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WE have read these volumes with considerable interest, and have received from the perusal much and important information. The author, a very intelligent man, and well qualified for the inquiries, the result of which his volumes communicate, accompanied a near relation to Canada, to accomplish, under the sanction of government, the cultivation of hemp. An undertaking often recommended, but never yet successfully performed. The individuals concerned embarked on their voyage, full of the most flattering hopes and expectations. They were to receive from the Canadian government 150 acres of clear land, have their expenses paid, and every facility afforded them. But no sooner had they arrived in Canada, than these bright prospects vanished alto
But break my poor heart—I'd say more if I could.
Derry down, &c.
We could offer another plate-full to the reader, but shall only add:Should you relish this slice, for the good of the cook,
Pray throw down your money and purchase his book.
FROM THE BRITISH CRITICK.
Travels through Lower Canada, and the United States of North America, in the Years 1806, 1807, and 1808. To which are added, Biographical Notes and Anecdotes of some of the leading Characters in the United States; and of those who have, at various Periods, born a conspicuous Part in the Politicks of that Country. By John Lambert. In three Volumes. 8vo. 17. 11s. 6d. With Engravings.
gether. Strange to say, the government had not one single acre of clear land to give them; they were compelled to dance attendance at the executive council room, for five months together, before they received compensation in any form. In this interval the farmers and artificers whom they carried out with them, were seduced from their service, or corrupted by idleness, and the bad example of the lower order of Europeans at Quebeck. The original design thus proving abortive, the author thought that he could not employ his time better, than to avail himself of the opportunity before him, to make himself acquainted with the country, and its customs and inhabitants. Remaining, therefore, for some time at Quebeck, he afterwards proceeded up the river to
* A handkerchief so called from Belcher the boxer.
Montreal. From Montreat he cross. "only justice. But for myself, t consider it ed lake Champlain, and, entering the all as a mere farce; and it must be so, territories of the American govern
since the women say that they only tell
the priests a part, and conceal the rest.' A ment, pursued his journey to New
few years ago, the pilot picked up an EnYork. At this place he continued for glish bible, which had been thrown ashore a considerable time, and then em- from the wreck of a ship. As he under. barked for Charleston, in South Ca. stood the language, he read it through, rolina. From Charleston he visited and it opened his eyes so much, that he Savannah, on foot, and describes
could not forbear, soon after, disputing
with his curé upon certain points of reli. New Georgia with some minute
gion. The latter was much surprised to ness; returning to New York, he find him so knowing, and inquired how went from thence to Boston. To the he had obtained his information; upon description of this place, its man- which the old man showed him the bible. Ders, commerce, and inhabitants, he The priest declared it was not a' fit book
for him to read, and desired he would subjoins some lively biographical notices of the more distinguished fused, and the curé threatened to write to
give it into his charge. This the pilot recharacters of America, &c. in these the bishop and have him excommunicated more recent times, namely, of Jeffer- 'as a heretick. But finding that nexther son, Madison, Burr, general Hamil- threats, nor entreaties, had any effect, he
, ton, Paine, &c. &c From Boston he was necessitated to request that he would again returned to Canada, and the keep it to himself, and not let any of his conclusion of the third volume leaves book. The old pilot declared, that he con
neighbours know that he had such the traveller at Montreal.
sidered the finding of that bible the hap. We really know no book of the piest event of his life, in consequence of kind which gives so circumstantial the comfort and consolation which he and so satisfactory an account of the derived from perusing it.” vol. i. p. 11. British settlements, and of the Uni. ted States of America, from the coast
The following account of the doof Labrador to the gulph of Florida. mestick manners of the Habitans, Having said this, and placed before will hardly be perused without a
smile: our readers the outline of the tra. yeller's route, it becomes a point of
66 The furniture of the Habitans, is plain justice to introduce a few specimens and simple, and most commonly of their of the amusement and inforınation
own workmanship. A few wooden chairs which may be expected.
with twig or rush bottoms, and two or The following anecdote, in the three deal tables, are placed in each room, beginning of the first volume, intro- and are seldom very ornamental; they, duces no feeble argument in vindi
however, suffice, with a proper number of cation of the plan pursued by the the use of the family at meals. A press,
wooden bowls, trenchers, and spoons, for British and Foreign Bible Society: and two or three large chests, contain
their wearing apparel, and other property. “Our pilot, Louis Le Clair, was an old, A buffet in one corner, contains their French Canadian, possessed, like the rest small display of cups, saucers, glasses, of his countrymen, of a tolerable opinion and teapots, while a few broken sets may of himself, yet was a good humoured, perhaps, grace the mantlepiece. A clock is friendly fellow. It was not long before we often found in their best apartment, and found that his predilection for the clergy the sides of the room are ornamented was not excessive. He entertained us with with little pictures, or waxen images of many of his whimsical opinions, and de. saints and crucifixes; of the holy virgin clared, that for his own part, he never and her son. An iron stove is generally went to confession, though he allowed his placed in the largest apartment, with a wife and daughters to go. Women,' says pipe passing through the others into the he, can never be happy until they let out chimney. The kitchen displays very little their secrets, and on that account it is more than kettles of soup; iureens of milk; necessary they should have a confessor; a table, a dresser, and a few chairs. The 1, therefore, pay him liis fees, which is fireplace is wide, and large logs of wood
are placed on old fashioned, iron dogs. A wooden crane supports the large kettle of soup, which is for ever on the fire.
"Their chief article of food is pork, as fat as they can procure it. They all keep a great number of swine, which they fatten to their liking. Peas-soup, with a small quantity of pork boiled in it, constitutes their breakfast, dinner, and supper, day after day, with very little alteration, except what is occasioned by a few sausages, and puddings made of the entrails, when a hog is killed; or during lent, when fish and vegetables only will suffice. They are extremely fond of thick, sour milk, and will often treat themselves with a dish of it, after their pork. Milk, soup, and other spoon meat, are eaten out of a general dish, each taking a spoonful after the other. Knives and forks are seldom in request.
"The old people will sometimes treat themselves with tea or coffee; in which case, they generally have to boil their water in the fryingpan; for it rarely happens that they have a teakettle in the house. An anecdote is related of a gentle man, who was travelling on the road to Montreal several years ago, when tea was almost unknown to the Habitans, and when accommodation on the road was even worse than it is now; he carried with him his provisions, and, among the rest, he had a pound of tea. On his arrival at one of the post houses in the evening, he told the mistress of the house, to make him some tea, and gave her the parcel for that purpose. In the mean time, the woman spread out her plates and dishes, knives, and forks, upon the table, and the gentleman took his meat and loaf out of the basket (for tea, without something more substantial, is poor fare when travelling, and I always found, in such cases, that a beefsteak, or a slice of cold meat, was a considerable improvement to the tea-table.) After waiting a longer time than the gentleman thought necessary to make a cup of tea, the woman came into the room; but how shall I describe his astonishment, when he beheld the whole pound of tea nicely boiled, and spread out on a dish, with a lump of butter in the middle! the good woman had boiled it all in the chauderon, and was placing it on the table as a fine dish of greens, to accompany the gentleman's cold beef.
"Milk and water is the usual drink of the females and younger part of the family. Rum is, however, the cordial balm which relieves the men from their cares and anxieties. They are passionately fond of this pernicious liquor, and often have a
debauch when they go to market with their commodities. I have seen in the Upper Town market-place, at Quebeck, a father and his son both drunk. The young one, however, was not so bad but that he was sensible of the impropriety: so he tumbled the old man out of the spirit shop, into the street, and endeavoured to force him into the berlin, to carry him home. The old fellow, however, pulled his son down by the hair, and began to belabour him with his fist, uttering ten thousand sacrés and brs upon his undutiful head. The young man could not extricate himself, and being pretty much in that state which is called crying drunk,' he began to weep, calling out at the same time: Ah my father, you do not know me' ! 'My God you do not know me'! The tears ran down his cheeks, though as much, most likely, from the blows, and tugs of the hair which he received, as from the idea of his father not knowing him. His exclamations, however, caused the old man to weep with him, and the scene became truly ludicrous; for the old fellow would not let go his hold, but continued his curses, his blows, and his tears, until the son was assisted by some other Habitans, who forced the father into the berlin; upon which the young man got in, and drove him home.
66 Very few of the country people who frequent the markets in the towns, return home sober, and in wintertime, when there is not room for more than one cariole on the road, without plunging the horse four or five feet deep in snow, these people, having lost their usual politeness by intoxication, do not feel inclined to make way for the gentry in carioles, and will often run their sleighs aboard, and upset them."
The following anecdotes are related at p. 388 and p. 424.
"Our guide, a Cree, whose spirits had visibly begun to droop ever since we en tered the defiles of the mountains, was last night presented by Mr. with some rum, to keep him hearty in the cause. Upon this he made shift to get drunk with his wife. This morning he complained that his head and stomach were out of order, and asked for a little medicine, which was given him; but finding it did him neither good nor harm, he called his wife to him, where he was sitting amidst us at a large fire we had made to warm ourselves. She readily came: he asked her if she had a sharp flint; and upon her replying she had not, he broke one, and made a lancet
of it, with which he opened a vein in his wife's arm, she assisting him with great good will. Having drawn about a pint of blood from her, in a wooden bowl, to our astonishment, he applied it to his mouth, quite warm, and drank it off: then he mixed the blood that adhered to the vessel, with water, by way of cleansing the bowl, and also drank that off. While I was considering the savageness of this action, one of our men, with indignation, exclaimed to our guide: I have eaten and smoked with thee, but henceforward thou and I shall not smoke and eat together. What, drink warm from the vein, the blood of thy wife! Oh, my friend,' said the Indian, have I done wrong? when I find my stomach out of order, the warm blood of my wife, in good health, refreshes the whole of my body, and puts me to rights: in return, when she is not well, I draw blood from my arm; she drinks it; and it gives her life: all our nation do the same, and they all know it to be a good medicine.' P. 388.
"It is a dangerous experiment to wander carelessly in the woods in Canada, without a guide, or a sufficient acquaintance with the paths; and instances have occurred, of people perishing even within a small distance of their own habitations. A few years ago, two young ladies who were on a visit at the house of Mr. Nicholas Montour, formerly of the Northwest Company, and who then resided at Point du Lac, near Three Rivers, strolled into the woods at the back of the house, one morning after breakfast, for the purpose of regaling themselves with the strawber ries and other fruit which grew abundantly there, and were then in great perfection. One of them had an amusing novel in her hand, which she read to the other; and so interested were they with the story, and the scenery around them, that they never thought of returning to dinner. In this manner they strolled delightfully along, sometimes wrapt up in the charms of the novel, and at other times stopping to gather the fruit which lay luxuriantly scattered beneath their feet, or hung in clusters over their heads; when the declining sun at length warned them that it was late in the afternoon. They now began to think of returning, but unfortunately they had wandered fi om the path, and knew not which way to go. The sun, which an hour before might have afforded them some assistance, was now obscured by the lofty trees of the forest; and as the evening closed in, they found themselves yet more bewildered. In the most distracted state they wan
dered about among the shrubs and underwood of the forest, wringing their hands, and crying most bitterly at their melancholy situation. Their clothes were nearly torn off their backs; their hair hung in a dishevelled manner upon their necks; and the fruit which in the morning they had picked with rapture, they now loathed and detested. In this wretched condition they wandered till nearly dark, when they came up to a small hut; their hearts beat high at the sight; but it was empty! They were, however, glad to take refuge in it for the night, to shelter them from the heavy dews of the forest, which were then rising. They collected a quantity of leaves, with which they made a bed, and lay down: but they could not sleep; and spent the night in unavailing tears and reproaches at their own carelessness. They however at times endeavoured to console each other with the hope that people would be despatched by Mr. Montour, in search of them. The next morning, therefore, they wisely kept within the hut, or went out only to gather fruit to satisfy the cravings of appetite; and that which the evening before they had loathed as the cause of their misfortune, now became the means of preserving their lives. Towards the close of the day, they heard the Indian yell in the woods, but were afraid to call out, or stir from the hut, not knowing whether they might be sent in search of them, or were a party of strange Indians, into whose hands they did not like to trust themselves.
"A second night was passed in the same forlorn state; though singular as it may appear, one of them became more composed, and, in some measure, even reconciled to her situation; which, deplo rable as it was, and uncertain when they might be relieved from it, she regarded as a romantick adventure, and the following morning, with great composure, staid in the hut, and read her novel: the other gave herself up to despair, and sat upon the bed of leaves, crying and bewailing her unhappy fate. In this state they were discovered about noon, by a party of Indians, who had been sent out after them, and whose yell had been heard by the young ladies the preceding evening. Their joy at being relieved from such an alarming situation, may be more easily conceived than described, and was only equalled by the pleasure which their return gave to Mr. Montour and his family, who had almost given them up as lost, having been absent nearly three days, and wandered several miles from the house." P. 423.
Our extracts from the first volume having been rather copious, we must restrain ourselves in the two which succeed, but the description of the effect of the embargo at New York, as detailed in the second, is too interesting to be omitted.
"When I arrived at New York, in November, the port was filled with shipping, and the wharfs were crowded with commodities of every description. Bales of cotton, wools, and merchandise; barrels of potash, rice, flower, and salt provisions; hogsheads of sugar, chests of tea, pun. cheons of rum, and pipes of wine; boxes, cases, packs and packages of all sizes and denominations, were strowed upon the wharfs and landing places, or upon the decks of the shipping. All was noise and bustle. The carters were driving in every direction; and the sailors and labourers upon the wharfs, and on board the vessels, were moving their ponderous burthens from place to place. The merchants and their clerks were busily engaged in their counting houses or upon the piers. The Tontine coffeehouse was filled with underwriters, brokers, merchants, traders and politicians; selling, purchasing, trafficking, or ensuring; some reading, others eagerly inquiring the news. The steps and balcony of the coffeehouse were crowded with people bidding, or listening to the several auctioneers, who had elevated themselves upon a hogshead of sugar, a puncheon of rum, or a bale of cotton; and with Stentorian voices were exclaiming: Once, twice,' 'Once, twice.' Another cent. Thank ye, gentlemen, or were knocking down the goods which took up one side of the street, to the best purchaser. The coffeehouse slip, and the corners of Wall and Pearl strects, were jammed up with carts, drays, and wheelbarrows: horses and men were huddled promiscuously together, leaving little or no room for passengers to pass. Such was the appearance of this part of the town when arrived. Every thing was in motion; all was life, bustle, and activity. The people were scampering in all direc. tions to trade with each other, and to ship off their purchases for the European, Asian, African, and West-Indian markets. Every thought, word, look, and action of the multitude, seemed to be absorbed by commerce; the welkin rang with its busy hum, and all were eager in the pursuit of its riches.
"But on my return to New York the
following April, what a contrast was presented to my view, and how shall I describe the melancholy dejection that was painted upon the countenances of the people, who seemed to have taken leave of all their former gayety and cheerfulness. The coffeehouse slip, the wharfs, and quays along South street, presented no longer the bustle and activity that had prevailed there five months before. The port, indeed, was full of shipping; but they were dismantled, and laid up. Their decks were cleared, their hatches fastened down, and scarcely a sailor was to be seen on board. Not a box, bale, cask, barrel, or package, was to be seen upon the wharfs. Many of the counting houses were shut up, or advertised to be let; and the few solitary merchants, clerks, porters and labourers, that were to be seen, were walking about with their hands in their pockets. Instead of sixty or one hundred carts that used to stand in the street for hire, scarcely a dozen appeared, and they were unemployed; a few coasting sloops and schooners, which were clearing out for some of the ports in the United States, were all that remained of that immense business which was carried on a few months before. The coffeehouse was almost empty; or if there happened to be a few people in it, it was merely to pass away the time which hung heavy on their hands, or to inquire anxiously after news from Europe, and from Washington; or perhaps to purchase a few bills, that were selling at ten or twelve per cent. above par. In fact, every thing presented a melancholy appearance. The streets near the water side were almost deserted, the grass had begun to grow upon the wharfs, and the minds of the people were tortured by the vague and idle rumours that were set afloat upon the arrival of every letter from England, or from the seat of government. In short, the scene was so gloomy and forlorn, that had it been the month of September instead of April, should verily have thought that a malignant fever was raging in the place. So desolating were the effects of the embargo, which in the short space of five months, had deprived the first commercial city in the states, of all its life, bustle, and activity. Caused above one hundred and twenty bankruptcies; and completely annihilated its foreign commerce." p. 152.
The Essays from the Salmagundi, a periodical work in extensive circulation at New York, are well