« PoprzedniaDalej »
Mr. Frier, and partly from her own exertions, had managed to pick up something,' that served to make quite a comfortable meal. Jerry ate his dinner in silence, but his wife thought he manifested more tenderness and less selfishness, than she had known him to exhibit for years ; for instead of appropriating the most and the best of the food to himself, he several times placed fair proportions of it upon the plates of his wife and each of the children.
The next morning, before the sun had dried the dew from the grass, whoever passed the haying-field of Mr. Nat. Frier, might have beheld Jerry Guttridge busily at work, shaking out the wet hay to the sun; and for a month afterward, the passer-by might have seen him, every day, early and late, in that and the adjoining fields, a perfect pattern of industry.
A change soon became perceptible in the condition and circumstances of his family. His house began to wear more of an air of comfort, outside and in. His wife improved in health and spirits, and little Bobby became a fat, hearty boy, and grew like a pumpkin. And years afterward, Mrs. Guttridge was heard to say, that, 'somehow, ever since that 'ere trial, Mr. Guttridge's natur seemed to be entirely changed !'
Now's the time when Winter 's going
From the bowers he blighted long; Now's the time when Spring is glowing,
Breathing into blooin and song; When green buds are hourly springing,
In soft bed and sunny vale; When ihe merry birds are singing,
Fearless, round ihe cottage pale; And, a long.expected comer,
From the gardens of the south, Swims in sighi the blushing Summer,
Sweet in smiles, and warm in youth. Gladsome notes are floating by ns,
And from earth a murinur steals, Softly, which must still ally us
To the clod that breathes and feels. Life is round us in the breezes,
In the ground a labor grows, And the humblest motion pleases,
Thai from living fountain flows. Stagnant now no more, and frozen,
Lo! the waters flash and run, And the lake unfettered glows in
The new glances of the sun. Stoop to earth the ear, and listen;
Hark! the murmur from below; Lift the upward eyes -- they glisten
With the rich and rosy glow. Wide and wondrous is the dwelling,
Where the lovely builder works, And the murmur upward swelling,
Tells us where her agent lurks. Prompt and ready at her summons,
When the signal sounds of spring,
Lo! arise her peers and commons,
Fleet of fooi and wild of wing.
Free to spin, to build, and moil;
Though they waken still to toil.
Silken robes and honied spring;
Since they fly, and flying sing.
What unequal forms appear!
Seem the princes of the air.
Stooping only to partake
Which they never stoop to make.
Neither do they toil nor spin,
Life and happiness they win:
Heedless of the tribes, that low,
Grope in earth, and groping, grow. 'T were meet answer to repining,
Did the lowly grub deplore; "These were made for soaring, ehining,
Shining, singing, as they soar. When thou wear'st a golden pinion,
Bright like that which soars so free, Thou shalt have a like dominion,
And the grub shall toil for thee.'
SKETCHES OF A TRIP TO LAKE SUPERIOR.
HENRY R. SCHOOLCRAFT.
Gitchee Naigow, 1838. The traveller has no sooner entered the vast expanse of waters beyond the Igomean capes, than he anticipates something like a nonfulfilment of the imposing promise of the contiguous mountain scenery, made by their rocky altitude. Mountains, it is true, are in store for him, and cliffs, and falls, and cascades, and caves of most fearful aspect, amid all the rude magnificence of nature ; but he must traverse miles of the liquid plain, bounded by a coast of sand and bare hills, before these higher treasures of the grand and picturesque can be enjoyed. In passing these shores, a broad inland sea is before him. The waters are clear and blue. The sky is bright, and the air pure and fresh. Often the duck starts, with her half-fledged brood, from some sandy cove, or the gull displays her pointed wings, in rapid flight. Sometimes a raven on the distant sands excites a temporary interest in the voyager, under the impression of approaching a bear, or some monster of the forest; for the effects of refraction and mirage, along these shores, are often most surprising. Once we saw a beautiful martin nimbly retrace its steps from the water's edge up a steep bank into the forest, and more than once, the men landed to get a shot at a bald eagle.
Nor is the structure of the coast itself, in these less elevated parts, without interest. A bright stratum of pure yellow sand serves as a basis for the growth of pines, of two or three varieties. The water's edge exhibits a fringe of rolled pebbles, sufficiently varied in color, shape, and composition, to delight the most inveterate geologist. And between this assembled representation of all that is primitive and transitive, or medial and submedial, spreads a broad and smooth belt of hard sand, on which we had several fine races with the children. To walk here, away from the busy world; to breathe the pure air, and drink into the eye delicious views of the noblest lake in the world; is one of the purest enjoyments of life. And where there are so many objects to excite reflection, and delight the senses, it is impossible not to look from nature up to nature's God, who has spread out so beautiful a creation for human occupancy. In some places there are extensive layers of peat, elevated several feet above the lake, and in others, pure massy beds of the finest iron sand, without a particle of admixture. And there is enough of this article, on the shores of this lake, to supply all the counting-houses in the world. At all places, the shores are so clean and sweet, that a person might sit down to his meals, or port-folio, without in the least soiling his clothes.
The tempests of autumn and spring have cast over these sandy coasts the decorticated and washed trunks of trees from other shores, which, after having been thus drained of their sap, and dried in the sun, furnish excellent fire-wood, and put it in the power of the traveller always to enjoy a cheerful camp-fire. We were often induced to sit around our evening fires, gazing at the stars of the northern hemis
phere, and recounting the little incidents of the day's journey, until admonished by the falling dew that it was time to retire to our tents. For nearly two days, this formation of oceanic sand, elevated into moderate hills and ridges, forms the constant rest for the eye on the American shore. Toward the north, the conic and serrated pinnacles of Marmoage and Gorgontwa display their blue tops across this embayed part of the lake, and these elevated peaks are not lost sight of, in fair weather, until the voyager has passed a day's journey beyond Whitefish Point.
Early in the morning of our first day beyond the capes, we crossed a wide bay, on the southern shore of which rest the bones of Shingaba Wossin, a politic chief, of noble stature and bearing, who died at this spot, in the autumn of 1828. This chief was, for many years, the leader and ruler of the Odjibwa, or as they are commonly called, Chippewa nation, and evinced a foresight and interest in their public affairs, which reflect the highest credit on his memory. From the establishment of a garrison and agency in this quarter, in 1822, he evinced a friendship for the Americans, which was strengthened by his intercourse with the department. He appeared, from the outset, to understand the true policy of his people, and employed the last eight years of his life in efforts to secure their best interests.
Blest be the spot that marks the chieftain's tomb!
Whitefish Point is a bleak, sandy peninsula, projecting a long distance into the lake; and it is not easy to account for its not being swept away by periodical tempests, without the supposition that this loose body of sand and gravel rests on a rocky basis. Namikong, the name of this point in the Odjibwa, affords an instance of the concise and expressive character of this language, which I will only detain you by remarking, is a compound derivative from the particle na, excelling or abounding, amik, beaver, and ong, a particle of locality ; the interior of this part of the country having been formerly noted for the abundance of this animal. It is particularly from the extremity of this prominent point, westward, that the character of the shore strikes the visitor as rather plain and uniform. But this succession of lake sands is terminated by a scene as novel as it is grand. The great sand dunes of Lake Superior, called • Grandes Sables,' by the French, are almost unique in American scenery. It was late in the afternoon of our third day from St. Mary's, before we turned the point of coast which first brought this imposing sight in view. A long line of high, naked, arid coast, suddenly burst upon us, as if thrown up by an enchanter's rod. To one who has never observed scenery of this kind, there is really nothing with which to compare it. The vast accumulated strata of sand stands up from the water's edge, like a precipice. There is not a tree or a shrub to detract from its bleak Arabic character, for miles together; and what renders it the more remarkable, is the exact parallelism of the summit of these sands. There are dense woods to the east and west of them; and the wonder seems, how this part of the coast should have been stripped of its original forest, and its light materials subjected to be whirled, by every storm, in showers of sand, and yet preserve its parallel summit lines. As the sun struck its full rays against these banks, they assumed the whiteness of stone, and stood out like vast structures of marble. The air whistles over these bleak and denuded heights, with a force that makes it difficult to keep one's breath.
We landed on the narrow belt of sand, at the foot of these sandy elevations. The acclivity is less abrupt than it appears, at a distance, and does not probably exceed an angle of sixty degrees with the horizon. In a few moments, the entire party, children and men, were in motion, on its ascent, and the strife seemed to be, who should scale it first. I admired the stalwart strength of one of our Chippewa guides, who, seeing the renewed efforts of my son, a boy of nine, to disentangle his feet from the yielding and rolling sand, took him by the hands, and mounted the acclivity, as with the strength of a giant. Having ascended, on a prior occasion, and Mrs. S. being an invalid in the boat, I amused myself along the beach below, wbile the others went up to explore the summits of this northern Sahara. They brought down, on their return, small fragments of granitic stone, of a vitreous lustre, having somewhat the appearance of volcanic action, together with minute but well-characterized specimens of red cornelian. This is, I think, the original locality of the coricus pitcheri, and we procured here also a number of specimens of a plant, from the root of which the Indians extract a most beautiful carmine.
In my inquiries of the Indians respecting their oral superstitions, I found that these dunes were regarded as a vast, magnificent palace, the interior of which is inhabited by a class of powerful spirits, or necromancers, recognised in their mythology. The inmates, according to these tales, had only to thrust their hands through the windows, to obtain their fish from the lake. On these sands the natives also affect to point out the tracks of their Puk Wudj Ininees, or little men, which are a species of Lilliputians, or fairies. There is a bright and beautiful lake, called Leelinau, about half a mile back from the brink of the precipice, which cannot be less than two hundred feet above the level of the lake. Nothing can be more beautifully wild and sylvan than its shores, covered as they are with thrifty oaks, and spotted with shrubbery to its very borders.
Pusabikong, 1838. As we drew near the precipitous coast called Azhebik, or Pictured Rocks, I directed the man to keep close under the cliffs, being aware that they appear to better advantage from a near view. The day was one of the pleasantest of the season, with the lake calm, and not a cloud to intercept the full rays of the sun; so that the shadow of the rocks upon the water constituted no small part of our enjoyment. For hours, we fixed our gaze on the varying scene. The rock rises abruptly from the water, and ascends to the height of several hundred feet. It is not, however, the grandeur of altitude that constitutes the leading impression. It would not be difficult to refer to more ele
vated masses of rock, rising precipitously above sea or river waters; but the geography of the continent, if not of the world, may be challenged for so magnificent a display of variegated and at the same time elevated coast scenery, exhibiting such varied shapes of architectural-like ruins, and bathing their massive and columnar frontsin so wide spread and pellucid an expanse of waters.
There is much in the minuter features of such a scene, to elicit admiration ; but to our party, the principal impression arose from the strong appeal external nature here makes to the senses, in favor of the power and existence of the invisible hand, which called the scene into being. To see these vast inanimate masses of rock, piled up in paralleled grandeur for miles along the coast; subjected, by the action of water, to endless mutations of forms, and yet maintaining their imposing outline undestroyed, cannot but furnish a strong proof of the wisdom of that Power, which has so exactly adapted the influence of resistance, to the force of continued action. Go where you will, amid the rude and disrupted scenes of the continent, and the mind is drawn from geologic effects to their remote as well as perhaps proximate causes; but it requires a visit to Lake Superior, to contemplate the existence of those causes in a form which even the skeptic must acknowledge.
For the distance of about twelve miles, this panoramic display of precipices and caverns, arches, turrets, and pillars, and broad-sweeping façades, characterizes the shore; and it only requires the sun at a certain angle, during a perfect calm, to see the whole lofty superstructure reflected, in a reversed form, in the limpid mirror of the lake's surface. We gazed, as others have heretofore, and will hereafter gaze, upon the Cascade, the The Doric Rock, or · Le Chapel,'
Le Portail,' the Great Cavern, the Turret Rock, and other points, each of which requires a drawing and a description, in detail, to be fully comprehended. Those who have lively imaginations, can see in the mottled and various colors upon the face of these rocks, shapes of all sorts and hues, from Dr. Syntax in search of the picturesque, to the formal and demure cut of the Roundhead, or the headlong zeal of the Crusader. And very many were the likes' and • resemblances' which the party found. Danger, indeed, came before satiety.
As we began to approach their western termination, the wind gradually freshened, and although blowing off the shore, the reaction of the waves against its prominent abutments, and within the dark-mouthed
caverns, produced a sound terrific indeed to female ears. And for · several miles, the absorbing object was to make a harbor. We suc
ceeded in getting into the mouth of the little river Pusabikong, although not without shipping several waves, as the boat grounded on the sand-bar, which drives the waters of the stream against the rock, at the very point of their exit into the lake. This is the miner's river of the north-west fur traders.
At this spot, we were detained twenty-four hours, and had the gratification of seeing the lake under the influence of a tempest. During its continuance, we were obliged to shift our tents to a more interior position. The waves were wrought up into winrows of foam, and the spray and water were thrown up an incredible distance. All night the deep resounding roar of the tempest rang in our ears.
In the 56