Imagens da página
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


ing the

corpse. This dreary desolation their way, leaping a narrow pond here, pervades California to a large extent, ex- backing out there, wading yonder, and purcept where an exotic population, with suing every imaginable zigzag course. good, honest, vigorous Protestant blood The climate, for salubrity, can hardly coursing through their veins, have im- be surpassed. The atmosphere is so pure printed the footsteps of industry.

that flesh does not readily putrefy ; it is However, winter and spring give en- rather inclined to crumble into dust withchantment to the appearance. Then, the out emitting a very offensive smell. In immense valleys-level as a floor-stretch summer the sky is perfectly cloudless, out in the loveliest verdure, and great without the slightest film of vapor in the patches of wild-flowers, amounting, in some vast azure vault. The sun shines with instances, to whole acres, of every color power at noon, but it is never uncomfortand size, continually sparkling in the bright able in the shade; and at night the temsunbeams, clothed with beauty the extend- perature is so delightful and soothing, that ed surface. Green and rounded mountain he who shuts his eyes can have, in a manpyramids, with occasional cloud-capped ner not usually known by the inhabitants peaks, afford the charms of variety. of most other lands, “tired nature's sweet

On the 15th of December, 1852, the restorer, balmy sleep.” first snow fell which I had seen after my If you confine yourself to one place the arrival. There was but little of it, and it climate is uniform, but variable if you all left Sonoma valley in a few hours. Yet change your locality. It is said that in the mountains west of us were perfectly San Francisco the thermometer has shown white, only the trees growing on them did a variation of only a very few degrees in not retain the snow and were green. The a number of years. Yet the variation remaining mountains—for mountains are observed, if you visit different places, is almost all around Sonoma city, “ as the singular. If you would see how near you mountains

“ round about Jerusa- can come to freezing, go up into the mounlem”-showed the green grass, excepting tains in winter. If you would enjoy a some distant ones which were also white climate reminding you of Paradise, go into with snow. The whole valley was covered Sonoma valley, and similar places. If with growing grass. The variety and con- you would like to increase the disposition trast of the scene made it singularly beau- of stubbornness by having constant practiful.

tice, go into Bodego, and other coast reSnow is not common, except in the gions, and push against the strong, cool, region of the Sierra Nevada, or, as the everlasting winds; and you may be allowed name imports, Snowy Mountains. In the all summer to work with one hand, and winter of '46 and 47, many emigrants rub dust out of your eyes with the other. were locked up in the Sierra Nevada by In Sonoma valley the soil is gravelly, snow, supposed to be ten feet deep, and and the general depth is about four feet. lived a long time on boiled ox-hides, then In Petaloma, Santa Rosa, and Suisun, it is on the flesh of their friends who died from argillaceous. In Bodego, the great potatohunger and fatigue.

country, it is sandy, and in Nopa gravelly. But winter, in the region of the coast The basis of the Sonoma soil is clay, and range of mountains, is not disagreeable, I think such is the case with all I have except in the rainy season. This usually mentioned. The Petaloma soil is peculiar. begins in November and ends in May. It is alluvial, and resembles the settlings The rain is not continuous, as many sup- of muddy water. It is fine black clay, and pose, for there are intervals of bright must be very deep-fifteen, twenty, or even sunshine, and a spring-like temperature. a hundred feet—but it is not very good. Sometimes it rains for a whole day without The valleys and hills abound with wild cessation, and weeks of showery weather oats and grasses. The varieties of grasses are not unfrequent, while other days and are greater than on the Atlantic side of weeks are fine specimens of the delightful. the continent, and much more nutritious; The wettest month when I was there, and they are all heavily seeded, and when ripe perhaps when anybody else was there, was are as fattening to stock as the grains with December, when nearly all the low coun- which we feed cattle. There is a grass try was flooded. Travelers on foot in the in Sacramento valley, and perhaps in other valleys might be seen slowly selecting places, which is pleasant to the taste and

nutritious, and is eaten by the Indians. animals. They are the real natives of The clover, of which there are many kinds, California. They live, to a great extent, deposits, when dry, such an abundance of on roots which they dig from the earth, seeds upon the ground, that they are lapped and from this fact are called Digger Inup by quadrupeds like threshed oats with us. dians; they also live on grass, but espe

The acorns, which are large oleaginous cially grass-seed, which they gather by nuts, afford most nutritious feed for horses, brushing it from its stalks from one basket mules, and even horned cattle, during the into another; and they live on acorns, period of transition from the dry grass to which they pick up and pulverize, and the new growth, which is about a month then make the flour into bread or mush. after the rains begin to fall.

They will even eat vermin.

Yet they The “soap-plant” (amole) is one of like bread and butter as well as other great service, especially to the Indians. people. I visited an Indian camp one The root, which contains the saponin of day, when I saw them eating a thin paste the plant, resembles the onion, but pos- made out of flour and water. A basket sesses the quality of cleansing linen equal of their own making, which was imperto cker's soap in San Francisco, or vious to water, contained the paste. They “ Sala's chemical soap” in Pittsburgh. made ladles out of their hands by com

The evergreen oak (Quercus Ilex) is the pressing and crooking their fingers. The principal timber in all the valleys. It is ladle, being filled with wigwam soup, full of knots and twists, and would be un was thrust into the mouth, turned upside manageable if it were not so very porous down, and sucked empty, with a toss of and brittle. The trees are generally low the head backward, and no little noise. and crooked, and at a distance they look These Indians are mostly well-formed, exactly like large apple-trees; and the and of good stature, varying from five feet groves scattered about have the appear- | three inches to five feet eleven inches ance of splendid orchards.

in height, with strong muscular developThe red-wood, which is a species of fir, ments. Their hair is long, black, coarse, is found in abundance on the coast, and and matted ; and their complexion is very in considerable quantities on the interior near that of a mulatto. They are uninmountains. It grows so tall, that those telligent, lazy, stupid, and beastly. I who deal in strong expressions will tell never feared them any more than I would you that you must look twice to see the a cow, for they are too blockish to be top of a tree. Its superior for building dangerous without great excitement. purposes is not to be found.

I think gold is imbedded in the CaliBy proper cultivation, almost anything fornia earth to a much greater extent than which will grow in any other part of the has yet been discovered. Its mines will world may be produced in California. not be exhausted for many years to come. Nevertheless, while it may be said to be a It is obtained by the hardest labor. Somegood farming country, it cannot be re times the work is to be done by standing in garded as a superior one. Its farmers water for days together. Rivers must be have some advantages that are not pos- dug up, hills must be dug down, tons of sessed in this country, but the disadvan- dirt must be lifted, carried, and each handtages there are greater than they are here. ful of it carefully washed. There are Take the gold from California, and it would several ways of separating the fine gold be a poorer country than this. Its agri- from the dirt. The most common, where I cultural advantages are not such as to give was, was by means of the “rocker.” The it any particular prominence. Its great “rocker” is worked on the principle of a ness lies in its gold and commercial facil-nursery cradle, which it very much reities.

sembles. It is open at the foot, with only Among the wild animals are the wild a small cleat nailed to the bottom, and has horse, the elk, the deer, the antelope, the a coarse sieve at its head. The golden grizzly bear, the panther, and the cayote, earth is placed upon the sieve, and the which is a species of the jackal. Small machine being in motion, water is poured birds are very numerous, but there is not upon the rich deposit, and the gold, sand, a great variety.

and fine earth are taken into the body of I would not go far astray if I should the machine, while the gravel is rejected. class the Digger Indians with the wild | The earth, being light, is washed rapidly

over the cleat, while the gold and black government changes hands; the United sand, being heavy, lag behind. After the States obtain dominion ; Protestantism precious remnants are taken up and dried, becomes the religion of the country; and the sand is blown away, and the gold, as now men's eyes are opened to behold the a matter of course, is kept.

precious dust. The apparently accidental The pleasure of “rocking the cradle," discovery is made by a Mr. Marshall, in with a golden baby it, has attracted men February, 1848, who, while employed in from all parts of the world. On board cutting a mill-race for Captain Sutter, obthe vessel which brought me from San serves the glittering particles of gold in a Francisco, I noticed that twenty-nine of large bed of mud and gravel. Under the our states had their representatives. You protection and blessed freedom of the could hardly name a nation of whom some American flag, the nations gather to dig. are not found in California. Nor could What a grand field for the missionary! you think of any human size or shape, or Such is the difficulty of communication grade of intellect, or color of skin, or with some nations, and such is the tyranny manner of dress, or form of living lan- of some despotic governments, that he guage, and I will add, or of any kind of cannot now visit all places but God immorality, which has not its representa- concentrates the nations in California, untive there.

der the benign influence of American Even in the grave-yards may be heard, liberty, and gives the missionary a clew almost at all times, the sound of the mi to the whole world. Nor is this a new ner's rocker, and the hurried dashing of feature in the divine arrangement. Sacred the water. The scenery around one to history records a period when “there which I now refer, is wild and grand. were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout Gold lies beneath the graves, and it is men, out of every nation under heaven ;" thought by some that the whole grave and the disciples of Jesus were

“ filled yard will one day be sluiced! I looked with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak over the place and counted seventy graves. with other tongues," so “that every man A few of them were adorned with stones heard them speak in his own language." and boards, on which names, dates, and Glance at a single nation for one moplaces of nativity might be read. Of ment, and see the divine plan. China these few, two were from Massachusetts, has but slightly received the Gospel, and one was from Maine, one was from Ver- | for many years to come she will meet it mont, one was from New York, one was with her deep-rooted prejudices, only to from Alabama, and one was from Ohio. spurn it from her as a nuisance. But gold Behold, in a village grave-yard, a true attracts the Chinaman to California. He picture of California! Both have their is there among a new people, under the inhabitants from all parts of the earth. immediate influence of a new religion. Sleep on now, in that far-off land, ye He is there without his wife, for the law lonely mortals, of whom not one of you of the emperor prohibited his taking her had a mother, or wife, or sister, to drop a with him. Had his family gone with tear of affection in your coffins—sleep on, him, his gods would also have gone ; but till the trumpet shall sound, and the dead now he has no family altar, and there is shall be raised.

a great gulf between him and his idolIt is worthy of special note, that the temple. It is not true that there is a time when gold was discovered seems to temple of idolatry in San Francisco. I have been selected by Providence, that traversed the city and saw for myself : God's name should be glorified; for he there is a theater and nothing more. The who orders that the wrath of man shall poor Chinaman seems to have left his repraise him, may as easily determine that ligion in his native land ; and, cut loose the covetousness of man shall praise him from the restrictions which a man's home also. The gold was not hid.

It was

must ever create, he floats out upon the there glittering in the dust ; yet men sea of life, ready to be picked up by the walked over it, dug it up, and did not see benevolent crew of the missionary ship, it. A few specimens had been found and while every avenue of his heart opens for sent to England, without awakening ex the reception of the Gospel. His soul is tensive curiosity. Now, mark the pro- strangely blessed. He writes the glad ceedings of Divine Providence. The ) tidings home. God applies his words to

the awakening of his friends. Thus shall

LIFE IN CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY. China be visited with salvation. Nor is this a fancy sketch, but one which is beau- THE Cambridge University in England tifully daguerreotyped from the realities of consists of seventeen colleges, each of past providences.

which is an independent body under a comThe hand of God is visible in bringing mon government, like the United States the nations to one language. When he of America. Though the buildings are arrayed himself against the builders of commonly called colleges, this term propthe tower of Babel, he interfered with erly belongs to the collective body of their sin by giving them a diversity of Masters, Fellows, and Scholars, who despeech ; one could not understand another, rive emoluments of different kinds from and their work was closed. But to carry the foundation or college property, which on the work of salvation through Jesus was given or bequeathed by various perChrist, God is blending the languages sons. The members or students only into one. All tongues in California are reside at college for the purpose of educagradually conforming to the English. The tion. The edifices are of different sizes, Chinaman there is destined to quit sawing and vary in architectural design and granand grating with his harsh native speech, deur; but they generally consist of several for he is learning of Americans, and he large square courts, surrounded with uniwill often greet you with a very distinct form ranges of building. The entrance to “Good morning, sir;" or, “ How do you the outer courts is through large gates, do, sir," while he looks proud, and his some of which are very handsome; and great broad teeth shine with delight. The there are flights of stairs leading to a very Indians, stupid as they are, are learn- number of apartments, apportioned to the ing the English language.

fellows and students. Two rooms and a And what is California at this moment ? pantry are the ordinary allotment for each A High College, endowed by Divine Pro- habitant, whose name is painted at the vidence, where the English language is foot of the stair, as well as on the door of taught to all the nations of the earth. his chambers, of which he keeps a key to Wherefore? That through this one fit admit himself at pleasure, a duplicate channel holiness may pour its sacred being held by the bed-maker. streams into all lands. California is situ The colleges are not necessarily contigated midway between the light of Chris uous to one another, though this is the tian civilization and the somber shades case with some of them ; they are scatof heathenism. It is the supreme medium tered through the town, and have large of conveyance by which Europe and Ame- gardens or walks, for the convenience and rica are to pass over triumphantly to health of the members. Some of these Asia, and carry the Gospel of the grace grounds are open to the public, who have of God to the sons of night. Is the Gos- thus an opportunity of recreating thempel to be preached to all nations ? They selves in pleasant places; for the walks are gathered for the hearing. Will they are very picturesque, in grand avenues of desert the country, and leave the mission- lofty trees, amid verdant fields, by the ary no work to do? The inexhaustible side of the peaceful Cam. Such are fit stores of gold will always attract them. places for meditation of an elevated charThe cloud of God's presence will cover acter, and where the mind may well rumithat land, tinged with the varied hues of nate upon the food with which it has been his excellent glory, and joyously, swiftly, in secret supplied. profusely, will it spread its refreshing The buildings of some colleges are not showers to the earth's extent.

sufficiently large to receive all their stuHasten, glad day, when from the flower-dents, and the surplus are accommodated gardens of the modern Ophir shall go up in private lodgings, licensed for this purodors, incense, and a pure offering to the pose by the proper authorities. The lodgMost High; and when from the gold of ing-keepers are obliged, like the college that land shall come forth a voice en- porters, to furnish a report of the conduct chanting as the songs of angels, majestic of the students, especially of their reguas the heavens, and all-prevalent like the larity in coming home at night. They shout of God's host, saying, “ Halleluiah! ought to be in their chambers at ten for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth !" o'clock, which is certainly a very decent

and respectable hour, before which they in a peculiar costume, each carrying, as cannot play much mischief. After this his badge of office, a huge volume of unitime, they are fined so much per hour, versity statutes, strongly bound with according to the estimate which the dif- clasps, and suspended by chains. These ferent colleges put upon gadding-some heavy tomes are brought to church by the valuing it at two cents, some at four cents, proctor's bull-dogs, as they are usually others as high as twelve cents an hour. termed-two rough-looking fellows, atBut if abroad after midnight, the culprits tired in a long cloth gown with gilt buttons, are amenable to be called up to render an the train of which they carry over their account of their whereabouts, though one left arm, "prepared to run.” The bullcollege allows until one in the morning dogs, as in faithful duty bound, attend for a late supper. If this offence be oft their masters when they take their walks repeated, they will be summoned before abroad, to see how matters go in the the dean, and severely reprimanded. The streets, and pounce upon any unfortunate morals of the young gentlemen are thus student who is found misbehaving in pubapparently cared for, so that they may not lic, or appearing without his proper cosspend the whole night in gay or wicked tume, consisting of cap and gown, which company.

he ought always to wear before ten in the Each student is expected to the present morning, and after dark. Some curious at muster three times a day—at prayers, stories are told of these bull-dog chases, lecture, and dinner; for, in case their and the expedients to which a clever head young minds should be so occupied with has had recourse, to escape from being study as to make them forget their reli- taken. We have heard of one who was gious devotions, the treacherous memory hunted down an alley, out of which there is assisted by a bell calling them to chapel, was no other exit; but he had wit enough where prayers are read twice a-day; and, to run into a barber's shop, and, throwing on saint's-days and vigil-eves, the students off hat and coat, began to share the barare attired in surplices, and an anthem is ber's man, so that, when the pursuers sung by the choristers. Each gentleman entered, they did not recognize the man must attend these services eight times a- they had been chasing, and lost scent of week, or else he is fined. This eight is their game. The proctors hold office for not to be thought a mystical number, but only one year, and are annually chosen as implying the saying or hearing of from the graduates. They are much disprayers once every week-day, and twice liked, especially by the sparks, on account on the Sabbath. Yet in some colleges at of the check which is put upon their least, the going twice on Sunday counts natural liberty. for three times out of the eight-according Lectures are delivered by the university to the sailor's adage, “the better the day, professors, some of whom the students are the better the deed." Eminent men are enjoined to hear, according to the year of successively chosen to occupy the pulpit their residence; but attendance upon the of University Church for a month at a others is voluntary. time, each of whom, during his period, Dinner is as important a part of college reads a sermon every Sunday afternoon. regime as the daily prayers or lecture; for In this capacious edifice, the under-grad- the body needs feeding as well as the soul. uates, as many as please to go, occupy the Commons are provided for all the students, side and back galleries, in which, perhaps, and they are expected to be present at the half of them could be accommodated, for dinner hour. In the larger colleges, where it is not expected that young gentlemen a great many hungry stomachs have to be should be sermon-hunters. The “ Heads satisfied, a dinner scene might form a good of Houses” are supposed to be more subject for the pencil of a clever artist. piously inclined, and a whole gallery is The young gentlemen make a rush to the reserved for their use. Graduates have seats, each endeavoring to get as near as part of the ground area, technically called possible to a joint of meat. As soon as the pit, allotted for their convenience or grace has been said, the successful candiinconvenience; but, as the service only date for the first slice helps himself to lasts an hour, they need not be nice as to whatever portion of the meat suits his caste the manner of sederunt. Among this as or fancy, and passes it on to his neighbor, semblage may be seen the two proctors, I who operates upon the joint in similar

« AnteriorContinuar »