sometimes also married to clear the palace, and lessen the expence; but those who have been with child by the King, are seldom, if ever, sent out of the haram, which is one reason they are not very fond of his favours. Abbas II. who reigned in the middle of the last century, it is said, caused one of his beloved mistresses to be burnt alive, because she slighted his embraces. He sent her word, it seems, one evening, that he designed to have her company that night; to which she answered, that she was not in a state fit to approach his majesty, on account of a certain indisposition. The King, therefore, deferred his visit, but went to see her the next morning, and find­ing that she had deceived him, he slew into a passion, and ordering a fire to be made, caused her to be burnt in his presence.

[Page 344]The guards of the haram are composed of three dif­ferent bodies, 1. The white eunuchs, who guard the outer gate. These never come within sight of the wo­men, lest it should incite in them an amorous inclination. 2. The black eunuchs. These are generally from the coast of Malabar. Their station is in the second court, and the oldest and most deformed of these are selected to attend the ladies, and carry messages to and fro. The rest are employed either in the gardens, kitchens, or other places remote from the women's apartments. 3. The third and innermost guard, it is said, are com­posed of women, commanded by some antiquated ma­tron, who receives orders from the prince himself, and conveys his majesty's commands by the eunuchs which attend, to the guards without.

The women of the haram are all lodged in separate chambers, or, at most, two in one room, in which case they put an old woman and a young one together.

The ladies of one apartment are not suffered to visit those of another, without leave. This is to prevent quarrels among rival mistresses, or, as some say, left they should fall in love with each other, and be guilty of in­decent familiarities, which is not uncommon in the East, where they are so strictly kept from the conversation of men. The women who frequent the haram, report sur­prising things of the passion these young women have for each other, of the jealousies they entertain of their [Page 345] rivals, and of the plots and conspiracies of one favou­rite mistress against another. Those who delight the King most with their singing, their dancing, or their wit, are sure to become the envy of the rest; and the King is not a little troubled sometimes with their con­trivances to betray and supplant one another. When he is provoked, he will order one to be confined, another to be beaten, and a third, perhaps, from a favourite, is turned among the common slaves. Nay, he proceeds so far sometimes as to put them to death, so that a se­raglio, or haram, is far from being that earthly paradise some are apt to imagine.

It is reported also, that the greatest part of the royal infants are put to death as soon as born, to prevent their being too numerous. The King's mother has the di­rection of these matters; and her orders are executed, without the least horror or remorse. She is, as it were, the governess of all her son's mistresses and favourites: their fortune, and that of their children seems to be en­tirely in her hands, and it is not easy for them, without her, to preserve the King's affection long. The King is never formally married to any of his mistresses, but takes which of the ladies he pleases to his bed, without any manner of ceremony. Those he is intimate with, are but a small number. The others indeed, sing, dance, and play, before him, and contribute to his pleasures in another manner; but, from the distractions he meets with in a variety of consorts, he frequently fixes upon some [Page 346] one, who may properly enough be stiled, the Queen of the Haram. Amid such a number of rival beauties, the prince is sensible he can have but the hearts of a very few, and she whom he most admires, perhaps has least affection to his person. Happy is the lady whom the King admires, and can make him believe she has an equal passion for him!

The ladies of the Haram never visit out of the palace, but receive the visits of their female relations: and it is observed, in general, throughout Persia, that those of the greatest quality of that sex, stir the least from home, scarce ever going abroad, but on some extraordinary occasion, as to a wedding, a lying-in, or upon some fes­tival: but when they do go, their visits usually last seven or eight hours. They take with them their she-slaves and eunuchs, and the husband, usually sends a gover­nante and eunuchs of his own, to observe their con­duct.

As these ladies follow the King to his other palaces, or to camp in time of war, they travel always in the night. A troop of horse usually marches a hundred paces before them, and another troop in the rear, crying out, Courouc, Courouc, by which every man more than seven years of age, understands he is to retire to a proper distance. The eunuchs with their batons also on horseback, march between the guards and the women, and if any man is found in the way, or within the limits prohibited, he is [Page 347] put to death. If they march through a city, the men in the street through which they pass, and those adjoin­ing, are all obliged to leave their houses, and fly to some other part of the town, as those of the villages are, for a league together, on the right and left of the road through which they are to march; and a detachment of dragoons is usually sent half a day before, to drive them away. They fire a musquet at little intervals, to give notice of their approach, and all men that hear it, fly as fast as they can. And it is said, there are frequent examples of men being killed by the eunuchs, who have not been wise enough, or fortunate enough, to get out of the way in time.

In the city of Ispahan, are above 150 Mahomedan mosques or temples, covered with domes or cupolas, which, appearing through the trees that are planted al­most all over the town, in the streets or gardens, afford an agreeable prospect; but the common buildings are so low, as scarce to be discernable by one who takes a view of the town from without.

As no Christian is admitted within their mosques, it is not easy to meet with a particular description of them. Those who have seen the great mosque of Ispahan, in disguise, tell us, there is a gate leading to it, covered with silver plates. Through this, we proceed to a qua­drangle, with a piazza on each side, where the priests lodge who belong to the mosque. In the centre, is a large [Page 348] bason of water, where the people wash themselves before they enter the temple. In this spuare, opposite the great gate, are three large doors, which open into it. The whole building consists of five aisles, beautified with gold and azure. In the middle is the cupola, sup­ported by four, great, square pillars. The aisles, on the sides, are lower than the middle one, and borne up, by thick columns of free-stone. Two great windows to­wards the top of the middle aisle, give light to the whole mosque. On the left, towards the middle, stands a kind of pulpit, with stone-steps to go up to it. There are no seats or pews, as in Christian churches, or any kind of imagery or pictures; but the floor is carpeted, and all per­sons put off their shoes on entering. The walls within, are lined 15 feet high, with white polished marble. The building without, is stone, but painted with varnish-colours, and on the cupola, is a tower where the priests go up to summon the people to their devotion; for no bells are made use of.

Mr. Franklin, who got admission, in disguise, into the chief mosque at Shirauz, and who is most to be relied on, gives the following description of it; and as these tem­ples throughout the country are similar to each other, one description will serve for all. It is of a square form; in the centre is a stone reservoir of water, made for per­forming the necessary ablutions, or washings, previous to prayer. On the four sides of the building are arched apartments, allotted for devotions, some of the fronts of [Page 349] which are covered with china tiles, others with a blue and white enamelled work. Within these recesses or apartments, on the walls on each side, are various sen­tences engraved from the Koran, in the Nuskhi character; and at the upper end of the square, is a large dome with a cupola at top. This is the place appropriated for the devotion of the Vakeel or regent. It is lined through­out with white marble, ornamented with curious blue and gold, artificial lapis lazuli, and has three large silver lamps suspended from the centre of the dome. Here Mullahs, or priests, are constantly employed in reading the Koran. This mosque has very good detached apart­ments, with places for ablutions and other religious cere­monies; and, at a little distance, on the outside, are a range of handsome buildings, inhabited by Mullahs, Dervises, and other religious men.

There are here, a number of hummums or bagnios; some of these are square buildings, but most of them round, built with white polished stone, and covered with tiles, painted blue. The inside is divided into many re­cesses or chambers, some for pleasure, and others for sweating; and the floors are laid with black and white marble. The Persians bathe almost every day, consi­dering it as healthy, and an effectual remedy for colds and other disorders.

But what is admired as much by foreigners, as any thing about Ispahan, is the Charbag. This is a walk [Page 350] above 100 yards wide, and a mile long, reaching from the city to the river. On each side are planted double rows of trees, and in the middle runs a canal, not conti­nued on a level; but at the distance of every furlong, the water falls into a large bason, forming a cascade. The sides, both of the canal and basons, are lined with hewn stone, broad enough for several men to walk a-breast. On each side of this walk, are the royal gardens, and those of great men, with pleasure-houses, at a small distance; and the whole together, forms as agreeable a place and prospect, as can be conceived.

At the end of this walk is a bridge over the river, which leads to Julpha. There are also two other bridges, one on the right, and the other on the left, by which the neighbouring villages have a communication with the city. The architecture of these bridges is uncom­mon. This river is not navigable, though, in spring, owing to the melting of the snows on the mountains, it is almost as broad as the Thames at London, yet in summer the channel is exceedingly narrow and shallow, scarce sufficient to supply the city with water. Now, not being navigable, the arches of the bridges are not very high, and on each side, both above and below, are covered passages through which people ride from one end of the bridge to the other, as in the covered streets of the city; and at little distances there are openings to admit of light.

[Page 351]Sir John Chardin tells us, the East-India Company had a factory at Ispahan, but being so harrassed and oppressed in the civil wars, the Company ordered their servants to retire to Bossora, the territory of which is governed by its own prince, but tributary to the Grand Signior. This city stands on the Tigris, two days journey below Bagdat. Owing to these wars, out of 100,000 magnificent houses in Ispahan only 5,000 are now inhabited; and among these are 57 colleges of royal foundations. Another reason of the houses going to ruin is, that every generation chuses to build new houses to live in, and of course never repair those of their ancestors.

The houses of persons of quality are generally built in the middle of a fine garden, and make little or no ap­pearance in the streets. We see nothing but a dead wall, with a great gate in the middle, and perhaps a screen or wall within the gate, to prevent persons looking in: so fond are they of privacy and retirement; far from our method of building, where we lay our country-seats as open as possible, and seem to intimate, that there is no enjoyment in the finest palaces, but what results from the admiration of the crowd that passes by our gates. Their houses have but one floor, laid out as follows: In the front of the house stands the virando, being a little piazza open before, where they sit and transact their com­mon affairs; beyond this is a large hall, the divan, 18 or 20 feet high, used at great entertainments, or on any solemn occasions. On the farther side of the house is [Page 352] another virando, with a bason, a fountain of water be­fore it, beyond which runs a walk of fine trees, as there does also from the street to the house. At each corner of the hall is a parlour, or lodging-room (for it serves both purposes occasionally). Between these parlours on the sides there are doors out of the hall into an open square space, as large as the rooms are at the corners. There are also several doors out of the hall into the virando, before and behind the house; so that in hot weather they can set open nine or ten doors at once in the great hall to give air. In some palaces there is a ha [...]some bason, and a fountain playing, in the middle of the hall, which contributes still more to its coolness. The walls of their houses are built sometimes of burnt bricks, but most commonly of bricks dried in the sun. The walls are of considerable thickness, and the roof of the great hall is arched, and five or six feet higher than the other rooms about it. The roofs of the buildings, on every side of the hall, are flat, with a ballustrade round them; and there is a pair of stairs up to the top, where the family walks in the cool of the day, and sometimes carry up a matrass, and lie there all night. The kitchens, and other offices are at a distance on the right and left, and all their rooms, except the hall, stand detached from each other, having no passage from one to another, ex­cept from the hall. There are some few chimnies, but in general, instead of a chimney, the rooms have a round hole, about four or five feet diameter, and a foot and a half deep, in the middle of the room, in which a [Page 353] charcoal fire is made, and the place covered with a thick board or table about a foot high, so close that no smoke can get out; and over this table is thrown a large carpet, under which they put their legs in cold weather, and sit round, there being a passage for the smoke by pipes under the floor.

The doors of their houses are narrow, and seldom turn upon hinges, but there is a round piece left at the top and bottom of the door, which are let into a frame above and below, on which they turn; and the very locks and bolts are frequently made of wood. Their furniture consists only of carpets spread on the floor, with cushions and pillows to lean on; and at night a matrass is brought to sleep on, and a quilt or two to cover them, but very seldom any sheets. The Persians lay in their under­garments. Servants lie about in any passage on mats, and take up but little room. The floors are either paved or made up of a hard cement, on which they lay a coarse cloth, and over that a carpet. The sides of the rooms are lined, about three feet high, with fine tiles not unlike the Dutch tiles, and the rest of the wall painted or hung with pictures. The houses of the inferior peo­ple are built on the same plan, as much like those I have described as they can afford, and the palaces of princes are only more lofty and more magnificent.

In the city of Casbin, Hanway says, the aivan or hall, has niches in the wall or recesses, which answers [Page 354] the purpose of tables. The floors are covered with large worsted carpets; and round the sides are felts made with wool or camel's hair, very soft and thick, about three feet wide, and from seven to nine long, placed there to sit on. In this hall the family sits, when they do not retire to the women's apartments, where no man but the master of it is admitted. The haram, or women's apartment is, generally, for the sake of privacy, entered by two turnings. This city stands on very high land, though a plain, and surrounded by mountains, and the houses in general, of which only 1,100 are inhabited out of 12,000, the rest being in ruins, or are sunk below the surface of the earth, as are many of the gardens ad­joining them, for the convenience of being on a level with the water brought to Casbin in channels from a considerable distance. They are built with sun-dried bricks, and cemented with strong lime; the rest are flat, and the family in summer-time often sleep on the top of them. These buildings are enclosed with a mud-wall.

There is a palace in this city built about 40 years ago, which Hanway thus describes. The entrance is formed by an avenue of lofty trees, near 300 yards long, and 15 or 20 broad; the wall round it is about a mile and a half English, in circumference, thick and lofty, having one entrance, an arched gate. Within the gate are four large squares, with lofty trees, fountains, and running water, which makes the place awful and ma­jestic. [Page 355] The apartments are raised about six feet from the ground. The aivan, or open hall, is in the centre, and shut in with falling doors. The apartments are ornamented in an Indian taste, and the cielings formed into small squares embellished with writings, of moral sentences, in very legible characters. Most of the windows are of thick coloured glass, made transparent, and painted with such art, and in such proper shades, that the glass seems cut into the several figures it is designed to represent. Many of the floors are only of hard earth, and others of a composition of beaten stone, and all covered with carpeting.

The haram of this palace is magnificent, consisting of a square surrounded by brick walls, about 30 feet high, and two feet and a half thick. Within are four distinct apartments, in some of which are fountains to give coolness and refresh the air. The rooms are lined with stucco-work, painted in the Indian taste, with birds and flowers of different magnitude; the colours beautiful, and set off with gilt edges. The aparments have small chimney-pieces in a mean taste, and some are orna­mented with looking-glasses, in small squares of many different dimensions set into the walls. There are also some few apartments below ground admirably contrived for coolness. Near the haram is the eunuchs' apart­ment, remarkable for having but one door, and that a very strong one. This new palace is built adjoining to the old one, of which some few of the apartments are [Page 356] still standing, and ornamented with some bad pieces of European figures by European painters. The Persians themselves are as ignorant of shades as the Chinese: the apartments where the Shah, or King kept his Casbin treasury, Mr. Hanway was not permitted to see, nor even the place where it stood; but he was told it contained above 20,000,000 of crowns, or four millions of our money; and that part of it was in large ingots of gold, run into cavities in the earth, the better to secure it from plunder.

Casbin is enclosed within a wall above a mile in each square side, with a great number of regular turrets and port-holes for arrows. It is renowned in history, as being one of the chief cities of ancient Parthia, the residence of many of the Persian Kings, and the burial place of Ephes­tion, the favourite of Alexander the Great. Here is a very noted caravansera, with a large entrance and mag­nificent dome, which cost 27,000 crowns.

At Ashreef, on the Caspian sea, is another palace. Over the gate, which forms the entrance, are the arms of Persia, viz. a lion, with the sun rising behind it, alluding to the strength and glory of the Persian monarchy. Within this gate is a long avenue, on each side of which are 30 apartments intended for a royal guard. The next gate in front opens into a garden, in the middle of which is a canal made with stone about three feet wide, and one deep, in which runs a stream of water, which has four [Page 357] falls about an ell high, 30 yards distant from each other, each having a small bason and fountain. These falls must have a fine effect; for, on the side near the stream, holes are cut to fix candles at equal distances, to the num­ber of about 1000. At the head of these is a large stone bason, about six feet deep. In the building near this bason, is a sumptuous aivan, or hall, painted with gold flowers, on a blue ground, very well executed. Here are also several portraits, seem to have been done by a Hollander, but no masterly hand: on the sides of the aivan are several small apartments, and behind it, three other cascades, falling down the side of a steep mountain covered with wood.

The garden consists chiefly in walks, bordered by very large pines, orange and other fruit-trees dispersed in beds, with streams of water running between them. Hence, says Mr. Hanway, I was carried into another garden much in the same taste, in which stood the haram. There was no person in it; yet, being the women's apart­ment, it was considered as sacred, and we were not per­mitted to enter it. Before it was a large bason of water, and a square with marble benches at each corner. A sycamore tree of a prodigious size, in the centre shaded the whole with its extended branches. Here were also cascades as before. Thence we were conducted to a banquetting-house, which was dedicated to a grandson of Ali. Out of respect to this place, we were desired to leave our swords at the door. The solemnity with which [Page 358] we were conducted struck me with a kind of religious awe; but this was soon changed into contempt, for the rooms were adorned with paintings, that could only please a voluptuous Mahomedan, all executed by a European hand, but ill done. The room had no furniture, but a number of rich carpets, at that time, piled up in great heaps.

We were shewn a fourth house and garden, in which was the spring that gave water to the greatest part of the whole. In this was a stately dome, whose top was in­differently well painted, and the walls were covered with Dutch tiles, as high as the gallery. At some distance from thi [...], is a small building seemingly intended for an observatory. The whole commands a view of a very fine country, the Caspian sea, being about five miles distance; and a distant prospect of the great mountain Demoan, on which the Persians say, the ark rested, though the Armenians ascribe this honour to mount Ararat, which is here also visible in clear weather. The vicinity of the mountains on the back of this palace, the nu­merous cascades, and the music of the birds, gave me many pleasing ideas; but the unhappy situation of the people from the miseries of acivil war, and the dispositions of a tyrant, still returned to my thoughts, blunted the edge of that I might otherwise have received.

Shirauz is the second city in magnitude in all Persia. It is the capital of the province of Fars, and lies in the latitude 29 degrees, 30 minutes, about 200 miles south [Page 359] of Ispahan. Tradition says, Cyrus the great and foun­der of the Persian empire was here buried, and it was thence called Shirauz. It is situated in a valley of great extent and surprizing fertility. This valley is 26 miles long, and 12 broad, and is surrounded on all sides by mountains. The city, in circumference, is one furseng and 60 measured paces; each furseng, four English miles: it is well fortified considering the country. A wall ex­tends quite round the city, 25 feet high, and 10 thick, with round towers at the distance of 80 paces from each other. It has a most excellent ditch round it, made but a few years past, 60 feet deep, and 20 broad. This alone, exclusive of the other works, would enable the city, to hold out a long time against any power in Persia, where artillery is but little known and less used.

The city has six gates guarded by 100 men each, and four officers, who every morning and evening attend at the citadel to pay their compliments to the Khan, or King, or, in his absence, to the Beglerbeg, or him next in rank. It is the duty of these guards, to prevent all persons leaving the city without a pass; and if any person ob­noxious to government, escapes, the officer's head an­swers for it. The gates are shut at sun-set, and opened at sun-rise, before which time, no one can go out or come in.

At the upper end of the city, stands the citadel, built of burnt brick, a square of 80 yards circumference, [Page 360] flanked with round towers, and encompassed with a dry fosse, of the same breadth and depth as that of the city; Here, Jaafer Khan, the King of the southern provinces, resides. It also serves occasionally, as a state prison. Opposite to the citadel, in a large handsome square, is a gallery, where the Khan's music, consisting of trumpets, kettle-drums, and other instruments, plays regularly at sun-rise and sun-set. When the Khan is in camp, or on a journey, they are always placed in a tent near him. One side of this square leads to the Dewàn Khàna, a chamber of audience; and the other leads up to the great mosque. This chamber is a very handsome building situated at the upper end of a large garden, to which you are conducted through an avenue planted on each side, with a Persian tree, a species of the sycamore. The room is of an oblong form, with an open front, the inside, about one third up the wall, lined with white marble from Tauris, and the cieling and other parts, ornamented with a beautiful, gold, enamelled work, in imitation of lapis lazuli. There are several portraits in it, tolerably well executed and good likenesses. In front, there are three handsome fountains, with stone basons constantly playing.

In the great square before the citadel, is the Tope Khàna, or p [...] of artillery. This consists of several pieces of cannon mounted on bad carriages. Most of the guns (which are Spanish and Portuguese, excepting [Page 361] two English 20 pounders) are so dreadfully honey­combed, that they would certainly burst, on the first discharge.

The city has many good bazars and caravanseras. The great market is a covered street, about a quarter of a mile long, built entirely of brick, and roofed some­thing in the stile of the Piazzas in Covent Garden, lofty, and well made. On each side are shops, in which a variety of goods are exposed to sale. These shops are the pro­perty of the Khan, who rents them to the merchants at a very easy monthly rate. There are different bazars in Shirauz, for different companies of artificers, such as goldsmiths, workers of tin, dyers, carpenters, joiners, hatters, and shoemakers. These consist of long, co­vered streets, built very regularly.

The Jews of Shirauz have a quarter allotted to them, for which they pay a large tax to government, and are obliged to make considerable presents. These peo­ple are more odious to the Persians, than those of any other faith; and every opportunity is taken to oppress and extort money from them; the very boys in the street being accustomed to beat and insult them, of which treatment they dare not complain. The Indians have a caravansera allowed them in another quarter of the city, for which they are also under contributions. There is a mint at Shirauz, where money is coined in the name of Jaafar Khan the present possessor. Here the public [Page 362] Seràfs, or money-changers, sit, and regulate the exchange of gold and silver.

By the words, present possessor, I would be understood to say, that this nobleman now reigns as King of Persia, in Shirauz, though another competitor for the crown, a eunuch, has taken possession of the northern part of the kingdom; for, since the death of Kerim Khan in 1779, an officer in Nadir Shah's service, who, after two years civil wars from the death of Nadir, seated himself on the throne, and had reigned peaceably and unmolested for 30 years, residing at Shirauz, under the title of Vakeel or regent, for he would never be called Shah, and who had took great pains to restore Persia to its former splendor. The country has been torn by civil wars, arising from sundry claimants to the throne; and as, when Mr. Franklin was at Shirauz in 1787, there were two reigning Kings in Persia, and these were at war with each other, there was but little hopes of the country's recovering from the ruin­ous state it has long been in, for some time to come. To shew the tyrannical disposition of the Persian mo­narchs, we need only give, from Mr. Franklin's work, a short detail of Zikea Khan's conduct, who usurped the throne on the death of Kerim Khan.

When the death of Kerim Khan was announced in Shirauz, says Mr. Franklin, much confusion arose. Two and twenty of the principal officers of high rank and fa­mily, with the eldest son of Kerim, took possession of [Page 363] the citadel, determining to support that son, as their so­vereign against all other pretenders. But Zikea Khan a relation of Kerim's by the mother's side, possessed of immense wealth, bribed great part of the army, stormed the citadel, and, finding he could not take it by force, had recourse to treachery. To each of the principal officers in the citadel, he sent a written paper, by which he swore upon the Koran, that if they would come out and sub­mit to him, they should have his protection, and their effects should be secured to them. As they could not hold the place against him, they relied on his promises, and agreed to surrender. In the mean time, Zikea gave private orders to seize them all, had them brought before him, separately, as they came out from the citadel; and these deluded men, were all massacred in his presence. He was seated the whole time, feasting his eyes on the cruel spectacle. The manner of their execution was very singular, and characteristic of the sanguinary dispo­sition of the tyrant. Five or six Pehlwaums or wrestlers, being stripped naked to the waist, were armed with scy­mitars; each of them successively singled out a victim, and cut him to pieces: their bodies were thrown into the square before the palace. Kerim's son's life was spared, but made a state-prisoner, and the adherents of these of­ficers were taken into Zikea's pay. Another claimant to the crown starting up, Zikea marched against him, and on his arrival at Yezdekhast, about six days journey north of Shirauz, he sent word to the inhabitants, that he expected they would deliver up to him the sum of [Page 364] 3,000 Tomans, (about 5000l. English) which had been carried from Shirauz at the time of Kerim Khan's death. This money had been previously sent to the governor of Ispahan, appointed by the Shah who resides at Ispahan, and who has possession of the northern parts of Persia, Jaafar only possessing the southern provinces. The in­habitants sending word back they had not the money, and knew not what was become of it, he ordered eighteen of the principal people of the place to be brought before him. When they appeared, he again demanded what was become of the money? they still pleaded ignorance, but in vain; for the cruel tyrant or­dered them to be thrown down the precipice which hangs over the so tress of Yezdekhast. The sentence was im­mediately executed, and they were all crushed to atoms. Still unsatiated with blood, and irritated by disappoint­ment, this monster gave orders for a Seiud to be brought before him. This was a man universally respected for his piety and exemplary life, and whom the people sup­posed to be a descendant of their prophet Mahomet. On his arrival in Zikea's presence, he asked him, as he had done before of the 18 principal inhabitants, where the 3,000 Tomans were concealed, and charged him him with having embezzled a part of them. In vain did the Se [...]ud plead his ignorance and innocence. Zikea with a savage fury, first ordered him to be ripped up and thrown over the precipice, which was instantly ex­ecuted, and then commanded the wife and daughter of the unhappy man to be given up to the brutal lust of the [Page 365] soldiery; but they, fortunately, were more merciful than their master; and being struck with indignation at this cruel insult, on a religious man, who from his descent was deemed a sacred character, even amongst the licen­tious, were fired with impatience to get rid of such a sacrilegious monster. After the above horrid scene, Zikea gave orders to have the fortress of Yezdekhast razed to the ground, and it was immediately begun; but the measure of the tyrant's iniquity was full, he did not live to see his order completed. Seventy of the Goolaums, or body-guard, having entered into a resolu­tion to destroy him, waited the approach of night, to put their design into execution. Accordingly, about nine in the evening, they, in a body, drew near the ty­rant's tent, where they perceived him sitting with his pis­tols and drawn scymitar by his side; for he was never unarmed. The sight of the tyrant so daunted some of them, that, out of the 70, seven only had courage sufficient to approach him. These seven, without the smallest hesitation, cut the ropes of his tent with their scymitars, which falling in, and entangling him, the other men rushed in, and his body was cut into a thou­sand pieces, and scattered over the encampment by the enraged soldiery. From the death of this man, the country was again torn by civil wars, and was in this state November 1788.

Shirauz has many fine mosques, the chief of which I have described, and a square building, of a very large size, [Page 366] formerly a college of considerable note, where the arts and sciences were taught, but it is now decaying very fast, and has only a few priests and religious men residing in it. There are places here distinguished by the name of Zoòr Khàna, the house of strength, or exercise, to which the Persians resort for the sake of exercising them­selves. These houses consist of one room, with the floor sunk about two feet below the surface of the earth, and the light and air are admitted to the apartment by means of several small apertures, perforated in the dome. In the centre is a large square terrace, or platform of earth, well beaten down, smooth and even; and on each side are small alcoves, raised about two feet above the platform, where the musicians and spectators are seated. When all the competitors are assembled, which is on every Friday morning, at day-break, they immediately strip themselves to the waist, on which each man puts on a pair of thick woollen drawers, and takes in his hands two wooden clubs, about a foot and a half in length, and cut in the shape of a pear, these they rest on each shoulder, and the music striking up, they move them backward and forward, with great agility, stamp­ing with their feet at the same time, and straining every nerve, till they produce a very profuse perspiration. After continuing this exercise about half an hour, the master of the house, who is always one of them, and is distinguished by the appellation of Pehlwaùn, or wrestler, makes a signal, on which they all leave off, quit their clubs, and, joining hands in a circle, begin to move [Page 367] their feet very briskly, in time with the music, which is all the time playing a lively tune: having continued this for a considerable time, they commence wrestling; but, before this trial of skill begins, the master of the house addresses the company in a set speech, in which he tells the candidates, that, as they are all met in good fellowship, so ought they to depart; and that, in the contest they are about entering into, they should have no malice, or ill-will in their hearts, it being only an honourable emula­tion, and trial of strength, in which they are going to exert themselves, and not a contentious brawl; he there­fore cautions them to proceed in good humour, and concord. This speech is loudly applauded, and the wrestling begins. The master of the house is always the challenger, and, being accustomed to the exercise, is generally the conqueror, by throwing each of the com­pany two or three times successively. The spectators each pay a Shahee, equal to three-pence English, for which they are refreshed with a calean, that is, a pipe of tobacco, and coffee. This mode of exercise must con­tribute to health, and add strength and manly appearance to the frame, and bears some resemblance to the gym­nastic exercises of the ancients.


This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. This Phase I text is available for reuse, according to the terms of Creative Commons 0 1.0 Universal. The text can be copied, modified, distributed and performed, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.