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dogs; and after satisfying themselves ice there.' They again asked, What that the canal was impassable, one of creatures these were ? pointing to the them in particular seemed to acquire ships: to which Sacheuse replied, that confidence. Shouts, words, and ges- they were houses made of wood.' This tures, were exchanged for some time they seemed still to discredit, answerto no purpose, though each party ing, ‘No, they are alive, we have seen seemed, in some degree, to recognise them move their wings.' Sacheuse each other's language. Sacheuse, after now inquired of them what they thema time, thought he could discover that selves were? to which they replied, they spoke the Humooke dialect, they were men, and lived in that direcdrawling out their words, however, to tion, pointing to the North ; that there an unusual length. He immediately was much water there; and they had adopted that dialect, and, holding up come here to fish for sea-unicorns. It the presents, called out to them, Kah- was then agreed that Sacheuse should keite, Come on!' to which they an- pass the chasm to them, and he accordswered, Naakrie, naakrieai-plaite, 'No, ingly returned to the ship to make his no; go away ;' and other words, which report, and to ask for a plank. he made out to mean that they “ During the whole of this conversahoped we were not come to destroy tion, I had been employed with a good them. The boldest then approached telescope in observing their motions, to the edge of the canal, and drawing and beheld the first man approach from his boot a knife, repeated, “Go with every mark of fear and distrust, away; I can kill you.' Sacheuse, not looking frequently behind to the other intimidated, told them that he was two, and beckoning to come on, as if also a man and a friend, and at the for support. They occasionally resame time threw across the canal some treated, then advanced again, with strings of beads, and a checked shirt; cautious steps, in the attitude of listbut these they beheld with great dis-ening, generally keeping one hand trust and apprehension, still calling, down by their knees, in readiness to . Go away; don't kill us.' Sacheuse pull out a knife which they had in now threw them an English knife, say-their boots ; in the other hand they ing, "Take that.' On this they ap- held their whips with the lash coiled proached with caution, picked up the up; their sledges remained at a little knife, then shouted and pulled their distance, the fourth man being appa
These actions were imitated rently stationed to keep them in readiby Sacheuse, who in return called out, ness for escape. Sometimes they drew
Heigh, yaw!' pulling his nose with back the covering they had on their the same gesture. They now pointed heads, as if wishing to catch the most to the shirt, demanding what it was ? distant sounds; at which time I could and when told it was an article of discern their features, displaying exclothing, asked of what skin it was treme terror and amazement, while made? Sacheuse replied, it was made every limb appeared to tremble as they of the hair of an animal which they moved. Sacheuse was directed to enhad never seen; on which they picked tice thein to the ship, and two men it up with expressions of surprise. were now sent with a plank, which They now began to ask many ques- was accordingly placed across the tions ; for by this time they found the chasm. They appeared still much language spoken by themselves and alarmed, and requested that Sacheuse Sacheuse had sufficient resemblance only should come over; he accordingly to enable them to hold some commu- passed to the opposite side, on which nication.
they earnestly besought him not to “ They first pointed to the ships, touch them, as, if he did, they should eagerly asking, · What great creatures certainly die. After he had used many those were ? Do they come from the arguments to persuade them that he Sun or the Moon ?'
Do they give us was flesh and blood, the native who light by night or by day ?' Sacheuse had shown most courage ventured to told them, that he was a man, that he touch his hand, then pulling himself had a father and mother like them by the nose, set up a shout, in which selves; and, pointing to the South, said, he was joined by Sacheuse, and the that he came from a distant country in other three. The presents were then that direction. To this they answered, distributed, consisting of two or three * That cannot be, there is nothing but articles of clothing, and a few strings
of beads; after which Sacheuse ex- | in the snow, and went on with the changed a knife for one of theirs.” sledge; by which we were convinced
The impression on the minds of that he knew he was doing wrong. these ignorant beings, that if touched The seaman, on finding the hammer, by any of these supposed spirits they left off the pursuit, and returned; while should die, arose from a superstition he went off, and was seen no more not peculiar to themselves; and though that day.” this apprehension was afterwards dis- Those which remained pelled by more tangible feeling, a si- conducted to the gun-room, and aftermilar notion, that death would be the wards round the ship, but without apconsequence of their eating any thing pearing to distinguish any thing parbelonging to the wondrous strangers, ticularly, except the wood in her conwas not so easily destroyed; for Capt. struction, stamping on the deck, as if Sabine says, they could not be pre- in evident surprise at the quantity of vailed on to do more than put biscuit this valuable material. In hopes of in their mouth; they would wait till amusing them, the violin was sent for, unobserved, and then throw it away. and some tunes played; they, how
After much persuasion, they were ever, paid no attention to this, seemprevailed on to come on board the ed quite unconcerned, either about the ship; but when on board, that which sounds or the performer-a sufficient most surprised them was, the size of proof that the love of music is an acthe timber, their country producing no quired taste, and that it requires expetree or shrub thicker than a finger. rience to distinguish between that and “ Their knowledge of wood seemed to other similar noises. A flute was afterbe limited to some heath of a dwarfish wards sounded for them, which seemed growth, with stems no thicker than to excite somewhat more attention ; the finger, and accordingly they knew probably from resembling more nearly not what to think of the timber they in shape the objects to which they were saw on board.
Not being aware of accustomed; one of them put it to his its weight, two or three of them, suc- mouth and blew it, but immediately cessively, seized on the spare top-mast, threw it away.' evidently with the view of carrying it They have no knowledge of depictoff; and as soon as they became fami- ing any visible object, for on being liar with the people around them, they shewn prints of the natives of Otaheite, shewed that desire of possessing what they attempted to grasp them. Their they admired, which is so universal knowledge of the powers of numbers is among savages. The only thing they not less contracted. looked on with contempt was a little By directing their attention to “ the terrier dog, judging, no doubt, that it pieces of ice that surrounded the was too small for drawing a sledge: vessel, Captain Ross endeavoured to but they shrunk back, as if in terror, ascertain how far they could calculate, from a pig, whose pricked ears and for the purpose of estimating the poferocious aspect, being of the Shetland pulation of their tribe.” “ We found, breed, presented a somewhat formid- however, says he, they could only able appearance. This animal hap- reckon to ten, and on inquiring if their pening to grunt, one of them was so country possessed as many inhabitants terrified, that he became from that | as there were pieces of ice, they remoment uneasy, and appeared impa- plied, “ many more;' a thousand fragtient to get out of the ship. In carry- ments were perhaps then floating round ing his purpose into effect, however, the ship.” They have no definitive he did not lose his propensity to thiev- methods of marking the progress of ing, as he seized and endeavoured to time, and therefore knew not what carry off the smith's anvil ; finding to-morrow' meant, but expressed that he could not remove it, he laid their crude conception by intimating, hold of the large hammer, threw it on that they would eat and sleep in the the ice, and following it himself, deli- mean while. As an apology for their berately set it on his sledge, and made deficiency in the science of Horology, off. As this was an article I could not it should be remembered, that they spare, I sent a person to recover it, have little more than one day and one who followed him, hallooing, and soon night in the year; and their entire ungot pretty near him. Seeing that he acquaintance with mechanical contrimust be overtaken, he artfully sunk it vances precludes their adoption of any
artificial means of measuring the flight control over the members, but he is of hours. Their language resembles interfered with by no other authority.” in many cases that of the more south- Sacheuse inquired if they had a pisa- . ern tribes, and Captain Ross has given suak among them? (i. e. one who can a list of terms of this description. Their kill more seals than his neighbour, sledges are formed of pieces of bone, either by stratagem or strength, and is fastened together with thongs of seal held in regard accordingly,) they said, skin. They had no knowledge what there was such a man, that he was ever of canoes, nor indeed in their then at their winter residence, and that language have they any term to repre- his name was Tolonak, (or the Raven) sent them. This is perhaps their most that he was a very good man, was singular peculiarity; and, considering much beloved, but was getting old. their maritime situation and modes They have among them Angekoks, or of life, and that the use of the canoe conjurors, who' profess to have control forms so prominent a part in the know- over the elements, to raise storms, or ledge and practice of all the other di- produce calms; to drive the seals visions of the Esquimaux family, it is away from the ice, or allure them to inconceivable how they could remain those parts, &c. and these powers they ignorant of it so long ; but it is another pretend to communicate to those they instance of the blankness of the un- wish ; one of these marvellous men is assisted human mind.
generally found in each family. They have a tradition, that their Previous to the visit of our countryancestors caught whales;' and there- men, the natives imagined that they fore probably employed canoes; but were the only inhabitants of the world, this generation can do neither the one and that beyond the white cliffs that nor the other.
There exists amongst surround their sphere of excursion, all them, as amongst all savages, a strong was a wilderness of ice.
They apdisposition to steal, and Capt. Sabine peared to be affectionately attached to represents them to be very dexterous their wives and children, as they said adepts in the art. This we consider they would carry the presents they reunfavourable to the high moral charac-ceived, such as necklaces, &c. to their ter given of them by Capt. Ross; as, daughters. Will the ladies allow us from several circumstances, they had to smile at the evidence adduced here evidently a conviction of the crimi- of their inherent fondness of personal nality of this vice. They subsist en-decoration, • of outward shew elabotirely on the product of the sea; in- rate, of inward less exact? We asdeed, there appears to be no other sure them, at the same time, that we resource for them, as the climate is are ready cordially to receive substanincapable of producing vegetable food tial arguments on the other side of the to any extent, though we are rather at question. a loss to know, why a wholesome and It does not appear, so far as a parpleasant aliment might not be found tial intercourse with the natives, and in the hares and game that are stated | an imperfect acquaintance with their by the natives to abound. Numbers | language, would enable our voyagers to of black foxes were seen by the crews, | ascertain the fact, that they had any and Captain Ross is of opinion that a distinct knowledge of a Supreme lucrative fur trade might be establish- Being, or any conception of a future ed here, and abundanco of fish might state. Captain Ross says-" It was be obtained in the bay.
clearly ascertained that they did not In the winter season, the only light worship either sun, moon, stars, and warmth that cheer their miserable image, or living creature.” And when dwellings, proceed from a vegetable one of them was asked, what the sun moss, which is burnt in seal oil, con- and moon were for? his reply was, “To tained in a stone bason, suspended give light.” He had no idea how he from the roof. They produce their came into being; and with respect to fire by the friction of iron and stone, futurity, he could proceed no further or of two bones. Mr. Sabine says, than, that when he died, he should
they reside in families, nor had we be put into the ground.” Captain Sareason to believe that they differ in bine, in his account, says, “ So far as their social regulations in any respect we could learn, their superstitions are from the general custom of the Esqui- precisely similar to those described by maux, The head of the family has | Crantz and Egede. Torgarsuk is the
principal object of their religious ve- teristics by which these Esquimaux neration; they have the same mytho- were distinguished, are thus mentionlogical fable of the sun and moon, on ed by Captain Ross. “ They could which is founded Johnson's beautiful not be made to understand what was tale of Anningaut and Aiut, in the meant by war, nor had they any warRambler." Of this curious fiction, like weapons. They seemed to have the following are the outlines :
no diseases among them, nor could we “ The Greenlanders believe that the learn that they died of any complaints sun and moon are sister and brother. peculiar to this or any other country. They, with other children, were once We saw no deformed persons among playing together in the dark, when them, nor could we find out that there Aninga behaving rudely to his sister were any." The first of these excelMalina, she rubbed her hands in the lent and enviable peculiarities, if true, soot about the extinguished lamp, and may arise from the singular fact of smeared his face, that she might dis- their not being acquainted with any cover by day-light who was her tor- human beings besides themselves; but mentor: and thus the dusky spots on we think there are indications of their the moon had their origin ; for she, regal governor swaying his icy sceptre struggling to escape, slipped out of with no small degree of authority. Inhis arms, soared aloft, and became the deed the three peculiarities are such, sun. He followed up into the firma- as put our faith to a test of great sevement, and was transformed into the rity; and we think it safest to attrimoon; but as he has never been able bate their supposed existence, to the to rise so high as she, he continues deficiency of the means and opporturunning after her, with the vain hope nities possessed by the voyagers, of of overtaking her. When he is tired holding communication with the naand hungry, in his last quarter, he sets tives. We would risk something on out from his house a seal-hunting, on the event of their Metropolis being a sledge drawn by four great dogs, and visited, and found destitute of such stays several days abroad to recruit prominent traits in the general chaand fatten; and this produces the full racter of corrupted humanity.
He rejoices when the women The persons of these Arctic Highdie, and Malina, in revenge, rejoices | landers, as Capt. Ross has patriotically when the men die: therefore the men designated them, are of a dirty copper keep at home during an eclipse of the colour: their stature is about five feet; sun, and the women during an eclipse they are corpulent; and have features of the moon.
When he is in eclipse, much resembling the Esquimaux of Aninga prowls about the dwellings of South Greenland ; they wear beards the Greenlanders, to plague the fe- and mustachios, but have no whiskers. males, and steal provisions and skins, Several of them had lost their front nay, even to kill those persons who teeth, by holding in their dogs with have not duly observed the laws of them. Their dress is the same as that temperance. At these times they hide of South Greenlanders, being made of their most precious goods; and the skins of the bear, the dog, and the seal. men carry kettles and chests to the The women have the same habiliments, tops of their houses, and rattle upon but none of the fair sex were seen by them with cudgels, to frighten away the our voyagers. The only weapons scen moon, and make him return to his in their possession were very rugged place in the sky. During an eclipse knives, made by affixing small pieces of the sun, the men skulk in terror into of iron in the end of a handle of bone ; the darkest corners, while the women and very rude spears about five feet pinch the ears of their dogs ; and if long, made of pieces of bone of the sea these cry out, it is a sure omen that unicorn. These instruments were prothe end of the world is not yet come ; bably used when they attacked seals. for as dogs existed before men, ac- A singular account is given of the iron cording to Greenland logic, they must produced in this country. One of the have a quicker foresight into futurity. natives, in answer to an inquiry reShould the dogs be mute, (which of specting it, said “ it was not English course they never are, under such ill nor Danish, but Esquimaux iron; that treatment,) then the dissolution of all it was got from two large stones on a things must be at hand.”
hill near a part of the coast which we But the most extraordinary charac- had lately passed, and which was now
in sight; the stones were very hard ; | evidence in behalf of the views he is that small pieces were knocked off so anxious to support, does not tend from them, and beat flat between other rather to subvert those views, and give stones. He repeated this account more than an implied testimony in two or three times, so that no doubt favor of a very different doctrine. It remained of his meaning. In reply to would appear, it is presumed, that other questions, we gathered from him, Buffier, notwithstanding his willingthat he had never heard of such stones ness to have made the wager proposed, in South Greenland ; that the Esqui- yet actually never met with a person to maux had said, they knew of no others bet with him ; and if so, then how does but these two; that the iron breaks off it appear that it was not, to use his from the stone just in the state we saw own words, necessarily decreed" it, and was beat flat without being that he should not raise his hand thrice heated. Our subsequent visitors con- successively in any given quarter of an firmed the above account, and added hour, in his whole life, and that he one curious circumstance, that the never should obtain a guinea by any stones are not alike, one being alto such means? Had he manifested any gether iron, and so hard and difficult reluctance to wagers in general, or had to break, that their supply is obtained he been indifferent to the experiment entirely from the other, which is com- which he offered, it would not have posed principally of a hard and dark told so strongly against him ; but havrock; and by breaking it, they get ing no scruples, being fully determined small pieces of iron out, which they to make the trial, and so anxious to beat as we see them. One of the men commence it, that he offers a thousand being asked to describe the size of guineas to one to have it decided in each of the stones, made a motion fifteen minutes: yet, after all this dewith his hands, conveying the impres termination and desire on his part, in sion of a cube of two feet; and added, point of fact does not do it, and never that it would go through the skylight could get the opportunity. Which, it of the cabin, which was rather larger. is inquired, does this look the more The hill is in about 76° 10' lat. and like, the “ freedom of human action," 64°}' long. ; it is called by the natives or, fixed fate?” But, suppose it Sowilic, derived from sowic, the name possible, that Buffier should have met for iron amongst these people, as well with the poor tool, which was so neces
amongst the southern Green- sary for the display of his favourite deanders.” Its meteoric origin seems monstration ; he admits, that such a to be quite a settled point, especially person would be in danger of passing since its analysis in England has pro- for a fool, if not so in reality, which duced the usual portion of nickel. all must agree to; for either mad or But we find it rather hard to compre- foolish he certainly must have been. hend, how a cube of iron could be sus- But, now to the doctrine of liberty: pended in the atmosphere, till it at- was this poor fellow lunatic or simple tained the dimension of two feet. from free choice? And how came [To be concluded in our next.]
Buffier to meet with this unfortunate, just at the full of the moon, when
under the influence of one of his worst OBSERVATIONS ON BUFFIER's singu- paroxysms? Was this too, of free
will and liberty ?
But, whosoever might bet with Buf[Inserted, No. 5, Imp. Mag. col. 414.]
fier, respecting the lifting up of his hand, &c. he could only take the alter
native, that he should, or should not SIR,
lift it up ; for to do both is a natural The writer of this, as well as your impossibility. Buffier, therefore, could correspondent S, in your last number, do but one of these, and that one did is convinced in his judgment of the not depend upon his own free agency fact, that man is free; but whether he in any respect, but upon another's, has precisely the same idea of freedom, over whom he could have no control; with that correspondent, he is not pre- and why then might it not be accordpared to assert. Nor is he quite cer- ing to a previous decree? Suppose tain, that the singular wager of Buffier, the wager concluded, and it be, that instead of supplying any favourable within the prescribed time he shall not
TO THE EDITOR OF THE IMPERIAL