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marked with great acuteness the effects of different modes of life. He was a man in whose presence nothing reprehensible was out of danger, quick in discerning what was wrong or ridiculous, anch not unwilling to expose it. Though his pleasure was rather to detect follies, than crimes, inore to excite merriment than detestation.” To this picture I may add with truth, that Mr. I., though less elevated in the scale of intellect than Addison, yet possesses a large portion of his acute sensibility, fine powers of imagination, delicate raillery, and exquisite humour.
Mr. I. is of the middle stature, slender and graceful. To a countenance of varied expression, winning and attractive, he adds an eye of peculiar lustre; penetrating, romantic, and thoughtful.
The remaining sketches which I shall offer you, my dear H., from my comparatively limited knowledge of the originals, must ne cessarily be rough and imperfect. Mr. B****t, to whom I was introduced shortly after my arrival in this city, is a sweet poet, and a man of genius. His taste is refined, discriminating, and elegant. His conversation is enriched by information drawn from the most finished productions of human wit, and the native stores of his own mind, glows with fancy and sparkles with sentiment. To manners graceful, open, and insinuating, he unites a disposition winning and benevolent. I have seldom met with a more agreeable and entertaining companion. Indeed I know no American who has excited in my breast higher sentiments of esteem or warmer feelings of friendship.
Mr. I. P******g writes with ease, sprightliness, and force. His compositions display varied knowledge, and abound with vivid and vigorous descriptions. With an imagination rapid and crealive, that wantons in the agreeable and luxuriant fields of fiction, he combines vigour of conception, solidity of judgment, and a rich vein of caustic humour.
Mr. G****n C. V******k, though less eminent than Mr. [****g, in the walks of wit and humour, holds a respectable standing in the republic of letters. As the effusions of his genius, arc chiefly anonymous, and confined to periodical publications, his intellectual powers are but partially known and appreciated. For a young man, his classical attainments and general knowledge are extensive and profound. The productions which are gene
rally attributed to his pen, bear the marks of a sagacious understanding, and cultivated taste. His intellectual eye is clear, penetrating, and eminently adapted to the detection of faults. With a genius rather discriminative than comprehensive, severe than graceful, his writings are chiefly characterised by soundness of thinking, and vigorous perspicuity of style. His critical strictures, (which form the basis of his reputation,) display acuteness of perception, accuracy of judgment, extent of knowledge, a ready command of language, galling severity of animadversion, and strong powers of irony.
FOR THE PORT FOLIO.
PARTICULARS OF THE DEATH OF CAPT. LEWIS.
The following letter, from the author of American Ornithology, while on his late western expedition in search of new subjects for his elegant public cation, has excited much interest in the private circles to which it has hitherto been confined, and for which alone it was originally intended. The writer has yielded to our solicitations for its appearance here; and the reader of taste and feeling, will find both gratified, by the perusal of this simple, and, in some parts, affecting narrative.
Natchez, Missisippi Ter., May 28th, 1811, ĐEAR SIR,
About three weeks ago I wrote you from Nashville, inclosing three sheets of drawings, which I hope you have received.* I was at that time on the point of setting out for St. Louis; but being detained a week by constant and heavy rains, and considering that it would add four hundred miles to my journey, and detain me at least a month; and the season being already far advanced and no subscribers to be expected there, I abandoned the idea, and prepared for a journey through the wilderness. I was advised by many not to attempt it alone; that the Indians were dangerous, the swamps and rivers almost impassable without assistance, and a thousand other hobgoblins were conjured up to dissuade me from going alone. But I weighed all these matters in my own mind; and attributing a great deal of this to vulgar fears and exagge:
* These drawings, we are informed, never came to bianca
rated reports, I equipt myself for the attempt. I rode an excellent horse, on whom I could depend; I had a loaded pistol in each pocket, a loaded musket belted across my shoulder, a pound of gunpowder in my flask, and five pound of shot in my belt. I bought some biscuit and dried beef, and on Friday morning, May 4th, I left Nashville. About half a mile from town I observed a poor negro with two wooden legs building himself a cabin in the woods. Supposing that this journey might afford you and my friends some amusement I kept a particular account of the various occurrences, and shall transcribe some of the most interesting, omitting every thing relative to my Ornithological excursions and discoveries as more suitable for another occasion. Eleven miles from Nashville I came to the Great Harpath, a stream of about fifty yards, which was running with great violence. I could not discover the entrance of the ford, owing to the rains and inundations. There was no time to be lost, I plunged in, and almost immediately my horse was swimming. I set his head aslant the current, and being strong, he soon landed me on the other side. As the weather was warm, I rode in my wet clothes without any inconvenience. The country to day was a perpetual succession of steep hills and low bottoms; I crossed ten or twelve large creeks, one of which swam my horse, where he was near being entangled among some bad drift wood. Now and then a solitary farm opened from the woods, where the negro children were running naked about the yards. I also passed along the north side of a high hill, where the whole timber had been prostrated by some terrible hurricane. I lodged this night in a miner’s, who told me he had been engaged in forming no less than thirteen companies for hunting mines, all of whom had left him. I advised him to follow his farm as the surest vein of ore he could work. Next day (Saturday) I first observed the cane growing, which increased until the whole woods were full of it. The road this day winded along the high ridges of mountains that divide the waters of the Cumberland from those of the Tennesee. I passed few houses to day; but met several parties of boatmen returning from Natchez and New-Orleans; who gave me such an account of the road, and the difficulties they had met with, as served to stiffen my resolution to be prepared for every thing. These men were as dirty as Hottentots; their dress a shirt and trowsers of canvass, black, greasy, and sometimes in tatters; the skin burnt wherever exposed to the sun; each with a budget, wrapt up in an old blanket; their beards, eighteen days old, added :o the singularity of their appearance, which was altogether savage. These people came from the various tributary streams of the Ohio, hired at forty or fifty doilars a trip, to return back on their own expenses. Some had upwards of eight hundred miles to travel. When they come to a stream that is unfordable, they coast it for a fallen tree: if that cannot be had, they enter with their budgets on their heads, and when they lose bottom, drop it on their shoulders, and take to swimming. They have sometimes fourteen or fifteen of such streams to pass in a day, and morasses of several miles in length, that I have never seen equalled in any country. I lodged this night in one Dobbins's, where ten or twelve of these men lay on the floor. As they scrambled up in the morning, they very generally complained of being unwell, for which they gave an odd reason, lying within doors, it being the first of fifteen nights they had been so induiged. Next morning (Sunday) I rode six miles to a man's of the name of Grinder, where our poor friend Lewis perished. In the same room where he expired, I took down from Mrs. Grinder the particulars of that melancholy event, which affected me extremely. This house or cabin is seventy-two miles from Nashville, and is the last white man's as you enter the Indian country. Governor Lewis, she said, came there about sun-set, alone, and inquired if he could stay for the night; and, alighting, brought his saddle into the house. He was dressed in a loose gown, white, striped with blue. On being asked if he came alone, he replied that there were two servants behind, who would soon be up He called for some spirits, and drank a very little. When the servants arrived, one of whom was a negro, he inquired for his powder, saying he was sure he had some powder in a canister. The servant gave no distinct reply, and Lewis, in the mean while, walked backwards and forwards before the door, talking to himself. Sometimes, she said, he would seem as if he were walking up to her; and would suddenly wheel round, and walk back as fast as he could. Supper being ready he sat down, but had not eat but a few mouthfuls when he started up, speaking to himself in a violent manper. At these times, she says, she observed his face to flush as if it had come on him in a fit. He lighted his pipe, and drawing a chair to the door sat down, saying to Mrs. Grinder, in a kind tone of voice, “ Madam this is a very pleasant evening." He smoked for some time, but quitted his seat and traversed the yard as before. He again sat down to his pipe, seemed again composed, and casting his eyes wishfully towards the west, observed what a sweet evening it was. Mrs. Grinder was preparing a bed for him; but he said he would sleep on the floor, and desired the serrant to bring the bear skins and buffaloe robe, which were immediately spread out for him; and it being now dusk the woman went off to the kitchen, and the two men to the barn, which stands about two hundred yards off. The kitchen is only a few paces from the room where Lewis was, and the woman being considerably alarmed by the behaviour of her guest could not sleep, but listened to him walking backwards and forwards, she thinks, for several hours, and talking aloud, as she said, “ like a lawyer.” She then heard the report of a pistol, and something fall heavily on the floor, and the words “ O Lord!” Immediately afterwards she heard another pistol, and in a few minutes she heard him at her door calling out “O madam! give me some water, and heal my wounds." The logs being open, and unplastered, she saw him stagger back and fall against a stump that stands between the kitchen and room. He crawled for some distance, raised himself by the side of a tree, where he sat about a minute. He once more got to the room; afterwards he came to the kitchen door, but did not speak; she then heard him scraping the bucket with a gourd for water; but it appears that this cooling element was denied the dying man! As soon as day broke and not before, the terror of the woman having permitted him to remain for two hours in this most deplorable situation, she sent two of her children to the barn, her husband not being at home, to bring the servants; and on going in they found him lying on the bed; he uncovered his side and shewed them where the bullet had entered; a piece of the forehead was blown off, and had exposed the brains, without having bled much. He begged they would take his rifle and blow out his brains, and he would give