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they commence their digging. The first instru- and bobbing it continually to attract the notice of ment used is nothing more than a chisel, a bay- the fish. Sometimes they attach small, polished onet, or a sharpened piece of iron, lashed on the ivory balls near the hook, to attract the fish, which end of a pole, ten or twelve feet long. With this seeing them, from a long distance, dancing up they cut a circular hole in the ice of about two feet and down and glistening in the light, at once in diameter, and a foot deep. Then, when it be- swim up and try to eat the reindeer bait on the comes difficult to use the ice-chisel, they scoop out bent hook, to their certain and speedy disgust. the accumulated pulverized ice with thin ladles As a protection from the wind, the young fishers made from musk-ox horn, of which I told you in a often build a sort of half igloo, and shelter themformer paper. One of these ladles is also lashed selves behind it. This also serves as a place to to a long pole, and is used to dip the cut ice out hide the fish that are caught; for there are always of the well. And so the boys work away at their a crowd of half-starved dogs sneaking about, trywell, first cutting down a foot or so with their ice- ing by hook or crook to steal a fish. chisels, and then scooping it out with their ladles, But this is not the only way that the Eskimo boys then cutting again, then scooping, until finally and girls have of catching fish. In the spring of they have bored clear through, and the fresh their year, about the middle of our summer-time, water comes rushing up to the top, and all the when the ice is breaking up and running out of thirsty people in camp, who have had no water their rivers, they catch fish in great quantities at all day,- as well as the dogs, which are equally the rapids in the rivers, and store them away for thirsty,-- get a good drink, and have plenty of use in the winter. For this purpose they use a water with which to prepare supper.
curious spiked and barbed fish-spear, which is If the boys had not been successful in finding shown in the illustration on the preceding page. water, the girls would be obliged to collect a lot of When the fish are very numerous, the men and ice or snow, and melt it in the stone kettles over women, as well as the boys and girls, manage to the igloo lamps, and at least an hour would be wasted get a footing on some rock in the rapids, where before their hot supper would be ready — and this they can stand easily, and, as the fish rush by, they is quite a serious affair, as in that terribly cold impale them on these spears until great quantities country, people want their supper just as soon as it have been caught. The fish are then split open, can be made. Besides this, a great deal of oil and spread over double rows of strings stretched would have had to be used in melting the ice and from rock to rock. Here they are left to dry, snow, and oil is very precious.
though in the cold, short arctic summer the fish only In digging the ice-well, the boys are careful to become about half as well dried, as they would in keep the hole the same diameter away down to our climate. These dried fish are then stored in the water, especially when they come near the seal-skin bags and kept for future use; a great bottom, for if there are any fish in the lake or river many are fed to the dogs to put them into good they will try to catch them through this hole in the condition for the winter. ice. Most of the lakes and rivers of the Arctic regions When the reindeer have been killed, their skins of North America are full of delicious salmon, and are stretched on the ground to dry, with the hairy the poor Eskimo who have to eat so much fishy side down, and although they may freeze as stiff as seal meat and strong-tasting walrus flesh, appre- a board, in the course of a week or two the water ciate these fine salmon much more than do we, will dry out of them. These skins are then taken with our great variety of food. Their fish-lines and put through a process by means of which they are made of reindeer sinew, and are much stronger are made as nice and soft as a piece of buckskin or than are our lines. The fish-hooks are simply chamois-skin,- or, if it be a fawn reindeer, as soft bent pieces of sharpened iron or copper, and as as a piece of kid. This is done by scraping them they are not barbed at the end the native fisher- with a peculiarly shaped instrument which tears man has to pull in very fast when he hooks his off all the flesh that may have adhered, and scrapes fish, or he will lose it, as every boy knows who has away the inner thick skin that makes the hide so fished with a pin-hook.
stiff and unpliable. When the skins are thick and If a lake is well stocked with fish, the natives heavy, the men do the work, for it is then very will often camp by it for two or three days and dig difficult; but otherwise the women, and very often a number of holes, so that the women, and every the little girls, scrape the skins and give the finboy and girl as well, can be busy catching salmon ishing touches, and then make them up into while the hunters are roaming over the hills looking coats, dresses, stockings, slippers, and all sorts for reindeer and musk-oxen. Here they will sit, of clothing. on a couple of snow-blocks, nearly all day long, For cutting these reindeer skins into shapes for holding the hook a couple of feet below the ice. garments, a very queer kind of scissors is used.
It is, in fact, a kind of knife, and an odd knife that there is not the slightest danger of such an at that. It looks very much like the knife that accident. is used by saddlers and harness-makers; and When the reindeer skins have been dressed, and when it is used in cutting, it is always shoved made up into garments, and these have been put away from the person using it. This knife is used on,- girls and boys, men and women, are dressed for everything that is to be done in the way of so nearly alike, that at any considerable distance cutting, from seal and reindeer skin to the thin- you cannot tell them apart. nest and most fragile strings. At meals, too, some The Eskimo girl wears a long apron. And just one will put to his mouth a great piece of blub- over her shoulders, her coat-sleeves swell out into ber or fish as big as your fist, seize as much as he large pockets; and in her stockings, just above can with his teeth, grasp the rest in his hand, and the outer part of the ankles, she also has pockets, cut off a huge mouthful with this knife. If you in which she keeps her sewing, moss for lampwere watching him, you would feel certain that wicking, a roll of sinew for thread, and any other he would slice off his nose in this awkward similar article that she may need to carry with movement, but the Eskimo are so very dexterous her.
THREE little flies in the room, on a pane —
Said the three little flies as they hummed on
the pane, To the three little fies who were out in the
rain : “Don't you wish you were here on this side of
the pane, Instead of out there in the cold and the rain ? And then we must tell you there's dinner
a-cooking, Though, really and truly, we have n't been
Said the three little flies outside in the rain
To the three little lies inside on the pane : “ We think it's much nicer out here in the
rain Than shut up where you are, inside on the
have at ball
AMONG THE LAW - MAKERS.*
(Recollections of a Page in the United States Senate.)
By EDMUND ALTON.
by all the colonies and signed by their authorized
delegates in March, 1781. In the same month, AULD LANG SYNE.
the First Congress under the new arrangement
convened. And now, in this month sacred to Independence To this confederacy, thus entered into, was given Day, let us consider some of the memorable facts the name of “The United States of America,” but in regard to that great epoch in our national career. the States comprising it were like so many empires.
Of course, every young patriot knows all about They did nothing more than enter into a friendly the origin of the Declaration of Independence; league or partnership, in which each State retained the struggles and privations endured and the obsta- its “sovereignty, freedom, and power"- in other cles overcome by our forefathers; the noble zeal words, each State had supreme control over its own of the statesmen representing the people in the affairs, and the Congress itself could only meet and Continental Congress; the achievements of our discuss what ought to be done, without having battle-heroes both on land and on sea. From the power to say what should be done or to enLexington to Yorktown, you can easily follow the force obedience. Congress could give advice, but path of war.
the States could follow it or disregard it, as they But though familiar with the causes that resulted chose. in the independence of the colonies, you may not Such a league, therefore, was found to be but a know the course of events that led to the formation worthless arrangement. To be sure, it could have of the republic and the creation of its present form done no harm, even had it tried; but the purpose of government, nor of the difficulties that accom- in establishing it was to derive some benefit from panied the nation during the early period of its it; and the people soon discovered that it was career. You perhaps do not know that the most unable to do any work at all. arduous task remained to be done after the war The upshot of the whole matter was that Conhad closed. Liberty had been secured. How gress advised that a convention of delegates, to be was it to be maintained ? That was the great appointed by the States, should be held at Philaquestion to which Washington, Franklin, Hamil- delphia on the 14th of May, 1787, to suggest some ton, and other leaders of the people applied the “ remedy" (to quote the words of the resolution) power of their minds.
for these “defects"; and the representatives were The great “Continental Congress,” consisting accordingly chosen, and assembled on the 25th — of representatives of the colonies, immortalized eleven days later than the time fixed. itself by the Declaration of Independence on the These delegates were merely to “revise" the Fourth of July, 1776. It convened at Carpenter's articles of confederation, and report their opinions Hall (since known as Independence Hall), in the to Congress and the various State legislatures. city of Philadelphia, on the roth of May, 1775, But after a brief deliberation, they came to the conand continued in session until 1781.
clusion that it was better to construct an entirely While the Declaration of Independence was still new federation, vested with complete powers. In under consideration in Congress, but before final other words, they resolved, on the 29th of May, action upon it, a resolution was passed (June 11, “That a national government ought to be estab1776), appointing a committee
lished, consisting of a supreme government, legislative, executive, and judiciary."
With this in view, they began their work, tween these colonies."
and kept steadily at it until they had finished. It
was a memorable event — that gathering of free The committee performed the labors assigned to and independent States, quietly arranging to merge it, and on the 15th of November, 1777, “ Articles their own sovereign rights into one mighty authorof Confederation and Perpetual Union ” were ap- ity, protective, general, central, and supreme! proved by Congress and submitted to the colonies one of the grandest spectacles, as has been said, for their adoption. Those Articles were agreed to recorded in the annals of the world! And this,
* Copyright, 1884, by Edmund Alton. All rights reserved.
"To prepare the form of a confederation to be entered into be
boys and girls, is the wonderful story that is able Rights; that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of epitomized in the motto of our republic:
Happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted
among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the E PLURIBUS UNUM! — "One composed of many."
governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destruc
tive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolGeorge Washington was chosen to preside over
ish it, and to institute new government, laying the foundation on
such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them that great constitutional convention. Finally, on shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness." September 17, after a consultation of four months, it forwarded its report, and presented to the So they threw off the government of the King Congress of the Confederation the form of “a of England, not only as a matter of “ right,” but more perfect Union” and government for that as a matter of “duty” to themselves and children, Union. This was the Constitution — to which I and provided “new guards for their future securhave so frequently referred, and it was speedily ity.” Instead of “ nations,” they called their comtransmitted by Congress to the various State munities "states"; and the people of each State legislatures, “in order to be submitted to a con- agreed upon a new arrangement, or government,
vention of delegates chosen in each State by the and appointed the necessary officers to attend to · people thereof.”
the objects of that government. It is needless to dwell upon the ordeal of criticism But they all were engaged, during the Revoluthat it underwent in the State conventions. Eleven tion, in fighting one great enemy. They had, of the thirteen States having given their assent, in therefore, a common interest; and so they said, the mode of formal ratification, * the new Union “Let us join hands, and help one another." They and government came into existence, and the did so,--- and they won the fight. First Constitutional Congress of the United States But after they had won, the people of the assembled in the city of New York on the 4th of various States found that they were not only likely March, 1789.
to be attacked again by a common enemy, but That Congress met in joint convention, and that they were also likely to get into wrangles counted the electoral votes previously cast for among themselves. The people of each State had President and Vice-President. This action re- declared themselves free and independent; they sulted in declaring George Washington and John had had enough of fealty to a superior power; Adams duly elected to the respective offices they resolved to be their own sovereigns and govern for the first term. On the 21st of that month, Mr. themselves, and thus “ assume among the nations Adams was, with proper courtesies, received by of the earth, that separate and equal station to the Senate and “introduced to the chair"; and which the laws of Nature and of Nature's God" on the 30th, as I have already described, General entitled them. Washington was inaugurated as President of the It was, therefore, but natural that they should United States.
have been disinclined to create and arm with wealth
and power a general government, that might also CHAPTER XVII.
be made to wield, some day, the scepter of tyranny GOVERNMENT.
and oppression, and crush out the independence
of the States and the lives and liberties of the HAVING thus recalled the several historic steps people. They had writhed under the lash of a by which our Government was formed, let me now king, and they did not wish to establish a “sysendeavor to help you to comprehend the theory as tem" that might eventually become a worse deswell as the workings of that Government. To potism than that which they had escaped. So properly understand the interests intrusted to the they said, “Let us enter into some sort of arrangeFederal law-makers, it is necessary to remember ment, and appoint some men to make certain that at the time of the Revolution the people of this rules, which shall be for our union and guidance. country were gathered into various communities." And they did. They entered into the “ Articles or “ societies," called “ colonies," under a certain of Confederation.” But, as I have explained, form of “government,” which they found did not this alliance of interests was found to be unsatisprotect their interests as it should have done. They factory. Once more the States counseled together, declared themselves “ free and independent," and, and through their representatives determined to in doing this, asserted, in the following words, the make a wiser and more helpful arrangement, that, great principle which I have explained :
in the words of these representatives, should "secure “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domesequal; + that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalien- tic tranquillity, provide for the common defense, pro
* The remaining States (North Carolina and Rhode Island) added theirs later on.
+ That is, born to equal rights.
mote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of dent Lincoln that I have taken all this space to liberty to ourselves and our posterity"; and they de- bring to your attention, that the Government of termined to appoint men enough and to give them the United States of America is : -power enough not only to prescribe, but to carry out “A government of the people, by the people, the regulations necessary to these common and and for the people." general needs.
And I have made this explanation that you may Yet they made a very natural and proper condi- understand the important principles which were tion. The people of New York, for instance, said: voiced by the very preamble of the Constitution, “Now, we have already a government and officers and which speak in all our institutions and our of our own. We have certain interests which do laws! not affect the people of Virginia or the people of
CHAPTER XVIII. other States; and we should prefer that these offi
THOSE WHO EXECUTE THE LAWS AND THOSE cers should continue to attend to these special
WHO INTERPRET THEM. interests, because they are familiar with our local affairs and wants, and can assist us, in those mat- Our first law-makers patriotically began at once ters, better than officers appointed from other to organize and equip the various branches of the States.” And the people of Virginia and other governmental service, and otherwise meet the inStates said: “That suits us; for we, too, have tentions and requirements of the Constitution.* special interests and governments and officers of They promptly arranged for defraying the expenses our own, and we prefer our local officers to attend to of the new government by the levying of taxes. our special wants.” And it was accordingly agreed Then followed various enactments, establishing that the people of the States should retain their certain executive departments, and furnishing them various State governments, with the understand with clerks and other assistants. They also passed ing, however, that the State officers should not the important “ Judiciary Act," which created a meddle with things that concerned the people of system of Federal courts, thus organizing the third other States, and that, on the other hand, the “ coördinate" branch of the government, and Federal Government and its officers should not putting into operation the mighty machinery of interfere with the State governments or officers ex- national law and justice. cept in such matters as concerned the general and During their second and third sessions, moreover, common interests of all the people, or about which the members of the First Congress established the there might be conflict or ill feeling between the permanent seat of government at Washington, people of two or more States.
D. C.; t attended to banking and currency quesThis agreement and arrangement is the Con- tions; arranged for the payment of the public debt stitution. The people of all the States thereupon incurred prior to the new form of government in became one great nation, with a great Federal Gov- maintaining the interests of the people; and supernment; and the people of each State retained plied other wants of the nation. Their labors have their local governments.
been continued by subsequent Congresses, so that But you are not to look upon this Federal Gov- now the Federal Government is a marvelous conernment, or Republic, as a “club," or regard it trivance of thoroughness and order. as simply a sort of “constabulary,” or “police Let us look at the result of all this legislation force." It has a grander purpose than to lock of the law-makers, so far as it bears upon the people up, and preserve order in the streets. The general plan of the two other branches of the sysUnited States is a mighty nation. It represents tem,- the law-executors and law-interpreters. the “sovereignty” of fifty millions of people. The executive power is, by the Constitution, The officers of government are but the agents vested in the President; I but the business inappointed by the people, and the people have trusted to the executive power is distributed, under a right to remove those officers, whenever they the provisions of numerous enactments, among desire other or better men to act for them. The seven “ established executive departments," as government was created by the people, in the exer- follows: cise of their own “sovereign authority"; it was 1. The Department of State. established for their benefit and welfare; and it 2. The Department of War. is managed by the people, through agents chosen 3. The Department of the Treasury. and paid by them. And these three great facts 4. The Department of Justice. are embraced in the memorable words of Presi- 5. The Post-office Department.
* See Sec. VIII., CI. 18.
† The struggle over this question had been started some years before, under the Confederation, and was fiercely continued by the First Congress, members from various sections contending for different localities. The present location was agreed upon as a “compromise," but actual possession of it by the Departments of Government was not taken until the autumn of the year 1800.
Constitution, Art. II., Sec. I., Cl. 1.