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"The lady looked vexed and embarrassed; but there seemed no alternative.
"Is there much company in the drawing-room, Daniel ?' she asked.
"None, ma'am. Miss Ellen, that is, Mrs. Dunbar, the bride, --Miss Ellen that was,-don't see company in a regular way, as it were.'
"No? I heard she did. I'll leave my card now.' "While she was taking it from her card-case, the door opened, and Fletcher Dunbar, with a manner the most frank and unembarrassed, advanced, and offered her his hand. Pray, Mrs. Garston,' he said, 'do not turn us off with a card; we are at home, and, like all happy people, most happy to hear congratulations.'
"Matilda Garston had not been under Mrs. Dunbar's roof since the memorable morning when she found Fletcher at nis father's desk. How changed was life now to all parties! Fletcher had awakened from the dream of boyhood to a reality of trustful love, to which his ripened judgment' had set its seal.
"Ellen, who had resigned her hope of reigning in Fletcher's heart, was now its elected and enthroned queen. She looked like the embodied spirit of home and domestic love and happiness. The two young women contrasted like the types of the spiritual and material world.
"Our good friend, Mrs. Dunbar, was at the acme of felicity. It would have been in vain for her to try to repress the overflowing of her heart, and try she did not. It sparkled and ran over like a brimming glass of champagne.
"I am truly glad to see you here again, Matilda,-Mrs. Garston, I mean,' she said; 'I really am, my dear. And now we have met, old friends together, I will tell you, that I never had one hard thought-no, not one-at your breaking off with Fletcher. It was providential all round. Fine pictures should have fine frames; -you, my dear, just fit the one you are set in, and our little Ellen was made to be worn, like a miniature, close to the heart. I used to be a believer in first love; now I think "second thoughts best."
Notwithstanding many obstacles to the discovery and diffusion of knowledge, there was a visible intellectual progress, to which that great luminary of the thirteenth century, Roger Bacon, most effectually contributed. This prodigy of his age recommended his contemporaries to interrogate Nature by actual experiments, in lieu of wasting time in abstract reasonings. "No man," says he, can be so thoroughly convinced by argument that fire will burn, as by thrusting his hand into the flames." Bacon himself spent two thousand pounds (a great sum in those days) in constructing instruments and making experiments, in the course of twenty years; and it is a well-known fact, that by these experiments he made many discoveries which have excited the astonishment of succeeding ages. He despised magic incantations and other tricks, as criminal impositions on human credulity, and affirmed that more surprising works might be performed by the combined powers of art and nature than ever were pretended to be performed by magic. "I will now," says he, "mention some of the wonderful works of art and nature in which there is nothing of magic, and which magic could not perform. Instruments may be made by which the largest ships, with only one man guiding them, will be carried with greater velocity than if they were full of sailors; chariots may be constructed, that will move with incredible rapidity without the help of animals; instruments of flying may be formed, in which a man, sitting at his ease, and meditating on any subject, may beat the air with his artificial wings, after the manner of birds; a small instrument may be made to raise or depress the greatest weights; an instrument may be fabricated by which one may draw a thousand men to him by force and against their wills; as also machines which will enable men to walk at the bottom of seas or rivers without danger." Most of the wonders here indicated have been accomplished in modern times, though by means probably very different from those imagined by Roger Bacon. -Wade's British History.
As we have no present means of answering the writer of the following letter, we put it before our readers, on account of its own nature, and also in the hope that it may be instrumental in drawing attention to the matter, and enabling us to procure information of a satisfactory nature:
"Mr. Editor,-In the year 1836, my attention was called to one means of making a provision for a time when I should be less able to work, by an article in the Household Almanack,' under the head of Savings-Bank Annuities;' in which it was stated that, by paying 3s. 6d. a week into a savings-bank for twenty-one years, a man may secure an annuity of 20% a year for the remainder of his life; and that if the purchaser, from any cause, should afterwards be unable to continue his payment, he might have the whole of his money returned, upon giving three months' notice; or, if the purchaser should die at any time before the period at which the annuity should commence, the whole of the money would be returned to his family. This I thought excellent, and just the thing for a working man like myself, with a wife and one child, and
nothing but the wages of my labour to depend upon. I consequently made application at the office of a savings-bank in an adjoining county-town, where I
then resided, and was disappointed to find the managers would not be troubled with that part of the business. I have since made inquiry at savings-banks in one or two smaller towns, and always received an answer to the same effect. Thus my good intentions' were frustrated, (and good intentions, somehow or other, are more apt to be frustrated than bad ones,) and I find myself four years older, with two more children to support, and bread double the price it was then; consequently, I am less able to make such a provision against age, illness, or misfortune. But, however, I am very anxious to do something now; as the old proverb says, 'Better late than never.'
"I have read many papers lately, in yours and Chambers's Journal, and one in a late Number of the Quarterly Review,' on Life Assurance, but I am inclined to think better of a deferred annuity as a resource for men in my situation. A broken limb, rheumatism, loss of work, or a thousand chances in the course of years, may make me unable to continue the payment of the premiums; and then all I had paid would be forfeited, and the policy lost to my family. But there is one, the National Loan Fund Society, which effects these deferred annuities in a similar way to the savings-bank, and they have their agents in almost every town. I had made up my mind to deposit two or three shillings a week in this society, when I chanced to drop on the article in the 'Quarterly;' which, in cautioning one against a parade of names, (the first is the Duke of Somerset,) and to distrust any society that promised too many benefits, placed me in doubt and uncertainty again.
"Now, Mr. Editor, if you can inform me where and how I may endeavour to purchase one through the savings-bank-for I suppose it is to be done-in London, if nowhere else—and with the New Postage the money can be trans
mitted without much expense-or whether the National Loan Fund Society is conducted by cautious, clever, discriminating actuaries, and prudent, honourable, and accumulating but not grasping directors;' you will confer an
obligation on one who may live to bless the day you first opened your Literary Letter-Box.' AN OPERATIVE."
E." Some time ago, in one of the public journals, I noticed some observations respecting Light, the tendency of which was to prove the materiality of it by its effects ou solutions of muriate and prussiate of potassa, when placed in a I am perfectly conscious that the crystallisation situation to be crystallised.
of these salts may be produced at any time at the will, by allowing the light to enter into the vessels containing these solutions: but I certainly cannot come to the conclusion that these facts in any way go to prove its materiality, but
only that light possesses an influence of some nature upon certain bodies, but truly not a material one. If you will favour me with your opinion (through the
medium of the 'Literary Letter-Box') upon this subject, it will greatly oblige me."
We do not understand why our correspondent supposes that light is not material. It is true that it cannot be weighed, and it may possibly have no weight; but surely this does not prove it to be immaterial. Weight is a property of every substance which our own limited senses and powers afford us means of weighing; but there may be substances of which weight is not a property, or, still more likely, substances whose weight is so inconceivably small that it cannot be appreciated by any means which we at present, or ever
may, possess. It has, we believe, been demonstrated that light consists of rays of different colours; that it travels at the rate of about 192,000 miles in a second; that in vacuo, or in a uniform medium, it moves in straight lines, but that when it enters another medium, it is bent or diffracted at different angles, according to the nature of that medium; that, when it strikes a reflecting body, it is thrown back at different angles, according to the manner in which it strikes that body; and so on. Now, if these properties of light do not show that the substance to which they belong is a material substance, we cannot imagine in what sense our correspondent uses the word material.
T. F. "I understand that the fossil remains of plants and animals found in the various strata of rocks which compose the crust of the earth, are always in a petrified state. Now what is petrifaction? how or by what process is it that a bone or plant turns into stone, and what proof is there that such is the case ?When geologists discover a stone of the shape of a branch of a tree, or of the skeleton of an animal, is it merely from the FORM of such a stone, or pieces of stone, that they conclude them to have been plants or animals; or if not, from what premises do they draw such conclusions ?"
"Petrifaction" is one half from the Greek, and the other half from the Latin; but as the Latins had adopted the Greek half into their language, both portions of the word probably came to us immediately from the Latin. The latter portion of the word, from the Latin facio, "to do, make, cause," &c., is in too familiar use to need remark; but there is much interesting matter connected with the former half, wérpa-whence the Latin perra,-which is preserved, with more or less modification, in all the languages derived from the Latin: it means a rock, or, in strict propriety, a projecting rock, a cliff. Hence the Greeks gave the name of Petra to several cities built upon rocks, or in rocky situations: among these it was applied, with peculiar propriety, to the famous city-excarated in the tall cliffs of Wady Mousa-of Edom.
The word was applied figuratively to denote a man of firmness and energyone like a rock; and hence was given by Christ to the famous apostle who had previously borne the name of Simon, in the masculine form of Пérpos, our
Peter. This was in conformity with a custom of the Jewish rabbins, in imposing new and significant names on their disciples; and the name Peter was probably given to him on account of the boldness and usual firmness of his character. This gave occasion to the celebrated allusion which contains the essence of the whole controversy between the Roman Catholics and the Protestants; the peculiarity of which is lost in all the languages which have not preserved the word in its original meaning. Speaking to Peter after his noble declaration, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God," Jesus said to him, "Thou art Peter (petros, a rock), and upon this rock (petra, a rock) I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." (Matt. The double allusion is well preserved in the Latin-" Tu es Petrus, xvi. 18.) et super hanc petram ædificabo ecclesiam meam;" and as well, or better, in the French-" Vous êtes Pierre, et sur cette pierre je bâtirai mon église," &c. As this is the usual word for a rock, or stone, it occurs in Scripture whenever a rock or stone is mentioned.
To return to the word petrifaction—it may be observed, that although one half of it is found in Greek, and both halves in Latin, it does not exist as a whole in the latter language, (except as a modern fabrication, petrifacio,) nor, of course, in the former. The usual meanings of the word petrifaction are well known, but may be mentioned-1, the act of turning to stone; 2, the state of being turned to stone: 3, that which is made stone.
The word petrifaction was applied to those fossil remains (fossil meaning anything dug out of the earth) which began to attract attention at the dawn of the science of geology. But though a large proportion of fossils are petrifactions, they are not all so; some are only partially petrified, and many actual bones have been dug out of the earth: the bones of an extinct species of elephant have been found in such quantities in Siberia as to be exported as ivory. The words " organic remains" are now employed as the more correct designation of fossil plants and animals. An animal body putrifies before it petrifies; the softer parts are all evaporated, and only the harder remain. Plants leave their mark, stamp, or shape; trunks of trees have been found actually turned into stone; and bones-sometimes nearly an entire skeletonhave been found imbedded in stone. Coal has been proved to be of vegetable origin; that is, plants buried in the earth at some remote period have been gradually mineralised, or converted into the mineral called coal. Our corre
spondent must acquire some outside knowledge of chemistry, before he can have a guess as to the process of petrifaction; but if he knows that a large portion of organic remains are found in limestone; that his own bones contain carbonate of lime; that stones are often formed in the human body, by the deposition of earthy matter; and that millions of little creatures go to the formation of coral reefs, and that the work of their formation is perpetually going on, he may attain an indistinct idea of the matter.
As to how geologists understand the character or nature of fossil bones, that is done by comparative anatomy, by which men of marvellous sagacity have attained to such a knowledge of the principles or laws by which the bodies of animals are constructed, that they can decide upon the character of a creature never seen alive by mortal man, and of whose remains perhaps only a few bones have been found.
K. L. M., KIRRIEMUIR.-"Can you inform me, and your other readers who are equally ignorant, of the reason that, at different periods since the properties of the loadstone were discovered, and its application to the mariner's compass, its variation from the true magnetic poles has at different periods been found to be very different, in the same latitude. For instance, that 250 years ago, the variation of the compass at a given place was very different (being, I believe, then east, instead of west as at present, in the latitudes of Great Britain) from what it is at the present time."
The true cause of the variation alluded to is yet among the undiscovered secrets of nature. The immediate cause of the variation of the magnetised needle has been satisfactorily ascertained to be the change in the position of the attracting axis, or, as it is termed, the magnetic pole, which, it appears, regu larly revolves at the rate of 4o 14' in the space of ten years. In the year 1658 or 1660-it is not quite certain which—the magnetic needle pointed at London due north; and from that time till 1818, when it reached its extreme limit of variation, 24° 30', it continued to approach the west. Since 1818, its annual progress has been towards the east.
Various hypotheses have been proposed, explanatory of these magnetic phenomena, but the facts hitherto ascertained are too few to establish any theory on a certain basis. A very great difficulty is presented by the local attraction caused by the irregular form and consistence of the globe itself, which is so great that the compass does not turn to precisely the same leading point in any two places in the world. Another obstacle to those exact observations which are necessary to arrive at the truth is, that many must necessarily be taken on shipboard; and these are liable to error, from several causes.
One object of the expedition recently sent out under Captain J. C. Ross, is the establishment of permanent magnetic observatories at different points, where a series of well-conducted experiments may, it is hoped, ultimately establish such facts as may lead to a satisfactory solution of the great question of the cause of the variation of the compass.
Our correspondent may not be aware that, besides the annual variation, there is also a diurnal one, on which, for a series of years, very interesting observations have been made by Colonel Beaufoy, and published in the "Philosophical Transactions." This seldom exceeds 15' in the course of the day, and appears to be caused by the action of the sun, and to be dependent on the relative position of that body with the magnetic meridian. It commences early in the morning, moving westward, returning in the evening, and remaining nearly stationary at night. It is greatest in June and August, and least in July and December.
BURNTISLAND." A constant reader and admirer of the 'London Saturday Journal' would be happy if, through the medium of the above-mentioned periodical, you could inform him what the mottoes were that were borne or inscribed upon the Roman and Grecian standards."
The invention of standards began among the Egyptians,who bore an animal at the end of a spear; but among the Græco-Egyptians, the standards either resemble at top a round-headed table-knife, or an expanded semicircular fan. Among the earlier Greeks, it was a piece of armour at the end of a spear; though Agamemnon, in Homer, uses a purple veil to rally his men, &c. Afterwards the Athenians bore the olive and owl; the other nations the effigies of their tutelary gods, or their particular symbols, at the end of a spear. The Corinthians carried a Pegasus; the Messenians their initial M, and the Lacodemonians A. Dr. Meyrick gives the following account of the Roman standards:
"Each century, or at least each maniple of troops, had its proper standard and standard-bearer. This was originally merely a bundle of hay on the top of a pole; afterwards a spear with a cross piece of wood on the top, sometimes the figure of a hand above-probably in allusion to the word manipulus, a bandfuland below a small round or oval shield, generally of silver or of gold. On this metal plate were anciently represented the warlike deities, Mars or Minerva; but after the extinction of the Commonwealth, the effigies of the emperors or their favourites. It was on this account that the standards were called Numina Legionum, the Gods of the Legions,' and held in religious veneration. The standards of different divisions had certain letters inscribed on them, to distinguish the one from the other. The standard of a legion, according to Dio, was a silver eagle with expanded wings, on the top of a spear, sometimes holding a thunderbolt in its claws; hence the word Aquila was used to signify a legion.
The place for this standard was near the general, almost in the centre. Before the time of Marius, figures of other animals were used, and it was then carried in front of the first maniple of the Triarii. The Vexillum, or flag of the cavalry (that of the infantry being called Signum), was, according to Livy, a The Labasquare piece of cloth, fixed to a cross-bar on the end of a spear. rum, borrowed by the Greek emperors from the Celtic tribes, by whom it was called Llab, was similar to this. The Dragon was also used as a standard by the Romans, who borrowed it from the Dacians. It may be seen represented on the Trajan Column and the Arch of Titus, at Rome. Vegetius mentions Pinna-perhaps aigrettes of feathers of different colours, intended for signals or rallying-points. Animals fixed upon plinths, with holes through them, are frequently found; they were ensigns intended to be placed on the end of spears. Ensigns upon colonial coins, if accompanied by the name of the legion-but not otherwise,-show that the colony was founded by the veterans of that legion."
PAISLEY." Are the Jews allowed to possess land, and enjoy all the priviA Jew born leges of other citizens in the United States of America?"-Yes. in the United States may become President of the republic.
All Letters intended to be answered in the LITERARY LETTER-Box are to be addressed to "THE EDITOR of the LONDON SATURDAY JOURNAL," and delivered FREE, at 113, Fleet-street.
RESEMBLANCE OF THE DANISH LANGUAGE TO THE LOWLAND
The modern Danish appears to be directly sprung from the Norse, or ancient Danish language. The resemblance which many Danish phrases bear to broad Scotch is very striking. A native of Angusshire, who has long resided in Denmark, told us that when he first settled at Copenhagen he made a very liberal use of his native dialect, and always found that good Scotch made bad (that is, intelligible) Danish. The sound of Danish, as spoken by all classes, is exceedingly like that which characterises the Scotch of the lower classes of Edinburgh.-Bremner's Denmark.
Of all the cants which are canted in this canting world, though the cant of hypocrites may be the worst, the cant of criticism is most tormenting! I would go fifty miles on foot-for I have not a horse worth riding on-to kiss the hand of that man whose generous heart will give the reins of his imagination into his author's hands,-be pleased, he knows not why, and cares not wherefore.Sterne.
"Think there's any danger, Mister Meanaggeery-man, from that boy-contractor?"-" Oh, no," said the man; "the sarpent don't bite, he swallows his vittals whole."-Yankee Miscellany.
Is there any station so happy as an unconnected place in a small community, where manners are simple, where wants are few, where respect is the tribute of probity, and love is the guerdon of beneficence ?--Landor.
It is more honourable to the head as well as the heart, to be misled by our eagerness in the pursuit of truth, than to be safe from blundering by contempt of it. Coleridge.
When an insect dips into the surface of a stream, it forms a circle round it, which catches a quick radiance from sun or moon, while the stiller water on either side flows without any: in like manner, a small politician may attract the notice of the king or the people, by putting into motion the pliant element around him; while quieter men pass utterly away, leaving not even this weak expression, this momentary sparkle.-Landor.
We must get at the kernel of pleasure through the dry and hard husk of truth.-Huzlill.
Absence is the invisible and incorporeal mother of idcal beauty.-Landor. There are proud men of so much delicacy, that it almost conceals their ride, and certainly excuses it.-Landor.
The fault of the old English writers was, that they were too prone to unlock the secrets of nature with the key of learning, and often to substitute authority in the place of argument.-Hazlitt.
Imagination is little less strong in our later years than in our earlier. True, it alights on fewer objects; but it rests longer on them, and sees them better.Lundor.
The height of all philosophy, both natural and moral, is to know thyself; and the end of this knowledge is to know God.-Quarles.
A conversation with a young Irishman of good natural abilities (and among no race of men are those abilities more general) is like a forest walk; in which, while you are delighted with the healthy fresh air and the green unbroken turf, you must stop at every twentieth step to extricate yourself from a briar. You acknowledge that you have been amused, but that you rest willingly, and that you would rather not take the same walk on the morrow.-Landor.
A WARNING FOR TOURISTS IN "RHEINLAND."
Don't wash or be shaved-go like hairy wild men,
You'll sleep at great inns, in the smallest of beds,
You'll see old Cologne-not the sweetest of towns,-
You'll count Seven Mountains, and see Roland's Eck,
Old castles you'll see on the vine-covered hill;
You'll stop at Coblenz, with its beautiful views;
A fortress you'll see, which, as people report,
You'll see an old man, who 'll let off an old gun,
You'll gaze on the Rheingau, the soil of the vine!
Perchance you will take a frisk off to the baths,
And friendships you'll swear, most eternal of pacts,
In short, if you visit toat stream, or its shore,
The VOLUMES of the LONDON SATURDAY JOURNAL may be had as follows:VOLUME I., containing Nos. 1 to 26, price 5s. 6d. in cloth. VOLUME II., containing Nos. 27 to 52, price 5s. 6d. in cloth. VOLUMES I. and II. bound together containing the Numbers for 1839, price 10s. 6d. in cloth.
BACK NUMBERS and PARTS, to complete Sets, may always be obtained.
Edinburgh: FRASER London: WILLIAM SMITH, 113, Fleet Street. and Co. Dublin: CURRY and Co.-Printed and Stereotyped by Bradbury and Evans, Whitefriars.
LONDON SATURDAY JOURNAL.
PUBLISHED BY WILLIAM SMITH, 113, FLEET STREET.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 1840.
CATLIN'S INDIAN GALLERY.
THERE are some, not unenlightened individuals, who still hesitate to admit the demonstrated fact, of races of creatures having flourished and become extinct before the appearance of man; and who, while disposed to believe in the pre-existence of the earth itself, feel a violence done to their sense of fitness or congruity in the idea that LIFE existed and perished in ages anterior to Adam. A little relief may be obtained from the strength of this prejudice, by directing the attention to the present state of things. Some races of creatures coeval with man have disappeared, and others are fast verging to extinction. The same causes which have rooted out the bear and the wolf from Britain must be expected, in due course of time, to narrow the field of existence for all the larger wild animals; and we may reasonably conclude, that many creatures familiar to us will be known only to future generations by name and description.
But we must confess that we share in the feeling of painful incongruity, when we turn our attention to the fact of the extinction of races of men. Believing that, notwithstanding the difficulties which attend the consideration, the whole human family form but one genus, and but one species; believing that the Creator has written perpetuity and increase upon the nature of man, so long as the present world is to endure; we turn away, with something like the bitterness of disappointment, from the idea that certain races of men-our "kinsmen according to the flesh "-are doomed to be blotted out of humanity's book of life. In various parts of the old world and the new-in Mexico, in Ireland, and in the United States-indications, palpable, plain, and yet mysterious, are found, of the existence of men in distant ages, of whom we know far less than we do of those wonderful creatures who lived on the earth before it was adapted for the habitation of our race. We only know this much, that men far more civilised than those who came after them have flourished in and disappeared from certain parts of the world, where their memorials are still to be found: but whence they came, and whither they went, and how civilisation should disappear before barbarism, are puzzles for the ingenuity of the learned and the wise.
Far easier is it, alas! for us to explain how barbarism disappears before advances of even an imperfect civilisation. Still, there is a difficulty here; for we have to explain how the negro flourishes under oppression, and how the red man of the American wilderness melts away, like snow in April, before the footsteps of white men, many of whom have been but a little more civilised than himself. By looking a little closer we may get over the difficulty. Instances are before our eyes that it has been possible to civilise the American Indian-to break him down from his wild habits into the orderly character of a settled being. Yet even here, though we might have preserved races from extinction, the Indian must have disappeared. The wild state, so often called the natural state of man, is wholly unnatural, and contains within it all the seeds of death. The civilised state, so often termed the artificial, is the true state of man, because it perpetuates him. By civilisation, we mean roads, cities, steam, gaslights, arts and sciences, paintings, printing, books, luxuries, &c. by the wild or uncivilised state, we mean the forest, the hunter, the wild beast, the prairie, the tent in the wilderness, courage, acuteness, ingenuity, and endurance. The one cannot possibly exist within arm's reach of the other. Rude and imperfect is our civilisation, when compared with what it might be :
rank weeds abound in the social state of all civilised communities, and in none more than in our own; but these arise, not from civilisation itself, but from its obstructions: and who, for one moment, would seriously prefer the uneasiness, the insecurity, the privation, and the reckless life of the noblest savage, with the comparative comfort which may be made to circulate around the poorest individual in this country?
These are the ideas which we consider naturally to arise from a visit to Mr. CATLIN'S "Indian Gallery." In visiting it, indeed, the town-bred admirer of the freedom and grandeur of "savage life" might find somewhat, at first sight, to feed his sentimental fancies. Round the room, on the walls, are portraits of Indians, remarkable specimens of the true ANIMAL MAN; arrayed in their holiday dresses, tricked out in all the variety of savage fancy, and many of them as evidently and consciously "sitting for their portraits," as the most pedantic and affected superficialist of civilisation. With these we have many glimpses of the scenery and state of existence connected with "life in the wilds." The far-stretching prairie ; the noble river, with its "reaches," and "bluffs," and waterfloods; the shaggy bison, whose tremendous aspect makes him fearful, even in the stillness of a picture; the more terrible grisly bear; the Indian "at home," and the Indian "abroad;" with stirring hunting scenes, enough to rouse one's blood, and to make an unfledged adventurer long to dash away, and try one's skill and courage in an encounter with horned monsters, or even that ugly creature" before whom the "strongest bull goes down." But if ever we felt satisfied with London comforts and conveniences-if ever we felt soothed with London pavements, or happily resigned to the guardianship of London police, it was after a leisurely survey of "Catlin's Indian Gallery." One might be apt to say, that there is "a great gulf fixed" between savage and civilised existence; that the savage man and the civilised man cannot belong to the same stock of humanity. But pause a little ere you pronounce judgment: here are all the lineaments of MAN, but it is man in his natural freedom, and man (even the noblest specimens of wild men) in humiliation and degradation. Oh, give us civilisation !-the wild man, with all his courage, acuteness, energy, endurance, and strength, is but a mere brute beast; and city-bred man, even with all his city vices, city weaknesses, and city helplessness, rises immeasurably above him, whom some twaddling and poetic fools have pronounced to be the only true man, the lordly lord of the wilderness!
"I wish to inform the visitors to my Gallery, that having some years since become fully convinced of the rapid decline and certain extinction of the numerous tribes of the North American Indians, and seeing also the vast importance and value which a full pictorial history of these interesting but dying people might be to future ages, I set out alone, unaided and unadvised, resolved (if my life from oblivion so much of their primitive looks and customs as the should be spared), by the aid of my brush and my pen, to rescue industry and ardent enthusiasm of one lifetime could accomplish, and set them up in a Gallery, unique and imperishable, for the use and benefit of future ages.
"I have already devoted more than seven years of my life ex
Bradbury and Evans, Printers, Whitefriars.
clusively to the accomplishment of my design, and that with more than expected success.
"I have visited with great difficulty, and some hazard to life, forty-eight tribes, residing within the United States and British and Mexican territories; containing about 300,000 souls. I have seen them in their own villages, have carried my canvas and colours the whole way, and painted my portraits, &c. from the life, as they now stand and are seen in the Gallery.
"The collection contains (besides an immense number of costumes and other manufactures) 310 portraits of distinguished men and women of the different tribes, and 200 other paintings, descriptive of Indian countries, their villages, games, and customs; containing in all above 3000 figures.
"As this immense collection has been gathered, and every painting has been made from nature, by my own hand-and that, too, when I have been paddling my canoe, or leading my packhorse, over and through trackless wilds, at the hazard of my life; the world will surely be kind and indulgent enough to receive and estimate them, as they have been intended, as true and fac-simile traces of individual and historical facts, and forgive me for their present unfinished and unstudied condition, as works of art. "The entire collection is now arranged in the Egyptian Hall, Piccadilly, covering the walls of a room 106 feet in length.
the picture represents the scene at the moment when the conqueror is conquered!
The brief details which Mr. Catlin gives respecting the different tribes are also very painful. Take, for instance, this note on the Mandans:
"A small tribe of 2000 souls, living in two permanent villages on the Missouri, 1800 miles above its junction with the Mississippi. Earth-covered lodges, villages fortified by strong picquets eighteen feet high, and a ditch. This friendly and interesting tribe all perished by the smallpox and suicide, in 1837 (three years after I lived amongst them), excepting about forty, who have since been destroyed by their enemy, rendering the tribe entirely extinct, and their language lost, in the short space of a few months! The disease was carried amongst them by the traders, which destroyed, in six months, of different tribes, 25,000! " Or this, about the "Black Feet, a very warlike and hostile tribe of 50,000, including the Peagans, Cotonnes, and Gros-ventres des Prairies, occupying the head-waters of the Missouri, extending a great way into the British territory on the north, and into the Rocky MounRather low in stature, broad-chested, squareshouldered, richly clad, and well armed, living in skin-lodges; 12,000 of them destroyed by smallpox within the year 1838!" Or this, again, about the tribe of the "Sem-i-nó-lee (Runaways); 3000, occupying the peninsula of Florida, semi-civilised, partly agricultural. The government have succeeded in removing about one half of them to the Arkansas during the last four years, at the expense of 32,000,000 dollars, the lives of twenty-eight or thirty officers, and 600 soldiers."
tains in the west.
The collection is, indeed, an exceedingly interesting one, and of which Mr. Catlin has no small reason to be proud. Here stands, at full length, Red Jacket, the famous chief of the Senecas, "very great in council and in war," who died in 1831; there the no less redoubtable Black Hawk, with his sons, the Whirling Thunder and the Roaring Thunder, accompanied by distinguished warriors, who signalised themselves in the "Black Hawk war," carried on with the United States in 1832-3; John Ross, the chief of the semi-civilised Cherokees, "a civilised and welleducated man," whose coat, and neckcloth, and humanised aspect, appear to remove him quite out of the sphere of his brethren, skin-clad, painted, and feathered, with their much-prized "necklaces of grisly bears' claws. Some of the female portraits are very striking; and, altogether, the names, looks, attitudes, &c. of these "wild" men and women are full of remarkable pecu-ing, goring, and trampling on his pack of assailants, in all the wild
One of the most painful ideas excited by gazing on these portraits and story-telling pictures, thus brought together, is the uncertainty of savage existence, and the ease with which it is extinguished. Here, now, is an instance. Look on these three
men, and read what Mr. Catlin tells us was the cause of their deaths. "These three distinguished men were all killed in a private quarrel, while I was in the country, occasioned by my painting only one half of the face of the first; ridicule followed, and resort to fire-arms, in which that side of the face which I had
left out was blown off in a few moments after I had finished the portrait; and sudden and violent revenge for the offence soon laid the other two in the dust, and imminently endangered my own life."
Or here is another. Look at this man-on one side in all
the savage dignity of an Indian warrior's garb, on the other in a smart colonel's uniform, and sporting an umbrella! What was
his fate? "He was taken to Washington, in 1832, by Major Sanford, the Indian agent; after he went home he was condemned as a liar, and killed, in consequence of the incredible stories which
he told of the whites!" Or this melancholy-looking young pair. "This boy and girl, who had been for several years prisoners among the Osages, were purchased by the Indian commissioner; the girl was sent home to her nation by the dragoons, and the boy was killed by a ram the day before we started. They were brother and sister." Or this shocking scene, which Mr. Catlin has termed the "Conqueror conquered." It is the pictorial memorial of a story, such as has been too common in the history of the Indians. One tall fellow steals upon two unsuspecting men, within stonethrow of their village, and scalps them. A third man saw the transaction, and rushes out, armed only with a knife; but the tall conqueror gets him down, and is about to add a third scalp to his fresh and reeking trophies. But the prostrate man, lying on his back, seizes the tuft of the conqueror, as he stoops over him, and
Mr. Catlin's Gallery is, in truth, a record of existences, manners, and customs, which are disappearing almost as rapidly as if a flood had submerged the American continent, and swept away the beings of a former era. It exhibits, also, how utterly helpless the noblest forms of barbarism are, whenever they come in contact even with an imperfect and vicious civilisation; the wild man must either change his nature, or perish! And the existence of the brutes who share the vast wilds with their fellow man, is just as much exposed to waste and destruction. Look at this pair of pictures" White wolves attacking a buffalo [bison] bull," and "ditto, ditto, a parley!" In one, the tremendous beast is toss
fury of his strength; in the other, they are grouped around him, howling for assistance, while he stands, exhausted, yet resting, and warily watching the slightest symptoms of a fresh onset. Wasteful, too, is savage man of the life, both of his fellow-men and his companion brutes. Here is a bison chase, where Mr.
Catlin says he saw 300 of these noble animals killed in a few minutes, with arrows and lances only! In other pictures we have striking instances of the thoughtlessness of the Indian, in slaughtering the bison with reckless profusion, now killing them in great numbers for their skins, or leaving them to strew their blood and their bodies over the prairies.
We cannot quit Mr. Catlin's Gallery without noticing four pictures in gilt frames, illustrative of what he terms "Mandan Religious Ceremonies." These are at once so singular and so horrific, that while we can scarcely avoid describing them, no description can be available without the pictorial illustrations. They represent an annual ceremony, affirmed by Mr. Catlin to contain an actual "Mystery," representing the "Flood," and during diplomas," and rank amongst the warriors of their tribe, submitted which all the young men who were anxious to get their " savage to a process of "voluntary torture," the sight of which makes one's flesh to creep. They are seen suspended by splints passed through their flesh, and continue hung up till they faint; the little finger of the left hand is chopped off; and they are dragged through the dirt, until weights attached to their bodies are disengaged by tearing the flesh out! These torturing processes last through three days, during which dances are performed, &c., of one of which we shall copy Mr. Catlin's description :
"To the strict observance of the Bull Dance they attribute the This scene is exceedingly grotesque, and takes place several times coming of buffalo to supply them with food during the season. in each day, outside of the lodge, and around the curb or Big Canoe,' whilst the young men still remain in the lodge, as seen in