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sea divided them, they would all have been still known by the same
The cloak of civilization sits as ill upon them, as upon our American Tartars. They have been a long time Tartars, and it will be a long time before they will be any other kind of people.” p. 201.
In various parts of his journal, he expresses the same opinion of the identity of race between the North-American Indians and the 'Tartars; and while we may be less disposed to put faith in speculations, made to support a preconceived theory, we cannot but feel respect for the facts adduced by so close an observer, and one who had had so wide a field for comparison. Thus, in his notes of the 25th August, he remarks
Among the Buretti, or Kalmuks, I observe the American mocasin, the common mocasin, like the Finland mocasin. The houses of the Buretti have octagonal sides, covered with turf, with a fire-place in the centre, and an aperture for smoke; the true American wigwam, and like the first Tartar house I saw in this country, which was near Kazan."
Ledyard having crossed on his route from Moscow to Irkutsk, no less than twenty-five rivers which flowed into the Frozen Ocean, averaging half a mile in breadth where he crossed them-having also ascertained that there were twelve other rivers of equal magnitude, between Irkutsk and Kamtschatka, and estimating them all to be twice as wide at their mouths as at their crossing places, he infers, that a coluinn of fresh water, thirty-seven miles in width, and flowing with a velocity of at least three or four miles an hour, “must have a sensiblc effect in creating and perpetuating the ice in those latitudes-on which his biographer remarks, that whatever may be thought of this theory, a larger quantity flows here into the Frozen Ocean, than in any other part of the world of the same extent. He adds, “that snow cannot be formed without moisture-that there can be little evaporation or moisture where frost continues six or eight months in the year”—and asks,“ if snow continues to accumulate, whence proceed the vapours necessary for its formation?"
But Mr. Sparks here assumes the fact, that there can be no evaporation from ice or snow, which is not inerely questionable but has been disproved ever since the very accurate and conclusive experiments of Dr. Watson.
Ledyard left Irkutsk on the 25th of August, when the forest trees had already begun “to drop their foliage, and put on the garb of autumn. Having travelled one hundred and fifty miles in a kibitka, a rude carriage of the country, he embarked with a Swedish officer on the river Lena, and floated down its current
to Yakutsk in twenty-two days—a distance of fourteen hundred miles. It was then the 18th of September, and “the snow was six inches deep, and the boys were whipping their tops on the ice.” He waited on the commandant, delivered his letter from the Governor-General, and made known his wish to proceed immediately to Okotsk, a distance of between six and seven hundred niles. He soon had the inexpressible mortification to learn from the commandant, that the season was too far advanced for him to proceed on his journey. He bitterly bewails his disappointment in his journal, and thus speaks of his interview with the commandant, in a letter to Colonel Smith:
“The commandant assured me that he had orders from the GovernorGeneral to render me all possible kindness and service; “but sir,' contipued he, the first service I am bound to render you is, to beseech you not to attempt to reach Okotsk this winter:' He spoke to me in French. I almost rudely insisted on being permitted to depart immediately, and expressed surprise that a Yakuti Indian and a Tartar horse, should be thought incapable of following a man, born and educated in the latitude of forty. He declared upon bis honor that the journey was impracticable. The contest lasted two or three days, in which interval, being still fixed in my opinion, I was preparing for the journey.
The commandant at length waited on me, and brought with him a trader, a very good, respectable looking man of about fifty, as a witness to the truth and propriety of his advice to me. This trader, for ten or twelve years, had passed and repassed often from Yakutsk to Okotsk. I was obJiged, however severely I might lament the misfortune, to yield to two such advocates for my happiness. The trader held out to me all the horrors of the winter, and the severity of the journey at the best season; and the commandant, the goodness of his house, and the society here, all of which would be at my service. The difficulty of the journey I was aware of; but when I assented to its impracticability, it was a compliment; for I do not believe it is so, nor hardly any thing else.” p. 229.
Here, however, he was compelled to remain, with no other. consolation than, that during the eight months which he expected to be detained, he should be able "to make his observations much more extensive, respecting the country and its inhabitants, than if he had passed directly through it.” He, accordingly, was diligent in his inquiries about the country and its inhabitants, the result of which he inserted in his journal. His remarks on the manners and character of the Tartars are interesting, but do not admit of abridgment. At Yakutsk, as well as indeed throughout the whole of his journey, he experienced the most friendly and kind treatment from the natives. Hospitality is the characteristic virtue of these dreary regions, not merely because the sight of a stranger is a rarity, and does not often tax VOL. II.--N0. 4.
their kindness, but partly also by reason of their own privations. It is in the school of adversity that the virtues are best learnt, and, their own sufferings teach them to feel for the sufferings of others,—miseris succurrere discunt. It was at this time, too, that he wrote the far-famed Eulogy on Women; and, as it has been altered and abridged in the thousand transcripts which have been made of it, we shall be excused by every reader of good feelings and good taste for giving it in its original form:
“I have observed among all nations that the women ornament themselves more than the men; that, wherever found, they are the same kind, civil, obliging, humane, tender beings; that they are ever inclined to be gay and cheerful, timorous and modest. They do not hesitate, like man, to perform a hospitable or generous action; not haughty, nor arrogant, por supercilious, but full of courtesy and fond of society; industrious, economical, ingenuous; more liable, in general, to err than man, but in general, also, more virtuous, and performing more good actions than he. I never addressed myself in the language of decency and friendship to a woman, whether civilized or savage, without receiving a decent and friendly answer. With man, it has often been otherwise. In wandering over the barren plains of inhospitable Denmark, through honest Sweden, frozen Lapland, rude and churlish Finland, unprincipled Russia, and the wide-spread regions of the wandering Tartar, if hungry, dry, cold, wet, or sick, woman has ever been friendly to me, and uniformly so: and to add to this virtue, so worthy of the appellation of benevolence, these actions have been performed in so free and so kind a manner, that if I was dry, I drank the sweet draught, and if hungry, ate the coarse morsel, with a double relish."
Upon the very difficult subject, the diversity of the human complexion, he still urges his favourite hypothesis, and remarks:
· Upon the whole, as I have said before, with respect to difference of colour with the Indian and European, they appear to me to be the effect of natural causes. I have given much attention to the subject on this continent. Its vast extent, and the variety of its inhabitants, afford the best field in the world in which to examine it. By the same gentle gradation, by which I passed from the height of civilization at Petersburg to incivilization in Siberia, I also passed from the fair European to the copper-coloured Tartar; I say the copper-coloured Tartar, but there is the same variety of colour among the Tartars in Siberia as among the other nations of the earth. The journal of a Russian officer, which I have seen, informs me that the Samoiedes, among whom he lived two years, are fairer than the Yaktui, who are of a light olive, and fairer than the Tongusians, or the Buretti, who are copper-coloured. Yet, the three last mentioned tribes are all Mongul Tartars. The greater part of mankind, compared with European civilization, are uncivilized, and this part are all darker than the other. There are no white savages, and few barbarous people that are not brown or black.” p. 243.
These speculations of Ledyard will be thought to receive strong confirmation from the facts stated by so candid and accurate a witness as the late Bishop Heber. In speaking of adventurers to India from Persia, Greece, Turkey, and Arabia, all white men, he says, “it is remarkable to observe how surely all these classes of men in a few generations, even without any intermarriages with the Hindoos, assume the deep olive-tint, little less dark than a negro, which seems natural to the climate. The Portuguese natives form unions among themselves alone, or, if they can, with Europeans. Yet, the Portuguese have, during a three hundred years' residence in India, become as black as Caffies. Surely this goes far to disprove the assertion, which is sometimes made, that climate alone is insufficient to account for the difference between the negro and the European. It is true, that in the negro are other peculiarities which the Indian has not, and to which the Portuguese colonist shows no symptom of approximation, and which undoubtedly do not appear to follow so naturally from the climate, as that swarthiness of complexion which is the sole distinction between the Hindoo and the European. But if heat produces one change, other peculiarities of climate may produce other and additional changes, and when such peculiarities have three or four thousand years to operate in, it is not easy to fix any limits to their power. I am inclined, after all, to suspect that our European vanity leads us astray in supposing that our own is the primitive complexion, which I should rather suppose was that of the Indian, half-way between the two extremes, and, perhaps, the most agreeable to the eye and instinct of the majority of the hu
A colder climate, and a constant use of clothes, may have blanched the skin as effectually as a burning sun, and nakedness may have tanned it; and I am encouraged in this hypothesis by observing, that of animals, the natural colours are generally dusky and uniform, while whiteness and a variety of tint almost invariably follow domestication, shelter from the elements, and a mixed and unnatural diet. Thus, while hardships, additional exposure, a greater degree of heat, and other circumstances with which we are unacquainted, may have deteriorated the Hindoo into a negro, opposite causes may have changed him into the progressively lighter tints of the Chinese, the Persian, the Turk, the Russian, and the Englishman!”
There is much good sense in the following remarks on the inherent difficulty of making correct vocabularies of rude tongues:
“ The different sounds of the same letters, and of the same combinations of letters, in the languages of Europe, present an insurmountable
obstacle to making a vocabulary, which shall be of general use. The different manner, also, in which persous of the same language would write the words of a new language, would be such, that a stranger might suppose them to be two languages. Most uncultivated languages are very difficult to be orthographized in another language. They are, generally, guttural; but when not so, the ear of a foreigner cannot accoinmodate itself to the inflection of the speaker's voice, soon enough to catch the true sound. This must be done instantaneously; and even in a language with which we are acquainted, we are not able to do it for several years. I seize, for instance, the accidental moment, when a savage is inclined to give me the names of things. The niedium of this conversation is only signs. The savage may wish to give me the word for head, and lays his hand on the top of his head. I am not certain whether he means the head, or the top of the head, or perhaps the hair of the head. He may wish to say leg, and puts his hand to the calf. I camiot tell whether he means the leg or the calf, or flesh, or the flesh. There are other difficulties. The island of Onalaska is on the coast of America, opposite to Asia. There are a few Russian traders on it.Being there with Captain Cook, I was walking one day on the shore in company with a native, who spoke the Russian language. I did not understand it. I was writing the names of several things, and pointed to the ship, supposing that he would understand that I wanted the name of it. He answered me in a phrase, which in Russ meant, I know. I wrote down, a ship. I gave him some snuff, which he took, and held out his hand for more, making use of a word, which signified in Russ a little. I wrote, more." p. 248.
While Ledyard was thus beguiling his time in this dreary climate where the inercury freezes in the open air in fifteen minutes, he was agreeably surprised by the arrival of a Captain Billings, whom he had intimately known, during his voyage, under Captain Cook, in the character of assistant astronomer, and who was then in the service of the Empress. Billings invited the American traveller to accompany him to Irkutsk, to which, under existing circumstances, he readily consented, and they set out on the 29th of December, in sledges up the river Lena, and in seventeen days they reached Irkutsk, a distance of fifteen hundred miles. When he had been here about six weeks, he was suddenly arrested, by an order from the Empress, under the pretext of being a French spy, and hurried off to Moscow. As his second visit to Irkutsk is not mentioned in his journal, the particulars of his arrest are taken, by his biographer, from Lauer's Expedition to the Northern parts of Russia :
“ In the evening of the 24th of February,” says Lauer, “while I was playing at cards with the Brigadier, and some company of his, a secretary belonging to one of the courts of justice came in and told us with great concern, that the Governor-General had received positive orders from the Empress, immediately to send one of the expedition, an Eng