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For the Monthly Magazine.

GEOGRAPHICAL DISCOVERIES IN THE BACK SETTLEMENTS OF NORTH AMERICA.

[The public naturally expected, on the eftablishment and repofe of the government of the United States, that meafures would be adopted for exploring the vast tracts of unknown country which lie between the Minifippi and the Pacific Ocean. Hitherto thefe expectations have been disappointed; but the recent ceffion of Louisiana has, in an especial manner, drawn the attention of the American government towards its weftern territories, and the refult of feveral expeditions have just been made public.

We are indebted to a correfpondent in New York for the power of first introducing a knowledge of thefe difcoveries to the European public, and we fhall not fail to lay before our readers every new fact as it tranfpires, till every part of this immenfe continent has been explored, and till we have introduced the particulars to them.]

Account of a Journey up the Wafhita (or Ouachita) River, in Louifiona, performed by William Dunbar, Efq. and

Dr. Hunter.

TH

HESE gentlemen were employed by Mr. Jefferion, Prefident of the United States, purfuant to a provifion of Congress for exploring Louisiana. They fet out from St. Catharine's Landing, the Miffiffippi, on the 16th of October, 1804, and proceeded to the mouth of the Red River. This is fo called from the red appearance of the water, caufed by fome earthly impregnation tinged probably with iron.

on

At a little more than twenty-three miles from the Miffiffippi they entered the Black River, fo called from the clearnefs of its water, looking dark when contrafted with the muddy hue of the Red River.

They proceeded flowly upwards, paffing the place where the river Tenfa enters from the eaft, and the Cataboola from the weft, and visiting the station called Fort Miro, about 200 miles from the entrance below, and which is the out-poft of the United States in that quarter. As far up as the juuction of the three rivers juft mentioned, the country is alluvial and flat, the water fluggih, and the current fcarcely perceptible. Immediately above, the high land and permanent firata of foil begin.

The latitude of Fort Miro is about 30o 30'. After visiting various fettle ments, and encountering many difficult

ties amidst thoals and rapids in the upper country, they arrived at length at the Hot-Springs, fituated toward the fource of the river, in latitude 34° 31'.

In profecuting this expedition, it was difcovered that frequent falines or faltlicks exited there. They learned that in the furrounding country, and in the fpaces lying far towards the north and weft, the rivers Wathita, Arkanfa, and the Red River, were too brackish to be potable in dry feafons. Salt fprings, and plains incrufted with falt, are reported to be interfperfed through thofe regions. On the Walhita they faw fwans and alligators.

About the latitude 53°, the line of demarkation between Orleans and Louilana, the long mofs or tillandia almost fuddenly ceafes, being found no further to the northward; and about the famo place the ofiers, which grow on the banks of the river, ceafe, and fhow themselves further on to the fouthward.

the Hot-Springs, which are fix in numThe party proceeded no further than ber, and are útuated about fix miles from the main treain to the north-west, as it there runs, and a little above the great rapids. Their heat is too great for the hand to bear; the higheft temperature is about 150°. The water, on cooling, is palatable, and very good to drink, having but little foreign impregnation. The body of the mountain from which it iffues is filicious, partly flint and partly free-ftone; but the fuperficial parts; which have been overflowed by the effufions from the fprings, are merniated with a ftratum of calcareous matter, that, in the courfe of time, has been depofited from their water. A trifling portion of iron is contained in it too, and precipitated with the lime.

In the hot water of thefe fprings a green plant vegetated, which feemed to be a fpecios of the conferva growing in fuch fituations; probably the fontinalis. But what is more remarkable, a bivalue teftaceous animal adhered to the plant, and lived in fuch a high temperature too. Here they difcovered a kind of wild cabbage, which they cooked, and found to be mild and good for food. Between the Hot-Springs and the place where the voyagers landed, are feveral licks and oozings of falt-water. They relate their furprife at beholding plants, fhrubs, and trees, at the outlet of the fprings, abfolutely growing and appearing healthy, awhile their roots were exposed to a heat of 1900.

The

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The coldness of the weather was very remarkable. On the 30th of December the quick-filver funk to 99; on the 2d of January, 1805, to 6°. On this latter eccafion, when the temperature of the atmofphere was 60, and of the river water 320, a condensed vapour floated over its furface, as is ufual in fuch cales. On January 11th, the mercury in the air was at 110, and in the Walhita water at 39°. On the 12th, the atmosphere was at 20°, and the river at 40°. In thofe cafes of unequal temperatures, much watery vapour hovered over the ftream. The obfervers relate, that although 200 of difference are more than enough to make this exhalation appear vifible, yet that 13° of variation are not enough for the purpofe.

Above the alluvial country, the rocks were chiefly of a fort of fchiftus, fome of it aluminous, and all of it unfit for covering houses; a kind of filicious conpofition, refembling oil-ftone, or turkeyfone, but too brittle for gun-flints; aud a fort of fandy aggregate, which feemed as if it might be employed for grind foues. The mineralized and carbonated wood was found in feveral places. There were no certain indications of the proper foil coul; nor did they meet with ay ftrata of gypfum. And, notwithfanding the heat of the fprings, they met with no lava, pumice, or other volcanic

matter.

Having, in the courfe of the voyage, collected confiderable information about the Caddaux, the Ofages, and the other nations of Indians which fometimes frequent the Wathita and the little Miffouri, which runs into it; having acquired a good deal of knowledge about the imenfe prairies, which are compared to Paradifes, lying toward the fources of the Red-River and the Arkanfas; and having ronde many aftronomical, geological, and meteorological obfervations from day to day, the adventurers, with their crew of foldiers, got back to Natchez about the end of January, 1805.

From the journal of the furvey, which they kept with all poffible correctnefs, a ma of the Waihita has been compiled and published at Washington, forming a fabitantial addition to American geography

As foon as we receive this and other thefe newly explored districts, we hall introduce them into the Monthly Maga

This country was colonized early by the French, They projected and began extensive fettlements on the Waflita; but the general malacre planned and executed in part by the Indians againtè the French, and the confequent mallacre of the Natchez tribe by the French, put an end to thefe undertakings, and they were never refumed under the French government.

The prairies of this region are defcribed as plains or favannas, without timber, generally very fertile, producing an exuberance of strong, thick, and coarfe herbage. When a piece of ground is once got into this ftate in an Indian country, it can have no opportunity of reproducing timber; it being an invariable rule to fire the dry grafs in the fall or winter, to obtain the advantage of attracting game when the young tender grafs begins to fpring. Thus the young timber is deftroyed; and annually the prairie encroaches upon the woodland. It is probable that the immenfe plains known to exist in America may owe their origin to this practice. The plains of the Wafhita lie chiefly on the east fide; and being generally formed like thofe of the Mililippi, floping from the banks of the river towards the great river, they are more or lefs liable to the influence of inundation in the rear. This has been known to advance fo far in certain great floods, as to be ready to pour over the margin into the Waihita. Such an occurrence has however latterly become very rare, and it may be gene rally ettimated that from one-fourth of a mile to a whole mile in depth, will remain exempt from inundation during the high floods.

Fith are not very plentiful in the Wafhita. In the year 1799, the waters of the Mithilippi, during an inundation, dammed up the Wafhita by regurgita tion, to fuch a degree, that they fwelled confiderably above Fort Miro. The frag nation and corruption of the water from this caufe, destroyed all the fill in that part of the river; and they have been fearce ever fince.

The bois d'ure (bow-wood), or yellow dye-wood, is fometimes feen near the Wathita. It bears a gold-coloured fruit as large as the egg of the ofrich; its deep-green foliage refembles that of the orange-tree; and no forett-tree cnn compare with it for ornamental grandeur.

About 300 miles above Nachitoches, on the Red-River, the navigation is ope poled

pofed by a very serious obftacle. This is the raft, or natural covering, which conceals the whole river for about feventeen leagues, and is continually augmenting by the drift-wood brought down, with every confiderable frefli. This bridge, which was for a time nothing but floating trees, &c. fupports at this time a growth of every thing growing in the neighbouring foreft, not excepting trees of a confiderable fize. The river may be frequently paffed without any knowledge of its exiftence, fo perfectly is it concealed by the fuperincumbent mais of materials; and it is reported, that the water is working for itfelf a new paffage through the neighbouring low grounds.

In our next will be introduced. Obfervations on certain Parts of the Country in Louifiana; by Anthony Soulard, Efq. Surveyor-general of Upper Louisiana.

For the Monthly Magazine. REMARKS on the MORGANTE MAGGIORE of LUIGI PULCI.

PEA

EACE, however, had not long been re-established, before thefe mutual promifes began to wax cold and be forgot ten. Gano, whole banishment had been a principal article, was recalled; new fufpicions and jealoufics fprung out of the old animosity of the emperor against Rinaldo; most of the Paladins retired in difpleasure to their caitles in the provinces; and Orlando (whofe difguft was greater in proportion to his refponibility for having brought about the recouciliation,) fet off in fearch of new adyentures, with a refolution never to return again to the ungrateful court of Charle

magne.

After a month's travelling, he and his fquire Terigi find themselves on the confines of Perfia, and arrive at the camp of a Pagan giant, Marcovaldo, who is befieging the Amoftante, for love of his daughter Clariella. We will not enter into the details of this adventure, fo fimilar to that of Manfredonio; but, once for all, obferve that in this fecond expedition very little of variety or novelty occurs; and we shall pafs over our account of it very fhortly, only stopping where any paffages of particular merit appear to deferve tranflation.

Marcovaldo, after a fierce combat, falls by the hand of Orlando; and his death is attended with peculiar

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ftances, which difplay at once the fancy, the genius, and the abfurd fuperftition of the writer and of the age. When dying, a fudden illumination enters his foul, he abjures the impious Mahound and his rabble of gods, and begs to be baptifed by his conqueror. After this pious-deed, which the good Orlando does not hesitate to perform, he beholds angels defcending in a vifible flape to bear away his foul to Paradife. The last request of this unfortunate giant is expreffed in an interefting and affecting mauner. One act of grace before his fpirit fled,

Only one act the fainting chief requir'd: If chance Orlando's footsteps ever led

To her whole beauty had his bosom fir'd, That he would tell her how her warrior bled, And how, by love to his laft hour inspir'ds His breath just parting from this mortal

frame

(Conftant in death) figh'd out his fair one's

name;

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Orlando was, after this, received and entertained for fome time very courte outly by the Amoftante and his fair daughter; but, as the former was a very zealous Pagan, he performed all his acis of hofpitality in perfect ignorance of the name, tiyle, and title of his gueft. However, the Soldan of Babylon, who-meditated a war against the Amostante, difcovers, by means of a necromancer, who this powerful stranger was; and takes care to have the information conveyed to the court of Persia, in consequence of which he caufes both the knight and his fquire to be feized while asleep, and thrown into a moit horrible dungeon. From this place of confinement, through Clariella's good oflices (who is deeply in love with her deliverer), Tergi is at

length

length fet free; and immediately haftens to Paris, to procure allittance for his matter.

At Paris, in the nean while, a great revolution had happened. Charles was folemnly depofed, Gano a fecond time expelled the kingdom, and Rinaldo quielly feated on the imperial throne. But no fooner does he hear of the confine ment of his beloved coutin, than he throws adide the dignities and dangers of royalty once more, reftores the crown to his degraded fovereign, and fets off, accompanied by Oliver and Richardetto, on the enterpride of delivering Orlando.

la his pailage through Spain, he performs fome fign.d fervices for King Marfilius; and is admitted into the favour and confidence of that powerful prince, who, though a Pagan, offers him the aflutance of a large army, with his martal daughter, the lovely Luciana, for its commander, against the Amoftante. Lucinna had fallen in love with Rinaldo during his refidence at her father's court of Saragolfa, and prefented him with a rich pavilion worked with her own hand, which is defcribed with much elegance and fancy.

It was divided into four parts, according to the different elements. That which reprefented fire was adorned with carbuncles and rubies and other blazing ftones, fo as to dazzle all beholders; and in it were reprefented the figures of Cherubim and Seraphim, fuch as play in the beans of eternal love. The fecond divifion was appropriated to air, and contained all the heavenly phenomena, and every kind of bird, from the eagle, Who, ftedfaft gazing on the neighbouring fun, Sheds her proud plumage o'er the subject main,

But tricks herself in gayer robes anon,

Burfts forth afreth, and flames in youth again;

Down to the fparrow,

That frequest haunts the melancholy wood,
And joys in fadness and deep folitude.
In the faune division of this beautiful pa
vilion,

And in the midft, refplendent, ftately, fair.
Sat Juno, with her heav'nly circlet crown'd;
Deiopeia by her starry chair

Was plac'd, and nymphs unnumber'd
throng'd around.

The mighty monarch of the Winds was there,
Who with huge chains his boisterous bre-
thren bound;

Fierce Aquilo, and Notus loud and Arong,
And dark Orion bringing ftorms along.
MONTHLY MAG. No, 153.

The fea was reprefented in the third
divifion, and, among a great variety of
appropriate figures and emblems,
Here were the huge immeafurable whales,

Thofe vast and dreadful monsters of the
That feize with furious fway the paffing fails,
deep,
There tuneful fyrens, to the dying gales
And to the bottom of the ocean sweep;

Soft finging, lull unwary tars aileep.
Here dolphins, gliding swift in wanton fport,
Guide the glad veffel to her deftin'd port.

The moft picturefque of the various
images wrought on the fourth divifion,
fecking her ravith'd daughter.
which reprefented earth, is that of Ceres

There, through the world's remotest regions
ftraying,

Seeking her ravifh'd Proferpine, and faying
Unhappy Ceres, mournful and alone,
"I've loft my child-oh whither has the
flown?"

And here appear'd the lovely virgin, playing
On beds of flowers, herself a role fresh-
blown;

Behind, the gloomy form of Pluto lay,
Marking the thoughtless victim for bis prey..

Rinaldo makes every compliment that the occafion fuggefted; affuring the fair fo magnificent a prefent demanded, and embroiderer that the tuft have learned la's web was nothing in comparifon :—to to work in Paradife, and that Philomeall which the very prettily anfwers,

Nor if the treafures of the earth below,

Not if the glories of the fky I brought,
Could I a prefent worthy thee beftow,

Or pay thy glorious merit as I ought;
But, if you wish the real truth to know,
Whofe fancy plann'd it, and suboje fingers
To call it mine a power fuperior wrongs,-
wrought:
To Love, and Love alone, the praise belongs.
C. 14, f. 43, &c.

After this interchange of civilities, the whole armament fets forth, and foon arrives in Perfia,

The war against the Amoftante, like wonderful incidents, but is not very amufall wars in romances, was very fertile in liberty through the interceffion of the ing in the recital. Orlando was fet at enamoured Clariella, under an engage ment to affift the monarch against his new invaders. He is brought, of course, to a fingle combat with Raldo; and the combatants are feparated by night. New adventures occur, difcoveries are made, the city is entered by fratagem, the Amoftante surprised and killed, and the CPuladius

Paladins made mafters of his empire, which they poffefs for fome time in great joy and feftivity. The part which Claviella takes in thefe proceedings is not very dutiful: but romance-writers make it fo far from a crime, that it becomes with them a fplendid virtue to affift a chriftian knight against an infidel father. Mean-while Anthea, the Soldan's daughter of Babylon, another female warrior, and far more famous both for Beauty and courage than all the preced ing, animated by the fame of Rinaldo's exploits, perfuades her father to fend her at the head of a numerous army to revenge the Amofiante. The defcription of her perfonal charms is thus managed by Pulci:

Her hair was bright as Danae's locks of gold, Her face was fair as Cytherea's breast; eyes like ftars, which heaven's bright regions hold;

Her

Great Juno's form her beauteous nofe con

fest;

Her ivory teeth in fome celeftial mould

Were caft, her mouth with rofy dimples dreft;

And mighty Pallas had confpir'd to deck
Her fnowy shoulders and her polished neck.

Her fmooth round arms for action form'd and grace,

And white and long and pliable her bands, Fitted to bend the twanging bow in chafe Among the nobleft of Diana's bands; Tempting the tender lover's warm embrace, Her fwelling bofom full and free expands; And Proferpine's enchanting form is trac'd In the fort yielding of her fiender waist. C. 15, f. 99. Notwithstanding all thefe feminine excellencies, this limber-handed lady had at different times overcome all the knights of Perfia, Phoenicia, and Egypt; and was therefore adored by her father and the people.

Her first introduction to the Paladins was in the character of an cubaffadrefs, rather than of an enemy; he was therefore received with the utmoft courtely and magnificence by them, and made in full affeinbly excellent proof of her talents for eloquence. She addreffed herfelf particularly to Rinaldo, with whom he was already enamoured on report; gud propofed that it fhould be decided by a fingle combat between them, whe ther the Paladins fhould remain matters of Perba, or refign to her father the throne of the Ainoflante. Rinaldo, who had all this time been drinking dehcuous

poifon from her eyes) accepted the challenge, but invited her to remain with them one day, and partake of an enter tainment which he would caufe to be provided in honour of her. To this Anthea readily confented; and Oliver, who was charged by Rinaldo to arrange the feaft, prepares for his labours with the following naïve reflection on the new paffion with which he faw the lord of Montauban was inspired:

Cofi va la fortuna

Cercati d'altro Amante, Luciana!

The reflections of Rinaldo, the night after his grand feftival, were not very favourable to the exertion of his prowefs the fucceeding morning. Orlando finds him at day-break fill toffing on his fe verifh and fleeplefs bed; and his admo nitions on the occation are worth tranflating only as they afford a fpecimen of a fiugular affectation of language, of which Pulci and many of the old Italian poets, were often guilty:

Oh where, Rinaldo, is thy valor gone?

Oh where, Rinaldo, is thy power, thy fame ?

Oh where, Rinaldo, is thy fenfe o'erthrown? Oh where, Rinaldo, is thy ancient name? Oh where, Rinaldo, has thy fancy flown?

Oh where, Rinaldo, haft thou lost thy

fhame?

Oh where, Rinaldo, is thy proud command ?
Oh where, Rinaldo?—In a woman's hand!

Is this a feafon fit for fport and play?
Is this a feafon to be spent in love?
Is this a wanton fummer's holiday?

Is this the Idalian hill, or Paphian grove? Is this a time in idle peace to stay?

Is this a time to jouft with harmlefs lance?
Is this the faith Orlando hoped to prove?
Is this the foft and peaceful realm of France ?

And is it thus our conquest we shall fave?

And is it thus we gain a glorious thanne ? And is it thus Anthea's boasts we brave?

And is it thus we conquer Babylon? And was it thus our plighted faith we gave?

And is it thus that plighted faith is mewn ? And is it thus our hearts and fouls we fever? Adventurous hope and joy, farewel for ever ! C. 16, f. 49.

Oliver alfo was entreated to try his powers of perfuafion with the enamoured knight; but, ftung of his own fuccettive enthraldom to the charms of Florifeue and Meridiana, declines the office with a witty allution to the tale of the abbefs who wore the breeches. Whether the original honour of this tale, which has

been

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