« PredošláPokračovať »
the scene itself, which is little else or the Pyrennees, or the Alps, cannot be than a boundless tract of invariable compared with the desolation of the scene desolation, without any peculiar phe- around me! The first considerable haltingnomena to characterise it, than to place from Yakutsk, the half-way house, is the writer; but however good an nine hundred or one thousand miles removed excuse this may be, it is certainly from a civilized place. Such a spot gives no recommendation.
name to a commissariat, and contains seven The table of
habitations of the most miserable kind, incontents alone is enough to frighten habited severally by two clergymen, each a common reader from the contents separate, a non-commissioned officer, and themselves; it is made up (wholly) a second in command ; a post-master, a of the names of places,—such a hi- merchant, and an old' widow. I have, deous catalogue of unpronounceable during my service in the navy, and during words, as we never saw brought a period when seamen were scarce, seen a together before in a given space, merchant ship with sixteen guns, and only except on the map itself.
fifteen men ; but I never before saw a The whole interest of the volume town with only seven inhabitants. centres in Captain Cochrane individually,--the hardships he suffered, Fish is fine and most abundant, and the privations he endured, the ob- constitutes almost the only support of the stacles he overcame, the dangers he numerous inhabitants. There is not a escaped. Of some of these, the fol- blade of grass near the place, and no lowing passages afford good illustra- horses are kept nearer than thirty miles ; tions.
so that there is no little difficulty in bringOn the Ith day I started for Zashiversk, ing the hay which maintains a couple of distant forty miles, the first twenty of site for a town might deserve punishment,
The planner or proposer of this which was by a rising path, until I reached but certainly less than that of being made the greatest elevation of a lofty mountain, its perpetual commander. I remained three with some peril and more difficulty. The days, living in a state of luxury to which scene reminded me of my journey across
I had, of late, been a stranger. Hares, the sand hills at the back of Vera Cruz, wolves, bears, wild rein-deer, and elks, with this difference only, that the gale, ge, which abound here, were my ordinary food ; nerally attending both, obscures in the one foxes, which are also in great plenty, are instance the atmosphere with sand, and in here used as food. Bear and wolf meat I the other with snow; in both no traces of found good when very hungry ; rein-deer I a path can long exist if there be any wind. found a delicate diet; but elk I think surThe snow lay from four to six feet deep, passes every thing I have tasted, having all and our situation was at one time extremely the nutriment of beef, with all the delicate dangerous, being completely ignorant which flavour of the rein-deer. (P. 220_223.) way to turn; not the smallest vestige of verdure was to be seen, and, except a few In order to understand what our crosses (another resemblance to Vera Cruz), author means by the “ luxury” of which were sure to receive the offering of bear and wolf-meat, it is necessary the Yakuti, consisting of horse-hair drawn to be informed that horse-flesh was a from the tail or mane of horses, in token
common edible with him and the of their gratitude for safe arrival at the summit, nothing was visible.
But it I left this
demi-savages his escort. desert of snow, and rapidly descended would be erroneous to suppose from the north-east side of the bills, enjoying this, that our author is insensible to the magnificent winter scene which gradu- the pleasures of good eating ; nay, ally opens to view. I soon reached the he sometimes indulges a style of banks of the Chouboukalah, and the more panegyric upon this subject, which considerable Galanima, and then along a might fairly indict him as an Epiwell-wooded valley, gained the rapid Indi- curean: “ Spite of our prejudices, girka just at the point where the latter falls (says he,) there is nothing to be cominto it; not long after which I entered the pared with the melting of raw fish town of Zashiversk.
in the mouth; oysters, clotted cream, Of all the places I have ever seen, bear. ing the name of city or town, this is the
or the finest jelly in the world, is most dreary and desolate ; my blood froze nothing to it. I myself have finished within me as I beheld and approached the
a whole fish, which in its frozen place. All that I have seen in passing state might have weighed two or rocky or snowy sierras or passes in Spain, three pounds, and with black biscuit, in traversing the wastes of Canada, or in and a glass of rye brandy, have decrossing the mountains in North America, fied either nature or art to prepare a better meal.” We suspect these lux. European would have difficulty in even uries would have wanted much of sipping at it), without the least inconveni. their gratefulness, had they not been ence. I have seen three of these gluttons served up in a medium, proverbial for consume a rein-deer at one meal; nor are its effect in rendering the most un- they nice as to the choice of parts ; nothing savory viands palatable, to wit - the being lost, not even the contents of the sauce of hunger. Marrow, warm
bowels, which, with the aid of fat and blood, from the fore-feet of a rein-deer, is
are converted into black-puddings.
For an instance in confirmation of this, also enlarged upon by our traveller, no doubt, extraordinary statement, I shall as one of the greatest delicacies in refer to the voyages of the Russian admiral, nature; and stone-butter (an earthy Saritcheff. “ No sooner,” he says, “had substance called by the Russians they stopped to rest or spend the night, Kamenoye Maslo) is another dainty than they had their kettle on the fire, in his Siberian bill of fare. Indeed which they never left until they pursued the inhabitants of the country where their journey, spending the intervals for such kickshaws are fashionable, ap
rest in eating, and, in consequence of no pear to be bon vivants of no ordinary sleep, were drowsy all the next day.” The
66 That such extraordidescription;, we much question, if admiral also says, the giant of hasty-pudding celebrity, il effects, although they made a practice
nary voracity was never attended with any might compete with a native Yakut of devouring, at one meal, what would or Tongouse in powers of deglutition. have killed any other person. The la. At Tabalak I had a pretty good specimen lowance of four poods, or one hundred and
bourers," the admiral says, “ had an alof the appetite of a child, whose age (as I forty-four English pounds of fat, and seunderstood from the steersman, who spoke venty-two pounds of rye-flour, yet in a some English and less French) did not exceed five years. I had observed the child fortnight
they complained of having nothing crawling on the floor, and scraping up said that one of them was accustomed to
to eat. Not crediting the fact, the Yakuts with its thumb the tallow grease which fell from a lighted candle, and I inquired in
consume at home, in the space of a day, surprise whether it proceeded from hunger
or twenty-four hours, the hind quarter of a or liking of the fat. I was told from large ox, twenty pounds of fat, and a proneither, but simply from the habit in both portionate quantity of melted butter for his Yakuti and Tongousi of eating whenever
drink. The appearance of the man not there is food, and never permitting any mind to try his gormandizing powers, and
justifying the assertion, the admiral had a thing that can be eaten to be lost. I for that purpose he had a thick porridge of gave the child a candle made of the most rice boiled down with three pounds of but. impure tallow,-a second, and third, and all were devoured with avidity. The and although the glutton had already
ter, weighing together twenty-eight pounds, steersman then gave him several pounds of sour frozen butter; this also he immedi. breakfasted, yet did he sit down to it with ately consumed ; lastly, a large piece of great eagerness, and consumed the whole
without stirring from the spot : and, ex. yellow soap,—all went the same road; but as I was now convinced that the child cept that his stomach betrayed more than would continue to gorge as long as it could
an ordinary fullness, he betrayed no sign receive any thing, I begged my companion been ready to renew his gluttony the fol.
of molestation or injury, but would have to desist. As to the statement of what a man can
lowing day." So much for the admiral, or will eat, either as to quality or quantity, reliance.
on the truth of whose account I place perfect
(P. 212-214.) I am afraid it would be quite incredible; in fact, there is nothing in the way of fish or meat, from whatever animal, however If the reader should at any time putrid or unwholesome, but they will de- happen to be benighted in the midst vour with impunity, and the quantity only of winter, upon a shrubless waste or varies from what they have, to what they a sandy desert,-he might, perhaps, can get. I have repeatedly seen a Yakut be glad of Captain Cochrane's recipe or a Tongouse devour forty pounds of for making up a good bed, and obmeat in a day; The effect is very ob; taining a comfortable night's rest, servable upon them, for from thin and
these circumstances : “ I took meagre looking men, they will become perfectly pot-bellied. Their stomachs must off my shoes, hat, and jacket, and, be differently formed to ours, or it would taking a spare flannel waistcoat and be impossible for them to drink off at a
drawers which I had fortunately redraught, as they really do, their tea and tained in a bundle, with a dry pair soup scalding hot (so hot, at least, that an of worsted stockings, with this. I
made myself a bed, putting my feet The imperturbable serenity with into my hat, and pointing them to- which he appears to have encounwards the wind, and my shoes under tered the several disasters of his my head for a pillow; then lying journey, is at once both ludicrous down and drawing my jacket over and astonishing. At Tosna in Rusmy shoulders, I slept very soundly,” sia, he was seized by ruffians, who His invention of a horse-shoe fire, dragged him by the collar into a fowhen the necessity occurred of sleep- rest, bound him to a tree, took from ing in snow, is also worthy of remem- him his watch and money, leaving brance; the reader may gather some him at the same time “ almost as hints from the following narration, if naked as he came into the world." ever he should think of posting Upon this occasion he gravely obthrough Siberia in search of adven- serves : “ To pursue my route to tures :
Tzarko Selo would indeed be alike
indecent and ridiculous, but being The Yakuti then with their axes pro- so, and there being no remedy, I ceeded to fell timber, while I and the Cos- made therefore · forward' the order sack with our lopatkas or wooden spades of the day; having first with the cleared away the snow which was generally remnant of my apparel rigged myself a couple of feet deep. We then spread à l'Ecossoise, I resumed my route. I branches of the pine tree, to fortify us
had still left me a blue jacket, a flanfrom the damp or cold earth beneath us: a good fire was now soon made, and each nel waistcoat, and å spare one, bringing a leathern bag from the baggage,
which I tied round my waist in such furnished himself with a seat. We then
a manner that it reached down to put the kettle on the fire, and soon forgot my knees : my empty knapsack was the sufferings of the day. Yet the weather restored to its old place, and I trotted was so cold that we were almost obliged to on even with a merry heart." He creep into the fire ; and as I was much adds, that upon being offered a worse off than the rest of the party for change of raiment by his Excellency warm clothing, I had recourse to every General Woronzoff (whose servants stratagem I could devise to keep my blood taking him probably for a lunatic in circulation. It was barely possible to had shut the door in his face), he keep one side of the body from freezing, declined it, considering his thin while the other might be said to be roasting: Upon the whole, I slept tolerably dress as peculiarly becoming.” This well
, although I was obliged to get up five gaiety, whether the result of philoor six times during the night to take a walk sophy or constitution, never deserts or run for the benefit of my feet. While him, even in the most uncomfortable thus employed, I discovered that the Ya- situations. Adventures which ankuti had drawn the fire from our side to other traveller would have ordered theirs, a trick which I determined to coun- his printer to emphaticate with italics teract the next night. I should here ob- and a note of admiration, he relates serve, that it is the custom of the Yakuti to get to leeward of the fire, and then un
with a degree of simplicity and naidressing themselves, put the whole of their
veté excessively amusing. Thus after clothes as a shelter for one
side of their bo. having quitted Pogost, he says, dies, while the other side receives a tho “Being too jaded to proceed farther, rough roasting from exposure to the fire; I thought myself fortunate in being this plan also gives them the benefit of the able to pass the night in a cask! Arwarinth of their own bodies. The ther- rived at Paulovo, &c.” At Barnamometer during the day had ranged from oule likewise: “ The governor had 20° to 250, according to the elevation of at first taken 'me for a Rashcolnick the sun.
(a Polish exile) from my long beard The following day, at thirty miles, we and longer golden locks; notwithagain halted in the snow, when I made a standing I wore at the same time a horse-shoe fire, which I found had the effect I desired, of keeping every part of me
long swaddling gray nankeen coat, alike warm, and I actually slept well with but indeed so great a buck had I be
and a silken sash round my waist, out any other covering than my clothes thrown over me, whereas before I had only come of late that I hardly knew mythe consolation of knowing that if I was in self:” Again too: “ In journeying a freezing state with one half of my body, along the river my horse twice fell the other was meanwhile roasting to make under me upon his broadside, yet amends.
(P. 206, 207.) without injury to me, as I used no
stirrups, my feet hanging at liberty prefigurative of what his friends seem for the sake of kicking the horse's side to hint will be his ultimate destinato keep me warm." And a little after, tion.
-" Having well refreshed ourselves The Siberians, contrary to general with the flesh of a bear and a horse, opinion in England, would appear which had the day before fought each from Captain Cochrane's Narrative other to death, we departed, &c.” to be a happy, and on the whole a “ At forty miles, or three in the moral people. The number of criafternoon, we drank tea in a bush, minals is very small, though the po&c.”
licy of colonization induces the goThe journey from the Frozen vernment to swell the number of Ocean to Okotsk was, perhaps, the exiles, by pronouncing a sentence of most perilous ever undertaken and banishment for every slight misdeperformed by any European traveller. meanour. Of their progress towards Two thousand miles, stretching a civilization, wealth, and power, he cross lofty mountains of ice, large speaks in very sanguine terms. Their overflowed marshes, half frozen mines, he asserts, will shortly rival lakes, impetuous rivers, and forests those of Peru in value; and the saalmost impervious, were measured by lubrity of their climate, internal rethis undaunted sailor. He remained sources, and increasing population forty-five nights exposed to the and trade, will render them one of the snow, from the drifting of which it most powerful nations on earth. was often impossible to keep alive a The Lancasterian System, it seems, fire,—and five days without food, the is in full play, as also the English other seventy which it took to per- Missionary System, but with very form this journey being chiefly sup- different success: education is spreadported on horse-meat. In crossing the ing rapidly; whilst in the three years Okota on a raft of his own making, that they have been zealously emour author had to contend with diffi- ployed there, the Missionaries have culties sufficient to make a man of failed to convert one individual. Hosless stubborn intrepidity think it the pitality is a distinguishing feature of easiest method of subduing them to the Russ and Siberian character; in lie down at once and die ; but by a travelling from Moscow to Irkutsk combination of prudence and teme- (a route of six thousand miles) our rity, which belongs perhaps to the author's expenses did not amount to character of a British seaman alone, a guinea. Extraordinary as it may he finally extricated himself,-only appear, he found the natives of this indeed to plunge into other adven- ice-bound country less able to defy tures equally rash and hazardous. cold than he; whilst they were enveTo crown his pedestrian errantry, he loped in furs, he wore nothing but a resolved to cross from Okotsk to Ca- light dress of nankeen or leather. lifornia in America, for the purpose of Their powers of enduring bodily faexploring (alone and on foot) the de- tigue are also by no means wondersolate regions of that vast continent; ful; we hear our author crying out and was only prevented from pur- in almost every second page, for a suing this, we must say, Quixotic "fresh Cossack” to accompany him. scheme, by not finding a vessel which On the other hand, the Kamtchatmight carry him over. We are only dales are described as a most wretchsurprised that he did not provide ed, oppressed, demoralized, and vahimself with a pair of Mr. Kent's nishing race of creatures. Their newly-invented slippers for walking numbers are now diminished to about on water, and thus attempt to cross four thousand, afflicted with an epithe Pacific Ocean without further ce- demic scrofula, the fruit of one imremony. Truly the old Russian mi- moral disease, (from which scarcely a neralogist at Nertchinsk who told single individual is free,) combined him that ere long he expected to hear with their indolence, poverty, filth, of his “ arrival in the moon,” had and perpetual inebriety. chalked him out a track not a little
JOHN A' SCHAFFELAAR.
TRANSLATED FROM THE DUTCH OF TOLLENS.
Toen 't vuur der tweedragt vlamde in 't rond.
When high the flame of discord rose,
And o'er the country spread,
And nature's feelings fled :-
Disturb’d the public mind,
Forgot their kin and kind :
Were hurrying to our strand,
The heart of Netherland :-
A hero bold was he,
And feats of chivalry.
Give Schaffelaar his due,
The nobler of the two.
No flattery dims its rays,
And fades beneath its praise.
And I have yet the will
"Twill sound for Holland still. When Utrecht saw her sons appear
Her bishop to depose,
Against bis vassals rose :
Defend him, and obey ;
And wrested him away:
A hero bold was he
And feats of chivalry.
With eighteen men to aid,
A deadly havoc made.
And gives it back again,
As thick as winter's rain.