« 上一頁繼續 »
« Old pines, that darkly skirt the circling hills,
Bend down in grateful awe, -
With Love's unbroken law !
“ Bear the glad tidings to your sister seas,
Mediterranean waves !
Silent the thunderous caves !
"And would my spirit from Earth's embasing rule
Were in this moment riven !
– Vol. 11. pp. 81 – 84. " A Dream in a Gondola” is a piece of a good deal of beauty, marred with defects already alluded to; for example, the following awkward expression of a very common remark, occasioned by the fear of saying a thing in the usual way.
" It is the nature of the Life of Dream,
To make all action of our mental springs,
Be as the unfolding of most usual things.”
Bosomer of the Poet's wearied mind,
Friend, mistress, sister ; and when death's release
– Vol. 11. pp. 44, 45. Some of these lines are very sweet, and we can entirely sympathize in this relish for the luxury of the gondola. But the general strain and expression is got up ; it is contortion without inspiration, and so wholly make-believe, that it is clear, from the closing lines, the poet did not perceive whether he were alone or in company. In the first lines quoted we also see how his very common fault, of seeking for effect by unusual expression, leads to far-fetched and questionable terms ; “ cradler of pleasures,” "bosomer of the mind,” “enfolder of feelings,” are not very happy designations for a boat. So, too, in an address to a child of nine years, he gives thanks, that the “ unnatural bondage of a school ” has not
« Blasphemed the Godhead of thy vernal years ; ”. which may be very strong, but it is very bad.
We wish that we could speak with more unqualified praise of a book, which has left so favorable an impression of the character of its author. Perhaps we are too insensible to its beauties, and too alive to its faults. If so, we shall not prevent its finding admirers, while we shall feel, that we have only discharged a duty in pointing out blemishes, which some might take for beauties, and doing what we may to put a stop to errors sanctioned by such an example.
Art. IV. - Algic Researches, comprising Inquiries respect
ing the Mental Characteristics of the North American Indians. First Series. Indian Tales and Legends. In Two Volumes. By Henry Rowe SCHOOLCRAFT, Author of a Narrative Journal of Travels to the Sources of the Mississippi ; Travels in the Central Portions of the Mississippi Valley ; An Expedition to Itasca Lake, &c. New York: Harper & Brothers. 12mo. pp. 248 and 244.
Several years since, a few gentlemen of intelligence in the Northwest associated themselves for the purpose of col
lecting facts relating to the Indian character, condition, &c., and putting them into a shape to be preserved. The first suggestion of this society came, we believe, from Mr. H. R. Schoolcraft, who was very properly placed at the head of it, and who gave the name, “Algic,” by which it was known, - a term formed from the Indian word from which Alleghany is taken, and denoting "all that family of tribes, which, about A. D. 1600, was spread out, with local exceptions, along the Atlantic, between Pamlico Sound and the Gulf of the St. Lawrence, extending northwest to the Missinipi of Hudson's Bay, and west to the Mississippi.” Mr. Schoolcraft at once set himself at work to fulfil the purpose for which this society was formed, or rather, began to arrange his past labors, and proceeded to further researches with new zeal. We have not heard what was done by others. It is probable, that Mr. Schoolcraft alone has produced any useful result, though other members may have encouraged his zeal, and urged on his progress.
In the “ General Considerations,” prefixed to the volumes, of which the foregoing is the title, Mr. Schoolcraft remarks, upon the collections he has made respecting the Indians, that “materials exist” (that is, have been collected by him) “sor separate observations on their oral traditions, fictitious and historical ; their hieroglyphics, music, and poetry ; and the grammatical structure of the languages, their principles of combination, and the actual state of their vocabulary.” Out of these materials he has chosen, for pressent publication, the “ Oral Tales,” which form a “ First Series” of his “ Algic Researches.” When the other series are to appear, " will depend,” Mr. Schoolcraft says, “ upon the interest manifested by the public in the subject, and the leisure and health necessary to the examination of a mass of original papers, the accumulation of nearly twenty years." That this interest will be manifested, we not only hope, but believe. We cannot admit, that the opportunity to acquire such valuable stores of information on the “ mythology, distinctive opinions, and intellectual character” of the Indians, is likely to be lost through lukewarmness, or want of proper patronage, on the part of the reading public. These interesting points relate to a race, which, from being the sole possessors of the Western hemisphere, — the new world which Columbus discovered and opened to the old, —
has dwindled into fractions of people, fast becoming less and less, with a principle of decay mingled in their institutions, or pervading their customs, which threatens them, in spite of all the efforts of philanthropy and conservative legislation, with extinction in the course of a few generations. However we may regard the causes which have produced this result, and wherever we may incline to fix the responsibility of having put them in operation, we shall not the less value all memorials that give us an insight into the babits and opinions of this fated race. In the same degree that we deplore the hard destiny that is hunting it down, and feel a sorrowful conviction that it is inevitable, we shall prize all evidences that are recorded to assist us, and those who may come after us, in judging of them in these respects.
No traveller has ever been among the Indians without gathering up something, which he considered illustrative of their customs, languages, or history, well knowing that the public curiosity was awake to all such sketches; that they dashed a spice into his pages. Thus far we have had but small means to determine the authenticity of these accounts. They were often discredited by disagreement, but we had no standard by which we could determine the right. In the works which Mr. Schoolcraft now gives to the public, and those which are to follow, we may flatter ourselves, that this standard is likely to be set up. His advantages have been great, and almost peculiar. Before he became fixed among the Indians in an official capacity, he had passed through their wide-spread country in many and various directions, as his “ Travels ” show. He had thus far seen them under all the aspects which present themselves to the eye of ordinary travellers. His books of travels all contain much information relative to the tribes he saw ; but this information was necessarily superficial, excepting as to externals, numbers, &c. In this respect he was like his predecessors, excepting, perhaps, that he did not profess to have seen so much as they
It is well known to all who have had even a slight acquaintance with the Indians, that they are wrapped up in a close reserve before most of the whites, — all of them, with whom they have not become familiarized by long intercourse. Rapid observers, such as all travellers are, see little except this assumed exterior, which is intended to conceal, perhaps
to mislead. And it is most naturally impenetrable in proportion to the inquisitiveness which assails it. Hence such persons catch only views of the surface, and are left to conjecture as to all beneath. These conjectures, as might be expected, have been wild and jarring. Still, they were all, or nearly all, we were likely to have. It was scarcely probable, that any intelligent and well-educated man would be among the Indians for a series of years, upon a footing of unreserved intimacy, making the study of their character a constant object of zealous and benevolent pursuit. The sacrifice appeared to be such as very few would be willing to make. But Mr. Schoolcraft has been in that position; with what qualifications to improve it, the public well know.
Soon after his return from his travels with Governor Cass, in 1920, Mr. Schoolcraft determined to fix himself on the verge of the Northwest settlements, whence he might leisurely survey the grounds over which he had necessarily been hurried by the limits of a summer's tour, and where he might also have the Indian constantly under his eye, in all his varieties of character and condition. Accordingly he accepted an appointment under the government in the Indian Department, which established him over a large area as Superintendent of the Indians, having paternal relations with them, which must lead, in due course of time, to circumstances of intimacy, most favorable to the designs of a liberal curiosity. But this was not the chief advantage which Mr. Schoolcraft enjoyed. In this he might have been only on a footing with many of his contemporaries or predecessors, except in his literary tastes, and his fondness for investigation. At the Sault Ste. Marie, which was his station, Mr. Schoolcraft found an Irish gentleman, who had early obeyed the impulse of an adventurous spirit, and left his native country to embark in the fur-trade, a calling, which, at that time, held out strong inducements to all who were to be lured by a love of novel enterprise, as well as by a promise of easily gotten wealth. Mr. Johnson, while yet a young man, had established himself at the Sault as a fur-trader ; thence making excursions, at proper seasons, into the regions of Lake Superior. Thus he became acquainted with, one of the principal chiefs of that region, whose daughter he married, as has been detailed by Mrs. Jameson, in her recent Ram
VOL. XLIX. — No. 105. 46