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Gray OLD MAN OF THE MOUNTAIN-awfully,
Lone dweller mid the Hills ! with gaze austere
And curious travellers have descried the trace
Since Earth began-here thou, too, oft hast played
Thou sawest the tawny Indian's light canoe
And clime through this wild vale pours ceaselessly,
In thee the simple-minded Indian saw
His birchen bark, nor sought the wild-deer chase,
Oh! that some bard would rise-true heir of glory,
To pour his spirit o'er these mighty hills
Approach them, every charm dissolves to air,
And trace yon streamlet down the expanding gorge,
Gladdening fair meadows as it onward goes,
And further down, from GARNSEY's lone abode,
The rocks abrupt wall in the long, high room,
But long, too long, I've dwelt as in a dream,
Shall I look back, where'er I chance to roam
EARLY AMERICAN TRAVELS.
(Concluded from page 209.))
On the twenty-ninth of February, 1680, Hennepin, with two of the men, left Fort Creveceur, provided with a calumet and presents for the Indians. Old Father Gabriel bestowed on him a solemn benediction in the words of Scripture--Viriliter age etcomfortetur cor tuum.
The Indians whom they met with on their voyage down the Illipois, river endeavoured to dissuade them from the continuance of their enterprise ; and Hennepin's companions were so impressed with wliat they heard, that they concluded to go off with the canoe and abandon him, as they confessed on the following day.
A tribe called Tamaroa, or Maroa, dwelling at the mouth of the Illinois, invited the travellers to land and visit their village, and on their refusal pursued them- judging from their bearing arms that they were about to join their enemies. The lightness of their birchbark canoe enabled them to escape, and the discovery of some smoke from a projecting point of ground in their front, betrayed to them an ambuscade which the Indians had made to intercept them.
The latitude of the mouth of the Illinois is given as between thirty-five and thirty-six degrees-four or five degrees too low. The floating ice detained them here until the twelfth of March. The country, froin the rivers to the hills, was filled with wild oxen; and we are told that “the country beyond the hills is so fine and pleasant, according to the account" he had of it, that "one might justly call it the Delight of America.”
It had been Hennepin's design, and so he had promised La Salle, to ascend the Mississippi, but his comrades determined to go down to its mouth, and threatened to land him if he refused to accompany them. He “ thought it was reasonable to prefer” his own safety to the ambition of M. La Salle, and so he “agreed to follow" his men, who, seeing him “in that good disposition, promised that they would be faithful to" him. Six hours of difficult navigation through the floating ice brought them to the mouth of the Missouri. “It comes from the westward, and seems as big as the Meschasipi; but the water is so muddy, that 'tis almost impossible to drink of it.", The Indians whom he afterwards met on the Upper Mississippi, told him that the Missouri was formed of several other streams
rising in a mountain, twelve days' journey from the mouth, and that from the top of this mountain the sea was visible. i On the seventeenth of March they stopped at a village of the Akansa, where they were kindly received. These savages they found jovial and civil, differing from those of the north, who, he says, are commonly sad, pensive, and severe. He commends the modesty of the young men, who in the presence of their elders are silent until they are spoken to. Hennepin's comrades were so pleased with them, that there was danger of the voyage coming to a conclusion. They, however, got off on the following day, after being entertained with dancing and feasting. A short distance below, they landed and hid their goods, intending them for the Indians on the upper part of the river, whom they looked forward to meeting on their return. To know the spot again, they marked crosses upon the neighboring trees.
At a second village of the Akansa they spent some time, and were received with as much kindness as at the first. Hennepin conjectures that the inhabitants of the first village had informed these of their approach. Presents were made to them, “which are symbols of peace in all those countries." Their hosts carried them to see a nation living farther back, called the Taensa, (Tennessee? I by whom they were received with great ceremony. The chief wore a white gown made of bark, woven and spun by the women. “Two men carried before him a thin plate of copper, as shining as gold." They who attended him kissed Hennepin's robc, whence he concluded that they had probably met with other Franciscans, from New Mexico. Their music was very disagreeable; their dancing more difficult than that of Europeans, “but perhaps as pleasant." The country aboundled in palm, plum, mulberry, peach and apple trees, wild laurels, and walnuts of five or six kinds, bear. ing nuts much larger than those of Europe.
These Indians appear to have impressed Hennepin favourably, in comparison with the Iroquois, Hurons and Illinois. They were civil, tractable and capable of instruction; but the Illinois and others he pronounces “meer brutes, as fierce and cruel as any wild beasts." For their amusement our travellers discharged their firearms, amongst which was a pistol which shot four balls in succession without requiring to be new-charged. Hennepin here erected a cross, and on the twenty-second accompanied the chief of the Koroa Indians to his village, about ten leagues down the river. Here again they were very kindly treated, and informed that they were seven days' journey from the sea.
Several men were sent by this chief to bear them company to the ocean; but near an island, computed to be sixty leagues in breadth, the rapidity of the current carried the bark canoe with our voyagers away from the more heavy pyrogues of the Indians. They afterwards passed the country of the Quinipissa, and on the night of the twenty-fourth landed near a village of the Tangibac nation. It contained no living creature, having been recently surprised by a hostile tribe. In the cabins they found ten dead bodies. They reembarked, and passed the night on the other side of the river. Next day they came to a point where the river branched into three channels. They selected the middle of these, which was broad and deep; and after rowing eight leagues more, came in sight of the sea, and went ashore on the east side of the river.
The two companions of Hennepin were now seized with a sudden dread of meeting with some of the Spaniards from New Mexico, and contenting themselves with a distant view of the ocean, they went no further. Having erected a cross, and left a letter containing an account of their discovery, they set out on their upward voyage. Hennepin here expresses his gratitude for their preservation from the crocodiles, [ alligators, ] which were particularly numerous near the mouth of the river. At night they lighted a great match to frighten them off, there being, according to our author, nothing they fear so much as fire.
On the second of April, being near an Indian village, the discharge of one of their guns frightened away all the inhabitants, men and women; but upon Hennepin's advancing with the calumet, they returned, expressing by signs that they compared their guns to thunder and lightning. This was the Quinipissa nation. They left there on the fourth, and rowed on that day as far as Koroa, where they were received with joy, twelve men dancing before them with fine feathers in their hands. They were led to a cabin “made of fine mats of painted rushes, and adorned with coverings made of bark of trees, spun as finely as our linen cloth." Next morning Hennepin was surprised to see the Indian corn, which was green at their first visit, now nearly ripe. Sixty days he states to be the period between the sowing and maturity of that сгор.
The anxiety of the two men to proceed, and barter their goods for furs, prevented our author's visiting several other nations on the banks of the river. On the seventh they reached the Taensas, who, hearing of their return, had sent for their allies residing in the interior, to the westward of the river, to meet them ; but the impatience of Hennepin's companions would not allow of the delay of a single day to enable him to see them. The Taensas accompanied them some distance up the river. After two days, they reached the place where they had buried their goods, but to their great alarm the trees they had marked were burnt. The two men “ were near swounding away,” but they had the good fortune to find their property undisturbed. Some Akansas approaching, Hennepin went towards them with his never-failing calumet, to withdraw