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Title: Lander's Travels - The Travels of Richard Lander into the Interior of Africa
Author: Huish, Robert, 1777-1850
Language: English
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TRAVELS
OF
RICHARD AND JOHN  LANDER,
INTO
THE INTERIOR OF AFRICA,
FOR THE DISCOVERY
OF THE
COURSE AND TERMINATION OF THE NIGER;

FROM

UNPUBLISHED DOCUMENTS IN THE POSSESSION OF THE LATE
CAPT. JOHN WILLIAM BARBER FULLERTON,
Employed in the African Service:

WITH
_A Prefatory Analysis of the Previous Travels_
OF
PARK, DENHAM, CLAPPERTON, ADAMS, LYON, RITCHIE, &c.
Into the hitherto unexplored Countries of Africa.

BY ROBERT  HUISH, ESQ.

Author of the "Last Voyage of Capt. Sir John Ross, to the Arctic
Regions," "Memoirs of W. Cobbett, Esq." "Private and Political Life
of the late Henry Hunt, Esq." &c. &c. &c.

LONDON:

_(Printed for the Proprietors,)_

PUBLISHED BY JOHN SAUNDERS, 25, NEWGATE  STREET.

1836.



INTRODUCTION.

Many are the acquisitions which geography has made since the
boundaries of commerce have been extended, and the spirit of
enterprise has carried our adventurous countrymen into countries
which had never yet been indented by a European foot; and which, in
the great map of the world, appeared as barren and uninhabitable
places, destitute of all resources from which the traveller could
derive a subsistence. It must, however, on the other hand, be
admitted, that design has frequently had little to do in the
discovery of those countries, however well it may have been
conceived, and however great the perseverance may have been, which
was exhibited in the pursuit. The discovery of America was, indeed,
a splendid example of an enlightened conception, and an undaunted
heroism, crowned with the most complete success; and the laudable and
unabated ardour which this country, in despite of the most appalling
obstacles, has persisted in solving the great geographical problem of
the Course and Termination of the Niger, may be placed second in rank
to the discovery of America.

As long as any fact is shut out from the knowledge of man, he who is
in search of it will supply the deficiency by his own conclusions,
which will be more or less removed from the object of his pursuit,
according to the previous opinions which he may have formed, or to
the credit which he may have placed on the reports of others. These
remarks cannot be better illustrated, than in the case furnished by
the Joliba, the Quorra, or Niger, the termination of which river was
utterly unknown until Richard and John Lander, braving difficulties
which would have broken any other hearts than theirs, succeeded in
navigating the river until its conflux with the ocean. Since Park's
first discovery of the Joliba, every point of the compass has been
assumed for the ulterior course and termination of that river, and
however wrong subsequent discovery has proved this speculative
geography to have been, it is not to be regarded as useless. Theories
may be far short of the truth, but while they display the ingenuity
and reasoning powers of their authors, they tend to keep alive that
spirit of inquiry and thirst for knowledge which terminates in
discovery.

Various accounts of this river had been gradually collected from
different sources, which afforded grounds for fresh theories
respecting its termination. That of Reichard was the favourite, he
supposing that it assumed a southwest course, and terminated in the
gulph of Guinea. It was observed at the time, that there was neither
evidence on which such an opinion could be supported, nor any by
which it could be refuted. Discovery has proved him to be right in
respect to its ultimate disposal; but at the same time, he
participated in the general error regarding its course to Wangara.
These different opinions appeared in several publications, in which,
as might be expected, much error was mixed up with the general
correctness. That the river flowed into the sea at Funda, was the
principal and chief point that was gained; but the most extraordinary
circumstance attending this discovery, was, that no one knew where
Funda was. The only exception to these was the theory of Major
Denham, supported by Sultan Bello's information, who continued its
easterly course below Boossa, and ended it in Lake Tchad.

Such was the uncertain condition in which the course of the Niger
remained, when the happy idea occurred of sending the Messrs. Landers
to follow its course below Boossa. By this step the British
government completed what it had begun, and accomplished in a few
months the work of ages.



CONTENTS

CHAP. I.
Herodutus. Early History of Africa. Interior of Africa. Malte Brun.
Division of Africa. Early African Discoveries. Portuguese
Discoveries. Madeira. Island of Arguin. Bemoy. Prester John. Death of
Bemoy. Elmina. Ogane. John II. Lord of Guinea. Diego Cam. His return
to Congo. Catholic Missionaries. Acts of the Missionaries. Magical
Customs of the Natives. Expulsion of the Portuguese.

CHAP. II.
Expeditions of the English. Thompson. First Expedition of Jobson.
African Animals. Jobson's arrival at Tenda. Bukar Sano. Second
Expedition of Jobson. The Horey. Expedition of Vermuyden. Expedition
of Stibbs. Falls of Barraconda. Natives of Upper Gambia. Dangers from
the Elephants and Sea Horses. Travels of Jannequin.

CHAP. III.
African Association. Expedition of Ledyard. His Death. Expedition of
Lucas. Major Houghton. His Death.

CHAP   V. [*]
Park's First Journey. Pisania. Dr. Laidley. Jindy. Mandingo Negroes.
Kootacunda. Woolli. Konjour. Membo Jumbo. Tallika. Ganado.
Kuorkarany. Fatteconda. Almami. Departure from Fatteconda. Joag.
Robbery of Mr. Park by the Natives. Demba Sego. Gungadi. Tesee.
Tigitty Sego. Anecdote of an African Wife. Kooniakary. Sambo Sego.

[Footnote: Chap. IV. was accidentally numbered Chap. V.]

CHAP. VI.
King Semba. Sego Jalla. Salem Daucari. Route from Soolo to Feesurah.
Kemmoo. Kaarta. Koorabarri. Funing Kedy. Ali, King of Ludamar.
Sampaka. Arrival at the Camp of Ali. Conduct of the Moors. Robberies
of Ali. Illness of Mr. Park. Curiosity of the African Ladies.
Whirlwinds of the Desert. An African Wedding.

CHAP. VII.
Sufferings of Mr. Park. Departure of Ali. Park's introduction to
Fatima. Beauty of the Moorish Women. The Great Desert of Jarra. Demba
Taken by the Moors. Jarra. Queira. Escape of Mr. Park. His perilous
Situation. Shrilla. Wawra. Dingyee. Departure from Doolinkeaboo.
First view of the Niger. Amiable conduct of a Bambara Woman. Mansong
King of Sego. Sansanding. Park's encounter with a lion. Moorzan.
Silla. Kea. Superstition of the Natives. Madiboo. Sibity. Sansanding.
Conduct of Mansong. Yamina. Balaba. Taffara. Sominoo. Kollikorro.
Saphie writing. Bambakoo. Kooma. Park robbed by the Foulahs.
Reflections.

CHAP. VIII.
Sibidooloo. The Mansa of Wonda. Mansia. Generous Conduct of a Karfa.
A Negro School. Treatment of the  Slaves. Close of the Rhamadam.
Departure of  the Coffle. The Jallonka Wilderness. Coffle attacked by
Bees. Fate of Nealee. Koba. Jallonka Banditti. Malacotta.
Magnanimous Conduct of Damel. Park's Arrival in England.

CHAP. IX.
Frederic Horneman. Ummesogeir. Siwah. Conduct of the Siwahans.
Mourzouk. Fezzan. Death of Horneman. Nicholls. His Death.

CHAP. X.
Adams. Soudenny. Timbuctoo. King and Queen of Timbuctoo. La Mar
Zarah. Natives of Timbuctoo. Their Customs. Their Religion. Female
Physicians. Amusements at Timbuctoo. Capture of Slaves. Penal Code at
Timbuctoo. Doubts respecting the Niger.

CHAP. XI.
Adams' Departure from Timbuctoo. Tudenny. Distress in the Desert.
Vied D'leim. Escape of Adams. Hilla Gibla. Adam's Amour with Isha.
Adams sold as a Slave. Hieta Mouessa Ali. Recapture of Adams.

CHAP. XII.
Wadinoon. Treatment of Slaves. Cruel Treatment of Adams. Murder of
Dolbie. Characteristics of European Slaves. Ransom of Adams. Return
of Adams to England. Justification of Adams.

CHAP. XIII.
Sidi Hamet. Timbuctoo. Women of Timbuctoo. Dress of the Natives of
Timbuctoo. Bimbinah. Wassanah. Reflections on National Character.
Comparison  between Adams and Sidi Hamet. Reflections on Timbuctoo.
Close of Adams' Narrative.

CHAP. XIV.
Population of West Barbary. The Errifi. The Shilluh. Anecdote of
Shilluh. Character of the Arabs. The Moors. The Marabouts. Religion
of the Africans.

CHAP. XV.
Second Expedition of Park. His Departure. Attacks on Mr. Park. His
disheartening Situation. Conduct of Mansong. Death of Mr. Anderson.
Death of Mr. Park. Manuscripts of Park.

CHAP. XVI.
Tuckey's Expedition. His Departure. Disasters of the Expedition.
Death of Tuckey. Expedition of Captain Gray. Expedition of Major
Laing.

CHAP. XVII.
Expedition of Captain Lyon. Benioleed. Zemzem. Bonjem. Sockna. Hoon.
Wadan. Journey to Mourzouk. Zeighan. Samnoo. Wad el Nimmel.

CHAP. XVIII.
Mourzouk. Description of Mourzouk. Castle of Mourzouk. Construction
of the Houses of Mourzouk. The Fighi. African Education. The Burying
Places of Mourzouk. Dress of the Women. Filthy habits of the Natives.
Their Dances. Dresses of the Sultan's Children. The Sultan's Son.
Revenue of the Sultan of Fezzan. Personal Characteristics of the
Natives. Moral Character of the Fezzaners. Music of the Fezzaners.
Illness of Captain Lyon. His Distressing Situation. Treachery of
Mukni. Death of Mr. Ritchie. Return of Captain Lyon.

CHAP. XIX.
Expedition of Denham and Clapperton. Sockna. Sand Storm in the
Desert. Mourzouk. Interview with the Sultan of Mourzouk. Boo Khaloom.
Departure of Major Denham for Tripoli. Sails for England. Entrance
into Sockna. Superstition of Boo Khaloom. Marriage at Sockna.
Agutifa. Tingazeer. Zeghren. Omhal Henna. Illness of Clapperton and
Oudney. Strength of the Expedition. Description of the Arabs.

CHAP. XX.
Expedition to the Westward. Tuaricks. Kharaik. Gorma. Ancient
Inscriptions. Oubari. Roman Buildings. Route over the Sand Hills.
Wadey Shiati. Visit to the Town. Ghraat. Visit to the Sultan. Tuarick
Woman.

CHAP. XXI.
Departure from Mourzouk. Gabrone. Medroosa. Tegerhy. Natives of
Tegerhy. Skeletons of Slaves. Major Denham and the Skeletons.
Slaughter of the Camels. Anay Sultan Tibboo. Kisbee. Tiggema.
Dirkee. Plundering Arabs. Bilma. Female Natives of Bilma. Boo
Khaloom, and Captain Lyon's Book. Surgical Skill of the Arabs.
Aghadem. Tibboo Couriers. Beere Kashitery. Negro Shampooing. Gunda
Tibboos. Mina Tahr. Arab Plunderers. Kofei. Traita Tibboos. Huts of
the Tarifas. Lake Tchad. Lari. Death of a Coluber. Nyagami. Tribe of
Monkeys. Woodie. Dress of the Natives of Woodie. Buridha. Strength of
Buridha. Min Ali Tahr, and the Royal Family of England.

CHAP. XXII.
Approach to Kouka. Description of the Bornou Troops. Barca Gana.
Sheik of Kouka. Presentation to the Sheik. Costume of the Women of
Kanem and Bornou. Major Denham and a young Lion. The Court of Bornou.
Kouka. Angornou. The Bornouese. Sports of the Bornouese. Expedition
against the Kerdies. Mora, the Capital of Mandara. The Sultan of
Mandara. Malem Chadily. Expedition against the Fellatas. Defeat of
the Arabs. Death of Boo Khaloom. Perilous Situation of Major Denham.
Song on Boo Khaloom. Old Birnie. Gambarou. Expedition against the
Mungas.

CHAP. XXIII.
Sultan of Loggun. The Loggunese. Mr. Tyrwhit. The Shouaa Arabs. Tahr,
the Chief of the La Salas. The Beddoomahs. Katagum. Sansan. Death of
Dr. Oudney. Market of Kano. Pugilism in Kano. Marriages and Funerals
of the People of Kano. The Governor of Hadyja. Quana. Females of
Quarra. Treatment of the Small Pox. A Fellata Fugitive.

CHAP. XXIV.
The Wells of Kamoon. Arrival at Sockatoo. Sultan Bello. Abolition of
the Slave Trade. Clapperton's Visit to Sultan Bello. Death of Mr.
Park. Obstacles to the Journey to Youri. Books of Park. Final
Abandonment of the Journey. Ateeko, the Brother of Bello. Purchase of
Major Denham's Baggage. The Civet Cat. The Executioner of Sockatoo.
Departure from Sockatoo. Account of Sockatoo. Trade of Sockatoo.
Arrival in England.

CHAP. XXV.
Lander's First Expedition with Clapperton. Sultan Bello's Letter.
Widah. The Sugar Berry. Beasts of Prey. Animals of Dahomy. Religion
of Dahomy. Its Government. Officers of the Court of Dahomy. Marriages
at Dahomy. Carnival at Abomey. Sacrifice of Victims at Abomey.
Anecdote of the King of Dahomy. Badagry. Introduction to the Chief of
Eyeo. Saboo. Humba, Death of Captain Pearce. Dances at Jannah. Lander
at an African Almacks. Duffoo. Erawa. Washoo. Koosoo. Akkibosa,
Medical Treatment in Eyeo. Loko. Tshow. Entrance into Katunga.
Theatrical Entertainments at Eyeo. Method of Salutation.

CHAP. XXVI.
Situation of the City of Eyeo. Its Markets. Feasts of the
Youribanies. Produce of Youriba. Etiquette at the Court of Katunga.
African Antelopes. Sultan Yarro. Female Cavalry. Kiama. Sultan.
Yarro's Daughter. Wawa. Its Productions and Natives. The Widow Zuma.
Her Costume and Domestic Marriage to Clapperton. Character of the
Inhabitants of Wawa. Departure from Wawa. Boussa. Inquiries
respecting Park. Place of Park's Death. Expected Recovery of Park's
Journal. Letter from the King of Youri. Conduct of the Widow Zuma.
Her Dress and Escort. Mahommed El His Camp. Rejoicings at Koolfu. Its
Trade. The  Widow Laddie, Employment of time at Koolfu. Character of
its People. Akinjie. Futika. Baebaejie.

CHAP. XXVII.
Military Tactics of the Fellatas. Female Warrior of Zamfra.
Proceedings of Bello. Letter of Sultan Bello. Death of Clapperton.

CHAP. XXVIII.
Almena. Cannibals of Almena. Natives of Catica. The River Coodoma.
Cuttup. The Sultan of Cuttup. Lander and the Wives of the Sultan. The
River Rary. Dunrora. Lander taken back to Cuttup. Zaria. Crosses the
Koodonia. Arrival at Badagry. Attempt on the Life of Lander by
Poison. Ransomed by Captain Laing. Arrival in England.

CHAP. XXIX.
African Discoveries. Expedition of Richard and John Lander.
Instructions of Government. Departure from Portsmouth. Badagry. Visit
to King Adooley. His Conduct. Traits of Lander's Character. Visit of
the King's Eldest Son. Intrigues of the Mulattoes. Division of
Badagry. Visit to the King of Portuguese Town. Customs of the
Natives.

CHAP. XXX.
Evasive Conduct of Adooley. Visit to Adooley. Visit from the Chief of
Spanish Town. Rapacity of Adooley. Visit of General Poser's Headman.
Religious Rites of the Mahommedans. Sports of the Natives. The Houssa
Mallams. Surgical Skill of Richard Lander. Articles demanded by
Adooley. Female of Jenna. Character of Adooley. His Filial Affection.
Battle between the Lagos and Badagrians. Trial by the Cap.

CHAP. XXXI.
Departure from Badagry. Progress up the River. Arrival at Wow
Regulations of the Fetish at Wow. The Village of Sagba. Passage of a
Swamp. Basha. Soato. Arrival at Bidjie. Bad Faith of Adooley.
Introduction to the Chief of Bidjie. Departure from Bidjie Arrival of
a Messenger from Jenna. Laatoo. Larro. The Chief of Larro. Customs at
Larro. Departure from Larro. Introduction at the Court of Jenna. The
Governor of Jenna. Pascoe and his Wife. Musicians of Jenna. The
Badagry Guides. African Wars. Women of Jenna. Fate of the Governor's
Wives. Conduct of the Widow. Abominable Customs at Jenna. Mourning of
the Women. An African Tornado. Departure from Jenna. Arrival and
Departure from Bidjie. The Chief of Chow. Departure from Chow. Egga.
Arrival at Jadoo. Natives of Jadoo. Affection of the African Mothers.
Engua. Afoora. Assinara. Arrival at Chouchou. Tudibu. Eco. Dufo.
Chaadoo. Arrival at Row. Chekki. Coosoo. The Butter Tree. Departure
from Coosoo. Arrival at Acboro. Lazipa. Cootoo. Bohoo. Visit to the
Head Minister. Mallo. Jaguta. Shea. Esalay. Desertion of Esalay.
Atoopa. Leoguadda. Eetcho. Market at Eetcho. Eetcholee. Arrival at
Katunga.

CHAP. XXXII.
Visit to Mansolah. Customs of the Court of Katunga. Mansolah's Visit
to the Landers. Intended Route of the Landers. The Master of the
Horse. Decay of Katunga. The Markets of Katunga. Visit from Ebo.
Intrigues of the Wives of Ebo. Visit of Houssa Mallams. Presents to
the Head Men. Their Affluence. Site of Katunga. Character of the
Natives. Political Constitution of Alorie. Exhibition of the
Presents. Projected Departure from Katunga. Wives of Mansolah. Last
Interview with Mansolah.

CHAP. XXXIII.
Departure from Katunga. Revolt of the Carriers. Arrival at Rumbum.
Acra. Visit of the Natives. The Governor of Keeshee. Visit of the
Mallams. Singular Application of an Acba Woman. Departure from Acba.
Return of the Badagry Guides. African Banditti. Village of Moussa.
Progress to Kiama. Meeting of the Kiama Escort. Arrival at Benikenny.
Kiama.

CHAP   XXXIV.
Presents to the King of Kiama. Visit to the King. Parentage of the
Widow Zuma. Visit from the Mahommedan Mallams. Their Honesty. The
Bebun Salah. Religious Ceremonies of the Mahommedans. Anniversary of
the Bebun Salah. Races at Kiama. Approach of the King. His Dress. The
King's Children.

CHAP. XXXV.
Kakafungi. Illness of John Lander. Distressing Situation of the
Landers. Departure from Coobley. The Midiki, or Queen of Boussa. Mr.
Park's Effects. Disappointment respecting Mr. Park's Papers. Kagogie.
Arrival at Yaoorie. Deceitful conduct of the Sultan. Description of
Yaoorie. Message to the King of Boussa. Departure from Yaoorie.
Letter from the Sultan of Yaoorie.

CHAP. XXXVI.
Arrival  at Guada. Adventure with a Crocodile. Subterraneous Course
of the Niger. The King Consults the Niger. Arrival at Wowow.
Interview with the King. Negotiation for a Canoe. The King and the
Salt Cellar. Arrival of the Canoe from Wowow. Preparations for
Departure. Departure from Boossa. Arrival at Patashie. Message from
the King of Wowow. Visit to the King of Wowow. Return to Patashie.
Arrival at Lever. Conduct of Ducoo. Canoes demanded by the Chief of
Teah. Treacherous Conduct of the Chief. Departure from Patashie.
Bajiebo. Interview with the Chief of Leechee. Majie. Belee. The King
of the Park Water. Interview with the Water King. Progress down the
Niger. Zagozhi. Messengers arrive from Rabba.

CHAP. XXXVII.
Visit of the two Arabs. Message from Mallam Dendo. Present of Mr.
Park's Tobe to the Prince of Rabba. Perfidy of the King of Nouflie.
Departure from Zagozhi. Noble Speech of the Prince of Rabba.
Construction of the Canoes. Last Audience of the King of the Dark
Water.

CHAP. XXXVIII.
Danger from the Hippopotami. Dacannie. Gungo. Arrival at Egga.
Annoyances at Egga. Departure from Egga. Arrival at Kacunda. Visit
from the Chief's Brother. Departure from Kacunda. Alarm of the
Natives. Hostile motions of the Natives. Explanation of the Chief.
Information obtained from the Funda Mallam. Detention at Damaggoo.
First signs of European intercourse. Departure from Damaggoo. Arrival
at Kirree. Attacked by the Natives. The Landers taken to Kirree. Loss
of their Property. Holding of a Palaver. The Kirree people.

CHAP. XXXIX.
Departure from Kirree. Superstition of the Eboes. Arrival at an Eboe
Town. Visit to the King of Eboe. First interview with Obie. The
Palaver. King Boy. Character of the Kings of Africa. Decision of
Obie. Embarrassments of the Landers. Conduct of the Eboe people.
Revels of the Natives. The little fat female Visitor. Her
Intoxication.

CHAP. XL.
Exorbitant demand of King Boy. Visit of King Obie. Arrangement made
with King Boy. Preparation for Departure. Hostile disposition of the
Natives. Description of Adizzetta. Etiquette of King Boy. Offering to
the Fetish. Progress down the River. Uncomfortable situation of the
Landers. Introduction to Forday. Progress to Brass Town. Procession
down the River. Superstitious Practices of the Natives. Description
of Brass, Residence of the Landers at Brass. Traffic of the Natives.

CHAP. XLI.
Richard Lander proceeds to the English Brig. Arrival in the second
Brass River. Reception on board the Brig. Scandalous conduct of
Captain Lake. Disappointment of King Boy. Captain Lake and the Pilot.
Unfeeling behaviour of Lake. Richard Lander's anxiety about his
Brother. Return of John Lander. John Lander's stay at Brass Town. His
Narrative.

CHAP. XLII.
Proceedings on board the Brig. Presents to King Boy. Perfidy of the
Pilot. Hostile Motions of the Natives. Brig. Providential Escape.
Nautical Instructions. Release of Mr. Spittle. Perilous Situation of
the Passage to Fernando Po. Fernando Po. Colonization of Fernando Po.
Traffic with the Natives. Localities of Fernando Po. The Kroomen.
Natives of Fernando Po. Costume of the Natives. Their Thieving
Propensities. Punishment of the Thieves. Resources of the Island.
Method of obtaining Palm Wine. Island of Anna Bon. Injurious Effects
of the Climate. Prospective Commercial Advantages. Voyage to the
Calebar River. Geographical and Nautical Directions. The Tornadoes.
Superstitious Custom of the Natives. Duke Ephraim. Visit to Duke
Ephraim. The Priests of Duke Town. Mourning amongst the Natives.
Attack of an Alligator. The Thomas taken by a Pirate. Departure from
Fernando Po. Death of the Kroomen. Arrival in England. Advantages of
the Expedition. Investigation of the Niger. Course of the Niger.
Ptolemy's Hypothesis of the Niger. Sources of the African Rivers.
Benefit of Lander's Expedition.

CHAP. XLIII.
Richard Lander's Third Expedition. Fitting out of the Expedition.
Vessels Employed in the Expedition. Sailing of the Expedition.
Arrival in the River Nun. Attack of the Natives. Impolitic Conduct of
Lander. Return of Richard Lander to Fernando Po. Return of Lander to
Attah. Reconciliation of the Damaggoo Chiefs. Abolition of the
Sacrifices of Human Beings. Rabba. Ascent of the River Tchadda.
Prophecy of King Jacket. Lander wounded by the Natives. Approaching
Death of Lander. Death of Richard Lander. Infamous Conduct of
Liverpool Merchants. Causes of the Attack. Meeting of the Inhabitants
of Truro.



THE
TRAVELS
OF
RICHARD LANDER,
INTO
THE INTERIOR OF AFRICA.



CHAPTER I.

Previously to entering upon the immediate subject of the origin and
progress of the different voyages, which have been undertaken for
exploring the interior of Africa, it may be not only interesting, but
highly instructive, to take a rapid survey of the great Peninsula, as
it appeared to the earlier travellers, and as it was found by the
last of them, amongst whom may be included the individual, whose
adventures in the present work, claim our chief attention. It is on
record, that the coasts of Africa have been navigated from as early a
period, as six hundred years before Christ, and, according to the
earliest records of history, the circumnavigation of Africa was
accomplished by the Phoenicians, in the service of Pharaoh Necho. On
referring to Herodotus, the earliest and most interesting of Greek
historians, and to whom we are indebted for the knowledge of many
important facts relative to Africa, in the earliest periods of its
history, we find, in corroboration of the circumnavigation of Africa
by the Phoenicians, "that taking their course from the Red Sea they
entered into the Southern Ocean; on  the approach of autumn, they
landed in Lybia, and planted some corn in the place, where they
happened to find themselves; when this was ripe, and they had cut it
down, they again departed. Having thus consumed two years, they in
the third passed the columns of Hercules, and returned to Egypt.
Their relation may obtain attention from others, but to me it seems
incredible, for they affirmed that having sailed round Africa, _they
had the sun on their right hand._"

It is worthy of remark, that the very circumstance, which led
Herodotus to attach discredit to the circumnavigation of Africa by
the Phoenicians, on account of their having the sun to the right, is
the very strongest presumption in favour of its truth. Some
historians have indeed endeavoured to prove, that the voyage was
altogether beyond any means, which navigation at that early era could
command; but in the learned exposition of Rennell, a strong degree of
probability is thrown upon the early tradition. At all events it may
be considered, that the obscure knowledge, which we possessed of the
peninsular figure of Africa, appears to have been derived from the
Phoenicians. Herodotus, however, was himself a traveller, in those
early times, of no mean celebrity. Despairing of obtaining accurate
information of the then known part of the habitable world, he
determined to have recourse to travelling, for the purpose of
completing those surveys, which had been undertaken by his
predecessors, and which had been left in a dubious and indefinite
state. He resided for a considerable period in Egypt, during which,
he entered into a friendly communion with the native priests, from
whom he obtained much accurate information, as well as a great deal
that was false and exaggerated relative to the extensive region,
which extends from the Nile to the Atlantic. According to his
description it is much inferior in fertility to the cultivated parts
of Europe and Asia, and suffering extremely from severe drought; yet
he makes mention of a few spots, such as Cinyps, and the high tract
Cyrene, which, undergoing the process of irrigation, may stand
comparison with the richest portions of the globe. Generally,
however, in quitting the northern coast, which he terms significantly
the forehead of Africa, the country became more and more arid. Hills
of salt arose, out of which the natives constructed their houses,
without any fear of their melting beneath a shower in a region where
rain was unknown. The land became almost a desert, and was filled
with such multitudes of wild beasts, as to be considered their proper
inheritance, and scarcely disputed with them by the human race.
Farther to the south, the soil no longer afforded food even to these
wild tenants; there was not a trunk of a tree, nor a drop of
water--total silence and desolation reigned.

This may be considered as the first picture on record of the northern
part of Africa; a country, which, even after the lapse of two
thousand years, presents to the eye of science, as regards its
interior recesses, a blank in geography, a physical and not less a
moral problem; a dark and bewildering mystery. The spirit of
enterprise has carried our mariners to the arctic seas, braving the
most appalling dangers in the solution of a great geographical
problem; by the same power, civilization has been carried into the
primeval forests of the American continent, and cities have arisen in
the very heart of the Andes. The interior of Africa, however,
notwithstanding its navigable rivers, has been hitherto almost a
sealed chapter in the history of the globe. The deserts, which extend
from Egypt to the Atlantic, and which cover a great surface of the
interior, have proved a barrier to the march of conquest, or
civilization; and whatever science has gained, has been wrested by
the utmost efforts of human perseverance and the continual sacrifice
of human life.

It must, however, be allowed that there are obstacles existing to the
knowledge and the civilization of central Africa, which cannot be
overcome by the confederated power of human genius. Extending 5000
miles in length, and nearly the same extent in breadth, it presents
an area, according to Malte Brun, of 13,430,000 square miles,
unbroken by any estuary, or inland sea, and intersected by a few long
or easily navigable rivers; all its known chains of mountains are of
moderate height, rising in terraces, down which the waters find their
way in cataracts, not through deep ravines and fertile valleys. Owing
to this configuration, its high table lands are without streams, a
phenomenon unknown in any other part of the world; while, in the
lower countries, the rivers, when swelled with the rains, spread into
floods and periodical lakes, or lose themselves in marshes. According
to this view of the probable structure of the unknown interior, it
appears as one immense flat mountain, rising on all sides from the
sea by terraces; an opinion favoured by the absence of those narrow
pointed promontories, in which other continents terminate, and of
those long chains of islands, which are, in fact, submarine
prolongations of mountain chains extending across the main land. It
is, however, not impossible, that in the centre of Africa, there may
be lofty table lands like those of Quito, or valleys like that of
Cashmeer, where, as in those happy regions, spring holds a perpetual
reign.

In regard to the population, as well as its geographical character,
Africa naturally divides itself into two great portions, north and
south of the mountains of Kong and the Jebel el Komar, which give
rise to the waters of the Senegal, the Niger and the Nile. To the
north of this line, Africa is ruled, and partially occupied by
foreign races, who have taken possession of all the fertile
districts, and driven the aboriginal population into the mountains
and deserts of the interior. It is consistent with general
experience, that in proportion as civilization extends itself, the
aboriginal race of the natives become either extinct, or are driven
farther and farther into the interior, where they in time are lost
and swept from the catalogue of the human race.

South of this line, we find Africa entirely peopled with the Negro
race, who alone seem capable of sustaining the fiery climate, by
means of a redundant physical energy scarcely compatible with the
full development of the intellectual powers of man. Central Africa is
a region distinguished from all others, by its productions and
climate, by the simplicity and yet barbarian magnificence of its
states; by the mildness and yet diabolical ferocity of its
inhabitants, and peculiarly by the darker nature of its
superstitions, and its magical rites, which have struck with awe
strangers in all ages, and which present something inexplicable and
even appalling to enlightened Europeans; the evil principle here
seems to reign with less of limitation, and in recesses inaccessible
to white men, still to enchant and delude the natives. The common and
characteristic mark of their superstition, is the system of Fetiches,
by which an individual appropriates to himself some casual object as
divine, and which, with respect to himself, by this process, becomes
deified, and exercises a peculiar fatality over his fortune. The
barbarism of Africa, may be attributed in part its great fertility,
which enables its inhabitants to live without are but chiefly to its
imperviousness to strangers. Every petty state is so surrounded with
natural barriers, that it is isolated from the rest, and though it
may be overrun and wasted, and part of its inhabitants carried into
captivity, it has never been made to form a constituent part of one
large consolidated empire and thus smaller states become dependent,
without being incorporated. The whole region is still more
inaccessible on a grand scale, than the petty states are in
miniature; and while the rest of the earth has become common, from
the frequency of visitors, Africa still retains part of the mystery,
which hung over the primitive and untrodden world.

Passing over the attempts of the very early travellers to become
acquainted with the geographical portion of Africa, in which much
fiction, and little truth, were blended, we arrive at that period,
when the spirit of discovery began to manifest itself amongst some of
the European states. The darkness and lethargy, which characterised
the middle ages, had cast their baneful influence over every project,
which had discovery for its aim, and even the invaluable discovery of
the mariner's compass, which took place at the commencement of the
thirteenth century, and which opened to man the dominion of the sea,
and put him in full possession of the earth had little immediate
effect in emboldening navigators to venture into unfrequented seas.
At a somewhat earlier period, it is true, the Hanse Towns and the
Italian republics began to cultivate manufactures and commerce, and
to lay the foundation of a still higher prosperity, but they carried
on chiefly an inland or coasting trade. The naval efforts, even of
Venice or Genoa, had no further aim than to bring from Alexandria,
and the shores of the Black Sea, the commodities of India, which had
been conveyed thither chiefly by caravans over land. Satisfied with
the wealth and power, to which they had been raised by this local and
limited commerce, these celebrated republics made an attempt to open
a more extended path over the ocean. Their pilots, indeed, guided
most of the vessels engaged in the early voyages of discovery, but
they were employed, and the means furnished, by the great monarchs,
whose ports were situated upon the shores of the Atlantic.

The first appearance of a bolder spirit, in which the human mind
began to  make a grand movement in every direction, in religion,
science, freedom, and liberty, may be dated from about the end of the
fifteenth century. The glory of leading the way in this new career,
was reserved for Portugal, then one  of the smallest, and least
powerful of the European kingdoms.

When in 1412, John I. sent forth a few vessels, to explore the
western shores of Africa, while he prepared a great armament to
attack the moors of Barbary, the art of navigation was still very
imperfect, nor had the Portuguese ever ventured to sail beyond Cape
Non. But what most powerfully contributed to give impulse and
direction to the national ardour, was the enlightened enthusiasm,
with which prince Henry of Portugal, a younger son of John I.,
espoused the interests of science, and the prosecution of nautical
discovery. In order to pursue his splendid projects without
interruption, he fixed his residence at Sagres, near Cape St.
Vincent, where the prospect of the open Atlantic continually invited
his thoughts to their favourite theme. His first effort was upon a
small scale. He fitted out a single ship, the command of which was
entrusted to two gentlemen of his household, who volunteered their
services, with instructions to use their utmost endeavours to double
Cape Bojador, and thence to steer southward. According to the mode of
navigation, which then prevailed, they held their course along the
shore, and by following that direction, they must have encountered
almost insuperable difficulties, in the attempt to pass the cape;
their want of skill was, however, compensated by a fortunate
accident. A sudden squall drove them out to sea, and when they
expected every moment to perish, landed them on an unknown island,
which, from their happy escape, they named Porto Santo. They returned
to Portugal with the good tidings, and were received with the
applause due to fortunate adventurers. The following year, prince
Henry sent out three ships to take possession of the new island; a
fixed spot on the horizon, towards the south, resembling a small
black cloud, soon attracted the attention of the settlers, and the
conjecture suggested itself that it might be land. Steering towards
it, they arrived at a considerable island, uninhabited, and covered
with wood, which, on that account, they called Madeira.

By these voyages, the Portuguese became accustomed to a bolder
navigation, and at length, in 1433, Gilianez, one of prince Henry's
captains, by venturing out into the open sea, succeeded in doubling
Cape Bojador, which, until then, had been regarded as impassable.
This successful voyage, which the ignorance of the age placed on a
level with the most famous exploits recorded in history, opened a new
sphere to navigation, as it discovered the vast continent of Africa,
still washed by the Atlantic Ocean, and stretching towards the south.
A rapid progress was then made along the shores of the Sehara, and
the Portuguese navigators were not long in reaching the fertile
regions watered by the Senegal and the Gambia.

The early part of this progress was dreary in the extreme; they saw
nothing before them but a wild expanse of lifeless earth and sky,
naked rocks and burning sands, stretching immeasurably into the
exterior, and affording no encouragement to any project of
settlement. After, however, passing Cape Blanco, the coast began to
improve in appearance, and when they saw the ivory and gold brought
down from the interior, those regions began to excite the lust of
conquest. This was, however, an undertaking beyond the means of any
force which had as yet sailed from Portugal. In 1443, however, Nuno
Tristan discovered the island of Arguin, and as Gonzalo da Centra was
in 1445 killed by a party of negroes, in attempting to ascend a small
river, near the Rio Grande, the Portuguese considered an insular
position to be the most eligible for a settlement, and the island of
Arguin was accordingly fixed upon.

This establishment had been scarcely formed, when an important event
took place, which afforded a favourable opportunity and pretext for
laying the foundation of the Portuguese empire in Africa. Bemoy, a
prince of the Jaloofs, arrived at Arguin, as a suppliant for foreign
aid, in recovering his dominions from a more powerful competitor or
usurper. He was received with open arms, and conveyed to Lisbon,
where he experienced a brilliant reception, his visit being
celebrated by all the festal exhibitions peculiar to that age,
bull-fights, puppet-shows, and even feats of dogs. On that occasion,
Bemoy made a display of the agility of his native attendants, who on
foot, kept pace with the swift horses, mounting and alighting from
these animals at full gallop After being instructed in the Christian
religion, he was baptized, and did homage to the king and the pope,
for the crown, which was to be placed on his head; for this purpose a
powerful armament under the command of Pero vaz d'Acunha, was sent
out with him, to the banks of the Senegal.

The circumstance, which tended more particularly to inflame the pious
zeal of the Christian monarch, was the information, that to the east
of Timbuctoo there was a territory inhabited by a people who were
neither moors nor pagans, but who, in many of their customs resembled
the Christians. It was immediately inferred, that this could be no
other than the kingdom of the mysterious personage known in Europe,
under the uncouth appellation of Prester John. This singular name
seems first to have been introduced by travellers from eastern Asia,
where it had been applied to some Nestorian bishop, who held there a
species of sovereignty, and when rumours arrived of the Christian
king of Abyssinia, he was concluded to be the real Prester John.
His dominions  being reported to stretch far inland, and the breadth
of the African continent being very imperfectly understood, the
conclusion was formed, that a mission from the western coast might
easily reach his capital. It does not fully appear, what were the
precise expectations from an intercourse with this great personage,
but it seems to have been thoroughly rooted in the minds of the
Portuguese, that they would be raised to a matchless height of glory
and felicity, if they could by any means arrive at his court. The
principal instruction given to all officers employed in the African
service, was, that in every quarter, and by every means, they should
endeavour to effect this discovery. They accordingly never failed to
put the question to all the wanderers of the desert, and to every
caravan that came from the interior, but in vain, the name had never
been heard. The Portuguese then besought the natives at all events,
into whatever region they might travel, studiously to inquire if
Prester John was there, or if any one knew where he was to be found,
and on the promise of a splendid reward, in case of success, this was
readily undertaken.

The conclusion of the adventure of Bemoy, was  extremely tragical.
A quarrel having arisen between him and the commander of the
expedition, the latter stabbed the African prince on board his own
vessel. Whether this violent deed was prompted by the heat of
passion, or by well-grounded suspicions of the prince's fidelity, was
never fully investigated, but the king learned the event with great
regret, and in consequence, gave up his design of building a fort on
the Senegal. Embassies were, however, sent to the most powerful of
the neighbouring states, nor was any pause made in the indefatigable
efforts to trace the abode of Prester John. Amongst the great
personages, to whom an embassy was sent, are mentioned the kings of
Tongubutue, (Timbuctoo,) and Tucurol, a Mandingo chief named
Mandimansa, and a king of the Foulhas, with all of whom a friendly
intercourse was established. All endeavours were, however, vain as to
the primary object, but the Portuguese thereby gained a more complete
knowledge of this part of interior Africa than was afterwards
attained in Europe till a very recent period.

There is, however, one circumstance attending these discoveries of
the Portuguese, and the embassies, which they in consequence sent to
the native princes, which deserves particular attention. There is
very little doubt existing, but that the Portuguese were acquainted
with the town and territory of Timbuctoo; and the question then
presents itself, by what means did the Portuguese succeed in
penetrating to a kingdom, which, for centuries afterwards, baffled
all the efforts of the most enterprising travellers to arrive within
some hundred miles of it. The city of Timbuctoo, for instance, was,
for a considerable length of time, the point to which all the
European travellers had directed their attention; but so vague and
indefinite were the accounts of it, that the existence of Timbuctoo
as a town, began to be questioned altogether, or at least, that the
extraordinary accounts, which had been given of it, had little or no
foundation in truth. From the time of Park to the present period, we
have information of only three Europeans reached Timbuctoo, and
considerable doubt still exists in regard to the truth of the
narrative of one of them. It is true that the intelligence of the
Portuguese embassies, as respecting the particulars of them, and the
manner in which they were conducted, has either perished, or still
remains locked up in the archives of the Lusitanian monarchy. But
when we look into the expeditions, which have been projected of late
years into the interior of Africa, we cannot refrain from drawing the
conclusion, that the character of the African people must have
undergone a change considerably for the worse, or that our
expeditions are not regulated on those principles so as to command
success.

The Portuguese in the meantime continued to extend their discoveries
in another quarter, for in 1471, they reached the Gold Coast, when
dazzled by the importance and splendour of the commodity, the
commerce of which gave name to that region, they built the fort of
Elmina or The Mine, making it the capital of their possessions on
that part of the continent. Pushing onward to Benin, they received a
curious account of an embassy said to be sent at the accesion of
every new prince, to a court of a sovereign named Ogane, who was said
to reside seven or eight hundred miles in the interior. On the
introduction of the ambassadors, a silk curtain concealed the person
of his majesty from them, until the moment of their departure, when
the royal foot was graciously put forth from under the veil, and
reverence was done to it as a "holy thing." From this statement it
appears that the pope of Rome is not the only person, whose foot is
treated as a "holy thing;" there is not, however, any information
extant, that the Portuguese ambassadors kissed the great toe of the
African prince, and therefore the superiority of the pope in this
instance is at once decided. The statement, however, of the
Portuguese ambassadors excited greatly the curiosity of the court on
their return, and it was immediately surmised by them, that this
mysterious potentate was more likely to be Prester John, than any
person whom they had yet heard of. It must, however, be remarked,
that it was a subject of great doubt and discussion to determine who
this Ogane really was.

Although in possession of the extensive coast of Africa, the
Portuguese had, as yet, no declared title to it, for that purpose,
therefore, they appealed to religion or rather the superstition of
the age. It was a maxim, which the bigots of the Vatican had
endeavoured strongly to inculcate, that whatever country was
conquered from infidel nations, became the property of the victors.
This title was, however, not completed until it was confirmed by a
special grant obtained from the pope, and accordingly the reigning
monarch of Portugal, John II., obtained the grant of all the lands
from Cape Bojador to the Indies inclusive. Robertson, speaking of
this grant, says, "extravagant as this donation, comprehending such a
large portion of the habitable globe, would now appear even in
catholic countries, no person in the fifteenth century doubted but
that the pope, in the plenitude of his apostolic power, had a right
to confer it."

The grant was no sooner confirmed by the pope, than John hesitated
not a moment to style himself Lord of Guinea, giving his commanders,
at the same time, instructions that, instead of the wooden crosses,
which it had hitherto been the custom to erect in token of conquest,
pillars of stone should be raised twice the stature of a man, with
proper inscriptions, and the whole surmounted by a crucifix inlaid
with lead. The first, who sailed from Elmina, for the purpose of
planting these ensigns of dominion in regions yet undiscovered was
Diego Cam, in 1484. After passing Cape St. Catherine, he encountered
a very strong current setting direct from the land, which was still
at a considerable distance; on tasting the water, however, it was
found to be fresh, from which the conjecture was drawn, that he was
at the mouth of some great river, which ultimately turned out to be
the fact. This river has since been celebrated under the name of the
Congo, or the Zaire, lying in latitude 8° south, and longitude 13°
east. On reaching the southern bank of the river, Diego planted his
first pillar, after which he ascended its borders, and opened a
communication with the natives by means of signs. His first inquiry
was respecting the residence of their sovereign, and, on receiving
the information, that he resided at the distance of several days
journey inland, he determined to send a number of his men with
presents for the prince, the natives undertaking to be the guides,
and pledging themselves, within a stipulated period, to conduct them
back again. As the natives meantime passed and repassed on the most
intimate footing, Diego took the advantage of a moment, when several
of the principal persons were on board his ship, weighed anchor and
put to themselves as good and _bona fide_ Christians, as any of the
revered men, who had been sent out to instruct them. The early
missionaries, however, committed the same fault, which has
distinguished the labours of those of later periods, for they
immediately began attack one of the most venerated institutions of
the realm of Congo which was polygamy; and to the aged monarch the
privation of his wives appeared so intolerable, that he renounced the
Christian faith, and relapsed into all the impurities of paganism and
polygamy. The heir apparent, however, saw nothing so very dreadful in
the sacrifice of his wives, and braving the displeasure of his
father, remained attached to the Portuguese. The holy fathers managed
their business on this occasion with that skill, for which the cowled
tribe have ever been distinguished, and by the aid of the Apostle St.
James, and a numerous cavalry of angels, the old king died, and
Alphonso, the zealous  convert, became entitled to reign. His
brother, however, Panso Aquitimo, supported by the nobles and almost
the whole nation, raised the standard of revolt, in support of
polygamy and paganism. A civil war ensued, which is generally the
attendant upon the proselytism of a people, and Alphonso had only a
handful of Portuguese to oppose to the almost innumerable host of his
countrymen; but the holy fathers again applied to their auxiliaries,
and in consequence of apparitions in the clouds, at one time of St.
James, and another of the Virgin Mary, Alphonso always came off
victorious, and as he thereby became firmly seated on the throne, the
missionaries secured for themselves a safe and comfortable
establishment at Congo. The following account of the conduct of these
missionaries, as it is given in the Edinburgh Cabinet Library, cannot
fail to afford a considerable degree of entertainment, at the same
time, it is much to be deplored, that men engaged in so sacred a
cause, "could play such fantastic tricks before high heaven," and
disgrace the doctrine, which they meant to teach.

Being reinforced by successive bodies of their brethren, the
missionaries spread over the neighbouring countries of Lundi, Pango,
Concobella and Maopongo, many tracts of which were rich and populous,
although the state of society was extremely rude. Everywhere their
career was nearly similar; the people gave them the most cordial
reception, flocked in crowds to witness and to share in the pomp of
their ceremonies; accepted with thankfulness their sacred gifts, and
received by thousands the rite of baptism. They were not, however, on
this account prepared to renounce their ancient habits and
superstitions. The inquisition, that _chef d'ouvre_ of sacerdotal
guilt, was speedily introduced into their domestic arrangements, and,
as was naturally to be supposed, caused a sudden revulsion, on which
account the missionaries thenceforth maintained only a precarious and
even a perilous position. They were much reproached, it appears, for
the rough and violent methods employed to effect their pious
purposes, and although they treat the accusation as most unjust, some
of the proceedings, of which they boast with the greatest
satisfaction, tend not a little to countenance the charge. When, for
example, they could not persuade the people to renounce their
superstitions, they used a large staff, with which they threw down
their idols and beat them to pieces; they even stole secretly into
the temples, and set them on fire. A missionary at Maopongo, having
met one of the queens, and finding her mind inaccessible to all his
instructions, determined to use sharper remedies, and seizing a
whip, began to apply it lustily to her majesty's person: the effect
he describes as most auspicious; every successful blow opened her
eyes more and more to the truth, and she at last declared herself
wholly unable to resist such forcible arguments in favour of the
catholic doctrine. She, however, hastened to the king, with loud
complaints respecting this mode of mental illumination; and the
missionaries thenceforth lost all favour with that prince and the
ladies of his court, being allowed to remain solely in dread of the
Portuguese. In only one other instance were they allowed to employ
this mode of conversion. The smith, in consequence of the skill,
strange in the eyes of a rude people, with which he manufactured
various arms and implements, was supposed to possess a measure of
superhuman power, and he had thus been encouraged to advance
pretensions to the character of a divinity, which were very generally
admitted. The missionaries appealed to the king, respecting this
impious assumption, and that prince conceiving that it interfered
with the respect due to himself, agreed to deliver into their hands
the unfortunate smith, to be converted into a mortal in any manner
they might judge efficacious. After a short and unsuccessful
argument, they had recourse to the same potent instrument of
conversion, as they had applied to the back of the queen. The son of
Vulcan, deserted in this extremity by all his votaries, still made a
firm stand for his celestial dignity, till the blood began to stream
from his back and shoulders, when he finally yielded, and renounced
all pretensions to a divine origin.

A more intimate acquaintance discovered other irregularities amongst
the natives, against which a painful struggle was to be maintained.
According to the custom of the country, and it were well if the same
custom could be introduced into some particular parts of Europe, the
two parties, previously to marriage, lived together for some time, in
order to make a trial of each other's tempers and inclinations,
before entering into the final arrangement. To this system of
probation, the natives were most obstinately attached, and the
missionaries in vain denounced it, calling upon them at once either
to marry or to separate. The young ladies were always the most
anxious to have the full benefit of this experimental process; and
the mothers, on being referred to, refused to incur any
responsibility, and expose themselves to the reproaches of their
daughters, by urging them to an abridgment of the trial, of which
they might afterwards repent. The missionaries seem to have been most
diligent in the task, as they called it, of "reducing strayed souls
to matrimony." Father Benedict succeeded with no fewer than six
hundred, but he found it such "laborious work," that he fell sick and
died. Another subject of deep regret, respecting the many
superstitious practices still prevalent, even among those who
exhibited some sort of Christian profession, was, that sometimes the
children, brought for baptism, were bound with magic cords, to which
the mothers, as an additional security from evil, had fastened beads,
relics, and figures of the Agnus Dei. It was a compound of paganism
and Christianity, which the priests turned away from with disgust;
but still the mothers seemed more inclined to part with the beads,
relics, and figures of the Agnus Dei, than their magic cords. The
chiefs, in like manner, while they testified no repugnance to avail
themselves of the protection promised from the wearing of crucifixes
and images of the Virgin, were unprepared to part with the enchanted
rings and other pagan amulets with which they had been accustomed to
form a panoply round their persons. In case of dangerous illness,
sorcery had been always contemplated as the main or sole remedy, and
those who rejected its use were reproached, as rather allowing their
sick relations to die, than incur the expense of a conjuror. But the
most general and pernicious application of magic was made in judicial
proceedings: when  a  charge was advanced against any individual, no
one ever thought of inquiring into the facts, or of collecting
evidence--every case was decided by preternatural tests. The
magicians prepared a beverage, which produced on the guilty person,
according to the measure of his iniquity, spasm, fainting, or death,
but left the innocent quite free from harm. It seems a sound
conclusion of the missionaries, that the draught was modified
according to the good or ill will of the magicians, or the liberality
of the supposed culprit. The trial called Bolungo, was indeed
renounced by the king, but only to substitute another, in which the
accused was made to bend over a large basin of water, when, if he
fell in, it was concluded that he was guilty. At other times, a bar
of red hot iron was passed along the leg, or the arm was thrust into
scalding water, and if the natural effect followed, the person's head
was immediately struck off. Snail shells, applied to the temples, if
they stuck, inferred guilt. When a dispute arose between man and man,
the plan was, to place shells on the heads of both, and make them
stoop, when he, from off whose head the shell first dropped, had a
verdict found against him. While we wonder at the deplorable
ignorance on which these practices were founded, we must not forget
that "the judgments of God," as they were termed, employed by our
ancestors, during the middle ages, were founded on the same
unenlightened views, and were in some cases absolutely identical.

Other powers, of still higher name, held sway over the deluded minds
of the people of Congo. Some ladies of rank went about beating a
drum, with dishevelled hair, and pretended to work magical cures.
There was also a race of mighty conjurors, called Scingilli, who had
the power of giving and withdrawing rain at pleasure; and they had a
king called Ganja Chitorne, or God of the earth, to whom its first
fruits were regularly offered. This person never died, but when tired
of his sway on earth, he nominated a successor, and killed himself;
a step, doubtless, prompted by the zeal of his followers, when they
saw any danger of his reputation for immortality being compromised.
This class argued strongly in favour of their vocation, as not only
useful, but absolutely essential, since without it the earth would be
deprived of those influences, by which alone it was enabled to
minister to the wants of man. The people accordingly viewed, with the
deepest alarm, any idea of giving offence to beings, whose wrath
might be displayed in devoting the land to utter sterility.

We cannot trace any record, stating the period or the manner in which
the Portuguese and their officious missionaries were expelled from
Congo; it is, however, supposed that they at length carried their
religious innovations to such a length, as to draw down upon them the
vengeance of the people, and that some bold and decisive steps were
taken to liberate the country from its usurpers. It is, however,
certain, that Capt. Tucky, in his late expedition, did not find a
single trace of either the Portuguese or their missionaries on the
banks of the Zaire.

The traveller has ever found much greater difficulty in making
discoveries in Mahometan than in Gentoo or Pagan countries, and from
this cause the great continent of Africa is much less known to
Europeans than it was in ancient times. Until the present age, and a
very recent part of it, our knowledge of that immense portion of the
globe extended but very little way from the coast, and its
enterprises have made great advances to a knowledge of that interior
before unexplored. The design of examining on land Africa, to find
out the manners, habits, and institutions of its men, the state of
the country, its commercial capabilities in themselves, and relative
to this country, formed the African Association. From the liberal
sentiments, knowledge, and comprehensive views of that society, were
the courage and enterprise of adventurers stimulated to particular
undertakings of discovery.



CHAPTER II.

We are now arrived at the period when England, aroused by the
commercial advantages, which Portugal was deriving from her African
possessions, determined, in defiance of the pope of Rome and "the
Lords of Guinea," to participate in the treasures, and to form her
own settlements on the African coast, although it must be admitted,
that one of the motives by which the English merchants were actuated,
was not founded on humanity or patriotism. The glorious and splendid
results, which had arisen from the discovery of the East and West
Indies, caused the ocean to be generally viewed as the grand theatre
where wealth and glory were to be gained. The cultivation of the West
India Islands by the labour of Europeans, was found to be a task
almost impracticable, and the attention was thence drawn to discover
a source, from which manual labour could be obtained, adapted to the
climate, and this resource was soon found in the black population of
Africa. It is not to be doubted, that many of our African settlements
were formed for the purpose of procuring a supply of slaves, for the
West India possessions, at the same time, the attention of others was
excited by a far more innocent and brilliant prospect. It was in the
beginning of the seventeenth century, that an unbounded spirit of
enterprise appears to have been excited amongst the British
merchants, by vague reports of an Africa _El Dorado_. The most
flattering reports had reached Europe, of the magnitude of the gold
trade carried on at Timbuctoo, and along the course of the Niger;
despatches were even received from Morocco, representing its
treasures, as surpassing those of Mexico and Peru, and in 1618, a
company was formed in London, for the express purpose of penetrating
to the country of gold, and to Timbuctoo. Exaggeration stepped in to
inflame the minds of the speculators, with the enormous wealth which
awaited them in the interior of Africa. The roofs of the houses were
represented to be covered with plates of gold, that the bottoms of
the rivers glistened with the precious metal, and the mountains had
only to be excavated, to yield a profusion of the metallic treasure.
From the northern part of Africa, impediments of almost an
insuperable nature presented themselves, to the attainment of these
great advantages; immense deserts, as yet unexplored by human foot,
and the knowledge of the existence of tribes of barbarous people on
the borders of them, were in themselves sufficient to daunt the
spirit of adventure in those quarters, and ultimately drew the
attention to the discovery of another channel, by which the golden
treasures of Timbuctoo could be reached, without encountering the
appalling dangers of the deserts, or the murderous intentions of the
natives.

The existence of the great river Niger, had been established by the
concurrent testimony of all navigators, but of its course or origin,
not the slightest information had been received. The circumstance of
its waters flowing from the eastward, gave rise to the conjecture,
that they flowed through the interior of the continent, and emptied
themselves either by the Senegal or the Gambia, into the Atlantic. It
was, therefore, considered probable, that by ascending the Senegal or
the Gambia, which were supposed to be merely tributary streams of the
Niger, of which they formed the estuary, that Timbuctoo and the
country of gold might be reached; and so strongly was this opinion
impressed upon the minds of the merchants, and other adventurers,
that a journey to Timbuctoo became the leading project of the day,
and measures were accordingly taken to carry it into execution.

The first person sent out by the company established for exploring
the Gambia, was Richard Thompson, a Barbary merchant, a man of some
talent and enterprise, who sailed from the Thames in the Catherine,
of 120 tons, with a cargo valued at nearly two thousand pounds
sterling. The expedition of Thompson was unfortunate in the extreme,
but the accounts received of his adventures and death, have been
differently recited. It is certain, that Thompson ascended the Gambia
as far as Tenda, a point much beyond what any European had before
reached, and according to one account, he was here attacked by the
Portuguese, who succeeded in making a general massacre of the
English. Another account states, that he was killed in an affray with
his own people, and thence has been styled the first martyr, or more
properly the first victim in the cause of African discovery.

The company, however, nothing daunted by the ill success of Thompson,
despatched another expedition on a larger scale, consisting of the
Sion of 200 tons, and the St. John of 50, giving the command to
Richard Jobson, to whom we are indebted for the first satisfactory
account of the great river districts of western Africa.

Jobson arrived in the Gambia, in November, 1620, and left his ship at
Cassau, a town situate on the banks of that river. Here, however, his
progress was impeded by the machinations of the Portuguese, and so
great was the dread of the few persons belonging to that nation, who
remained at Cassan after the massacre of Thompson, that scarcely one
could be found, who would take upon himself the office of a pilot to
conduct his vessel higher up the river. In this extremity he had no
other resource than to take to his boats, but, on ascending the
river, he found his merchandise in comparatively little request, and
repented that he had not laden his boats with salt. He soon
afterwards met with Brewer, who had accompanied Thompson to Tenda,
and remained with the English factory established up the river. He
also filled Jobson with "golden hopes." Wherever the English stopped,
the negro kings, with their wives and daughters, came down to the
river side to buy, or rather to beg for trinkets, and still more for
brandy. They also showed themselves by no means ignorant of the art
of stealing, but their thefts were, in some degree, obliged to be
winked at, for fear of offending the royal personages, and drawing
down upon themselves the secret vengeance of the uncivilized hordes.
On Christmas day Tirambra, a negro prince, a great friend of the
English, sent them a load of elephant's flesh, which was accepted
with tokens of the greatest respect and gratitude, although the whole
gift was secretly thrown away.

After a navigation in boats of nearly thirty days, Jobson reached the
rapids of Barraconda, the highest point to where the tide flows, and
where he found himself involved in great difficulties. The ascent was
to be made against a current running with the greatest rapidity; the
great number of hidden rocks made it dangerous to pursue their course
during the night, the same time, that in attempting to avoid the
rocks, they struck upon sand banks and shallows, which often obliged
the crew to strip and go into the water, for the purpose of clearing
the boats from the sands. In the performance, however, of this task,
the greatest danger was run from the vast number of crocodiles, that
infested the river, and which, in several instances, seemed to be in
waiting for any prey with which the boats could supply them. The
river was also filled with "a world of sea-horses, whose paths, as
they came on shore to feed, were beaten with tracts as large as a
London highway." The land on either side of the river was covered
with immense forests of unknown trees, which appeared to team with
living things, feathered and quadruped, making a roar sometimes,
which was sufficient to instil terror into the stoutest heart.
Amongst the latter, the baboons appeared to hold the sovereignty of
the woods, and whenever the navigation of the river obliged the
travellers to keep close in shore, where the banks were covered with
trees; the baboons posted themselves on the branches, and kept up a
regular attack upon the navigators, throwing at them the largest
branches, which they could break from the trees, and apparently
holding a palaver with each other, as to the best mode of prosecuting
the attack against the lawless intruders into their territory. They
appeared actually to be aware when a branch hit one of the
navigators, for they immediately up a shout of triumph, screaming
hideously, and "grinning ghastly a horrible smile," as if expressive
of their victory. The voices of the crocodiles calling, as it were,
to each other, resembling the sound "of a deep well," might be heard
at the distance of a league, whilst the elephants were seen in huge
hordes, raising their trunks in the air, and snorting defiance to all
who dared approach them. The latter are objects of great fear to the
natives, scarcely one of whom dare approach them, but they appeared
to have an instinctive sense of the superiority of the English, for
they no sooner made a movement against them, than they hurried away
with the speed of the forest deer, and were soon lost in the depths
of their native forests. Three balls were lodged in one of the
animals, but he made off with them; he was, however, soon after found
dead by the negroes. The most formidable animals, however, were the
lions, ounces, and leopards, which were seen at some distance, but
the sailors could not obtain a shot at them. At one of their halting
places, the baboons appeared like an army consisting of several
thousands, some of the tallest placed in front, marshalled under the
guidance of a leader, the smaller ones being in the middle, and the
rear brought up by the larger ones. The sailors showed some
disposition to enter into an acquaintance with the leader of the
army, but the desire was by no means mutual, for nature has very
kindly infused into the hearts of these creatures a strong distrust
in the friendly advances of their brother bipeds, knowing them to be,
in many of their actions, false, hollow, and deceitful, a proof of
which, one of the leaders of the army received in a very striking and
forcible manner, in the shape of a bullet, which passed directly
through his body. The baboons were, however, determined that their
treacherous friends should not obtain possession of the body of their
murdered leader, for before the sailors could arrive at the spot
where the deceased general lay, his indignant and patriotic
companions had carried his body away. On following these creatures to
their haunts in the recessess of the forest, places were found, where
the branches had been so intertwined, and the ground beaten so
smoothly, as to make it rather difficult to believe that the labour
had not been accomplished by human hands.

On the 26th of January, Jobson arrived at Tenda, and he immediately
despatched a messenger to Buckar Sano, the chief merchant on the
Gambia, who soon after arrived with a stock of provisions, which he
disposed of at reasonable prices. In return for the promptitude, with
which Buckar Sano had replied to his message, Jobson treated him with
the greatest hospitality, placing before him the brandy bottle as the
most important object of the entertainment. Buckar Sano seemed by no
means unwilling to consider it in that character, for he paid so many
visitations to it that he became so intoxicated, that he lay during
the whole of the night dead drunk in the boat. Buckar Sano, however,
showed by his subsequent conduct, that drunkenness was not a vice, to
which he was naturally addicted, and that the strength of the spirit
had crept upon him, before he was aware of the consequences that were
likely to ensue. On any subsequent occasion, when the brandy bottle
was tendered to him, he would take a glass, but on being pressed to
repeat it, he would shake his head with apparent tokens of disgust;
after the exchange of some presents, and many ridiculous ceremonies,
Buckar Sano was proclaimed the white man's alchade, or mercantile
agent. Jobson had, however, some reason to doubt his good faith, from
the accounts which he gave of a city four months journey in the
interior, the roofs of the houses of which were covered with sheets
of gold. It must, however, be considered, in exculpation of the
supposed exaggerated accounts of Buckar Sano, that the Europeans at
that time possessed a very circumscribed knowledge of the extent of
the interior of Africa, and that a four months journey, to a
particular city, would not be looked upon at the time as
transgressing the bounds of truth. It is most probable that Buckar
Sano alluded to Timbuctoo, a place that has given rise to more
extraordinary conjectures, and respecting which, more fabulous
stories have been told than of Babylon, or of Carthage of ancient
history.

The circumstance of a vessel having arrived in the river for the
purpose of traffic, caused a strong sensation throughout the country,
and the natives flocked from all the neighbouring districts, anxious
not only to obtain a sight of the white men, but to commence their
commercial dealings. They erected their huts on the banks of the
river, which in a short time resembled a village, and for the first
time, the busy hum of trade was heard in the interior of Africa. The
natives, with whom Jobson commenced his commercial dealings, appeared
to possess some traces of civilization, nor were they deficient in
many of the arts, which are known amongst the civilized nations, and
which, even at that time, were with them but in their infancy.

To these people, however, succeeded a different race of visitors,
far more rude and uncivilized, whose bodies were covered with skins
of wild animals, the tails hanging as from the beasts. The men of
this race had never seen a white man before, and so great was their
fear, when Jobson presented himself amongst them, that they all ran
away, and stationed themselves at some distance from the river. They
were, however, soon tempted back again, at the sight of a few beads,
and the most friendly relations were afterwards established between
them.

Jobson found that in Tenda, as elsewhere, salt was the article
chiefly in demand, but he had unfortunately omitted to provide
himself with any great quantity of that article. Iron wares met with
a ready sale, though these were supplied at a cheaper rate by a
neighbouring people. The sword-blade of Buckar Sano, and the brass
bracelets of his wife, appeared to Jobson to be specimens of as good
workmanship as could be seen in England. Jobson, from very
prudential motives, abstained from mentioning gold; but Buckar Sano,
who knew perhaps what Europeans most coveted, told him, that if he
continued to trade with Tenda, he could dispose of all his cargoes
for gold. The negro merchant affirmed, that he had been four times at
a town in which the houses were all covered with gold, and distant a
journey of four moons. Jobson was informed that six days journey from
St. John's Mart, the name which he gave to the factory at Tenda, was
a town called Mombar, where there was much trade for gold. Three
stages farther was Jaye, whence the gold came. Some of the native
merchants, finding that Jobson had not any salt with him, refused to
enter into any commercial dealings with him, and returned highly
dissatisfied. For the commodities which he did dispose of, he
obtained, in exchange, gold and ivory; he could have obtained hides
in abundance, but they were too bulky a commodity to bear the expense
of conveyance.

Jobson wisely adapted his carriage to the negro customs; he danced
and sung with the natives, and entered with a proper spirit into all
their entertainments. He remarks, that the water of the Gambia above
Barraconda has such a strong scent of musk, from the multitude of
crocodiles, that infest that part of the river, as to be unfit for
use. The torpedo also abounds in the river about Cassan, and at first
caused not a little terror and amazement to the crew.

Amongst other acts of kindness, which Buckar Sano showed to the
Englishman, he offered to introduce him at the court of Tenda. This,
in a commercial point of view, was an advantage not to be overlooked,
independently of the knowledge, which he would acquire of the
internal geography of the country. On reaching the king's presence,
an example was witnessed of the debasing homage, which is usually
paid to negro princes, and of which some striking examples will be
given in the journey of Clapperton. The great and wealthy merchant,
on appearing in the presence of the king, first fell on his knees,
and then throwing off his shirt, extended himself naked and flat on
the ground, whilst his attendants almost buried him beneath dust and
mud; after grovelling like a beast for some time in this position, he
suddenly started up, shook off the mud from him, in which operation
he was assisted by two of his wives, who then assisted him in
equipping himself in his best attire, with his bow and quiver, and
all the other paraphernalia of a person of rank and consequence. He
and his attendants, after having made a semblance of shooting at
Jobson, laid their bows at his feet, which was understood to be a
token of homage. The king even assured the English captain, that the
country, and every thing in it, were then placed at his disposal,
"which bounty, observes Jobson, could require no less than two or
three bottles of my best brandy, although the English were not
sixpence the better for the grant."

The dry season had now commenced, and Jobson observed that the waters
of the river were gradually sinking lower and lower; but the city,
the roofs of which were plates of gold, haunted the busy fancy of
Jobson, and he used every endeavour to ascend the river, in order
that he might discover the sources from which the plates of gold were
made. It was evident to him, that Buckar Sano had either practised an
imposition upon him, or that he had grossly exaggerated the treasures
of the wonderful city; but in regard to the former, he could not
divine any motive by which Buckar Sano could be actuated in imposing
upon him; and in regard to the latter, making every allowance for
exaggeration, it might eventually transpire, that the country
abounded with the precious metal, although perhaps not exactly in the
extraordinary degree as reported by Buckar Sano. After encountering
many difficulties, he was obliged to relinquish the farther ascent of
the river, nor did he even reach the point where the previous
discoveries of Thompson terminated, which may be considered as the
utmost boundary of the discoveries of that period; indeed many years
elapsed before any travellers passed the limits at which Thompson or
Jobson had arrived. The latter gives a strange report, which,
however, was in some degree partially circulated before him, of a
silent traffic being carried on in the interior between the moors and
a negro nation, who would not allow themselves to be seen. "The
reason," he adds, "why these negroes conceal themselves, is, that
they have lips of an unnatural size, hanging down halfway over their
breasts, and which they are obliged to rub with salt continually, to
keep them from putrefaction." Thus even the great salt trade of the
interior of Africa is not wholly untinged with fable.

The stream became at last so shallow, that Jobson could not ascend
any farther, and he began his voyage downwards on the 10th February,
intending to return at the season when the periodical rains filled
the channel. He was, however, never able to execute this purpose, as
he and the company became involved in a quarrel with the merchants,
whom he visits with his highest displeasure, representing them as
persons alive only to their own immediate interests, and utterly
regardless of any of those honourable motives with which all
commercial dealings ought to be characterised.

Jobson may be said to have been the first Englishman, who enjoyed the
opportunity of observing the manners and superstitions peculiar to
the interior of Africa, but that must be taken as only within the
narrow limits to which the discoveries at that period extended. He
found that the chiefs of the different nations were attended by bands
of musicians, to whom he gives the appellation of juddies or
fiddlers, and compares them to the Irish rhymsters, or, as we should
now compare them, to the Italian improvisatori. By some other authors
they are called jelle, or jillemen; the instruments on which they
perform being rudely made of wood, having a sonorous sound, on
account of its extreme hardness, and in some instances they exhibit
the knowledge of the power of an extended string, by fastening a
piece of the gut of an animal across a plane of wood, and beating on
it with a stick. Like the majority of the musicians of the ruder
tribes, the excellence of their music depends on the noise which is
made, and if it be so obstreperous, as almost to deafen the auditors,
the greater is the pleasure which is shown.

These wandering minstrels are frequently attended by the Greegree
men, or sorcerers, who, on account of the fantastic dress which they
wear, form a most motley group; the Greegree men, trying to outvie
each other in the hideous and fantastic style of their dress, and the
more frightful they make themselves appear, the greater they believe
is the effect of their sorcery. The principal festivals are those of
circumcision and of funeral. Whenever former ceremony is performed, a
vast concourse of people are attracted, from every part of the
country, the operator being generally a Greegree man, who pretends to
determine the future fate of the individual, in the manner by which
the operation is performed, but which is always declared to be highly
prosperous, if a liberal present has been made. During the
performance of the ceremony, the forests appear in a blaze, the most
discordant shouts rending the air, intermixed with the sounds of
their instruments, composing altogether a tumult, which is heard at
the distance of many leagues. The dancing is described as of the most
ludicrous kind, marked by those indecencies, which generally
distinguish the amusements of the savage tribes. In these sports, the
women are always the foremost in the violence of their gestures; the
young ones selecting the objects of their affection, to bestow upon
them some token of their attachment.

The funeral of their chiefs is a ceremony of great solemnity, and in
some of its forms has a strong resemblance to an Irish wake. Flowers
of the most odorous scent are buried with the corpse, which is also
supplied with a considerable quantity of gold, to assist him on his
entrance into the other world, where it is believed, that the degree
of happiness, is proportionate to the quantity of gold which the
deceased has in his possession. It must, however, be mentioned, that
the natives of this part of Africa, appear to be wholly exempt from
the stigma, which belongs to some of the other tribes of Africa,
in the human victims which are sacrificed at the funerals of their
kings or chiefs, and which in some cases amount to three or four
hundred. The funerals of the kings of Tenda are conducted with a
decorum highly creditable to the people, considering their
uncivilised state; and the graves are frequently visited by the
relatives of the deceased, to repair any injury, which they may have
sustained from the violence of the rains, or the attacks of
carnivorous animals.

At all the festivals, a personage called Horey, or which Jobson calls
the devil, acts a most conspicuous part, at the same time, that he
generally carries on his operations in secret, impressing thereby on
the minds of the natives, an idea of his invisibility. The Horey
generally takes his station in the adjoining woods, whence he sends
forth the most tremendous sounds, supposed to have a very malignant
influence on all those who happen to be within hearing. It is,
however, a fortunate circumstance for the native, who is so
unfortunate as to be within hearing of the Horey's cries, that the
method is known, of appeasing the vindictive spirit of the Horey,
which is, by placing a quantity of provisions, in the immediate
vicinity of the place where his roaring is heard; and if on the
following day the provisions have disappeared, which is sure to be
the case, the natives are then satisfied that the Horey has been
appeased, which, however, lasts only for a short time, for as the
appetite of the Horey is certain to return, his cries are again
heard, and the provisions are again deposited for his satisfaction.

In regard to this Horey or devil, rather a ludicrous story is told by
Jobson, who, being in company with a Marabout, and hearing the Horey
in full cry in a neighbouring thicket, seized a loaded musket,
declaring his resolution aloud, to discharge the contents without any
further ceremony, at his infernal majesty. Dreading the consequences,
which might befal the whole nation, were the devil to be killed, the
Marabout implored Jobson to desist from his murderous design; on a
sudden, the hoarse roar of the Horey was changed into a low and
plaintive sound, expressive of an individual imploring mercy from his
destroyer;--again Jobson levelled his gun at the spot whence the
sound issued, when on a sudden, his infernal majesty presented
himself in the shape of a huge negro, bloated with fat, and who now
lay on the ground, his devilish spirit quelled, and apparently in
such an agony of fear, as to be unable to sue for the mercy of the
avenging Englishman, who stood laughing over him, at the idea of
having so easily vanquished an African devil.

The dissensions, which took place amongst the company, on the return
of Jobson, put an end for a time to all further discoveries. It was
evident that these divisions in the company, arose from a spirit of
jealousy amongst certain members of it, who had formed amongst
themselves certain schemes of personal aggrandizement, and were
therefore unwilling to despatch any one into those quarters, in which
such abundant sources presented themselves, of amassing inexhaustible
riches.

The next attempt was made by Vermuyden, an opulent merchant, on the
Gambia, about the year 1660 or 1665, who equipped a boat abundantly
stored with bacon, beef, biscuit, rice, strong waters, and other
comfortable supplies, the weight of which, however, was so great,
that on arriving at the flats and shallows, the vessel could not
proceed on her voyage without the greatest danger. After navigating
the shallows for some time, he arrived at a broad expanse of water,
which he compared to Windermere Lake, and he now found himself on a
sudden entangled in a great difficulty, owing to a number of streams
flowing into this lake, and the consequent uncertainty which existed,
of choosing that particular one, which might be considered the main
branch or stream; and were he to ascend any other, he might find that
all his labours had been spent in vain, as it might lead him to a
quarter, at a great distance from those stations and towns, where the
Europeans had established their commercial settlements. "Up the
buffing stream," says Vermuyden, "with sad labour we wrought," and
when he had ascended further up the stream, the sailors were often
obliged to strip themselves naked, and get into the water. This was
found, however, to be a most dangerous experiment, for the crocodiles
and river horses showed themselves in fearful numbers, and fully
inclined to treat the intruders on their rightful domain, with the
most marked hostility. Vermuyden says, they were ill pleased, or
unacquainted with any companions in these watery regions, and at all
events, he was convinced that his men were not very proper companions
for them. So daring were the river horses, that one of them struck a
hole in the boat with his teeth, an accident which was rather of a
serious nature, as there was no one on board possessing any skill in
carpentry; and as one attack had been made, great apprehension was
entertained that it might be renewed, and the consequences prove of
the most fatal kind. They, however, fell upon the expedient of fixing
a lantern at the stern of the vessel, which kept the monsters at a
respectful distance; they showing great alarm at any light shining in
the dark. On one occasion, when they landed for the purpose of
searching for gold, they found the territory guarded by an incredible
number of huge baboons, who seemed determined to enter into open
conflict with them, and to set at defiance every attempt that was
made to penetrate into the territory. If the sailors shouted to them;
the baboons set up a loud scream, showing their white teeth, and
making known the reception which the intruders would meet with, if
they made any further advances.

Finding that neither their oratory nor their menaces had any effect
upon the baboon army, a few guns were discharged at them, which
seemed rather to astonish them, for it was something which they had
never seen nor heard before; but as no immediate effect was visible
amongst their army, they began to consider the firing as a sort of
joke, and prepared to drive the invaders back to their boats. A
volley, however, from the human assailants, by which three of the
baboon army were laid prostrate, soon convinced the latter, that the
firing was no joke, and after making some slight show of resistance,
they carried away the dead, and retreated to the woods.

The discovery of gold being the principal object of the adventure of
Vermuyden, he landed frequently in different places, and proceeded to
wash the sand, and examine the rocks. Vermuyden had acquired, in his
native country, some slight knowledge of alchymy, and he carried out
with him not only mercury, aqua regia, and large melting pots, but
also a divining rod, which, however, as was most likely the case, was
not found to exhibit any virtue. Vermuyden, however, was not to be
laughed out of his superstitious notions, although his companions
took every opportunity of turning his expectations into ridicule, but
he found a very plausible excuse for the impotency of his divining
rod in the discovery, that its qualities had all been dried up by the
heat of the climate, and that, under every circumstance, it was not
an instrument adapted to the country in which it was to be carried
into use. On one occasion, however, the virtue of the divining rod
appeared suddenly to have returned, for his eyes were gladdened with
the sight of a large mass of apparent gold; the delusion, however,
soon vanished, for, on examination, it was found to be nothing more
than common spar. According to his report, the metal is never met
with in low fertile and wooded spots, but always in naked and barren
hills, embedded in a reddish earth. At one place, after a labour of
twenty days, he succeeded in extracting twelve pounds, and, at
length, he asserts that he arrived at the mouth of the mine itself,
and saw gold in such abundance, as surprised him with joy and
admiration. It does not appear, however, that he returned from his
expedition considerably improved in his fortune by the discovery of
this mine, nor does he give any notice of the real position of it, by
which we are led to conjecture, that the discovery of the mine was
one of those fabrications, which the travellers of those times were
apt to indulge in, for the purpose of gratifying their own vanity,
and exciting the envy of their fellow countrymen.

The spirit of African discovery began to revive in England about the
year 1720. At that time, the Duke of Chandos was governor of the
African company, and being concerned at the declining state of their
affairs, suggested the idea of retrieving them, by opening a path
into the golden regions, which were still reported to exist in the
central part of Africa. The company were not long in finding a person
competent to undertake the expedition, and, on the particular
recommendation of the duke, the appointment was given to Capt.
Bartholomew Stibbs. Being furnished with the requisite means for
sailing up the Gambia, Stibbs sailed in September, 1723, and, on the
7th of October, he arrived at James' Island, the English settlement,
situate about thirty miles from the mouth of the river, whence he
despatched a messenger to Mr. Willy, the governor, who happened at
that time to be visiting the factory at Joar, more than a hundred
miles distant, asking him to engage such vessels as were fit to
navigate the upper streams of the Gambia. To his great surprise and
mortification, however, he received an answer from Mr. Willy, that no
vessels of that kind were to be had, indeed, instead of using every
exertion to promote the cause for which Stibbs had been sent out by
the company, Willy appeared to throw every possible obstruction in
his way, as if he were actuated by a mean and petty spirit of
jealousy of the success, which was likely to await him. A few days,
however, after the answer of Willy had been received, a boat brought
down his dead body, he having fallen a victim to the fever of the
climate, which had previously affected his brain. Willy was succeeded
in the governorship by a person named Orfeur, who showed no immediate
objection to furnish the vessels and other articles necessary for the
expedition of Stibbs up the Gambia, but matters went on so slowly,
that the equipment was not completed until the middle of December,
when the season was fast approaching, which was highly unfavourable
for the accomplishment of the purpose, which Stibbs had in view. He
intended to proceed on his journey on the 24th of December, but a
slight accident, which happened to one of his boats, prevented his
departure on that day: from a superstitious idea that prevailed in
the mind of Stibbs, that success would not attend him, if he sailed
on the day celebrated as the nativity of Jesus Christ, he deferred
his journey to the 26th, when he departed with a crew consisting of
nineteen white men, a complete black one, although a Christian, and
who was to serve as an interpreter; twenty-nine Grumellas, or hired
negroes, with three female cooks; taking afterwards on board a
balafeu, or native musician, for the purpose of enlivening the
spirits of the party, and driving away the crocodiles, who are
superstitiously supposed to have a great dislike "to the concord of
sweet sounds," although emanating from the rude instrument of an
African musician.

During the early part of the voyage every thing appeared to augur
well for the success of the expedition; the party were in high
spirits, and no accident of any moment had yet occurred to check the
joviality, which prevailed amongst the crew. The natives were every
where disposed to carry on trade, and, in some places, saphies or
charms were hung on the banks of the river to induce the white men to
come on shore. Stibbs had endeavoured to conceal the object, of his
journey, but he had formed his calculations upon an erroneous
principle, for he found himself at last pointed out as the person who
was come to bring down the gold. As they approached the falls of
Barraconda, the fears of the native crew began to manifest
themselves, and, as is usual with minds immersed in ignorance and
superstition, they commenced to foretell the most dreadful disasters,
if their captain should attempt to proceed above the falls of
Barraconda; numerous stories were now told of the fearful accidents,
which had happened to almost every person who had attempted to
navigate the river above the falls; the upsetting of a single canoe,
from unskilful management, was magnified into the loss of a hundred,
and of course not a single individual escaped a watery grave. The
natives expected that their terrible narratives would have a proper
influence upon the mind of their captain, and that he would, in
consequence, desist from prosecuting his journey beyond the falls,
but when, contrary to their expectations, he expressed his
determination to proceed to the utmost extent to which the river
would be found to be navigable, the natives presented themselves in
a body before him, and declared their firm determination not to
proceed any further, for, to the apparent surprise of Stibbs, they
informed him that Barraconda was the end of the world, and certainly
no person but a fool, or a madman, would attempt to penetrate any
further. Instances, certainly, they confessed had been known of
persons going beyond the end of the world, but then, as might be
naturally expected, they never were seen any more, being either
devoured by enormous beasts, or carried away into another world, by
some horrid devils, who were always on the watch to catch the
persons, who rejecting the advice, which they themselves were now
giving, were so fool hardy as to throw themselves in their power.
Stibbs now found himself in rather an unpleasant predicament, the
natives appeared resolute not to proceed beyond Barraconda, and Stibbs
knew well that it would be highly imprudent in him to proceed without
them. A palaver was held, and all the arguments which Stibbs could
bring forward, failed to produce the desired effect upon his alarmed
crew. He, however, suddenly bethought himself, that he had an
argument in his possession, of greater potency, than any that could
be afforded by the most persuasive arguments, and taking a bottle of
brandy from his chest, he gave to each man a glass of the spirit,
when, on a sudden, a very extraordinary change appeared to take place
in their opinions and sentiments. They might have been misled as to
Barraconda being the end of the world, and they did now remember some
instances of persons returning, who had been beyond the falls, and as
to the enormous animals, who were said to have devoured the voyagers;
they now believed that no other animals were meant than crocodiles
and river horses, which, although certainly formidable, were not by
any means such dreadful objects as to prevent them prosecuting their
voyage. Thus, what the powers of oratory could not effect, nor the
arguments of sound and deliberate reason accomplish, was achieved in
a moment by the administration of a small quantity of spirituous
liquid, giving bravery to the coward, and daring to the effeminate.

They had now arrived at the dreaded boundary of the habitable world,
but the falls were not found to be nearly so formidable as they had
been represented; they bore rather the character of narrows than of
falls, the channel being confined by rocky ledges and fragments,
between which there was only one passage, where the canoes rubbed
against the rocks on each side. Contrary to the reports, which had
been in general circulation, of the dispositions of the natives of
the Upper Gambia, in which they were represented to be of a most
ferocious and savage nature, they were found to be a harmless, kind,
and good-humoured people, who, on every occasion, hastened to render
every assistance in their power to the navigators, making them
presents of fowls and provisions, and, in some instances, refusing to
take any thing in return for the articles which they gave away.

The most laborious part of the journey now presented itself, which
consisted in the great exertions, which were necessary in order to
pass the flats and quicksands, which seemed to multiply as they
ascended the river, and which obliged the natives to strip and get
into the water, to drag the boats over the shallows by main force.
Although the natives had now ascertained beyond all further doubt,
that Barraconda was not the end of the world, yet, one part of their
story was fully verified, which was that relating to the enormous
animals, with which these desolate regions were tenanted. To the
present travellers, they appeared far more formidable than to their
predecessors, for the very elephants that had fled precipitately
before the crew of Jobson, struck the greatest terror into the party
of Stibbs; for one of them showed such a determined disposition to
exhibit the extent of his strength, that he turned suddenly upon the
crew, and in a very short time put the whole of them to flight. So
little did they show any symptoms of fear for the crew, that they
were frequently seen crossing the river in  bands, at a very short
distance from the boats, throwing up the water with their trunks in
every direction, and raising such an emotion in the water, as to make
the boats rock about, to the great alarm of the crews, and
particularly the natives, who now began to wish, that they had not
been seduced by the potency of the spirituous liquid, to venture into
a region, where death presented itself to them, in the strict embrace
of an elephant's trunk, or bored to death by the teeth of the river
horse. In regard to the latter animal, the danger which they
incurred, was more imminent than with the elephants, but this did not
arise from the greater ferocity or savageness of the animal, for the
river horse moves in general in a sluggish and harmless manner; but
in the shallow places of the river, the horses were seen walking at
the bottom, and the space between them and the boat so small, that
the keel often came into collision with the back of the animal, who,
incensed at the affront offered to him, would be apt to strike a hole
through the boat with his huge teeth, and thereby endanger its
sinking. It was evident to the commander of the expedition, that the
courage of his native crew was almost paralyzed, when they had to
contend with any of these formidable creatures, although he had no
reason to complain of their exertions, in dragging the boats over the
flats and shallows, which appeared to abound in every part of the
river.

It now became manifest to Stibbs, that he had chosen an unfavourable
time of the year for his expedition; for, after having spent two
months, he found himself on the 22nd February, only fifty-nine miles
above Barraconda, and at some distance from Tenda, consequently he
was not so successful as either Thompson or Jobson, notwithstanding
his means were more efficient, and adapted to the purpose. Stibbs,
however, expressed himself greatly disappointed with the results of
his expedition, and began to look upon the golden mines of Africa,
represented as they had been to be inexhaustible, as nothing more
than the grossest falsifications, made to suit some private purpose,
or to throw a certain degree of ridicule upon the plans and exertions
of the African company. He had been informed of a mighty channel,
which was to lead him into the remote interior of Africa, but he had
as yet only navigated a river, which in certain seasons is almost
dry, and where the crews were obliged to assume the character of the
amphibious; for at one time, they were obliged to be for hours in the
water, dragging the boats over the shallows, and at another, they
were on the land, dragging the boats over it, in order to surmount
the ledges of rocks, which extended from shore to shore. At one time
they were rowing over the backs of the river horses, and the next,
they ran the risk of being thrown upon their own back, by the trunks
of the elephants, or having them snapped in two between the jaws of
the crocodiles.

The source of the great river, which, according to the description
then given of it, could not be any other than the Niger, was,
according to the opinion of Stibbs, "nothing near so far in the
country, as by the geographers has been represented." The river,
which he had navigated, did not answer in any degree with the
description which had been given of the Niger. The name was not even
known in the quarters through which he had passed; it did not flow
from any lake, that he could hear of, or which was known to any of
the natives, nor did it communicate with the Senegal, or any other
great river; and so far from it being a mighty stream in the
interior, the report was given to him by the natives, that at about
twelve days journey above Barraconda, it dwindled into a rivulet, so
small that the "fowls could walk over it."

On the return of Stibbs to the company's settlement at the month of
the Gambia, these reports were received with great reluctance, and
the strongest doubts were thrown upon their authenticity. At that
time, a person of the name of Moore was the company's factor on the
Gambia; and in order to invalidate the statements of Stibbs, he
produced Herodotus, Leo, Edrisi, and other high authorities, whilst
on the other hand, Stibbs declared, that he had never heard of such
travellers before, and that he did not see why greater faith should
be put in their reports, than in his.

Stibbs for some time supported the veracity of his statements, but
Moore and Herodotus at length prevailed, and Stibbs retired from the
service in disgust. There were, however, many strongly inclined to
attach implicit belief to the statements of Stibbs, at all events,
they had the direct tendency of preventing any other voyage being
undertaken for some time, for exploring that part of the African
continent.

The first person who brought home any accounts of French Africa, was
Jannequin, a young man of some rank, who, as he was walking along the
quay at Dieppe, saw a vessel bound for this unknown continent, and
took a sudden fancy to embark and make the voyage. He was landed at a
part of the Sahara, near Cane Blanco. He was struck in an
extraordinary degree with the desolate aspect of the region. In
ascending the river, however, he was delighted with the brilliant
verdure of the banks, the majestic beauty of the trees, and the thick
impenetrable underwood. The natives received him hospitably, and he
was much struck by their strength and courage, decidedly surpassing
similar qualities in Europeans. He saw a moorish chief, called the
Kamalingo, who, mounting on horseback, and brandishing three javelins
and a cutlass, engaged a lion in single combat, and vanquished that
mighty king of the desert. Flat noses and thick lips, so remote from
his own ideas of the beautiful, were considered on the Senegal, as
forming the perfection of the human visage; nay, he even fancies that
they were produced by artificial means. Of actual discovery, little
transpired worthy of record in the travels of Jannequin, and his
enthusiasm became soon daunted by the perils which at every step
beset him.



CHAPTER  III.

Nearly seventy years had elapsed, and the spirit of African discovery
had remained dormant, whilst in the mean time the remotest quarters
of the globe had been reached by British enterprise; the vast region
of Africa still remaining an unseemly blank in the map of the earth.
To a great and maritime nation as England then was, and to the cause
of the sciences in general, particularly that of geography, it was
considered as highly discreditable, that no step should be taken to
obtain a correct knowledge of the geographical situation of the
interior of Africa, from which continual reports arrived of the
existence of great commercial cities, and the advantages which the
Arabs derived from their intercourse with them. For the purpose of
promoting this great national undertaking, a small number of
highly-spirited individuals formed themselves into what was termed
the African Association, A sum of money was subscribed, and
individuals were sought for, who were qualified to undertake such
arduous and dangerous enterprises. Lord Rawdon, afterwards the
Marquess of Hastings, Sir Joseph Banks, the Bishop of Llandaff, Mr.
Beaufoy, and Mr. Stuart, were nominated managers.

The first adventurer was Mr. Ledyard, who, from his earliest age, had
been a traveller from one extremity of the earth to the other. He had
circumnavigated the globe with Capt. Cook, had resided for several
years amongst the American indians, and had travelled with the most
scanty means from Stockholm round the Gulf of Bothnia, and thence to
the remotest parts of Asiatic Russia. On his return from his last
journey, Sir Joseph Banks was then just looking out for a person to
explore the interior of Africa, and Ledyard was no sooner introduced
to him, than he pronounced him to be the very man fitted for the
undertaking. Ledyard also declared that the scheme was in direct
unison with his own wishes, and on being asked how soon he could
depart, he answered, "Tomorrow." Some time, however, elapsed in
making the necessary arrangements, and a passage was shortly
afterwards obtained for him to Alexandria, with the view of first
proceeding southward from Cairo to Sennaar, and thence traversing the
entire breadth of the African continent.

He arrived at Cairo on the 19th of August, 1788. His descriptions of
Egypt are bold and original, but somewhat fanciful. He represented
the Delta as an unbounded plain of excellent land miserably
cultivated; the villages as most wretched assemblages of poor mud
huts, full of dust, fleas, flies, and all the curses of Moses, and
the people as below the rank of any savages he ever saw, wearing only
a blue shirt and drawers, and tattooed as much as the South Sea
islanders. He recommends his correspondents, if they wish to see
Egyptian women, to look at any group of gypsies behind a hedge in
Essex. He describes the Mohammedans as a trading, enterprising,
superstitious, warlike set of vagabonds, who, wherever they are bent
upon going, will and do go; but he complains that the condition of a
Frank is rendered most humiliating and distressing by the furious
bigotry of the Turks; to him it seemed inconceivable that such enmity
should exist among men, and that beings of the same species should
trick and act in a manner so opposite. By conversing with the Jelabs,
or slave merchants, he learned a good deal respecting the caravan
routes and countries of the interior. Every thing seemed ready for
his departure, and he announced that his next communication would be
from Sennaar, but, on the contrary, the first tidings received were
those of his death. Some delays in the departure of the caravans,
acting upon his impatient spirit, brought on a bilious complaint, to
which he applied rash and violent remedies, and thus reduced himself
to a state, from which the care of Rosetti, the Venetian consul, and
the skill of the best physician of Cairo sought in vain to deliver
him.

The society had, at the time they engaged Ledyard, entered into terms
with Mr. Lucas, a gentleman, who, being captured in his youth by a
Sallee rover, had been three years a slave at the court of Morocco,
and after his deliverance acted as vice-consul in that empire. Having
spent sixteen years there, he had acquired an intimate knowledge of
Africa and its languages. He was sent by way of Tripoli, with
instructions to accompany the caravan, which takes the most direct
route into the interior. Being provided with letters from the
Tripolitan ambassador, he obtained the Bey's permission, and even
promises of assistance for this expedition. At the same time he made
an arrangement with two sheerefs or descendants of the Prophet, whose
persons are held sacred, to join a caravan with which they intended
to travel. He proceeded with them to Mesuraba, but the Arabs there
being in a state of rebellion, refused to furnish camels and guides,
which, indeed, could scarcely be expected, as the Bey had declined to
grant them a safe conduct through his territories. Mr. Lucas was
therefore obliged to return to Tripoli, without being able to
penetrate further into the continent. He learned, however, from
Imhammed, one of the sheerefs, who had been an extensive traveller, a
variety of particulars respecting the interior regions. The society
had, at the same time, made very particular inquiries of Ben Ali, a
Morocco caravan trader, who happened to be in London. From these two
sources, Mr. Beaufoy was enabled to draw up a view of Centra. Africa,
very imperfect, indeed, yet superior to any that had ever before
appeared.

According to the information thus obtained, Bornou and Kashna were
the most powerful states in that part of the continent, and formed
even empires, holding sway over a number of tributary kingdoms, a
statement which proved at that time to be correct, though affairs
have since greatly changed. The Kashna caravan often crossed the
Niger, and went onwards to great kingdoms behind the Gold Coast,
Gongah or Kong, Asiente or Ashantee, Yarba or Yarriba, through which
Clapperton afterwards travelled. Several extensive routes across the
desert were also delineated. In regard to the Niger, the report of
Imhammed revived the error, which represented that river as flowing
westward towards the Atlantic. The reason on which this opinion was
founded, will be evident, when we observe that it was in Kashna, that
Ben Ali considered himself as having crossed that river. His Niger,
therefore, was the Quarrama, or river of Zermie, which flows westward
through Kashna and Sackatoo, and is only a tributary to the Quorra or
great river, which we call the Niger. He describes the stream as very
broad and rapid, probably from having seen it during the rainy
season, when all the tropical rivers of any magnitude assume an
imposing appearance.

Mr. Lucas made no further attempt to penetrate into Africa. The next
expedition was made by a new agent, and from a different route. Major
Houghton, who had resided for some years as consul at Morocco, and
afterwards in a military capacity at Goree, undertook the attempt to
reach the Niger by the route of Gambia, not, like Jobson and Stibbs,
ascending its stream in boats, but travelling singly and by land. He
seems to have been endowed with a gay, active, and sanguine spirit,
fitted to carry him through the boldest undertaking, but without that
cool and calculating temper necessary for him, who endeavours to make
his way amid scenes of peril and treachery. He began his journey
early in 1791, and soon reached Medina, the capital of Woolli, where
the venerable chief received him with extreme kindness, promised to
furnish guides, and assured him he might go to Timbuctoo with his
staff in his hand. The only evil that befell him at Medina, arose
from a fire that broke out there, and spreading rapidly through
buildings roofed with cane and matted grass, converted a town of a
thousand houses, in an hour, into a heap of ashes. Major Houghton ran
out with the rest of the people into the fields, saving only such
articles as could be carried with him.

He mentions, that by trading at Fattatenda, a person may make 800 per
cent, and may live in plenty on ten pounds a year. Quitting the
Gambia, he took the road through Bambouk, and arrived at Ferbanna on
the Faleme. Here he was received with the most extraordinary kindness
by the king, who gave him a guide and money to defray his expenses. A
note was afterwards received from him, dated Simbing, which contained
merely these words: "Major Houghton's compliments to Dr. Laidley, is
in good health on his way to Timbuctoo; robbed of all his goods by
Fenda, Bucar's son." This was the last communication from him, for
soon after the negroes brought down to Pisania, the melancholy
tidings of his death, of which Mr. Park subsequently learned the
particulars. Some moors had persuaded the major to accompany them to
Tisheet, a place in the great desert, frequented on account of its
salt mines. In alluring him thither, their object, as it appears from
the result, was to rob him, for it was very much out of the direct
route to Timbuctoo. Of this in a few days he became sensible, and
insisted upon returning, but they would not permit him to leave their
party, until they had stripped him of every article in his
possession. He wandered about for some time through the desert,
without food or shelter, till at length quite exhausted, he sat down
under a tree and expired. Mr. Park was shown the very spot where his
remains wore abandoned to the fowls of the air.

A considerable degree of information respecting the country on the
Senegal, was procured by a person of the name of Bruce, who had a
large share in the administration of the affairs of the French
African Companies. In one of his numerous journeys, he ascended the
Senegal as far as Gallam, and established a fort or factory at
Dramanet, a populous and commercial town. The inhabitants carried on
a trade as far as Timbuctoo, which they described as situated 500
leagues in the interior. They imported from it gold and ivory, and
slaves from Bambarra, which was represented by them, as an extensive
region between Timbuctoo and Cassan, barren but very populous. The
kingdom of Cassan was said to be formed into a sort of island, or
rather peninsula, by the branches of the Senegal. Gold was so
abundant there, that the metal often appeared on the surface of the
ground. From these circumstances it may be concluded, that Cassan was
in some degree confounded with Bambouk, which borders it on the
south. It had long been the ambition of the French, to find access to
this golden country, but the jealousy of the native merchants
presented an obstacle, that could not be easily surmounted.



CHAPTER IV.

There is no Chapter IV as the following chapter was numbered
Chapter V by mistake.



CHAPTER V.

The death of Major Houghton left the African Association without a
single individual employed in the particular service, for which the
company was originally established. On a sudden, Mr. Mungo Park, a
native of Scotland, offered himself to the society, and the committee
having made such inquiries as they thought necessary, accepted him
for the service.

His instructions were very plain and concise. He was directed, on his
arrival in Africa, to pass on to the river Niger, either by the way
of Bambouk, or by such other route as should be most convenient; that
he should ascertain the cause, and if possible, the rise and
termination of that river; that he should use his utmost exertion to
visit the principal towns or cities in its neighbourhood,
particularly Timbuctoo and Houssa, and that he should afterwards
return to Europe, by such route as, under the then existing
circumstances of his situation, should appear to him most advisable.

He sailed from Portsmouth on the 22nd of May, 1793, and on the 4th
June, he saw the mountains over Mogadore, on the coast of Africa, and
on the 21st, after a pleasant voyage, he anchored at Jillifree, a
town on the northern bank of the Gambia, opposite to James' Island,
where the English had formerly a small fort.

On the 23rd, he proceeded to Vintain, a town situated about two miles
up a creek, on the southern side of the river. Here he continued till
the 26th, when he continued his course up the river, which is deep
and muddy. The banks are covered with impenetrable thickets of
mangrove, and the whole of the adjacent country appears to be flat
and swampy. The Gambia abounds with fish, but none of them are known
in Europe. In six days after leaving Vintain, he reached Jonkakonda,
a place of considerable trade, where the vessel was to take in part
of her lading. The next morning the European traders came from their
different factories, to receive their letters, and learn the nature
and amount of the cargo; whilst the captain despatched a letter to
Dr. Laidley, with the information of Mr. Park's arrival. Dr. Laidley
came to Jonkakonda the morning following, when he delivered to him
Mr. Beaufoy's letter, when the doctor gave him a kind invitation to
spend his time at his house at Pisania, until an opportunity should
offer of prosecuting his journey. This invitation was too acceptable
to be refused.

Pisania is a small village in the king of Yany's dominions,
established by British subjects, as a factory for trade, and
inhabited solely by them and their black servants. The white
residents at the time of Mr. Park's arrival, consisted only of Dr.
Laidley and two gentlemen of the name of Ainsley, but their domestics
were numerous. They enjoyed perfect security, and being highly
respected by the natives at large, wanted no accommodation the
country could supply, and the greatest part of the trade in slaves;
ivory, and gold was in their hands.

Being settled in Pisania, Mr. Park's first object was to learn the
Mandingo tongue, being the language in almost general use throughout
this part of Africa, without which he was convinced he never could
acquire an extensive knowledge of the country or its inhabitants. In
this pursuit he was greatly assisted by Dr. Laidley, who had made
himself completely master of it. Next to the language, his great
object was to collect information concerning the countries he
intended to visit. On this occasion he was referred to certain
traders called slatees, who are black merchants of great
consideration in this part of Africa, who come from the interior
countries, chiefly with enslaved negroes for sale; but he discovered
that little dependence could be placed on the accounts they gave, as
they contradicted each other in the most important particulars, and
all seemed extremely unwilling he should prosecute his journey.

In researches of this kind, and in observing the manners and customs
of the natives, in a country so little known to the nations of
Europe, and furnished with so many striking objects of nature, Mr.
Park's time passed not unpleasantly, and he began to flatter himself
that he had escaped the fever, to which Europeans, on their first
arrival in hot climates, are generally subject. But on the 31st July,
he imprudently exposed himself to the night dew, in observing an
eclipse of the moon, with a view to determine the longitude of the
place; the next day he found himself attacked with fever and
delirium, and an illness followed, which confined him to the house
the greater part of August. His recovery was very slow, but he
embraced every short interval of convalescence to walk out and
examine the productions of the country. In one of these excursions,
having rambled farther than usual in a hot day, he brought on a
return of his fever, and was again confined to his bed. The fever,
however, was not so violent as before, and in the course of three
weeks, when the weather permitted, he was able to renew his botanical
excursions; and when it rained, he amused himself with drawing
plants, &c. in his chamber. The care and attention of Dr. Laidley
contributed greatly to alleviate his sufferings; his company beguiled
the tedious hours during that gloomy season, when the rain falls in
torrents, when suffocating heats oppress by day, and when the night
is spent in listening to the croaking of frogs, the shrill cry of the
jackal, and the deep howling of the hyena; a dismal concert,
interrupted only by the roar of tremendous thunder.

On the 6th of October the waters of the Gambia were at their greatest
height, being fifteen feet above the high water mark of the tide,
after which they began to subside; at first slowly, but afterwards
very rapidly, sometimes sinking more than a foot in twenty-four
hours: by the beginning of November the river had sunk to its former
level, and the tide ebbed and flowed as usual. When the river had
subsided, and the atmosphere grew dry, Mr. Park recovered apace, and
began to think of his departure; for this is reckoned the most proper
season for travelling: the natives had completed their harvest, and
provisions were everywhere cheap and plentiful.

On the 2nd December 1795, Mr. Park took his departure from the
hospitable mansion of Dr. Laidley, being fortunately provided with a
negro servant, who spoke both the English and Mandingo tongues; his
name was Johnson: he was a native of that part of Africa, and having
in his youth been conveyed to Jamaica as a slave, he had been made
free, and taken to England by his master, where he had resided many
years, and at length found his way back to his native country. He was
also provided with a negro boy, named Demba, a sprightly youth, who,
besides Mandingo, spoke the language of the Serawoollies, an inland
people; and to induce him to behave well, he was promised his freedom
on his return, in case the tourist should report favourably of his
fidelity and services. A free man, named Madiboo, travelling to the
kingdom of Bambara, and two slatees, going to Bondou, offered their
services, as did likewise a negro, named Tami, a native of Kasson,
who had been employed some years by Dr. Laidley as a blacksmith, and
was returning to his native country with the savings of his labours.
All these men travelled on foot, driving their asses before them.

Thus Mr. Park had no less than six attendants, all of whom had been
taught to regard him with great respect, and to consider that their
safe return hereafter to the countries on the Gambia, would depend on
his preservation.

Dr. Laidley and the Messrs. Ainsley accompanied Park the two first
days. They reached Jindy the same day, and rested at the house of a
black woman, who had formerly been the mistress of Mr. Hewett, a
white trader, and who, in consequence of that honour, was called
_Seniora_. In the evening they walked out, to see an adjoining
village, belonging to a slatee, named Jemaffoo Mamadoo, the richest
of all the Gambia traders. They found him at home, and he thought so
highly of the honour done him by this visit, that he presented them
with a fine bullock, part of which was dressed for their evening's
repast.

The negroes do not go to supper till late, and in order to amuse
themselves while the beef was preparing, a Mandingo was desired to
relate some diverting stories, in listening to which, and smoking
tobacco, they spent three hours. These stories bear some resemblance
to those in the Arabian Nights' Entertainments, but in general are of
a more ludicrous cast.

About one o'clock in the afternoon of the 3rd of December, Park took
his leave of Dr. Laidley and Messrs. Ainsley, and rode slowly into
the woods. He had now before him a boundless forest, and a country,
the inhabitants of which were strangers to civilized life. He
reflected that he had parted from the last European he might probably
behold, and perhaps quitted for ever the comforts of Christian
society. These thoughts necessarily cast a gloom over his mind, and
he rode musing along for about three miles, when he was awakened from
his reverie by a number of people, who, running up, stopped the
asses, giving him to understand, that he must either go with them to
Peckaba, to present himself to the king of Woolli, or pay customs to
them. He endeavoured to make them comprehend, that not travelling for
traffic, he ought not to be subjected to a tax like merchants, but
his reasoning was thrown away upon them. They said it was usual for
travellers of all descriptions to make a present to the king of
Woolli, and without doing so, none could be permitted to proceed. As
the party were numerous, he thought it prudent to comply with their
demand, and presented them with four bars of tobacco. At sunset he
reached a village near Kootacunda.

The next day entering Woolli, he stopped to pay customs to an officer
of the king. Passing the night at a village called Tabajang: at noon
the following day Park reached Medina, the capital of the king of
Woolli's dominions. It is a large place, and contains at least a
thousand houses. It is fortified in the common African manner by a
high mud wall, and an outward fence of pointed stakes and prickly
bushes, but the walls were neglected, and the outward fence had
suffered considerably by being plucked up for fire-wood. Mr. Park
obtained a lodging with one of the king's near relations, who warned
him, at his introduction to the king, not to shake hands with him,
that liberty not being allowed to strangers. With this salutary
warning, Park paid his respects to Jatta, the king, and asked his
permission to pass to Bondou. He was the same old man, of whom Major
Houghton speaks in such favourable terms. The sovereign was seated
before the door of his hovel, surrounded by a number of men and
women, who were singing and clapping their hands. Park, saluting him
respectfully, told him the object of his visit. The monarch not only
permitted him to proceed on his journey, but declared he would offer
prayers for his safe return. One of Mr. Park's attendants, to
manifest his sense of the king's courtesy, roared out an Arabic song,
at every pause of which the king himself, and all present, striking
their hands against their foreheads, exclaimed, with affecting
solemnity, _Amen, Amen._ The king further assured him, that a guide
should be ready on the following day, to conduct him to the frontier
of Bondou. Having taken leave, he sent the king an order upon Dr.
Laidley for three gallons of rum, and received in return a great
store of provisions.

December the 6th, early in the morning, on visiting Jatta, he found
his majesty sitting upon a bullock's hide, warming himself before a
large fire, for the Africans frequently feel cold when a European is
oppressed with heat. Jatta received his visitant very kindly, and
earnestly entreated him to advance no farther into the interior,
telling him that Major Houghton had been killed in his route. He said
that travellers must not judge of the people of the eastern country
by those of Woolli. The latter were acquainted with white men, and
respected them; whereas, in the east, the people had never seen one,
and would certainly destroy the first they beheld. Park, thanking the
king for his affectionate concern, told him he was determined,
notwithstanding all danger, to proceed. The king shook his head, but
desisted from further persuasion, and ordered the guide to hold
himself in readiness.

On the guide making his appearance, Park took his last farewell of
the good old king, and in three hours reached Konjour, a small
village, where he and his party rested for the night. Here he bought
a fine sheep for some beads, and his attendants killed it, with all
the ceremonies prescribed by their religion. Part of it was dressed
for supper, after which a dispute arose between one of the negroes
and Johnson, the interpreter, about the sheep's horns. The former
claimed the horns as his perquisite, as he had performed the office
of butcher, and Johnson disputed the claim. To settle the matter, Mr.
Park gave a horn to each of the litigants.

Leaving Konjour, and sleeping at a village called Malla, on the 8th
he arrived at Kolor, a considerable town, near the entrance into
which he saw hanging upon a tree, a sort of masquerade habit, made of
the bark of trees, which he was told belonged to Mumbo Jumbo. The
account of this personage is thus narrated by Mr. Park: "This is a
strange bugbear, common to all the Mandingo towns, and much employed
by the pagan natives in keeping their women in subjection, for as the
kafirs are not restricted in the number of their wives, every one
marries as many as he can maintain, and, as it frequently happens,
that the ladies disagree among themselves, family quarrels rise
sometimes to such a height, that the husband can no longer preserve
peace in his household. In such cases, the interposition of Mumbo
Jumbo is called in, and is always decisive."

This strange minister of justice, who is supposed to be either the
husband himself, or some person instructed by him, disguised in the
dress before mentioned, and armed with his rod of public authority,
announces his coming by loud and continual screams in the woods near
the town. He begins the pantomime at the approach of night, and, as
soon as it is dark, enters the town, and proceeds to the bentang, at
which all the inhabitants immediately assemble.

This exhibition is not much relished by the women, for as the person
in disguise is unknown to them, every married female suspects the
visit may be intended for herself, but they dare not refuse to
appear, when they are summoned: and the ceremony commences with songs
and dances, which continue till midnight, when Mumbo fixes on the
offender. The victim, being immediately seized, is stripped naked,
tied to a post, and severely scourged with Mumbo's rod, amidst the
shouts and derisions of the assembly; and it is remarkable, that the
rest of the women are loudest in their exclamations against their
unhappy sister. Daylight puts an end to this indecent and unmanly
revel.

On the 9th of December, Park reached Tambacunda, leaving which the
next morning, he arrived in the evening at Kooniakary, a town of
nearly the same size and extent as Kolor. On the 11th he came to
Koojar, the frontier town of Woolli near Bondou.

King Jatta's guide being now to return, Park presented him with some
amber, and having been informed that it was not possible at all times
to procure water in the wilderness, he inquired for men, who would
serve both as guides and water-bearers, and he procured three
negroes, elephant hunters, for that service, paying them three bars
each in advance.

The inhabitants of Koojar beheld the white man with surprise and
veneration, and in the evening invited him to see a _neobering,_ or
wrestling match, in the bentang. This is an exercise very common in
all these countries. The spectators formed a ring round the
wrestlers, who were strong, active young men, full of emulation, and
accustomed to such contests. Being stripped to a short pair of
drawers, and having their skin anointed with oil or _Shea_ water, the
combatants approached, each on all fours, parrying for some time,
till at length one of them sprang forward, and caught his antagonist
by the knee. Great dexterity and judgment were now displayed, but the
combat was decided by strength. Few Europeans would have subdued the
conqueror. The wrestlers were animated by the sound of a drum.

After the wrestling, commenced a dance, in which many performers
assisted, provided with little bells fastened to their legs and arms,
and here also the drum assisted their movements. The drum likewise
keeps order among the spectators, by imitating the sound of certain
Mandingo sentences; for example, when the sport is about to begin,
the drummer strikes, which is understood to signify, _Ali boe si,_
"sit all down," upon which the lookers-on immediately squat
themselves on the ground, and when the combatants are to begin, he
strikes, _Amuta, amuta,_ "take hold, take hold."

In the morning of the 12th, he found that one of the elephant hunters
had absconded with the money he had received beforehand; and to
prevent the other two from following his example, Park made them
instantly fill their calabashes with water, and they entered the
wilderness that separates Woolli from Bondou. The attendants halted
to prepare a saphie or charm, to ensure a safe journey. This was done
by muttering a few sentences, and spitting upon a stone, thrown
before them on the road. Having repeated this operation three times,
the negroes proceeded with assurance off safety.

Riding along, they came to a large tree, called by the natives _neema
taba_. It was decorated with innumerable rags of cloth, which persons
travelling across the wilderness had at different times tied to the
branches, which was done, according to the opinion of Mr. Park, to
inform the traveller that water was to be found near it; but the
custom has been so sanctioned by time, that nobody now presumes to
pass without hanging up something. Park followed the example, and
suspended a handsome piece of cloth on one of the boughs; and being
informed that either a well or a pool of water was at no great
distance, he ordered the negroes to unload the asses, that they might
give them some corn, and regale themselves with the provisions,
which they had brought, meanwhile he sent one of the elephant hunters
to look for the well. A pool was found, but the water was thick and
muddy, and the negro discovered near it the remains of fire and
fragments of provisions, which showed that it had been lately
visited, either by travellers or banditti. The attendants,
apprehending the latter, and supposing that the robbers lurked at no
great distance, Mr. Park proceeded to another watering place. He
arrived there late in the, evening, fatigued with so long a day's
journey; and kindling a large fire, laid down, more than a gunshot
from any bush, the negroes agreeing to keep watch by turns, to
prevent surprise. The negroes were indeed very apprehensive of
banditti during the whole of the journey. As soon, therefore, as
daylight appeared, they filled their soofros and calabashes at the
pool, took their departure, and arrived at Tallika, the first town in
Bondou, on the 13th December. Mr. Park says, that he cannot take
leave of Woolli without observing, that he was every where well
received by the natives, and that the fatigues of the day were
generally alleviated by a hearty welcome at night.

Tallika, the frontier town of Bondou towards Woolli, is inhabited
chiefly by the Mohammedan Foulahs, who acquire no inconsiderable
affluence by furnishing provisions to the coffles or caravans, and by
the sale of ivory from hunting elephants. Here an officer constantly
resides, whose business it is to watch the arrival of the caravans,
which are taxed according to the number of loaded asses.

Mr. Park lodged with this officer, and was accompanied by him to
Fatteconda, the king's residence, for which he was paid five bars.
They halted for the first night at Ganado, where they partook of a
good supper, and were further exhilarated by an itinerant musician,
or singing man, who told a number of entertaining stories, and played
some sweet airs, by blowing his breath upon a bow-string, and
striking it at the same time with a stick.

At daybreak Mr. Park's fellow-travellers, the Serawoollies, took
their leave, with many prayers for his safety. A mile from Ganado
they crossed a branch of the Gambia, called Neriko, and in the
evening reached Koorkarany, a Mohammedan town, in which the
blacksmith had some relations. Koorkarany is surrounded by a high
wall, and is provided with a mosque. Here a number of Arabic
manuscripts were shown to Mr. Park, particularly a copy of the book
called _Al Sharra_. Leaving Koorkarany, they were joined by a young
man, who was travelling to Fatteconda for salt, and as night set in,
they reached Dooggi, a small village about three miles from
Koorkarany. There they purchased a bullock for six small stones of
amber.

Early in the morning of the 18th December, they departed from Dooggi,
joined by a party of Foulahs and others, in the evening arrived at a
village called Buggil, and passed the night in a miserable hut,
having no other bed than a bundle of corn stalks. The wells are here
dug with great ingenuity, and are very deep. From Buggil they
travelled along a dry, stony height, covered with mimosas, and
descended into a deep valley, in which, pursuing their course, they
came to a large village, where they intended to lodge. Many of the
natives were dressed in a thin French gauze, which they called
_byqui_; this being a dress calculated to show the shape of their
persons, was very fashionable among the women. These females were
extremely rude and troublesome; they took Mr. Park's cloak, cut the
buttons from the boy's clothes, and were proceeding to other
outrages, when he mounted his horse, and proceeded on his journey.
In the evening they reached Soobrudooka, and as the company were
numerous, they purchased a sheep and corn wherewith to regale
themselves, after which, they slept by their baggage. From
Soobrudooka they came to a large village on the banks of the Faleme,
which is here very rapid and rocky. The river abounds with a small
fish, of the size of sprats, which are prepared for sale by pounding
them in mortars, and exposing them to dry in the sun in large lumps.

An old moorish shereeff, who came to bestow his blessing on Mr. Park,
and beg some paper to write saphies upon, said that he had seen Major
Houghton in the kingdom of Kaarta, and that he died in the country of
the moors. Mr. Park and some of his attendants gave him a few sheets
of paper, on which to write his charms. Proceeding northward along
the banks of the river, they arrived at Mayemow, the chief man of
which town presented Mr. Park with a bullock, and he in return gave
him some amber and beads. Crossing the river, they entered
Fatteconda, the capital of Bondou, and received an invitation from a
slatee to lodge at his house, for as in Africa there are no inns,
strangers stand at the Bentang, or market-place, till they are
invited by some of the inhabitants. Soon afterwards, Mr. Park was
conducted to the king, who was desirous of seeing him immediately,
if he was not too much fatigued for the interview.

He took his interpreter with him, and followed the messenger till
they were quite out of the town, when suspecting some trick, Mr. Park
stopped and asked his guide, whither he was going?--Upon this, he
pointed to a man sitting under a tree at some little distance, and
told him that the king frequently gave audience in that retired
manner, in order to avoid a crowd of people. When he advanced, the
king desired him to come and sit by him upon the mat, and after
hearing his story, on which he made no observation, he inquired of
Mr. Park, if he wished to purchase any slaves or gold. Being answered
in the negative, he seemed surprised, but desired him to visit him
again in the evening, that he might be supplied with some provisions.

This prince was called Almami, and was a pagan. It was reported that
he had caused Major Houghton to be plundered. His behaviour,
therefore, at this interview, although distinguished by greater
civility than was expected, caused Mr. Park some uneasiness, for as
he was now entirely in his power, he thought it more politic to
conciliate the good opinion of the monarch, by a few presents.
Accordingly, in the evening, Mr. Park took with him a canister of
gunpowder, some amber, tobacco, and an umbrella; and as he considered
that his bundles would inevitably be searched, he concealed some few
articles in the roof of the hut where he lodged, putting on his new
blue coat, in order to preserve it.

Mr. Park on coming to the entrance of the court, as well as his guide
and interpreter, according to custom, took off their sandals, and the
former pronounced the king's name aloud, repeating it till he was
answered from within. They found the monarch sitting upon a mat, and
two attendants with him. Mr. Park told him his reasons for passing
through his country, but his majesty did but seem half satisfied. He
thought it impossible, he said, that any man in his senses would
undertake so dangerous a journey, merely to look at the country and
its inhabitants. When, however, Mr. Park had delivered his presents,
his majesty seemed well pleased, and was particularly delighted with
the umbrella, which he repeatedly furled and unfurled, to the great
admiration of himself and his two attendants, who could not for some
time comprehend the use of this wonderful machine. After this, Mr.
Park was about to take his leave, when the king began a long preamble
in favour of the whites, extolling their immense wealth and good
dispositions. He next proceeded to an eulogium on Mr. Park's blue
coat, of which the yellow buttons seemed particularly to please his
fancy, and he concluded by entreating Mr. Park to present him with
it, assuring him, as a matter of great consolation to him for the
loss of it, that he would wear it on all public occasions, and inform
every one who saw it, of the great liberality of Mr. Park towards
him. The request of an African prince, in his own dominions, comes
very little short of a command. Mr. Park, therefore, very quietly
took off his coat, the only good one in his possession, and laid it
at his feet. In return for his compliance, he presented Mr. Park
with great plenty of provisions, and desired to see him again in the
morning. Mr. Park accordingly attended, and found the king sitting on
his bed. His majesty told him he was sick, and wished to have a
little blood taken from him, but Mr. Park had no sooner tied up his
arm, and displayed the lancet, than his courage failed, and he begged
him to postpone the operation. He then observed, that his women were
very desirous to see him, and requested that he would favour them
with a visit. An attendant was ordered to conduct him, and he had no
sooner entered the court appropriated to the ladies, than the whole
seraglio surrounded him, some begging for physic, some for amber, and
all of them trying that great African specific, blood-letting. They
were ten or twelve in number, most of them young and handsome, and
wearing on their heads ornaments of gold and beads of amber. They
rallied him on the whiteness of his skin and the prominency of his
nose. They insisted that both were artificial, the first they said,
was produced when he was an infant, by dipping him in milk, and they
insisted that his nose had been pinched every day, till it had
acquired its present unsightly and unnatural conformation. On his
part, without disputing his own deformity, he paid them many
compliments on African beauty. He praised the glossy jet of their
skins, and the lovely depression of their noses; but they said, that
flattery, or as they emphatically termed it, _honey-mouth_, was not
esteemed in Bondou. The ladies, however, were evidently not
displeased, for they presented him with a jar of honey and some fish.

Mr. Park was desired to attend the king again, a little before
sunset, on which occasion he presented to his majesty some beads and
writing paper, as a small offering, in return for which the king gave
him five drachms of gold. He seconded the act by one still greater,
he suffered the baggage to pass without examination, and Mr. Park was
allowed to depart when he pleased.

Accordingly, on the morning of the 23d, Mr. Park left Fatteconda, and
in a few hours arrived at a small village, the boundary between
Bondou and Kajaaga. Hearing it was dangerous for travellers, Mr. Park
resolved to proceed by night, until they should reach a more
hospitable part of the country, and directed their course through the
woods. On this occasion, Mr. Park says, "the stillness of the air,
the howling of the wild beasts, and the deep solitude of the forest,
made the scene solemn and impressive. Not a word was uttered by any
of us, but in a whisper; all were attentive, and every one anxious to
show his sagacity, by pointing out to me the wolves and hyenas, as
they glided, like shadows, from one thicket to another." The
following afternoon they arrived at Joag, in the kingdom of Kajaaga,
where they took up their abode at the house of the chief man, here
called the _dooty_. He was a rigid Mohammedan, but distinguished for
his hospitality. The town was supposed to contain about two thousand
inhabitants; it was surrounded by a high wall, in which were a number
of port-holes for musketry. Every man's possession was likewise
surrounded by a wall, the whole forming so many distinct citadels,
and, amongst a people unacquainted with the use of artillery, the
walls answer all the purposes of stronger fortifications.

The same evening, Madiboo, the Bushreen from Pisania, went to pay a
visit to his father and mother, who dwelt at a neighbouring town,
called Dramanet. He was joined by the blacksmith; and as soon as it
was dark, Mr. Park was invited to see the sports of the inhabitants.
A great crowd surrounded a dancing party; the dances, however,
consisted more in wanton gestures, than in muscular exertion or
graceful attitudes. The women vied with each other in displaying the
most voluptuous movements imaginable.

On the 25th December, early in the morning, a number of horsemen
entered the town, and came to the bentang on which Mr. Park had made
his bed. One of them, thinking he was asleep, attempted to steal his
musket; but finding that he could not effect his purpose
undiscovered, he desisted.

Mr. Park now perceived, by the countenance of the interpreter,
Johnson, that something bad was in agitation; he was also surprised
to see Madiboo, and the blacksmith so soon returned. On inquiring the
reason, Madiboo informed him, that as they were dancing at Dramanet,
ten horsemen belonging to Batcheri, the king, with his second son at
their head, had inquired if the white man had passed. The ten
horsemen mentioned by Madiboo arrived, and entering the bentang
dismounted, and seated themselves with those who had come before, the
whole being about twenty in number, forming a circle round him, and
each man holding his musket in his hand. Mr. Park now remarked to his
landlord, that as he did not understand the Serawoolii tongue, he
hoped whatever the men had to say, they would speak in Mandingo. To
this they agreed, and a man, loaded with a remarkable number of
saphies, opened the business in a long oration, purporting that the
white man had entered the king's town, without having first paid the
duties, or giving any present to the king, and that according to the
laws of the country, his people, cattle and baggage were forfeited,
and he added, that they had received orders from the king, to conduct
Mr. Park to Mauna. It would have been equally vain and imprudent to
have resisted or irritated such a body of men, he, therefore,
affected to comply with their demands. The poor blacksmith, who was a
native of Kasson, mistook this feigned compliance for a real
intention, and begged Mr. Park privately, that he would not entirely
ruin him by going to Mauna, adding, that as he had every reason to
believe that a war would soon take place between Kasson and Kajaaga,
he should not only lose his little property, the savings of four
years' industry, but should certainly be detained and sold as a
slave.

Mr. Park told the king's son, he was ready to go with him upon
condition, that the blacksmith, who was an inhabitant of a distant
kingdom, and entirely unconnected with him, should be allowed to stay
at Joag until his return. To this they all objected, and insisted
that as all had acted contrary to the laws, all were equally
answerable for their transgressions.

Their landlord strenuously advised Mr. Park not to go to the king,
who, he said, if he discovered any thing valuable in his possession,
would seize it without ceremony. In consequence of this
representation, Mr. Park was the more solicitous to conciliate
matters with the king's officers, and acknowledged that he had indeed
entered the king's frontiers, without knowing that he was to pay the
duties beforehand, but was ready to pay them then; accordingly he
tendered, as a present to the king, the drachms of gold, which he had
received from the king of Bondou; this they accepted, but insisted on
examining his baggage. The bundles were opened, but the men were
greatly disappointed in not finding much gold and amber: they made up
the deficiency, however, by taking whatever things they fancied, and
departed, having first robbed him of half his goods. These
proceedings tended, in a great degree, to dispirit the attendants of
Mr. Park. Madiboo begged of him to return; Johnson laughed at the
thoughts of proceeding without money, and the blacksmith was afraid
to be seen, or even to speak, lest any one should discover him to be
a native of Kasson. In this dejected state of mind, they passed the
night by the side of a dim fire.

In the course of the following day Mr. Park was informed, that a
nephew of Demba Sego Jalla, the Mandingo king of Kasson, was coming
to visit him. The prince had been sent out on a mission to Batcheri,
king of Kajaaga, to endeavour to settle some disputes between his
uncle and the latter, in which, having been unsuccessful, he was on
his return to Kasson, to which place he offered to conduct Mr. Park,
provided he would set out on the following morning.

Mr. Park gratefully accepted this offer, and, with his attendants,
was ready to set out by daylight on the 27th of December. The retinue
of Demba Sego was numerous, the whole amounting, on the departure
from Joag, to thirty persons and six loaded asses. Having proceeded
for some hours, they came to a tree, for which Johnson had made
frequent inquiry, and here, having desired them to stop, he produced
a white chicken he had purchased at Joag for the purpose, and tied it
by the leg to one of the branches; he then declared they might now
proceed without fear, for their journey would be prosperous. This
circumstance exhibits the power of superstition over the minds of the
negroes, for although this man had resided seven years in England, he
retained all the prejudices imbibed in his youth. He meant this
ceremony, he told Mr. Park, as an offering to the spirits of the
wood, who were a powerful race of beings, of a white colour, with
long flowing hair.

At noon the travellers stopped at Gungadi, where was a mosque built
of clay, with six turrets, on the pinnacles of which were placed six
ostrich eggs. Towards evening they arrived at Samee a town on the
banks of the Senegal, which is here a beautiful but shallow river,
its banks high, and covered with verdure.

On the following day they proceeded to Kajee, a large village, part
of which is on the north, and part on the south side of the river.
About sunset Mr. Park and Demba Sego embarked in the canoe, which the
least motion was likely to overset, and Demba Sego thinking this a
proper time to examine a tin box belonging to Mr. Park, that stood in
the fore part of the canoe, by stretching out his hand for it,
destroyed the equilibrium and overset the vessel. As they were not
far advanced, they got back to the shore without much difficulty, and
after wringing the water from their clothes, took a fresh departure,
and were safely landed in Kasson.

Demba Sego now told Mr. Park, that they were in his uncle's
dominions, and he hoped that he would consider the obligation he owed
to him, and make him a suitable return by a handsome present. This
proposition was rather unexpected by Mr. Park, who began to fear that
he had not much improved his condition by crossing the water, but as
it would have been folly to complain, he gave the prince seven bars
of amber and some tobacco, with which he seemed well satisfied.

In the evening of December the 29th, they arrived at Demba Sego's
hut, and the next morning Mr. Park was introduced by the prince to
his father, Tigitty Sego, brother to the king of Kasson, chief of
Tesee. The old man viewed his visitor with great earnestness, having
never beheld but one white man before, whom Mr. Park discovered to be
Major Houghton. He appeared to disbelieve what Mr. Park asserted, in
answer to his inquiries concerning the motives that induced him to
explore the country, and told him that he must go to Kooniakary to
pay his respects to the king, but desired to see him again before he
left Tesee.

Tesee is a large unwalled town, fortified only by a sort of citadel,
in which Tiggity Sego and his family reside. The present inhabitants,
though possessing abundance of cattle and corn, eat without scruple
rats, moles, squirrels, snakes, locusts, &c. The attendants of Mr.
Park were one evening invited to a feast, where making a hearty meal
of what they thought to be fish and kouskous, one of them found a
piece of hard skin in the dish, which he brought away with him, to
show Mr. Park what sort of fish they had been eating. On examining
the skin, it was discovered they had been feasting on a large snake.
Another custom, which is rigidly adhered to, is, that no woman is
allowed to eat an egg, and nothing will more affront a woman of Tesee
than to offer her an egg. The men, however, eat eggs without scruple.

The following anecdote will show, that in some particulars the
African and European women have a great resemblance to each other,
and that conjugal infidelity is by no means confined to the latter. A
young man, a kafir of considerable affluence, who had recently
married a young and handsome wife, applied to a very devout Bushreen
or Mussulman priest of his acquaintance, to procure him saphies for
his protection during the approaching war. The Bushreen complied with
his request, and to render the saphies more efficacious, enjoined the
young man to avoid any nuptial intercourse with his bride for the
space of six weeks. The kafir obeyed, and without telling his wife
the real cause, absented himself from her company. In the mean time
it was whispered that the Bushreen, who always performed his evening
devotions at the door of the kafir's hut, was more intimate with the
young wife, than was consistent with virtue, or the sanctity of his
profession. The husband was unwilling to suspect the honour of his
sanctified friend, whose outward show of religion, as is the case
with the priests and parsons of the civilized part of the world,
protected him from even the suspicion of so flagitious an act. Some
time, however, elapsed before any jealousy arose in the mind of the
husband, but hearing the charge repeated, he interrogated his wife on
the subject, who confessed that the holy man had seduced her.
Hereupon the kafir put her into confinement, and called a palaver on
the Bushreen's conduct, which Mr. Park was invited to attend. The
fact was proved against the priest, and he was sentenced to be sold
into slavery, or find two slaves for his redemption, according to the
pleasure of the complainant. The injured husband, however, desired
rather to have him publicly flogged, before Tiggity Sego's gate; this
was agreed to, and the sentence immediately carried into execution.
The culprit was tied by the hands to a strong stake, and the
executioner with a long black rod round his head, for some time
applied it with such dexterity to the Bushreen's back, as to make him
roar until the woods resounded. The multitude, by their looking and
laughing, manifested how much they enjoyed the punishment of the old
gallant, and it is remarkable, that the number of stripes was exactly
the same as enjoined by the Mosaic law, _forty, save one._

On the 8th of January, Demba Sego, who had borrowed Mr. Park's horse,
for the purpose of making a small excursion into the country,
returned and informed his father, that he should set out for
Kooniakary early the next day. The old man made many frivolous
objections, and gave Mr. Park to understand, that he must not depart
without paying him the duties to which he was entitled from all
travellers; besides which, he expected some acknowledgment for his
kindness towards him. Accordingly, the following morning Demba Sego,
with a number of people, came to Mr. Park, to see what goods he
intended as a present to the old chief. Mr. Park offered them seven
bars of amber, and five of tobacco, but Demba, having surveyed these
articles, very coolly told him they were not a present suitable to a
man of Tiggity Sego's consequence, and if he did not make him a
larger offering, he would carry all the baggage to his father, and
let him choose for himself. Without waiting for a reply, Demba and
his attendants immediately opened the bundles, and spread the
different articles upon the floor; everything that pleased them they
took without a scruple, and Demba in particular seized the tin box,
which had so much attracted his attention in crossing the river. Upon
collecting the remains of his little fortune, after these people had
left him, Mr. Park found, that as at Joag, he had been plundered of
half, so he was here deprived of half the remainder. Having been
under some obligations to Demba Sego, Mr. Park did not reproach him
for his rapacity, but determined at all events to quit Tesee the
following morning; in the mean while, to raise the drooping spirits
of his attendants, he purchased a fat sheep, and had it dressed for
dinner.

Early in the morning of January the 10th, Mr. Park and his company
left Tesee, and about midday came in sight of the hills in the
vicinity of Kooniakary. Having slept at a small village, the next
morning they crossed a narrow but deep stream, called Krisko, a
branch of the Senegal. Proceeding eastward, about two o'clock they
came in sight of the native town of Jambo, the blacksmith, from which
he had been absent about four years. He was received with the
greatest affection by his relations, but he declared that he would
not quit Mr. Park during his stay at Kooniakary, and they set out for
that place in the morning of the 14th January. About the middle of
the day, they arrived at Soolo, a small village about three miles to
the south of it, where Mr. Park went to visit a slatee, named Salim
Daucari, who had entrusted him with effects to the value of five
slaves, and had given Mr. Park an order for the whole of the debt.
The slatee received his visitors with great kindness. It was,
however, remarkable that the king of Kasson was by some means
apprised of the motions of Mr. Park, for he had not been many hours
at Soolo, when Sambo Sego, the second son of the king of Kasson, came
thither with a party of horse, to inquire what had prevented him from
proceeding to Kooniakary, and waiting upon the king, who he said was
impatient to see him. Salim Daucari apologised for Mr. Park, and
promised to accompany him to Kooniakary. They accordingly departed
from Soolo at sunset, and in about an hour entered Kooniakary, but as
the king had gone to sleep, the interview was deferred till the next
morning, and the travellers slept in the hut of Sambo Sego.



CHAPTER VI.

On the ensuing morning Mr. Park went to have an audience of King
Demba Sego Jalla, but the crowd of people that were assembled to see
him was so great, that he could scarcely gain admittance; he at
length arrived in the presence of the monarch, whom he found sitting
upon a mat in a large hut: he appeared to be about sixty years of
age. He surveyed Mr. Park with great attention, and on being made
acquainted with the object of his journey, the good old king was
perfectly satisfied, and promised him every assistance in his power.
He said that he had seen Major Houghton, and presented him with a
white horse, but that after passing the kingdom of Kaarta, he had
lost his life among the moors, but in what manner he was utterly
ignorant. The audience being ended, Mr. Park returned to his lodging,
where he made up a small present for the king, who sent him in return
a large white bullock.

Although the king was well disposed towards Mr. Park, the latter soon
discovered that very great and unexpected obstacles were likely to
impede his progress. A war was on the eve of breaking out between
Kasson and Kajaaga; the kingdom of Kaarta, through which his route
lay, being involved in the issue, and was also threatened with
hostilities by Bambarra. Taking these circumstances into
consideration, the king advised Mr. Park to remain in the vicinity of
Kooniakary, till some decisive information could be obtained of the
state of the belligerents, which was expected to be received in four
or live days. Mr. Park readily submitted to this proposal, and
returned to Soolo, where he received from Salim Daucari, on Dr.
Laidley's account, the value of three slaves, chiefly in gold dust.

Being anxious to proceed as soon as possible, Mr. Park begged Daucari
to use his interest with the king, to procure him a guide by the way
of Foolado, as it was reported that the war had commenced. Daucari
accordingly set out for Kooniakary on the morning of the 20th, and
the same evening returned with an answer from the king, stating that
his majesty had made an agreement with the king of Kaarta, to send
all merchants and travellers through his dominions, but if Mr. Park
wished to take the route of Foolado, the king gave him permission to
do so, though he could not consistently with his agreement send him a
guide. In consequence of this answer, Mr. Park determined to wait
till he could pass through Kaarta without danger.

In the interim, however, it was whispered abroad, that the white man
had received abundance of gold from Salim Daucari, and on the morning
of the 23rd, Sambo Sego paid Mr. Park a visit, attended by a party of
horsemen, and insisted upon knowing the exact amount of the money
which he had received, declaring at the same time, that one half of
it must go to the king; that he himself must have a handsome present,
as being the king's son, and his attendants, as being the king's
relations. Mr. Park was preparing to submit to this arbitrary
exaction, when Salim Daucari interposed, and at last prevailed upon
Sambo to accept sixteen bars of European merchandize, and some powder
and ball, as a complete payment of every demand that could be made in
the kingdom of Kasson.

Mr. Park resided at Soolo for several days, occasionally visiting
surrounding country, and he reports that the number of towns and
villages, and the extensive cultivation around them, surpassed every
thing he had yet seen in Africa.

The king of Kasson having now obtained information, that the war had
not yet commenced between Bambarra and Kaarta, and that Mr. Park
might probably pass through the latter country before the Bambarra
army invaded it, sent two guides early on the morning of the 3rd of
February, to conduct him to the frontiers. He accordingly took leave
of Salim Daucari, and Jambo the blacksmith, and about ten o'clock
departed from Soolo. In the afternoon of the 4th, they reached Kimo,
a large village, the residence of Madi Konko, governor of the hilly
country of Kasson, which is called Soromma.

At Kimo, the guides, appointed by the king of Kasson, left Mr. Park,
and he waited at this place till the 7th, when he departed, with Madi
Konko's son as a guide. On the 8th of February they travelled over a
rough stony country, and, having passed a number of villages, arrived
at Lackarago, a small village standing upon the ridge of hills that
separates Kasson from Kaarta. The following morning they left
Lackarago, and soon perceived, towards the south-east, the mountains
of Fooladoo. Proceeding with great difficulty down a stony and abrupt
precipice, they continued their way in a dry bed of a river, where
the trees, meeting over head, made the place dark and cool. About ten
o'clock they reached the sandy plains of Kaarta, and at noon came to
a watering place, where a few strings of beads purchased as much milk
and corn meal as they could eat. Provisions were here so plentiful,
that the shepherds seldom asked any return for the refreshment a
traveller required. At sunset the travellers reached Feesurah, where
they rested.

Mr. Park and his attendants remained at Feesurah, during the whole of
the following day, for the purpose of learning more exactly the
situation of affairs, before they ventured further. Their landlord
asked so exorbitant a sum for their lodging, that Mr. Park refused to
submit to his demand, but his attendants, frightened at the reports
of approaching war, would not proceed unless he was satisfied, and
persuaded him to accompany them to Kemmoo for their protection on the
road. This Mr. Park accomplished by presenting his host with a
blanket to which he had taken a liking.

Matters being thus amicably adjusted, our travellers again set out on
the 11th, preceded by their landlord of Feesurah on horseback. This
man was one of those negroes who observe the ceremonial part of
Mahometanism, but retain all their pagan superstitions, and even
drink strong liquors; they are called Johars or Jowers, and are very
numerous in Kaarta. When the travellers had got into a lonely wood,
he made a sign for them to stop, and taking hold of a hollow niece of
bamboo, that hung as an amulet round his neck, whistled very loudly
three times. Mr. Park began to suspect it was a signal for some of
his associates to attack the travellers, but the man assured him it
was done to ascertain the successful event of their journey. He then
dismounted, laid his spear across the road and having said several
short prayers, again gave three loud whistles; after which he
listened, as if expecting an answer, but receiving none, said they
might proceed without fear, for no danger actually existed.

On the morning of the 12th, they departed from Karan Kalla, and it
being but a short day's journey to Kemmoo, they travelled slower than
usual, and amused themselves by collecting eatable fruits near the
road side. Thus engaged, Mr. Park had wandered a short distance from
his people, when two negro horsemen, armed with muskets, came
galloping from the thickets. On seeing them, he made a full stop; the
horsemen did the same, and all three seemed equally surprised and
confounded. As he approached them, their fears increased, and one
casting upon him a look of horror, rode off at full speed; while the
other, in a panic of fear, put his hand over his eyes, and continued
muttering prayers, till his horse, apparently without his knowledge,
slowly conveyed him after his companion. About a mile to the westward
they fell in with Mr. Park's attendants, to whom they related a
frightful story: their fears had dressed him in the flowing robes of
a tremendous spirit, and one of them affirmed, that a blast of wind,
cold as water, poured down upon him from the sky, while he beheld the
dreadful apparition.

About two o'clock, Mr. Park entered the capital of Kaarta, which is
situate in the midst of an open plain, the country for two miles
round being cleared of wood. They immediately proceeded to the king's
residence, and Mr. Park, being surrounded by the astonished
multitude, did not attempt to dismount, but sent in the landlord of
Feesurah, and Madi Konko's son, to acquaint his majesty of his
arrival. The king replied, that he would see the stranger in the
evening, and ordered an attendant to procure him a lodging, and
prevent annoyance from the crowd. Mr. Park was conducted into a large
hut, in which he had scarcely seated himself, than the mob entered,
it being found impossible to keep them out, and when one party had
seen him, and asked a few questions, they retired, and another
succeeded, party after party, during the greater part of the day.

The king, whose name was Koorabarri, now sent for Mr. Park, who
followed the messenger through a number of courts, surrounded with
high walls. Mr. Park was astonished at the number of the king's
attendants: they were all seated, the men on the king's right hand,
and the women and children on the left. The king was not
distinguished from his subjects by any superiority of dress, being
seated on a leopard's skin, spread upon a bank of earth, about two
feet high. Mr. Park seated himself upon the ground before him, and
relating the causes that induced him to pass through his country,
solicited his protection. The king replied, that he could at present
afford him but little assistance, all communication between Kaarta
and Bambarra being cut off; and Monsong, king of Bambarra, with his
army on his march to Kaarta, there was little hope of reaching
Bambarra by the direct route, for coming from an enemy's country, he
would certainly be plundered or taken for a spy. Under these
circumstances he did not wish him to remain at Kaarta, but advised
him to return to Kasson till the war was at an end, when, if he
survived the contest, he would bestow every attention on the
traveller, but if he should fall, his sons would take him under their
care.

Mr. Park dreaded the thoughts of passing the rainy season in the
interior of Africa, and was averse to return to Europe, without
having made further discoveries, he therefore rejected the well-meant
advice of the king, and requested his majesty to allow a man to
accompany him as near the frontiers of Kaarta as was consistent with
safety. The king, finding he was resolved to proceed, told him that
one route, though not wholly free from danger, still remained, which
was first to go into the Moorish kingdom of Luda-mar, and thence by a
circuitous route to Jarra, the frontier town of Ludamar. He then
inquired of Mr. Park how he had been treated since he left the
Gambia, and jocularly asked him how many slaves he expected to take
home with him on his return. He was, however interrupted by the
arrival of a man mounted on a fine moorish horse covered with sweat
and foam, who having something of importance to communicate, the king
immediately took up his sandals, which is the signal for strangers to
retire. Mr. Park accordingly took leave, but afterwards learned that
this messenger was one of the scouts employed to watch the motions of
the enemy, and had brought intelligence that the Bambarra army was
approaching Kaarta.

In the evening the king sent to the stranger a fine sheep, a very
acceptable gift, as they had not broken their fast during the whole
of the day. At this time, evening prayers were announced, by beating
on drums, and blowing through hollowed elephants' teeth; the sound of
which was melodious, and nearly resembled the human voice. On the
following morning, Mr. Park sent his horse-pistols and holsters as a
present to the king, and informed him that he wished to leave Kemmoo
as soon as he could procure a guide. In about an hour the king
returned thanks for his present, and sent a party of horsemen to
conduct him to Jarra. On that night he slept at a village called
Marena, where, during the night, some thieves broke into the hut
where the baggage was deposited, cut open one of Mr. Park's bundles,
and stole a quantity of beads, part of his clothes, some amber and
gold. The following day was far advanced before they recommenced
their journey, and the excessive heat obliged them to travel but
slowly. In the evening they arrived at the village of Toorda, when
all the king's people turned back with the exception of two, who
remained to guide Mr. Park and his attendants to Jarra.

On the 15th of February they departed from Toorda, and about two
o'clock came to a considerable town called Funing-kedy, where being
informed that the road to Jarra was much infested by the moors, and
that a number of people were going to that town on the following
day, Mr. Park resolved to stay and accompany them. Accordingly in the
afternoon of the 17th of February, accompanied by thirty people, he
left Funing-kedy, it being necessary to travel in the night to avoid
the moorish banditti. At midnight they stopped near a small village,
but the thermometer being so low as 68°, none of the negroes could
sleep on account of the cold. They resumed their journey at daybreak,
and in the morning passed Simbing, the frontier village of Ludamar.

From this village Major Houghton wrote his last letter, with a
pencil, to Dr. Laidley, having been deserted by his negro servants,
who refused to follow him into the moorish country. This brave but
unfortunate man, having surmounted many difficulties, had endeavoured
to pass through the kingdom of Ludamar, where Mr. Park learned the
following particulars concerning his fate. On his arrival at Jarra,
he got acquainted with some moorish merchants, who were travelling to
Tisheel, a place celebrated for its salt pits in the great desert,
for the purpose of purchasing salt. It is supposed that the moors
deceived him, either in regard to the route he wished to pursue, or
the state of the country between Jarra and Timbuctoo, and their
intention probably was to rob and leave him in the desert. At the end
of two days he suspected their treachery, and insisted on returning
to Jarra. Finding him to persist in this determination, the moors
robbed him of every thing he possessed, and went off with their
camels; the major, being thus deserted, returned on foot to a
watering place called Tarra. He had been some days without food, and
the unfeeling moors refusing to give him any, he sunk at last under
his distresses. Whether he actually perished of hunger, or was
murdered by the savage Mahometans, is not certainly known. His body
was dragged into the woods, and Mr. Park was shown at a distance, the
spot where his remains were left to perish.

Leaving Simbing, the travellers arrived in safety at Jarra, which is
a large town situate at the bottom of rocky hills; the houses being
built of clay and stones intermixed, the former answering the purpose
of mortar. It forms part of the moorish kingdom of Ludamar, but the
majority of the inhabitants are negroes, who purchase a precarious
protection from the moors, in order to avert their depredations.

On Mr. Park's arrival at Jarra, he obtained a lodging at the house of
Daman Jumma, a Gambia slatee, to whom he had an order from Dr.
Laidley for a debt of the value of six slaves. Daman readily
acknowledged the debt, but said he was afraid he could not pay more
than two slaves' value. He was, however, very useful to Mr. Park, by
procuring his beads and amber to be exchanged for gold, which being
more portable, was more easily concealed from the moors.

The difficulties, which they had  already encountered, and the savage
deportment of the moors, had completely frightened Mr. Park's
attendants, and they declared they would not proceed one step further
to the eastward. In this situation, Mr. Park applied to Daman, to
obtain from Ali, king of Ludamar, a safe conduct into Bambarra, and
he hired one of Daman's slaves to guide him thither, as soon as the
passport should be obtained. A messenger was despatched to Ali, then
encamped near Benown, and Mr. Park sent that prince, as a present,
five garments of cotton cloth purchased from Daman. On the 26th of
February, one of Ali's slaves arrived, as he said, to conduct Mr.
Park as far as Goomba, and demanded one garment of blue cotton cloth
for his attendance. About this time the negro boy Demba declared,
that he would never desert his master, although he wished that he
would turn back, to which he was strongly recommended by Johnson, who
had declared his reluctance to proceed.

On the following day, Mr. Park delivered a copy of his papers to
Johnson, to convey them to Gambia with all possible expedition, and
he left in Daman's possession various articles, which he considered
not necessary to take with him. He then left Jarra, accompanied by
his faithful boy, the slave sent by king Ali, and one of Daman's
slaves. Without meeting with any occurrence of note, Mr. Park arrived
on the 1st of March at a large town called Deena, inhabited by a
greater proportion of moors than of negroes. Mr. Park lodged in a hut
belonging to one of the latter. The moors, however, assembled round
it, and treated him with every sort of indignity, with a view to
irritate him, and afford them a pretence for pillaging his baggage.
Finding, however, their attempts ineffectual, they at last declared
that the property of a Christian was lawful plunder to the followers
of Mahomet, and accordingly opened his bundles, and robbed him of
every thing they chose.

Mr. Park spent the 2nd of March, in endeavouring to prevail on his
people to proceed with him, but so great was their dread of the
moors, that they absolutely refused. Accordingly, the next morning,
about two o'clock, Mr. Park proceeded alone on his adventurous
journey. He had not, however, got above half a mile from Deena, when
he heard some one calling after him, and on looking back, saw his
faithful boy running after him. He was informed by the boy, that
Ali's man had set out for Benown, but Daman's negro was still at
Deena, but that if his master would stop a little, he could persuade
the latter to join him. Mr. Park waited accordingly, and in about
three hours the boy returned with the negro. In the afternoon, they
reached a town called Samamingkoos, inhabited chiefly by Foulahs.

On the 4th they arrived at a large town called Sampaka, where, on
hearing that a white man was come into the town, the people, who had
been keeping holiday and dancing, left of this pastime, and walking
in regular order two by two, with the music before them, came to Mr.
Park. They played upon a flute, which they blowed obliquely over the
end, and governed the holes on the sides with their fingers. Their
airs were plaintive and simple.

Mr. Park stopped at Sampaka for the sake of being accompanied by some
of the inhabitants, who were going to Goomba; but in order to avoid
the crowd of people, whom curiosity had assembled round him, he
visited in the evening a negro village called Samee, where he was
kindly received by the dooty, who killed two fine sheep, and invited
his friends to the feast. On the following day his landlord insisted
on his staying till the cool of the evening, when he would conduct
him to the next village. Mr. Park was now within two days journey of
Goomba, and had no further apprehension of being molested by the
moors. He therefore accepted the invitation, and passed the forenoon
very agreeably with the poor negroes, the mildness of their manners
forming a striking contrast to the savageness and ferocity of the
moors. In the midst of their cheerfulness, a party of moors
unexpectedly entered the hut. They came, they said, by Ali's orders,
to convey the white man to his camp at Benown. They told Mr. Park,
that if he did not make any resistance, he was not in any danger, but
if he showed any reluctance, they had orders to bring him by force.
Mr. Park was confounded and terrified; the moors, observing his
consternation, repeated the assurance of his safety, and added, that
they had come to gratify the curiosity of Ali's wife, who was
extremely desirous to see a Christian, but that afterwards, they had
no doubt that Ali would make him a present, which would compensate
for his trouble, and conduct him safely to Bambarra. Entreaty or
refusal would have been equally unavailing. Mr. Park took leave of
his landlord and company with great reluctance, and, attended by his
negro boy (for Daman's slave made his escape on seeing the Moors),
followed the messengers, and reached Dalli in the evening, where they
were strictly watched for the night.

On the following day, Mr. Park and his boy were conducted by a
circuitous path, through the woods to Dangoli, where they slept. They
continued their journey on the 9th, and without any particular
occurrence arrived at Deena, when Mr. Park went to pay his respects
to one of Ali's sons. He sat in a hut, with five or six companions,
washing their hands, feet, and mouths. The prince handed Mr. Park a
double-barrelled gun, and told him to dye the stock blue, and repair
one of the locks. Mr. Park with great difficulty persuaded him that
he knew nothing of gun-making, then, said he, you shall give me some
knives and scissors immediately. The boy, who acted as interpreter,
declaring Mr. Park had no such articles, he hastily snatched up a
musket, and would have shot the boy dead upon the spot, had not the
Moors interfered, and made signs to the strangers to retreat. The boy
attempted to make his escape in the night, but was prevented by the
Moors, who guarded both him, and his master, with the strictest
attention.

On the 12th, Mr. Park and his guards departed for Benown, and reached
the camp of Ali a little before sunset. It was composed of a great
number of dirty tents, scattered without order, amongst which
appeared large herds of camels, cattle, and goats. Mr. Park had no
sooner arrived, than he was surrounded by such a crowd, that he could
scarcely move. One pulled his clothes, another took off his hat, a
third examined his waistcoat buttons, and a fourth calling out, _La
ilia el Allah, Mahomet ra sowl Allald_ (there is but one God, and
Mahomet is his prophet), signifying, in a menacing tone, that he must
repeat those words. At length, he was conducted to the king's tent,
where a number of both sexes were waiting his arrival. Ali appeared
to be an old man of the Arab cast, with a long white beard, and of a
sullen and proud countenance. Having gazed on the stranger, he
inquired of the Moors, if he could speak Arabic, hearing that he
could not, he appeared much surprised, but made no remarks. The
ladies were more inquisitive; they asked many questions, inspected
every part of Mr. Park's dress, unbuttoned his waistcoat to display
the whiteness of his skin; they even counted his toes and fingers. In
a short time, the priest announced evening prayers, but before the
people departed, some boys had tied a wild hog to one of the tent
strings. Ali made signs to Mr. Park to kill it, and dress it for food
to himself, he, however, did not think it prudent to eat any part of
an animal so much detested by the Moors, and accordingly replied,
that he never ate the flesh of swine. They then untied the hog, in
hopes that it would run immediately at him, the Moors believing that
a great enmity subsists between hogs and Christians, but the animal
no sooner regained his liberty, than he attacked every person he met,
and at last took shelter under the king's couch. Mr. Park was then
conducted to the tent of Ali's chief slave, but was not permitted to
enter, nor touch any of the furniture. A little boiled corn, with
salt and water, was afterwards served him for supper, and he lay upon
a mat spread upon the sand, surrounded by the curious multitude.

The next day, Mr. Park was conducted by the king's order, to a hut
constructed of corn stalks of a square form, and a flat roof,
supported by forked sticks; but out of derision to the Christian, Ali
had ordered the wild hog before mentioned to be tied to one of the
sticks, and it proved a very disagreeable inmate, the boys amusing
themselves by beating and irritating the animal. Mr. Park was also
again tormented by the curiosity of the Moors. He was obliged to take
off his stockings to exhibit his feet, and even his jacket and
waistcoat to show them the mode of his toilet. This exercise he was
obliged to repeat the whole day. About eight o'clock in the evening,
Ali sent him some kouskous and salt and water, being the only
victuals he had tasted since the morning. During the night, the Moors
kept a regular watch, and frequently looked into the hut to see if he
was asleep. About two o'clock a Moor entered the hut, probably with a
view of stealing something, and groping about, laid his hand upon Mr.
Park's shoulder. He immediately sprang up, and the Moor in a hurry,
fell upon the wild hog, which returned the attack by biting his arm.
The cries of the Moor alarmed his countrymen, who conjecturing their
prisoner had made his escape, prepared for pursuit. Ali did not sleep
in his own tent, but came galloping upon a white horse from a tent at
a considerable distance; the consciousness of his tyrannical and
cruel behaviour had made him so suspicious, that even his own
domestics knew not where he slept. The cause of the outcry being
explained, the prisoner was allowed to sleep until morning without
further disturbance.

With the returning day, the boys, says Mr. Park, assembled to beat
the hog, and the men and women to plague the Christian. On this
subject, Mr. Park expresses himself most feelingly, for he adds, "it
is impossible for me to describe the behaviour of a people, who study
mischief as a science, and exult in the miseries and misfortunes of
their fellow-creatures. It is sufficient to observe, that the
rudeness, ferocity, and fanaticism, which distinguish the Moors from
the rest of mankind, found here a proper subject whereon to exercise
their propensities. I was a _stranger_, I was _unprotected_, and I
was a _Christian_, each of these circumstances is sufficient to drive
every spark of humanity from the heart of a Moor; but when all of
them, as in my case, were combined in the same person, and a
suspicion prevailed withal, that I was come as a spy into the
country, the reader will easily imagine that, in such a situation, I
had every thing to fear. Anxious, however, to conciliate favour, I
patiently bore every insult, but never did any period of my life pass
so heavily; from sunrise to sunset was I obliged to suffer, with
unruffled countenance, the insults of the rudest savages on earth."

Mr. Park had now a new occupation thrust upon him, which was that of
a _barber_. His first display of official skill in his new capacity,
was in shaving the head of the young prince of Ludamar, in the
presence of the king, his father, but happening to make a slight
incision, the king ordered him to resign the razor, and walk out of
the tent. This was considered by Mr. Park as a very fortunate
circumstance, as he had determined to make himself as useless and
insignificant as possible, being the only means of recovering his
liberty.

On the 18th of March, four Moors arrived from Jarra, with Johnson the
interpreter, having seized him before he knew of Mr. Park's
confinement, and brought with them the bundle of clothes left at
Daman Jumma's house. Johnson was led into All's tent and examined;
the bundle was opened, and Mr. Park was sent for, to explain the use
of the various contents. To Mr. Park's great satisfaction, however,
Johnson had committed his papers to the charge of one of Daman's
wives. The bundle was again tied up, and put into a large cowskin
bag. In the evening Ali sent to Mr. Park for the rest of his effects,
to secure them, according to the report of the messengers, _as there
were many thieves in the neighbourhood_. Every thing was accordingly
carried away, nor was he suffered to retain a single shirt. Ali,
however, disappointed at not finding a great quantity of gold and
amber, the following morning sent the same people, to examine whether
anything was concealed about his person. They searched his apparel,
and took from him his gold, amber, watch and a pocket compass. He had
fortunately in the night buried another compass in the sand, and
this, with the clothes he had on, was all that was now left him by
this rapacious and inhospitable savage.

The pocket compass soon became an object of superstitious curiosity,
and Ali desired Mr. Park to inform him, why the small piece of iron
always pointed to the Great Desert? Mr. Park was somewhat puzzled: to
have pleaded ignorance, would have made Ali suspect he wished to
conceal the truth; he therefore replied, that his mother resided far
beyond the land of Sehara, and whilst she lived, the piece of iron
would always point that way, and serve as a guide to conduct him to
her, and that if she died, it would point to her grave. Ali now
looked at the compass with redoubled wonder, and turned it round and
round repeatedly, but finding it always pointed the same way, he
returned it to Mr. Park, declaring he thought there was magic in it,
and he was afraid to keep so dangerous an instrument in his
possession.

On the morning of the 20th, a council was hold in Ali's tent
respecting Mr. Park, and its decision was differently related to him
by different persons, but the most probable account he received from
Ali's son, a boy, who told him it was determined to put out his eyes,
by the special advice of the priests, but the sentence was deferred
until Fatima, the queen, then absent, had seen the white man. Mr.
Park, anxious to know his destiny, went to the king and begged
permission to return to Jarra. This was, however, flatly refused, as
the queen had not yet seen him, and he must stay until she arrived,
after which his horse would be restored, and he should  be at liberty
to return to Ludamar. Mr. Park appeared pleased; and without any hope
of at present making his escape, on account of the excessive heat, he
resolved to wait patiently for the rainy season. Overcome with
melancholy, and having passed a restless night, in the morning he was
attacked by a fever. He had wrapped himself up in a cloak to promote
perspiration, and was asleep, when a party of Moors entered the hut,
and pulled away the cloak. He made signs that he was sick, and wished
to sleep, but his distress afforded sport to these savages. "This
studied and degrading insolence," says Mr. Park, "to which I was
constantly exposed, was one of the bitterest ingredients in the cup
of captivity, and often made life itself a burthen to me. In these
distressing moments I have frequently envied the situation of the
slave, who, amidst all his calamities, could still possess the
enjoyment of his own thoughts, a happiness to which I had for some
time, been a stranger. Wearied out with such continual insults, and
perhaps a little peevish from the fever, I trembled, lest my passion
might unawares overleap the bounds of prudence, and spur me to some
sudden act of resentment, when death must be the inevitable
consequence."

In this miserable situation he left the hut, and laid down amongst
some shady trees, a small distance from the camp, but Ali's son, with
a number of horsemen galloping to the place, ordered him to follow
them to the king. He begged them to allow him to remain where he was
for a few hours, when one of them presented a pistol towards him, and
snapped it twice; he cocked it a third time, and was striking the
flint with a piece of steel, when Mr. Park begged him to desist, and
returned with them to the camp. Ali appeared much out of humour, and
taking up a pistol fresh primed it, and turning towards Mr. Park with
a menacing look, said something to him in Arabic. Mr. Park desired
his boy to ask what offence he had committed, and was informed, that
having gone out of the camp without Ali's permission, it was
suspected he had some design to make his escape, but in future, if he
were seen without the skirts of the camp, orders were given that he
should be immediately shot.

About this time all the women of the camp had their feet, and the
ends of their fingers stained of a dark saffron colour, but whether
for religion or ornament, Mr. Park could not discover. On the evening
of the 26th, a party of these ladies visited him, _to ascertain by
actual inspection, whether the rites of circumcision extended to
Christians_. Mr. Park was not a little surprised at this unexpected
requisition, and to treat the business jocularly, he told them it was
not customary in his country, to give ocular demonstration before _so
many_ beautiful women, but if all would retire, one young lady
excepted, to whom he pointed, he would satisfy her curiosity. The
ladies enjoyed the joke, and went away laughing, The preferred
damsel, although she did not avail herself of the offer, to show she
was pleased with the _compliment_, sent him meal and milk.

On the morning of the 28th, Ali sent a slave to order Mr. Park to be
in readiness to ride out with him in the afternoon, as he intended to
show him to some of his women, and about four o'clock the king with
six attendants came riding to the hut. But here a new difficulty
occurred, the Moors objected to Mr. Park's _nankeen breeches_, which
they said were inelegant and indecent, as this was a visit to ladies,
but Ali ordered him to wrap his cloak around him. They visited four
different ladies, by each of whom Mr. Park was presented with a bowl
of milk and water. They were very inquisitive, and examined his hair
and skin with great attention, but affected to consider him as an
inferior being, and knit their brows, and appeared to shudder when
they looked at the whiteness of his skin. All the seladies were
remarkably corpulent, which the Moors esteem as the highest mark of
beauty. In the course of the excursion, the dress and appearance of
Mr. Park afforded infinite mirth to the company, who galloped round
him, exhibiting various feats of activity and horsemanship.

The Moors are very good horsemen, riding without fear, and their
saddles being high before and behind, afford them a very secure seat,
and should they fall, the country is so soft and sandy, that they are
seldom hurt. The king always rode upon a milk-white horse, with its
tail dyed red. He never walked, but to prayers, and two or three
horses were always kept ready saddled near his tent. The Moors set a
high value upon their horses, as their fleetness enables them to
plunder the negro countries.

On the same afternoon, a whirlwind passed through the camp, with such
violence, that it overturned three tents, and blew down one side of
the hut in which Mr. Park was. These whirlwinds come from the Great
Desert, and at that season of the year are so common, that Mr. Park
has seen five or six of them at one time. They carry up quantities of
sand to an amazing height, which resemble at a distance so many
moving pillars of smoke.

The scorching heat of the sun, upon a dry and sandy country, now made
the air insufferably hot. Ali having robbed Mr. Park of his
thermometer, he had no means of forming a comparative judgment; but
in the middle of the day, when the beams of the vertical sun are
seconded by the scorching wind from the desert, the ground is
frequently heated to such a degree, as not to be borne by the naked
foot; even the negro slaves will not run from one tent to another
without their sandals. At this time of the day, the Moors are
stretched at length in their tents, either asleep or unwilling to
move, and Mr. Park has often felt the wind so hot, that he could not
hold his hand in the current of air, which came through the crevices
of his hut, without feeling sensible pain.

During Mr. Park's stay, a child died in an adjoining tent. The mother
and relations immediately began the death howl, in which they were
joined by several female visitors. He had no opportunity of seeing
the burial, which is performed secretly during night, near the tent.
They plant a particular shrub over the grave, which no stranger is
allowed to pluck, nor even touch.

About the same time a moorish wedding was celebrated, the ceremony of
which is thus described by Mr. Park. "In the evening the tabala or
large drum was beaten to announce a wedding, which was held at one of
the neighbouring tents. A great number of people of both sexes
assembled, but without that mirth and hilarity which take place at a
negro wedding; here there was neither singing nor dancing, nor any
other amusement that I could perceive. A woman was beating the drum,
and the other women joining at times like a chorus, by setting up a
shrill scream, and at the same time moving their tongues from one
side of the mouth to the other with great celerity. I was soon tired
and had returned to my hut where I was sitting almost asleep, when an
old woman entered with a wooden bowl in her hand, and signified that
she had brought me a present from the bride. Before I could recover
from the surprise which this message created, the woman discharged
the content of the bowl full in my face. Finding that it was the same
sort of _holy water_, with which, among the Hottentots, a priest is
said to sprinkle a new-married couple, I began to suspect that the
old lady was actuated by mischief or malice, but she gave me
seriously to understand, that it was a nuptial benediction from the
bride's own person, and which, on such occasions, is always received
by the young unmarried Moors as a mark of distinguished favour. This
being the ease, I wiped my face and sent my acknowledgments to the
lady. The wedding drum continued to beat, and the women to sing, or
rather to whistle during the whole of the night. About nine in the
morning, the bride was brought in state from her mother's tent,
attended by a number of women, who carried her tent, being a present
from her husband, some bearing up the poles, others holding by the
strings, and in this manner they marched, whistling as formerly,
until they came to the place appointed for her residence, where they
pitched the tent. The husband followed with a number of men leading
four bullocks, which they tied to the tent strings, and having killed
another, and distributed the beef among the people, the ceremony was
concluded."



CHAPTER VII.

Mr. Park had now been detained a whole month in Ali's camp, during
which each returning day brought him fresh distresses. In the evening
alone, his oppressors left him to solitude and reflection. About
midnight, a bowl of kouskous, with some salt and water, was brought
for him and his two attendants, being the whole of their allowance
for the following day, for it was at this time the Mahometan Lent,
which, being kept with religious strictness by the Moors, they
thought proper to compel their Christian captive to a similar
abstinence. Time, in some degree, reconciled him to his forlorn
state: he now found that he could bear hunger and thirst better than
he could have anticipated; and at length endeavoured to amuse himself
by learning to write Arabic. The people, who came to see him, soon
made him acquainted with the characters. When he observed any one
person, whose countenance he thought malignant, Mr. Park almost
always asked him to write on the sand, or to decipher what he had
written, and the pride of showing superior attainment generally
induced him to comply with the request.

Mr. Park's sufferings and attendant feelings decreased in
intenseness from time and custom; his attempts, as the first
paroxysms ceased, to find the means to amuse and shorten the tedious
hours, is a fine picture, of human passions; and their variations,
circumstances, and situations, which, before they were encountered,
would appear intolerable, generate a resolution and firmness, which
render them possible to be borne. Providence, with its usual
benevolence, willing the happiness of mankind, fortifies the heart to
the assaults, which it has to undergo.

On the 14th of April, Ali proposed to go two days journey, to fetch
his queen Fatima. A fine bullock was therefore killed, and the flesh
cut into thin slices, was dried in the sun; this, with two bags of
dry kouskous, served for food on the road. The tyrant, fearing
poison, never ate any thing not dressed under his immediate
inspection. Previously to his departure, the negroes of Benown,
according to a usual custom, showed their arms and paid their tribute
of corn and cloth.

Two days after the departure of Ali, a shereef arrived with
merchandize from Walet, the capital of the kingdom of Biroo. He took
up his abode in the same hut with Mr. Park, and appeared be a
well-informed man, acquainted with the Arabic and Bambarra tongues;
he had travelled through many kingdoms; he had visited Houssa, and
lived some years at Timbuctoo. Upon Mr. Park's inquiring the distance
from Walet to Timbuctoo, the shereef, learning that he intended to
travel to that city, said, _it would not do_, for Christians were
there considered as the _devil's children_, and enemies to the
prophet.

On the 24th, another shereef arrived, named Sidi Mahomed Moora
Abdallah, and with these two men Mr. Park passed his time with less
uneasiness than formerly, but as his supply of victuals was now left
to slaves, over whom he had no control, he was worse supplied than
during the past month. For two successive nights, they neglected to
send the accustomed meal, and the boy, having begged a few handfuls
of ground nuts, from a small negro town near the camp, readily shared
them with his master. Mr. Park now found that when the pain of hunger
has continued for some time, it is succeeded by languor and debility,
when a draught of water, by keeping the stomach distended, will
remove for a short time every sort of uneasiness. The two attendants,
Johnson and Demba, lay stretched upon the sand in torpid slumber, and
when the kouskous arrived, were with difficulty awakened. Mr. Park
felt no inclination to sleep, but was affected with a deep convulsive
respiration, like constant sighing, a dimness of sight, and a
tendency to faint, when he attempted to sit up. These symptoms went
off when he had received nourishment.

On the 29th of April, intelligence arrived at Benown, that the
Bambarra army was approaching the frontiers of Ludamar. Ali's son,
with about twenty horsemen, arriving, ordered all the cattle to be
driven away, the tents to be struck, and the people to depart. His
orders were instantly obeyed; the baggage was carried upon bullocks,
one or two women being commonly placed upon the top of each burden.
The king's concubines rode upon camels, with a saddle of an easy
construction, and a canopy to keep the sun from them. On the 2nd of
May, they arrived at Ali's camp, and Mr. Park waited immediately upon
him; he seemed much pleased with his coming, and introduced him to
Fatima, his favourite princess, saying, "that was the Christian." The
queen had long black hair, and was remarkably corpulent; she appeared
at first shocked at having a Christian so near her, but when Mr. Park
had, by means of a negro boy, satisfied her curiosity, she seemed
more reconciled, and presented him with a bowl of milk.

The heat and the scarcity of water were greater here than at Benown.
One night, Mr. Park, having solicited in vain for water at the camp,
resolved to try his fortune at the wells, to which he was guided by
the lowing of cattle. The Moors were very busy in drawing water, and
when Mr. Park requested permission to drink, they drove him away with
outrageous abuse. He at last came to a well, where there were an old
man and two boys, to whom he made the same request. The former
immediately drew up a bucket of water, but recollecting Mr. Park was
a Christian, and fearing the bucket would be polluted by his lips, he
dashed the water into the trough, and told him to assuage his thirst
from it. The cows were already drinking at the trough, but Mr, Park
resolved to come in for his share, and, accordingly, thrusting his
head between two of the cows, he drank with great pleasure till the
water was nearly exhausted.

Thus passed the month of May, Ali still considered Mr. Park as his
lawful prisoner, and Fatima, though she allowed him a greater
quantity of victuals than fell to his portion at Benown, yet she made
no efforts for his release. Some circumstances, however, now
occurred, which produced a change in his favour more suddenly than he
expected. The fugitive Kaartans, dreading the resentment of the
sovereign, whom they had so basely deserted, offered to treat with
Ali for two hundred Moorish horsemen to assist them in an effort to
expel Daisy from Gedinggooma, for till Daisy should be vanquished,
they could neither return to their native town, nor live in security
in the neighbouring kingdoms. Ali, with a view to extort money from
these people, despatched his son to Jarra, and prepared himself to
follow him. Mr. Park, believing that he might escape from Jarra, if
he could get there, immediately applied to Fatima, prime counsellor
of the monarch, and begged her to intercede with Ali for leave to
accompany him to Jarra. The request was at length granted. His
bundles were brought before the royal consort, and Mr. Park explained
the use of the several moveables, for the amusement of the queen, and
received a promise of speedy permission to depart.

In regard to the moorish character, especially the female, which Mr.
Park had frequent opportunities of studying during his captivity at
Benown; it appears that the education of the women is neglected
altogether, they being evidently regarded merely as administering to
sensual pleasure. The Moors have singular ideas of feminine
perfection. With them, gracefulness of figure, and an expressive
countenance, are by no means requisite. Beauty and corpulency are
synonymous. A perfect moorish beauty is a load for a camel and a
woman of moderate pretensions to beauty requires a slave on each side
to support her. In consequence of this depraved taste for
unwieldiness of bulk, the moorish ladies take great pains to acquire
it early in life, and for this purpose, the young girls are compelled
by their mothers to devour a great quantity of kouskous, and drink a
large portion of camel's milk every morning. It is of no importance
whether the girl has an appetite or not, the kouskous and milk must
be swallowed, and obedience is frequently enforced by blows.

The usual dress of the women is a broad piece of cotton cloth wrapped
round the middle, which hangs down like a petticoat; to the upper
part of this are sewed two square pieces, one before and the other
behind, which are fastened together over the shoulders. The head
dress is a bandage of cotton cloth, a part of which covers
the face when they walk in the sun, but frequently, when they go
abroad, they veil themselves from head to foot. Their employment
varies according to their situation. Queen Fatima passed her time
in conversing with visitors, performing devotions, or admiring her
charms in a looking-glass. Other ladies of rank amuse themselves
in similar idleness. The lower females attend to domestic duties.
They are very vain and talkative, very capricious in their temper,
and when angry vent their passion upon the female slaves, over
whom they rule despotically.

The men's dress differs but little from that of the negroes, except
that they all wear the turban, universally made of white cotton
cloth. Those who have long beards display them with pride and
satisfaction, as denoting an Arab ancestry. "If any one
circumstance," says Mr. Park, "excited amongst the Moors favourable
thoughts towards my own person, it was my beard, which was now grown
to an enormous length, and was always beheld with approbation or
envy. I believe, in my conscience, they thought it too good a beard
for a Christian."

The great desert of Jarra bounds Ludamar on the north. This vast
ocean of sand is almost destitute of inhabitants. A few miserable
Arabs wander from one well to another, their flocks subsisting upon a
scanty vegetation in a few insulated spots. In other places, where
the supply of water and pasturage is more abundant, small parties of
Moors have taken up their residence, where they live in independent
poverty, secure from the government of Barbary. The greater part of
the desert, however, is seldom visited, except where the caravans
pursue their laborious and dangerous route. In other parts, the
disconsolate wanderer, wherever he turns, sees nothing around him but
a vast indeterminable expanse of sand and sky; a gloomy and barren
void, where the eye finds no particular object to rest upon, and the
mind is filled with painful apprehensions of perishing with thirst.
Surrounded by this dreary solitude, the traveller sees the dead
bodies of birds, that the violence of the wind has brought from
happier regions; and as he ruminates on the fearful length of his
remaining passage, listens with horror to the voice of the driving
blast, the only sound that interrupts the awful repose of the desert.

The antelope and the ostrich are the only wild animals of these
regions of desolation, but on the skirts of the desert are found
lions, panthers, elephants, and wild boars. Of domestic animals the
camel alone can endure the fatigue of crossing it: by the
conformation of his stomach, he can carry a supply of water for ten
or twelve days; his broad and yielding foot is well adapted for
treading the sand; his flesh is preferred by the Moors to any other,
and the milk is pleasant and nourishing. On the evening of the 25th
of May, Mr. Park's horse and accoutrements were sent to him by order
of Ali. He had already taken leave of queen Fatima, who most
graciously returned him part of his apparel, and early on the 20th,
he departed from the camp of Bubaker, accompanied by Johnson and
Demba, and a number of moorish horsemen.

Early in the morning of the 28th of May, Mr. Park was ordered to get
in readiness to depart, and Ali's chief slave told the negro boy,
that Ali was to be his master in future; then turning to Mr. Park, he
said, the boy and every thing but your horse go back to Bubaker, but
you may take the old fool (meaning Johnson, the interpreter) with you
to Jarra. Mr. Park, shocked at the idea of losing the boy,
represented to Ali, that whatever imprudence he had himself been
guilty of, in coming into Ludamar, he thought he had been
sufficiently punished by being so long detained, and then plundered
of his property. This, however, gave him no uneasiness, compared to
the present injury. The boy seized on was not a slave, and accused of
no offence. His fidelity to his master had brought him into his
present situation, and he, as his protector, could not see him
enslaved without deprecating the cruelty and injustice of the act.
Ali, with a haughty and malignant smile, told his interpreter, that
if Mr. Park did not depart that instant, he would send him back
likewise. Finding it was vain to expect redress, Mr. Park shook hands
with his affectionate boy, who was not less affected than himself,
and having blended his tears with those of the boy, assured him he
would spare no pains to effect his release. Poor Demba was led off by
three of Ali's slaves towards the camp at Bubaker.

On the 1st of June, they departed for Jarra, where Mr. Park took up
his residence with his old friend, Daman Jamma, whom he informed of
every thing that had befallen him. Mr. Park then requested Daman to
endeavour to ransom the boy, and promised him a bill upon Dr. Laidley
for the value of two slaves as soon as Demba arrived at Jarra. Daman
undertook the business, but Ali, considering the boy as Mr. Park's
principal interpreter, and fearing he should be instrumental in
conducting him to Bambarra, deferred the matter day after day, but
told Daman, he himself should have him hereafter, if he would, at the
price of a common slave. To this Daman agreed whenever the boy was
sent to Jarra.

On the 8th of June, Ali returned to Bubaker to celebrate a festival,
and permitted Mr. Park to remain with Daman until his return. Finding
that every attempt to recover his boy was ineffectual, he considered
it an act of necessity to provide for his own safety before the rains
should be fully set in, and accordingly resolved to escape and
proceed alone to Bambarra, as Johnson, the interpreter, had refused
further attendance. On the 28th of June, at daybreak, Mr. Park took
his departure, and in the course of the day arrived at Queira; where
he had not been a long time, before he was surprised by the
appearance of Ali's chief slave and four Moors. Johnson having
contrived to overhear their conversation, learned that they were sent
to convey Mr. Park back to Bubaker. In the evening two of the Moors
were observed privately to examine Mr. Park's horse, which they
concluded was in too bad a condition for his rider's escape, and
having inquired where he slept, they returned to their companions.
Mr. Park, on being informed of their motions, determined to set off
immediately for Bambarra to avoid a second captivity. Johnson
applauded his resolution, but positively refused to accompany him,
having agreed with Daman to assist in conducting a caravan of slaves
to Gambia.

In this emergency Mr. Park resolved to proceed by himself, and about
midnight got his clothes in readiness, but he had not a single bead,
nor any other article of value, wherewith to purchase victuals for
himself or his horse. At daybreak, Johnson, who had been listening to
the Moors all night, came to inform him they were asleep, on which,
taking up his bundle, Mr. Park stepped gently over the negroes, who
were sleeping in the open air, and having mounted his horse, bade
Johnson farewell, desiring him to take particular care of the papers,
with which he had entrusted him, and to inform his friends on the
Gambia, that he had left him in good health proceeding to Bambarra.

Mr. Park advanced with great caution for about the space of a mile,
when looking back he saw three Moors on horseback, galloping at full
speed and brandishing their double-barrelled guns. As it was
impossible to escape, he turned and met them, when two caught hold of
his bridle, and the third presenting his musket, said he must go back
to Ali. Mr. Park rode back with the Moors, with apparent unconcern,
when, in passing through some thick bushes, one of them desired him
to untie his bundle and show them the contents, but finding nothing
worth taking, one of them pulled his cloak from him, and wrapped it
about himself. This was the most valuable article in Mr. Park's
possession, as it defended him from the rains in the day, and from
the mosquitoes at night, he therefore earnestly requested them to
return it, but to no purpose. Mr, Park now perceived, that these men
had only pursued him for the sake of plunder, and turned once more
towards the east. To avoid being again overtaken, he struck into the
woods, and soon found himself on the right road.

Joyful as he now was, when he concluded he was out of danger, he soon
became sensible of his deplorable situation, without any means of
procuring food, or prospect of finding water. Oppressed with
excessive thirst, he travelled on without having seen a human
habitation. It was now become insufferable; his mouth was parched and
inflamed, a sudden dimness frequently came over his eyes, and he
began seriously to apprehend that he should perish for want of drink.
A little before sunset, he climbed a high tree, from the topmost
branches of which he took a melancholy survey of the barren
wilderness. A dismal uniformity of shrubs and sand every-where
presented itself, and the horizon was as level and uninterrupted as
that of the sea. Descending from the tree, Mr. Park found his horse
devouring the stubble and brushwood with groat avidity. Being too
faint to attempt walking, and his horse too much fatigued to carry
him, Mr. Park thought it was the last act of humanity he should ever
be able to perform, to take off his bridle and let him shift for
himself; in doing which he was suddenly affected with sickness and
giddiness, and falling upon the sand, felt as if the hour of death
was approaching. "Here then," said he, "after a short but ineffectual
struggle, terminate all my hopes of being useful in my day and
generation; here must the short span of my life come to an end. I
cast, as I believe, a last look on the surrounding scene, and whilst
I reflected on the awful change that was about to take place, this
world, with all its enjoyments, seemed to vanish from my
recollection." Nature, however, resumed her functions, and on
recovering his senses, he found the bridle still in his hand, and the
sun just setting. He now summoned all his resolution, and determined
to make another effort to prolong his existence. With this view he
put the bridle on his horse, and driving him before him went slowly
along for about an hour, when he perceived some lightning from the
north-east; to him a delightful sight, as it promised rain, The wind
began to roar amongst the bushes, and he was nearly suffocated with
sand and dust, when the wind ceased, and for more than an hour the
rain fell plentifully. He spread out his clothes to collect it, and
assuaged his thirst by wringing and sucking them. The night was
extremely dark, and Mr. Park directed his way by the compass, which
the lightning enabled him to observe. On a sudden he was surprised to
see a light at a short distance, and leading his horse cautiously
towards it, heard by the lowing of the cattle and the clamour of the
herdsmen, that it was a watering place. Being still thirsty, he
attempted to search for the wells, but on approaching too near to one
of the tents, he was perceived by a woman, who immediately gave an
alarm; Mr. Park, however, eluded pursuit by immerging into the woods.
He soon after heard the croaking of frogs, and following the sound
arrived at some shallow muddy pools, where he and his horse quenched
their thirst. The morning being calm, Mr. Park ascended a tree, and
not only saw the smoke of the watering place which he had passed in
the night, but also another pillar of smoke to the east, about twelve
or fourteen miles distant. Directing his course thither, he reached
some cultivated ground, on which some negroes were at work, by whom
he was informed that he was near a Foulah village, belonging to Ali,
called Shrilla. He had some doubts about entering it, but at last
ventured, and riding up to the dooty's house was denied admittance,
and even refused a handful of corn for his horse. Leaving this
inhospitable door, he rode slowly out of the town towards some low
huts scattered in the suburbs. At the door of a hovel hut, an old
woman with a benevolent countenance sat spinning cotton. Mr. Park
made signs that he was hungry, on which she immediately laid down her
distaff, invited him to the hut, and set before him a dish of
kouskous, of which he made a comfortable meal. In return for her
kindness Mr. Park gave her a pocket handkerchief, begging at the same
time a little corn for his horse, which she readily brought.

While the horse was feeding, the people began to assemble, and one of
them whispered something to the old woman, which greatly excited her
surprise. Mr. Park knew enough of the Foulah language, to discover
that some of the men wished to apprehend and carry him to Ali, in
hope of receiving a reward. He therefore tied up the corn, and to
prevent suspicion that he had run away from the Moors, took a
northerly direction. When he found himself clear of his attendants,
he plunged again into the woods, and slept under a large tree. He was
awakened by three Foulahs, who supposing him to be a Moor, pointed to
the sun, and said it was time to pray. Coming to a path leading
southwards, which he followed until midnight, he arrived at a small
pool of rain water. Resting here for the night, the mosquitoes and
flies prevented him from sleeping, and the howling of the wild beasts
in the vicinity kept his horse in continual terror.

On the following morning, he came to a watering place belonging to
the Foulahs, one of the shepherds invited him to come into his tent,
and partake of some dates. There was just room enough in this tent to
sit upright, and the family and furniture were huddled together in
the utmost confusion. When Mr. Park had crept into it upon his hands
and knees, he found in it a woman and three children, who with the
shepherd and himself completely occupied the floor. A dish of boiled
corn and dates was produced, and the master of the family, according
to the custom of the country, first tasted it himself, and then
offered a part to his guest. Whilst Mr. Park was eating, the children
kept their eyes fixed upon him and no sooner had their father
pronounced the word _mazarini_, than they began to cry; their mother
crept cautiously towards the door, and springing out of the tent, was
instantly followed by her children; so truly alarmed were they at the
name of a Christian. Here Mr. Park procured some corn for his horse,
in exchange for some brass buttons, and thanking the shepherd for his
hospitality departed. At sunset he came into the road which led to
Bambarra, and in the evening arrived at Wawra, a negro town belonging
to Kaarta.

Now secure from the Moors, and greatly fatigued, Mr. Park meeting
with a hearty welcome from the dooty, rested himself at this place.
He slept soundly for two hours on a bullock's hide. Numbers assembled
to learn who the stranger was, and whence he came; some thought him
an Arab, others a moorish sultan, and they debated the matter with
such warmth, that their noise at length awoke him. The dooty,
however, who had been at Gambia, at last interposed, and assured them
that he was certainly a white man, but from his appearance a very
poor one.

In the afternoon, the dooty examined Mr. Park's bag, but finding
nothing valuable, returned it and told him to depart in the morning.
Accordingly Mr. Park set out, accompanied by a negro, but they had
not proceeded above a mile, when the ass upon which the negro rode,
kicked him off, and he returned, leaving Mr. Park to travel by
himself. About noon he arrived at a town, called Dingyee, where he
was hospitably entertained by an old Foulah.

When Mr. Park was about to depart on the following day, the Foulah
begged a lock of his hair, because "white men's hair made a saphie,
that would give to the possessor all the knowledge of white men." Mr.
Park instantly complied with his request, but his landlord's thirst
for learning was such, that he had cropped one side of his head, and
would have done the same with the other, had not Mr. Park signified
his disapprobation, and told him that he wished to preserve some of
this precious ware.

After travelling several days, without meeting with any occurrence of
particular note. Mr. Park arrived at Doolinkeaboo, where the dooty,
at his request, gave him a draught of water, which is usually given
as an earnest of greater hospitality. Mr. Park promised himself here
a good supper and a comfortable bed, but he had neither the one nor
the other. The night was rainy and tempestuous, and the dooty limited
his hospitality to the draught of water. The next morning, however,
when the dooty was gone to the fields, his wife sent Mr. Park a
handful of meal, which, mixed with water, served him for breakfast.

He departed from Doolinkeaboo in company with two negroes, who were
going to Sego. They stopped at a small village, where an acquaintance
of one of the negroes invited them to a public entertainment. They
distributed with great liberality a dish called _sinkatoo_, made of
sour milk, meal, and beer. The women were admitted into the society,
a circumstance which had never come under Mr. Park's observation
before; every one drank as he pleased; they nodded to each other when
about to drink, and on setting down the calabash, commonly said
_berha_ (thank you.) Both men and women were in a state of
intoxication, but were far from being quarrelsome.

Mr. Park and the two negroes then resumed their journey, and passed
several large villages, where the former was constantly taken for a
Moor, and with his horse, which he drove before him, afforded much
mirth to the Bambarrans. "He has been at Mecca," says one; "you may
see that by his clothes." Another asked him if his horse was sick? A
third wished to purchase it, &c., and even the negroes at last seemed
ashamed of his company. They lodged that night at a small village,
where Mr. Park procured victuals for himself and corn for his horse,
in exchange for a button, and was told that he should see the Niger,
which the negroes call Joliba, or the Great Water, early on the
following day. The thought of seeing the Niger in the morning, and
the buzzing of the mosquitoes, kept Mr. Park awake the whole of the
night, he had saddled his horse, and was in readiness before
daylight, but as the gates of the village were shut on account of the
wild beasts, he was obliged to wait until the people were stirring.
At length, having departed, they passed four large villages, and in a
short time saw the smoke over Sego.

On approaching the town, Mr. Park was fortunate enough to overtake
the fugitive Kaartans, to whose kindness he had been so much indebted
in his journey through Bambarra. They readily agreed to introduce him
to the king, and they rode together through some marshy ground,
where, as he was anxiously looking round for the river, one of them
exclaimed, "_Geo affili_" see the water! and looking forwards, Mr.
Park says, "I saw, with infinite pleasure, the great object of my
mission, the long sought for majestic Niger, glittering to the
morning sun, as broad as the Thames at Westminster, and flowing
_slowly to the eastward_. [*] I hastened to the brink, and having
drank of the water, lifted up my fervent thanks in prayer to the
great Ruler of all things, for having thus far crowned my endeavours
with success."

[Footnote: We cannot reconcile this statement of Park with the
subsequent discovery of Lander, who established the fact, that the
Niger empties itself into the Bight of Benin. The Niger, flowing to
the eastward, could not possibly have the Bight of Benin for its
estuary, nor is it laid down in any of the recent maps as having an
easterly direction.]

Mr. Park now proceeded towards Sego, the capital of Bambarra, which
consists of four distinct towns; two on the northern bank of the
Niger, called Sego Korro and Sego Koo, and two on the southern bank,
called Sego Soo Korro and Sego See Korro. The king of Bambarra always
resides at the latter place. He employs a great many slaves to convey
people over the river, and the fare paid by each individual, ten
kowrie shells, furnishes a considerable revenue. When Mr. Park
arrived at one of the places of embarkation, the people, who were
waiting for a passage, looked at him with silent wonder, and he saw
with concern many Moors amongst them. He had continued on the bank
more than two hours, without having an opportunity of crossing,
during which time information was carried to Mansong, the king, that
a white man was coming to see him. Mansong immediately sent over one
of his chief men, who informed Mr. Park that the king could not
possibly see him until he knew what had brought him to Bambarra.
He then pointed towards a distant village, and desired Mr. Park to
take up his lodgings there, and in the morning he would give him
further instructions.

Greatly discouraged at this reception, Mr. Park set off for the
village, but found, to his further mortification, that no person
would admit him into his house, and that he was regarded with general
astonishment and fear. Thus situated, he sat all day without
victuals, under the shade of a tree. Towards night, the wind arose,
and as there was great appearance of a heavy rain, he thought of
passing the night among the branches of the trees, to secure himself
from wild beasts. About sunset a woman, returning from the labours of
the field, stopped to observe him, and perceiving that he was weary
and dejected, inquired into his situation, which he briefly explained
to her; whereupon, with looks of great compassion, she took up his
saddle and bridle, and told him to follow her. Having conducted him
into her hut, she lighted up a lamp, spread a mat on the floor, and
told him he might remain there for the night. She then went out, and
returned in a short time with a fine fish, which, having half
broiled, she gave him for supper. After telling him that he might
sleep without apprehension, she called to the female part of the
family, who stood gazing in fixed astonishment, to resume their task
of spinning cotton, in which they employed themselves the greater
part of the night. They lightened their labours by songs, one of
which at least was extempore, as their guest was the subject of it.
It was sung by one of the young women, the rest joining in chorus.
The air was sweet and plaintive, and the words, literally translated,
were as follow:--

 "The winds roared, and the rains fell;
  The poor white man, faint and weary, came and sat under our tree.
  He has no mother to bring him milk--no wife to grind his corn.

  CHORUS.

  Let us pity the white man, no mother has he." &c.

This circumstance was to Mr. Park, affecting in the highest degree.
He was oppressed by such unexpected kindness, and the sleep fled from
his eyes. In the morning he presented his compassionate landlady with
two of the four buttons which remained on his waistcoat, the only
recompense which he had in his power. Mr. Park remained in the
village the whole of July the 21st, in conversation with the natives.
Towards evening he grew uneasy, to find that no message arrived from
the king, the more so, when he learned from the villagers, that the
Moors and Slatees, resident at Sego, had given Mansong very
unfavourable accounts of him, that many consultations had been held
concerning his reception and disposal; that he had many enemies, and
must expect no favour. On the following day, a messenger arrived from
the king, who inquired if Mr. Park had brought any present, and
seemed much disappointed, on being told that he had been robbed of
all his effects by the Moors. When Mr. Park proposed to go to court,
he said he must stop until the afternoon, when the king would send
for him. It was the afternoon of the next day, however, before
another messenger arrived from Mansong, who told Mr. Park, it was the
king's pleasure he should  depart immediately from the environs of
Sego, but that Mansong, wishing to relieve a white man in distress,
had sent five thousand kowries [*] to him to continue his journey,
and if it were his intention to proceed to Jenne, he (the messenger)
had orders to guide him to Sansanding. Mr. Park concludes his account
of this adventure in the following words:--

[Footnote: Kowries are little shells, which pass current as money, in
many parts of the East Indies as well as in Africa. Mr. Park
estimates about 250 kowries equal to one shilling. One hundred of
them would purchase a day's provision for himself and corn for his
horse.]

"I was at first puzzled to account for this behaviour of the king,
but from the conversation I had with the guide, I had afterwards
reason to believe, that Mansong would willingly have admitted me into
his presence at Sego, but was apprehensive he might not be able to
protect me against the blind and inveterate malice of the moorish
inhabitants. His conduct, therefore, was at once prudent and liberal.
The circumstances, under which I made my appearance at Sego, were
undoubtedly such as might create in the mind of the king a
well-warranted suspicion, that I wished to conceal the true object of
my journey. He argued, probably as my guide argued, who, when he was
told that I was come from a great distance, and through many dangers,
to behold the Joliba (Niger) river, naturally inquired if there were
no rivers in my own country, and whether one river was not like
another? Notwithstanding this, and in spite of the jealous
machinations of the Moors, this benevolent prince thought it
sufficient, that a white man was found in his dominions in a
condition of extreme wretchedness, and that no other plea was
necessary to entitle the sufferer to his bounty."

Being thus obliged to leave Sego, Mr. Park was conducted the same
evening to a village, about seven miles eastward, where he and his
guide were well received, as Mr. Park had learned to speak the
Bambarra tongue without difficulty. The guide was very friendly and
communicative, and spoke highly of the hospitality of his countrymen;
but he informed Mr. Park, that if Jenne was the place of his
destination, he had undertaken a very dangerous enterprise, and that
Timbuctoo, the great object of his search, was altogether in
possession of the Moors, who would not allow any Christians to reside
in it. In the evening they passed a large town called Kabba, situated
in the midst of a beautiful and highly cultivated country, bearing a
great resemblance to the centre of England.

In the course of the following day, they arrived at Sansanding, a
large town, containing 10,000 inhabitants, much frequented by the
Moors, in their commercial dealings. Mr. Park desired his guide to
conduct him to the house where they were to lodge, by the most
private way possible They accordingly rode along between the town and
the river, and the negroes, whom they met, took Mr. Park for a Moor,
but a Moor, who was sitting by the river side, discovered the
mistake, and, making a loud exclamation, brought together a number of
his countrymen; and when Mr. Park arrived at the house of the dooty,
he was surrounded by a number of people, speaking a variety of
dialects. By the assistance of his guide, however, who acted as
interpreter, Mr. Park at length understood that one of the Moors
pretended to have seen him at one place, and another at some other
place; and a Moorish woman absolutely swore, that she had kept his
house three years at Gallam on the river Senegal. The Moors now
questioned Mr. Park about his religion, but finding he was not master
of the Arabic, they sent for two Jews, in hopes that they might be
able to converse with him. The Moors now insisted that he should
repeat the Mahometan prayers, and when he told them that he could not
speak Arabic, one of them started up, and swore by the prophet, if
Mr. Park refused to go to the mosque, he would assist in carrying him
thither.

Finding the Moors becoming exceedingly clamorous, the dooty
interfered, and told them that he would not see the king's stranger
ill treated while under his protection, but that in the morning he
should be sent about his business. This somewhat appeased their
clamour, but they compelled Mr. Park to ascend a high seat by the
door of the mosque, that every one might see him, where he remained
till sunset, when he was conducted to a neat little hut, with a small
court before it; but the Moors climbed in crowds over the mud walls,
to see the white man perform his evening devotions, and eat eggs. The
first demand was positively declined, but he professed his utmost
readiness to comply with the second; the dooty immediately brought
seven hens' eggs, but was much surprised that Mr. Park would not eat
them raw, as it is a prevalent opinion in the interior of Africa,
that Europeans subsist chiefly on this diet. His reluctance to
partake of this fare exalted him in the eyes of his sage visitants;
his host accordingly killed a sheep, and gave him a plentiful supper.

Mr. Park's route now lay through woods, much infested with all kinds
of wild animals. On one occasion, his guide suddenly wheeled his
horse round, calling out (_Warra billi billi_, a very largo lion.)
Mr. Park's steed was ill fitted to convey him from the scene of
danger, but seeing nothing, he supposed his guide to be mistaken,
when the latter exclaimed, "God preserve me;" and Mr. Park then saw a
very large red lion, with his head couched between his fore paws. His
eyes were fixed, as by fascination, on this sovereign of the beasts,
and he expected every moment the fatal spring; but the savage animal,
either not pressed by hunger, or struck with some mysterious awe,
remained immovable, and allowed the party to pass without
molestation. Real misery arose from a meaner cause, namely, the
amazing swarms of mosquitoes, which ascended from the swamps and
creeks, to whose attack, from the ragged state of his garments, he
was exposed at every point, and so covered over with blisters, that
he could not get any rest at night. An affecting crisis next arrived.
His horse, the faithful and suffering companion of his journey, had
been daily becoming weaker. At length, stumbling over some rough
ground, he fell; all his master's efforts were insufficient to raise
him, and no alternative remained, but to leave the poor animal, which
Mr. Park did, after collecting some grass and laying it before him,
not without, however, a sad presentiment, that, ere long, he also
might have to lie down and perish with hunger and fatigue.

Proceeding along the banks of the river, he reached Kea, a small
fishing village. The dooty, a surly old man, received him very
coolly, and when Mr. Park solicited his protection, replied with
great indifference, that he should not enter his house. Mr. Park knew
not now where to rest, but a fishing canoe at that moment coming down
the river, the dooty waved to the fisherman to land, and desired him
to take charge of the stranger as far as Moorzan.

When the canoe had proceeded about a mile down the river, the
fisherman paddled to the bank, and having desired Mr. Park to jump
out, tied the canoe to a stake; he then stripped off his clothes, and
dived into the water, where he remained so long that Mr. Park thought
he was drowned, when he suddenly raised up his head astern of the
canoe, and called for a rope. With this rope he dived a second time,
and then got into the canoe, and with the assistance of the boy, they
brought up a large basket, ten feet in diameter, containing two fine
fish, which the fisherman carried ashore, and hid in the grass. The
basket was then returned into the river, and having proceeded a
little further down, they took up another basket, in which was one
fish.

About four o'clock, they arrived at Moorzan, where Mr. Park was
conveyed across the river to Silla, a large town. Here he remained
under a tree, surrounded by hundreds of people, till it was dark,
when, with a great deal of entreaty, the dooty allowed him to enter
his balloon to avoid the rain, but the place was very damp, and his
fever returned.

The reflections, which now occurred to him, with the determination
those reflections produced, are here given in his own words. "Worn
down by sickness, exhausted with hunger and fatigue, half naked, and
without any article of value, by which I might procure provisions,
clothes, or lodging, I was now convinced, that the obstacles to my
further progress were insurmountable. The tropical rains were already
set in, the rice grounds and swamps were every where overflowed, and
in a few days more, travelling of every kind, except by water, would
be completely obstructed. The kowries, which remained of the king of
Bambarra's present, were not sufficient to enable me to hire a canoe
for any great distance, and I had little hope of subsisting by
charity, in a country where the Moors have such influence. I saw
inevitable destruction in attempting to proceed to the eastward. With
this conviction on my mind, I hope it will be acknowledged, that I
did right in going no further. I had made every effort to execute my
mission in its fullest extent, which prudence could justify. Had
there been the most distant prospect of a successful termination,
neither the unavoidable hardships of the journey, nor the dangers of
a second captivity should have forced me to desist."

Mr. Park now acquainted the dooty with his intention of returning to
Sego, proposing to travel along the southern side of the river, but
the dooty informed him, that from the number of creeks and swamps on
that side, it was impossible to travel by any other route than the
northern bank, and even that route would soon be impassable from the
overflowing of the river. However, by the dooty's recommendation, Mr.
Park was conveyed to Moorzan in a canoe, where he hired another canoe
for thirty kowries, which conveyed him to Kea, where, for forty
kowries more, the dooty permitted him to sleep in the same hut with
one of his slaves. This poor negro, perceiving he was sickly, and his
clothes very ragged, humanely lent him a large cloth to cover him for
the night.

The following day Mr. Park set out for Madiboo, in company with the
dooty's brother, who promised to carry his saddle, which he had
before left at Kea. On their road they observed a great number of
earthen jars, piled up on the bank of the river. As they approached
towards them, the dooty's brother plucked up a large handful of
herbage, which he threw upon them, making signs for Mr. Park to do
the same, which he did. The negro then informed him, that those jars
belonged to some supernatural power, and were found in their present
situation about two years ago, and that every traveller, as he passed
them, from respect to the invisible proprietor, threw some grass upon
the heap to defend them from the rain. Thus conversing, they
travelled on in the most friendly manner, until they perceived the
footsteps of a lion, when the negro insisted that Mr. Park should
walk before. The latter refused, on which the negro, after a few high
words, and menacing looks, threw down the saddle and left him. Mr.
Park having given up all hope of obtaining a horse, took off the
stirrups and girth, and threw the saddle into the river. The negro,
however, when he saw the saddle in the water jumped in, and bringing
it out by the help of his spear, ran away with it.

Mr. Park now continued his course alone, and in the afternoon reached
Madiboo. His guide, who had got there before him, being afraid he
should complain of his conduct, restored the saddle, and Mr. Park
also found his horse alive.

On the 1st of August, Mr. Park proceeded to Nyamere, where he
remained three days, on account of the continual rain. On the 5th, he
again set out, but the country was so deluged, that he had to wade
across creeks for miles together, knee-deep in water. He at length
arrived at Nyara, and on the subsequent day, with great difficulty
reached a small village called Nemaboo.

Mr. Park being assured that in the course of a few days, the country
would be overflowed, was anxious to engage a fellow traveller, when a
Moor and his wife who were going to Sego, riding on bullocks, agreed
to take him along with them; they were, however, unacquainted with
the road, and were very bad travellers. Instead of wading before the
bullocks, to feel if the ground was solid the woman boldly entered
the first swamp, seated upon the top of the load, but when she had
proceeded about two hundred yards the bullock sunk into a hole, and
threw both the load and herself amongst the reeds; she was nearly
drowned before her husband went to her assistance.

At sunset they reached Sibity, but the dooty received Mr. Park very
coolly, and when he solicited a guide to Sansanding, told him his
people were otherwise engaged. Mr. Park passed the night in a damp
old hut, which he expected every moment would fall upon him; for when
the walls of the huts are softened with the rain, they frequently
become too weak to support the roof. Mr Park heard three huts fall in
during the night, and the following morning, saw fourteen in like
manner destroyed. The rain continued with great violence, and Mr.
Park being refused provisions by the dooty, purchased some corn,
which he divided with his horse.

The dooty now compelled Mr. Park to leave Sibity, and accordingly he
set out for Sansanding, with little hope of receiving better
treatment, for he had discovered that it was universally believed, he
had come to Bambarra as a spy; and as Mansong had not admitted him
into his presence, the dooties of the different towns were at liberty
to treat him as they pleased. He arrived at Sansanding at sunset,
where his reception was just what he expected. The dooty, who had
been so kind to him formerly, privately informed him, that Mansong
had sent a canoe to Jenne to bring him back, he therefore advised him
to leave Sansanding before day-break, and not to stop at any town
near Sego. Mr. Park accordingly took his departure from Sansanding,
and proceeded to Kabba. Several people were assembled at the gate,
one of whom running towards him, took his horse by the bridle, and
led him round the walls of the town, then pointing to the west, told
him to go along, or it would fare worse with him. Mr. Park
hesitating, a number of people came up, and urged him in the same
manner, and he now suspected that some of the king's messengers, who
were in search of him, were in the town, and that these negroes from
humanity wished him to escape. He accordingly took the road for Sego,
and having passed a village, the dooty of which refused him
admittance, proceeded to a smaller one, where the dooty permitted him
to sleep in a large balloon.

Leaving his miserable residence by break of day, he arrived in the
afternoon at a small village within half a mile of Sego, where he
endeavoured in vain to procure some provisions. He was again informed
that Mansong had sent people to apprehend him, and the dooty's son
told him he had no time to lose, if he wished to escape. Mr. Park now
fully saw the danger of his situation, and determined to avoid Sego
altogether, and taking the road to Diggani, until he was out of sight
of the village, struck to the westward through high grass and swampy
ground. About noon he stopped under a tree, to consider what course
to take, and at length determined to proceed along the Niger, and
endeavour to ascertain how far the river was navigable. About sunset
he arrived at a village called Sooboo, where, for two hundred
kowries, he procured a lodging for the night.

After passing the villages of Samee and Kaimoo, he arrived at a small
town called Song, the inhabitants of which would not permit him to
enter the gate, but as lions were numerous in the adjoining woods, he
resolved to stay near the town, and accordingly laid down under a
tree by the gate. In the night, a lion kept prowling round the
village, and once advanced so near Mr. Park, that he heard him
rustling amongst the grass, and climbed the tree for safety. He had
before attempted to enter the gate, and on being prevented, informed
the people of his danger. About midnight the dooty, with some of the
inhabitants, desired him to come in; they were convinced, they said,
that he was not a Moor, for no Moor ever waited at the gate of a
village, without cursing the inhabitants.

Mr. Park now proceeded on his journey; the country began to rise into
hills, and he saw the summits of high mountains to the westward. He
had very disagreeable travelling, on account of the overflow of the
river; and in crossing a swamp, his horse sunk suddenly into a deep
pit, and was almost drowned. Both the horse and his rider were so
covered with mud, that in passing a village, the people compared them
to two dirty elephants. Mr, Park stopped at a village near Yamina,
where he purchased some corn, and dried his paper and clothes. As
Yamina is much frequented by the Moors, Mr. Park did not think it
safe to lodge there; he therefore rode briskly through it, and the
people, who looked at him with astonishment, had no time to ask
questions.

On the following day, Mr. Park passed a town called Balaba, the
prospect of the country was by no means inviting, for the high grass
and bushes seemed completely to obstruct the road, and the Niger
having flooded the low lands, had the appearance of an extensive
lake.

On the following day, Mr. Park took the wrong road, and when he
discovered his error, on coming to an eminence, he observed the Niger
considerably to the left. Directing his course towards it, through
long grass and bushes, he came to a small but rapid stream, which he
took at first for a branch of the Niger, but, on examination, was
convinced it was a distinct river, which the road evidently crossed,
as he saw the pathway on the opposite side. He sat down upon the
bank, in hopes that some traveller might arrive, who could inform him
of the situation of the ford; but none arriving, and there being a
great appearance of rain, he determined to enter the river
considerably above the  pathway, in order to reach the other side
before the stream swept him too far down. With this view he fastened
his clothes upon the saddle, and was standing up to the neck in
water, pulling his horse by the bridle to make him follow, when a
man, who came  accidentally to the place, called to him with great
vehemence, to come out, or the alligators would destroy both him and
his horse. Mr. Park obeyed, and the stranger who had never before
seen a white man, seemed wonderfully surprised, exclaiming in a low
voice, "God preserve me, who is this?" But when he found Mr. Park
could speak the Bambarra tongue, and was going the same way as
himself, he promised to assist him in crossing the river, which was
named the Frina. He then called to some person, who answered from the
other side, and a canoe with two boys came paddling from amongst the
reeds. Mr. Park gave the boys fifty kowries to ferry himself and his
horse to the opposite shore, and in the evening, arrived at Taffara,
a walled town, where he discovered that the language of the people
was pure Mandingo.

On the 20th, Mr. Park stopped at a village called Sominoo, where he
obtained some coarse food, prepared from the husks of corn, called
_boo_. On the same day he arrived at Sooha, where the dooty refused
either to sell or to give him any provisions. Mr. Park stopped a
while to examine the countenance of this inhospitable man, and
endeavoured to find out the cause of his visible discontent. The
dooty ordered a slave to dig a hole, and while the slave was thus
employed, the dooty kept muttering and talking to himself, repeatedly
pronouncing the words "_Dankatoo'_" (good for nothing), "_jankre
lemen_," (a real plague). These expressions Mr. Park thought could
not apply to any one but himself; and as the pit had much the
appearance of a grave, thought it prudent to mount his horse, and was
about to decamp, when the slave, who had gone into the village,
brought the corpse of a boy by the leg and arm, and threw it into the
pit with savage indifference. As he covered the body with earth, the
dooty often repeated, "_Naphula attiniata_," (money lost;) from which
it appeared that the boy had been one of his slaves.

About sunset Mr. Park came to Kollikorro, a considerable town, and a
great market for salt. Here he lodged with a Bambarran, who had
travelled to many parts of Africa, and who carried on a considerable
trade. His knowledge of the world had not lessened his confidence in
saphies and charms, for when he heard that his guest was a Christian,
he brought out his _walha_, or writing-board, and assured Mr. Park he
would dress him a supper of rice, if he would write him a saphie, to
protect him from wicked men. Mr. Park wrote the board full from top
to bottom on both sides, and his landlord, to possess the full force
of the charm, washed the writing off into a calabash with a little
water, and having said a few prayers over it, drank this powerful
draught, after which he licked the board quite dry. Information being
carried to the dooty that a saphie writer was in the town, he sent
his son with half a sheet of writing paper, desiring Mr. Park to
write him a _naphula saphie_, a charm to procure wealth. He brought,
as a present, some meal and milk, and when the saphie was finished,
and read to him with an audible voice, he promised to bring Mr. Park
some milk in the morning for breakfast.

The following day, Mr. Park proceeded on his journey, and in the
afternoon arrived at Marraboo, where he lodged in the house of a
Kaartan, who, from his hospitality to strangers, was called _Jatee_,
(the landlord,) his house being a sort of public inn for all
travellers. Those who had money were well lodged, for they always
made him some return for his kindness; but those who had nothing to
give were content to accept whatever he thought proper. Mr. Park,
belonging to the latter class, took up his lodging in the same hut
with seven poor fellows, who had come from Kancaba in a canoe, but
their landlord sent them some victuals.

Mr. Park now altered his course from the river to the mountains, and
in the evening arrived at a village, called Frookaboo, from which
place he proceeded on the following day to Bambakoo. This town is not
so large as Marraboo, but the inhabitants are rich; for when the
Moors bring their salt through Kaarta or Barnbarra, they rest at this
place; the negro merchants purchasing the salt by wholesale, and
retailing it to great advantage. Here Mr. Park lodged at the house of
a Serawoolli negro, and was visited by a number of Moors, who treated
him with great civility. A slave-merchant, who had resided many years
on the Gambia, gave Mr. Park an imperfect account of the distance to
that river, but told him the road was impassable at that season of
the year, and added, that it crossed the Joliba at about half a day's
journey westward of Bammakoo; and as there were not any canoes large
enough to receive his horse, he could not possibly get him over for
some months to come. Mr. Park consulted with his landlord how to
surmount this difficulty, who informed him that one road which was
very rocky, and scarcely passable for horses, still remained, but if
he procured a proper guide over the hills to a town called
Sibidooloo, he had no doubt but he might travel forwards through
Manding. Being informed that a _jilli-kea_, or singing-man, was about
to depart for Sibidooloo, Mr. Park set out in company with him; but
when they had proceeded up a rocky glen about two miles, the
singing-man discovered that he had brought him the wrong road, as the
horse-road lay on the other side of the hill. He then threw his drum
upon his back, and mounted up the rocks, where, indeed, no horse
could follow him, leaving Mr. Park to admire his agility, and trace
out a road for himself.

Mr. Park rode back to the level ground, and following a path, on
which he observed the marks of horses' feet, came to some shepherds'
huts, where he was informed that he was on the right road to
Sibidooloo. In the evening he arrived at a village called Kooma,
situated in a delightful valley. This village is the sole property of
a Mandingo merchant, who fled thither with his family during a former
war. The harmless villagers surrounded Mr. Park, asked him a thousand
questions about his country, brought corn and milk for himself, and
grass for his horse, and appeared very anxious to serve him.

On the 25th, he departed from Kooma, in company with two shepherds,
who were going towards Sibidooloo; but as the horse travelled slowly,
and with great difficulty, the shepherds kept walking on at a
considerable distance, when on a sudden Mr. Park heard some people
calling to each other, and presently a loud screaming, as from a
person in great distress. He rode slowly to the place whence the
noise proceeded, and in a little time perceived one of the shepherds
lying among the long grass near the road. When Mr. Park came close to
him, he whispered that a party of armed men had seized his companion,
and shot two arrows at himself, as he was making his escape. Mr. Park
now stopped to consider what course it was most proper for him to
pursue, and looking round, saw, at a small distance, a man sitting on
the stump of a tree, and six or seven more sitting among the grass,
with muskets in their hands. He had now no hopes of escaping, and
therefore rode on towards them, in hopes they were elephant hunters.
On coming up to them, he inquired if they had caught any thing, when
one of them ordered him to dismount, but appearing suddenly to
recollect himself, made signs to him to proceed. He accordingly rode
past, but was soon followed by the men, who ordered him to stop, and
informed him, that the king of the Foulahs had sent them to bring him
his horse, and all that belonged to him, to Fooladoo. Mr. Park turned
round, and went with them, till they came to a dark part of the wood,
when one of them said, "This place will do," and immediately snatched
his hat from his head, another drew a knife, and cut off a metal
button that remained upon his waistcoat, and put it into his pocket.
They then searched Mr. Park's pockets, examined every part of his
apparel, and at length stripped him quite naked. While they were
examining the plunder, he begged them, with great earnestness, to
return his pocket-compass; but when he pointed it out to them, as it
lay on the ground, one of the banditti, thinking he meant to take it
up, cocked his musket, and swore he would lay him dead on the spot,
if he presumed to lay his hand upon it. After this, some went away
with his horse, and the remainder, after some deliberation, returned
him the worst of the two shirts and a pair of trousers; and on going
away, one of them threw back his hat, in the crown of which he kept
his memorandums. After they were gone, Mr. Park sat for some time,
looking around him with amazement and terror. "Whatever way I
turned," says he, "nothing appeared but danger and difficulty. I saw
myself in the midst of a vast wilderness, in the depth of the rainy
season, naked and alone, surrounded by savage animals, and men still
more savage. I was five hundred miles from the nearest European
settlement. All these circumstances crowded at once to my
recollection, and I confess that my spirits began to fail me. I
considered my fate as certain, and that I had no alternative but to
lie down and perish. The influence of religion, however, aided and
supported me. I reflected that no human prudence or foresight could
possibly have averted my present sufferings. I was indeed a stranger
in a strange land, yet I was still under the protecting eye of that
Providence, who has condescended to call himself the stranger's
friend. At this moment, painful as my reflections were, the
extraordinary beauty of a small moss in fructification irresistibly
caught my eye. I mention this, to show from what trifling
circumstances the mind will sometimes derive consolation, for though
the whole plant was not larger than the top of one of my fingers, I
could not contemplate the delicate conformation of its roots, leaves,
and capsules, without admiration. Can that Being, thought I, who
planted, watered, and brought to perfection, in this obscure part of
the world, a thing which appears of so small importance, look with
unconcern upon the situation and sufferings of creatures formed after
his own image? Surely not. Reflections like these would not allow me
to despair. I started up, and disregarding both hunger and fatigue,
travelled forwards, assured that relief was at hand, and I was not
disappointed."

In a short time Mr. Park came to a small village, where he overtook
the two shepherds, who had come with him from Koona. They were much
surprised to see him, as they expected the Foulahs had murdered him.
Departing from this village, they travelled over several rocky
ridges, and at sunset arrived at the town of Sibidooloo.



CHAPTER  VIII.

Sibidooloo is the frontier town of Manding, and is situated in a
fertile valley, surrounded with high rocky hills. The chief man is
here called the mansa, which usually signifies king; but it appear
that the government of Manding is a sort of republic, as every town
has a particular mansa, and the chief power of the state is lodged in
an assembly of the whole body.

Mr. Park related to the mansa the circumstance of the robbery, and
his story was confirmed by the two shepherds. The mansa continued
smoking his pipe while he heard the relation, when, tossing up the
sleeve of his coat with an indignant air, "Sit down," said he to Mr.
Park, "you shall have every thing restored to you. I have sworn it."
Then turning to an attendant, "Give the white man," said he, "a
draught of water, and with the first light of the morning go over the
hills, and inform the dooty of Bammakoo that a poor white man, the
king of Bambarra's stranger, has been robbed by the king of
Fouladoo's people."

He heartily thanked the mansa for his kindness, and accepted his
invitation, but having waited two days without receiving any
intelligence, and there being a great scarcity of provisions, he was
unwilling to trespass further on the generosity of his host, and
begged permission to depart. The mansa told him, he might go as far
as a town called Wonda, and remain there until he heard some account
of his property. Accordingly, departing from that place, he reached
it on the 30th. The mansa of Wonda was a Mahometan and, as well as
chief magistrate of the town, was a schoolmaster. Mr. Park lodged in
the school, which was an open shed; the little raiment upon him could
neither protect him from the sun by day, nor the dews and mosquitoes
by night; his fever returned with great violence, and he could not
procure any medicine wherewith to stop its progress. He remained at
Wonda nine days, endeavouring to conceal his distress from his
landlord, for which purpose, he several times lay down the whole of
the day, out of his sight, in a field of corn, yet he found that the
mansa was apprised of his situation, for one morning as he feigned to
be asleep by the fire, he heard the mansa complain to his wife, that
they were likely to find him a very troublesome guest, as, in his
present sickly state, they should be obliged, for the sake of their
good name, to maintain him till he recovered or died.

The scarcity of provisions was at this time severely felt by the poor
people. Mr. Park, having observed every evening five or six women
come to the mansa's house, and each receive a portion of corn,
inquired of the mansa, whether he maintained these women from
charity, or expected a return from the next harvest. "Observe that
boy," replied the Mansa, pointing to a fine child about five years of
age, "his mother has sold him to me for forty days' provisions for
herself and the rest of the family. I have bought another boy in the
same manner."

Mr. Park was much afflicted with this melancholy circumstance, but he
afterwards observed that the mother, when she had received her corn,
would come and talk to her son with much cheerfulness, as if he had
still been under her care.

On the 6th of September, two people arrived from Sibidooloo with Mr.
Park's horse and clothes; the pocket-compass was, however, broken to
pieces. The horse was now so much reduced, that he saw that it would
be impracticable to travel any further with him; he therefore
presented him to his landlord, and requested him to send the saddle
and bridle to the mansa of Sibidooloo, as an acknowledgment for his
trouble and kindness.

On the morning of September 8th, Mr. Park took leave of his
hospitable landlord, who presented him with a spear, as a token of
remembrance, and a leathern bag to contain his clothes. On the 9th,
he reached Nemacoo, where he could not procure any provisions, as the
people appeared to be actually starving, but in the afternoon of the
10th, a negro trader, named Modi Lemina Taura, brought him some
victuals, promising to conduct him to his house at Kennyetoo on the
following day.

In travelling to Kennyetoo, Mr. Park hurt his ankle, and was unable
to proceed. The trader, in consequence, invited him to stop with him
a few days, and accordingly he remained there until the 14th.

On the 17th, he proceeded to Mansia, a considerable town, where small
quantities of gold are collected. The mansa of this town gave him a
little corn, but demanded something in return, and on Mr. Park's
assuring him that he had not anything in his possession, replied, as
if in jest, that his white skin should not defend him, if he told him
any falsehoods. He then conducted him to the hut wherein he was to
sleep, but took away his spear, saying it should be returned in the
morning. This circumstance raised Mr. Park's suspicions, and he
requested one of the inhabitants, who had a bow and quiver, to sleep
in the hut with him. About midnight a man made several attempts to
enter the hut, but was prevented by Mr. Park and the negro, and the
latter, on looking out, perceived it was the mansa himself. In the
morning, Mr. Park, fearing the mansa might devise some means to
detain him, departed before he was awake, the negro having recovered
the spear.

On the arrival of Mr. Park at Kamalia, a small town, he proceeded to
the house of Karfa Taura, the brother of his hospitable landlord at
Kennyetoo. He was sitting in his balloon, surrounded by several
slatees, to whom he was reading from an Arabic book. He asked Mr.
Park if he understood it, and being answered in the negative, desired
one of the slatees to fetch the little curious book that was brought
from the west country. Mr. Park was surprised and delighted to find
this volume _"The Book of Common Prayer"_ and Karfa expressed great
joy to hear he could read it, as some of the slatees, who had seen
Europeans upon the coast, were unwilling, from his distressed
appearance, to admit that Mr. Park was a white man, but suspected
that he was some Arab in disguise. Karfa, however, perceiving he
could read this book, had no doubt concerning Mr. Park, and promised
him every assistance in his power, at the same time informing him,
that it was impossible to cross the Jallonka wilderness for many
months to come, as eight rapid rivers lay in the way. He added, that
he himself intended to set out for Gambia, with a caravan of slaves,
as soon as the rivers were fordable, and the grass burnt, and invited
Mr. Park to stay and accompany him, remarking that when a caravan
could not travel through the country, it was idle for a single man to
attempt it. Mr. Park admitted the rashness of the attempt, but
assured him that he had no alternative, for not having any money, he
must either beg his subsistence by travelling from place to place, or
perish from want. Karfa now looked at him with great earnestness,
informing him that he had never before seen a white man, and inquired
if he could eat the common victuals of the country. He added, that if
he would remain with him till the rains were over, he would conduct
him in safety to the Gambia, and then he might make him what return
he pleased. Mr. Park having agreed to give him the value of one prime
slave, he ordered a hut to be swept for his accommodation.

Thus was Mr. Park delivered by the friendly care of this benevolent
negro, from a situation truly deplorable, but his fever became daily
more alarming. On the third day after his arrival, as he was going
with Karfa to visit some of his friends, he was so faint that he
staggered and fell into a pit; Karfa endeavoured to console him, and
assured him that if he would not walk out into the wet, he would soon
be well. Mr. Park followed his advice, and in general confined
himself to his hut, but was still tormented with the fever for five
ensuing weeks. His benevolent landlord came every day to inquire
after his health. When the rains became less frequent, the fever left
him, but in so debilitated a condition, that it was with great
difficulty he could get to the shade of a tamarind tree, at a short
distance, to enjoy the refreshing smell of the corn fields, and the
delightful prospect of the country. At length he found himself
recovering, towards which the benevolent manners of the negroes, and
the perusal of Karfa's little volume, greatly contributed.

Meanwhile many of the slatees who resided at Kamalia, having spent
all their money, and become in a great measure dependent on Karfa's
bounty, beheld Mr. Park with envy, and invented many ridiculous
stories to lessen him in his host's esteem, but Karfa paid no
attention to them, and treated him with unabated kindness. As he was
one day conversing with some slaves, which a Serawoolli merchant had
brought from Sego, one of them begged him to give him some victuals,
Mr. Park replied, he was a stranger and had none to give. "I gave
_you_, some victuals" said the slave, "when _you_ were hungry. Have
you forgotten the man who brought you milk at Karrankalla? But,"
added he with a sigh, "_the irons were not then on my legs_." Mr.
Park immediately recollected him, procured for him some ground nuts,
and learned that he had been taken by the Bambarrans, the day after
the battle at Joka, and sent to Sego, where he had been purchased by
his present master, who was carrying him to Kajaaga.

In the middle of December, Karfa, who proposed to complete his
purchase of slaves, departed for Kancaba, a large town on the banks
of the Niger, and a great slave market. It was his intention to
return in a month, and during his absence left Mr. Park to the care
of a good old bushreen, who was schoolmaster at Kamalia. The name of
this schoolmaster was Fankooma, and although a Mahometan, was not
intolerant in his principles. He read much, and took great pleasure
in professional efforts. His school contained seventeen boys, mostly
of pagan parents, and two girls. The girls were taught by daylight,
but the boys were instructed before the dawn and late in the evening;
by being considered, while pupils, as the domestic slaves of the
master, they were employed by him during the day in various
avocations. Emulation is encouraged by their tutor to stimulate his
scholars. When the pupil has read through the Koran, and learned a
certain number of public prayers, he undergoes an examination by the
bushreens, who, when satisfied with his learning and abilities,
desire him to read the last page of the Koran. This being done, the
boy presses the paper to his forehead, and pronounces the word Amen;
upon which the bushreens rise, shake him by the hand, and bestow upon
him the title of bushreen. The parents then redeem their son, by
giving his master the value of a slave; but if they cannot afford it,
the boy continues the slave of the schoolmaster, until he ransoms
himself by his own industry.

On the 24th January, Karfa returned to Kamalia, with thirteen prime
slaves, whom he had purchased. He also brought a young girl for his
fourth wife, whom he had married at Kancaba. She was kindly received
by her colleagues, who had swept and whitewashed one of the best huts
for her accommodation.

On the day after his arrival, Karfa having observed that Mr. Park's
clothes were become very ragged, presented him with a garment and
trousers, the usual dress of the country.

Karfa's slaves were all prisoners of war, who had been taken by the
Bambarran army. Some of them had been kept three years at Sego in
irons, whence they were sent with other captives up the Niger to
Yamina, Bammakoo and Kancaba, where they were sold for gold dust.
Eleven of them confessed that they had been slaves from their birth,
but the other two refused to give any account of themselves to Mr.
Park, whom they at first regarded with looks of horror, and
repeatedly asked _if his countrymen were cannibals_. They were very
desirous to know what became of the slaves after they had crossed the
salt water. Mr. Park told them that they were employed in cultivating
the land, but they would not believe him: and one of them putting his
hand upon the ground, said with great simplicity, "Have you really
got such ground as this to set your feet upon?"

The slaves were constantly kept in irons, and strictly watched. To
secure them, the right leg of one and the left of another were
fastened by the same pair of fetters, by supporting which with a
string, they could walk very slowly. Every four slaves were also
fastened together by a rope of twisted thongs; and during the night
their hands were fettered, and sometimes a light iron chain was put
round their necks. Those who betrayed any symptoms of discontent,
were secured by a thick billet of wood about three feet long, which
was fastened to the ankle by a strong iron staple. All these fetters
were put on as soon as the slaves arrived at Kamalia, and were not
taken off until the morning they set out for the Gambia. In other
respects, the slaves were not harshly treated. In the morning they
were led to the shade of a tamarind tree, where they were encouraged
to keep up their spirits by playing different games of chance, or
singing. Some bore their situation with great fortitude, but the
majority would sit the whole of the day in sullen melancholy, with
their eyes fixed on the ground. In the evening, their irons being
examined, and their hand-fetters put on, they were conducted into two
large huts, and guarded during the night. Notwithstanding this
strictness, however, one of Karfa's slaves, about a week after his
arrival, having procured a small knife, opened the rings of his
fetters, cut the rope, and made his escape, and more might have got
off, had not the slave, when he found himself at liberty, refused to
stop to assist his companions in breaking the chain, which was round
their necks.

All the merchants and slaves who composed the coffle, were now
assembled at Kamalia and its vicinity; the day of departure for the
Gambia was frequently fixed, and afterwards postponed. Some of the
people had not prepared their provisions, others were visiting their
friends, or collecting their debts; thus the departure was delayed
until February was far advanced, when it was determined to wait
_until the fast moon was over_. "Loss of time," observes Mr. Park,
"is of no great importance in the eyes of a negro. If he has any
thing of consequence to perform, it is a matter of indifference to
him whether he does it to-day or to-morrow, or a month or two hence;
so long as he can spend the present moment with any degree of
comfort, he gives himself very little concern for the future."

The Rhamadam was strictly observed by the bushreens, and at the close
of it, they assembled at the Misura to watch for the new moon, but as
the evening was cloudy, they were for some time disappointed, and
several had returned home resolving to fast another day, when
suddenly the object of their wishes appeared from behind a cloud, and
was welcomed by clapping of hands, beating of drums, firing muskets,
and other demonstrations of joy. This moon being accounted extremely
lucky, Karfa gave orders that the people of the coffle should
immediately prepare for their journey, and the slatees having held a
consultation on the 16th of April, fixed on the 19th as the day of
departure.

This resolution freed Mr. Park from much uneasiness, as he was
apprehensive, from the departure having been so long deferred, that
the rainy season would again commence before it took place, and
although his landlord behaved with great kindness, his situation was
very disagreeable. The slatees were unfriendly to him, and three
trading Moors, who had arrived at Kamalia during the absence of
Karfa, to dispose of salt procured on credit, had plotted mischief
against him from the day of their arrival; his welfare thus depended
merely upon the good opinion of an individual, who was daily hearing
tales to his prejudice. He was somewhat reconciled by time to their
manner of living, but longed for the blessings of civilized society.

On the morning of April 19th, the coffle assembled and commenced its
journey. When joined by several persons at Maraboo and Bola, it
consisted of seventy-three persons, thirty-five of whom were slaves
for sale. The free men were fourteen in number, but several had wives
and domestic slaves, and the schoolmaster, who was going to his
native country Woradoo, had eight of his scholars. Several of the
inhabitants of Kamalia accompanied the coffle a short way on its
progress, taking leave of their relations and friends. On reaching a
rising ground, from which they had a prospect of the town, the people
of the coffle were desired to sit down facing the west, and the
town's people facing Kamalia. The schoolmaster and two principal
slatees, then placed themselves between the two parties, and repeated
a long and solemn prayer, after this they walked round the coffle
three times, pressing the ground with the end of their spears, and
muttering a charm. All the people of the coffle then sprang up and
set forwards, without formally bidding their friends farewell. The
slaves had all heavy loads upon their heads, and many of them having
been long in irons, the sudden exertion of walking quick, caused
spasmodic contractions of their legs, and they had scarcely proceeded
a mile, when two of them were obliged to be taken from the rope, and
suffered to walk more slowly. The coffle after halting two hours at
Maraboo, proceeded to Bola, thence to Worumbang, the frontier village
of Manding, towards Jallonkadoo.

Here they procured plenty of provisions, as they intended shortly to
enter the Jallonka wilderness, but having on the 21st travelled a
little way through the woods, they determined to take the road to
Kinytakooro, a town in Jallonkadoo, and this being a long day's
journey distant, they halted to take some refreshment. Every person,
says Mr, Park, opened his provision bag, and brought a handful or two
of meal to the place where Karfa and the slatees were sitting. When
every one had brought his quota, and whole was properly arranged in
small gourd shells, the schoolmaster offered up a short prayer, the
substance of which was, that God and the holy prophets might preserve
them from robberies and all bad people, that their provisions might
never fail them, nor their limbs become fatigued. This ceremony being
ended, every one partook of the meal, and drank a little water, after
which they set forward, rather running than walking, until they came
to the river Kokoro.

This river is a branch of the Senegal, its banks are very high, and
from various appearances it was evident, that the water had risen
above twenty feet perpendicular during the rainy season, but it was
then only a small stream sufficient to turn a mill, and abounding in
fish. The coffle proceeded with great expedition until evening, when
they arrived at Kinytakooro, a considerable town, nearly square,
situated in the midst of an extensive and fertile plain.

In this day's journey, a woman and a girl, two slaves belonging to a
slatee of Bola, could not keep up with the coffle from fatigue. They
were dragged along until about four in the afternoon, when being both
affected with vomiting, it was discovered that _they had eaten clay_.
Whether this practice, which is frequent amongst the slaves, proceeds
from a vitiated appetite, or an intention to destroy themselves, is
uncertain. Three people remaining to take care of them, the slaves
were suffered to lie down in the woods until they were somewhat
recovered, but they did not reach the town until past midnight, and
were then so exhausted that their master determined to return with
them to Bola.

Kinytakooro being the first town beyond the limits of Manding, great
ceremony was observed in entering it. The coffle approached it in the
following procession: first went the singing men, followed by the
other free men, then the slaves, fastened as usual by a rope round
their necks, four to a rope, and a man with a spear between each
party, after them the domestic slaves, and in the rear the free
women. When they came within a hundred yards of the gate, the singing
men began a loud song, extolling the hospitality of the inhabitants
towards strangers, and their friendship in particular to the
Mandingos. Arriving at the Bentang, the people assembled to hear
their _dentegi_ (history,) which was publicly recited by two of the
singing men. They began with the events of that day, and enumerated
every circumstance which had befallen the coffle in a backward
series, to their departure from Kamalia. When they had ended, the
chief men of the town gave them a small present, and every person of
the coffle, both free and enslaved, was entertained and lodged by the
inhabitants.

On the 22nd of April, the coffle proceeded to a village seven miles
westward. The inhabitants of this village, expecting an attack from
the Foulahs of Fooladoo, were constructing small huts among the
rocks, on the side of a high hill.

The situation was nearly impregnable, high precipices surrounded it
on every side but the eastern, where was left a path broad enough for
one person to ascend. On the brow of the hill were collected heaps of
large stones, to be thrown down upon the enemy, if an attack on the
post was attempted.

The coffle entered the Jallonka wilderness on the 23rd. They passed
the ruins of two small towns, burnt by the Foulahs, and the fire had
been so intense as to vitrify the walls of several huts, which at a
distance appeared as if coloured with red varnish. The coffle crossed
the river Wonda, where fish were seen in great abundance. Karfa now
placed the guides and young men in the front, the women and slaves in
the centre, and the free men in the rear, and in this order they
proceeded through a woody beautiful country, abounding with
partridges, guinea fowls, and deer. At sunset they arrived at a
stream called Comeissang. To diminish the inflammation of his skin,
produced by the friction of his dress from walking, and long exposure
to the heat of the sun, Mr. Park took the benefit of bathing in the
river. They had now travelled about thirty miles, and were greatly
fatigued, but no person complained. Karfa ordered one of his slaves
to prepare for Mr. Park a bed made of branches of trees, and when
they had supped upon kouskous moistened with boiling water, they all
laid down, but were frequently disturbed by the howling of the wild
beasts, and the biting of small brown ants.

The next morning, most of the free people drank some _noening_, a
sort of gruel, which was also given to the slaves that appeared least
able to travel, but a female slave of Karfa's who was called Nealee,
refused to partake of this refreshment, and was very sullen. The
coffle proceeded over a wild and rocky country, and Nealee, soon
overcome by fatigue, lagged behind, complaining dreadfully of pains
in her legs, on which her load was given to another slave, and she
was directed to keep in front. The coffle rested near a small
rivulet, and a hive of bees being discovered in a hollow tree, some
negroes went in quest of the honey, when an enormous swarm flew out,
and attacked the people of the coffle. Mr. Park, who first took the
alarm, alone escaped with impunity. The negroes at length again
collected together at some distance from the place where they were
dispersed, but Nealee was missing, and many of the bundles were left
behind. To recover these, they set fire to the grass eastward of the
hive, and as the wind drove the fire furiously along, they pushed
through the smoke, until they came to the bundles. They also found
poor Nealee lying by the rivulet, she had crept to the stream, hoping
to defend herself from the bees by throwing water over her body, but
she was stung dreadfully. The stings were picked out, and her wounds
washed and anointed, but she refused to proceed further. The slatees
by the whip forced her to proceed about four or five hours longer,
when, attempting to run away, she fell down with extreme weakness.
Again was the whip applied, but ineffectually; the unfortunate slave
was unable to rise. After attempting to place her upon an ass, on
which she could not sit erect, a litter of bamboo canes was made,
upon which she was tied with slips of bark, and carried on the heads
of two slaves for the remainder of the day. The coffle halted at the
foot of a high hill, called Gankaran-kooro. The travellers had only
eaten one handful of meal each during the day's journey, exposed to
the ardour of a tropical sun. The slaves were much fatigued, and
showed great discontent; several _snapt their fingers_, a certain
mark of desperation. They were all immediately put in irons, and
those who had shown signs of despondency were kept apart.

In the morning, however, they were greatly recovered, except poor
Nealee, who could neither walk nor stand, she was accordingly placed
upon an ass, her hands being fastened together under the neck, and
her feet under the belly, to secure her situation. The beast,
however, was unruly, and Nealee was soon thrown off, and one of her
legs was much bruised. As it was found impossible to carry her
forward, the general cry of the coffle was, "_Kang tegi! kang tegi!_"
(Cut her throat! cut her throat!) Mr. Park proceeded forwards with
the foremost of the coffle, to avoid seeing this operation performed,
but soon after he learned that Karfa and the schoolmaster would not
agree to have her killed, but had left her on the road. Her fate
diffused melancholy throughout the whole coffle, notwithstanding the
outcry before mentioned, and the schoolmaster fasted the whole day in
consequence of it. The coffle soon after crossed the Furkoomah, a
river the same size as the Wonda, and travelled so expeditiously,
that Mr. Park with difficulty kept up with it.

On the 26th April, the coffle ascended a rocky hill, called
Bokikooro, and in the afternoon, entering a valley, forded the Bold,
a smooth and clear river. About a mile westward of this river,
discovering the marks of horses' feet, they were afraid that a party
of plunderers were in the neighbourhood; and to avoid discovery and
pursuit, the coffle travelled in a dispersed manner through the high
grass and bushes.

The following day, hoping to reach a town before night, they passed
expeditiously through extensive thickets of bamboos. At a stream
called Nuncolo, each person ate a handful of meal, moistened with
water, in compliance with some superstitious custom. In the
afternoon, they arrived at Sooseta, a Jallonka village, in the
district of Kullo, a tract of country lying along the banks of the
Black River; and the first human habitation they had met with in a
journey of five days, over more than a hundred miles. With much
difficulty they procured huts to sleep in, but could not obtain any
provisions, as there had been a scarcity before the crops were
gathered in, during which all the inhabitants of Kullo had subsisted
upon the yellow powder of the _nitta_, a species of the mimosa, and
the seeds of the bamboo, which, when properly prepared, tastes nearly
similar to rice. As the provisions of the coffle were not exhausted,
kouskous was dressed for supper, and several villagers were invited
to partake; meanwhile one of the schoolmaster's boys, who had fallen
asleep under the bentang, was carried off during the night; but the
thief, finding that his master's residence was only three days'
journey distant, thinking he could not be retained with security,
after stripping him, suffered him to return.

They now crossed the Black River by a bridge of a curious
construction. Several tall trees are fastened together by the tops,
which float on the water, while the roots rest on the rocks on each
side of the river; these are covered with dry bamboos, and the whole
forms a passage, sloping from each end towards the middle, so as to
resemble an inverted arch. In the rainy season the bridge is carried
away, but the natives constantly rebuilt it, and on that account
exact a small tribute from every passenger.

Being informed that, two hundred Jalonkas had assembled to intercept
and plunder the coffle, they altered their course, and about midnight
arrived at a town called Koba. They now discovered that a free man
and three slaves were missing; upon which it was concluded that the
slaves had murdered the free man, and made their escape, and six
people were sent back to the last village to endeavour to procure
information. Meanwhile the people of the coffle were ordered to
conceal themselves in a cotton field, and no person to speak but in a
whisper. Towards morning, the men returned, but without the object of
their pursuit. The coffle then entered the town, and purchased a
quantity of ground nuts, which were roasted for breakfast; and, being
provided with huts, determined to rest there for the day. They were
agreeably surprised by the arrival of their companions. One of the
slaves had hurt his foot, and as the night was dark, they had lost
sight of the coffle, when the free man, who was aware of his danger,
insisted on putting the slaves in irons, and as they were refractory,
threatened to stab them one by one with his spear; they at last
submitted, and in the morning followed the coffle to Koba. In the
course of the day, the intelligence concerning the Jalonka plunderers
was confirmed, on which Karfa, continuing at Koba until the 30th,
hired some persons for protectors, and they proceeded to a village
called Tinkingtang.

On the following day, the slaves being greatly fatigued, the coffle
only proceeded nine miles, where provisions were procured by the
interest of the schoolmaster, who sent a messenger forward to
Malacotta, his native town, to acquaint his friends with his arrival,
and desire them to provide provisions for the entertainment of the
coffle for two or three days.

They halted at another village further on until the return of the
messenger from Malacotta. About two the messenger returned,
accompanied by the schoolmaster's elder brother. "The interview,"
says Mr. Park, "between the two brothers, who had not seen each other
for nine years, was very natural and affecting. They fell upon each
other's neck, and it was some time before either of them could speak.
At length, when the schoolmaster had a little recovered himself, he
took his brother by the hand, and turning round, 'This is the man,'
said he, pointing to Karfa, 'who has been my father in Manding. I
would have pointed him out sooner to you, but my heart was too
full.'" The coffle then proceeded to Malacotta, where they were well
entertained for three days, being each day presented with a bullock
from the schoolmaster.

Malacotta is an unwalled town; the huts are made of unsplit canes
twisted into wicker work, and plastered over with mud. The
inhabitants are active and industrious; they make good soap by
boiling ground nuts in water, and adding a lye of wood ashes. They
also manufacture excellent iron, which they exchange in Bondou for
salt.

A party of traders brought intelligence to this town of a war between
the king of Foota Torra and the king of the Jaloffs, which soon
became a favourite subject of conversation in this part of Africa.
Its circumstances were as follow:--Almami Abdulkader, king of Foota
Torra, inflamed with a zeal for propagating the religion of the
prophet, sent an ambassador to Damel, king of the Jaloffs,
accompanied by two principal bushreens, each bearing a long pole, to
the end of which was fixed a large knife. When admitted into the
presence of Damel, the ambassador ordered the bushreens to present
the emblems of his mission, which he thus explained:--"With this
knife," said he, "Abdulkader will condescend to shave the head of
Damel, if Damel will embrace the Mahometan faith; and with the other
knife, Abdulkader will cut the throat of Damel, if Darnel refuses to
embrace it. Take your choice."

The king of the  Jaloffs having told the ambassador he chose neither
of his propositions, civilly dismissed him. Abdulkader soon after
invaded Damel's dominions with a powerful army. As he approached, the
towns and villages were abandoned, the wells filled up, and their
effects carried off by the inhabitants. He advanced three days into
the country of the Jaloffs, without opposition; but his army had
suffered so greatly for want of water, that many of his men had died
by the way. This compelled him to march to a watering-place in the
woods, where his men, having quenched their thirst, and being
overcome with fatigue, lay down among the bushes to sleep. Thus
situated, they were attacked by the forces of Damel in the night, and
completely routed. King Abdulkader himself, with a great number of
his followers, being taken prisoners. The behaviour of the king of
the Jaloffs on this occasion we shall relate in Mr. Park's own words.
"When his royal prisoner was brought before him in irons, and thrown
upon the ground, the magnanimous Damel, instead of setting his foot
upon his neck, and stabbing him with his spear, according to custom
in such cases, addressed him as follows:--'Abdulkader, answer me this
question. If the chance of war had placed me in your situation, and
you in mine, how would you have treated me?'--'I would have thrust
my spear into your heart,' returned Abdulkader, with great firmness,
'and I know that a similar fate awaits me.'--'Not so,' said Damel;
'my spear is indeed red with the blood of your subjects killed in
battle, and I could now give it a deeper stain, by dipping it in your
own; but this would not build up my towns, nor bring to life the
thousands, who fell in the woods; I will not, therefore, kill you in
cold blood, but I will retain you as my slave, until I perceive that
your presence in your own kingdom will be no longer dangerous to your
neighbours, and then I will consider of the proper way of disposing
of you.' Abdulkader was accordingly retained, and worked as a slave
for three months, at the end of which period, Damel listened to the
solicitations of the inhabitants of Foota Torra. and restored to them
their king."

The coffle resumed their journey on the 7th May, and having crossed a
branch of the Senegal, proceeded to a walled town, called Bentingala,
where they rested two days. In one day more, they reached Dindikoo, a
town at the bottom of a high ridge of hills, which gives the name of
Konkodoo to this part of the country; at Dindikoo was a negro of the
sort called in the Spanish West Indies, Albinos, or white negroes.
His hair and skin were of a dull white colour, cadaverous and
unsightly, and considered as the effect of disease.

After a tedious day's journey, the coffle arrived at Satadoo, on the
evening of the 11th. Many inhabitants had quitted this town, on
account of the plundering incursions of the Foulahs of Foota Jalla,
who frequently carried off people from the corn fields and wells near
the town.

The coffle crossed the Faleme river on the 12th, and at night halted
at a village called Medina, the sole property of a Mandingo merchant,
who had adopted many European customs. His victuals were served up in
pewter dishes, and his houses were formed in the mode of the English
houses on the Gambia.

The next morning they departed, in company with another coffle of
slaves, belonging to some Serawoolli traders, and in the evening
arrived at Baniserile, after a very hard day's journey.

Mr. Park was invited by one of the slatees, a native of this place,
to go home to his house. He had been absent three years, and was met
by his friends with many expressions of joy. When he had seated
himself upon a mat near the threshold of his door, a young woman, his
intended bride, brought some water in a calabash, and, kneeling
before him, requested him to wash his hands. This being done, the
young woman drank the water; an action here esteemed as the greatest
proof that can be given of fidelity and affection.

Mr. Park now arrived on the shores of the Gambia, and on the 10th
June 1797 reached Pisania, where he was received as one risen from
the dead; for all the traders from the interior had believed and
reported, that, like Major Houghton, he was murdered by the Moors of
Ludamar. Karfa, his benefactor, received double the stipulated price,
and was overpowered with gratitude; but when he saw the commodious
furniture, the skilful manufactures, the superiority in all the arts
of life, displayed by the Europeans, compared with the attainments of
his countrymen, he was deeply mortified, and exclaimed "Black men are
nothing," expressing, at the same time his surprise, that Park could
find any motive for coming to so miserable a land as Africa.

Mr. Park had some difficulty in reaching home. He was obliged to
embark on the 15th June, in a vessel bound to America, and was
afterwards driven by stress of weather, into the island of Antigua,
whence he sailed on the 24th November, and on the 22nd December
landed at Falmouth. He arrived in London before dawn on the morning
of Christmas day, and in the garden of the British Museum
accidentally met his brother-in-law, Mr. Dickson. Two years having
elapsed since any tidings had reached England, he had been given up
for lost, so that his friends and the public were equally astonished
and delighted by his appearance. The report of his unexpected return,
after making such splendid discoveries, kindled throughout the nation
a higher enthusiasm than had perhaps been excited by the result of
any former mission of the same nature. The Niger had been seen
flowing _eastward_, into the interior of Africa, and hence a still
deeper interest and mystery were suspended over the future course and
termination of this great central stream. Kingdoms had been
discovered, more flourishing and more populous than any formerly
known on that continent; but other kingdoms, still greater and
wealthier, were reported to exist in regions, which Mr. Park had
vainly attempted to reach. The lustre of his achievements had
diffused among the public in general an ardour for discovery, which
was formerly confined to a few enlightened individuals; it was,
however, evident that the efforts of no private association could
penetrate the depths of this vast continent, and overcome the
obstacles presented by its distance, its deserts, and its barbarism.



CHAPTER IX.

It was now thought advisable to trace, without interruption the
interesting career of Mr. Park, from its commencement to its close.
The enthusiasm for discovery was, however, not confined solely to
England; for the return of Park had no sooner reached Germany, than
Frederick Horneman, a student of the university of Gottingen,
communicated to Blumenbach, the celebrated professor of natural
history, his ardent desire to explore the interior of Africa under
the auspices of the British African Association. The professor
transmitted to the association a strong recommendation of Horneman,
as a young man, active, athletic, temperate, knowing sickness only by
name, and of respectable literary and scientific attainments. Sir
Joseph Banks immediately wrote, "If Mr. Horneman be really the
character you describe, he is the very person whom we are in search
of."

On receiving this encouragement, Horneman immediately applied his
mind to the study of natural history and the Arabic language, and in
other respects sought to capacitate himself for supporting the
character of an Arab or a Mahometan, under which he flattered himself
that he should escape the effects of that ferocious bigotry, which
had opposed so fatal a bar to the progress of his predecessors.

In May 1797, Horneman repaired to London, where his appointment was
sanctioned by the association, and having obtained a passport from
the Directory, who then governed France, he visited Paris, and was
introduced to some influential members of the National Institute. He
reached Egypt in September, spent ten days at Alexandria, and set out
for Cairo, to wait the departure of the Kashna caravan. The interval
was employed in acquiring the language of the Mograben Arabs, a tribe
bordering on Egypt. While he was at Cairo, intelligence was received
of the landing of Buonaparte in that country, when the just
indignation of the natives vented itself upon all Europeans, and,
amongst others, on Horneman, who was arrested and confined in the
castle. He was relieved upon the victorious entry of the French
commander, who immediately set him at liberty, and very liberally
offered him money, and every other supply which might contribute to
the success of his mission.

It was not before the 5th September 1798, that Horneman could meet
with a caravan proceeding to the westward, when he joined the one
destined for Fezzan. The travellers soon passed the cultivated lands
of Egypt, and entered on an expanse of sandy waste, such as the
bottom of the ocean might exhibit, if the waters were to retire. This
desert was covered with the fragments, as it were, of a petrified
forest; large trunks, branches, twigs, and even pieces of bark, being
scattered over it. Sometimes these stony remains were brought in as
mistake for fuel. When the caravan halted for the night, each
individual dug a hole in the sand, gathered a few sticks, and
prepared his victuals after the African fashion of kouskous, soups,
or puddings. Horneman, according to his European habits, at first
employed the services of another, but finding himself thus exposed to
contempt or suspicion, he soon followed the example of the rest, and
became his own cook.

There are, as usual, oases in this immense waste. Ten days brought
the caravan to Ummesogeir, a village situated upon a rock, with 120
inhabitants, who, separated by deserts, from the rest of the world,
passed a peaceful and hospitable life, subsisting on dates, the chief
produce of their arid and sterile soil.

Another day's journey brought them to Siwah, a much more extensive
oasis, the rocky border of which is estimated by Horneman to be fifty
miles in circumference. It yields, with little culture, various
descriptions of grain and vegetables; but its wealth consists chiefly
in large gardens of dates, baskets of which fruit form here the
standard of value. The government is vested in a very turbulent
aristocracy, of about thirty chiefs, who meet in council in the
vicinity of the town wall, and in the contests which frequently
arise, make violent and sudden appeals to arms. The chief question in
respect to Siwah is, whether it does or does not comprise the site of
the celebrated shrine of Jupiter Ammon, that object of awful
veneration to the nations of antiquity, and which Alexander himself,
the greatest of its heroes, underwent excessive toil and peril to
visit and to associate with his name. This territory does in fact
contain springs, and a small edifice, with walls six feet thick,
partly painted and adorned with hieroglyphics. There are also antique
tombs in the neighbouring mountains, but as the subsequent
discoveries of Belzoni and Edmonstone have proved that all these
features exist in other oases, scattered in different directions
along the desert borders of Egypt, some uncertainty must perhaps for
ever rest on this curious question.

The route now passed through a region still indeed barren, yet not
presenting such a monotonous plain of sand as intervenes between
Egypt and Siwah. It was bordered by precipitous limestone rocks,
often completely filled with shells and marine remains. The caravan,
while proceeding along these wild tracts, were alarmed by a
tremendous braying of asses, and, on looking back, saw several
hundred of the people of Siwah, armed and in full pursuit, mounted on
these useful animals. The scouts, however, soon brought an assurance
that they came with intentions perfectly peaceable, having merely
understood that in the caravan there were two Christians from Cairo,
and on their being allowed to kill them, the others would be
permitted to proceed without molestation. All Horneman's address and
firmness were required in this fearful crisis. He opposed the most
resolute denial to the assertions of the Siwahans, he opened the
Koran, and displayed the facility with which he could read its pages.
He even challenged his adversaries to answer him on points of
mahommedan faith.  His companions in the caravan, who took a pride in
defending one of their members, insisted that he had cleared himself
thoroughly from the imputation of being an infidel, and as they were
joined by several of the Siwahans, the whole body finally renounced
their bloody purpose, and returned home.

The travellers next passed through Angila, a town so ancient as to be
mentioned by Herodotus, but now small, dirty, and supported solely by
the passage of the inland trade. They then entered the Black
Harutsch, a long range of dreary mountains, the _mons ater_ of the
ancients, through the successive defiles of which they found only a
narrow track enclosed by rugged steeps, and obstructed by loose
stones. Every valley too and ravine into which they looked, appeared
still more wild and desolate than the road itself. A scene of a more
gay and animated description succeeded, when they entered the
district of Limestone Mountains, called the White Harutsch. The rocks
and stones here appeared as if glazed, and abounded in shells and
other marine petrifactions, which on being broken had a vitrified
appearance.

After a painful route of sixteen days through this solitary region,
the travellers were cheered by seeing before them the great oasis, or
small kingdom of Fezzan. Both at Temissa, the first frontier town,
and at Zuila, the ancient capital, which is still inhabited by many
rich merchants, they were received with rapturous demonstrations of
joy. The arrival of a caravan is the chief event which diversifies
the existence of the Fezzaners, and diffuses through the country
animation and wealth. At Mourzouk, the modern capital, the reception
was more solemn and pompous. The sultan himself awaited their arrival
on a small eminence, seated in an arm chair, ornamented with cloth of
various colours, and forming a species of throne. Each pilgrim, on
approaching the royal seat, put off his sandals, kissed the
sovereign's hand, and took his station behind, where the whole
assembly joined in a chant of pious gratitude.

Fezzan, according to Horneman, has a length of 300, and a breadth of
200 miles, and is much the largest of all the oases, which enliven
the immense desert of Northern Africa. It relieves, however, in only
an imperfect degree, the parched appearance of the surrounding
region. It is not irrigated by a river, nor even a streamlet of any
dimensions; the grain produced is insufficient for its small
population, supposed to amount to 70,000 or 75,000 inhabitants, and
few animals are reared except the ass, the goat, and the camel.
Dates, as in all this species of territory, form the chief article of
land produce, but Fezzan derives its chief importance from being the
centre of that immense traffic, which gives activity and wealth to
interior Africa. Mourzouk, in the dry season, forms a rendezvous for
the caravans proceeding from Egypt, Morocco and Tripoli, to the great
countries watered by the western river. Yet the trade is carried on
less by the inhabitants themselves, than by the Tibboos, Tuaricks,
and other wandering tribes of the desert, concerning whom Horneman
collected some information, but less ample than Lyon and Denham
afterwards obtained from personal observation. Of Timbuctoo, he did
not obtain much information, Morocco being the chief quarter whence
caravans proceed to that celebrated seat of African commerce. In
regard, however, to the eastern part of Soudan, he received
intelligence more accurate than had hitherto reached Europe. Houssa
was for the first time understood to be, not a single country or
city, but a region comprehending many kingdoms, the people of which
are said to be the handsomest, most industrious, and most intelligent
in that part of Africa, being particularly distinguished for their
manufacture of fine cloths. Amongst the states mentioned, were
Kashna, Kano, Daura, Solan, Noro, Nyffe, Cabi, Zanfara and Guber.
Most or all of these were tributary to Bornou, described as decidedly
the most  powerful kingdom in central Africa, and which really was so
regarded before the rise of the Fellatah empire caused in this
respect, a remarkable change. The Niger, according to the unanimous
belief in the northern provinces, was said to flow from Timbuctoo
eastward through Houssa, and holding the same direction till it
joined or rather became the Bahr-elabiad, the main stream of the
Egyptian Nile. Prevalent as this opinion is amongst the Arabs, late
discoveries have proved it to be decidedly erroneous; the river or
rivers which water Houssa, being wholly distinct from that great
stream which flows through Bambarra and Timbuctoo.

Horneman, after remaining some time at Mourzouk, had resolved to join
a caravan about to proceed southwards into the interior, when
observing that the cavalcade consisted almost wholly of black
traders, any connexion or intercourse with whom was likely to afford
him little favour in the eyes of the Moors, he was induced to forego
this purpose; more especially as there was the greatest reason to
apprehend obstruction in passing through the country of the Turiacks,
then at war with Fezzan. He was informed besides, that caravans from
Bornou occasionally terminated their journey at Mourzouk, again
returning south; by which under more propitious circumstances he
hoped to accomplish his object. These considerations determined him
to postpone his departure, resolving in the mean while, with the view
of forwarding his despatches to the association, to visit Tripoli,
where, however, he did not arrive till the 19th August, 1799, having
been detained a considerable time by sickness. After remaining in
this city about three months he returned to Mourzouk, nor was it till
the 6th April, 1800, that he departed thence for the southward, in
company with two shereefs, who had given him assurances of friendship
and protection. His letters were filled with the most sanguine hopes
of success. But the lapse of two years without any tidings, threw a
damp on the cheering expectations then raised in the association and
the public. In September 1803, a Fezzan merchant informed Mr. Nissen,
the Danish consul of Tripoli, that Yussuph, as Horneman had chosen to
designate himself, was seen alive and well on his way to Gondasch,
with the intention of proceeding to the coast, and of returning to
Europe. Another moorish merchant afterwards informed Mr. M'Donogh,
British consul at Tripoli, that Yussuph was in safety at Kashna, in
June 1803, and was there highly respected as a mussulman, marabout or
saint. Major Denham afterwards learned that he had penetrated across
Africa as far as Nyffe, on the Niger, where he fell a victim, not to
any hostility on the part of the natives, but to disease and the
climate. A young man was even met with, who professed to be his son,
though there were some doubt as to the grounds of his claim to that
character.

The association, when their expectations from Horneman had failed,
began to look round for other adventurers, and there were still a
number of active and daring spirits ready to brave the dangers of
this undertaking. Mr. Nicholls, in 1804, repaired to Calabar, in the
Gulf of Benin, with the view of penetrating into the interior by this
route, which appeared shorter than any other, but without any
presentiment that the termination of the Niger was to be found in
that quarter. He was well received by the chiefs on that coast, but
could not gain much information respecting that river, being informed
that most of the slaves came from the west, and that the navigation
of the Calabar stream, at no great distance was interrupted by an
immense waterfall, beyond which the surface of the country became
very elevated. Unfortunately, of all the sickly climates of Africa,
this is perhaps the most pestilential, and Mr. Nicholls, before
commencing his journey, fell a victim to the epidemic fever.

Another German named Roentgen, recommended also by Blumenbach,
undertook to penetrate into the interior of Africa by way of Morocco.
He was described as possessing an unblemished character, ardent zeal
in the cause, with great strength both of mind and body. Like
Horneman, he made himself master of Arabic, and proposed to pass for
a Mahommedan. Having in 1809 arrived at Mogadore, he hired two
guides, and set out to join the Soudan caravan. His career, however,
was short indeed, for soon after his body was found at a little
distance from the place whence he started. No information could ever
be obtained as to the particulars of his death, but it was too
probably conjectured that his guides murdered him for the sake of his
property.



CHAPTER X.

We are now entering upon the narrative of a series of the most
extraordinary adventures which ever befel the African travellers, in
the person of an illiterate and obscure seaman, of the name of Robert
Adams, who was wrecked on the western coast of Africa, in the
American ship Charles, bound to the isle of Mayo, and who may be said
to have been the first traveller who ever reached the far-famed city
of Timbuctoo.

The place where the Charles was wrecked was called Elgazie, and the
captain and the whole of the crew were immediately taken prisoners by
the Moors. On their landing, the Moors stripped the whole of them
naked, and concealed their clothes under ground; being thus exposed
to a scorching sun, their skins became dreadfully blistered, and at
night they were obliged to dig holes in the sand to sleep in, for the
sake of coolness.

About a week after landing, the captain of the ship was put to death
by the Moors, for which the extraordinary reason was given, that he
was extremely dirty, and would not go down to the sea to wash
himself, when the Moors made signs for him to do so.

After they had remained about ten or twelve days, until the ship and
its materials had quite disappeared, the Moors made preparations to
depart, and divided the prisoners amongst them. Robert Adams and two
others of the crew were left in the possession of about twenty Moors,
who quitted the sea coast, having four camels, three of which they
loaded with water, and the other with fish and baggage. At the end of
about thirty days, during which they did not see a human being, they
arrived at a place, the name of which Adams did not hear, where they
found about thirty or forty tents, and a pool of water surrounded by
a few shrubs, which was the only water they had met with since
quitting the coast.

In the first week of their arrival, Adams and his companions being
greatly fatigued, were not required to do any work, but at the end of
that time, they were put to tend some goats and sheep, which were the
first they had seen. About this time, John Stevens arrived, under
charge of a Moor, and was sent to work in company with Adams. Stevens
was a Portuguese, about eighteen years of age. At this place they
remained about a month.

It was now proposed by the Moors to Adams and Stevens, to accompany
them on an expedition to Soudenny to procure slaves. It was with
great difficulty they could be made to understand this proposal, but
the Moors made themselves intelligible by pointing to some negro
boys, who were employed in taking care of sheep and goats. Being in
the power of the Moors, they had no option, and having therefore
signified their consent, the party consisting of about eighteen
Moors, and the two whites, set out for Soudenny.

Soudenny is a small negro village, having grass and shrubs growing
about it, and a small brook of water. For a week or thereabouts,
after arriving in the neighbourhood of this place, the party
concealed themselves amongst the hills and bushes, lying in wait for
the inhabitants, when they seized upon a woman with a child in her
arms, and two children (boys), whom they found walking in the evening
near the town.

During the next four or five days, the party remained concealed, when
one evening, as they were all lying on the ground, a large party of
negroes, consisting of forty or fifty made their appearance, armed
with daggers, and bows and arrows, who surrounded and took them all
prisoners, without the least resistance being attempted, and carried
them into the town; tying the hands of some, and driving the whole
party before them. During the night above one hundred negroes kept
watch over them. The next day they were taken before the governor or
chief person, named Muhamoud, a remarkably ugly negro, who ordered
that they should all be imprisoned. The place of confinement was a
mere mud wall, about six feet high, from whence they might readily
have escaped, though strongly guarded, if the Moors had been
enterprising, but they were a cowardly set. Here they were kept three
or four days, for the purpose, as it afterwards appeared, of being
sent forward to Timbuctoo, which Adams concluded to be the residence
of the king of the country. At Soudenny, the houses have only a
ground floor, and are without furniture or utensils, except wooden
bowls, and mats made of grass. They never make fires in their houses.
After remaining about four days at Soudenny, the prisoners were sent
to Timbuctoo, under an escort of about sixty armed men, having about
eighteen camels and dromedaries.

During the first ten days they proceeded eastward, at the rate of
about fifteen to twenty miles a day, the prisoners and most of the
negroes walking, the officers riding, two upon each camel or
dromedary. As the prisoners were all impressed with the belief that
they were going to execution, several of the Moors attempted to
escape, and in consequence, after a short consultation, fourteen were
put to death by being beheaded, at a small village at which they then
arrived, and as a terror to the rest, the head of one of them was
hung round the neck of a camel for three days, until it became so
putrid, that they were obliged to remove it. At this village, the
natives wore gold rings in their ears, sometimes two rings in each
ear. They had a hole through the cartilage of the nose, wide enough
to admit a thick quill, in which Adams saw some of the natives wear a
large ring of an oval shape, that hung down to the mouth.

They waited, only one day at this place, and then proceeded towards
Timbuctoo. Shaping their course to the northward of east, and
quickening their pace to the rate of twenty miles a day, they
completed their journey in fifteen days.

Upon their arrival at Timbuctoo, the whole party were immediately
taken before the king, who ordered the Moors into prison, but
treated Adams and the Portuguese boy as curiosities; taking them to
his house, they remained there during their residence at Timbuctoo.

For some time after their arrival, the queen and her female
attendants used to sit and look at Adams and his companions for hours
together. She treated them with great kindness, and at the first
interview offered them some bread baked under ashes.

The king and queen, the former of whom was named Woollo, the latter
Fatima, were very old grey-headed people. Fatima was like the
majority of African beauties, extremely fat. Her dress was of blue
nankeen, edged with gold lace round the bosom and on the shoulder,
and having a belt or stripe of the same material, half-way down the
dress, which came only a few inches down the knees. The dress of the
other females of Timbuctoo, though less ornamented than that of the
queen, was in the same sort of fashion, so that as they wore no close
under garments, they might, when sitting on the ground, as far as
decency was concerned, as well have had no covering at all. The
queen's head dress consisted of a blue nankeen turban, but this was
worn only upon occasions of ceremony, or when she walked out. Besides
the turban, she had her hair stuck full of bone ornaments of a square
shape, about the size of dice, extremely white; she had large gold
hoop ear-rings, and many necklaces, some of them of gold, the others
made of beads of various colours. She wore no shoes, and in
consequence, her feet appeared to be as hard and dry "as the hoofs of
an ass."

The king's house or palace, which is built of clay and grass, not
whitewashed, consists of eight or ten small rooms on the ground
floor, and is surrounded by a wall of the same materials, against
part of which the house is built. The space within the wall is about
half an acre. Whenever a trader arrives, he is required to bring his
merchandize into this space, for the inspection of the king, for the
purpose of duties being charged upon it. The king's attendants, who
are with him during the whole of the day, generally consist of about
thirty persons, several of whom are armed with daggers, and bows and
arrows. Adams did not know if the king had any family.

For a considerable time after the arrival of Adams and his companion,
the people used to come in crowds to stare at them, and he afterwards
understood that many persons came several days journey on purpose.
The Moors remained closely confined in prison, but Adams and the
Portuguese boy had permission to visit them. At the end of about six
months, a company of trading Moors arrived with tobacco, who after
some weeks ransomed the whole party.

Timbuctoo is situated on a level plain [*], having a river about two
hundred yards from the town, on the south-east side, named La Mar
Zarah. The town appeared to Adams to cover as much ground as Lisbon.
He was unable to give any account of number of its inhabitants,
estimated by Caillié to amount to 10,000 or 12,000. The houses are
not built in streets, nor with any regularity, its population
therefore, compared with that of European towns, is by no means in
proportion to its size. It has no wall nor any thing resembling
fortification. The houses are square, built of sticks, clay, and
grass, with flat roofs of the same materials. The rooms are all on
the ground-floor, and are without any of furniture, except earthen
jars, wooden bowls, and mats made grass, upon which the people sleep.
He did not observe a houses, or any other buildings, constructed of
stone. The palace of the king he described as having walls of clay,
or clay and sand, rammed into a wooden case or frame, and placed in
layers, one above another, until they attained the height required,
the roof being composed of poles or rafters laid horizontally, and
covered with a cement or plaster, made of clay or sand.

[Footnote: This account of Timbuctoo, as given by Adams, by no means
corresponds with that which was subsequently given by Caillié. The
latter makes it situated on a very elevated site, in the vicinity of
mountains; in fact the whole account of that celebrated city, as
given by Caillié, is very defective.]

The river La Mar Zarah is about three quarters of a mile wide at
Timbuctoo, and appeared in this place to have but little current,
flowing to the south-west. About two miles from the town to the
southward, it runs between two high mountains, apparently as high as
the mountains which Adams saw in Barbary; here the river is about
half a mile wide. The water of La Mar Zarah is rather brackish, but
is commonly drunk by the natives, there not being, according to the
report of Adams, any wells at Timbuctoo.

It must be remarked in this place, that at the time when Adams
related the narrative of his residence in Africa, and particularly in
the city of Timbuctoo, a very considerable degree of distrust was
attached to it; and in order to put the veracity of Adams to a
decisive test, the publication of his adventures was delayed until
the arrival of Mr. Dupuis, then the British vice-consul at Mogadore,
to whose interference Adams acknowledged himself indebted for his
ransom, and who, on account of his long residence in Africa, and his
intimate acquaintance with the manners and customs of the natives,
was fully competent to the detection of any imposition which it might
be the intention of Adams to practise upon those, who undertook the
publication of his adventures. From this severe ordeal Adams came out
fully clear of any intention to impose, and the principal points of
his narrative were corroborated by the knowledge and experience of
Mr. Dupuis. Thus that gentleman, in allusion to the description which
Adams gave of La Mar Zarah, mentions that the Spanish geographer
Marmol, who describes himself to have spent twenty years of warfare
and slavery in Africa, about the middle of the sixteenth century,
mentions the river La-ha-mar as a branch of the Niger, having muddy
and unpalatable waters. By the same authority, the Niger itself is
called Yea, or Issa, at Timbuctoo, a name which D'Anville has adopted
in his map of Africa.

The vessels used by the natives are small canoes for fishing, the
largest of which are about ten feet long, capable of carrying three
men; they are built of fig-trees hollowed out, and caulked with
grass, and are worked with paddles about six feet long.

The natives of Timbuctoo are a stout healthy race, and are seldom
sick, although they expose themselves by lying out in the sun at
mid-day, when the heat is almost insupportable to a white man. It is
the universal practice of both sexes to grease themselves all over
with butter produced from goat's milk, which makes the skin smooth,
and gives it a shining appearance. This is usually renewed every day:
when neglected, the skin becomes rough, greyish, and extremely ugly.
They usually sleep under cover at night, but sometimes, in the
hottest weather, they will lie exposed to the night air, with little
or no covering, notwithstanding that the fog, which rises from the
river, descends like dew, and, in fact, at that season supplies the
want of rain.

All the males of Timbuctoo have an incision on their faces from the
top of the forehead down to the nose, from which proceed other
lateral incisions over the eyebrows, into all of which is inserted a
blue dye, produced from a kind of ore, which is found in the
neighbouring mountains. The women have also incisions on their faces,
but in a different fashion; the lines being from two to five in
number, cut on each cheek bone, from the temple straight down; they
are also stained with blue. These incisions being made on the faces
of both sexes when they are about twelve months old, the dyeing
material, which is inserted in them, becomes scarcely visible as they
grow up.

With the exception of the king and queen, and their immediate
companions, who had a change of dress about once a week, the people
are in general very dirty, sometimes not washing themselves for
twelve or fourteen days together. Besides the queen, who, as has been
already stated, wore a profusion of ivory and bone ornaments in her
hair, some of a square shape, and others about as thick as a
shilling, but rather smaller, strings of which she also wore about
her wrists and ankles; many of the women were decorated in a similar
manner, and they seemed to consider hardly any favour too great to be
conferred on the person who would make them a present of these
precious ornaments. Gold ear-rings were much worn, some of the women
had also rings on their fingers, but these appeared to Adams to be of
brass; and as many of the latter had letters upon them, he concluded,
both from this circumstance and from their workmanship, that they
were not made by the negroes, but obtained from the moorish traders.

The ceremony of marriage amongst the upper ranks at Timbuctoo is, for
the bride to go in the day-time to the king's house, and to remain
there until after sunset, when the man who is to be her husband goes
to fetch her away. This is usually followed by a feast the same
night, and a dance. Adams did not observe what ceremonies were used
in the marriages of the lower classes.

As it is common to have several concubines besides a wife, the women
are continually quarrelling and fighting; there is, however, a marked
difference in the degree of respect with which they are treated by
the husband, the wife always having a decided pre-eminence. The
negroes, however, appeared to Adams to be jealous and severe with all
their women, frequently beating them apparently for very little
cause.

The women appear to suffer very little from child-birth, and they
will be seen walking about as usual the day after such an event. It
is their practice to grease a child all over soon after its birth,
and to expose it for about an hour to the sun. The infants at first
are of a reddish colour, but become black in three or four days.

Illicit intercourse appeared to be but little regarded amongst the
lower orders, and chastity among the women in general seemed to be
preserved only so far as their situations or circumstances rendered
it necessary for their personal safety or convenience. In the higher
ranks, if a woman prove with child, the man is punished with slavery,
unless he will take the woman for his wife, and maintain her. Adams
knew an instance of a young man, who, having refused to marry a woman
by whom he had a child, was on that account condemned to slavery. He
afterwards repented, but was not then permitted to retract his
refusal, and was sent away to be sold.

It does not appear that they have any public religion, as they have
not any house of worship; no priest, and, as far as Adams could
discover, never meet together to pray. He had seen some of the
negroes, who were circumcised; but he concluded that they had been in
possession of the Moors, or had been resident at Sudenny. On this
subject Mr. Dupuis says, "I cannot speak with any confidence of the
religion of the negroes of Timbuctoo; I have, however, certainly
heard, and entertain little doubt, that many of the inhabitants are
Mahommedans; it is also generally believed in Barbary, that there are
mosques at Timbuctoo; but, on the other hand, I am confident that the
king is neither an Arab nor a Moor, especially as the traders, from
whom I have collected these accounts, have been either the one or the
other; and I might consequently presume, that, if they did give me
erroneous information on any points, it would at least not be to the
prejudice, both of their national self-conceit, and of the credit and
honour of their religion."

The only ceremony which Adams saw, that appeared like the act of
prayer, was on the occasion of the death of any of the inhabitants,
when the relatives assembled and sat round the corpse. The burial is
not attended with any ceremony whatever; the deceased are buried in
the clothes in which they die, at a small distance to the south-west
of the town.

Their only physicians are old women, who cure diseases and wounds by
the application of simples. Adams had a wen on the back of his right
hand, the size of a large egg, which one of the women cured in about
a month, by rubbing it and applying a plaster of herbs. They cure the
tooth-ache by the application of a liquid prepared from roots, which
frequently causes not only the defective tooth to fall out, but one
or two of the others.

On referring to the notes of Mr. Dupuis on the subject of the cures
performed by the negro women, we read, "I may take this opportunity
of observing that he (Adams) recounted, at Mogadore, several stories
of the supernatural powers or charms possessed by some of the
negroes, and which practised both, defensively to protect their own
persons from harm, and offensively against their enemies. Of these
details I do not remember more than the following circumstance,
which, I think, he told me happened in his presence:--

"A negro slave, the property of a desert Arab, having been threatened
by his master with severe punishment, for some offence, defied his
power to hurt him, in consequence of a charm by which he was
protected. Upon this the Arab seized a gun, which he loaded with a
ball, and fired at only a few paces distant from the negro's breast;
but the negro, instead of being injured by the shot, stooped to the
ground and picked up the ball, which had fallen inoffensive at his
feet."

It seems strange that Adams should have omitted their extraordinary
stories in his narrative; for he frequently expressed to Mr. Dupuis a
firm belief, that the negroes were capable of injuring their enemies
by witchcraft; and he once pointed out to him a slave at Mogadore, of
whom on that account he stood particularly in awe. He doubtless
imbibed this belief, and learned the other absurd stories, which he
related, from the Arabs, some of whom profess to be acquainted with
the art themselves, and all of whom are, it is believed, firmly
persuaded of its existence, and of the peculiar proficiency of the
negroes in it.

It is perhaps not unreasonable to suppose, that having found his
miraculous stories, and his belief in witchcraft discredited and
laughed at, both at Mogadore and Cadiz, Adams should have at length
grown ashamed of repeating them, and even outlived his superstitious
credulity. This solitary instance of suppression may rather be
considered as a proof of his good sense, and as the exercise of a
very allowable discretion, than as evidence of an artfulness, of
which not a trace had been detected in any other part of his conduct.

Dancing is the principal and favourite amusement of the natives of
Timbuctoo; it takes place about once a week in the town, when a
hundred dancers or more assemble, men, women, and children, but the
greater number are men. Whilst they are engaged in the dance, they
sing extremely loud to the music of the tambourine, fife, and
bandera, [*] so that the noise they make, may be heard all over the
town; they dance in a circle, and when this amusement continues till
the night, generally round a fire. Their usual time of beginning is
about two hours before sunset, and the dance not unfrequently lasts
all night. The men have the most of the exercise in these sports
while daylight lasts, the women continuing nearly in one spot, and
the men dancing to and from them. During this time, the dance is
conducted with some decency, but when night approaches, and the women
take a more active part in the amusement, their thin and short
dresses, and the agility of their actions are little calculated to
admit of the preservation of any decorum. The following was the
nature of the dance; six or seven men joining hands, surrounded one
in the centre of the ring, who was dressed in a ludicrous manner,
wearing a large black wig stuck full of kowries. This man at
intervals repeated verses, which, from the astonishment and
admiration expressed at them by those in the ring, appeared to be
extempore. Two performers played on the outside of the ring, one on a
large drum, the other on the bandera. The singer in the ring was not
interrupted during his recitations, but at the end of every verse,
the instruments struck up, and the whole party joined in loud chorus,
dancing round the man in the circle, stooping to the ground, and
throwing up their legs alternately. Towards the end of the dance, the
man in the middle of the ring was released from his enclosure, and
danced alone, occasionally reciting verses, whilst the other dancers
begged money from the by-standers.

[Footnote: The bandera is made of several cocoa-nut shells, tied
together with thongs of goat-skin, and covered with the same
material; a hole at the top of the instrument is covered with strings
of leather, or tendons, drawn tightly across it, on which the
performer plays with the fingers, in the manner of a guitar.]

It has been already stated, that Adams could not form any idea of the
population of Timbuctoo, but on one occasion he saw as many as
two-thousand assembled at one place. This happened when a party of
five hundred men were going out to make war on Bambarra [*]. The day
after their departure, they were followed by a great number of
slaves, dromedaries, and heiries laden with previsions. Such of these
people as afterwards returned, came back in parties of forty or
fifty; many of them did not return at all whilst Adams remained at
Timbuctoo; but he never heard that any of them had been killed.

[Footnote: This statement, which is in opposition to the usual
opinion, that Timbuctoo is a dependency of Bambarra, receives some
corroboration from a passage in Isaaco's journal (p. 205.), where a
prince of Timbuctoo is accused by the king of Sego, of having, either
personally, or by his people, plundered two Bambarra caravans, and
taken both merchandise and slaves.]

About once a month, a party of a hundred or more armed men marched
out in a similar manner, to procure slaves. These armed parties were
all on foot, except the officers; they were usually absent from one
week to a month, and at times brought in considerable numbers. The
slaves were generally a different race of people from those of
Timbuctoo, and differently clothed, their dress being for the most
part of coarse white linen or cotton. He once saw amongst them a
woman, who had her teeth filed round, it was supposed, by way of
ornament, and as they were very long, they resembled crow quills. The
greatest number of slaves that Adams recollects to have seen brought
in at one time, were about twenty, and these, he was informed, were
from a place called Bambarra, lying to the southward and westward of
Timbuctoo, which he understood to be the country, whither the
aforesaid parties generally went out in quest of them.

The negro slaves brought to Barbary from Timbuctoo appear to be of
various nations, many of them distinguished by the make of their
persons and features, as well as by their language. Mr. Dupuis
recollects an unusually tall stout negress at Mogadore, whose master
assured him that she belonged to a populous nation of cannibals. He
does not know whether the fact was sufficiently authenticated, but it
is certain that the woman herself declared it, adding some revolting
accounts of her own feasts on human flesh.

Adams never saw any individual put to death at Timbuctoo, the
punishment for heavy offences being generally slavery; for slighter
misdemeanours, the offenders are punished with beating with a stick;
but in no case is this punishment very severe, seldom exceeding two
dozen blows, with a stick of the thickness of a small walking-cane.

The infrequency of the punishment of death in a community, which
counts human life amongst its most valuable objects of trade, is not,
however, very surprising; and considerable influence must be conceded
to the operation of self-interest, as well as to the feelings of
humanity, in accounting for this merciful feature, if it be indeed
merciful, in the criminal code of the negroes of Soudan.

During the whole of the residence of Adams at Timbuctoo, he never saw
any other Moors than those whom he accompanied thither, and the ten
by whom they were ransomed; and he understood from the Moors
themselves, that they were not allowed to go in large bodies to
Timbuctoo. This statement bears on the face of it a certain degree of
improbability; but it loses that character when it is considered that
Timbuctoo, although it is become, in consequence of its frontier
situation, the port, as it were, of the caravans from the north,
which could not return across the desert the same season, if they
were to penetrate deeper into Soudan, is yet, with respect to the
trade itself, probably only the point whence it diverges to Houssa,
Tuarick, &c. on the east, and to Walet, Jinnie, and Sego, on the west
and south, and not the mart where the merchandise of the caravans is
sold in detail. Such Moors, therefore, as did not return to Barbary
with the returning caravan, but remained in Soudan until the
following season, might be expected to follow their trade to the
larger marts of the interior, and to return to Timbuctoo only to meet
the next winter's caravans. Adams arriving at Timbuctoo in February,
and departing in June, might therefore miss both the caravans
themselves and the traders, who remained behind in Soudan; and, on
the same principle, Park might find Moors carrying on an active trade
in the summer at Sansanding, and yet there might not be one at
Timbuctoo.

Adams never proceeded to the southward of Timbuctoo, further than
about two miles from the town, to the mountains before spoken of; he
never saw the river Joliba or Niger, though he had heard mention made
of it. He was told at Tudenny, that the river lay between that place
and Bambarra.

This apparently unimportant passage, affords on examination a strong
presumption in favour of the truth and simplicity of this part of
Adams' narrative.

In the course of his examinations, almost every new inquirer
questioned him respecting the Joliba or Niger, and he could not fail
to observe, that because he had been at Timbuctoo, he was expected,
as a matter of course, either to have seen, or at least frequently to
have heard of that celebrated river. Adams, however, fairly admitted
that he knew nothing about it, and notwithstanding the surprise of
many of his examiners, he could not be brought to acknowledge that he
had heard the name even once mentioned at Timbuctoo. All that he
recollected was, that a river Joliba had been spoken of at Tudenny,
where it was described as lying in the direction of Bambarra.

They who recollect Major Rennell's remarks respecting the Niger, in
his Geographical Illustrations, will not be much surprised that Adams
should not hear of the Joliba, from the natives of Timbuctoo. At that
point of its course, the river is doubtless known by another name,
and if the Joliba were spoken of at all, it would probably be
accompanied, as Adams states, with some mention of Bambarra, which
may be presumed to be the last country eastward, in which the Niger
retains its Mandingo name.



CHAPTER XI.

The ten Moors who had arrived with the five camels laden with
tobacco, had been three weeks at Timbuctoo, before Adams learnt that
the ransom of himself, the boy, and the Moors, his former companions,
had been agreed upon. At the end of the first week, he was given to
understand, that himself and the boy would be released, but that the
Moors would be condemned to die; it appeared however afterwards, that
in consideration of all the tobacco being given for the Moors, except
about fifty pounds weight, which was expended for a man slave, the
king had agreed to release all the prisoners.

Two days after their release, the whole party consisting of the ten
moorish traders, fourteen moorish prisoners, two white men and one
slave quitted Timbuctoo, having only the five camels, which belonged
to the traders; those which were seized when Adams and his party were
made prisoners, not having been restored. As they had no means left
of purchasing any other article, the only food they took with them
was a little Guinea corn flour.

On quitting the town they proceeded in an easterly course, inclining
to the north, going along the border of the river, of which they
sometimes lost sight for two days together. Except the two mountains
before spoken of to the southward, between which the river runs,
there are none in the immediate neighbourhood of Timbuctoo, but at a
little distance there are some small ones.

They had travelled eastward about ten days, at the rate of about
fifteen or eighteen miles a day, when they saw the river for the last
time; it then appeared rather narrower than at Timbuctoo. They then
loaded the camels with water, and striking off in a northerly
direction, travelled twelve or thirteen days at about the same pace.

At the end of this time they arrived at a place called Tudenny, or
Taudenny, a large village inhabited by Moors and negroes, in which
there are four wells of very excellent water. In this place there are
large ponds or beds of salt, which both the Moors and negroes come in
great numbers to purchase; in the neighbourhood the ground is
cultivated in the same manner as at Timbuctoo. From the number of
Moors, many, if not all of whom, were residents, it appeared that the
restriction respecting them, which was in force at Timbuctoo, did not
extend to Tudenny.

The Moors here are perfectly black, the only personal distinction
between them and the negroes being, that the Moors had long black
hair, and had no scars on their faces. The negroes are in general
marked in the same manner as those of Timbuctoo. Here the party
stayed fourteen days to give the ransomed Moors, whose long
confinement had made them weak, time to recruit their strength; and
having sold one of the camels for two sacks of dates and a small ass,
and loaded the four remaining camels with water, the dates and the
flour, they set out to cross the desert, taking a north-west
direction.

They commenced their journey from Tudenny about four o'clock in the
morning, and having travelled the first day about twenty miles, they
unloaded the camels, and laid down by the side of them to sleep.

The next day they entered the desert, over which they continued to
travel in the same direction nine and twenty days, without meeting a
single human being. The whole way was a sandy plain like the sea,
without either tree, shrub or grass. After travelling in this manner
about fourteen days, at the rate of sixteen or eighteen miles a day,
the people began to grow very weak; their stock of water began to run
short, and their provisions were nearly exhausted. The ass died of
fatigue, and its carcass was immediately cut up and laden on the
camel, where it dried in the sun, and served for food, and had it not
been for this supply, some of the party must have died of hunger.
Being asked if ass's flesh was good eating, Adams replied, "It was as
good to my taste then, as a goose would be now."

In six days afterwards, during which their pace was slackened to not
more than twelve miles a day, they arrived at a place, where it was
expected water would be found; but to their great disappointment,
owing to the dryness of the season, the hollow place, of about thirty
yards in circumference, was found quite dry.

All their stock of water at this time consisted of four goat-skins,
and those not full, holding from one to two gallons each; and it was
known to the Moors, that they had then ten days further to travel
before they could obtain a supply.

In this distressing dilemma it was resolved to mix the remaining
water with camels' urine. The allowance of this mixture to each camel
was only about a quart for the whole ten days; each man was allowed
not more than about half a pint a day.

The Moors, who had been in confinement at Timbuctoo, becoming every
day weaker, three of them in the four following days lay down, unable
to proceed. They were then placed upon the camels, but continual
exposure to the excessive heat of the sun, and the uneasy motion of
the animals, soon rendered them unable to support themselves; and
towards the end of the second day, they made another attempt to
pursue their journey on foot, but could not. The following morning at
day-break, they were found dead on the sand, in the place where they
had lain down at night, and were left behind, without being buried.
The next day, another of them lay down, and, like his late
unfortunate companions, was left to perish; but on the following day,
one of the Moors determined to remain behind, in the hope that he,
who had dropped the day before, might still come up, and be able to
follow the party; some provisions were left with him. At this time it
was expected, what proved to be the fact, that they were within a
day's march of their town, but neither of the men ever after made his
appearance, and Adams has no doubt that they perished.

Vled Duleim, the name of the place at which they now arrived, was a
village of tents, inhabited entirely by Moors, who, from their dress,
manners, and general appearance, seemed to be of the same tribe as
those of the encampment to which Adams was conveyed from El Gazie.
They had numerous flocks of sheep and goats, and two watering places,
near one of which their tents were pitched, but the other lay nearly
five miles off.

Vled, or Woled D'leim, is the douar of a tribe of Arabs inhabiting
the eastern parts of the desert, from the latitude of about twenty
degrees north to the tropic. They are a tribe of great extent and
power, inhabiting detached fertile spots of land, where they find
water and pasturage for their flocks, but are very ignorant of the
commonest principles of agriculture. They are an extremely fine race
of men, their complexion very dark, almost as black as that of the
negroes. They have straight hair, which they wear in large
quantities, aqueline noses, and large eyes. Their behaviour is
haughty and insolent, speaking with fluency and energy, and appearing
to have great powers of rhetoric. Their arms are javelins and swords.

The first fortnight after the arrival of the party was devoted to
their recovery from the fatigues of the journey; but as soon as their
strength was re-established, Adams and his companion were employed in
taking care of goats and sheep. Having now begun to acquire a
knowledge of the moorish tongue, they frequently urged their masters
to take them to Suerra, which the latter promised they would do,
provided they continued attentive to their duty.

Things, however, remained in this state for ten or eleven days,
during which time they were continually occupied in tending the
flocks of the Moors. They suffered severely from exposure to the
scorching sun, in a state almost of utter nakedness, and the miseries
of their situation were aggravated by despair of ever being released
from slavery.

The only food allowed to them was barley-flour and camels' and goats'
milk; of the latter, however, they had abundance. Sometimes they were
treated with a few dates, which were a great rarity, there being
neither date-trees, nor trees of any other kind, in the whole of the
country round. But as the flocks of goats and sheep consisted of a
great number, from one hundred and fifty to two hundred, and as they
were at a distance from the town, Adams and his companion sometimes
ventured to kill a kid for their own eating, and to prevent discovery
of the fire used in cooking it, they dug a cave, in which a fire was
made, covering the ashes with grass and sand.

At length, Adams, after much reflection on the miserable state in
which he had been so long kept, and was likely to pass the remainder
of his life, determined to remonstrate upon the subject. His master,
whose name was Hamet Laubed, frankly replied to him, that as he had
not been successful in procuring slaves, it was now his intention to
keep him, and not, as he had before led him to expect, to take him to
Suerra or Mogadore. Upon hearing this, Adams resolved not to attend
any longer to the duty of watching the goats and sheep; and in
consequence, the following day, several of the young goats were found
to have been killed by the foxes.

This led to an inquiry, whether Adams or the boy was in fault, when
it appearing that the missing goats were a part of Adams' flock, his
master proceeded to beat him with a thick stick; he, however,
resisted, and took away the stick, upon which a dozen Moors,
principally women, attacked him, and gave him a severe beating.

As, notwithstanding what had occurred, Adams persisted in his
determination not to resume his task of tending the goats and sheep,
his master was advised to put him to death, but this he was not
inclined to do, observing to his advisers, that he should thereby
sustain a loss, and that if Adams would not work, it would be better
to sell him. In the mean time, he remained idle in the tent for three
days, when he was asked by his master's wife if he would go to the
distant well, to fetch a couple of skins of water, it being of a
better quality; to which he signified his consent, and went off the
next morning on a camel, with two skins to fetch the water.

On his arrival at the other well, instead of procuring water, he
determined to make his escape; and understanding that the course to a
place called Wadinoon lay in a direction to the northward of west, he
passed the well, and pushing on in a northerly course, travelled the
whole of that day, when the camel, which had been used to rest at
night, and had not been well broken in, would not proceed any
further, and in spite of all the efforts Adams could make, it lay
down with fatigue, having gone upwards of twenty miles without
stopping. Finding there was not any remedy, Adams took off the rope,
with which his clothes were fastened round his body, and as the camel
lay with his fore knee bent, he tied the rope round it in a way to
prevent its rising, and then laid down by the side of it. This rope,
which Adams had brought from Timbuctoo, was made of grass, collected
on the banks of the river.

The next morning, at daylight, he mounted again, and pushed on till
about nine o'clock, when he perceived some smoke in advance of him,
which he approached. There was a small hillock between him and this
place, ascending which, he discovered about forty or fifty tents
pitched, and on looking back, he saw two camels coming towards him,
with a rider on each. Not knowing whether these were in pursuit of
him, or strangers going to the place in view, but being greatly
alarmed, he made the best of his way forward. On drawing near to the
town, a number of women came out, and he observed about a hundred
Moors standing in a row, in the act of prayer, having their faces
towards the east, and at times kneeling down, and leaning their heads
to the ground. On the women discovering Adams, they expressed great
surprise at seeing a white man. He inquired of them the name of the
place, and they told him it was Hilla Gibla. Soon afterwards the two
camels, before spoken of, arriving, the rider of one of them proved
to be the owner of the camel on which Adams had escaped, and the
other his master. At this time Adams was sitting under a tent,
speaking to the governor, whose name was Mahomet, telling him his
story; they were soon joined by his two pursuers, accompanied by a
crowd of people.

Upon his master claiming him, Adams protested that he would not go
back; that his master had frequently promised to take him to Suerra,
but had broken his promises, and that he had made up his mind either
to obtain his liberty or die. Upon hearing both sides, the governor
determined in favour of Adams, and gave his master to understand,
that if he was willing to exchange him for a bushel of dates and a
camel, he should have them; but if not, he should have nothing. As
Adams' master did not approve of these conditions, a violent
altercation arose, but at length, finding the governor determined,
and that better terms were not to be had, he accepted the first
offer, and Adams became the slave of Mahomet.

The natives of Hilla Gibla or El Kabla, appeared to be better
clothed, and a less savage race than those of Woled D'leim, between
whom there appeared to be great enmity. The governor, therefore,
readily interfered in favour of Adams, and at one time threatened to
take away the camel, and to put Mahomet Laubed to death. Another
consideration by which the governor was probably influenced, was a
knowledge of the value of a Christian slave, as an object of ransom,
of which Mahomet Laubed seemed to be wholly ignorant.

On entering the service of his new master, Adams was sent to tend
camels, and had been so employed about a fortnight, when this duty
was exchanged for that of taking care of goats. Mahomet had two
wives, who dwelt in separate tents, one of them an old woman, the
other a young one; the goats which Adams was appointed to take care
of, were the property of the elder one.

Some days after he had been so employed, the younger wife, whose name
was Isha, or Aisha, proposed to him that he should also take charge
of her goats, for which she would remunerate him, and as there was no
more trouble in tending two flocks than one, he readily consented.
Having had charge of the two flocks for several days, without
receiving the promised additional reward, he at length remonstrated,
and after some negotiation on the subject of his claim, the matter
was compromised by the young woman's desiring him, when he returned
from tending the goats at night, to go to rest in her tent. It was
the custom of Mahomet, to sleep two nights with the elder woman, and
one with the other, and this was one of the nights devoted to the
former. Adams accordingly kept the appointment, and about nine
o'clock Aisha came and gave him supper, and he remained in her tent
all night. This was an arrangement which was afterwards continued on
those nights, which she did not pass with her husband.

Things continued in this state for about six months, and as his work
was light, and he experienced nothing but kind treatment, his time
passed pleasantly enough. One night his master's son coming into the
tent, discovered Adams with his mother-in-law, and informed his
father, when a great disturbance took place; but upon the husband
charging his wife with her misconduct, she protested that Adams had
laid down in her tent without her knowledge or consent, and as she
cried bitterly, the old man appeared to be convinced that she was not
to blame. The old lady, however, declared her belief that the young
one was guilty, and expressed her conviction that she should be able
to detect her at some future time.

For some days after, Adams kept away from the lady, but at the end of
that time, the former affair appearing to be forgotten, he resumed
his visits. One night, the old woman lifted up the corner of the
tent, and discovered Adams with Aisha, and having reported it to her
husband, he came with a thick stick, threatening to put him to death.
Adams being alarmed, made his escape, and the affair having made a
great deal of noise, an acquaintance proposed to Adams to conceal him
in his tent, and to endeavour to buy him off the governor. Some
laughed at the adventure; others, and they by far the greater part,
treated the matter as an offence of the most atrocious nature, Adams
being "a Christian, who never prayed."

As his acquaintance promised, in the event of becoming a purchaser,
to take him to Wadinoon, Adams adopted his advice, and concealed
himself in his tent. For several days, the old governor rejected
every overture, but at last he agreed to part with Adams for fifty
dollars worth of goods, consisting of blankets and dates, and thus he
became the property of Boerick, a trader, whose usual residence was
at El Kabla.

The frail one ran away to her mother.

The next day Boerick set out with a party of six men and four camels,
for a place called, according to the phraseology of Adams, Villa de
Bousbach, but the real name of which was Woled Aboussebah, which they
reached after travelling nine days at the rate of about eighteen
miles a day, directing their course to the north-east. On their route
they saw neither houses nor trees, but the ground was covered with
grass and shrubs. At this place they found about forty or fifty
tents, inhabited by the Moors, and remained five or six days; when
there, a Moor, named Abdallah Houssa, a friend of Boerick, arrived
from a place called Hieta Mouessa Ali, who informed him that it was
usual for the British consul at Mogadore, to send to Wadinoon, where
this man resided, to purchase the Christians who were prisoners in
that country, and that as he was about to proceed thither, he was
willing to take charge of Adams, to sell him for account of Boerick;
at the same time, he informed Adams that there were other Christians
at Wadinoon. This being agreed to by Boerick, his friend set out in a
few days after for Hieta Mouessa Ali, taking Adams with him. Instead,
however, of going to that place, which lay due north, they proceeded
north-north-west, and as they had a camel each, and travelled very
fast, the path being good, they went at the rate of twenty-five miles
a day, and in six days reached a place called Villa Adrialla, [*]
where there were about twenty tents. This place appeared to be
inhabited entirely by traders, who had at least five hundred camels,
a great number of goats and sheep, and a few horses. The cattle were
tended by negro slaves. Here they remained about three weeks, until
Abdallah had finished his business, and then set out for Hieta
Mouessa Ali, where they arrived in three days. Adams believed that
the reason of their travelling so fast during the last stage was,
that Abdallah was afraid of being robbed, of which he seemed to have
no apprehension after he had arrived at Villa Adrialla, and therefore
they travelled from that place to Hieta Mouessa Ali, at the rate of
only about sixteen or eighteen miles a day; their course being due
north-west.

[Footnote: It is the opinion of Mr. Dupuis, that this place should be
written _Woled Adrialla_, but he has no knowledge of it.]

Hieta Mouessa Ali was the largest place which Adams saw, in which
there were no houses, there being not less than a hundred tents.
There was here a small brook issuing from a mountain, being the only
one he had seen except that at Soudenny; but the vegetation was not
more abundant than at other places. They remained here about a month,
during which Adams was as usual employed in tending camels. As the
time hung very heavy on his hands, and he saw no preparation for
their departure for Wadinoon, and his anxiety to reach that place had
been very much excited, by the intelligence that there were other
Christians there, he took every opportunity of making inquiry
respecting the course and distance; and being at length of opinion
that he might find his way thither, he one evening determined to
desert, and accordingly he set out foot alone, with a small supply of
dried goats' flesh, relying upon getting a further supply at the
villages, which he understood were on the road. He had travelled the
whole of that night, and until about noon the next day, without
stopping, when he was overtaken by a party of three or four men on
camels, who had been sent in pursuit of him. It seems they expected
that Adams had been persuaded to leave Hieta Mouessa Ali, by some
persons who wished to take him to Wadinoon for sale, and they were
therefore greatly pleased to find him on foot and alone. Instead of
ill treating him as he apprehended they would do, they merely
conducted him back to Hieta Mouessa Ali, from whence in three or four
days afterwards Abdallah and a small party departed, taking him with
them. They travelled five days in a north-west direction at about
sixteen miles a day, and at the end of the fifth day, reached
Wadinoon. Having seen no habitations on their route, except a few
scattered tents within a day's journey of that town.

The inhabitants of Wadinoon are descended from the tribe Woled
Aboussebah, and owe their independence to its support, for the Arabs
of Aboussebah being most numerous on the northern confines of the
desert, present a barrier to the extension of the emperor of
Morocco's dominion in that direction.

They have frequent wars with their southern and eastern neighbours,
though without any important results; the sterility of the soil
throughout the whole of the region of sand, affording little
temptation to its inhabitants to dispossess each other of their
territorial possessions.



CHAPTER XII.

Wadinoon or Wednoon, was the first place at which Adams had seen
houses after he quitted Tudenny. It is a small town, consisting of
about forty houses and some tents. The former are built chiefly of
clay, intermixed with stone in some parts, and several of them have a
story above the ground-floor. The soil in the neighbourhood of the
town was better cultivated than any he had yet seen in Africa, and
appeared to produce plenty of corn and tobacco. There were also date
and fig trees in the vicinity, as well as a few grapes, apples,
pears, and pomegranates. Prickly pears flourished in great abundance.

The Christians whom Adams had heard of, whilst residing at Hieta
Mouessa Ali, and whom he found at Wadinoon, proved to be, to his
great satisfaction, his old companions, Stephen Dolbie the mate, and
James Davison and Thomas Williams, two of the seamen of the Charles.
They informed him, that they had been in that town upwards of twelve
months, and that they were the property of the sons of the governor.

Soon after the arrival of Adams at Wadinoon, Abdallah offered him for
sale to the governor or sheik, called Amedallah Salem, who consented
to take him upon trial; but after remaining a week at the governor's
house, Adams was returned to his old master, as the parties could not
agree upon the price. He was at length, however, sold to Belcassam
Abdallah for seventy dollars in trade, payable in blankets,
gunpowder, and dates.

The only other white resident at Wadinoon was a Frenchman, who
informed Adams that he had been wrecked about twelve years before on
the neighbouring coast, and that the whole of the crew, except
himself, had been redeemed. This man had turned Mahommedan, and was
named Absalom; he had a wife and child and three slaves, and gained a
good living by the manufacture of gunpowder. He lived in the same
house as the person who had been his master, and who, upon his
renouncing his religion, gave him his liberty.

Among the negro slaves at Wadinoon was a woman, who said she came
from a place called Kanno, (Cano?) a long way across the desert, and
that she had seen in her own country white men, as white as "bather,"
meaning the wall, and in a large boat, with two high sticks in it,
with cloth upon them, and that they rowed this boat in a manner
different from the custom of the negroes, who use paddles; in stating
this, she made the motion of rowing with oars, so as to leave no
doubt that she had seen a vessel in the European fashion, manned by
white people.

The work in which Adams was employed at Wadinoon, was building walls,
cutting down shrubs to make fences, or working on the corn lands, or
on the plantations of tobacco, of which a great quantity is grown in
the neighbourhood. It was in the month of August that he arrived
there, as he was told by the Frenchman before spoken of; the grain
had been gathered, but the tobacco was then getting in, at which he
was required to assist. His labour at this place was extremely
severe. On the moorish sabbath, which was also their market-day, the
Christian slaves were not required to labour, unless on extraordinary
occasions, when there was any particular work to do, which could not
be delayed. In these intervals of repose, they had opportunity of
meeting and conversing together, and Adams had the melancholy
consolation of finding that the lot of his companions had been even
more severe than his own. It appeared that, on their arrival, the
Frenchman before mentioned, from some unexplained motive, had advised
them to refuse to work, and the consequence was, that they had been
cruelly beaten and punished, and had been made to work and live hard,
their only scanty food being barley flour and indian corn flour.
However, on extraordinary occasions, and as a great indulgence, they
sometimes obtained a few dates.

In this wretched manner Adams and his fellow-captives lived until the
June following, when a circumstance occurred, which had nearly cost
the former his life. His master's son, Hameda Bel Cossim, having one
sabbath-day ordered Adams to take the horse and go to plough, the
latter refused to obey him, urging that it was not the custom of any
slaves to work on the sabbath-day, and that he was entitled to the
same indulgence as the rest. Upon which Hameda went into the house
and fetched a cutlass, and then demanded of Adams, whether he would
go to plough or not. Upon his replying that he would not, Hameda
struck him on the forehead with the cutlass, and gave him a severe
wound over the right eye, and immediately knocked him down with his
fist. This was no sooner done, than Adams was set upon by a number of
Moors, who beat him with sticks in so violent a manner, that the
blood came out of his mouth, two of his double teeth were knocked
out, and he was almost killed; it was his opinion that they would
have entirely killed him, had it not been for the interference of
Boadick, the sheik's son, who reproached them for their cruelty,
declaring that they had no right to compel Adams to work on a
market-day. The next day Hameda's mother, named Moghtari, came to
him, and asked him how he dared to lift his hand against a Moor? To
which Adams, driven to desperation by the ill treatment he had
received, replied, that he would even take his life, if it were in
his power. Moghtari then said, that unless he would kiss Hameda's
hands and feet, he should be put in irons, which he peremptorily
refused to do. Soon after. Hameda's father came to Adams, and told
him, that unless he did kiss his son's feet and hands, he must be put
in irons. Adams then stated to him, that he could not submit to do
so; that it was contrary to his religion to kiss the hands and feet
of any person; that in his own country he had never been required to
do it; and that, whatever might be the consequence, he would not do
it. Finding he would not submit, the old man ordered that he should
be put in irons, and accordingly they fastened his feet together with
iron chains, and did the same by his hands. After he had remained in
this state about ten days, Moghtari came to him again, urging him to
do as required, and declaring that, if he did not, he should never
see the Christian country again. Adams, however, persevered in
turning a deaf ear to her entreaties and threats. Some time
afterwards, finding that confinement was destructive of his health,
Hameda came to him, and took the irons from his hands. The following
three weeks, he remained with the irons on his legs, during which
time, repeated and pressing entreaties, and the most dreadful threats
were used to induce him to submit; but all to no purpose. He was also
frequently advised by the mate and the other Christians, who used to
be sent to him, for the purpose of persuading him to submit, as he
must otherwise inevitably lose his life. At length, finding that
neither threats nor entreaties would avail, and Adams having remained
in irons from June to the beginning of August, and his sufferings
having reduced him almost to a skeleton, his master was advised to
sell him; for, if longer confined, he would certainly die, and
thereby prove a total loss. Influenced by this consideration, his
master at last determined to release him from his confinement; but,
although very weak, the moment he was liberated, he was set to
gathering in the corn.

About a week afterwards, Dolbie, the mate, fell sick. Adams had
called to see him, when Dolbie's master, named Brahim, a son of the
sheik, ordered him to get up and go to work, and upon Dolbie
declaring that he was unable, Brahim beat him with a stick, to compel
him to go; but as he still did not obey, Brahim threatened that he
would kill him; and upon Dolbie's replying, that he had better do so
at once than kill him by inches, Brahim stabbed him in the side with
his dagger, and he died in a few minutes. As soon as he was dead, he
was taken by some slaves a short distance from the town, where a hole
was dug, into which he was thrown without ceremony. As the grave was
not deep, and as it frequently happened that corpses after burial
were dug out of the ground by the foxes, Adams and his two surviving
companions went the next day and covered the grave with stones.

As the Moors were constantly urging them to become Mahommedans, and
they were unceasingly treated with the greatest brutality, the
fortitude of Williams and Davison being exhausted, they at last
unhappily consented to renounce their religion, and were circumcised;
by this means they obtained their liberty, after which they were
presented with a horse, a musket, and a blanket each, and permitted
to marry; no Christian being allowed, at any place inhabited by
Moors, to take a wife, or to cohabit with a moorish woman.

As Adams was now the only remaining Christian at Wadinoon, he became
in a more especial manner an object of the derision and persecution
of the Moors, who were constantly upbraiding and reviling him, and
telling him that his soul would be lost, unless he became a
Mahommedan, insomuch that his life was becoming intolerable.

Mr. Dupuis, speaking of the conduct which Adams received from the
Moors, says, "I can easily believe Adams' statement of the brutal
treatment he experienced at Wadinoon. It is consistent with the
accounts I have always heard of the people of that country, who I
believe to be more bigoted and cruel than even the remoter
inhabitants of the desert. In the frequent instances which have come
under my observation, the general effect of the treatment of the
Arabs on the minds of the Christian captives, has been most
deplorable. On the first arrival of these unfortunate men at
Mogadore, if they have been any considerable time in slavery, they
appear lost to reason and feeling, their spirits broken, and their
whole faculties sunk in a species of stupor, which I am unable
adequately to describe. Habited like the meanest Arabs of the desert,
they appear degraded even below the negro slave. The succession of
hardships, which they endure, from the caprice and tyranny of their
purchasers, without any protecting law to which they can appeal for
alleviation or redress, seems to destroy every spring of exertion or
hope in their minds; they appear indifferent to every thing around
them; abject, servile, and brutified."

"Adams alone was, in some respects, an exception from this
description. I do not recollect any ransomed Christian slave, who
discovered a greater elasticity of spirit, or who sooner recovered
from the indifference and stupor here described."

It is to be remarked, that the Christian captives are invariably
worse treated than the idolatrous or pagan slaves, whom the Arabs,
either by theft or purchase, bring from the interior of Africa, and
that religious bigotry is the chief cause of this distinction. The
zealous disciples of Mahomet consider the negroes merely as ignorant,
unconverted beings, upon whom, by the act of enslaving them, they are
conferring a benefit, by placing them within reach of instruction in
"the true belief;" and the negroes, having no hopes of ransom, and
being often enslaved when children, are in general, soon converted to
the Mahommedan faith. The Christians, on the contrary, are looked
upon as hardened infidels, and as deliberate despisers of the
prophet's call; and as they in general steadfastly reject the
Mahommedan creed, and at least never embrace it, whilst they have
hopes of ransom; the Moslim, consistently with the spirit of many
passages in the Koran, views them with the bitterest hatred, and
treats them with every insult and cruelty which a merciless bigotry
can suggest.

It is not to be understood that the Christian slaves, though
generally ill treated and inhumanly worked by their Arab owners, are
persecuted by them ostensibly on account of their religion. They, on
the contrary, often encourage the Christians to resist the
importunities of those who wish to convert them; for, by embracing
Islamism, the Christian slave obtains his freedom, and however ardent
may be the zeal of the Arab to make proselytes, it seldom blinds him
to the calculations of self-interest.

Three days after Williams and Davison had renounced their religion, a
letter was received from Mr. Dupuis, addressed to the Christian
prisoners at Wadinoon, under cover to the governor, in which the
consul, after exhorting them most earnestly not to give up their
religion, whatever might befal them, assured them that within a
month, he should be able to procure their liberty. Davison heard the
letter read, apparently without emotion, but Williams became so
agitated that he let it drop out of his hands, and burst into a flood
of tears.

From this time, Adams experienced no particular ill treatment, but he
was required to work as usual. About a month more elapsed, when the
man who brought the letter, and who was a servant of the British
consul, disguised as a trader, made known to Adams that he had
succeeded in procuring his release, and the next day they set out
together for Mogadore.

On quitting Wadinoon, they proceeded in a northerly direction,
travelling on mules at the rate of thirty miles a day, and in fifteen
days arrived at Mogadore. Here Adams remained eight months with Mr.
Dupuis. America and England being then at war, it was found difficult
to procure for Adams a conveyance to his native country; he therefore
obtained a passage on board a vessel bound to Cadiz, where he
remained about fourteen months as servant or groom, in the service of
Mr. Hall, an English merchant there. Peace having been in the mean
time restored, Adams was informed by the American consul, that he had
now an opportunity of returning to his native country with a cartel,
or transport of American seamen, which was on the point of sailing
from Gibraltar. He accordingly proceeded thither, but arrived two
days after the vessel had sailed. Soon afterwards he engaged himself
on board a Welsh brig, lying at Gibraltar, in which he sailed to
Bilboa, whence the brig took a cargo of wool to Bristol, and after
discharging it there, was proceeding in ballast to Liverpool; but
having been driven into Holyhead by contrary winds, Adams there fell
sick, and was put on shore. From this place he begged his way up to
London, where he arrived completely destitute. He had slept two or
three nights in the open streets, when he was accidentally met by a
gentleman, who had seen him in Mr. Hall's service at Cadiz, and was
acquainted with his history, by whom he was directed to the office of
the African Association, through whose means his adventures were made
known to the public.

Adams may be said to have been the first Christian, who ever reached
the far-famed city of Timbuctoo, and it must be admitted that many
attempts were made to throw a positive degree of discredit upon his
narrative, and to consider it more the work of deep contrivance than
of actual experience. It is certain that many difficulties present
themselves in the narrative of Adams, which cannot be reconciled with
the discoveries subsequently made, but that cannot be argued as a
reason for invalidating the whole of his narrative; especially when
it is so amply and circumstantially confirmed by the inquiries which
were set on foot by Mr. Dupuis, at the instigation of the African
Association, and the result of which was, a complete confirmation of
all the circumstances, which Adams



CHAPTER XIII.

It is perhaps not the least of the many extraordinary circumstances
attending the city of Timbuctoo, that no two travellers agree in
their account of it; and for this reason it is most difficult to
decide, to whom the greatest credibility should be awarded, or, on
the other hand, whether some of them, who pretend to have resided
within its walls, ever visited it at all. The contradictions of the
respective travellers are in many instances so gross, that it is
scarcely possible to believe that the description, which they are
then giving can apply to one and the same place, and therefore we are
entitled to draw the inference, that some of them are practising on
our credulity, and are making us the dupes of their imagination,
rather than the subjects of their experience. The expectations of
moorish magnificence were raised to a very high pitch, by some of the
inflated accounts of the wealth and splendour of the great city of
central Africa; but these expectations were considerably abated by
the description given of Timbuctoo by Adams and Sidi Hamet, a moorish
merchant, who describes that city in the following terms:--

"Timbuctoo is a very large city, five times as great as Swearah
(Suera or Mogadore). It is built in a level plain surrounded on all
sides with hills, except on the south, where the plain continues to
the bank of the same river, which is wide and deep, and runs to the
east. We were obliged to go to it to water our camels, and there we
saw many boats, made of great trees, some with negroes paddling in
them across the river. The city is strongly walled in with stone laid
in clay, like the towns and houses in Suse, only a great deal
thicker."

The latter account is at total variance with both Adams and Caillie,
who describe Timbuctoo as a city having no walls, nor any thing
resembling fortifications. "The house of the king is very large and
high, like the largest house in Mogadore, but built of the same
materials as the walls. There are a great many more houses in the
city, built of stone, _with shops on one side_, where they sell salt,
the staple article, knives, blue cloth, haicks, and an abundance of
other things, with many gold ornaments. The inhabitants are blacks,
and the chief is a very large, grey-headed, old black man, who is
called shegar, which means sultan or king. The principal part of the
houses are made with large reeds, as thick as a man's arm, which
stand upon their ends, and are covered with small reeds first, and
then with the leaves of the date tree; they are round, and the tops
come to a point, like a heap of stones. Neither the shegar nor his
people are Moslem; but there is a town divided off from the principal
one, in one corner by a strong partition wall, with one gate to it,
which leads from the main town, like the Jews' town or _millah_ in
Mogadore. All the Moors or Arabs, who have liberty to come into
Timbuctoo, are obliged to sleep in that part of it every night, or to
go out of the city entirely. No stranger is allowed to enter that
millah, without leaving his knife with the gate-keeper; but when he
comes out in the morning, it is restored to him. The people who live
in that part are all Moslem. The negroes, bad Arabs, and Moors are
all mixed together, and intermarry, as if they were all of one
colour; they have no property of consequence, except a few asses;
their gate is shut and fastened every night at dark, and very
strongly guarded both by night and by day. The shegar or king is
always guarded by one hundred men on mules, armed with good guns, and
one hundred men on foot, with guns and long knives. He would not go
into the millah, and we saw him only four or five times in the two
moons we staid at Timbuctoo, waiting for the caravan; but it had
perished in the desert, neither did the yearly caravan arrive from
Tunis and Tripoli, for it also had been destroyed."

"The city of Timbuctoo is very rich, as well as very large; it has
four gates to it; all of them are opened in the day time, but very
strongly guarded and shut at night. The negro women are very fat and
handsome, and wear large round gold rings in their noses, and flat
ones in their ears, and gold chains and amber beads about their
necks, with images and white fish bones, bent round, and the ends
fastened together, hanging down between their breasts; they have
bracelets on their wrists and on their ankles, and go barefooted. I
had bought a small snuff-box, filled with snuff, at Morocco, and
showed it to the women in the principal street of Timbuctoo, which is
very wide. There were a great number about me in a few minutes, and
they insisted on buying my snuff and box; one made me an offer, and
another made me another, until one, who wore richer ornaments than
the rest, told me, in broken Arabic, that she would take off all she
had about her, and give them to me for the box and its contents. I
agreed to accept them, and she pulled off her nose-rings and
ear-rings, all her neck-chains, with their ornaments, and the
bracelets from her wrists and ankles, and gave them to me in exchange
for it. These ornaments would weigh more than a pound, and were made
of solid gold at Timbuctoo. I kept them through the whole of the
journey afterwards, and carried them to my wife, who now wears a part
of them."

"Timbuctoo carries on a great trade with all the caravans that come
from Morocco, and the shores of the Mediterranean sea. From Algiers,
Tunis, Tripoli, &c. are brought all kinds of cloth, iron, salt,
muskets, powder and lead swords or scimitars, tobacco, opium, spices
and perfumes, amber beads, and other trinkets, with a few more
articles. They carry back, in return, elephants' teeth, gold dust and
wrought gold, gum-senegal, ostrich feathers, very curiously worked
turbans, and slaves; a great many of the latter, and many other
articles of less importance. The slaves are brought in from the
south-west, all strongly ironed, and are sold very cheap, so that a
good stout man may be bought for a haick, which costs in the empire
of Morocco about two dollars."

"The caravans stop and encamp about two miles from the city, in a
deep valley, and the negroes do not molest them. They bring their
merchandize near the walls of the city, where the inhabitants
purchase all their goods on exchange for the before-mentioned
articles; not more than fifty men from any one caravan being allowed
to enter the city at a time, and they must go out before others are
permitted to enter. This city carries on a great trade with Wassanah,
a city far to the south-east, in all the articles that are brought to
it by caravans, and gets returns in slaves, elephants' teeth, gold,
&c. The principal male inhabitants are clothed with blue cloth
shirts, that reach from their shoulders down to their knees, and are
very wide, and girt about their loins with a red and brown cotton
sash or girdle. They also hang about their bodies, pieces of
different coloured cloth and silk handkerchiefs. The king is dressed
in a white robe of a similar fashion, but covered with white and
yellow gold and silver plates, that glitter in the sun. He has also
many other shining ornaments of shells and stones hanging about him,
he wears a pair of breeches like the Moors and Barbary Jews, and has
a kind of white turban on his head, pointing up, and strung with
different kinds of ornaments. His feet are covered with red morocco
shoes. He has no other weapon about him than a large white staff or
sceptre, with a golden lion on the head of it, which he carries in
his hand. His countenance is mild, and he seems to govern his
subjects more like a father than a king. All but the king go
bareheaded. The poor have only a single piece of blue or other cloth
about them. The inhabitants are very numerous; I think six times as
many as in Swearah, besides Arabs and other Mahommedans in their
millah or separate town, which must contain nearly as many people as
there are altogether in Swearah. [*] The women are clothed in a light
shirt, or under-dress, and over it a green, red or blue covering,
from the bosom to below the knees, the whole of them girt about their
waists with a red girdle. They stain their cheeks and foreheads red
or yellow on some occasions; and the married women wear a kind of
hood on their heads, made of blue cloth or silk, and cotton
handkerchiefs of different kinds and colours, and go barefooted."

[Footnote: Swearah or Mogadore is stated to contain above 36,000
souls, that is 30,000 Moors and 6,000 Jews. This calculation would
make Timbuctoo to contain 216,000 inhabitants. A statement which
deserves little credit.]

"The king and people of Timbuctoo do not fear and worship God like
the Moslem, but like the people of Soudan, they only pray once in
twenty-four hours, when they see the moon, and when she is not seen,
they do not pray at all. They cannot read nor write, but are honest.
They circumcise their children, like the Arabs. They have not any
mosques, but dance every night, as the Moors and Arabs pray."

"If however European expectation had been raised to an extraordinary
height respecting the size, riches, and importance of Timbuctoo, it
was likely to be still more luxuriantly feasted with the description
of another town of central Africa, in comparison of which Timbuctoo
must appear as a city of a second rate, and which Sidi Hamet
describes as being of the magnitude, that it took him a day to walk
round it."

"According to the statement of Sidi Hamet, he travelled with about
two hundred Moslem, to a large city called Wassanah, a place he had
never before heard of, nor which is to be found in any of the modern
maps of Africa. For the first six days, they travelled over a plain
within sight of the Joliba, in a direction a little to the south of
east, till they came to a small town called Bimbinah, where the river
turned more to the south-east, by a high mountain to the east. They
now left the river, and pursued a direction more to the southward,
through a hilly and woody country for fifteen days, and then came to
the river again. The route wound with the river for three days in a
south-easterly direction, and then they had to climb over a very high
ridge of mountains, thickly covered with very lofty trees, which took
up six days; from the summit, a large chain of high mountains was
seen to the westward. On descending from this ridge, they came
immediately to the river's bank, where it was very narrow and full of
rocks. For the next twelve days, they kept on in a direction
generally south-east, but winding, with the river almost every day in
sight, and crossed many small streams flowing into it. High mountains
were plainly seen on the western side. They then came to a ferry, and
beyond that travelled for fifteen days more, mostly in sight of the
river, till at length after fifty-seven days travelling, not
reckoning the halts, they reached Wassanah."

"This city stands near the bank of the Joliba, which runs past it
nearly south, between high mountains on both sides, _and is so wide
that they could hardly distinguish a man on the other side_. The
walls are very large, built of great stones much thicker and stronger
than those of Timbuctoo, with four gates.   It took a day to walk
round them. _The city has twice as many inhabitants as Timbuctoo;_
[*] the principal people are  well dressed, but all are negroes and
kafirs. They have boats made of great trees hollowed out, which will
hold from fifteen to twenty negroes, and in these they descend the
river for three moons to the great water, and traffic with pale
people who live in great boats, and have guns as big as their
bodies." This great water is supposed to be the Atlantic, and as the
distance of three moons must not be less than two thousand five
hundred miles, it has been supposed that the Niger must communicate
with the Congo. If so it must be, doubtless, by intermediate rivers;
the whole account, however, is pregnant with suspicion, nor has any
part of it been verified by any subsequent traveller.

[Footnote: According to Sidi Hamet, Wassanah must contain nearly half
a million of inhabitants. The circumstance also of the Joliba or
Niger being there so bra that a man could scarcely be seen on the
other side, throws great discredit over the whole statement of the
moorish merchant.]

It is singular, that a great variety of opinion has existed,
respecting the exact state of government to which the city of
Timbuctoo was subject. It is well known, that the vernacular
histories, both traditionary and written, of the wars of the Moorish
empire, agree in stating, that from the middle of the seventeenth
century, Timbuctoo was occupied by the troops of the emperors of
Morocco, in whose name a considerable annual tribute was levied upon
the inhabitants; but that the negroes, in the early part of the last
century, taking advantage of one of those periods of civil dissension
bloodshed, which generally follow the demise of any of the rulers of
Barbary, did at length shake off the yoke of their northern masters,
to which the latter were never afterwards able again to reduce them.
Nevertheless, although the emperors of Morocco might be unable at the
immense distance, which separate them from Soudan, to resume an
authority, which had once escaped I hands, it is reasonable to
suppose that the nearer tribes of Arabs would not neglect the
opportunity thus afforded them, of returning to their old habits of
spoliation, and of exercising their arrogant superiority over their
negro neighbours; and that this frontier state would thus become the
theatre of continual contests, terminating alternately, in the
temporary occupation of Timbuctoo by the Arabs, and in their
re-expulsion by negroes. In order to elucidate the state of things,
which we have here supposed, we need not go further than to the
history of Europe in our own days. How often during the successful
ravages of Buonaparte, that great Arab chieftain of Christendom,
might we not have drawn from the experience of Madrid, or Berlin, or
Vienna, or Moscow, the aptest illustration of these conjectures
respecting Timbuctoo? And an African traveller, if so improbable a
personage may be imagined, who should have visited Europe in these
conjunctures, might very naturally have reported to his countrymen at
home, that Russia, Germany and Spain were but provinces of France,
and that the common sovereign of all these countries resided
sometimes in the Escurial, and sometimes in the Kremlin.

We have seen this state of things existing in Ludamar, to the west of
Timbuctoo, where a negro population is subjected to the tyranny of
the Arab chieftain Ali, between whom and his southern neighbours of
Bambarra and Kaarta we find a continual struggle of aggression and
self-defence; and the well-known character of the Arabs would lead us
to expect a similar state of things along the whole frontier of the
negro population. In the pauses of such a warfare, we should expect
to find no intermission of the animosity or precautions of the
antagonist parties. The Arab victorious would be ferocious and
intolerant, even beyond his usual violence, and the Koran or the
halter would probably be the alternatives, which he would offer to
his negro guest; whilst the milder nature of the negro would be
content with such measures of precaution and self-defence, as might
appear sufficient to secure him from the return of the enemy, whom he
had expelled, without excluding the peaceful trader; and, under the
re-established power of the latter, we might expect to find at
Timbuctoo precisely the same state of things as Adams describes to
have existed in 1811.

The reserve, with which we have seen grounds for receiving the
testimony of the natives of Africa, may reasonably accompany us in
our further comparative examination of their accounts and those of
Adams, respecting the population and external appearance of the city
of Timbuctoo. We cannot give such latitude to our credulity as to
confide in the statements of Sidi Hamet; nor do we place much
reliance on the account of Caillie, who was the last European who may
be said to have entered its walls. Notwithstanding, therefore, the
alleged splendour of its court, the polish of its inhabitants, its
civilized institutions, and other symptoms of refinement, which some
modern accounts or speculations, founded on native reports, have
taught us to look for, we are disposed to receive the humbler
descriptions of Adams, as approaching with much greater probability
to the truth. Let us, however, not be understood as rating too highly
the value of a sailor's reports. They must of necessity be defective
in a variety of ways. Many of the subjects upon which Adams was
questioned, were evidently beyond the competency of such an
individual fully to comprehend or satisfactorily to describe; and we
must be content to reserve our final estimates of the morals,
religion, civil polity, and learning, if the term may be allowed us,
of the negroes of Timbuctoo, until we obtain more conclusive
information than could possibly have been derived from so illiterate
a man as Adams. A sufficiency, however, may be gathered from his
story, to prepare us for a disappointment of the extravagant
expectations, which have been indulged respecting this boasted city.

And here we may remark, that the relative rank of Timbuctoo amongst
the cities of central Africa, and its present importance with
reference to European objects, appear to us to be considerably
overrated. The description of Leo, in the sixteenth century, may
indeed lend a colour to the brilliant anticipations in which some
sanguine minds have indulged on the same subjects in the nineteenth;
but with reference to the commercial pursuits of Europeans, it seems
to have been forgotten, that the very circumstance which has been the
foundation of the importance of Timbuctoo to the traders of Barbary,
and consequently of a great portion of its fame amongst us, its
frontier situation on the verge of the desert, at the extreme
northern limits of the negro population, will of necessity have a
contrary operation now, since a shorter and securer channel for
European enterprise into the central regions of Africa has been
opened by the intrepidity and perseverance of Park, from the
south-western shores of the Atlantic.

Independently of this consideration, there is great reason to believe
that Timbuctoo has in reality declined of late from the wealth and
consequence which it appears formerly to have enjoyed. The existence
of such a state of things, as we have described, in the preceding
pages, the oppositions of the Moors, the resistance of the negroes,
the frequent change of masters, and the insecurity of property
consequent upon these intestine struggles, would all lead directly
and inevitably to this result. That they have led to it, may be
collected from other sources than Adams. Even Park, to whom so
brilliant a description of the city was given by some of his
informants, was told by others that it was surpassed in opulence and
size by Houssa, Walet, and probably by Jinnie. Several instances also
occur in both his missions, which prove that a considerable trade
from Barbary is carried on direct from the desert to Sego and the
neighbouring countries, without ever touching at Timbuctoo; and this
most powerful of the states of Africa, in the sixteenth century,
according to Leo, is now, in the nineteenth, to all appearance, a
mere tributary dependency of a kingdom, which does not appear to have
been known to Leo even by name.

Such a decline of the power and commercial importance of Timbuctoo
would naturally be accompanied by a corresponding decay of the city
itself; and we cannot suppose that Adams' description of its external
appearance will be rejected, on account of its improbability, by
those, who recollect that Leo describes the habitations of the
natives, _in his time,_ almost in the very words of the narrative
_now_ [*], and that the flourishing cities of Sego and Sansanding
appear, from Park's account, to be built of mud, precisely in the
same manner as Adams describes the houses of Timbuctoo.

[Footnote: One of the numerous discordances between the different
translations of Leo, occurs in the passage here alluded to. The
meaning of the Italian version is simply this, that "the dwellings of
the people of Timbuctoo are cabins or huts, constructed with stakes,
covered with chalk or clay, and thatched with straw, _'le cui case
sono capanne fatte di pali coperte di creta co i cortivi di paglia.'_
But the expression in the Latin translation, which is closely
followed by the old English translator, Pery, implies a state of
previous splendour and decay, 'cojus domus omnes in tuguriola,
stramineis tectis, _sunt mutatæ.'_"]

But whatever may be the degree of Adams' coincidence with other
authorities, in his descriptions of the population and local
circumstances of Timbuctoo, there is at least one asserted fact in
this part of his narrative, which appears to be exclusively his own;
the existence, we mean, of a considerable navigable river close to
the city. To the truth of which, the credit of Adams is completely
pledged. On many other subjects it is _possible_ that his narrative
might be considerably at variance with the truth, by a mere defect of
memory or observation, and without justifying any imputation on his
veracity, but it is evident that no such latitude can be allowed him
in respect to the La Mar Zarah, which, if not in substance true, must
be knowingly and wilfully false.

We shall conclude our remarks on Adams' narrative, by noticing only
two important circumstances, respectively propitious and adverse to
the progress of discovery and civilization, which is decidedly
confirmed by the account of Adams, viz. the mild and tractable
natures of the pagan negroes of Soudan, and their friendly deportment
towards strangers, on the one hand; and, on the other, the extended
and baneful range of that original feature of African society
--slavery.



CHAPTER XIV.

Previously to entering into any further detail of the different
expeditions for exploring the interior of Africa, it may be greatly
conducive to the better understanding of the subsequent narratives,
when treating of the distinct races of people by which the countries
are inhabited, to give a concise statement of the population of that
part of Africa, which is known by the appellation of West Barbary,
and which may be said to be divided into three great classes,
exclusive of the Jews, viz. Berrebbers, Arabs, and Moors. The two
former of these are, in every respect, distinct races of people, and
are each again subdivided into various tribes or communities; the
third are chiefly composed of the other two classes, or of their
descendants, occasionally mixed with the European or negro races. The
indiscriminate use of the names Arab and Moor, in speaking apparently
of the same people, frequently leads the reader into an error as to
the real class to which the individual belongs, and thus the national
character of the two classes becomes unjustly confounded, whilst at
the same time an erroneous opinion is formed of the relative virtues
and vices of the different people, with whom the traveller is brought
into collision.

In the class of the Berrebbers, we include all those, who appear to
be descendants of the original inhabitants of the country before the
Arabian conquest, and who speak several languages, or dialects of the
same language, totally different from the Arabic. The sub-divisions
of this class are:--1st, the _Errifi,_ who inhabit the extensive
mountainous province of that name on the shores of the Mediterranean;
2nd, _the Berrebbers of the interior,_ who commence on the southern
confines of the Errifi, and extend to the vicinity of Fez and
Mequinez, occupying all the mountains and high lands in the
neighbourhood of those cities; 3rd, _the Berrebbers of middle Atlas;_
and, 4th, _the Shilluh of Suse and Haha,_ who extend from Mogadore
southward to the extreme boundaries of the dominions of the Cid
Heshem, and from the sea coast to the eastern limits of the mountains
of Asia.

The Errifi are a strong and athletic race of people, hardy and
enterprising, their features are generally good, and might in many
cases be considered handsome, were it not for the malignant and
ferocious expression, which marks them, in common with the Berrebber
tribes in general, but which is particularly striking in the eye of
an Errifi. They also possess that marked feature of the Berrebber
tribes, a scantiness of beard; many of the race, particularly in the
south, having only a few straggling hairs on the upper lip, and a
small tuft on the chin. They are incessantly bent on robbery and
plundering, in which they employ either open violence or cunning and
treachery, as the occasion requires, and they are restrained by no
checks either of religion, morals, or humanity. However, to impute to
them in particular, as distinct from other inhabitants of Barbary,
the crimes of theft, treachery, and murder, would certainly be doing
them great injustice, but we believe we may truly describe them as
more ferocious and faithless than any other tribe of Berrebbers.

The Berrebbers of the districts of Fez, Mequinez, and the mountains
of middle Atlas, strongly resemble the Errifi in person, but are said
to be not quite so savage in disposition. They are a warlike people,
extremely tenacious of the independence, which their mountainous
country gives them opportunities of asserting, omit no occasion of
shaking off the control of government, and are frequently engaged in
open hostilities with their neighbours the Arabs, or the emperor's
black troops. They are, as we are informed, the only tribes in
Barbary, who use the bayonet. The districts which they inhabit are
peculiarly interesting and romantic, being a succession of hills and
valleys, well watered and wooded, and producing abundance of grain
and pasturage.

The Shilluh or Berrebbers of the south of Barbary, differ in several
respects from their brethren in the north. They are rather diminutive
in person, and besides the want of beard already noticed, have in
general an effeminate tone of voice. They are, however, active and
enterprising. They possess rather more of the social qualities than
the other tribes; appear to be susceptible of strong attachments and
friendships, and are given to hospitality. They are remarkable for
their attachment to their petty chieftains; and the engagements and
friendships of the latter are held so sacred, that no instance is on
record of any depredation being committed on travellers furnished
with their protection, which it is usual to purchase with a present,
or on any of the valuable caravans, which are continually passing to
and fro through their territory, between Barbary and Soudan: the
predominant feature of their character is, however, self interest,
and although in their dealings amongst strangers, or in the towns,
they assume a great appearance of fairness or sincerity, yet they are
not scrupulous when they have the power in their own hands, and like
the other Berrebbers, they are occasionally guilty of the most
atrocious acts of treachery and murder, not merely against
Christians, for that is almost a matter of course with all the people
of their nation, but even against Mahommedan travellers, who have the
imprudence to pass through their country, without having previously
secured the protection of one of their chiefs.

As the Shilluh have been said to be sincere and faithful in their
friendships, so they are on the other hand, perfectly implacable in
their enmities, and insatiable in their revenge. The following
anecdote will exemplify in some degree these traits of their
character. A Shilluh having murdered one of his countrymen in a
quarrel, fled to the Arabs from the vengeance of the relations of his
antagonist, but not thinking himself secure even there, he joined a
party of pilgrims and went to Mecca. From this expiatory journey he
returned at the end of eight or nine years to Barbary, and proceeded
to his native district, he there sought, under the sanctified name of
El Haje, the pilgrim, a title of reverence amongst the Mahommedans,
to effect a reconciliation with the friends of the deceased. They,
however, upon hearing of his return, attempted to seize him, but
owing to the fleetness of his horse, he escaped and fled to Mogadore,
having been severely wounded by a musket ball in his flight. His
pursuers followed him thither, but the governor of Mogadore hearing
the circumstances of the case, strongly interested himself in behalf
of the fugitive, and endeavoured, but in vain, to effect a
reconciliation. The man was imprisoned, and his persecutors then
hastened to Morocco to seek justice of the emperor. That prince, it
is said, endeavoured to save the prisoner; and to add weight to his
recommendation, offered a pecuniary compensation in lieu of the
offender's life, which the parties, although persons of mean
condition, rejected. They returned triumphant to Mogadore, with the
emperor's order for the delivery of the prisoner into their hands;
and having taken him out of prison, they immediately conveyed him
before the walls of the town, where one of the party, loading his
musket before the face of their victim, placed the muzzle to his
breast, and shot him through the body; but as the man did not
immediately fall, he drew his dagger, and, by repeated stabbing, put
an end to his existence. The calm intrepidity with which this
unfortunate Shilluh stood to meet his fate, could not be witnessed
without the highest admiration; and however much we must detest the
blood-thirstiness of his executioners, we must still acknowledge,
that there is something closely allied to nobleness of sentiment in
the inflexible perseverance, with which they pursued the murderer of
their friend to punishment.

Like the Arabs, the Berrebbers are divided into numerous petty tribes
or clans, each tribe or family distinguishing itself by the name of
its patriarch or founder. The authority of the chiefs is usually
founded upon their descent from some sanctified ancestor; or upon the
peculiar eminence of the individual himself in Mahommedan zeal, or
some other religious qualification.

With the exception already noticed, that the Berrebbers of the north
are of a more robust and stouter make than the Shilluh, a strong
family-likeness runs through all their tribes. Their customs,
dispositions, and national character, are nearly the same; they are
all equally tenacious of their independence, which their local
positions enable them to assume, and are all animated with the same
inveterate and hereditary hatred against their common enemy, the
Arab. They invariably reside in houses or hovels built of stone and
timber, which are generally situated on some commanding eminence, and
are fortified and loop-holed for self-defence. Their usual mode of
warfare is, to surprise their enemy, rather than overcome him by an
open attack; they are reckoned the best marksmen, and possess the
best fire-arms in Barbary, which render them a very destructive enemy
wherever the country affords shelter and concealment; but although
they are always an over-match for the Arabs, when attacked on their
own rugged territory, they are obliged on the other hand, to
relinquish the plains to the Arab cavalry, against which the
Berrebbers are unable to stand on open ground.

The Arabs, who now form so considerable a portion of the population
of Barbary, and whose race in the sheriffe line has given emperors to
Morocco ever since the conquest, occupy all the level country of the
empire, and many of the tribes penetrating into the desert, have
extended themselves even to the confines of Soudan. In person, they
are generally tall and robust, with fine features, and intelligent
countenances. Their hair is black and straight, their eyes large,
black and piercing, their noses gently arched; their beards full and
bushy, and they have invariably good teeth. The colour of those who
reside in Barbary, is a deep, but bright brunette, essentially unlike
the sallow tinge of the mulatto. The Arabs of the desert are more or
less swarthy, according to their proximity to the negro states,
until, in some tribes they are found entirely black, but without the
woolly hair, wide nostril, and thick lip, which peculiarly belong to
the African negro.

The Arabs are universally cultivators of the earth, or breeders of
cattle, depending on agricultural pursuits alone for subsistence. To
use a common proverb of their own, "the earth is the Arab's portion."
They are divided into small tribes or families, each separate tribe
having a particular patriarch or head, by whose name they distinguish
themselves, and each occupying its own separate portion of territory.
They are scarcely ever engaged in external commerce; they dislike the
restraints and despise the security of residence in towns, and dwell
invariably in tents made of a stuff woven from goats' hair and the
fibrous root of the palmeta. In some of the provinces, their
residences form large circular encampments, consisting of from twenty
to a hundred tents, where they are governed by a sheik or magistrate
of their own body. This officer is again subordinate to a bashaw or
governor, appointed by the emperor, who resides in some neighbouring
town. In these encampments there is always a tent set apart for
religious worship, and appropriated to the use of the weary or
benighted traveller, who is supplied with food and refreshment at the
expense of the community.

The character of the Arab, in a general view, is decidedly more noble
and magnanimous than that of the Berrebber. His vices are of a more
daring, and if the expression may be used, of a more generous cast.
He accomplishes his designs rather by open violence than by
treachery; he has less duplicity and concealment than the Berrebber,
and to the people of his own nation or religion, he is much more
hospitable and benevolent. Beyond this, it is impossible to say any
thing in his favour. But it is in those periods of civil discord,
which have been so frequent in Barbary, that the Arab character
completely develops itself. On these occasions, they will be seen
linked together in small tribes, the firm friends of each other, but
the sworn enemies of all the world besides. While these dreadful
tempests last, the Arabs carry devastation and destruction wherever
they go, sparing neither age nor sex, and even ripping open the dead
bodies of their victims, to discover whether they have not swallowed
their riches for the purpose of concealment. Their barbarity towards
Christians ought not to be tried by the same rules as the rest of
their conduct, for although it has no bounds but those which
self-interest may prescribe, it must almost be considered as a part
of their religion; so deep is the detestation which I they are taught
to feel for "the unclean and idolatrous infidel." A Christian,
therefore, who falls into the hands of the Arabs, has no reason to
expect any mercy. If it be his lot to be possessed by the Arabs of
the desert, his value as a slave will probably save his life, but if
he happens to be wrecked on the coasts of the emperor's dominions,
where Europeans are not allowed to be retained in slavery, his fate
would in most cases be immediate death, before the government could
have time to interfere for his protection. The next great division of
the people of western Barbary, are the inhabitants of the cities and
towns, who may be collectively classed under the general denomination
of MOORS, although this name is only known to them through the
language of Europeans. They depend chiefly on trade and manufactures
for subsistence, and confine their pursuits in general to occupations
in the towns. Occasionally, however, but very rarely, they may be
found to join agricultural operations with the Arabs.

The Moors may be divided into the four following classes:--1st. The
tribes descended from _Arab_ families. 2nd. Those of _Berrebber_
descent. 3rd. The _Bukharie._ 4th. The _Andalusie._

The _Arab_ families are the brethren of the conquerors of the
country, and they form the largest portion of the population of the
southern towns, especially of those, which border on Arab districts.
The _Berrebber_ families are in like manner more or less numerous in
the towns, according to the proximity of the latter to the Berrebber
districts.

The _Bukharie,_ or black tribe, are the descendants of the negroes,
brought by the emperor Mulai Ismael, from Soudan. They have been
endowed with gifts of land, and otherwise encouraged by the
subsequent emperors, and the tribe, although inconsiderable in point
of numbers, has been raised to importance in the state, by the
circumstance of its forming the standing army of the emperor, and of
its being employed invariably as the instruments of government. Their
chief residence is in the city of Mequinez, about the emperor's
person. They are also found, but in smaller numbers, in the different
towns of the empire.

The _Andalusie,_ who form the fourth class of Moors, are the reputed
descendants of the Arab conquerors of Spain, the remnant of whom, on
being expelled from that kingdom, appear to have retained the name of
its nearest province. These people form a large class of the
population of the towns in the north of Barbary, particularly of
Tetuan, Mequinez, Fez, and Rhabatt or Sallee. They are scarcely, if
at all found residing to the south of the river Azamoor, being
confined chiefly to that province of Barbary known by the name of El
Gharb.

These may be considered the component parts of that mixed population,
which now inhabit the towns of Barbary, and which are known to
Europeans by the name of Moors. In feature and appearance the greater
part of them may be traced to the Arab, or Berrebber tribes, from
which they are respectively derived, for marriages between
individuals of different tribes are generally considered
discreditable. Such, marriages, however, do occasionally take place,
either in consequence of domestic troubles, or irregularity of
conduct in the parties, and they are of course attended with a
corresponding mixture of feature. Intermarriages of the other tribes
with the Bukharie are almost universally reprobated, and are
attributed, when they occur, to interested motives on the part of the
tribe which sanctions them, or to the overbearing influence and power
possessed by the Bukharie. These matches entail on their offspring
the negro feature, and a mulatto-like complexion, but darker. In all
cases of intermarriage between different tribes or classes, the woman
is considered to pass over to the tribe of her husband.

Besides the Moors, the population of the towns is considerably
increased by the negro slaves, who are in general prolific, and whose
numbers are continually increasing by fresh arrivals from the
countries of Soudan.

There are but few of the African travellers, who, in their
descriptions of the different characters, which may be said to
constitute the various branches of African society, do not frequently
make mention of a class of men known by the name of Marabouts, who
may be regarded as the diviners or astrologers of the ancients, and
of whose manners and imposition a slight sketch may not be thought in
this place inexpedient nor useless.

In order to belong to the privileged class of the marabouts, it is
requisite to have only one wife, to drink no wine nor spirits, and to
know how to read the Koran, no matter however ill the task may be
performed. In a country where incontinence and intemperance are so
prevalent, and literature is so entirely unknown, it is not
surprising that these men should easily gain credit with the public,
but this credit is much augmented if the marabout be skilled in such
tricks as are calculated to impose upon the vulgar. The least crafty
amongst them will continue shaking their heads and arms so violently
during several hours, that they frequently fall down in a swoon;
others remain perfectly motionless, in attitudes the most whimsical
and painful, and many of these impostors have the talent of
captivating the confidence and good opinion of the multitude, by
pretending to perform miracles in the public streets. This trade
descends from father to son; and is so lucrative, that the most
fertile parts of the country swarm with these knavish hypocrites.
When they die, the neighbouring tribes erect a sort of mausoleum to
their memory, consisting of a square tower, surmounted by a cupola of
the most fantastical architecture. To these tombs, called likewise
marabouts, the devout repair in crowds, and are accosted by the
deceased through the organs of his surviving representatives, who
dwell within the walls of the tower, and artfully contrive to
increase the holy reputation of their predecessor, as well as their
own profits. The walls of their tombs are covered with votive tablets
and offerings to the deceased, consisting of fire-arms, saddles,
bridles, stirrups and baskets of fruit, which no profane hand is
allowed to touch, because the departed saint may choose to
appropriate the contents to his own use, and by emptying the basket,
acquire fresh claims to the veneration of the credulous. Some of
these jugglers generally accompany the armies, when they take the
field, feeding the commanders with promises of victory, making the
camp the scene of their mummeries and impostures, and dealing in
amulets, containing mystic words, written in characters, which none
but the marabout who disposes of them can decipher. According to the
price of these amulets, they have respectively the power of shielding
the wearer from a poniard, a musket shot and cannon ball, and there
is scarcely a man in the army, who does not wear one or more of them
round his neck, as well as hang them round that of his horse or
camel. Miraculous indeed is said to be the efficacy of their written
characters in cases of sickness, but the presence of the marabout
himself is necessary, in order that the writing may suit the nature
of the disorder. When the disease is dangerous, the writing is
administered internally, for which purpose they scrawl some words in
large characters, with thick streaks of ink round the inside of a
cup, dissolve the ink with broth, and with many devout ceremonies
pour the liquor down the sick man's throat. These impostors have
always free access to the beys and other high dignitaries of the
state; and with regard to the former, in public audiences they never
kiss his hand, but his shoulder, a token of distinction and
confidence granted only to relations and persons of importance.

In their religion, the Africans labour under the disadvantage of
being left to unassisted reason, and that too very little
enlightened. Man has, perhaps, an instinctive sentiment, that his own
fate and that of the universe are ruled by some supreme and invisible
power, yet he sees this only through the medium of his wishes and
imagination. He seeks for some object of veneration and means of
protection, which may assume an outward and tangible shape. Thus the
African reposes his faith in the doctrine of charms, which presents a
substance stamped with a supernatural character, capable of being
attached to himself individually, and of affording a feeling of
security amid the many evils that environ him. In all the moorish
borders where writing is known, it forms the basis of _Fetisherie,_
and its productions enclosed in golden or ornamented cases, are hung
round the person as guardian influences. Absurd, however, as are the
observances of the negro, he is a stranger to the bigotry of his
moslem neighbours. He neither persecutes nor brands as impious those
whose religious views differ from his own. There is only one point,
on which his faith assumes a savage character, and displays darker
than inquisitorial horrors. The despot, the object of boundless
homage on earth, seeks to transport all his pomp and the crowd of his
attendants to his place in the future world. His death must be
celebrated by the corresponding sacrifice of a numerous band of
slaves, of wives and of courtiers; their blood must moisten his
grave, and the sword of the rude warrior once drawn, does not readily
stop; a general massacre often takes place, and the capitals of these
barbarian chiefs are seen to stream with blood.



CHAPTER  XV.

It is impossible not to view the unquenchable zeal and intrepidity,
which Park evinced on his first journey, without feeling for the
individual the highest sentiments of admiration and respect. In
addition to those high qualifications, we witnessed an admirable
prudence in his intercourse with the natives, and a temper not to be
ruffled by the most trying provocations; a union of qualities often
thought incompatible, and which in our days we fear we cannot expect
to see again directed to the same pursuits. It may be further stated,
that to our own feelings, scarcely an individual of the age can be
named, who has sunk under circumstances of deeper interest than this
lamented traveller; whether we consider the loss, which geographical
science has suffered in his death, or whether we confine our views to
the blasted hopes of the individual, snatched away from his
hard-earned, but unfinished triumph, and leaving to others that
splendid consummation, which he so ardently sought to achieve. True
it is, that the future discoverer of the termination of the Niger,
must erect the structure of his fame on the wide foundation, with
which his great predecessor had already occupied the ground; but
although the edifice will owe its very existence to the labours of
Park, yet another name than his is now recorded on the finished pile;

Hos ego--feci, tulit alter honores.

The African Association, although enthusiastically attached to every
subject connected with the interior of Africa, soon found that,
unless the government would take up the subject as a national affair,
no great hope existed of arriving at the great objects of their
research; it was therefore proposed by Sir Joseph Banks, that a
memorial should be presented to his majesty George III, praying him
to institute those measures, by which the discoveries that Park had
made in the interior of Africa could be prosecuted, and which might
ultimately lead to the solution of those geographical problems, to
which the attention of the scientific men of the country were then
directed.

In the mean time Mr. Park had married the daughter of a Mr. Anderson,
with whom he had served his apprenticeship as a surgeon, and having
entered with some success in the practice of his profession, in the
town of Peebles, it was supposed, that content with the laurels so
dearly earned, he had renounced a life of peril and adventure. But
none of these ties could detain him, when the invitation was given to
renew and complete his splendid career. The invitation was formally
sent to him by government, in October 1801, to undertake an
expedition on a larger scale, into the interior of Africa. His mind
had been brooding on the subject with enthusiastic ardour. He had
held much intercourse with Mr. Maxwell, a gentleman who had long
commanded a vessel in the African trade, by whom he was persuaded
that the Congo, which since its discovery by the Portuguese, had been
almost lost sight of by the Europeans, would prove to be the channel
by which the Niger, after watering all the regions of interior
Africa, enters the Atlantic. The scientific world were very much
disposed to adopt Park's views on this subject, and accordingly the
whole plan of the expedition was adjusted with an avowed reference to
them. The agitation of the public mind, by the change of ministry,
and the war with France, delayed further proceedings till 1804, when
Mr. Park was desired by Lord Camden, the colonial secretary, to form
his arrangements, with an assurance of being supplied with every
means necessary for their accomplishment. The course which he now
suggested, was, that he should no longer travel as a single and
unprotected wanderer; his experience decided him against such a mode
of proceeding. He proposed to take with him a small party, who being
well armed and disciplined, might face almost any force which the
natives could oppose to them. He determined with this force to
proceed direct to Sego, to build there two boats forty feet long, and
thence to sail downwards to the estuary of the Congo. Instructions
were accordingly sent out to Goree, that he should be furnished
liberally with men, and every thing else of which he might stand in
need.

Mr. Park sailed from Portsmouth, in the Crescent transport, on the
30th January 1805. About the 9th of March, he arrived at the Cape
Verd Islands, and on the 28th reached Goree. There he provided
himself with an officer and thirty-five soldiers, and with a large
stock of asses from the islands, where the breed of these animals is
excellent, and which appeared well fitted for traversing the rugged
hills of the high country, whence issue the sources of the Senegal
and Niger. He took with him also two sailors and four artificers, who
had been sent from England. A month however elapsed, before all these
measures could be completed, and it was then evident that the rainy
season could not be far distant, a period, in which travelling is
very difficult and trying to European constitutions. It is clear,
therefore, that it would have been prudent to remain at Goree or
Pisania, till that season had passed; but in Mr. Park's enthusiastic
state of mind, it would have been extremely painful to linger so long
on the eve of his grand and favorite undertaking. He hoped, and it
seemed possible, that before the middle of June, when the rains
usually began, he might reach the Niger, which could then be
navigated without any serious toil or exposure. He departed,
therefore, with his little band from Pisania, on the 4th May, and
proceeded through Medina, along the banks of the Gambia. With so
strong a party, he was no longer dependent on the protection of the
petty kings and mansas, but the Africans seeing him so well provided,
thought he had now no claim on their hospitality; on the contrary,
they seized every opportunity to obtain some of the valuable articles
which they saw in his possession. Thefts were practised in the most
audacious manner; the kings drove a hard bargain for presents; at one
place, the women, with immense labour had emptied all the wells, that
they might derive an advantage from selling the water. Submitting
quietly to these little annoyances, Mr. Park proceeded along the
Gambia till he saw it flowing from the south, between the hills of
Foota Jalla and a high mountain called Mueianta. Turning his face
almost due west, he passed the streams of the Ba Lee, the Ba Ting,
and the Ba Woollima, the three principal tributaries of the Senegal.
His change of direction led him through a tract much more pleasing,
than that passed in his dreary return through the Jallonka
wilderness. The villages, built in delightful mountain glens, and
looking from their elevated precipices over a great extent of wooded
plain, appeared romantic beyond any thing he had ever seen. The rocks
near Sullo, assumed every possible diversity of form, towering like
ruined castles, spires and pyramids. One mass of granite so strongly
resembled the remains of a gothic abbey, with its niches: and ruined
staircase, that it required some time to satisfy him of its being
composed wholly of natural stone. The crossing of the river, now
considerably swelled, was attended with many difficulties, and in one
of them Isaaco, the guide, was nearly devoured by a crocodile.

It was near Satadoo, soon after passing the Faleme, that the party
experienced the first tornado, which marking the commencement of the
rainy season, proved for them the "beginning of sorrows." In these
tornadoes, violent storms of thunder and lightning are followed by
deluges of rain, which cover the ground three feet deep, and have a
peculiarly malignant influence on European constitutions. In three
days twelve men were on the sick-list; the natives, as they saw the
strength of the expedition decline, became more bold and frequent in
their predatory attacks. At Gambia attempts were made to overpower by
main force the whole party, and seize all they possessed; but, by
merely presenting their muskets, the assault was repelled without
bloodshed. At Mania Korro the whole population hung on their rear for
a considerable time, headed by thirty of the king's sons; and some
degree of delicacy was felt as to the mode of dealing with these
august thieves, so long as their proceedings were not quite
intolerable. One of them came up and engaged Mr. Park in
conversation, while another ran off with his fowling-piece, and on
his attempting to pursue him, the first took the opportunity of
seizing his great coat. Orders were now given to fire on all
depredators, royal or plebeian; and after a few shots had been
discharged without producing any fatal effects, the thieves hid
themselves amongst the rocks, and were merely seen peeping through
the crevices.

The expedition continued to melt away beneath the deadly influence of
an African climate. Everyday added to the list of the sick or dead,
or of those who declared themselves unable to proceed. Near Bangassi,
four men lay down at once. It was even with difficulty that Mr. Park
dragged forward his brother-in-law, Mr. Anderson, while he himself
felt very sick and faint. His spirits were about to sink entirely,
when, coming to an eminence, he obtained a distant view of the
mountains, the southern base of which he knew to be watered by the
Niger. Then indeed he forgot his fever, and thought only of climbing
the blue hills, which delighted his eyes.

Before he could arrive at that desired point, three weeks elapsed,
during which he experienced the greatest difficulty and suffering. At
length, he reached the summit of the ridge, which divides the Senegal
from the Niger, and coming to the brow of the hill, saw again this
majestic river rolling its immense stream along the plain. His
situation and prospects were, however, gloomy indeed, when compared
with those, with which he had left the banks of the Gambia. Of
thirty-eight men, whom he then had with him, there survived only
seven, all suffering from severe sickness, and some nearly at the
last extremity. Still his mind was full of the most sanguine hopes,
especially when, on the 22nd August, he found himself floating on the
waters of the Niger, and advancing towards the ultimate object of his
ambition. He hired canoes to convey his party to Maraboo, and the
river here, a mile in breadth, was so full and so deep, that its
current carried him easily over the rapids, but with a velocity,
which was even in a certain degree painful.

At Maraboo, he sent forward Isaaco, the interpreter, to Mansong, with
part of the presents, and to treat with that monarch for protection,
as well as for permission to build a boat. This envoy was absent
several days, during which great anxiety was felt, heightened by
several unfavourable rumours, amongst which was, that the king had
killed the envoy with his own hand, and announced his purpose to do
the same to every white man, who should come within his reach. These
fears were, however, dispelled by the appearance of the royal
singing-man, who brought a message of welcome, with an invitation to
repair to Sego, and deliver in person the remaining presents intended
for the monarch. At Samee, the party met Isaaco, who reported that
there was something very odd in his reception by Mansong. That prince
assured him, in general, that the expedition would be allowed to pass
down the Niger; but whenever the latter came to particulars, and
proposed an interview with Mr. Park, the king began to draw squares
and triangles with his finger on the sand, and in this geometrical
operation his mind seemed wholly absorbed. Isaaco suspected that he
laboured under some superstitious dread of white men, and sought by
these figures to defend himself against their magic influence. It was
finally arranged, that the presents should be delivered, not to
Mansong in person, but to Modibinne, his prime minister, who was to
come to Samee for that purpose. He accordingly appeared, and began by
inquiring, in the king's name, an explanation why Park had come to
Bambarra, with so great a train, from so distant a country, allowing
him a day to prepare his reply. Next morning, the traveller gave an
answer in form, representing his mission as chiefly commercial, and
holding forth the advantages, which Bambarra might reap by receiving
European goods directly from the coast, instead of circuitously, as
now, through Morocco, the desert, Timbuctoo, and Jenne, having a
profit levied on them at every transfer. Modibinne expressed
satisfaction both with the reasons and the presents, and on his
return next day, offered, on the part of Mansong, the option of
building a boat either at Samee, Sego, Sansanding, or Jenne. Park
chose Sansanding, thus enabling the king to avoid an interview with
the Europeans, of which he seemed to entertain so mysterious a dread.

The voyage down the river was distressing; for although the fatigue
of travelling was avoided, the heat was so intense, that it was
thought sufficient to have roasted a sirloin, and the sick had thus
no chance of recovery. Sansanding was found a prosperous and
flourishing town, with a crowded market well arranged. The principal
articles, which were cloth of Houssa or Jenne, antimony, beads, and
indigo, were each arranged in stalls, shaded by mats from the heat of
the sun. There was a separate market for salt, the main staple of
their trade. The whole presented a scene of commercial order and
activity totally unlooked for in the interior of Africa.

Mansong had promised to furnish two boats, but they were late in
arriving, and proved very defective. In order to raise money, it was
necessary to sell a considerable quantity of goods; nor was it
without much trouble, that the two skiffs were finally converted into
the schooner Joliba, forty feet long, six broad, and drawing only one
foot of water, being the fittest form for navigating the Niger
downward to the ocean.

During Mr. Park's stay at Sansanding, he had the misfortune to lose
his brother-in-law, Mr. Anderson, to whom his attachment was so
strong as to make him say, "No event which took place during the
journey ever threw the smallest gloom over my mind, till I laid Mr.
Anderson in the grave. I then felt myself as if left a second time,
lonely and friendless amidst the wilds of Africa." Although the party
were now reduced to five Europeans, one of whom was deranged, and
although the most gloomy anticipations could not fail to arise in the
mind of Mr. Park, his firmness was in no degree shaken. He announced
to Lord Camden his fixed purpose to discover the termination of the
Niger, or to perish in the attempt, adding, "Though all the
Europeans, who are with me should die, and though I were myself half
dead, I would still persevere." To Mrs. Park he announced the same
determination, combined with an undoubting confidence of success, and
the commencement of his voyage down the Niger, through the vast
unknown regions of interior Africa, he called, "turning his face
towards England."

It was on the 7th November 1805, that Park set sail on his last and
fatal voyage. A long interval elapsed without any tidings, which,
considering the great distance, and the many causes of delay, did not
at first excite alarm amongst his friends. As the following year,
however, passed on, rumours of an unpleasant nature began to prevail.
Alarmed by these, and feeling a deep interest in his fate, Governor
Maxwell, of Sierra Leone, engaged Isaaco, the guide, who had been
sent to the Gambia with despatches from the Niger, to undertake a
fresh journey to inquire after him. At Sansanding he was so far
fortunate as to meet Amadi Fatouma, who had been engaged to succeed
himself as interpreter. From him he received a journal, purporting to
contain the narrative of the voyage down the river, and of its final
issue. The party, it would appear, had purchased three slaves, who,
with the five Europeans and Fatouma, increased their number to nine.
They passed Silla and Jenne in a friendly manner; but at Rakbara
(Kabra) and Timbuctoo, they were attacked by several armed parties,
who were repelled only by a smart and destructive fire. No
particulars are given of any of these important places; nor of Kaffo
Gotoijege and others, which the discoverers are represented as having
afterwards passed. At length they came to the village, more properly
the city of Yaour, where Amadi Fatouma left the party, his services
having been engaged only to that point, He had, however, scarcely
taken his leave, when he was summoned before the king, who bitterly
complained that the white men, though they brought many valuable
commodities with them, had passed without giving him any presents. He
therefore ordered that Fatouma should be thrown into irons, and a
body of troops sent in pursuit of the English. These men reached
Boussa, and took possession of a pass, where rocks, hemming in the
river, allowed only a narrow channel for vessels to descend. When
Park arrived, he found the passage thus obstructed, but attempted
nevertheless to push his way through. The people began to attack him,
throwing lances, pikes, arrows, and stones. He defended himself for a
long time, when two of his slaves at the stern of the canoe were
killed. The crew threw every thing they had into the river, and kept
firing; but being overpowered by numbers and fatigue, unable to keep
up the canoe against the current, and seeing no probability of
escaping, Mr. Park took hold of one of the white men, and jumped into
the water. Martyn did the same, and they were all drowned in the
stream in attempting to escape. The only slave that remained in the
boat, seeing the natives persist in throwing weapons into it without
ceasing, stood up and said to them, "Stop throwing now; you see
nothing in the canoe, and nobody but myself; therefore cease. Take me
and the canoe; but don't kill me." They took possession of both, and
carried them to the king.

These sad tidings, conveyed in course to England, were not for a long
time received with general belief. The statement, being sifted with
care, was thought to contain inconsistencies, as well as such a
degree of improbability as left some room for hope; but year after
year elapsed, and this hope died away. Denham and Clapperton received
accounts from various quarters, which very nearly coincided with
those of Amadi Fatouma. Clapperton, in his last journey, even saw the
spot where he perished, which, allowing for some exaggeration, did
not ill correspond with the description just given; and further, he
received notice that Park's manuscripts were in the possession of the
king of Yaour, or Youri, who offered to deliver them up, on condition
that the captain would pay him a visit, which he, unfortunately, was
never able to perform.



CHAPTER XVI.

The fate of Park, notwithstanding the deep regret which it excited in
England and in Europe, presented nothing which could destroy the hope
of future success. The chief cause of failure could be easily traced
to the precipitation into which he had been betrayed by a too ardent
enthusiasm. Nothing had ever been discovered adverse to the
hypothesis that identified the Niger with the Congo, which still
retained a strong hold on the public mind. The views of government
and of the nation on this subject were entirely in unison. It was
therefore determined, that an expedition on a grand scale should be
fitted out, divided into two portions; one to descend the Niger, and
the other to ascend the Congo; which two parties, it was fondly
hoped, would effect a triumphant meeting in the middle of the great
stream that they were sent to explore. The public loudly applauded
this resolution; and never perhaps did an armament, expected to
achieve the most splendid victories, excite deeper interest than
this, which seemed destined to triumph over the darkness that had so
long enveloped the vast interior of Africa.

The expedition to the Congo was entrusted to Captain Tuckey, an
officer of merit and varied services, who had published several works
connected with geography and navigation. Besides a crew of about
fifty, including marines and mechanics; he was accompanied by Mr.
Smith, an eminent botanist, who likewise possessed some knowledge of
geology; Mr. Cranck, a self-taught, but able zoologist; Mr. Tudor, a
good comparative-anatomist; Mr. Lock-hart, a gardener from Kew; and
Mr. Galwey, an intelligent person, who volunteered to join the party.

They sailed from Deptford on the 16th February 1816, and reached
Malemba on the 30th June, where they met with a cordial reception
from the mafook, or king's merchant, in the belief that they were
come to make up a cargo of slaves. The chiefs, on being reluctantly
convinced of the contrary, burst into the most furious invectives
against the crowned heads of Europe, particularly the king of
England, whom they denominated the "devil," imputing chiefly to him
the stop put to this odious, but lucrative traffic. A few days
brought the English into the channel of the Congo, which, to their
great surprise, instead of exhibiting the immense size they had been
taught to expect, scarcely appeared a river of the second class. The
stream it is true, was then at the lowest, but the depth being still
more than 150 fathoms, made it impossible to estimate the mass of
water which its channel might convey to the ocean. The banks were
swampy, overgrown with mangrove trees, and the deep silence and
repose of these extensive forests made a solemn impression upon the
mind.

At Embomma, the emporium of the Congo, much interest was excited by
the discovery, that a negro officiating as cook's mate, was a prince
of the blood. [*] He was welcomed with rapture by his father, and
with a general rejoicing by the whole village. The young savage was
soon arrayed in full African pomp, having on an embroidered coat,
very much tarnished, a silk sash, and a black glazed hat, surmounted
by an enormous feather. Captain Tuckey was introduced to the
_cheeno,_ or hereditary chief, who, with his huge gilt buttons,
stockings of pink sarcenet, red half-boots, and high-crowned
embroidered hat, reminded him of punch in a puppet show. It was vain
attempting to convey to this sage prince, any idea of the objects of
the expedition. The terms which express science, and an enlightened
curiosity, did not excite in his mind a single idea, and he rang
continual changes on the questions:--Are you come to trade? and are
you come to make war? being unable to conjecture any other motive. At
length having received a solemn declaration, that there was no
intention to make war, he sealed peace by the acceptance of a large
present of brandy.

[Footnote: This is by no means an uncommon case in the ships trading
to Africa, for we were once honoured by an introduction to one of
these princes, who came to England in Capt. Fullerton's ship, in the
humble capacity of a cabin boy. We could not exactly ascertain
whether he considered any part of England, as belonging to the
territory of his father, but he seemed very much disposed to consider
our house as his home, for having once gained a footing in it, it was
a very difficult matter to make him comprehend, when it was high time
for him to take his departure. He once honoured us with a visit at
nine o'clock in the morning, and at eleven at night, he was seated
upon the same chair that he had taken possession of in the morning,
during which time he had consumed ten basins of pea-soup, with a
proportionate quantity of other substantials.]

After sailing between ridges of high rocky hills, the expedition came
to the Yellala, or great cataract, and here they met with a second
disappointment. Instead of another Niagara, which general report had
led them to expect, they saw only a comparative brook bubbling over
its stony bed. The fall appears to be occasioned merely by masses of
granite, fragments of which have fallen down and blocked up the
stream. Yet this obstruction rendered it quite impossible for the
boats to pass, nor could they be carried across the precipices and
deep ravines, by which the country was intersected. The discoverers
were, therefore, obliged to proceed by land through this difficult
region, which, without a guide on whom they could rely, was attended
with overwhelming toil. Cooloo Inga, and Mavoonda, the principal
villages, were  separated by wide intervals, which placed the
travellers under the necessity of often sleeping in the open air.
At length the country improved and became more level; the river
widened, and the obstacles to its navigation gradually disappeared.
But just as the voyage began to assume a prosperous aspect,
indications of its fatal  termination began to show themselves.
The health of the party was rapidly giving way under the effects of
fatigue, as well as the malignant influence of a damp and burning
atmosphere. Tudor, Crouch and Galwey, were successively obliged to
return to the ship. Captain Tuckey, after struggling for some time
against the increasing pressure of disease and exhaustion, as well as
the accumulating difficulties of the expedition, saw the necessity of
putting a stop to its further progress. Mr. Smith at first expressed
deep disappointment at this resolution, but soon became so ill that
he could scarcely be conveyed to the vessel. On reaching it, a sad
scene awaited the survivors; Crouch, Tudor and Galwey, were no more;
they had successively sunk under the weight of disease. Mr. Smith
soon shared their fate, and Captain Tuckey himself, on the 4th
October, added one more to the number of deaths, without having
suffered the usual attack of fever. He had been exhausted by constant
depression and mental anxiety.

From this unfortunate expedition, however, some information was
obtained respecting a part of Africa, not visited for several
centuries. No trace indeed was seen of the great kingdoms, or of the
cities and armies described by the Portuguese missionaries, so that
though the interior may very probably be more populous than the banks
of the river, there must in these pious narratives be much
exaggeration; indeed it is not unworthy of remark, that all the
accounts of the early missionaries, into whatever part of the world
they undertook to intrude themselves, can only be looked upon as a
tissue of falsehood, and hyperbolical misrepresentation.

The largest towns, or rather villages, did not contain above one
hundred houses, with five hundred or six hundred inhabitants. They
were governed by chenoos, with a power nearly absolute, and having
mafooks under them, who were chiefly employed in the collection of
revenue. The people were merry, idle, good-humoured, hospitable, and
liberal, with rather an innocent and agreeable expression of
countenance. The greatest blemish in their character appeared in the
treatment of the female sex, on whom they devolved all the laborious
duties of life, even more exclusively than is usual among negro
tribes, holding their virtues also in such slender esteem, that the
greatest chiefs unblushingly made it an object of traffic. Upon this
head, however, they have evidently learned much evil from their
intercourse with Europeans. The character of the vegetation, and the
general aspect of nature, are pretty nearly the same on the Congo, as
on the other African rivers.

Meantime the other part of the expedition, under Major Peddie, whose
destination it was to descend the Niger, arrived at the mouth of the
Senegal. Instead of the beaten track along the banks of that river or
of the Gambia, he preferred the route through the country of the
Foulahs, which, though nearer, was more difficult and less explored.
On the 17th November 1816, he sailed from the Senegal, and on the
14th December, the party, consisting of one hundred men, and two
hundred animals, landed at Kakundy, on the Rio Nunez; but before they
could begin their march, Major Peddie was attacked with fever, and
died. Captain Campbell, on whom the command devolved, proceeded on
the line proposed till he arrived at a small river, called the
Ponietta, on the frontier of the Foulah territory. By this time many
of the beasts of burden had sunk, and great difficulty was found in
obtaining a sufficient supply of provisions. The king of the Foulahs,
on being asked permission to pass through his territory, seemed
alarmed at hearing of so large a body of foreigners about to enter
his country. He contrived, under various pretexts, to detain them on
the frontier four months, during which their stock of food and
clothing gradually diminished, while they were suffering all the
evils that arise from a sickly climate and a scanty supply of
necessaries. At length, their situation became such as to place them
under the absolute necessity of returning. All their animals being
dead, it was necessary to hire the natives to carry their baggage, an
expedient which gave occasion to frequent pillage. They reached
Kakundy with the loss only of Mr. Kum-Doer, the naturalist; but
Captain Campbell, overcome by sickness and exertion, died two days
after, on the 13th of June 1817. The command was then transferred to
Lieutenant Stokoe, a spirited young naval officer, who had joined the
expedition as a volunteer. He had formed a new scheme for proceeding
into the interior; but unhappily he also sunk under the climate and
the fatigues of the, journey.

A sentence of death seemed pronounced against all, who should attempt
to penetrate the African continent, and yet were still some, daring
spirits, who did not shrink from the undertaking. Captain Gray, of
the Royal African corps, who had accompanied the last-mentioned
expedition, under Major Peddie and Captain Campbell, undertook, in
1818, to perform a journey by Park's old route along the Gambia. He
reached, without any obstacle, Boolibani, the capital of Bondou,
where he remained from the 20th June 1818 to the 22nd May 1819; but,
owing to the jealousy of the monarch, he was not permitted to proceed
any further. With some difficulty he reached Gallam, where he met
Staff-surgeon Dockard, who had gone forward to Sego, to ask
permission to proceed through Bambarra, a request which had also been
evaded. The whole party then returned to Senegal.

In 1821, Major Laing was sent on a mission from Sierra Leone, through
the Timannee, Kooranko, and Soolima countries, with the view of
forming some commercial arrangements. On this journey he found reason
to believe, that the source of the Niger lay much further to the
south than was supposed by Park. At Falabo he was assured that it
might have been reached in three days, had not the Kissi nation, in
whose territory it was situated, been at war with the Soolimanas,
with whom Major Laing then resided. He was inclined to fix the source
of this great river a very little above the ninth degree of latitude.



CHAPTER XVII.

The British government was in the mean time indefatigable in their
endeavours to find out the channels for exploring the interior of
Africa. The pashaw of Tripoli, although he had usurped the throne by
violent means, showed a disposition to improve his country, by
admitting the arts and learning of Europe, while the judicious
conduct of Consul Warrington inclined him to cultivate the friendship
of Britain. Through his tributary kingdom of Fezzan, he held close
and constant communication with Bornou, and the other leading states
of central Africa, and he readily undertook to promote the views of
any English expedition in that direction. The usual means were
supplied by the government, and the ordinary inducements held forth
by the association.

In consequence of these amicable dispositions evinced by the bashaw
of Tripoli towards the British government, it was resolved to appoint
a vice-consul to reside at Mourzouk, the capital of Fezzan; and the
late Mr. Ritchie, then private secretary to Sir Charles Stuart, the
British ambassador at Paris, was selected for the undertaking. He was
joined at Tripoli by Captain G. F. Lyon, who had volunteered his
services as his companion; and to this enterprising and more
fortunate traveller, who has braved alike the rigours of an Arctic
winter, and the scorching heats of central Africa, we are indebted
for the narrative of the expedition.

On the 25th March 1819, the coffle, (_kafila_, _kefla_,) consisting
of about two hundred men, and the same number of camels, commenced
its march from Tripoli for the interior. They were accompanied by
Mohammed el Mukni, the sultan of Fezzan, from whose protection and
friendship the greatest advantages were anticipated. By the express
advice of the bashaw, the English travellers assumed the moorish
costume, with the character of Moslem. Mr. Ritchie's name was
converted into Yusuf al Ritchie; Captain Lyon called himself Said Ben
Abdallah; and Belford, a ship-wright, who had entered into their
service, took the name of Ali. In the coffle were several parties of
liberated blacks, all joyful at the idea of once more returning to
their native land, though the means of their support were very
slender, and many of them, with their young children, had to walk a
distance of two thousand miles before they could reach their own
country.

The route lay for the first two days over a sandy irregular desert,
and then entered the mountains of Terkoona, situated to the
south-east of Tripoli, and which seems to be a continuation of the
Gharian or Wahryan range. Several little streams flow from the sides
of the hills, abounding with game, particularly snipes and
partridges. On the sixth day, passing over a stony desert, they
reached Benioleed, an Arab town, with about two thousand inhabitants.
It consists of several straggling mud villages, on the sides of a
fertile ravine, several miles in length, and bounded by rocks of
difficult access. The centre is laid out in gardens, planted with
date and olive trees, and producing also corn, vegetables, and pulse.
The valley is subject to inundation during the winter rains, but in
summer requires to be watered with great labour, by means of wells of
extraordinary depth. It is inhabited by the Orfella tribe, subsisting
chiefly by agriculture, and the rearing of cattle, aided only in a
trifling degree by a manufacture of nitre; they are accounted hardy
and industrious, but at the same time dishonest and cruel. Benioleed
castle stands in latitude 31° 45' 38" N., longitude 14° 12' 10" E.

The houses are built of rough stones, on each side of the Wady, none
are above eight feet in height, receiving their light only through
the doors, and their appearance is that of a heap of ruins. The wells
are from 100 to 200 feet in depth, the water excellent. During the
rains, the valley frequently became flooded by the torrents, and the
water has been known to rise so nigh as to hide from view the tallest
olive trees in the low grounds. Men and animals are often drowned in
the night, before they have time to escape. The torrents from the
hill-sides rushing down with such impetuosity, that in an hour or
two, the whole country is inundated.

On leaving Benioleed, it was necessary to take a supply of water for
three days. The country presented an alternation of stony desert, and
plains not incapable of cultivation, but having at this season no
water. On the fifth day (6th April), they crossed Wady Zemzem, which
runs into the Gulf of Syrtis, and passing over a plain strewed in
some parts with cockle-shells, reached the well of Bonjem, which is
the northern boundary of Fezzan.

On the 7th April, the camels being loaded with four days' water, the
caravan left Bonjem, and proceeded over a barren desert called Klia.
At the end of three hours and a half, they passed a remarkable mound
of limestone and sand, resembling, until a very near approach, a
white turret. It is called by the natives the Bowl of Bazeen, the
latter word signifying an Arab dish, somewhat resembling a hasty
pudding. The halt was made at the end of ten hours, in a sandy
_wady_, called Boo-naja, twenty-two miles south-southeast of Bonjem.

The next day, the road led through a defile, called Hormut Em-halla
(the pass of the army); then passing a range of table-mountains,
running north-east and south-west, called Elood, it crossed a stony
and very uneven plain, encircled with mountains, to the pass of
Hormut Tazzet. Having cleared the pass, the road opened upon a plain
called El Grazat Arab Hoon, where the caravan encamped, after a march
of twelve hours and a half. Here one of the camels died; three others
were unable to come up, and all of the camels in the coffle were much
distressed, not having for several days tasted any kind of food. Two
hours and a half further, they came to a solitary tree, which is
reckoned a day's journey from water. Slaves, in coming from the
water, are not allowed to drink until they reach the tree, which is
one of the longest stages from Fezzan. At the end of nearly eleven
hours, the route led through a pass called Hormut Taad Abar, and
after wading through a _wady_, closely hemmed in by mountains, opened
into a small circular plain, in which was found a well of brackish,
stinking water. In hot seasons, the well is dry, and even at this
time it was very low; but the horses sucked up with avidity the mud
that was thrown out of it. Still there was not any fodder for the
camels, till, about the middle of the next day's march, they reached
a small wady, in which there were some low bushes. A strong sand-wind
from the southward now rendered the march extremely harassing. The
sand flew about in such quantities, that the travellers were unable
to prepare any food, and they could not even see thirty yards before
them. In the evening they encamped amid a plantation of palms, near
two wells of tolerably fresh water, at a short distance from Sockna.
Of this town, which is about half-way between Tripoli and Mourzouk,
Captain Lyon gives the following description:--

Sockna stands on an immense plain of gravel, bounded to the south by
the Soudah mountains, at about fifteen miles; by the mountains of
Wadam, about thirty miles to the eastward; a distant range to the
west, and those already mentioned on the north. The town is walled,
and may contain two thousand persons. There are small projections
from the walls, having loop-holes for musketry. It has seven gates,
only one of which will admit a loaded camel. The streets are very
narrow, and the houses are built of mud and small stones mixed, many
of them having a story above the ground-floor. A small court is open
in the centre, and the doors, which open from this area, give the
only light which the rooms receive. The water of Sockna is almost all
brackish or bitter. There are 200,000 date trees in the immediate
neighbourhood of the town, which pay duty; also an equal number, not
yet come into bearing, which are exempt. These dates grow in a belt
of sand, at about two or three miles distant from the town, and are
of a quality far superior to any produced in the north of Africa.
Owing to their excellence, they are sold at a very high price at
Tripoli. The adjoining country is entirely destitute of shrubs, or
any kind of food for camels, which are therefore sent to graze about
five miles off; while in the town, all animals are fed on dates.
Sheep are brought here from Benioleed, and are, in consequence of
coming from such a distance, very dear. In the gardens about three
miles from the town, barley, maize, and _gussob ohourra_ are
cultivated, as well as a few onions, turnips, and peppers. The number
of flies here are immense, and all the people carry little flappers,
made of bunches of wild bulls' hair tied to a short stick, in order
to keep those pests at a distance. The dates all being deposited in
store-houses in the town, may account in some degree for the
multitude of these insects, which in a few minutes fill every dish or
bowl containing any liquid.

The costume is here the same as that of the Bedouins, consisting
generally of a shirt and barracan, a red cap, and sandals. A few,
whose circumstances allow of it, dress in the costume of Tripoli. The
neat appearance of the men in general is very striking, compared with
that of the Arabs about the coast. The women are considered
exceedingly handsome, indeed one or two were really so, and as fair
as Europeans, but they are noted for their profligacy and love of
intrigue.

The first day of spring is at Sockna a day of general rejoicing. It
is then the custom, to dress out little tents or bowers on the tops
of the houses, decorating them with carpets, _jereeds_, shawls, and
sashes. A gaudy handkerchief on a pole, as a standard, completes the
work, which is loudly cheered by the little children, who eat, drink,
and play during the day in these covered places, welcoming the
spring by songs, and crying continually, "O welcome spring, with
pleasure bring us plenty." The women give entertainment in their
houses, and the day is quite a holiday. From the top of the houses in
which Captain Lyon lodged, these little bowers had a very pretty
effect, every roof in the town being ornamented with one. Four ears
of corn were this day seen perfectly ripe, which was very early for
the season. The gardens here are excellent, compared with the others
in Fezzan.

Ten miles east by south from Sockna is the town of Hoon. It is
smaller than Sockna, but is built and walled in the same manner. It
has three gates, three mosques, and a large building, which is
dignified with the name of a castle, but it does not appear to have
even a loop-hole for musketry. The palm groves and gardens come up
close to the walls of the town, and completely conceal it. The soil
is sand, but is fertilized by being constantly refreshed by little
channels, from wells of brackish water. The inhabitants, who are of
the tribe Fateima, bear a good character.

The town of Wadan is between twelve and thirteen miles east by north
of Hoon. It appeared much inferior to either of the other two in
point of neatness, comfort, and convenience; although its aspect is
much more pleasing; it is built on a conical hill, on the top of
which are some enclosed houses, called the castle. Here is a well of
great depth, cut through the solid rock, evidently not the work of
the Arabs. The tombs and mosques, both here and at Hoon, were
ornamented with numbers of ostrich eggs. The inhabitants of Wadan are
sheerefs, who are the pretended descendants of the prophet, and form
the bulk of the resident population, and Arabs of the tribe _Moajer_,
who spend the greater part of the year with their flocks in the
Syrtis. A few miles eastward of the town, there is a chain of
mountains, which, as well as the town itself, derives its name from a
species of buffalo called _wadan_, immense herds of which are found
there. The wadan is of the size of an ass, having a very large head
and horns, a short reddish hide, and large bunches of hair hanging
from each shoulder, to the length of eighteen inches or two feet;
they are very fierce. There are two other specimens found here, the
_bogra el weish_, evidently the _bekker el wash_ of Shaw, a red
buffalo, slow in its motions, having large horns, and of the size of
a cow; and the white buffalo, of a lighter and more active make, very
shy and swift, and not easily procured. The wadan seems best to
answer to the oryx.

There are great numbers of ostriches in these mountains, by hunting
of which, many of the natives subsist. At all the three towns,
Sockna, Hoon, and Wadan, it is the practice to keep tame ostriches in
a stable, and in two years to take three cullings of the feathers.

Captain Lyon supposes that all the fine _white_ ostrich feathers sent
to Europe are from tame birds, the wild ones being in general so
ragged and torn, that not above half a dozen perfect ones can be
found. The black, being shorter and more flexible, are generally
good. All the Arabs agree in stating, that the ostrich does not leave
its eggs to be hatched by the heat of the sun. The parent bird forms
a rough nest, in which she covers from fourteen to eighteen eggs, and
regularly sits on them, in the same manner as the common fowl does on
her chickens, the male occasionally relieving the female.[Footnote]
It is during the breeding season that the greatest numbers are
procured, the Arabs shooting the old ones on their nests.

[Footnote: There is one peculiarity attending the ostrich, which is,
that although the female lays from about twenty-five to thirty eggs,
yet she only sits upon about fifteen, throwing the remainder outside
the nest, where they remain until the young ones are hatched, and
these eggs form the first food of the young birds.--EDITOR.]

On the 22d April, Captain Lyon and his companions left Sockna, in
company with Sultan Mukni, for Mourzouk, which they entered upon the
4th May. The whole way is an almost uninterrupted succession of stony
plains and gloomy wadys, with no water but that of wells, generally
muddy, brackish, or bitter, and at fearful intervals. On the first
evening, the place of encampment was a small plain, with no other
vegetation than a few prickly _talk_ bushes, encircled by high
mountains of basalt, which gave it the appearance of a volcanic
crater. Here, at a well of tolerably good water, called Gatfa, the
camels were loaded with water for five days. The next day, the horse
and foot men passed over a very steep mountain called Nufdai, by a
most difficult path of large irregular masses of basalt; the camels
were four hours in winding round the foot of this mountain, which was
crossed in one hour. From the wady at its foot, called Zgar, the
route ascended to a flat covered with broken basalt, called Dahr
t'Moumen (the believer's back): it then led through several gloomy
wadys, till, having cleared the mountainous part of the Soudah (Jebel
Assoud), it issued in the plain called El Maitba Soudah, from its
being covered in like manner with small pieces of basalt. Three
quarters of an hour further, they reached El Maitba Barda, a plain
covered with a very small white gravel, without the slightest trace
of basalt.

"We did not see any where," says Captain Lyon, "the least appearance
of vegetation, but we observed many skeletons of animals, which had
died of fatigue in the desert, and occasionally the grave of some
human being. All their bodies were so dried by the extreme heat of
the sun, that putrifaction did not appear to have taken place after
death. In recently dead animals, I could not perceive the slightest
offensive smell; and in those long dead, the skin, with the hair on
it, remained unbroken and perfect, although so brittle as to break
with a slight blow. The sand-winds never cause these carcases to
change their places, as in a short time, a slight mound is formed
round them, and they become stationary."

Afterwards, passing between low, table-topped hills, called El Gaaf,
the coffle encamped on the third evening in a desert, called Sbir ben
Afeen, where the plain presented on all sides so perfect a horizon,
that an astronomical observation might have been taken as well as at
sea. From the excessive dryness of the air, the blankets and
barracans emitted electric sparks, and distinctly crackled on being
rubbed. The horses' tails, also, in beating off the flies, had the
same effect.

The fourth day, the route passed over sand lulls to a sandy irregular
plain, very difficult and dangerous. Here the wind, being southerly,
brought with it such smothering showers of burning sand, that they
frequently lost the track, being unable to distinguish objects at the
distance of only a few yards.

The next day's march, the fifth from Sockna, over a rocky country,
led to the walled village of Zeighan, or Zeghren, situated in the
midst of a large forest of palms, in latitude 27° 26' N. Eight miles
further, on basaltic hillocks, is another village, somewhat larger,
and more neatly walled, called Samnoo. The houses are very neatly
built, and the rooms are washed with a yellow mud, which has a pretty
effect. Three tolerably built white-washed minarets, the first that
had been seen since leaving Tripoli, rose to some height above the
houses, and have a pleasing appearance. Palm trees encircle the town,
and the gardens are considered good. This town, as well as Zeighan,
is famed for the number and sanctity of its marabouts. A stage of
twenty miles, over a barren plain of gravel, leads to another, but
inconsiderable town, called Timen-hint. On the next day but one, they
reached Sebha, a mud-walled town, picturesquely situated on rising
ground, surrounded with its palm groves, in the midst of a dreary,
desert plain; it has a high, square, white-washed minaret to its
principal mosque. At this place, Captain Lyon remarked a change of
colour in the population, the people being mulattoes. Two marches
more led to Ghroodwa, a miserable collection of mud huts, containing
about fifty people, who appeared a ragged drunken set, as the immense
number of tapped palms testified. From the ruins of some large mud
edifices, this place seems once to have been of more importance. The
palms, which extend for ten or fifteen miles, east and west, are the
property of the sultan, and appeared in worse condition than any they
had seen. On leaving this place, the route again entered on a barren,
stony plain, and in five hours and a half passed a small wady, called
Wad el Nimmel (the valley of ants), from the number of ants, of a
beautiful pink colour, that are found there. A few scattered palms,
and some ill-built ruined huts occurring at intervals, and betokening
the greatest wretchedness, alone relieved the dreariness of the
remainder of the journey.



CHAPTER XVIII.

The entry into Mourzouk, the capital of Sultan Mukni, was attended
with the usual ceremonial. On drawing near to the palm groves and
gardens, which encompass the city, a large body of horse and foot was
seen approaching with silken flags. When the horsemen had advanced
within five hundred yards of the party, they set off at full speed,
and, on coming up, threw themselves from their horses, and ran to
kiss the sultan's hand. On drawing nearer to the town, the cavalcade
was met by the dancers, drummers, and pipers. Two men, bearing fans
of ostrich feathers, stationed themselves on each side of the sultan,
beating off the flies. Thus preceded by the led horses and silken
flags, they made their entry, the horsemen continuing to skirmish
till they reached the gate. The soldiers then raced up every broad
street, shouting and firing, whilst the women uttered their shrill
cry, and on passing a large open space, a salute was fired from two
six-pounders. The scene was altogether highly interesting.

Mourzouk is a walled town, containing about 2,500 inhabitants, who
are blacks, and who do not, like the Arabs, change their residence.
The walls are of mud, having round buttresses, with loopholes for
musketry, rudely built, but sufficiently strong to guard against
attack; they are about fifteen feet in height, and at the bottom
eight feet in thickness, tapering, as all the walls in this country
do, towards the top. The town has seven gates, four of which are
built up, in order to prevent the people escaping when they are
required to pay their duties. A man is appointed by the sultan to
attend each of these gates, day and night, lest any slaves or
merchandise should be smuggled into the town. The people, in building
the walls and houses, fabricate a good substitute for stones, which
are not to be found in those parts, by forming clay into balls, which
they dry in the sun, and use with mud as mortar; the walls are thus
made very strong, and as rain is unknown, durable also. The houses,
with very few exceptions, are of one story, and those of the poorer
sort, receive all their light from the doors. They are so low as to
require stooping nearly double to enter them; but the large houses
have a capacious outer door, which is sufficiently well contrived,
considering the bad quality of the wood, that composes them. Thick
palm planks, of four or five inches in breadth, for the size and
manner of cutting a tree will not afford more, have a square hole
punched through them at the top and bottom, by which they are firmly
wedged together with thick palm sticks; wet thongs of camels' hide
are then tied tightly over them, which, on drying, draw the planks
more strongly and securely together. There are not any hinges to the
doors, but they turn on a pivot, formed on the last plank near the
wall, which is always the largest on that account. The locks and keys
are very large and heavy, and of curious construction. The houses are
generally built in little narrow streets, but there are many open
places, entirely void of buildings, and covered with sand, on which
the camels of the traders rest. Many palms grow in the town, and some
houses have small square enclosures, in which are cultivated a few
red peppers and onions. The street of entrance is a broad space, of
at least a hundred yards, leading to the wall that surrounds the
castle, and is extremely pretty. Here the horsemen have full scope to
display their abilities, when they skirmish before the sultan. The
castle itself is an immense mud building, rising to the height of
eighty or ninety feet, with little battlements on the walls, and at a
distance really looks warlike. Like all the other buildings, it has
no pretensions to regularity. The lower walls are fifty or sixty feet
in thickness, the upper taper off to about four or five feet. In
consequence of the immense mass of wall, the apartments are very
small, and few in number. The rooms occupied by the sultan are of the
best quality, that is to say, comparatively, for the walls are
tolerably smooth and white-washed, and have ornamental daubs of red
paint in blotches, by way of effect. His couch is spread on the
ground, and his visitors squat down on the sandy floor, at a
respectful distance. Captain Lyon and his party were always honoured
by having a corner of the carpet offered to them. The best and most
airy part of the castle is occupied by the women, who have small
rooms round a large court, in which they take exercise, grind corn,
cook, and perform other domestic offices. The number of great ladies,
called _kibere,_ seldom exceed six. This dignified title is generally
given to the mothers of the sultan's children, or to those, who
having been once great favorites, are appointed governesses to the
rest; there are, altogether about fifty women, all black and very
comely, and from what stolen glances we could obtain, they appeared
extremely well dressed. They are guarded by five eunuchs, who keep up
their authority by occasionally beating them.

The sultan has three sons and two daughters, who live with him in
this cage, the doors of which are locked at night, and the keys
brought to him, so that he remains free from any fear of attack. The
castle is entered by a long winding passage in the wall, quite dark
and very steep. At the door is a large shed, looking on a square
place capable of containing three or four hundred men, closely
huddled together. Under this shed is a great chair of state, once
finely gilt and ornamented, with a patchwork quilt thrown over it,
and behind it are the remains of two large looking-glasses. In this
chair the sultan receives homage every Friday, before he ascends the
castle, after returning from the mosque. This place is the Mejlees,
and was the scene of all the cruelties practised by Mukni, when he
first took possession of the country.

The habitation in which Captain Lyon and his party were lodged, was a
very good one, and as all the houses are built upon nearly the same
plan, the following description will give an idea of all the rest. A
large door, sufficiently high to admit a camel, opened into a broad
passage or _skeefa,_ on one side of which was a tolerable stable for
five horses, and close to it, a small room for the slaves, whose duty
it might be to attend the house. A door opposite to that of the
stable opened into the _kowdi,_ a large square room, the roof of
which at the height of eighteen feet, was supported by four palm
trees as pillars. In the centre of the roof was a large open space,
about twelve feet by nine, from this, the house and rooms receive
light, not to mention dust and excessive heat in the afternoon. At
the end of the room facing the door, a large seat of mud was raised
about eighteen inches high, and twelve feet in length. Heaps of this
description, though higher, are found at the doors of most houses,
and are covered with loungers in the cool of the morning and evening.
The large room was fifty feet by thirty-nine. From the sides, doors
opened into smaller ones, which might be used as sleeping or store
rooms, but were generally preferred for their coolness. Their only
light was received from the door. Ascending a few steps, there was a
kind of gallery over the side rooms, and in it were two small
apartments, but so very hot as to be almost useless. From the large
room was a passage leading to a yard, having also small houses
attached to it in the same manner, and a well of comparatively good
water. The floors were of sand, and the walls of mud roughly
plastered, and showing every where the marks of the only trowel used
in the country--the fingers of the right hand. There are no windows
to any of the houses, but some rooms have a small hole in the
ceiling, or high up the wall.

Near the house was the principal mosque, to which the sultan and the
Christian party went every Friday, as a matter of course, and every
other day they found it necessary to appear there once or twice. It
is a low building, having a shed projecting over the door, which,
being raised on a platform, is entered by a few steps. A small
turret, intended to be square and perpendicular, is erected for the
Mouadden to call to prayers. One of the great lounges is on the seat
in front of the mosque, and every morning and evening they are full
of idle people, who converse on the state of the markets, and on
their own private affairs, or in a fearful whisper canvass the
sultan's conduct.

In Mourzouk there are sixteen mosques, which are covered in, but some
of them are very small. Each has an imaum, but the kadi is their
head, of which dignity he seems not a little proud. This man had
never, been beyond the boundaries of Fezzan, and could form no idea
of any thing superior to mud houses and palms; he always fancied the
Europeans to be great romancers, when they told him of their country,
and described it as being in the midst of the sea.

They had many opportunities of observing the fighi and their scholars
sitting on the sand. The children are taught their letters by having
them written on a flat board, of a hard wood, brought from Bornou and
Soudan, and repeating them after their master. When quite perfect in
their alphabet, they are allowed to trace over the letters already
made, they then learn to copy sentences, and to write small words
dictated to them. The master often repeats verses from the Koran, in
a loud voice, which the boys learn by saying them after him, and when
they begin to read a little, he sings aloud, and all the scholars
follow him from their books, as fast as they can. Practice at length
renders them perfect, and in three or four years their education is
considered complete. Thus it is, that many who can read the Koran
with great rapidity, cannot peruse a line of any other book.
Arithmetic is wholly put of the question. On breaking up for the day,
the master and all the scholars recite a prayer. The school-hours are
by no means regular, being only when the fighi has nothing else to
do. Morning early, or late in the evening, are the general times for
study. The punishments are beating with a stick on the hands or feet
and whipping, which is not unfrequently practised. Their pens are
reeds--their rubber sand. While learning their tasks, and perhaps
each boy has a different one, they all read aloud, so that the
harmony of even a dozen boys may be easily imagined.

In the time of the native sultans, it was the custom, on a fixed day,
annually, for the boys who had completed their education, to assemble
on horseback, in as fine clothes as their friends could procure for
them, on the sands to the westward of the town. On an eminence stood
the fighi, bearing in his hand a little flag rolled on a staff; the
boys were stationed at some distance, and on his unfurling the flag
and planting it in the ground, all started at full speed. He who
first arrived and seized it, was presented by the sultan with a fine
suit of clothes, and some money, and rode through the town at the
head of the others. These races ceased with the arrival of Mukni, and
parents now complain that their sons have no inducement to study.

All the houses are infested with multitudes of small ants, which
destroyed all the animals which the party had preserved, and even
penetrated into their boxes. Their bite was very painful, and they
were fond of coming into the blankets. One singularity is worthy of
remark in Fezzan, which is, that fleas are unknown there, and those
of the inhabitants, who have not been on the sea-coast, cannot
imagine what they are like. Bugs are very numerous, and it is
extraordinary that they are called by the same name as with us. There
is a species of them which is found in the sands, where the coffles
are in the habit of stopping; they bite very sharply, and fix in
numbers round the coronet of a horse; the animals thus tormented,
often become so outrageous as to break their tethers.

There are several pools of stagnant salt water in the town, which it
is conceived in a great measure promote the advance of the summer
fever and agues. The burying places are outside the walls, and are of
considerable extent. In lieu of stones, small mud embankments are
formed round the graves, which are ornamented with shreds of cloth
tied to small sticks, with broken pots, and sometimes ostrich eggs.
One of the burying places is for slaves, who are laid very little
below the surface, and in some places the sand has been so carried
away by the wind, as to expose their skeletons to view. Owing to the
want of wood, no coffins are used. The bodies are merely wrapped in a
mat, or linen cloth, and covered with palm branches, over which the
earth is thrown. When the branches decay, the earth falls in, and the
graves are easily known by being concave, instead of convex. The
place where the former sultans were buried, is a plain near the town;
their graves are only distinguished from those of other people, by
having a larger proportion of broken pots scattered about them. It is
a custom for the relations of the deceased to visit, and occasionally
to recite a prayer over the grave, or to repeat a verse of the Koran.
Children never pass within sight of the tombs of their parents,
without stopping to pay this grateful tribute of respect to their
memory. Animals are never buried, but thrown on mounds outside the
walls, and there left. The excessive heat soon dries up all their
moisture, and prevents their becoming offensive; the hair remains on
them, so that they appear like preserved skins.

The men of Mourzouk of the better sort, dress nearly like the people
of Tripoli. The lower orders wear a large shirt of white or blue
cotton, with long loose sleeves, trousers of the same, and sandals of
camel's hide. The shirts being long, many wear no other covering.
When leaving their houses, and walking to the market or gardens, a
_jereed_ or _aba_ is thrown round them, and a red cap, or a neatly
quilted cotton white one, completes the dress. On Fridays, they
perhaps add a turban, and appear in yellow slippers. In the gardens,
men and women wear large broad-brimmed straw hats, to defend their
eyes from the sun, and sandals made from the leaves and fibres of the
palm trees. Very young children go entirely naked, those who are
older have a shirt, many are quite bare-headed, and in that state
exposed all day to the sun and flies. The men have but little beard,
which they keep closely clipped. The dress of the women here, differs
materially from that of the moorish females, and their appearance and
smell are far from agreeable. They plait their hair in thick bobbins,
which hang over their foreheads, nearly as low down as the eye-brows,
and are there joined at the bottom, as far round to each side as the
temples. The hair is so profusely covered with oil, that it drops
down over the face and clothes. This is dried up, by sprinkling it
with plenty of a preparation made of a plant resembling wild
lavender, cloves, and one or two more species pounded into powder,
and called atria; it forms a brown dirty-looking paste, and combined
with perspiration and the flying sand, becomes in a few days far from
savoury. The back hair is less disgusting, as it is plaited into a
long tress on each side, and is brought to hang over the shoulders;
from these tresses, ornaments of silver or of coral are suspended.
Black wool is frequently worked in with their black locks, to make
them appear longer. In the centre of the forehead, an ornament of
coral or beads is placed, hanging down to the depth of an inch or
two. A woollen handkerchief is fastened on the back of the head; it
falls over behind, and is tied by a leathern strap under the chin.
Each ear is perforated for as many rings as the woman possesses, some
wearing even six on one side. The largest, which is about five inches
in diameter, hanging lowest, supported by a string from the head.
Round the neck, a tight flat collar of beads, arranged in fancy
patterns, is worn with coral necklaces, and sometimes a broad gold
plate immediately in front. A large blue shirt is generally worn, the
collar and breast ornamented with needle-work. The women also wear
white shirts, and striped silk ones called shami, which are brought
from Egypt; a jereed and red slippers complete their dress. They
generally have their wrappers of a darker colour than those of the
men. Some of the better class of women wear trousers, not fuller in
the leg than those worn in Europe; they are very prettily embroidered
with silk at the bottom of the leg, and form a handsome contrast to
the black skin of the wearer. Cornelians or agates, roughly shaped in
the form of hearts, are much worn as necklaces, and they have a
variety of rings for the thumbs and fingers. A band of silk cord
hanging round the body from one shoulder, is generally filled with
pendent leather or cloth bags, containing charms. Round the wrists
and above the elbows, armlets of silver, gold, glass, horn or ivory
are worn, according to the ability of the wearer to purchase them,
and on the ankles they have silver, brass, copper or iron shackles.
A pair of silver ones were seen, which weighed one hundred and
twenty-eight ounces, but these ponderous ornaments produce a callous
lump on the leg, and entirely deform the ankle. The poorest people
have only the jereed and sandals. Both men and women have a singular
custom of stuffing their nostrils with a twisted leaf of onions or
clover, which has a very disgusting appearance. The men, not using
oil, are much cleaner than the women, but the whole race of them,
high and low, apparently clean, are otherwise stocked with vermin,
and they make no secret of it. The sultan has been frequently
observed, when detecting an interloper, to moisten his thumb to
prevent its escape, and then demolish it with great composure and
dignity. Some of the neighbours, whom Captain Lyon visited, while
reposing on their carpets, would send for a slave to hunt for these
tormentors on their shirts, and it is a great recommendation to a
female slave on sale to say that she is well skilled in this art, and
in that of shampooing.

The natives have a variety of dances, of which two or three are
peculiar to the country. The parties assemble on the sands in the
dusk of the evening, when a number of young men and women range
themselves side by side, and dance to the sound of drums, to which
they keep good time. The men have a rude kind of iron cymbal in each
hand, which opens and shuts; this they beat in the manner of
castanets, both sexes singing at the same time in chorus. The
movements consist in stepping forward, the whole line at once, at a
particular turn of the tune, as if to catch something with their two
hands, which they hold out; they balance themselves a short time on
the advanced foot, and then step back, turning half round, first to
one side and then to the other, the whole line then moves slowly in a
circle round the musicians, who form the centre, and who all join in
the dance. There is nothing improper nor immodest in this exhibition,
but on the contrary, from its slowness and the regularity of its
movements, it is extremely pleasing and elegant. Another dance is
performed by women only, who form a circle round the drummers, and
occasionally sing a lively chorus; one advances, and with her arms
extended, foots it to and from the drummers, two or three times,
until a change of tune, when she runs quickly backwards and falls
flat down, the women behind are ready to receive her, and by a jerk
of their arms throw her again upright, on which she once more turns
round and resumes her place, leaving the one next in succession to
her, to go through the same movements, all of which are performed in
the most just time; the whole party occasionally enlivening the
music, by their skill and extraordinary shout of joy. The dancing in
the houses is not so pleasing as that in public, and as for decency,
it is quite out of the question. The male slaves have many dances, in
which great activity and exertion are requisite. One consists in
dancing in a circle, each man armed with a stick, they all move,
first half and then quite round, striking as they turn, the sticks of
those on each side of them, and then jumping off the ground as high
as they can. Another is performed by boys, and they have no drum, but
keep chorus by singing in a particular manner, _la ilia il alia,_
(there is no God, but God.)

The sultan had frequently requested Mr. Ritchie to visit his
children, and some of his negresses when they were indisposed, and he
had in consequence frequently attended them, but being himself
confined by illness, Captain Lyon was allowed to prescribe for them,
and had therefore frequent opportunities of observing the interior of
his family, which would not otherwise have been afforded him. He was
much struck with the appearance of his daughters, one of three, the
other of one year and a half old, who were dressed in the highest
style of barbarian magnificence, and were absolutely laden with gold.
From their necks were suspended large ornaments of the manufacture of
Timbuctoo; and they had massive gold armlets and anklets of two
inches in breadth, and half an inch in thickness, which, from their
immense weight had produced callous rings round the legs and arms of
the poor infants. They wore silk shirts composed of ribbons sewed
together, in stripes of various colours, which hung down over silk
trousers. An embroidered waistcoat and cap completed this
overwhelming costume. Their nails, the tips of their fingers, the
palms of their hands and soles of their feet were dyed dark-brown
with henna. Captain Lyon viewed with amazement and pity the dress of
these poor little girls, borne down as they were with finery; but
that of the youngest boy, a stupid looking child of four years old,
was even more preposterous than that of his sisters. In addition to
the ornaments worn by them, he was loaded with a number of charms,
enclosed in gold cases, slung round his body, while in his cap were
numerous jewels, heavily set in gold, in the form of open hands, to
keep off _the evil eye._ These talismans were sewn on the front of
his cap, which they entirely covered. His clothes were highly
embroidered, and consisted of three waistcoats, a shirt of white
silk, the women only wearing coloured ones, and loose cloth, silk, or
muslin trousers.

The costume of the sultan's court or hangers-on, is strictly
Tripoline, and as fine as lace or presents of cast off-clothes can
make them. It is the custom with Mukni, in imitation of the bashaw,
to bestow occasionally on his principal people some article of dress.
Those presents are made with much affected dignity, by throwing the
garment to the person intended to be honoured, and saying, "Wear
that," the dress is immediately put on in his presence, and the
receiver kneels and kisses his hand in token of gratitude. Captain
Lyon once saw the old kadi, who was very corpulent, receive as a gift
a kaftan, which was so small for him, that when he had squeezed
himself into it, he was unable to move his arms, and was in that
condition obliged to walk home.

Each of the sultan's sons has a large troop of slaves, who attend him
wherever he goes; they are generally about the same age as their
master, and are his playmates, though they are obliged to receive
from him many hearty cuffs, without daring to complain. The suite of
the youngest boy in particular, formed a very amusing groupe, few of
them exceeding five years of age. One bears his master's _bornouse,_
another holds one shoe, walking next to the boy who carries its
fellow. Some are in fine cast-off clothes, with tarnished embroidery,
whilst others are quite or nearly naked, without even a cap on their
heads, and the procession is closed by a boy, tottering under the
weight of his master's state gun, which is never allowed to be fired
off.

In Mourzouk, the luxuries of life are very limited, the people
principally subsisting on dates. Many do not, for months together,
taste corn; when obtained, they make it into a paste called _asooda,_
which is a softer kind of _bazeen._ Fowls have now almost disappeared
in the country, owing to the sultan having appropriated all he could
find for the consumption of his own family. The sheep and goats are
driven from the mountains near Benioleed, a distance of four hundred
miles; they pass over one desert, which, at their rate of travelling,
occupies five days, without food or water. Numbers therefore die,
which in course raises the price of the survivors, They are valued at
three or four dollars each, when they arrive, being quite skeletons,
and are as high as ten and twelve, when fatted. Bread is badly made,
and is baked in ovens formed of clay in holes in the earth, and
heated by burning wood; the loaves, or rather flat cakes are struck
into the side, and are thus baked by the heat which rises from the
embers. Butter is brought in goat-skins from the Syrtis, and is very
dear. Tobacco is very generally chewed by the women, as well as by
the men. They use it with the _trona_ (soda). Smoking is the
amusement of a great man, rather than of the lower class, the mild
tobacco being very dear, and pipes not easily procured.

The revenues of the sultan of Fezzan arise from slaves, merchandise,
and dates. For every slave, great or small, he receives, on their
entering his kingdom, two Spanish dollars; in some years the number
of slaves amount to 4,000; for a camel's load of oil or butter, seven
dollars; for a load of beads, copper, or hardware, four dollars; and
of clothing, three dollars. All Arabs, who buy dates pay a dollar
duty on each load, equal at times to the price of the article, before
they are allowed to remove it. Above 3,000 loads are sold to them
annually. Date trees, except those of the kadi and mamlukes, are
taxed at the rate of one dollar for every two hundred; by this duty,
in the neighbourhood of Mourzouk, or more properly in the few
immediately neighbouring villages, the sultan receives yearly 10,000
dollars. Of all sheep or goats, he is entitled to a fifth. On the
sale of every slave, he has, in addition to the head-money, a dollar
and a half, which, at the rate of 4,000, gives another 6,000 dollars.
The captured slaves are sold by auction, at which the sultan's
brokers attend, bidding high only for the finest. The owner bids
against them until he has an offer equal to what he considers as the
value of the slave; he has then three-fourths of the money paid to
him, while one-fourth is paid by the purchaser to the sultan. Should
the owner not wish to part with his slaves, he buys them in, and the
sum which he last names, is considered as the price, from which he
has to pay the sultan's share. The trees, which are his private
property, produce about 6,000 camel loads of dates, each load 400
pounds weight, and which may be estimated at 18,000 dollars. Every
garden pays a _tenth_ of the corn produced. The gardens are very
small, and are watered, with great labour, from brackish wells. Rain
is unknown, and dews never fall. In these alone corn is raised, as
well as other esculents. Pomegranates and fig-trees are sometimes
planted in the water-channels. Presents of slaves are frequently
made, and fines levied. Each town pays a certain sum, which is small;
but as the towns are numerous, it may be averaged to produce 4,000
dollars. Add to this his annual excursions for slaves, sometimes
bringing 1,000 or 1,600, of which one-fourth are his, as well as the
same proportion of camels. He alone can sell horses, which he buys
for five or six dollars, when half starved, from the Arabs, who come
to trade, and cannot maintain them, and makes a great profit by
obtaining slaves in exchange for them. All his people are fed by the
public, and he has no money to pay, except to the bashaw, which is
about 15,000 dollars per annum. There are various other ways, in
which he extorts money. If a man dies childless, the sultan inherits
great part of his property; and if he thinks it necessary to kill a
man, he becomes his entire heir.

In Mourzouk, about a tenth part of the population are slaves, though
many of them have been brought away from their native country so
young as hardly to be considered in that light. With respect to the
household slaves, little or no difference is to be perceived between
them and freemen, and they are often entrusted with the affairs of
their master. These domestic slaves are rarely sold, and on the death
of any of the family to which they belong, one or more of them
receive their liberty; when, being accustomed to the country, and not
having any recollection of their own, they marry, settle, and are
consequently considered as naturalised. It was the custom, when the
people were more opulent, to liberate a male or female on the feast
of Bairam, after the fast of Rhamadan. This practice is not entirely
obsolete, but nearly so. In Mourzouk there are some white families,
who are called mamlukes, being descended from renegades, whom the
bashaw had presented to the former sultan. These families and their
descendants are considered noble, and, however poor and low their
situation may be, are not a little vain of their title.

The general appearance of the men of Fezzan is plain, and their
complexion black. The women are of the same colour, and ugly in the
extreme. Neither sex are remarkable for figure, weight, strength,
vigour, or activity. They have a very peculiar cast of countenance,
which distinguishes them from other blacks; their cheek-bones are
higher and more prominent, their faces flatter, and their noses less
depressed, and more peaked at the tip than those of the negroes.
Their eyes are generally small, and their mouths of an immense width;
but their teeth are frequently good; their hair is woolly, though not
completely frizzled. They are a cheerful people, fond of dancing and
music, and obliging to each other. The men almost all read and write
a little, but in every thing else they are very dull and heavy; their
affections are cold and selfish, and a kind of general indifference
to the common incidents of life, mark all their actions. They are
neither prone to sudden anger, nor at all revengeful. In Mourzouk the
men drink a great quantity of _lackbi,_ or a drink called _busa,_
which is prepared from the dates, and is very intoxicating. The men
are good-humoured drunkards, and when friends assemble in the
evening, the ordinary amusement is mere drinking; but sometimes a
_kadanka_ (singing girl) is sent for. The Arabs practise hospitality
generally; but among the Fezzaners that virtue does not exist, they
are, however, very attentive and obsequious to those in whose power
they are, or who can repay them tenfold for their pretended
disinterestedness. Their religion enjoins, that, should a stranger
enter while they are at their meals, he must be invited to partake,
but they generally contrive to evade this injunction by eating with
closed doors. The lower classes are from necessity very industrious,
women as well as men, as they draw water, work in the gardens, drive
the asses, make mats, baskets, &c. in addition to their other
domestic duties. People of the better class, or, more properly, those
who can afford to procure slaves to work for them, are, on the
contrary, very idle and lethargic; they do nothing but lounge or loll
about, inquiring what their neighbours have had for dinner, gossip
about slaves, dates, &c., or boast of some cunning cheat, which they
have practised on a Tibboo or Tuarick, who, though very knowing
fellows, are, comparatively with the Fezzaners, fair in their
dealings. Their moral character is on a par with that of the
Tripolines, though, if any thing, they are rather less insincere.
Falsehood is not considered odious, unless when detected; and when
employed in trading, they affirm that it is allowed by the Koran, for
the good of merchants. However this may be, Captain Lyon asserts,
that he never could find any one able to point out the passage
authorizing these commercial falsehoods.

The lower classes work neatly in leather; they weave a few coarse
barracans, and make iron-work in a solid, though clumsy manner. One
or two work in gold and silver with much skill, considering the
badness of their tools, and every man is capable of acting as a
carpenter or mason; the wood being that of the date tree, and the
houses being built of mud, very little elegance or skill is
necessary. Much deference is paid to the artists in leather or
metals, who are called, _par excellence, sta,_ or master, as
leather-master, iron-master, &c.

From the constant communication with Bornou and Soudan, the languages
of both these countries are generally spoken, and many of their words
are introduced into the Arabic. The family slaves and their children
by their masters, constantly speak the language of the country,
whence they originally come. Their writing is in the Mogrebyn
character, which is used, as is supposed by Captain Lyon, universally
in western Africa, and differs much from that of the east. The
pronunciation is also very different, the kaf being pronounced as a
G, and only marked with one nunnation, and F is pointed below; they
have no idea of arithmetic, but reckon every thing by dots on the
sand, ten in a line; many can hardly tell how much two and two amount
to. They expressed great surprise at the Europeans being able to add
numbers together without fingering. Though very fond of poetry, they
are incapable of composing it. The Arabs, however, invent a few
little songs, which the natives have much pleasure in learning, and
the women sing some of the negro airs very prettily, while grinding
their corn.

The songs of the kadankas (singing girls), who answer to the Egyptian
almehs, is Soudanic. Their musical instrument is called rhababe, or
erhab. It is an excavated hemisphere, made from the shell of a gourd
lime, and covered with leather; to this a long handle is fixed, on
which is stretched a string of horse hairs, longitudinally closed,
and compact as one cord, about the thickness of a quill. This is
played upon with a bow. Captain Lyon says, the women really produced
a very pleasing, though a wild melody; their songs were pretty and
plaintive, and generally in the Soudan language, which is very
musical. What is rather singular, he heard the same song sung by the
same woman that Horneman mentions, and she recollected having seen
that traveller at the castle.

The lower classes and the slaves, who, in point of colour and
appearance, are the same, labour together. The freeman has, however,
only one inducement to work, which is hunger; he has no notion of
laying by any thing for the advantage of his family, or as a reserve
for himself in his old age; but if by any chance he obtains money, he
remains idle until it is expended, and then returns unwillingly to
work. The females here are allowed greater liberty than those of
Tripoli, and are more kindly treated. Though so much better used than
those of Barbary, their life is still a state of slavery. A man never
ventures to speak of his women; is reproached, if he spends much time
in their company, never eats with them; but is waited upon at his
meals, and fanned by them while he sleeps. Yet these poor beings,
never having known the sweets of liberty, are, in spite of their
humiliation, comparatively happy.

The authority of parents over their children is very great; some
fathers of the better class do not allow their sons even to eat or
sit down in their presence, until they become men; the poorer orders
are less strict.

There are no written records of events amongst the Fezzaners, and
their traditions are so disfigured, and so strangely mingled with
religious and superstitious falsehoods, that no confidence can be
placed in them. Yet the natives themselves look with particular
respect on a man capable of talking of the people of the olden time.
Several scriptural traditions are selected and believed. The Psalms
of David, the Pentateuch, the Books of Solomon, and many extracts
from the inspired writers, are universally known, and most
reverentially considered. The New Testament, translated into the
Arabic, which Captain Lyon took with him, was eagerly read, and no
exception was made to it, but that of our Saviour being designated as
the son of God. St. Paul, or Baulus, bears all the blame of Mahomet's
name not being inserted in it, as they believe that his coming was
foretold by Christ, but that Paul erased it; he is therefore called a
kaffir, and his name is not used with much reverence.

Captain Lyon had not been more than ten days at Mourzouk, before he
was attacked with severe dysentery, which confined him to his bed
during twenty-two days, and reduced him to the last extremity. His
unadorned narrative conveys an affecting account of the sufferings to
which the party were exposed from the insalubrity of the climate; the
inadequate arrangements which had been made for their comfort, or
even subsistence, and the sordid and treacherous conduct of the
sultan. "Our little party," he says, "was at this time miserably
poor; for we had money only sufficient for the purchase of corn to
keep us alive, and never tasted meat, unless fortunate enough to kill
a pigeon in the gardens. My illness was the first break up in our
little community, and from that time, it rarely happened that one or
two of us were not confined to our beds. The extreme saltness of the
water, the poor quality of our food, together with the excessive heat
and dryness of the climate, long retarded my recovery, and when it
did take place, it was looked on as a miracle by those who had seen
me in my worst state, and who thought it impossible for me to
survive. I was no sooner convalescent than Mr. Ritchie fell ill, and
was confined to his bed with an attack of bilious fever, accompanied
with delirium, and great pain in his back and kidneys, for which he
required frequent cupping. When a little recovered, he got up for two
days, but his disorder soon returned with redoubled and alarming
violence. He rejected every thing but water, and, excepting about
three hours in the afternoon, remained either constantly asleep or in
a delirious state. Even had he been capable of taking food, we had
not the power of purchasing any which could nourish or refresh him.
Our money was now all expended, and the sultan's treacherous plans to
distress us, which daily became too apparent, were so well arranged,
that we could not find any one to buy our goods. For six entire weeks
we were without animal food, subsisting on a very scanty portion of
corn and dates. Our horses were mere skeletons, added to which,
Belford became totally deaf, and so emaciated as to be unable to
walk. My situation was now such as to create the most gloomy
apprehensions. My naturally sanguine mind, however, and above all, my
firm reliance on that Power which had so mercifully protected me on
so many trying occasions, prevented my giving way to despondency; and
Belford beginning soon to rally a little, we united, and took turns
in nursing and attending on our poor companion. At this time, having
no servant, we performed for Mr. Ritchie the most menial offices.
Two young men, brothers, whom we had treated with great kindness, and
whom we had engaged to attend on us, so far from commiserating our
forlorn condition, forsook us in our distress, and even carried off
our little store of rice and cuscoussou; laughing at our complaints,
and well knowing that our poverty prevented the redress which we
should otherwise have sought and obtained."

Rhamadan, the Mahommedan Lent, was announced on the 22nd June. The
strictest fast was immediately commenced, lasting from before day,
about three a.m., till sunset, seven p.m. In order to support their
assumed character as Moslem; they were now obliged, during the
sixteen hours, to eat only by stealth, their friend Mukni having
surrounded them with spies. Mr. Ritchie only, being confined to his
bed by illness, was privileged to take food or drink. The excessive
heat, which now raged, added to their sufferings. During the month of
June, the thermometer, at five o'clock a.m., stood at from 86° to
93°, but at two o'clock p.m., it rose to 117°, 122°, 124°, and at
length, on the 19th and 20th, to 131° and 133° of Fahrenheit. In the
early part of July, the heat somewhat abated; the thermometer, at two
p.m., ranging between 110° and 117°. Towards the close of the month,
it again rose to 125°, in August to 130° and 133°, in September it
ranged between 119° and 133°, with little difference in the
temperature of the mornings; and in October, the average was about
110°. The minimum, in December, was 51° at five a.m., and 77° in the
afternoon.

The close of the Rhamadan, on the 22d July, was attended, in the
city, with the most extravagant demonstrations of rejoicing.
Everybody was in motion, screaming, dancing, firing guns, eating and
drinking. Poor Mr. Ritchie, after having been confined to his bed for
fifty-eight days, was now able to sit up a little, and by the 20th
August had tolerably recovered. About the same time, Belford was
again attacked with giddiness and deafness, and fell into a very weak
state. Their rate of living was now reduced to a quart of corn _per
diem,_ with occasionally a few dates, divided amongst four persons.
No one would purchase their merchandize, owing, as it became apparent
to Mukni's treacherous orders. Mr. Ritchie, for reasons not
explained, did not think it right to draw for money on the treasury,
and they were reduced to the last extremity, when the sultan
graciously condescended to advance them eight dollars, and at this
time a neighbour repaid them ten dollars, which they had lent soon
after their arrival. They were now able to treat themselves with a
little meat. About the 20th September, Mr. Ritchie, who had never
recovered his spirits, but had latterly shunned the society even of
his companions, again relapsed, and was confined to his bed, and
Belford, though better in health, was entirely deaf; their condition
became every day more destitute. They had hired a woman to cook for
them at a dollar a month. She was required to come only once a day,
to bake their bread or make their cuscoussou; and it often happened,
that when she had stolen half the allowance to which they had
restricted themselves, they were obliged to fast till the morrow.
They were saved, when on the very brink of starvation, by a supply of
seven dollars, the munificent reward conferred upon Belford by the
sultan, for constructing a rude kind of carriage for him. Soon
afterwards, they sold a horse for seventy dollars. This seasonable
supply was carefully economized; but it had become much reduced when
Captain Lyon and Belford both fell ill again. The former rose from
his bed, after being confined to it for a week, a skeleton. Under
this exigency they met with a remarkable instance of disinterested
friendship on the part of a native, Yusuf el Lizari, who, as well as
his brother, had previously shown them much kindness. "One night,"
says Captain Lyon, "as we were all sitting pensively on our mat, our
friend Yusuf came in, and, addressing Mr. Ritchie, said, 'Yusuf, you,
and Said are my friends. Mukni has hopes you may die, that he may
secure to himself all your goods. You seem very melancholy; do you
want money?' Mr. Ritchie having acknowledged that he did, Yusuf
rejoined, 'I have none myself, but I will borrow some for you.'
Twenty dollars being the sum named, our kind friend went out, and
soon returned with thirty, an act of generosity so unlocked for, that
we were incapable of thanking him as he deserved. This seasonable
supply enabled us to buy some good food, and to make some amends for
our late privations. Our health soon improved, and Mr. Ritchie's
spirits began to brighten."

But this interval of hope was soon darkened. On the 8th of November,
poor Ritchie was again attacked by illness, and after lying for three
or four days in a state of torpor, without taking any refreshment, he
again became delirious, and on the 20th expired. The two survivors of
this ill-fated party were themselves reduce to the lowest state of
debility, and the only prospect before them, was that of probably
following, in a few days, their lamented companion. "And now, for the
first time in all our distresses," says Captain Lyon, "my hopes did
indeed fail me. Belford, as well as he was able, hastened to form a
rough coffin out of their chests, while the washers of the dead came
to perform their melancholy office. The protestant burial service was
read over the body, in secret, during the night, and on the next day,
the remains were committed to the grave. At the grave, it was deemed
necessary to keep up the farce of Mahommadism, by publicly reciting
the first chapter of the Koran, which the most serious Christian
would consider as a beautiful and applicable form on such an
occasion."

Within an hour after the funeral, a courier arrived from Tripoli,
announcing that a further allowance of £1,000 had been made by the
British government towards the expenses of the expedition. Had this
welcome intelligence reached them a little sooner, many of their
distresses would have been prevented. The efforts and mental
exertions which the survivors of the party had undergone, proved,
however, too much for their strength, and, for ten days, both were
again confined to their beds. During this time, they were most
humanely attended by Yusuf and Haji Mahmoud, and by a little girl,
who was their principal nurse. At length, Captain Lyon sufficiently
recovered his health, to undertake, during the months of December and
January, two excursions to the east and south of Mourzouk,
preparatory to his return to England. On the 9th of February, he
finally left Mourzouk; and on the 25th March, exactly one year from
the day on which the party left Tripoli, the Captain and Belford, his
surviving companion, re-entered that capital.



CHAPTER  XIX.

Death had hitherto been the lot of the African adventurers, but
nothing could shake the determination of the British government, to
obtain, by some means or other, a competent degree of information
respecting the unknown countries of Africa. The great favour enjoyed
at the court of Tripoli, was still regarded as an advantageous
circumstance. It was chiefly due to the prudence and ability of Mr.
Warrington, without whose advice scarcely any thing of importance was
transacted. The bashaw was therefore disposed to renew his protection
to whatever mission Britain might send; nor could the support of any
sovereign have been more efficient, for the influence of this petty
prince, and the terror of his name, were almost unbounded in the
greatest kingdoms of central Africa. One weapon, the gun, in the
hands of his troops, gives him all this superiority; for the remoter
nations, from the Nile to the Atlantic, scarcely know any other arms
besides the spear, the bow, and the javelin. A musket among those
tribes is an object of almost supernatural dread; individuals have
been seen kneeling down before it, speaking to it in whispers, and
addressing to it earnest supplications. With troops thus armed, the
bashaw of Tripoli is esteemed, in northern Africa, the most potent
monarch on earth; and it is a matter of surprise amongst the natives,
that he has not ere now compelled all Europe to embrace the
Mahommedan faith. He could, therefore, assure the English, that for
any but physical obstacles, they might travel in safety from Tripoli
to Bornou, as from Edinburgh to London.

Under the confidence inspired by these circumstances, government
prepared another expedition, and without difficulty procured a fresh
band of adventurers, who undertook to brave all its perils. Major
Denham, Lieutenant Clapperton, of the navy, and Dr. Oudney, a naval
surgeon, possessing a considerable knowledge of natural history, were
appointed to the service. Without delay they proceeded to Tripoli,
where they arrived on the 18th November, 1821. They were immediately
introduced to the bashaw, whom they found sitting cross-legged on a
carpet, attended by armed negroes. After treating them to sherbet and
coffee, he invited them to a hawking party, where he appeared mounted
on a milk-white Arabian steed, superbly caparisoned, having a saddle
of crimson velvet, richly studded with gold nails and with
embroidered trappings. The hunt began on the borders of the desert,
where parties of six or eight Arabs dashed forward quick as
lightning, fired suddenly, and rushed back with loud cries. The
skill, with which they manoeuvred their steeds, whirling the long
muskets over their heads, as they rode at full gallop, appeared quite
surprising.

On the 5th March, the party left Tripoli for Benioleed. Here the
consul and his son, who had accompanied them from Tripoli, took their
leave, with many hearty good wishes for their success and prosperity.

On the day previously to their approach to Sockna, the uniformity of
the journey was somewhat enlivened, by meeting with a kafila, or
coffle of slaves from Fezzan, in which were about seventy negresses,
much better looking and more healthy than any they had seen near the
sea coast. They were marching in parties of fifteen or twenty, and on
inquiring of one of these parties from whence they came, the poor
things divided themselves with the greatest simplicity, and answered,
"Soudan, Berghami and Kanem," pointing out the different parcels from
each country as they spoke. Those from Soudan had the most regular
features, and an expression of countenance particularly pleasing.

Passing a small wadey and plantation of date trees, they had soon a
view of Sockna, and were met on the plain on which it stands, by the
governor and principal inhabitants, accompanied by some hundreds of
the country people, who all crowded round their horses, kissing their
hands, and welcoming them with every appearance of sincerity and
satisfaction, and in this way they entered the town; the words
_Inglesi, Inglesi,_ were repeated by a hundred voices. This was to
them highly satisfactory, as they were the first English travellers
in Africa, who had resisted the persuasion that a disguise was
necessary, and who had determined to travel in their real character
as Britons and Christians, and to wear on all occasions their English
dresses; nor had they at any future period occasion to regret that
they had done so. There was here neither jealousy nor distrust of
them as Christians, on the contrary, Major Denham was perfectly
satisfied that their reception would have been less friendly, had
they assumed a character that would have been at the best but ill
supported. In trying to make themselves appear as Mussulmans, they
would have been set down as real impostors.

Of the inhabitants of Sockna, we have already given a full account in
the foregoing travels of Captain Lyon, nor does the history given by
Major Denham differ in any of the essential points. Of the affability
of the females, the travellers had however many proofs, and whilst
only two of them were walking through the town one morning, with a
little army of ragged boys following them, two of rather the better
order quickly dispersed them, and invited the English to enter a
house, saying that a _mara zene,_ a beautiful woman, wished to see
them. They put themselves under their guidance, and entering a better
sort of dwelling house, were quickly surrounded by half a dozen
ladies, most of them aged, but who asked them a thousand questions,
and when satisfied that their visitors were not dangerous people,
called several younger ones, who appeared to be but waiting for
permission to show themselves. The dresses of the visitors  were
then minutely examined; the yellow buttons on their waistcoats, and
their watches created the greatest astonishment. Major Denham wore a
pair of loose white trousers, into the pockets of which he
accidentally put his hands, which raised the curiosity of the ladies
to a wonderful degree; the major's hands were pulled out, and those
of three or four of the ladies thrust in, in their stead; these were
replaced by others, all demanding their use so violently and loudly,
that he had considerable difficulty in extricating himself, and was
glad to make his escape.

The remaining half of their journey to Mourzouk was pretty nearly the
same kind of surface as they had passed before, but in some places
worse. Sometimes two, and once three days, they were without finding
a supply of water, which was generally muddy, bitter, or brackish.
Nor is this the worst which sometimes befals the traveller; the
overpowering effect of a sudden sand-wind, when nearly at the close
of the desert, often destroys a whole kafila, already weakened by
fatigue, and the spot was pointed out to them strewed with bones and
dried carcasses, where the year before, fifty sheep, two camels, and
two men perished from thirst and fatigue, when within eight hours
march of the well, for which they were then anxiously looking.

Indeed the sand storm they had the misfortune to encounter in
crossing the desert, gave them a pretty correct idea of the dreaded
effects of these hurricanes. The wind raised the fine sand, with
which the extensive desert was covered, so as to fill the atmosphere,
and render the immense space before them impenetrable to the eye
beyond a few yards. The sun and clouds were entirely obscured, and a
suffocating and oppressive weight accompanied the flakes and masses
of sand, which it might be said they had to penetrate at every step.
At times they completely lost sight of the camels, though only a few
yards before them. The horses hung their tongues out of their mouths,
and refused to face the torrents of sand. A sheep that accompanied
the kafila, the last of their stock, lay down in the road, and they
were obliged to kill him and throw the carcass on a camel; a parching
thirst oppressed them, which nothing alleviated. They had made but
little way by three o'clock in the afternoon, when the wind got round
to the eastward, and imparted to them a little refreshment. With this
change they moved on until about five, when they halted, protected a
little by three several ranges of irregular hills, some conical, and
some table-topped. As they had but little wood, their fare was
confined to tea, and they hoped to find relieve from their fatigues
by a sound sleep. That, however, was denied them; the tent had been
imprudently pitched, and was exposed to the east wind, which blew a
hurricane during the night: the tent was blown down, and the whole
detachment were employed a full hour in getting it up again; their
bedding and everything within it was during that time completely
buried, by the constant driving of the sand. Major Denham was obliged
three times during the night, to get up for the purpose of
strengthening the pegs, and when he awoke in the morning, two
hillocks of sand were formed on each side of his head, some inches
high. On the 7th April, they arrived at a village in the midst of a
vast multitude of palm trees, just one day's journey short of
Mourzouk. As it was to be the last day's march, they were all in good
spirits at the prospect of rest, and had they made their arrangements
with judgment, every thing would have gone on well. They had,
however, neglected sending _an axant courier,_ to advise the sultan
of their arrival, a practice which ought particularly to have been
attended to, and consequently their reception was not what it ought
to have been. They arrived at D'leem, a small plantation of date
trees, at noon, and finding no water in the well, were obliged to
proceed, and it was three in the afternoon before they arrived at the
wells near Mourzouk. Here they were obliged to wait till the camels
came up, in order that they might advance in form. They might,
however, have saved themselves the trouble. No one came out to meet
them, except some naked boys, and a mixture of Tibboos, Tuaricks, and
Fezzanese, who gazed at them with astonishment, and no very pleasant
aspect.

They determined on not entering the town, in a manner so little
flattering to those whom they represented, and retiring to a rising
ground, a little distance from the gates of the town, waited the
return of a _chaoush,_ who had been despatched to announce their
arrival. After half an hour's delay, the Shiek el Blad, the governor
of the town came out, and in the sultan's name requested they would
accompany him to the house, which had been prepared for them, and he
added, to their great surprise, the English consul is there already.
The fact was, a very ill-looking Jew servant of Major Denham's,
mounted on a white mule, with a pair of small canteens under him, had
preceded the camels and entered the town by himself. He was received
with great respect by all the inhabitants, conducted through the
streets to the house which was destined to receive the party, and
from the circumstance of the canteens being all covered with small
brass shining nails, a very high idea, of his consequence was formed.
He very sensibly received ail their attentions in silence, and drank
the cool water and milk which were handed to him, and they always had
the laugh against them afterwards, for having shown so much civility
to an Israelite, a race which are heartily despised. "We thought the
English," said they, "were better looking than Jews--death to their
race! but the God made us all, though not all handsome like
Mussulmans, so who could tell?"

As they were all this time exposed to a burning sun, they were well
inclined to compromise a little of their dignity, and determined on
entering the town, which they did by the principal gate. Their
interview with the sultan of Mourzouk was anything but encouraging;
he told them that there was no intention, as they had been led to
expect, of any expedition to proceed to the southward for some time
to come; that an army could only move in the spring of the year; that
the arrangements for moving a body of men through a country, where
every necessary must be carried on camels, both for men and horses,
were go numerous, that before the following spring it was scarcely
possible to complete them, that two camels were required for every
man and horse, and one for every two men on foot. And as to their
proceeding to Bornou, it would be necessary had the bashaw instructed
him to forward them, that they should be accompanied by an escort of
two hundred men. He said, he would read to them the bashaw's letter,
and they should see the extent to which he could forward their
wishes. The letter was then handed to his fighi, or secretary, and
they found that they were entrusted to the protection of the sultan
of Fezzan, who was to charge himself with their safety, and to ensure
their being treated with respect and attention by all his subjects.
That they were to reside at Sebha or Mourzouk, or wherever they chose
in the kingdom of Fezzan, and to await his return from Tripoli. With
this their audience ended, and they returned to their habitation.

It is quite impossible to express the disheartening feelings, with
which they left the castle. The heat was intense; the thermometer
standing at 97° in the coolest spot in the house during the of the
day; and the nights were scarcely less oppressive; the flies were in
such myriads, that darkness was the only refuge from their annoyance.

They received visits from all the principal people of Mourzouk, the
day after their arrival, and remarking a very tall Turiack, with a
pair of expressive, large, benevolent looking eyes, above the black
mask, with which they always cover the lower part of their face,
hovering about the door, Major Denham made signs to him to come near,
and inquired after Hateeta, the chief, of whom Captain Lyon had
spoken so highly, and for whom at his request, he was the bearer of a
sword. To the great surprise of Major Denham, striking his breast, he
exclaimed, "I am Hateeta, Are you a countryman of Said? (Captain
Lyon's travelling name,) How is he? I have often longed to hear of
him." Major Denham found that Hateeta had been but once in Mourzouk,
since the departure of Captain Lyon, and was to remain only a few
days. On the following morning, he came to the house, and the sword
was presented to him. It would be difficult to describe his delight,
he drew the sword and returned it repeatedly, pressed it to his
breast, exclaimed, Allah! Allah! took the hand of Major Denham, and
pressing it, said, _katar heyrick yassur yassur,_ (thank you very,
very much,) nearly all the Arabic he could speak. It was shortly
reported all over the town, that Hateeta had received a present from
Said, worth one hundred dollars.

They had been several times visited, and their hopes and spirits
raised by a person called Boo Bucker, Boo Khaloom. He said that it
was in the sultan's power to send them on to Bornou, if he pleased,
he even hinted that a bribe for himself might induce him to do so;
this, however, was found not to be the case. Boo Khaloom was
represented to them, and truly, as a merchant of very considerable
riches and affluence in the interior. He was on the eve of starting
for Tripoli, with really superb presents for the bashaw. He had five
hundred slaves, the handsomest that could be procured, besides other
things. He stated in secret, that his principal object in going to
Tripoli, was to obtain the removal of the sultan of Fezzan, and he
wished that they should make application to the bashaw, for him to
accompany them further into the interior; they were not, however, to
hint that the proposition had come from him. Boo Khaloom said, that
he should be instantly joined by upwards of one hundred merchants,
who waited for his going, and no further escort would be necessary;
that he should merely remain a few weeks in Tripoli, and on his
return they should instantly move on.

Boo Khaloom left Mourzouk for Tripoli with his slaves and presents,
loading upwards of thirty camels, apparently reconciled to, and upon
good terms with the sultan. It was, however, very well known, that
Sultan Mustapha had set every engine at work to have Boo Khaloom's
head taken off, on his arrival at Tripoli, and that the other was
willing to sacrifice all that he was worth to displace and ruin
Mustapha in the bashaw's favour.

It was not until the 18th, that the sultan, after attending the
mosque, started for Tripoli; all his camels and suite had marched in
divisions for three days previously; in slaves he had alone more than
1,500. He was attended by about ten horsemen, his particular
favourites, and four flags were carried before him, through the town.
The inhabitants complained dreadfully of his avarice, and declared
that he had not left a dollar, or an animal worth one, in all Fezzan.

Nothing was now to be done but to make their arrangements for a
favourable start the following spring. By the sultan's departure,
every necessary for their proceeding was withdrawn from the spot
where they were. Not a camel was to be procured, and every dollar,
that he could by any means force from his subjects, was forwarded to
Tripoli. To that place, therefore, were they to look for supplies of
every kind, and it was unanimously decided, that the departure of
Major Denham for Tripoli should follow that of the sultan or as soon
as possible.

In pursuance of this determination to represent to the bashaw of
Tripoli, how necessary it was that something more than promises
should be given them for their sterling money, on Monday, the 20th
May, Major Denham left Mourzouk, with only his own negro servant,
three camels, and two Arabs, and after a most dreary journey of
twenty days, over the same uninteresting country which he had already
traversed, the more dreary for want of his former companions, he
arrived at Tripoli on the 12th June, where he was received by the
consul, with his usual hospitality and kindness, and he assigned him
apartments in the consulate.

Major Denham requested an immediate audience of the bashaw, which, in
consequence of the Rhamadan, was not granted him until the following
evening. The consul, Captain Smyth of the navy, and Major Denham,
attended. The latter represented, in the strongest terms, how greatly
they were disappointed at the unexpected and ruinous delay, which
they had experienced at Mourzouk, and requested a specific time being
fixed for their proceeding to Bornou, stating also, that were the
answer not satisfactory, he should proceed forthwith to England, and
represent to the government how grievously they had  been deceived.
The I bashaw denied having intentionally broken his word, and
solemnly declared that the will of God, in visiting the sultan of
Fezzan with sickness, had alone prevented their being now on the road
to Bornou.

Not receiving the full satisfaction which was expected, Major Denham
lost no time in setting sail for England, to lodge a complaint with
his own court. This news was painfully felt by the bashaw, who sent
vessel after vessel, one of which at last overtook Major Denham,
while performing quarantine at Marseilles, and announced to him, that
arrangements were actually made with Boo Khaloom, for escorting him
to the capital of Bornou. Major Denham immediately re-embarked, and a
seven days' passage brought him once more to the shores of Barbary.
Boo Khaloom and part of the escort were already at the entrance of
the desert; and on the 17th September, they re-entered the pass of
Melghri in the Tarhona Mountains.

Hope and confidence had now taken possession of the mind of Major
Denham, in the place of anxiety and disappointment; there was now an
air of assurance and success in all their arrangements, and, with
this conviction, Major Denham felt his health and spirits increase.
But little beyond the casualties attendant on desert travelling,
occurred previously to their arriving again at Sockna, which took
place on the 2nd October.

Major Denham found that the great failing of his friend, Boo Khaloom,
was pomp and show; and feeling that he was on this occasion the
representative of the bashaw, he was evidently unwilling that any
sultan of Fezzan should exceed him in magnificence. On entering
Sockna, his six principal followers, handsomely attired in turbans
and fine barracans, and mounted on his best horses, kept near his
person, whilst the others at a little distance, formed the flanks.
Major Denham rode on his right hand, dressed in his British uniform,
with loose Turkish trousers, a red turban, red boots, with a white
bornouse over all, as a shade from the sun, and this, though not
strictly according to orders, was by no means an unbecoming dress.
Boo Khaloom was mounted on a beautiful white Tunisian horse, a
present from the bashaw, the peak and rear of the saddle covered with
gold, and his housings were of scarlet cloth, with a border of gold
six inches broad. His dress consisted of red boots, richly
embroidered with gold, yellow silk trousers, a crimson velvet caftan
with gold buttons, a silk benise of sky blue, and a silk sidria
underneath. A transparent white silk barraca was thrown lightly over
this, and on his shoulder hung a scarlet bornouse with wide gold
lace, a present also from the bashaw, which had cost at least four
hundred dollars, and a cashmere shawl turban crowned the whole. In
this splendid array they moved on, until, as they approached the
gates of the town, the dancing and singing men and women met them,
and amidst these, the shouts and firing of the men, who skirmished
before them, and the loo! loo! of the women, they entered Sockna.

They found that houses were provided for them in the town, but the
kafila bivouacked outside the gates. It had always been their
intention to halt at Sockna for three or four days, and here they
expected to be joined by a party of Megarha Arabs, whom their sheik,
Abdi Smud ben Erhoma, had left them for the purpose of collecting
together. Hoon and Wadan were also to furnish them with another
quota.

The house of Major Denham consisted of a court yard eighteen feet
square, and a small dark room, leading out of it by two steps. The
court, however, was the greater part of the day shaded, and here on a
carpet, the major received his visitors. The Arabs, as they arrived,
were all sent to him by Boo Khaloom, and their presentation has a
form in it, not much in character with their accustomed rudeness:
they all come armed with their long guns, and the same girdle which
confines their barracan, contains also two long pistols; the chief
enters, and salutes, dropping on one knee, and touching the
stranger's right hand with his, which he carries afterwards to his
lips; he then says, "Here are my men, who are come to say health to
you." On receiving permission, they approached Major Denham one by
one, saluting in the same manner as their chief, who continued to
remain at his side; they then sat down, forming a sort of semi-circle
round the major, with their guns upright between their knees, and
after a little time, on the sheik's making a signal, they all quitted
the presence.

Boo Khaloom at this time became so alarmingly ill, that their
departure was of necessity postponed. He requested Major Denham to
prescribe for him. All the fighis' (writers,) and marabouts in
Sockna, were employed on this occasion by the friends of Boo Khaloom;
and one night the tassels of his cap were literally loaded with their
charms. Boo Khaloom assured Major Denham, when alone, that he had no
faith in such things, and smiled when he said his friends would think
ill of him, were he to refuse; his faith was, however, stronger than
he chose to acknowledge; for entering one morning unexpectedly, the
major found him with a dove, that had just been killed and cut open,
lying on his head, which, as he assured him, was, because a very
great marabout had come from Wadan on purpose to perform the
operation. Major Denham was nevertheless still more surprised to find
him seated on a carpet, in the centre of the little court yard of his
house, in the middle of the day, with five of his hordes round him,
which had been brought from the tents by his order. The major was
convinced, that this was some superstitious idea of the mystic
influence which his horses were supposed to have upon his fate, and
on expressing his surprise, he made him sit down and told him the
following story.

"Sidi Mohammed, praise be to his name!" said he, "was once applied to
by a poor man, whose speculations in trade always turned out
disadvantageously; his children died, and nothing flourished with
him. Mohammed told him, that horses were nearly connected with his
fate, and that he must buy horses before he would be fortunate. 'If I
cannot afford to keep myself,' said the man, 'how can I feed
horses?'--'No matter,' said the prophet; alive or dead, no good
fortune will come upon your house until you have them.' The poor man
went and purchased the head of a dead horse, which was all his means
enabled him to do, and this he placed over his house, little dreaming
of the good fortune, which by this means he was to enjoy. Before the
first day passed, to his extreme surprise and joy, he saw a bird,
with a chain attached to its neck, entangled with the horse's head;
and, on mounting to the housetop to extricate the bird, he found it
one of the greatest beauty, and that the chain was of diamonds. He
was not long in discovering the bird had escaped from the window of
the favourite of a certain sultan, who, on its being restored, gave
the poor man the chain as his reward, and by means of which he became
rich and happy. Now," said Boo Khaloom, "I dreamt of this story last
night, and that I was the poor man."

During their stay at Sockna, the marriage of the son of one of the
richest inhabitants, Haji Mohammed-el-Hair-Trigge, was celebrated in
the true Arab style. There is something so rudely chivalric in their
ceremonies, so very superior to the dull monotony of a Tripolitan
wedding, where from one to five hundred guests, all males assemble,
covered with gold lace, and look at one another from the evening of
one day until daylight the next, that we cannot refrain from
transcribing it.

The morning of the marriage-day, (for the ceremony is always
performed in the evening, that is, the final ceremony, for they are
generally betrothed, and the fatah read a year before,) is ushered in
by the music of the town or tribe, consisting of a bagpipe and two
small drums, serenading the bride first, and then the bridegroom, who
generally walks through the streets, very finely dressed, with all
the town at his heels; during which all the women assemble at the
bride's house, dressed in their finest clothes, and place themselves
at the different holes in the walls, which serve as windows, and look
into the court-yard. When they are so placed, and the bride is in
front of one of the windows, with her face entirely covered with her
barracan, the bridal clothes, consisting of silk shifts, shawls, silk
trousers, and fine barracans, to show her riches, are hung from the
top of the house, quite reaching to the ground. The young Arab chiefs
are permitted to pay their respects; they are preceded from the
skiffa, or entrance, by their music, and a dancing woman or two
advance with great form, and with slow steps, to the centre of the
court, under the bride's window; here the ladies salute their
visitors with "loo! loo! loo!" which they return by laying their
right hand on their breasts, as they are conducted quite round the
circle. Ample time is afforded them to survey the surrounding
beauties, and there are but few who on those occasions are so cruel
as to keep the veil quite closed. Such an assemblage of bright black
eyes, large ear-rings, and white teeth, are but rarely seen in any
country. After having made the circuit, the largess is given, and
exposed to view by the chief _danseuse,_ and according to its amount,
is the donor hailed and greeted by the spectators. Previously to
their departure, all visitors discharge their pistols, and then again
the ladies salute with the loo! loo!

So far from being displeased at Major Denham asking permission to pay
his respects, it was considered as a favour conferred, and the
bridegroom, although he could not himself be admitted, attended him
to and from the house of his mistress. This ceremony being ended, a
little before sunset, the bride prepares to leave her father's house;
a camel is sent for her, with a jaafa or sedan chair of basket work
on its back, covered with skins of animals, shawls from Soudan,
Cairo, and Timbuctoo; she steps into this, and so places herself as
to see what is going forward, and yet to lie entirely hidden from the
view of others. She is now conducted outside the town, where all the
horsemen and footmen, who have arms are assembled. The escort of the
travellers on this occasion added to the effect, as they were all by
Boo Khaloom's order in the field, consisting of sixty mounted Arabs,
and when they all charged and fired at the foot of the bride's camel,
Major Denham says, he really felt for the virgin's situation, but it
was thought a great honour, and that, he supposes, consoled her for
the fright. They commenced by skirmishing by twos and fours, and
charging in sections at full speed, always firing close under the
bride's jaafa; in this manner they proceeded three times round the
town, the scene occasionally relieved by a little interlude of the
bridegroom; approaching the camel, which was surrounded by the
negresses, who instantly commenced a cry, and drove him away, to the
great amusement of the bystanders, exclaiming, _"burra! Burra!"_ (be
off! be off!) _mazal shouia,_ (a little yet.) With discharges of
musketry, and the train of horsemen, &c., she is then conveyed to the
bridegroom's house, upon which it is necessary for her to appear
greatly surprised, and refuse to dismount; the women scream, and the
men shout, and she is at length persuaded to enter, when after
receiving a bit of sugar in her mouth, from the bridegroom's hand,
and placing another bit in his, with her own fair fingers, the
ceremony is finished, and they are declared man and wife.

They had now to pass the Gibel Assoud, or Black Mountains; the
northernmost part of this basaltic chain commences on leaving Sockna.
They halted at Melaghi the place of meeting; immediately at the foot
of the mountain is the well of Agutifa, and from hence probably the
most imposing view of these heights will be seen. To the south, the
mountain path of Niffdah presents its black, overhanging peaks, the
deep chasm round which, the path winds, bearing a most cavern-like
appearance; a little to the west, the camel path, called El Nishka,
appears scarcely less difficult and precipitous; the more southern
crags close in the landscape, while the foreground is occupied by the
dingy and barren wadey of Agutifa, with the well immediately overhung
by red ridges of limestone and clay; the whole presenting a picture
of barrenness not to be perfectly described either by poet or
painter.

The first four days of their journey after leaving Agutifa, were all
dreariness and misery. This was the third time that they had passed
these deserts, but no familiarity with the scenery at all relieves
the sense of wretchedness which the dread barrenness of the place
inspires. They marched from dawn until dark, for the sake of getting
over them as soon as possible, and as scarcely sufficient fuel was to
be found to boil a little water, a mass of cold tumuta was usually
their supper.

On leaving Tingazeer they had the blessing of a rainy day, for such
it was to all, but particularly to the poor negroes who accompanied
the kafila; although Boo Khaloom always gave something to drink from
his skins once a day, an unusual kindness; yet, marching as they were
for twelve and fourteen hours, a single draught was scarcely
sufficient to satisfy nature. In consequence of the rain, they found
water fresh and pure during almost every day's march, and arrived at
Zeghren with the loss of only one camel. On the last day, previously
to arriving at the well, Omhul Abeed, a skeleton of a man, with some
flesh still hanging about him, lay close to the road, but it was
passed by the whole kafila with scarcely a remark.

After these dreary wastes, it was no small pleasure to rest a day at
Zeghren, the native town of a considerable merchant, who accompanied
the kafila. When they first left Sockna for Mourzouk, Abdi Zeleel had
before taken Major Denham to his house, and presented him to his
mother and sister, and he now insisted upon his taking up his
quarters there altogether. Almost the first person who presented
herself, was his friend the merchant's sister, he had almost said,
the fair Omhal Henna, (the mother of peace.) We shall allow Major
Denham to relate this African amour in his own words:--

"She had a wooden bowl of haleb (fresh milk) in her hand, the
greatest rarity she could offer, and holding out the milk, with some
confusion, towards me, with both her hands, the hood, which should
have concealed her beautiful features, had fallen back. As my taking
my milk from her, would have prevented the amicable salutation we
both seemed prepared for, and which consisted of four or five gentle
pressures of the hand, with as many _aish harleks,_ and _tiels,_ and
_ham-dulillahs,_ she placed the bowl upon the ground, while the
ceremonies of greeting, which take up a much longer time in an
African village, than in an English drawing room, were by mutual
consent most cordially performed. I really could not help looking at
her with astonishment, and I heartily wish I had the power of
conveying an idea of her portrait. It was the jemma (Friday,) the
sabbath, and she was covered, for I cannot call it dressed, with only
a blue linen barracan, which passed under one arm, and was fastened
on the top of the opposite shoulder, with a silver pin, the remaining
part thrown round the body behind, and brought over her head as a
sort of hood, which, as I have before remarked, had fallen off, and
my having taken her hand, when she set down the milk, had prevented
its being replaced. This accident displayed her jet black hair, in
numberless plaits, all round her expressive face and neck, and her
large sparkling eyes and little mouth, filled with the whitest teeth
imaginable. She had various figures burnt on her chin, with
gunpowder; her complexion was a deep brown, and round her neck were
eight or ten necklaces, of coral and different coloured beads. So
interesting a person I had not seen in the country, and on my
remaining some moments with my eyes fixed on her, she recommenced the
salutation. How is your health? &c., and smiling, asked with great
naivete, whether I had not learned, during the last two months, a
little more Arabic? I assured her that I had. Looking round to see if
any body heard her, and having brought the hood over her face, she
said, 'I first heard of your coming last night, and desired the slave
to mention it to my brother. I have always looked for your coming,
and at night, _because at night I have sometimes seen you._ You were
the first man whose hand I ever touched, but they all said it did not
signify with you, an Insara (a Christian.) God turn your heart! But
my brother says you will never become Moslem--won't you, to please
Abdi Zeleel's sister? my mother says, God would never have allowed
you to come, but for your conversion.' By this time again the hood
had fallen back, and I had again taken her hand, when the unexpected
appearance of Abdi Zeleel, accompanied by the governor of the town,
who came to visit me, was a most unwelcome interruption. Omhal Henna
quickly escaped; she had overstepped the line, and I saw her no
more."

On Wednesday the 30th October, they made their entree into Mourzouk,
with all the parade and show that they could muster. By Boo Khaloom's
presents to the bashaw, but chiefly on account of his having
undertaken to conduct the travellers to Bornou, he had not only
gained the bashaw's favour, but had left Tripoli with strong proofs
of his master's consideration. The inhabitants came out to meet them,
and they entered the gates amidst the shouts of the people, preceded
by singing and dancing women. And the Arabs who formed their escort,
made such repeated charges, upon their jaded and tired animals, that
Major Denham expected some of them would "fall to rise no more." No
living creatures can be treated worse than an Arab's wife and his
horse, and if plurality could be transferred from the marriage bed to
the stable, both wives and horses would be much benefited by the
change.

Major Denham could not quite resist a sensation of disappointment,
that no friends came out to meet him, but as the sun was insufferably
powerful, and as he had received a message  by Boo Khaloom's brother,
from Dr. Oudney, that he was unwell, and that Lieutenant Clapperton
had the ague, he did not much expect to see them. He was, however, by
no means prepared to see either of them so much reduced as they were.
He found that both his companions and Hillman, had been confined to
their beds with _hemma,_ (fever and ague,) had been delirious, and
the doctor and Hillman only a little recovered. Clapperton was still
on his bed, which for fifteen days he had not quitted. Doctor Oudney
was suffering also from a severe complaint in his chest, arising from
a cold caught during his excursion to Ghraat, and nothing could be
more disheartening than their appearance. The opinion of every body,
Arabs, Tripolines, and Ritchie, and Lyon, their predecessors, were
all unanimous as to the insalubrity of the air. Every one belonging
to the present expedition had been seriously disordered, and amongst
the inhabitants themselves, any thing like a healthy-looking person
was a rarity.

Notwithstanding Boo Khaloom made every exertion in his power to get
away from Mourzouk, as early as possible, yet, from the numerous
arrangements, which it was necessary for him to make, for the
provisioning of so many persons, during a journey through a country
possessing no resources, it was the 29th November before those
arrangements were complete. Dr. Oudney and Mr. Clapperton, from a
most praiseworthy impatience to proceed on their journey, and at the
same time thinking their health might be benefited by the change of
air, preceded him to Gatrone by ten days. Major Denham remained
behind to urge Boo Khaloom, and expedite his departure, as it was
considered, by those means, that any wish might be obviated, which he
might have to delay, on account of his private affairs, even for a
day. Their caution was, however, needless, no man could be more
anxious to obey the orders he had received, and forward their views
than himself; indeed so peremptory had been the commands of the
bashaw, in consequence of the representation of our consul general,
when complaining of former procrastinations, that Boo Khaloom's
personal safety depended on his expedition, and of this he was well
aware.

The following is a correct account of the strength of the party, as
it proceeded from Mourzouk. Major Denham had succeeded in engaging,
on his return to Tripoli, as an attendant to accompany him to Bornou,
a native of the island of St. Vincent, whose real name was Adolphus
Sympkins, but who, in consequence of his having run away from home,
and as a merchant traversed hall the world over, had acquired the
name of Columbus. He had been several years in the service of the
bashaw, spoke three European languages, and perfect Arabic. [*] They
had besides, three free negroes, who had been hired in Tripoli as
private servants. Jacob, a Gibraltar Jew, who was a sort of
store-keeper, four men to look after the camels, and these, with Mr.
Hillman and the remainder of the Europeans, made up the number of
their household to thirteen persons. They were also accompanied by
several merchants from Mesurata, Tripoli, Sockna, and Mourzouk, who
gladly embraced the protection of their escort, to proceed to the
interior with their merchandize.

[Footnote: This person afterwards accompanied Captain Clapperton on
his second journey.]

The Arabs in the service of the bashaw of Tripoli, by whom they were
to be escorted to Bornou, and on whose good conduct their success
almost wholly depended, were now nearly all assembled, and had been
chosen from amongst the most convenient tribes. They gained
considerably in the good opinion of the travellers, each day as they
became better acquainted with them; they were not only a great and
most necessary protection to them, breaking the ground, as they were,
for any Europeans who might follow their steps, but enlivened them
greatly on their dreary desert way, by their infinite wit and
sagacity, as well as by their poetry, extempore and traditional.
There were several amongst the party, who shone as orators in verse,
to use the idiom of their own expressive language, particularly one
of the tribe of Boo Saiff Marabooteens, or gifted persons, who would
sing for an hour together, faithfully describing the whole of their
journey for the preceding fortnight, relating the most trifling
occurrence that had happened, even to the name of the well, and the
colour and taste of the water, with astonishing rapidity and humour,
and in very tolerable poetry, while some of his traditional ballads
were beautiful.

The Arabs are generally thin, meagre figures, though possessing
expressive and sometimes handsome features; great violence of gesture
and muscular action; irritable and fiery, they are unlike the
dwellers in towns and cities; noisy and loud, their common
conversational intercourse appears to be a continual strife and
quarrel. They are, however, brave, eloquent, and deeply sensible of
shame. Major Denham once knew an Arab of the lower class refuse his
food for days together, because in a skirmish his gun had missed
fire; to use his own words, _"Gulbi wahr,_ (my heart aches,)
_Bin-dikti kadip hashimtui gedam el naz._ (my gun lied, and shamed me
before the people.)" Much has been said of their want of cleanliness;
they may, however, be pronounced to be much more cleanly than the
lower orders of people in any European country. Circumcision, and the
shaving the hair from the head, and every other part of the body; the
frequent ablutions, which their religion compels them to perform; all
tend to enforce practices of cleanliness. Vermin, from the climate of
their country, they, as well as every other person, must be annoyed
with; and although the lower ranks have not the means of frequently
changing their covering, for it can be scarcely called apparel, yet
they endeavour to free themselves as much as  possible from the
persecuting vermin. Their mode of dress has undergone no change for
centuries back, and the words of Fenelon will at this day apply with
equal truth to their present appearance. "Leurs habits sont aisés a
faire, car en ce doux climat on ne porte qu'une piece d'étoffe fine
et légère, qui n'est point taillée et que chacun met à long plis
autour de son corps pour la modestie; lui donnant la forme qu'il
veut."



CHAPTER XX.

During the time that Major Denham had been occupied with transacting
his business with the bashaw of Tripoli, Dr. Oudney and Lieutenant
Clapperton had determined to make an excursion to the westward of
Mourzouk, for the purpose of ascertaining the course of the rivers,
and the local curiosities of the country. Accordingly on the 8th June
1822, Dr. Oudney, Lieutenant Clapperton, and Mr. Hillman, departed
from Mourzouk, accompanied by Hadje Ali, brother of Ben Bucher, Ben
Khalloom, Mahommed Neapolitan Mamelouk, and Mahomet, son of their
neighbour Hadje Mahmud. It was their intention to have proceeded
direct to Ghraat, and laboured hard to accomplish their object;
obstacle after obstacle was, however, thrown in their way by some
individuals in Mourzouk. Several came begging them not to go, as the
road was dangerous, and the people not all under the bashaw's
control. They at length hired camels from a Targee, Hadge Said, but
only to accompany them as far as the wadey Ghrurby.

This course was over sands skirted with date trees, the ground
strewed with fragments of calcareous crust, with a vitreous surface
from exposure to the weather. About mid-day, after an exhausting
journey from oppressive heat, they arrived at El Hummum, a straggling
village, the houses of which were mostly constructed of palm leaves.
They remained until the sun was well down and then proceeded on their
course. The country had the same character. At eight they arrived at
Tessouwa.

The greater number of inhabitants were Turiacks. They had a warlike
appearance, a physiognomy and costume different from the Fezzaners.
More than a dozen muffled-up faces were seated near their tents, with
every one's spear stuck forcibly in the ground before him. This
struck them forcibly, from being very different from that which they
had been accustomed to see. The Arab is always armed in his journey,
with his long gun and pistols, but there is something more imposing
in the spear, dagger, and broad straight sword.

Their course now lay over an extensive high plain, with a long range
of hills, running nearly east and west. They entered them by a pass,
in which were numerous recesses, evidently leading to more extensive
wadeys. This pass led to another, the finest they had yet seen, and
the only part approaching to the sublime, which they had beheld in
Fezzan. It was rugged and narrow; its sides high, and overhanging in
some places near the end of the pass, the wady Ghrarby opens, with
groves of date palms, and high sandy hills. The change was sudden and
striking, and instead of taking away, added to the effect of the pass
they were descending.

Having travelled up the valley for about four miles, they halted at a
small town, called Kharaik, having passed two in their course. The
number of date trees in the eastern and western division of the
valley, is said to be 340,000. The first division, or wadey Shirgi,
extends from near Siba to within a few miles of Thirtiba, the other
from the termination of Shirgi to Aubari.

In the evening, they saw some of the preparatory steps for a
marriage. The woman belonged to Kharaik, and the man to the next
town. A band of musicians, accompanied by all the women of the
village, with every now and then a volley of musketry, formed the
chief part of the procession. One woman carried a basket on her head,
for the purpose of collecting gomah to form a feast, and pay the
musicians. They came from the village of the bridegroom, which was
about a mile distant.

The sheik of this town, whose name was Ali, was a good-natured
Tibboo, exceedingly poor, but very attentive, and always in good
humour. The place was so poor that they had sometimes to wait half a
day before they could get a couple of fowls, or a feed of dates or
barley for their horses. They were in hourly expectation of the
arrival of camels from the friends of Hateeta, for the purpose of
conveying them to Ghraat; no camels, however, arrived, and they were
obliged to remain, much against their inclination. On Hateeta
conversing with Dr. Oudney, on the difficulty they experienced in
getting away from Mourzouk, on account of the obstacles thrown in the
way by the people, he said, that the dread, which they had of the
Turiacks, was unfounded, and that they should soon be convinced of
it. He further added, that he could by his influence alone conduct
them in perfect safety to Timbuctoo, and would answer with his head.
He was indignant at the feelings, which the people of Mourzouk had
against the Turiacks, who, he said, pride themselves on having but
one word, and performing whatever they promise.

The promised camels not having arrived, they hired two of Mahomet el
Buin, and with these they proceeded on to Gorma, which they found to
be a larger town than any in the wadey, but both walls and houses
have the marks of time. The sheik, Mustapha Ben Ussuf, soon visited
them. He was an old man, a Fezzaner. His ancestors were natives of
the place, and his features might be considered as characteristic of
the natives of Fezzan.

They had many accounts of inscriptions being in this place, which the
people could not read. They were conducted by sheik Mustapha to
examine a building, different, as he stated, from any in the country.
When they arrived, they found to their satisfaction, it was a
structure which had been erected by the Romans.

There were no inscriptions to be found, although they carefully
turned up a number of the stones strewed about, but a few figures and
letters rudely hewn out, and evidently of recent date. They imagined
they could trace some resemblance to the letters of Europe, and
conjectured that they had been hewn out by some European traveller at
no very distant period. Their thoughts naturally went back to
Horneman, but again they had no intelligence of his having been
there, "In short," as Dr. Oudney says, "to confess the truth, we did
not know what to make of them, till we afterwards made the discovery
of the Targee writing."

This building is about twelve feet high, and eight broad. It is built
of sandstone well finished, and dug from the neighbouring hills. Its
interior is solid, and of small stones, cemented by mortar. It stands
about three miles from Gorma, and a quarter of a mile from the foot
of the mountain. It is either a tomb or an altar; those well
acquainted with Roman architecture will easily determine which. The
finding a structure of these people proves, without doubt, their
intercourse here. It is probable they had no extensive establishment,
otherwise they would have seen more remains as they went along; they
passed by, and saw to the westward, the remains of ancient Gorma. It
appeared to occupy a space more extensive than the present town. They
were not able to learn from the old sheik, whether any antique coins
were ever found, or any building similar to this in the vicinity. Was
this the tract of the Romans merely into the interior, or did they
come to the valley for dates?

Hateeta arrived during the night of the 18th June; their departure
was, however, delayed on account of his illness. On the following
morning, they struck their tents by daylight, and commenced their
journey. They sent their horses home, that is, to Mourzouk, by their
servant, Adam, and set out on foot. They intended mounting the
camels, but the loads were so ill arranged that they dared not
venture. Their course lay through groves of date trees, growing in
the salt plains. These extended about four miles, and two miles
further west, was a small Arab town. They halted about an hour under
the shade of the date trees, waiting for the coming up of the camels.
They then mounted, and in the afternoon entered the date groves of
Oubari, where they halted. Hateeta joined them in the evening. They
had numerous Tuarick visitors, some residents of the town, and others
belonging to a kafila about to depart for the Tuarick country. They
are an independent-looking race. They examine with care every thing
they see, and are not scrupulous in asking for different articles,
such as tobacco, powder, and flints.

The camel men not coming forward with their camels, the party took
the advantage of their detention to visit the neighbouring hills. One
part appeared at a distance as an artificial excavation, which,
however, disappeared as they approached, and they found it to be a
smooth surface, with a portion so removed as to give rise to the
delusion.

In ascending this by the track of a mountain torrent, they fell in
with numerous inscriptions, in characters similar to those on the
Roman building. Some were evidently done centuries ago, others very
recently. To the southward there was another portion of the same
range. When they got to the top, they were perspiring copiously, and
had to take care that the perspiration was not checked too suddenly,
as a strong cool breeze was blowing on the top. Many places were
cleared away for prayer, in the same manner as they had observed in
places on all the roads, on which they had travelled. The form in
general is an oblong square, with a small recess in one of the longer
sides, looking to the rising sun, or it is semicircular, with a
similar recess. On the top of a steep precipice, "God save the king"
was sung with great energy and taste by Hillman.

The new moon was seen on this evening, to the great joy of all the
followers of Mahomet. Muskets and pistols were discharged, and all
the musicians began their labours. This sport was continued until
night. A party of musicians came out to visit them, but several of
them were so drunk that they could scarcely walk. The fast was kept
by all with a bad grace, and scarcely one was to be seen who had not
a long visage. It was even laughable to see some young men going
about the streets, with long walking-sticks, leaning forward like men
bent with age. As soon as the maraboot calls, not a person was to be
seen in the streets; all commence, as soon as he pronounces "Allah
Akber!" All pretend to keep it, and if they do not, they take care
that no one shall know it; but from the wry faces and pharasaical
shows, the rigidity may be called in question. None of the European
party kept the fast, except for a day now and then; for all
travellers, after the first day, are allowed exemption, but they have
to make it up at some other time.

They were greatly amused with stories of the great powers of eating
of the Tuaricks. They were told that two men have consumed three
sheep at one meal, another eating a kail of bruised dates, and a
corresponding quantity of milk, and another eating about a hundred
loaves, about the size of an English penny loaf. They had many
inquiries respecting the English females; for a notion prevailed,
that they always bore more than one child at a time, and that they
went longer than nine calendar months. On being told that they were
the same in that respect as other women, they appeared pleased.
They were also asked, how the women were kept; if they were locked up
as the moorish women, or allowed to go freely abroad. The Tuarick
women are allowed great liberties that way, and are not a little
pleased at having such an advantage. The customs and manners of
Europe, which they related to their friends, were so similar to some
of theirs, that an old Targee exclaimed, in a forcible manner, "that
he was sure they had the same origin as us." The Tuarick women have
full round faces, black curling hair, and, from a negro mixture,
inclined to be crispy; eyebrows a little arched, eyes black and
large, nose plain and well formed. The dress a barracan, neatly
wrapped round, with a cover of dark blue cloth for the head,
sometimes coming over the lower part of the face, as in the men.
They are not very fond of beads, but often have shells suspended to
the ears as ear-drops.

Being obliged to postpone their departure for ten days, in
consequence of the indisposition of Hateeta, Dr. Oudney determined in
the mean time to visit Wady Shiati, whilst Mr. Hillman was sent back
to Mourzouk, to send down supplies, and to take charge of the
property. They arranged about the fare for their camels, and made
every preparation for their immediate departure. Before, however,
they could set out, a guide for the sands was necessary; and for that
purpose they engaged an old Targee, who professed to know every part
of the track. They travelled by moonlight, over a sandy soil, with
numerous tufts of grass, and mound hillocks covered with shrubs, the
surface in many places hard and crusty, from saline incrustations.
The old men told them, that the mounds of earth were formed by water,
as the wadey, at the times of great rains, was covered with water.

At daylight they resumed their journey, and a little after sunrise
entered among the sand-hills, which were here two or three hundred
feet high. The ascent and descent of these proved very fatiguing to
both their camels and themselves. The precipitous sides obliged them
often to make a circuitous route, and rendered it necessary to form
with their hands a track, by which the camels might ascend. Beyond
this boundary there was an extensive sandy plain, with here and there
tufts of grass.

In the afternoon, their track was on the same plain; and near sunset
they began ascending high sand-hills, one appearing as if heaped upon
the other. The guide ran before, to endeavour to find out the easiest
track, with all the agility of a boy. The presence of nothing but
deep sandy valleys and high sand-hills strikes the mind most
forcibly. There is something of the sublime mixed with the
melancholy; who can contemplate without admiration masses of loose
sand, fully four hundred feet high, ready to be tossed about by every
breeze, and not shudder with horror at the idea of the unfortunate
traveller being entombed in a moment by one of those fatal blasts,
which sometimes occur. They halted for the night on the top of one of
these sand-hills.

For three or four days their course still lay among the sand-hills;
their guide, whom they now styled Mahomet Ben Kami, or son of the
sand, was almost always on before, endeavouring to find out the best
way. They could detect in the sand numerous footmarks of the jackal
and the fox, and here and there a solitary antelope. In some of the
wadeys there were a great many fragments of the ostrich egg. About
mid-day, they halted in a valley, and remained under the shade of
some date trees for a few hours. The heat was oppressive, and their
travelling was difficult They next came to an extensive level plain,
which was some refreshment, for they were completely tired of
ascending and descending sand-hills. The servants strayed, proceeding
on a track, which was pointed out to them as the right one, and,
before they were aware of their error, they went so far that they
were not able to send after them. They, as well as themselves,
thought the town was near, and they went forwards, with the intention
of getting in before the remainder of the party could come up. They
felt exceedingly uneasy respecting them, as they might so easily lose
themselves in such intricate travelling. They halted in low spirits,
and, after a little refreshment, went to sleep with heavy hearts.

During the night, some strong breezes sprang up, by which their
trunks and bed-clothes were all covered with sand in the morning.
They heard nothing of their servants, and consoled themselves that
they had perhaps found some place of shelter or rest. They commenced
their journey early, and in a short time the hills of Wadey Shiati
were seen stretching east and west, and the date-palms in several
groves; but some high sand-hills were seen between them. They wished
their old guide to take them a more direct course, but
notwithstanding their desire, and even threats, he persevered in
having his way; and, to do the old man justice, they afterwards found
it would almost have been impossible for the camels to have gone the
way they wished. After passing the base of some high sand-hills, they
came to a strong pass, of gentle descent, covered with loose
fragments of quartz rock, a yellowish feldspar, and iron ore, very
similar to the rocks in the Sebah district. From this place the town
opened to their view, erected on a hill about three hundred feet
high, standing in the middle of the valley, and has the appearance,
at a distance, of a hill studded over with basaltic columns. They had
no idea that the town was built on the hill, and consequently that
the deception was produced by it.

The majority of the inhabitants soon visited them, and all appeared
pleased at their arrival. The kadi of the two neighbouring towns paid
them many compliments, and pressed them much to spend a few days in
his towns. They could not take advantage of this offer, which was no
doubt of a selfish nature, for Dr. Oudney had not conversed long with
him, before he began to beg a shirt. The doctor told him that his
could be of no use to him, as it was very different from those of the
country. On being told that, he asked for a dollar to buy one, which
Dr. Oudney took care to refuse, saying that he only gave presents of
money to the poor. The people made numerous urgent demands for
medicines, and in a very short time, their large tent was surrounded
with sick, the female part forming the majority. Some beautiful faces
and forms were clothed in rags; the plaited hair and necks of these
even were loaded with ornaments. The females were rather under the
middle stature, strongly built, and possess considerable vivacity,
and liveliness. The complexion of those not much exposed to the sun
was of a dirty white.

Dr. Oudney was also applied to in a new capacity, that of a
charm-writer. A man came and offered him two fowls, if he would give
him a charm for a disease of the stomach; he was, however, obliged to
decline the office of charm-writer, and confine himself to the cure
of diseases by medicine. A buxom widow applied for a medicine to
obtain her a husband, but the doctor told her he had no such medicine
along with him. The same worthy personage took Lieutenant Clapperton
for an old man, on account of his light-coloured beard and
mustachios; but although this afforded some amusement to the party,
Clapperton felt some chagrin at it, for he had prided himself on the
strength and bushiness of his beard, and was not a little hurt that
light colour should be taken as a mark of old age. None of them had
ever seen a light-coloured beard before, and all the old men dye
their grey beards with henna, which gives them a colour approaching
to that of Lieutenant Clapperton.

They now proceeded to visit the interior of the town. The houses were
built of mud, and erected on the sides of the hill, appearing as if
one were pulled on the other. The passages or streets between them
are narrow, and in two or three instances, some excavations were made
through the rocks. The ascent was steep in some places, and they had
to pass through the mosque before they arrived at the highest
portion. From this they had a line view of Wadey Shiati in every
direction, running nearly east and west; in the former direction it
was well inhabited as far as Oml' Abeed, which is the westernmost
town. Many houses were in ruins, and many more were approaching to
that state, still it was called the new town, although its appearance
little entitles it to that appellation; but the ancient inhabitants
lived in excavations in the rocks, the remains of which are very
distinct. At the bottom of the hill, they entered several, not much
decayed by time. At a hundred yards, however, from the base of the
hill, and now used as a burying-ground, there is a subterranean
house, of large dimensions, and probably the residence of the great
personage. Dr. Oudney and Clapperton entered this excavation, and
found three extensive galleries, which communicated only by small
openings, on passing through which, they had to stoop considerably.
The galleries were, however, high, and of considerable length, about
one hundred and fifty feet, and each had several small recesses, like
sleeping rooms. The whole had neatness about it, and showed a taste
in the excavation. There are no traces of similar abodes in Fezzan.
The people are so afraid, and so superstitious, that scarcely one of
the town had ever entered it. They were astonished when the Europeans
entered it without ceremony, and two, encouraged by their example,
brought them a light, by which they were enabled to look into the
different recesses.

On the 6th July, they started, with a beautiful moonlight, over a
sandy plain, with a great many small hillocks. They stopped at
Dalhoon, a well nearly filled up with sand, and containing water so
brackish that they were unable to drink it. They started again, and
got in amongst the sand-hills. Their new guide proved neither such an
active man, nor so experienced a pilot, as their old Tuarick, as they
had several times to retrace their steps.

After visiting several places of no particular note, they arrived at
Ghraat, and were soon visited by a number of Hateeta's relations, one
of whom was his sister; some were much affected, and wept at the
sufferings that had detained him so long from them. A number of his
male relations soon came, and many of the inhabitants of the town.
The ladies were a free and lively set. They were not a little pleased
with the grave manner in which their visitors uttered the various
complimentary expressions. Hateeta was not well pleased with
something he had heard, but he told them not to be afraid, as he had
numerous relations. They informed him that fear never entered their
breasts, and begged him not to be uneasy on their account.

Early on the following morning, numerous visitors paid their respects
to Hateeta, and were introduced in due form to the Europeans, who
felt the length of time spent in salutations quite fatiguing, and so
absurd in their eyes, that they could scarcely at times retain their
gravity. The visitors were mostly residents of the city, and all were
decorated in their best. There were also a sedateness and gravity in
the appearance of all, which the dress tended greatly to augment.

In the afternoon, they visited the sultan. Mats had been spread in
the castle in a small anti-chamber. The old man was seated, but rose
up to receive them, and welcomed them to his city. He apologized for
not waiting on them, but said he was sick, and had been very little
out for some time. He had guinea-worm, and cataract was forming in
his eyes. He was dressed in a nearly worn-out robe, and trousers of
the same colour, and round his head was wrapped an old piece of
yellow coarse cloth for a turban. Notwithstanding the meanness of the
dress, there was something pleasing and prepossessing in his
countenance, and such as made them quite as much at home, as if in
their tents. They presented him with a sword, with which he was
highly pleased. Hateeta wished it had been a Bornouse; but they had
none with them which they considered sufficiently good. They were led
away by the title sultan, having no idea that the Tuaricks were so
vain; for they used to fill them with high notions of the wealth and
greatness of the people of Ghraat.

On the whole, their interview was highly pleasing, and every one
seemed much pleased with their visitors. The old sultan showed them
every kindness, and they had every reason to believe him sincere in
his wishes. After their visit, they called at the house of Lameens,
son of the kadi. He was a young man of excellent character, and
universally respected. His father was then in Ghadames, arranging,
with some of the other principal inhabitants, the affairs of the
community. He had left directions with his son, to show the strangers
every attention. His house was neatly fitted up, and carpets spread
on a high bed, on which the visitors seated themselves. Several of
the people who were in the castle came along with them, and by the
assistance of those, who could speak Arabic, they were able to keep
up a tolerably good conversation. On inquiring about the Tuarick
letters, they found the same sounds given them as they had before
heard from others. They were here at the fountain-head, but were
disappointed at not being able to find a book in the Tuarick
language; they were informed, that there was not one extant.

In the evening Hateeta's kinswomen returned. They were greatly
amused, and laughed heartily at their visitors blundering out a few
Tuarick words. It may be well supposed they were very unfit
companions for the ladies, as they spoke no other language than their
own, and the strangers knew very little of it. Still, however, they
got on very well, and were mutually pleased. Dr. Oudney could
scarcely refrain laughing several times, at the grave manner which
Clapperton assumed. He  had been tutored  by Hateeta, and fully acted
up to his instructions; no Tuarick could have done it better. Their
friend Hateeta was anxious that they should shine, if not make an
impression on the hearts of the ladies, and therefore read a number
of lectures to Clapperton, as to the manner in which he should deport
himself. He was directed not to laugh nor sing, but to look as grave
as possible, which Hateeta said would be sure to please the grave
Tuaricks. The liveliness of the women, their freeness with the men,
and the marked attention the latter paid them, formed a striking
contrast with other Mahommedan states.

They now proceeded to take a circuit of the town, and during their
walk they fell in with a number of females, who had come out to see
them. All were free and lively, and riot at all deferred by the
presence of the men. Several of them had fine features, but only one
or two could be called beautiful. Many of the natives came out of
their houses as they passed along, and cordially welcomed them to
their town. It was done with so much sincerity and good heartedness,
that they could not but be pleased and highly flattered.

In the evening they heard a numerous band of females, singing at a
distance, which was continued till near midnight. The women were
principally those of the country. This custom is very common among
the people, and is one of the principal amusements in the mountain
recesses. Hateeta said they go out when their work is finished, in
the evening, and remain till near midnight, singing and telling
stories; return home, take supper, and go to bed.



CHAPTER XXI.

Dr. Oudney and his companions now determined to return to Mourzouk,
where they arrived in November, and on the 29th of the same month,
they again departed, accompanied by nearly all those of the town, who
could muster horses; the camels had moved early in the day, and at
Zerzow, they found the tents pitched. From Zerzow to Traghan there is
a good high road, with frequent incrustations of salt. A marabout of
great sanctity, is the principal person in Traghan, as his father was
before him. After being crammed as it were by the hospitality of this
marabout, they left Traghan for Maefen, an assemblage of date huts,
with but one house. The road to this place lies over a mixture of
sand and salt, having a curious and uncommon appearance. The path, by
which all the animals move for some miles, is a narrow space, or
strip, worn smooth, bearing a resemblance both in appearance and
hardness to ice.

Quitting Maefen, they quickly entered on a desert plain, and after a
dreary fourteen hours march for camels, they arrived at Mestoota, a
maten or resting place, where the camels found some little grazing,
from a plant called ahgul. Starting at sunrise, they had another
fatiguing day, over the same kind of desert, without seeing one
living thing that did not belong to the kafila, not a bird, nor even
an insect; the sand is beautifully fine, round, and red. It is
difficult to give the most distant idea of the stillness and beauty
of a night scene, on a desert of this description. The distance
between the resting places is not sufficiently great, for the dread
of want of water to be alarmingly felt, and the track, though a sandy
one, is well known to the guides. The burning heat of the day is
succeeded by cool and refreshing breezes, and the sky ever illumined
by large and brilliant stars, or an unclouded moon. By removing the
loose and pearl-like sand, to the depth of a few inches, the effects
of the sunbeams of the day are not perceptible, and a most soft and
refreshing couch is easily formed. The ripple of the driving sand
resembles that of a slow and murmuring stream, and after escaping
from the myriads of fleas, which day and night persecute you, in the
date-bound valley in which Mourzouk stands, the luxury of an evening
of this description is an indescribable relief. Added to the solemn
stillness, so peculiarly striking and impressive, there is an
extraordinary echo in all deserts, arising probably from the
closeness and solidity of a sandy soil, which does not absorb the
sound. They now arrived at Gabrone. The Arabs watch for a sight of
the high date trees, which surround this town, as sailors look for
land, and after discovering these land marks, they shape their course
accordingly.

Here Major Denham joined his companions, whom he found in a state of
health but ill calculated for undertaking a long and tedious journey.
During the stay of the major at Mourzouk, he had suffered from a
severe attack of fever, which had kept him for ten days in his bed,
and although considerably debilitated, yet he was strong in
comparison with his associates. Dr. Oudney was suffering much from
his cough, and still complaining of his chest. Mr. Clapperton's ague
had not left him, and Hillman had been twice attacked so violently,
as to be given over by the doctor. They all, however, looked forward
anxiously to proceeding on their journey, and fancied that change of
scene and warmer weather, would bring them all round.

Gabrone is not unpleasantly situated; it is surrounded by sandhills
and mounds of earth, covered with a small tree, called _athali._ The
person of the greatest importance at Gabrone, is one Hagi el Raschid,
a large proprietor, and a marabout. He was a man of very clear
understanding and amiable manners, and as he uses the superstition of
the people as the means of making them happy, and turning them from
vicious pursuits, we become, as it were, almost reconciled to an
impostor.

They departed from Gabrone at 11 o'clock, a.m. The marabout
accompanied Boo Khaloom outside the town, and having drawn, not a
magic circle, but a parallelogram on the sand, with his wand, he
wrote in it certain words of great import, from the Koran; the crowd
looked on him in silent astonishment, while he assumed a manner both
graceful and imposing, so as to make it impossible for any one to
feel at all inclined to ridicule his motions. When he had finished
repeating the fatah aloud, he invited the party singly to ride
through the spot he had consecrated, and having obeyed him, they
silently proceeded on their journey, without repeating even an idea.

They passed a small nest of huts in the road, prettily situated,
called El Bahhi, from whence the women of the place followed them
with songs for several miles. Having halted at Medroosa, they moved
on the next morning, and leaving an Arab castle to the south-east,
and some table-top hills, they arrived at Kasrowa by three in the
afternoon.

On the 9th December, they were to arrive at Tegerhy. The Arabs
commenced skirmishing as soon as they came within sight of it, and
kept it up in front of the town for half an hour after their arrival.
They were to halt here for a day or two, for the purpose of taking in
the remainder of their dates and provisions, and never was halt more
acceptable. Almost the whole of the party were afflicted with
illness; the servants were all so ill, that one of the negro women
made them a mess of kouscasou, with some preserved fat, which had
been prepared in Mourzouk, it was a sorry meal, for the fat was
rancid, and although tired and not very strong, Major Denham could
not refuse an invitation about nine at night, after he had laid down
to sleep, to eat camels' heart with Boo Khaloom; it was woefully hard
and tough, and the major suffered the next morning from indulging too
much at the feast.

The Tibboos and Arabs kept them awake half the night with their
singing and dancing, in consequence of the bousafer or feast, on
entering the Tibboo country. Boo Khaloom gave two camels, and the
major and his party gave one. The sick seemed to gain a little
strength; they had succeeded in purchasing a sheep, and a little soup
seemed to revive them much, but they feared that Hillman and one of
the servants must be left behind. However distressing such an event
would have been, it was impossible for men, who could not sit upright
on a mule, to commence a journey of fifteen days over a desert,
during which travellers are obliged to march from sunrise until dark.

The morning of the 12th December was beautifully mild. After
breakfast, all seemed revived, but it was with great pain that Major
Denham observed the exceeding weakness of Dr. Oudney and Hillman; he
fancied that he already saw in them, two more victims to the noxious
climate of central Africa.

Almost every town in Africa has its charm or wonder, and Tegerhy is
not without one. There is a well just outside the castle gates, the
water of which, they were told most gravely, always rose when a
kafila was coming near the town; that the inhabitants always prepared
what they had to sell, on seeing this water increase in bulk, for it
never deceived them. In proof of this assertion, they pointed out to
Major Denham, how much higher the water had been previously to their
arrival, than it was at the moment, when they were standing on the
brink. This Major Denham could have explained, by the number of
camels that had drunk at it, but he saw it was better policy to
believe what every body allowed to be true, even Boo Khaloom
exclaimed, "Allah! God is great, powerful, and wise. How wonderful!
Oh!" Over the inner gate of the castle, there is a large hole through
to the gateway underneath, and they tell a story, of a woman dropping
from thence a stone on the head of some leader, who had gained the
outer wall, giving him by that means the death of Abimelech in sacred
history.

The natives of Tegerhy are quite black, but have not the negro face;
the men are slim, very plain, with high cheek bones, the negro nose,
large mouth, teeth much stained by the quantity of tobacco, and
_trona_ or carbonate of soda, which they eat, and even snuff, when
given to them, goes directly into their mouths.

The young girls are most of them pretty, but less so than those of
Gabrone. The men always carry two daggers, one about eighteen inches,
and the other six inches; the latter of which is attached to a ring,
and worn on the arm or wrist. A Tibboo once told Major Denham,
pointing to the long one, "This is my gun, and this" showing the
smaller of the two, "is my pistol."

On the 13th they left Tegerhy and proceeded on the desert. After
travelling six miles they arrived at a well called Omah, where their
tents were pitched, and here they halted three days. Near these
wells, numbers of human skeletons, or parts of them, lay scattered on
the sands. Hillman, who had suffered dreadfully since leaving
Tegerhy, was greatly shocked at these whitened skulls, and unhallowed
remains, so much so as to stand in need of all the encouragement
which Major Denham could administer to him.

On the 17th they continued their course over a stony plain, without
the least appearance of vegetation. About sunset, they halted near a
well, within half a mile of Meshroo. Round this spot were lying more
than a hundred skeletons, some of them with the skin still remaining
attached to the bones, not even a little sand thrown over them. The
Arabs laughed heartily at the expression which Major Denham evinced,
and said, "they were only blacks, _nam boo!_ (d--n their fathers,)"
and began knocking about the limbs with the butt end of their
firelocks, saying, "this was a woman: this was a youngster," and such
like unfeeling expressions. The greater part of the unhappy people,
of whom these were the remains, had formed the spoils of the sultan
of Fezzan the year before. Major Denham was assured, that they had
left Bornou, with not above a quarter's allowance for each; and that
more died from want than fatigue; they were marched off with chains
round their necks and legs; the most robust only arrived in Fezzan in
a very debilitated state, and were there fattened for the Tripoli
slave market.

Their camels did not come up until it was quite dark, and they
bivouacked in the midst of these unearthed remains of the victims of
persecution and avarice, after a long day's journey of twenty-six
miles, in the course of which, one of the party counted one hundred
and seven of these skeletons.

Their road now lay over a long plain with a slight ridge. A fine naga
(she camel), lay down on the road, as it was supposed from fatigue.
The Arabs crowded round and commenced unloading her, when, upon
inquiry, it was found that she was suddenly taken in labour; about
five minutes completed the operation; a very fine little animal was
literally dragged into light. It was then thrown across another
camel, and the mother, after being reloaded, followed quietly after
her offspring.

One of the skeletons which they passed this day, had a very fresh
appearance, the beard was still hanging to the skin of the face, and
the features were still discernible. A merchant, travelling with the
kafila, suddenly exclaimed, "That was my slave I left behind four
months ago, near this spot." "Make haste! take him to the _fsug_
(market)," said an Arab wag, "for fear any body else should claim
him."

On the 20th December, they arrived at the Hormut el Wahr, which were
the highest hills they had seen since leaving Fezzan; the highest
peak being from five to six hundred feet. They had a bold black
appearance, and were a relief to the eye, after the long level they
had quitted. They blundered and stumbled on until ten at night, when
they found the resting place, after a toilsome and most distressing
day. This was the eighth day since the camels had tasted water; they
were weak and sore-footed, from the stony nature of the passes in
these hills of Elwahr.

They had now a stony plain, with low hills of sand and gravel, till
they reached El Garha, and here they rested for the night. Several of
the camels during this day were drunk--their eyes heavy, and wanting
their usual animation; their gait staggering, and every now and then
falling, as a man in a state of intoxication. This arose from eating
dates after drinking water; these probably pass into a spirituous
fermentation in the stomach.

On the 22nd of December, they moved before daylight, and halted at
the maten called El Hammar, close under a bluff head, which had been
in view since quitting their encampment in the morning. Strict orders
were given this day for the camels to keep close up, and for the
Arabs not to straggle, the Tibboo Arabs having been seen on the look
out. During the last two days, they had passed, on an average, from
sixty to ninety skeletons each day, but the numbers that lay about
the wells at El Hammar were countless; those of two young women,
whose perfect and regular teeth bespoke them young, were particularly
shocking; their arms still remained clasped round each other as they
had expired, although the flesh had long since perished by being
exposed to the burning rays of the sun, and the blackened bones only
left; the nails of the fingers, and some of the sinews of the hand
also remained, and part of the tongue of one of them still appeared
through the teeth.

They had now passed six days of desert, without the slightest
appearance of vegetation, and a little branch of the snag, _(Caparis
sodada,)_ was brought as a comfort and curiosity. On the following,
day, they had alternately plains of sand and loose gravel, and had a
distant view of some hills to the westward. While Major Denham was
dozing on his horse about noon, overcome by the heat of the sun,
which, at that time of the day, shone with great power, he was
suddenly awakened by a crashing under his feet, which startled him
excessively. He found that his steed had, without any sensation of
shame or alarm, stepped upon the perfect skeletons of two human
beings, cracking their brittle bones under his feet, and by one trip
of his foot, separating a skull from the trunk, which rolled on like
a ball before him. This event imparted a sensation to him, which it
took him a long time to remove. His horse was for many days
afterwards not looked upon with the same regard as formerly.

One of their nagas had this day her accouchement on the road, and
they all looked forward to the milk, which the Arabs assured them she
had in abundance, and envied them not a little their morning
draughts, which they were already quaffing in imagination. However,
one of the many slips between the cup and the lip was to befall them.
The poor naga suddenly fell, and as suddenly died. The exclamations
of the Arabs were dreadful. "The evil eye! the evil eye!" they all
exclaimed; "she was sure to die, I knew it. Well! if she had been
mine, I would rather have lost a child, or three slaves. God be
praised! God is great, powerful, and wise; those looks of the people
are always fatal."

On the 1st January 1823, they arrived at the wadey Ikbar. The Arabs
here caught a hyena, and brought it to Major Denham; he, nor any
other of the party, had any other wish than to have merely a look at
it. They then tied it, to a tree, and shot at it, until the poor
animal was literally knocked to pieces. This was the most refreshing
spot they had seen for many days; there were dome trees laden with
fruit, though not ripe, which lay in clusters, and grass in
abundance. They could have stayed here a week, says Major Denham,
with pleasure; so reviving is the least appearance of cultivation, or
rather a sprinkling of nature's beauty, after the parching wilds of
the long and dreary desert they had passed.

Looking back with great regret at leaving the few green branches in
Ikbar, with nothing before them but the dark hills and sandy desert,
they ascended slightly from the wadey, and leaving the hills of
Ikbar, proceeded towards a prominent head in a low range to the east
of their course, called Tummer as Kumma, meaning "You'll soon drink
water;" and about two miles in advance, they halted just under a
ridge of the same hills, after making twenty-four miles. Four camels
were knocked up during this day's march: on such occasions, the Arabs
wait in savage impatience in the rear, with their knives in their
hands, ready, on the signal of the owner, to plunge them into the
poor animal, and bear off a portion of the flesh for their evening
meal. They were obliged to kill two of them on the spot; the other
two, it was hoped, would come up in the night. Major Denham attended
the slaughter of one, and despatch being the order of the day, a
knife is struck into the camel's heart, while his head is turned to
the east, and he dies almost in an instant; but before that instant
expires, a dozen knives are thrust into different parts of the
carcass, in order to carry off the choicest parts of the flesh. The
heart, considered as the greatest delicacy, is torn out, the skin
stripped from the breast and haunches, part of the meat cut, or
rather torn from the bones, and thrust into bags, which they carry
for the purpose, and the remainder of the carcass is left for the
crows, vultures, and hyenas, while the Arabs quickly follow the
kafila.

On the 4th, they arrived at Anay, a town which consists of a few huts
built on the top of a mass of stone, round the base of which are also
habitations, but the riches of the people are always kept above. The
Tuaricks annually, and sometimes oftener, pay them a most destructive
visit, carrying off cattle and every thing they can lay their hands
upon. The people, on those occasions, take refuge at the top of the
rock, ascending by a rude ladder, which is drawn up after them; and
as the sides of their citadel are always precipitous, they defend
themselves with their missiles, and by rolling down stones on the
assailants.

The sultan Tibboo, whose territory extends from this place to Bilma,
was at this time visiting a town to the south-west of Anay, called
Kisbee, and he requested Boo Khaloom to halt there one day, promising
to proceed with him to Bilma. They accordingly reached Kisbee on the
evening of the 5th, where the camels got some pickings of dry grass.

Kisbee is a great place of rendezvous for all kafilas and merchants,
and it is here that the sultan always takes his tribute for
permission to pass through his country. The sultan himself had
neither much majesty nor cleanliness of appearance; he came to Boo
Khaloom's tent, accompanied by six or seven Tibboos, some of them
really hideous. They take a quantity of snuff, both in their mouths
and noses; their teeth were of a deep yellow; the nose resembles
nothing so much as a round lump of flesh stuck on the face, and the
nostrils are so large, that their fingers go up as far as they can
reach, in order to ensure the snuff an admission into the head. The
watch, compass, and musical snuff-box of one of the party created but
little astonishment; they looked at their own faces in the bright
covers, and were most stupidly inattentive to what would have excited
the wonder of almost any imagination, however savage. Here was "the
_os sublime,_" but the "_spiritus intus,_" the "_mens divinior,_"
were scarcely discoverable. Boo Khaloom gave the sultan a fine
scarlet bornouse, which seemed a little to animate his stupid
features.

In the evening, they had a dance by Tibboo men, performed in front of
their tents. It is graceful and slow, but not so well adapted to the
male as the female. It was succeeded by one performed by some free
slaves from Soudan, who were living with the Tibboos, enjoying, as
they said, their liberty. It appeared to be most violent exertion;
one man is placed in the middle of a circle, which he endeavours to
break, and each one whom he approaches, throws him off, while he adds
to the impetus by a leap, and ascends several feet from the ground;
when one has completed the round, another lakes his place.

Whilst they were  on the road,  a violent disturbance arose amongst
the Arabs, one of them having shot a ball through the shirt of
another of the Magarha tribe; the sheik of the Magarha took up the
quarrel, and the man saved himself from being punished, by hanging to
the stirrup-leather of Major Denham's saddle. The Arab sheik made use
of some expressions, in defending his man, which displeased Boo
Khaloom, who instantly knocked him off his horse, and his slaves
soundly bastinadoed him.

Tiggema, near which they halted, is one of the highest points in the
range, and hangs over the mud houses of the town; this point stands
at the south extremity of the recess, which the hills here form, and
is about four hundred feet high; the sides are nearly perpendicular,
and it is detached from the other hills by a chasm. On the approach
of the Tuaricks, the whole population flock to the top of these
heights, with all their property, and make the best defence they can.
The interior of some of the houses is neat and tidy; the men are
generally travelling merchants, or rather pedlars, and probably do
not pass more than four months in the year with their families, for
the Tibboos rarely go beyond Bornou to the south, or Mourzouk to the
north; they appeared light-hearted, and happy as people constantly in
dread of such visitors as the Tuaricks can be, who spare neither age
nor sex.

They proceeded from Tiggema nearly in a south-west direction, leaving
the hills; and while resting under the shade of acacia trees, which
were here very abundant, they had the agreeable, and to them very
novel sight, of a drove of oxen; the bare idea of once more being in
a country that afforded beef and pasture, was consoling in the
extreme; and the luxurious thought of fresh milk, wholesome food, and
plenty, were highly exhilarating to the whole of the party.

In the afternoon, they came to a halt at Dirkee, A good deal of
powder was here expended in honour of the sultan, who again met them
on their approach: his new scarlet bornouse was thrown over a filthy
check shirt, and his turban and cap, though once white, were rapidly
approaching to the colour of the head which they covered; when,
however, on the following morning, his majesty condescended to ask
one of the party for a little soap, these little negligences in his
outward appearance were more easily accounted for.

They had rather a numerous assembly of females, who danced for some
hours before the tents. Some of their movements were very elegant,
and not unlike the Greek dances, as they are represented. They were
regaled by the sultan with cheese and ground nuts from Soudan; the
former of a pleasant flavour, but so hard that they were obliged to
moisten it with water previously to eating. During the time that they
halted at Dirkee, the women brought them dates, fancifully strung on
rushes, in the shape of hearts, with much ingenuity, and a few pots
of honey and fat.

They halted at Dirkee rather more than two days. So many of Boo
Khaloom's camels had fallen on the road, that, notwithstanding the
very peaceable professions which the travelling party held forth, a
marauding party was sent out to plunder some maherhies, and bring
them in; an excursion that was sanctioned by the sultan, who gave
them instructions as to the route they were to take. The former deeds
of the Arabs are, however, still in the memory of the Tibboos, and
they had therefore increased the distance between their huts and the
high road, by a timely striking of their tents. Nine camels, of the
maherhy species, were brought in, but not without a skirmish; and a
fresh party were despatched, which did not return that night. All the
party were ordered to remain loaded, and no one was allowed to quit
the circle in which the tents were pitched.

On the following day, the Arabs, who had been out foraging, returned
with thirteen camels, which they had much difficulty in bringing to
the halting place, as the Tibboos had followed them several miles.
Patrols were placed during the whole of the night, who, to awaken the
sleepers for the purpose of assuring them they were awake themselves,
were constantly exclaiming, _Balek ho!_ the watchword of the Arabs.

They had this day the enjoyment of a dish of venison, one of the
Arabs having succeeded in shooting two gazelles, many of which had
crossed their path for the last three days. On finding a young one,
only a few days old, the wily Arab instantly laid down on the grass,
imitating the cry of the young one, and as the mother came bounding
towards the spot, he shot her in the throat.

On the 12th, they reached Bilma, the capital of the Tibboos, and the
residence of their sultan, who having always managed to get before
and receive them, advanced a mile from the town attended by some
fifty of his men-at-arms, and double the number of the sex, styled in
Europe, the fair. The men had most of them bows and arrows, and all
carried spears; they approached Boo Khaloom, shaking the spears in
the air over their heads, and after this salutation, the whole party
moved on towards the town, the females dancing, and throwing
themselves about with screams and songs quite original, at least to
the European portion of the party. They were of a superior class to
those of the minor towns; some having extremely pleasing features,
while the pearly whiteness of their regular teeth, was beautifully
contrasted with the glossy black of their skin, and the triangular
flaps of plaited hair, which hung down on each side of their faces,
streaming with oil, with the addition of the coral in the nose, and
large amber necklaces, gave them a very-seducing appearance. Some of
them carried a _sheish,_ a fan made of soft grass or hair, for the
purpose of keeping off the flies; others a branch of a tree, and
some, fans of ostrich feathers, or a branch of the date palm. All had
something in their hands, which they waved over their heads as they
advanced. One wrapper of Soudan, tied on the top of the left
shoulder, leaving the right breast bare, formed their covering, while
a smaller one was thrown over the head, which hung down to their
shoulders, or was thrown back at pleasure; notwithstanding the
apparent scantiness of their habiliments, nothing could be farther
from indelicate than was their appearance or deportment.

On arriving at Bilma, they halted under the shade of a large tulloh
tree, whilst the tents were pitching, and the women danced with great
taste, and, as Major Denham was assured by the sultan's nephew, with
great skill also. As they approached each other, accompanied by the
slow beat of an instrument formed out of a calabash, covered with
goat's skin, for a long time their movements were confined to the
head, hands, and body, which they throw from one side to the other,
flourish in the air, and bend without moving their feet; suddenly,
however, the music becomes quicker and louder, when they start into
the most violent gestures, rolling their heads round, gnashing their
teeth, and shaking their hands at each other, leaping up, and on each
side, until one or both are so exhausted that they fall to the
ground, another pair then take their place.

Major Denham now, for the first time, produced Captain Lyon's book,
in Boo Khaloom's tent, and on turning over the prints of the natives,
he swore, and exclaimed, and insisted upon it, that he knew every
face. This was such a one's slave--that was his own--he was
right,--he knew it. Praised be God for the talents he gave the
English: they were _shater; walla shater,_ (very clever.) Of a
landscape, however, it was found, that he had not the least idea, nor
could he be made at all to understand the intention of the print of
the sand-wind in the desert; he would look at it upside down, and
when it was twice reversed for him, he exclaimed, _why! why!_ (it is
all the same.) A camel, or a human figure, was all he could be made
to understand, and at these he was all agitation and delight. _Gieb!
gieb!_ (wonderful! wonderful!) The eyes first took his attention,
then the other features; at the sight of the sword, he cried out,
_Allah! allah!_ and on discovering the guns, instantly exclaimed,
"Where is the powder?" This want of perception as was imagined in so
intelligent a man, excited at first the surprise of Major Denham, but
perhaps, just the same would a European have felt, under similar
circumstances. Were a European to attain manhood without ever casting
his eye upon the representation of a landscape on paper, would he
immediately feel the particular beauties of it, the perspective and
the distant objects of it? It is from our opportunities of
contemplating works of art, even in the common walks of life, as well
as to cultivation of mind, and associations of the finer feelings, by
an intercourse with the enlightened and accomplished, that we derive
our quick perception in matters of this kind, rather than from
nature.

On leaving Bilma their road lay over loose hills of sand, in which
the camels sunk nearly knee-deep. In passing these desert wilds,
where hills disappear in a single night by the drifting of the sand,
and where all traces of the passage of even a large kafila sometimes
vanish in a few hours, the Tibboos have certain points in the dark
sandstone ridges, which from time to time raise their heads in the
midst of this dry ocean of sand, and form the only variety, and by
them they steer their course. From one of these land-marks they waded
through sand formed into hills from twenty to sixty feet in height,
with nearly perpendicular sides, the camels blundering and falling
with their heavy loads. The greatest care is taken by the drivers in
descending these banks; the Arabs hang with all their weight on the
animal's tail, by which means they steady him in his descent. Without
this precaution the camel generally falls forward, and of course all
he carries goes over his head.

In the evening they bivouacked under a head called Zow, (the
difficult,) where they found several wells. On the following day, the
sand-hills were less than on the preceding one. But the animals still
sank so deep that it was a tedious day, for all the four camels of
Boo Khaloom gave in; two were killed by the Arabs, and two were left
to the chance of coming up before the following morning. Tremendously
dreary are these marches, as far as the eye can reach, billows of
sand bound the prospect. On seeing the solitary foot passenger of the
kafila, with his water flask in his hand, and the bag of zumeeta on
his head, sink at a distance beneath the slope of one of these, as he
plods his way along, hoping to gain a few paces in his long day's
work, by not following the track of the camels, one trembles for his
safety; the obstacle passed which concealed him from the view, the
eye is strained towards the spot, in order to be assured that he has
not been hurried quickly in the treacherous overwhelming sand.

An unfortunate merchant of Tripoli, Mahomet N' Diff, who had suffered
much on the road from an enlarged spleen, was here advised to undergo
the operation of burning with a red hot iron, the sovereign Arab
remedy for almost every disorder; he gave his consent, and previously
to their proceeding, he was laid on his back, and while five or six
Arabs held him on the sand, the rude operators burnt him on the left
side under the ribs in three places, nearly the size of a sixpence
each. The iron was again placed in the fire, and while heating, the
thumbs of about a dozen Arabs were thrust into different parts of the
poor man's side, to know if the pressure pained him, until his flesh
was so bruised, that he declared all gave him pain: four more marks
with the iron were now made near the former ones, upon which he was
turned on his face, and three larger made within two inches of the
back-bone. It might have been supposed that the operation was now at
an end, but an old Arab, who had been feeling his throat for some
time, declared that a hot iron and a large burn were absolutely
necessary just above the collar bone on the same side. The poor man
submitted with wonderful patience to all this mangling, and after
drinking a draught of water moved on with the camels. More than
twenty camels were lost this day, on account of their straying out of
the path. After travelling several days over the desert, encountering
great distress and many privations, they arrived at an extensive
wadey called Agbadem. Here there were several wells of excellent
water, forage, and numbers of the tree called Suag, the red berries
of which are nearly as good as cranberries. They here broke in upon
the retreats of about a hundred gazelles, who were enjoying the
fertility of the valley. It was, however, not without great
difficulty, from their extreme shyness, that one was shot, which
afforded an ample and salutary meal to the distressed travellers.
Aghadem is a great rendezvous, and the dread of all small kafilas and
travellers. It is frequented by freebooters of all descriptions.

On the 24th January, the thermometer, in the shade of Major Denham's
tent, was 101 degrees at half-past two. The animals were all enjoying
the blessings of plenty in the ravines, which run through the range
of low black hills, extending nearly north and south, quite across
the valley. The camels, in particular, feasted on the small branches
of the suag, of which they are fond to excess. The tracks of the
hyena had been numerous for the last three days, and one night they
approached in droves quite close to the encampment.

The evening of the 25th being beautifully serene, the telescope of
Major Denham afforded great delight to Boo Khaloom; the brother of
the kadi at Mourzouk, Mohamed Abedeen, and several others, for more
than an hour. Major Denham usually passed some time every evening in
Boo Khaloom's tent, and had promised them a sight of the moon _greeb_
(near) for some time. An old hadje, who obtained a sight by the
assistance of the major, for he could not fix the glass on the
object, after an exclamation of wonder, looked him fully in the face,
spoke not a word, but walked off as last as he could, repeating some
words from the Koran. This conduct the major was pleased to see,
brought down the ridicule of the others, who were gratified beyond
measure, and asked a hundred questions. The night was beautifully
serene and clear, and the three splendid constellations, Orion, Canis
Major, and Taurus, presented a coup d'oeil at once impressive and
sublime.

On the 25th January, the camels moved off soon after eight, and they
took shelter from the sun, under the shade of some clumps, covered
with high grass, near the wells, in order that the horses might drink
at the moment of their departure. They had three or four long days to
the next water, and the camels were too much fatigued to carry more
than one day's food for the horses. While they were in this
situation, two Arabs, who had gone on with the camels, came galloping
back, to say that they had encountered two Tibboo couriers, on their
way from Bornou to Mourzouk. They soon made their appearance, mounted
on maherhies, only nine days from Kouka. They brought news, that the
sheik el Kanemy, who now governed Bornou, had just returned from a
successful expedition against the sultan of Bergharmi; that he had
attacked and routed a powerful tribe of Arabs, called La Sala; and
that the sultan, on hearing this, had fled, as before, to the south
side of the great river, amongst the Kirdies.

They proceeded on their route, which was along a continued desert,
and at sunset halted on the sand, without either wood or water, after
twenty-four miles. The courier from Bornou to Mourzouk assured them,
that he should not be more than thirty days on the road from where
they left him. The Tibboos are the only people who will undertake
this most arduous service, and the chances are so much against both
returning in safety, that one is never sent alone. The two men whom
they had encountered were mounted on two superb maherhies, and
proceeding at the rate of about six miles an hour. A bag of zumeeta
(some parched corn), and one or two skins for water, with a small
brass basin, and a wooden bowl, out of which they ate and drank, were
all their comforts. A little meat, cut in strips, and dried in the
sun, called _gedeed,_ is sometimes added to the store, which they eat
raw; for they rarely light a fire for the purpose of cooking;
although the want of this comfort during the nights, on approaching
Fezzan, where the cold winds are sometimes biting after the day's
heat, is often fatal to such travellers. A bag is suspended under the
tail of the maherhy, by which means the dung is preserved, and this
serves as fuel on halting in the night. Without a kafila, and a
sufficient number of camels to carry such indispensables as wood and
water, it is indeed a perilous journey.

On the 27th, they appeared gradually to approach something resembling
vegetation. They had rising lands and clumps of fine grass the whole
of the way, and the country was not unlike some of the heaths in
England. A herd of more than a hundred gazelles crossed them towards
the evening, and the footmarks of the ostrich, and some of its
feathers, were discovered by the Arabs. The spot where they halted
was called Geogo Balwy.

Early on the following morning, they made Beere-Kashifery, and soon
afterwards Mina Tahr, (the black bird,) the sheik of the Gunda
Tibboos, attended by three of his followers, approached the camp.
Beere-Kashifery lay within his territories, and no kafilas pass
without paying tribute, which, as he is absolute, sometimes amounts
to half what they possess. In the present case, the visit was one of
respect. Boo Khaloom received him in his tent, and clothed him in a
scarlet bornouse of coarse cloth, and a tawdry silk caftan, which was
considered as a superb present. The Tibboos are smart active fellows,
mounted on small horses of great swiftness; their saddles are of
wood, small and light, open along the bone of the back; the pieces of
wood, of which they are composed, are lashed together with thongs of
hide; the stuffing is camels' hair, wound and plaited so as to be a
perfect guard; the girths and stirrup-leathers are also of plaited
thongs, and the stirrups themselves of iron, very small and light;
into these, four toes only are thrust, the great toe being left to
take its chance. They mount quickly, in half the time an Arab does,
by the assistance of a spear, which they place in the ground, at the
same time the left foot is planted in the stirrup, and thus they
spring into the saddle.

Their camels had not finished drinking until the sun was full six
fathoms high, as the Arabs term it; and as the expedition was in want
of fresh meat, and indeed of every thing, Mina Tahr proposed that
they should go to a well nearer his people, which, he assured them,
was never yet shown to an Arab.

On the 29th January, therefore, they moved on, accompanied by the
Tibboos; and after travelling about ten miles, they came to the well
of Duggesheinga. This was a retired spot, undiscoverable from the
ordinary route of travellers, being completely hidden from it by
rising sand-hills. Here the Tibboos left them, promising to return
early on the following day, with sheep, an ox, honey, and fat. This
was joyful news to persons who had not tasted fresh animal food for
fourteen or fifteen days, with the exception of a little camel's
flesh.

On the following day, the wind and drifting sand were so violent,
that they were obliged to keep their tents during the whole of it.
Major Denham found a loose shirt only the most convenient covering,
as the sand could be shaken off as soon as it made a lodgement, which
with other articles of dress, could not be done, and the irritation
it caused, produced a soreness almost intolerable. A little oil or
fat, from the hand of a negress, all of whom are early taught the art
of shampooing to perfection, rubbed well round the neck, loins, and
back, is the best cure, and the greatest comfort in cases of this
kind; and although, from his Christian belief, he was deprived of the
luxury of possessing half a dozen of these shampooing beauties, yet,
by marrying his negro, Barca, to one of the freed women slaves, as he
had done at Sockna, he became, to a certain degree, also the master
of Zerega, whose education in the castle had been of a superior kind,
and she was of the greatest use to the major on these occasions of
fatigue or sickness. It is an undoubted fact, and in no case probably
better exemplified than in this, that man naturally longs for
attentions and support from female hands, of whatever colour or
country, so soon as debility or sickness comes upon him.

Towards the evening, when the wind became hushed, and the sky
re-assumed its bright and truly celestial blue, the Tibboo sheik, and
about thirty of his people, male and female, returned; but their
supplies were very scanty for a kafila of nearly three hundred
persons. The sweet milk turned out to be nothing but sour camel's
milk, full of dirt and sand; and the fat was in small quantities, and
very rancid. They, however, purchased a lean sheep for two dollars,
which was indeed a treat.

Some of the girls who brought the milk were really pretty, as
contrasted with the extreme ugliness of the men. They were different
from those of Bilma, were more of a copper colour, with high
foreheads, and a sinking between the eyes. They have fine teeth, and
are smaller and more delicately formed than the Tibboos who inhabit
the towns.

It is quite surprising with what terror these children of the desert
view the Arabs, and the idea they have of their invincibility, while
they are smart, active fellows themselves, and both ride and move
better and quicker; but the guns! the guns! are their dread; and five
or six of them will go round a tree, where an Arab has laid down his
gun for a minute, stepping on tiptoe, as if afraid of disturbing it,
talking to each other in a whisper, as if the gun could understand
their exclamations, and, it may be presumed, praying to it not to do
them an injury, as fervently as ever man Friday did Robinson Crusoe's
musket.

None of the Gunda Tibboos were above the middle size, well made, with
sharp, intelligent, copper-coloured faces, large prominent eyes, flat
noses, large mouth, and teeth regular, but stained a deep red, from
the immoderate use of tobacco; the forehead is high, and the turban,
which is a deep indigo colour, is worn high on the head, and brought
under the chin, and across the face, so as to cover all the lower
part, from the nose downwards; they have sometimes fifteen or twenty
charms, in red, green, or black leather cases, attached to the folds
of their turbans.

The majority of them have scars on different parts of their faces;
these generally denote their rank, and are considered as an ornament.
Their sheik had one under each eye, with one more on each side of his
forehead, in shape resembling a half-moon. Like the Arabs of the
north, their chieftainship is hereditary, provided the heir be
worthy, any act of cowardice disqualifies, and the command devolves
upon the next successor. Their guide a sheik, Mina Tahr ben Soogo
Lammo, was the seventh in regular succession. This tribe is called
Nafra Sunda, and are always near Beere-Kashifery.

The watch of Major Denham pleased him wonderfully at first but after
a little time, it was found that looking at himself in the bright
part of the inside of the case, gave him the greatest satisfaction;
they are vainer than the vainest. Mina Tahr was now habited in the
finest clothes that had ever been brought to Beere-Kashifery, and
what to him could be so agreeable as contemplating the reflection of
his own person so decked out? Major Denham, therefore, could not help
giving him a small looking-glass, and he took his station in one
corner of the major's tent, for hours, surveying himself with a
satisfaction that burst from his lips in frequent exclamations of
joy, and which he also occasionally testified by sundry high jumps
and springs into the air.

After regaining the road, they moved till noon, when their horses
were watered at a well called Kanimani, or the sheep's well, where
some really sweet milk was brought to them, in immensely large basket
bottles, some holding two gallons and more. They had drank and
acknowledged its goodness, and how grateful it was to their weak
stomachs, before they found out that it was camel's milk.

No traveller in Africa should imagine that _this_ he could not bear,
or _that_ could not be endured. It is most wonderful how a man's
taste conforms itself to his necessities. Six months ago camel's milk
would have acted upon them as an emetic, now they thought it a most
refreshing and grateful cordial.

The face of the country now improved in appearance every mile, and on
this day they passed along, what seemed to them a most joyous valley,
smiling in flowery grasses, tulloh trees, and kossom. About mid-day,
they halted in a luxurious shade, the ground covered with creeping
vines of the colycinth, in full blossom, which, with the red flower
of the kossom, that drooped over their heads, made their resting
place a little Arcadia.

They killed to-day one of the largest serpents they had seen: it is
called _liffa_ by the Arabs, and its bite is said to be mortal,
unless the part is instantly cut out. It is a mistaken idea that all
the serpent tribe are called liffa; this species alone bears the
name; it has two horns, and is of a light brown colour. Major
Denham's old Choush Ghreneim had a distorted foot, which was but of
little use to him except on horseback, from the bite of one of those
poisonous reptiles, notwithstanding the part infected was cut out; he
was for thirteen months confined to his hut, and never expected to
recover.

Arabs are always on the look out for plunder, "'Tis my vocation,
Hal," none were ashamed to acknowledge it, but they were on this
occasion to act as an escort, to oppose banditti, and not play the
part of one. Nevertheless, they were greatly dissatisfied at having
come so far, and _done_ so little; they formed small parties for
reconnoitering on each side of the road, and were open-mouthed for
any thing that might offer. One fellow on foot had traced the marks
of a flock of sheep, to a small village of tents to the east of their
course, and now gave notice of the discovery he had made, but that
the people had seen him, and he believed struck their tents. Major
Denham felt that he should be a check upon them in their
plunderings, and he, Boo Khaloom, and about a dozen horsemen, with
each a footman behind him, instantly started for their retreat, which
lay over the hills to the east. On arriving at the spot, in a valley
of considerable beauty, where these flocks and tents had been
observed, they found the place quite deserted. The poor affrighted
shepherds had moved off with their all, knowing too well what would
be their treatment from the Naz Abiad (white people), as they call
the Arabs. Their caution, however, was made the excuse for plundering
them, and a pursuit was instantly determined upon. "What! not stay to
sell their sheep--the rogues, we'll take them without payment." They
scoured two valleys, without discovering the fugitives, and Major
Denham began to hope that the Tibboos had eluded their pursuers, when
after crossing a deep ravine, and ascending the succeeding ridge,
they came directly on two hundred head of cattle, and about twenty
persons, men, women, and children, with ten camels, laden with their
tents and other necessaries, all moving off. The extra Arabs
instantly slipped from behind their leaders, and with a shout rushed
down the hill; part headed the cattle to prevent their escape, and
the most rapid plunder immediately commenced. The camels were
instantly brought to the ground, and every part of their load rifled;
the poor girls and women lifted up their hands to Major Denham,
stripped as they were to the skin, but he could do nothing more for
them beyond saving their lives. A sheik and a marabout assured Major
Denham, it was quite lawful to plunder those, who left their tents
instead of supplying travellers. Boo Khaloom now came up and was
petitioned. Major Denham saw that he was ashamed of the paltry booty
which his followers had obtained, as well as moved by the tears of
the sufferers. The major seized the favourable moment, and advised
that the Arabs should give every thing back, and have a few sheep and
an ox for a bousafer (feast), he accordingly gave the orders, and the
Arabs from under their barracans, threw down the wrappers they had
torn off the bodies of the Tibboo women, and the major was glad in
his heart, when taking ten sheep and a fat bullock, they left these
poor creatures to their fate, as had more Arabs arrived, they would
most certainly have stripped them of every thing.

On the 31st, Boo Khaloom had thought it right to send on a Tibboo,
with the news of their approach to the sheik El Kanemy who, they
understood, resided at Kouka, and one was despatched with a camel,
and a man of Mina Tahr. On their arrival at Kofei, the Tibboo only,
who had been despatched, was found alone and naked, some Tibboo Arabs
of a tribe called Wandela, had met them near the well, on the
preceding evening, and robbed him even to his cap, and taking from
him the letters, saying they cared not for the sheik or Boo Khaloom,
tied him to a tree and there left him. In this state he was found by
Major Denham's party, and Mr. Clapperton coming up soon afterwards,
gave him from his biscuit bag, wherewithal to break his fast, after
being twenty-four hours without eating. Eighteen men had stripped
him, he said, and taken off the camel and Mina Tahr's man, who, they
also said, should be ransomed, or have his throat cut. Mina Tahr
represented these people as the worst on the road, in every sense of
the word. "They have no flocks," said he, "and have not more than
three hundred camels, although their numbers are one thousand and
more; they live by plunder, and have no connexion with any other
people. No considerable body of men can follow them; their tents are
in the heart of the desert, and there are no wells for four days in
the line of their retreat. Geddy Ben Agah is their chief, and I alone
would give fifty camels for his head: these are the people, who often
attack and murder travellers and small kafilas, and the Gundowy, who
respect strangers, have the credit of it."

The men of Traita, with their chief Eskou Ben Cogla, came in the
evening to welcome them; the well Kofei belongs to them, and greatly
enraged they appeared to be at the conduct of the Wandelas. This
chief returned to Boo Khaloom his letters, which he said, the chief
of the Wandelas had sent him that morning, begging that he would meet
the kafila at the well, and deliver them to Boo Khaloom; had he known
then what had taken place, "the slave," he said, "should have been
stabbed at his father's grave, before he would have delivered them."
Boo Khaloom was greatly enraged, and Major Denham was almost afraid,
that he would have revenged himself on the Traita chiefs. However the
Tibboo courier was again clothed and mounted, and once more started
for Bornou.

Their course during the early part of the following day, was due
south, and through a country more thickly planted by the all tasteful
hand of bounteous nature. Boo Khaloom, Major Denham, and about six
Arabs had ridden on in front; it was said they had lost the track,
and should miss the well; the day had been oppressively hot--the
major's companions were sick and fatigued, and they dreaded the want
of water. A fine dust, arising from a light clayey and sandy soil,
had also increased their sufferings; the exclamations of the Arab who
first discovered the wells, were indeed music to their ears, and
after satisfying his own thirst, with that of his weary animals,
Major Denham laid himself down by one of the distant wells, far from
his companions, and these moments of tranquillity, the freshness of
the air, with the melody of the hundred songsters that were perched
amongst the creeping plants, whose flowers threw an aromatic odour
all around, were a relief scarcely to be described. Ere long,
however, the noisy kafila, and the clouds of dust, which accompanied
it, disturbed him from the delightful reverie into which he had
fallen.

Previously to their arrival at Lari, they came upon two encampments
of the Traita Tibboos, calling themselves the sheik's people; their
huts were not numerous, but very regularly built in a square, with a
space left in the north and south faces of the quadrangle, for the
use of the cattle. The huts were entirely of mats, which excluding
the sun, yet admitted both the light and the air. These habitations
for fine weather are preferable to the bete shars or tents of the
Arabs of the north. The interior was singularly neat; clean wooden
bowls, with each a cover of basketwork, for holding their milk, were
hung against the wall. In the centre of the enclosure were about one
hundred and fifty head of cattle, feeding from cradles; these were
chiefly milch cows with calves, and sheep. The Tibboos received them
kindly at first, but presumed rather too much on sheik Kaneny's
protection, which they claim or throw off, it is said, accordingly as
it suits their purpose. The modest request of a man with two hundred
armed Arabs, for a little milk, was refused, and ready as the Arabs
are to throw down the gauntlet, a slight expression of displeasure
from their leader, was followed by such a rapid attack on the
Tibboos, that before Major Denham could mount, half the stock was
driven off, and the sheik well bastinadoed. Boo Khaloom was, however,
too kind to injure them, and after driving their cattle for about a
mile, he allowed them to return, with a caution to be more
accommodating for the future. Accustomed as these people are to
plunder one another, they expect no better usage from any one, who
visits them, provided they are strong enough, and _vice versa._ They
are perfect Spartans in the art of thieving, both male and female.

An old woman, who was sitting at the door of one of the huts, sent a
very pretty girl to Major Denham, as he was standing by his horse,
whose massy amber necklace, greased head, and coral nose-studs and
ear-rings, announced a person of no common order, to see what she
could pick up; and after gaining possession of his handkerchief and
some needles, while he turned his head, in an instant thrust her hand
into the pocket of the saddle cloth, as she said, to find some beads,
for she knew he had plenty.

Another and much larger nest of the Traitas, lay to the east of their
course, a little further on, with numerous flocks and herds. About
two in the afternoon, they arrived at Lari, ten miles distant from
Mittimee. On ascending the rising ground on which the town stands,
the distressing sight presented itself of all the female, and most of
the male inhabitants with their families, flying across the plain in
all directions, alarmed at the strength of the kafila. Beyond,
however, was an object full of interest to them, and the sight of
which conveyed to their minds a sensation so gratifying and
inspiring, that it would be difficult for language to convey an idea
of its force and pleasure. The great Lake Tchad, glowing with the
golden rays of the sun in its strength, appeared to be within a mile
of the spot on which they stood. The hearts of the whole party
bounded within them at the prospect, for they believed this lake to
be the key to the great object of their search: and they could not
refrain from silently imploring Heaven's continued protection, which
had enabled them to proceed so far in health and strength, even to
the accomplishment of their task.

It was long before Boo Khuloom's best endeavours could restore
confidence; the inhabitants had been plundered by the Tuaricks only
the year before, and four hundred of their people butchered, and but
a few days before, a party of the same nation had again pillaged
them, though partially. When at length these people were satisfied
that no harm was intended them, the women came in numbers with
baskets of gussub, gafooly, fowls and honey, which were purchased by
small pieces of coral and amber of the coarsest kinds, and coloured
beads. One merchant bought a fine lamb for two bits of amber, worth
about two pence each in Europe; two needles purchased a fowl, and a
handful of salt, four or five good-sized fish from the lake.

Lari is inhabited by the people of Kanem, who are known by the name
of Kanimboo; the women are good looking, laughing negresses, and all
but naked; but this they were now used to, and it excited no emotions
of surprise. Most of them had a square of silver or tin hanging at
the back of the head, suspended from the hair, which was brought down
in narrow plaits, quite round the neck.

The town of Lari stands on an eminence, and may probably contain two
thousand inhabitants. The huts are built of the rush which grows by
the side of the lake, have conical tops, and look very like
well-thatched stacks of corn in England. They have neat enclosures
round them, made with fences of the same reed, and passages leading
to them like labyrinths. In the enclosure are a goat or two, poultry,
and sometimes a cow. The women were almost always  spinning cotton,
which grows well, though not abundantly, near the town and the lake.
The interior of the huts is neat, they are completely circular, with
no admission for air or light, except at the door, which has a mat,
hung up by way of safeguard. Major Denham entered one of the best
appearance, although the owner gave him no smiles of encouragement,
and followed close at his heels, with a spear and dagger in his hand.
In one corner stood the bed, a couch of rushes lashed together, and
supported by six poles, fixed strongly in the ground. This was
covered by the skins of the tiger-cat and wild bull. Round the sides
were hung the wooden bowls, used for water and milk; his tall shield
rested against the wall. The hut had a division of mat-work, one half
being allotted to the female part of the family. The owner, however,
continued to look at his unexpected visitor with so much suspicion,
and seemed so little pleased with his visit, notwithstanding all the
endeavours of Major Denham to assure him, he was his friend, that he
hurried from the inhospitable door, and resumed his walk through the
town.

On quitting Lari, they immediately plunged into a thickly-planted
forest of acacias, with high underwood, and at the distance of only a
few hundred yards from the town, they came upon large heaps of
elephants' dung, forming hillocks three or four feet in height, and
marks of their footsteps; the tracks of these animals increased as
they proceeded. Part of the day their road lay along the banks of the
Tchad, and the elephants' footmarks of an immense size, and only a
few hours old, were in abundance. Whole trees were broken down, where
they had fed; and where they had reposed their ponderous bodies,
young trees, shrubs, and underwood, had been crushed beneath their
weight. They also killed an enormous snake, a species of coluber; it
was a most disgusting, horrible animal, but not, however, venomous.
It measured eighteen feet from the mouth to the tail, it was shot by
five balls and was still moving off, when two Arabs, with each a
sword, nearly severed the head from the body. On opening the belly,
several pounds of fat were found, and carefully taken off by the two
native guides, by whom they were accompanied. This they pronounced a
sovereign remedy for sick and diseased cattle, and much prized
amongst them. Scarcely a mile further, a drove of wild red cattle,
which were first taken for deer, were seen bounding to the westward.
They were what the Arabs called, _bugra hammar wahash_ (red cow
wild.) They appeared to partake of the bullock and buffalo, with a
tuft or lump on the shoulder.

They bivouacked near a small parcel of huts, called Nyagami, in a
beautiful spot, so thick of wood, that they could scarcely find a
clear place for their encampment. While the tents were fixing, an
alarm was given of wild boars; one of the party followed the scent,
and on his return, said he had seen a lion, and near him seven
gazelles. No information could be obtained from the natives of lions
ever being seen in the neighbourhood; numerous other animals appeared
to abound, and that confirmed the opinion.

They moved for Woodie on the 7th February, accompanied by two Arabs
of Boo Saif. Major Denham left the kafila, and proceeded a little to
the westward, making a parallel movement with the camels. Birds of
the most beautiful plumage were perched on every tree, and several
monkeys chattered at them so impudently, that separating one from the
rest, they chased him for nearly half an hour; he did not run very
fast, nor straight forward, but was constantly doubling and turning,
with his head over his shoulder, to see who was close to him. He was
a handsome fellow, of a light brown colour, and black about the
muzzle. About noon they came to a village of huts, called Barrah, and
although only three in number, the natives flew in all directions.
On their approaching the town, they beckoned to them, and got off
their horses, for the purpose of giving them confidence, and sat down
under the shade of a large tamarind tree. An old negro, who spoke a
little Arabic, was the first who ventured to approach; seeing that he
was not ill-treated, the others soon followed his example. Major
Denham begged a little sour milk, a most refreshing beverage after a
hot ride, but none was to be found, until they were assured that it
should be paid for, and at the sight of the dollar they all jumped
and skipped like so many monkeys. Major Denham now began to eat some
biscuit which he had in his saddle cloth, which created much
astonishment, and the first to whom he offered some, refused to eat
it. One, rather bolder than the rest, put a small piece in his mouth,
and pronounced it good, with such extravagant gestures, that the
visitors all became clamorous. The major refused for a long time the
man, who had been suspicious at first, to the great amusement of the
rest, who seemed to relish the joke amazingly.

The little nest of thatched huts in which they lived, was most
beautifully situated on a rising spot, in the midst of a rich and
luxuriant though not thick forest, about three miles to the northeast
of Woodie. One of the old men accompanied them, while his son carried
a sheep, which the major had purchased at Woodie, for which service
he was rewarded by two coral beads and a little snuff.

Close to the town of Woodie, they found the tents. The party had made
about fourteen miles, without leaving the banks of the lake at any
great distance. Two elephants were seen swimming in the lake this
day, and one, belonging to a drove at a distance, absolutely remained
just before the kafila. Hillman had gone on in front on his mule,
suffering sadly from weakness and fatigue, and had laid himself down
in what appeared a delightful shade, to await the arrival of the
camels, not expecting to see an elephant. He was actually reposing
within a dozen yards of a very large one, without being aware of it;
and on an Arab striking the animal with a spear, he roared out, and
moved off.

Poor Hillman's alarm was extreme.

The courier had been sent off a second time, after being re-clothed
and remounted, to receive the sheik's orders, and they were not to
proceed beyond Woodie until his pleasure was known. So jealous and
suspicious are these negro princes of the encroachments of the Arabs,
that divers were the speculations as to whether the sheik would or
would not allow the Arabs to proceed with the party nearer his
capital.

A weekly fsug, or market, was held about a mile from the town, and
the women, flocking from the neighbouring negro villages, mounted on
bullocks, who have a thong of hide passed through the cartilage of
the nose when young, and are managed with great ease, had a curious
appearance. A skin is spread on the animal's back, upon which, after
hanging the different articles they take for sale, they mount
themselves. Milk, sour and sweet, a little honey, lowls, gussub, and
gafooly, are amongst their wares; fat and _meloheea_ (ochra), a green
herb, which, with the bazeen, all negroes eat voraciously, and indeed
Christians too, as was afterwards experienced. The men brought oxen,
sheep, goats, and slaves; the latter were few in number, and in
miserable condition.

Woodie is a capital, or, as they say, blad kebir, and is governed by
a sheik, who is a eunuch, and a man of considerable importance; they
appear to have all the necessaries of life in abundance, and are the
most indolent people which the travellers ever met with. The women
spin a little cotton, and weave it into a coarse cloth of about six
inches width. The men either lie idling in their huts during the
whole of the day, or in the shade of a building formed by four
supporters and a thatched roof, which stands in an open space amongst
the huts; this is also the court of justice and the house of prayer.
The men are considerably above the common stature, and of an athletic
make, but have an expression of features particularly dull and heavy.
The town stands about one mile west of the Tchad, four short days'
march from Bornou.

The women, like the Tibboos, have a square piece of blue or white
cloth tied over one shoulder, which forms their whole covering; their
hair is, however, curiously and laboriously trained, and it was
observed, that no one of tender years had any thing like a perfect head
of hair. From childhood the head is shaved, leaving only the top
covered; the hair from hence falls down quite round, from the
forehead to the pole of the neck, and is there formed into one solid
plait, which in front lying quite flat just over the eyes, and,
behind, being turned up with a little curl, has just the appearance
of an old-fashioned coachman's wig in England; some of them are,
however, very pretty.

On the morning of the 10th February, Major Denham went to the
eastward, in order to see the extent of the forest, and also, if
possible, to get a sight of the herd of upwards of one hundred and
fifty elephants, which some of the Arabs had seen the day before,
while their camels were feeding. He was not disappointed, for he
found them about six miles from the town, on the grounds annually
overflowed by the waters of the lake, where the coarse grass is twice
the height of a man; they seemed to cover the face of the country,
and far exceeded the number which was reported. When the waters flow
over these their pasturages, they are forced by hunger to approach
the towns, and spread devastation throughout their march; whole
plantations, the hopes of the inhabitants for the next year, are
sometimes destroyed in a single night.

When quite fatigued, Major Denham determined on making for some huts,
and begged a little milk, sweet or sour. No knowing landlady of a
country ever scanned the character of her customer more than did this
untaught, though cunning negro, who was found there. He first denied
that he had any, notwithstanding the bowls were scarcely ten paces
behind him, and then asked, what they had got to pay for it? Major
Denham had in reality nothing with him; and after offering his pocket
handkerchief, which was returned to him, as not worth any thing, he
was about to depart, though ten long miles from the tents, thirsty as
he was, when the Arab pointed to a needle, which was sticking in the
major's jacket; for this and a white bead, which the Arab produced,
they had a bowl of fine milk and a basket of nuts, which refreshed
them much. On their way to the tents, they saw a flock of at least
five hundred pelicans, but could not get near enough to fire at them.

On the 11th, two of the sheik's officers arrived, with letters and a
present of goroo nuts of Soudan; they have a pleasant bitter taste,
and are much esteemed by all the Tripoli people. These letters
pressed Boo Khaloom to continue his march towards Kouka, with all his
people, a very great proof of his confidence in the peaceable
disposition of their chief. In the evening of the same day, they
reached a town called Burwha. It is walled, and it was the first
negro one they had seen. It may be called in that country a place of
some strength, in proof of which, the inhabitants have always defied
the Tuarick marauders, who never entered the town. The walls may be
about thirteen or fourteen feet high, and have a dry ditch which runs
quite round them. The town probably covers an extent equal to three
square miles, and contains five or six thousand inhabitants. There is
a covered way, from which the defenders lance their spears at the
besiegers, and instantly conceal themselves. There are but two gates,
which are nearly east and west; and these being the most vulnerable
part for an enemy to attack, are defended by mounds of earth thrown
up on each side, and carried out at least twenty yards in front of
the gate, and have nearly perpendicular faces. These advanced posts
are always thickly manned, and they conceive them to be a great
defence to their walls; they cannot, however, calculate upon their
being abandoned, as an enemy once in possession of them, would so
completely command the town, that from thence every part of it may be
seen. Nevertheless, Burwha is a strong place, considering the means
of attack which the Arabs have.

Major Denham rode nearly the whole of this day with Min Ali Tahar,
the Gundowy Tibbo sheik, who was accompanying them to Bornou; he had
some little difference with the sheik, of whom he was perfectly
independent, and Boo Khaloom, ever politic, undertook to make up the
misunderstanding; thereby not only showing his influence, but
securing in a manner the future friendship of Tahar, whose district
was always considered the most dangerous part of the Tibboo country,
on the road to Mourzouk. Tahar was a sharp, intelligent fellow, spoke
a little Arabic, and had often asked Major Denham many questions
about his country, and his sultan or king, but on this day he was
more inquisitive than usual. "Rais Khaleel," said he, "what would
your sultan do to Min Ali, if he was to go to England? Would he kill
me, or would he keep me there a prisoner? I should like to be there
for about a month."

"Certainly neither the one nor the other," replied Major Denham; "he
would be much more inclined to make you a handsome present, and send
you back again."

"Oh!" exclaimed Min Ali, "I should take him something; but what could
I give him? nothing but the skins of a dozen ostriches, some
elephants' teeth, and a lion's skin."

"The value of the present," said Major Denham, "could be of no
importance to my sultan; he would look at the intention. Do you,
however, befriend his people; remember the Inglezi that you have
seen; and should any more ever find their way to your tents, give
them milk and sheep, and put them in the road they are going.
Promise me to do this, and I can almost promise you, that my sultan
shall send you a sword, such a one as Hateeta had on my return,
without your going to England, or giving him any thing."

"Is he such a man?" exclaimed Min Ali. "Barak Allah! what is his
name?"

"George," replied Major Denham.

"George," repeated Min Ali. "Health to George; much of it! _Salem
Ali; George yassur._ Tell him, Min Ali Tahar wishes him all health
and happiness; that he is a Tibboo, who can command a thousand
spears, and fears no man. Is he liberal? Is his heart large? _Gulba
kablr,_ does he give presents to his people?"

"Very much so indeed," replied Major Denham; "some of his people
think him too generous."

"By the head of my father!" _"Raas el Booe!_" exclaimed Min Ali, they
are wrong; the sultan of a great people should have a large heart, or
he is unworthy of them. Who will succeed him when he dies?"

"His brother," answered Major Denham. "What is his name?" asked Min
Ali. "Frederick," replied the major.

"Barak Allah!" cried Min Ali; "I hope he will be like George,
_matlook_ (liberal). _Salem Ali Frederick!_ How many wives have
they?"

"No Englishman," replied Major Denham, "has more than one."

"A gieb! a gieb! wonderful! wonderful!" exclaimed Min Ali; why, they
should have a hundred."

"No, no," said Major Denham, "we think that a sin." "Wallah! really!"
(literally, by God!) cried Min Ali; "why, I have four now, and I have
had more than sixty. She, however, whom I like best, always says, one
would be more lawful; she may be right; you say she is. You are a
great people; I see you are a great people, and know every thing. I,
a Tibboo, am little better than a gazelle."



CHAPTER XXII.

The 17th of February was a momentous day to the Europeans, as well as
to their conductors. Notwithstanding all the difficulties that had
presented themselves at the various stages of their journey, they
were at last within a few short miles of their destination; they were
about to become acquainted with a people, who had never seen, or
scarcely heard of a European, and to tread on ground, the knowledge
and true situation of which had hitherto been wholly unknown. These
ideas of course excited no common sensations, and could scarcely be
unaccompanied by strong hopes of their labours being beneficial to
the race amongst whom they were shortly to mix; of their laying the
first stone of a work, which might lead to their civilization, if not
their emancipation from all their prejudices and ignorance, at the
same time open a field of commerce to their own country, which might
increase its wealth and prosperity.

The accounts, which they had received of the state of this country,
had been so contradictory, that no opinion could be formed as to the
real condition, or the number of its inhabitants. They had been told
that the sheik's soldiers were a few ragged negroes, armed with
spears, who lived upon the plunder of the black kaffir countries, by
which he was surrounded, and which he was enabled to subdue by the
assistance of a few Arabs, who were in his service; and again they
had been assured that his forces were not only numerous, but to a
certain degree well trained. The degree of credit which might be
attached to these reports, was nearly balanced in the scales of
probability, and they advanced towards the town of Kouka, in a most
interesting state of uncertainty, whether they should find its chief
at the head of thousands, or be received by him under a tree,
surrounded by a few naked slaves.

These doubts, however, were quickly removed; Major Denham had ridden
on a short distance in front of Boo Khaloom, with his train of Arabs
all mounted, and dressed out in their best apparel, and from the
thickness of the leaves soon lost sight of them, fancying that the
road could not be mistaken. He rode still onwards, and on approaching
a spot less thickly planted, was not a little surprised to see in
front of him a body of several thousand cavalry, drawn up in a line,
and extending right and left as far as he could see; checking his
horse, he awaited the arrival of his party, under the shade of a
wide-spreading acacia. The Bornou troops remained quite steady
without noise or confusion, and a few horsemen, who were moving about
in front giving directions, were the only persons out of the ranks.
On the Arabs appearing in sight, a shout or yell was given by the
sheik's people, which rent the air; a blast was blown from their rude
instruments of music equally loud, and they moved on to meet Boo
Khaloom and his Arabs. There was an appearance of tact and management
in their movements, which astonished every one; three separate small
bodies from the centre and each flank, kept charging rapidly towards
them, to within a few feet of their horses' heads, without checking
the speed of their own, until the movement of their halt, while the
whole body moved onwards. These parties, shaking their spears over
their heads, exclaimed, _Barca! barca! Alla hiakkum, cha, alla
cheraga;_ Blessing! blessing! sons of your country! sons of your
country. While all this was going on, they closed in their left and
right flanks, and surrounded the little body of Arab warriors so
completely, as to give the compliment of welcoming them, very much
the appearance of a declaration of their contempt of their weakness.
They were all now so closely pressed as to be nearly smothered, and
in some danger from the crowding of the horses, and clashing of the
spears; moving on was impossible, and they therefore came to a full
stop. Boo Khaloom was much enraged, but it was all to no purpose; he
was only answered by shrieks of welcome, and the spears most
unpleasantly rattled over their heads, expressive of the same
feeling. This annoyance, however, was not of long duration. Barca
Gana, the sheik's first general, a negro of noble aspect, clothed in
a figured silk tobe, and mounted on a beautiful Mandara horse, made
his appearance, and after a little delay, the rear was cleared of
those, who had pressed in upon the Europeans and Arabs, and they
moved on, although very slowly, from the frequent impediments thrown
in their way by these wild equestrians.

The sheik's negroes as they were called, meaning the black chiefs and
favourites, all raised to that rank by some deed of bravery, were
habited in coats of mail composed of iron chain, which covered them
from the throat to the knees, dividing behind, and coming on each
side of the horse. Their horses heads were also defended by plates of
iron, brass, and silver, just leaving sufficient room for the eyes of
the animal.

At length, on arriving at the gate of the town, the Europeans, Boo
Khaloom, and about a dozen of his followers, were alone allowed to
enter the gates, and they proceeded along a wide street, completely
lined with spearmen on foot, with cavalry in front of them to the
door of the sheik's residence. Here the horsemen were formed up three
deep, and they came to a stand; some of the chief attendants came
out, and after a great many Barcas! barcas! retired, when others
performed the same ceremony. They were now again left sitting on
their horses in the sun. Boo Khaloom began to lose all patience, and
swore by the bashaw's head, that he would return to the tents, if he
was not immediately admitted, he got, however, no satisfaction but a
motion of the hand from one of the chiefs, meaning "wait patiently;"
and Major Denham whispered to him the necessity of obeying, as they
were hemmed in on all sides, and to retire without permission would
have been as difficult as to advance. Barca Gana now appeared, and
made a sign that Boo Khaloom should dismount; the Europeans were
about to follow his example, when an intimation that Boo Khaloom was
alone to be admitted, fixed them again to their saddles. Another half
hour at least elapsed, without any news from the interior of the
building, when the gates opened, and the four Englishmen only were
called for, and they advanced to the skiffa (entrance). Here they
were stopped most unceremoniously by the black guards in waiting, and
were allowed one by one only to ascend a staircase; at the top of
which they were again brought to a stand by crossed spears, and the
open flat hand of a negro laid upon their breast. Boo Khaloom came
from the inner chamber, and asked, "If we were prepared to salute the
sheik, as we did the bashaw." They replied, "certainly;" which was
merely an inclination of the head, and laying the right hand on the
heart. He advised their laying their hands also on their heads--but
they replied the thing was impossible. They had but one manner of
salutation for any body, except their own sovereign.

Another parley now took place, but in a minute or two he returned,
and they were ushered into the presence of the sheik of spears.
They found him in a small dark room, sitting on a carpet, plainly
dressed in a blue tobe of Soudan, and a shawl turban. Two negroes
were on each side of him, armed with pistols, and on his carpet lay a
brace of those instruments. Fire arms were hanging in  different
parts of the room, presents from the bashaw and Mustapha L'Achmar,
the sultan of Fezzan, which are here considered as invaluable. His
personal appearance was prepossessing, apparently not more than
forty-five or forty-six, with an expressive countenance and
benevolent smile. They delivered their letter from the bashaw, and
after he had read it, he inquired, "What was our object in coming?"
They answered, "to see the country merely, and to give an account of
its inhabitants, produce, and appearance; as our sultan was desirous
of knowing every part of the globe." His reply was, "that we were
welcome, and whatever he could show us would give him pleasure; that
he had ordered huts to be built for us in the town, and that we might
then go, accompanied by one of his people, to see them, and that when
we were recovered from the fatigue of our long journey, he would be
happy to see us." With this, they took their leave. Their huts were
little round mud buildings, placed within a wall, at no great
distance from the residence of the sheik. The enclosure was
quadrangular, and had several divisions, formed by partitions of
straw mats, where nests of huts were built, and occupied by the
stranger merchants, who accompanied the kafila. One of these
divisions was assigned to the Europeans, and they crept into the
shade of their earthly dwellings, not a little fatigued with their
entrée and presentation.

Their huts were immediately so crowded with visitors, that they had
not a moment's peace, and the heat was insufferable. Boo Khaloom had
delivered his presents from the bashaw, and brought the Europeans a
message of compliment, together with an intimation, that their
presents would be received on the following day. About noon, a
summons was received for them to attend the sheik, and they proceeded
to the palace, preceded by their negroes, bearing the articles
destined for the sheik by their government, consisting of a
double-barrelled gun, with a box, and all the apparatus complete, a
pair of excellent pistols, in a case; two pieces of superfine
broad-cloth, red and blue, to which were added a set of china and two
bundles of spices.

The ceremony of getting into the presence was ridiculous enough,
although nothing could be more plain and devoid of pretension than
the appearance of the sheik himself. They entered through passages
lined with attendants, the front men sitting on their hams; and when
they advanced too quickly, they were suddenly arrested by these
fellows, who caught forcibly hold of them by their legs, and had not
the crowd prevented their falling, they would most infallibly have
become prostrate before arriving in the presence. Previously to
entering into the open court in which they were received; their
papouches, or slippers, were whipped off by those active, though
sedentary gentlemen of the chamber, and they were seated on some
clean sand, on each side of a raised bench of earth, covered with a
carpet, on which the sheik was reclining. They laid the gun and the
pistols together before him, and explained to him the locks,
turnscrews, and steel shot cases, holding two charges each, with all
of which he seemed exceedingly well pleased; the powder-flask, and
the manner in which the charge is divided from the body of the
powder, did not escape his observation. The other articles were taken
off by the slaves, as soon as they were laid before him. Again they
were questioned as to the object of their visit. The sheik, however,
showed evident satisfaction at their assurance that the king of
England had heard of Bornou and himself, and immediately turning to
his kaganawha (counsellors), said, "This is in consequence of our
defeating the Begharmis." Upon which the chief who had most
distinguished himself in these memorable battles, Ragah Turby, (the
gatherer of horses,) seating himself in front of them, demanded, "Did
he ever hear of me?" The immediate reply of _"Certainly,"_ did
wonders for the European cause. Exclamations were general, and "Ah!
then your king must be a great man," was re-echoed from every side.
They had not any thing offered them by way of refreshment, and took
their leave.

It may be here observed, that besides occasional presents of
bullocks, camel loads of wheat and rice, leathern skins of butter,
jars of honey, and honey in the comb, five or six wooden bowls were
sent them morning and evening, containing rice with meat, paste made
of barley flour, savoury but very greasy, and on their first arrival,
as many had been sent of sweets, mostly composed of curd and honey.

In England a brace of trout might be considered as a handsome present
to a traveller sojourning in the neighbourhood of a stream, but at
Bornou things are managed differently. A camel load of bream and a
sort of mullet were thrown before their huts on the second morning
after their arrival, and for fear that should not be sufficient, in
the evening another was sent.

The costume of the women, who attended the fsug, or market, was
various; those of Kanem and Bornou were most numerous, and the former
was as becoming as the latter had a contrary appearance. The variety
in costume amongst the ladies consists entirely in the head
ornaments; the only difference in the scanty covering which is
bestowed on the other parts of the person, lies in the choice of the
wearer, who either ties the piece of linen, blue or white, under the
arms and across the breasts, or fastens it rather fantastically on
one shoulder, leaving one breast naked. The Kanamboo women have small
plaits of hair hanging down all round the head, quite to the poll of
the neck, with a roll of leather, or string of little brass beads in
front, hanging down from the centre on each side of the face, which
has by no means an unbecoming appearance; they have sometimes strings
of silver rings instead of the brass, and a large round silver
ornament in front of their foreheads. The female slaves from Musgow,
a large kingdom to the south-east of Mandara, are particularly
disagreeable in their appearance, although considered as very
trustworthy, and capable of great labour; their hair is rolled up in
three large plaits, which extend from the forehead to the back of the
neck, like the Bornowy; one larger in the centre, and two smaller on
each side; they have silver studs in their nose, and one large one
just under the lower lip, of the size of a shilling, which goes quite
through into the mouth; to make room for this ornament, a tooth or
two are sometimes displaced.

Amongst the articles offered to Major Denham in the market, was a
young lion and a monkey; the latter appeared really the more
dangerous of the two, and from being a degree or two lighter in
complexion than his master, he seemed to have taken a decided
aversion to the European.

The lion walked about with great unconcern, confined merely by a
small rope round his neck, held by the negro who had caught him when
he was not two months old, and having had him for a period of three
months, now wished to part with him; he was about the size of a
donkey colt, with very large limbs, and the people seemed to go very
close to him without much alarm, notwithstanding he struck with his
foot the leg of one man who stood in his way, and made the blood flow
copiously. They opened the ring which was formed round the noble
animal, as Major Denham approached, and coming within two or three
yards of him, he fixed his eye upon him, in a way that excited
sensations, which it was impossible to describe, and from which the
major was awakened, by a fellow calling him to come nearer, at the
same time laying his hand on the animal's back; a moment's
recollection convinced him, that there could be no more danger
nearer, than where he was, and he stepped boldly up beside the negro,
and he believed he should have laid his hand on the lion the next
moment, but the beast, after looking carelessly at him, brushed past
his legs, broke the ring, overturning several who stood before him,
and bounded off to another part, where there were fewer people.

It remained that Major Denham should be introduced to the sultan, in
his royal residence at Birnie, where all the real state and pomp of
the kingdom, with none of its real power were concentrated. On the
2nd March, the English accompanied Boo Khaloom to that city, and on
their arrival, the following day was fixed for the interview. Fashion
even in the most refined European courts, does not always follow the
absolute guidance of taste or reason, and her magic power is often
displayed in converting deformities into beauties, but there is
certainly no court, of which the taste is so absurd, grotesque, and
monstrous, as that to which Major Denham was now introduced. An
enormous protruding belly, and a huge misshapen head, are the two
features, without which it is vain to aspire to the rank of a
courtier, or fine gentleman. The form, valued perhaps as the type of
abundance and luxury, is esteemed so essential, that where nature has
not bestowed, and the most excessive feeding and cramming cannot
supply it, wadding is employed, and a false belly produced, which in
riding appears to hang over the saddle. Turbans are also wrapped
round the head, in fold after fold, till it appears swelled on one
side to the most unnatural dimensions, and only one half of the face
remains visible. The fictitious bulk of the lords of Bornou is still
further augmented by drawing round them, even in this burning
climate, ten or twelve successive robes of cotton or silk, while the
whole is covered with numberless charms enclosed in green leathern
cases. Yet under all these incumbrances, they do sometimes mount and
take the field, but the idea of such unwieldy hogsheads being of any
avail in the day of battle, appeared altogether ridiculous, and it
proved accordingly, that on such high occasions, they merely
exhibited themselves as ornaments, without making even a show of
encountering the enemy.

With about three hundred of this puissant chivalry before and around
him, the sultan was himself seated in a sort of cage of cane or wood
near the door of his garden, on a seat, which at the distance
appeared to be covered with silk or satin, and through the railing
looked upon the assembly before him, who formed a kind of semicircle,
extending from his seat to nearly where the English were waiting. The
courtiers having taken their seats in due form, the embassy was
allowed to approach within about pistol shot of the spot where the
sultan was sitting, and desired to sit down, when the ugliest black
that can be imagined, his chief eunuch, the only person who
approached the sultan's seat, asked for the presents. Boo Khaloom's
were produced in a large shawl, and were carried unopened to the
presence. The glimpse which the English obtained of the sultan, was
but a faint one, through the lattice work of his pavilion,
sufficient, however, to show that his turban was larger than any of
his subjects, and that his face from the nose downwards was
completely covered. A little to the left, and nearly in front of the
sultan, was an extempore declaimer, shouting forth praises of his
master, with his pedigree; near him was one who bore the long wooden
frumfrum, on which ever and anon he blew a blast loud and unmusical.
Nothing could be more ridiculous than the appearance of these people,
squatting under the weight and magnitude of their bellies, while the
thin legs that appeared underneath, but ill accorded with the bulk of
the other parts.

This was all that was ever seen of the sultan of Bornou. The party
then set out for Kouka, passing on their way through Angornou, the
largest city in the kingdom, containing at least thirty thousand
inhabitants.

During his residence at Kouka and Angornou, Major Denham frequently
attended the markets, where besides the proper Bornouese, he saw the
Shouass, an Arab tribe, who are the chief breeders of cattle; the
Kanemboos from the north, with their hair neatly and tastefully
plaited, and the Musgow, a southern clan of the most savage aspect.
A loose robe or shirt of the cotton cloth of the country, often
finely and beautifully dyed, was the universal dress, and high rank
was indicated by six or seven of these, worn one above another.
Ornament was studied chiefly in plaiting the hair, in attaching to it
strings of brass or silver beads, in inserting large pieces of amber
or coral into the nose, the ear, and the lip, and when to these was
added a face, streaming with oil, the Bornouese belle was fully
equipped for conquest. Thus adorned, the wife or daughter of a rich
Shouaa might be seen entering the market in full style, bestriding an
ox, which she managed dexterously, by a leathern thong passed through
the nose, and whose unwieldy bulk she even contrived to torture into
something like capering and curvetting. Angornou is the chief market,
and the crowd there is sometimes immense, amounting to eighty or one
hundred thousand individuals. All the produce of the country is
bought and sold in open market, for shops and warehouses do not enter
into the system of African traffic.

Bornou taken altogether forms an extensive plain, stretching two
hundred miles along the western shore of Lake Tchad, and nearly the
same distance inland. This sea periodically changes its bed in a
singular manner. During the rains, when its tributary rivers pour in
thrice the usual quantity of water, it inundates an extensive tract,
from which it retires in the dry season. This space, then overgrown
with dense underwood, and with grass double the height of a man,
contains a motley assemblage of wild beasts--lions, panthers, hyenas,
elephants, and serpents of extraordinary form and bulk. These
monsters, while undisturbed in this mighty den, remain tranquil, or
war only with each other, but when the lake swells, and its waters
rush in, they of necessity seek refuge among the abodes of men, to
whom they prove the most dreadful scourge. Not only the cattle but
the slaves attending the grain, often fall victims; they even rush in
large bodies into the towns. The fields beyond the reach of this
annual inundation are very fertile, and land may be had in any
quantity, by him who has slaves to cultivate it. This service is
performed by females from Musgow, who, aiding their native ugliness,
by the insertion of a large piece of silver into the upper lip, which
throws it entirely out of shape, are estimated according to the
quantity of hard work which they can execute. The processes of
agriculture are extremely simple. Their only fine manufacture is that
of tobes, or vestments of cotton skilfully woven and beautifully
dyed, but still not equal to those of Soudan.

The Bornouese are complete negroes both in form and feature; they are
ugly, simple, and good natured, but destitute of all intellectual
culture. Only a few of the great fighis or doctors, of whom the sheik
was one, can read the Koran. "A great writer" is held in still higher
estimation than with us, but his compositions consist only of words
written on scraps of paper, to be enclosed in cases, and worn as
amulets. They are then supposed to defend their possessor against
every danger, to act as charms to destroy his enemies, and to be the
main instrument in the cure of all diseases. For this last purpose
they are assisted only by a few simple applications, yet the Bornou
practice is said to be very successful, either through the power of
imagination, or owing to the excellence of their constitutions. In
the absence of all refined pleasure, various rude sports are pursued
with eagerness, and almost with fury. The most favourite is
wrestling, which the chiefs do not practise in person, but train
their slaves to it as our jockeys do game cocks, taking the same
pride in their prowess and victory. Nations are often pitched against
each other; the Musgowy and the Bughami being the most powerful. Many
of them are extremely handsome, and of gigantic size, and hence their
contests are truly terrific. Their masters loudly cheer them on,
offering high premiums for victory, and sometimes threatening instant
death in case of defeat. They place their trust not in science, but
in main strength and rapid movements. Occasionally, the wrestler,
eluding his adversary's vigilance, seizes him by the thigh, lifts him
into the air, and dashes him against the ground. When the match is
decided, the victor is greeted with loud plaudits by the spectators,
some of whom even testify their admiration by throwing to him
presents of fine cloth. He then kneels before his master, who not
unfrequently bestows upon him a robe worth thirty or forty dollars,
taken perhaps from his own person. Death or maiming is no unfrequent
result of these encounters. The ladies even of rank engage in another
very odd species of contest. Placing themselves back to back, they
cause certain parts to strike together with the most violent
collision, when she who maintains her equilibrium, while the other
lies stretched upon the ground, is proclaimed victor with loud
cheers. In this conflict the girdle of beads worn by the more opulent
females, very frequently bursts, when these ornaments are seen flying
about in every direction. To these recreations is added gaming,
always the rage of uncultivated minds. Their favourite game is one
rudely played with beans, by means of holes made in the sand.

Boo Khaloom having despatched his affairs in Bornou, wished to turn
his journey to some farther account, and proposed an expedition into
the more wealthy and commercial region of Houssa or Soudan, but the
eager wishes of his follower pointed to a different object. They
called upon him to lead them into the mountains of Mandara, in the
south, to attack a village of the Kerdies or unbelievers, and carry
off the people as slaves to Fezzan. He long stood out against this
nefarious proposal, but the sheik who also had his own views, took
part against him; even his own brother joined the malcontents, and at
length there appeared no other mode in which he could return with
equal credit and profit. Influenced by these inducements, he suffered
his better judgement to be overpowered, and determined to conduct his
troops upon this perilous and guilty excursion. Major Denham allowed
his zeal for discovery to overcome other considerations, and
contrived, notwithstanding the prohibition of the sheik, to be one of
the party. They were accompanied by Barca Gana, the principal
general, a negro of huge strength and great courage, along with other
warriors, and a large troop of Bournouse cavalry. These last are a
fine military body in point of external appearance. Their persons are
covered with iron plate and mail, and they manage with surprising
dexterity their little active steeds, which are also supplied with
defensive armour. They have one fault only, but it is a serious one,
they cannot stand the shock of an enemy. While the contest continues
doubtful, they hover round as spectators, ready, should the tide turn
against them, to spur on their coursers to a rapid flight; but if
they see their friends victorious, and the enemy turning their backs,
they come forward and display no small vigour in pursuit and plunder.

The road to Mandara formed a continual ascent through a fertile
country, which contained some populous towns. The path being quite
overgrown with thick and prickly underwood, twelve pioneers went
forward with long poles, opening a track, pushing back the branches,
and giving warning to beware of holes. These operations they
accompanied with loud praises of Barca Gana, calling out, "Who is in
battle like the rolling of thunder? Barca Gana. In battle, who
spreads terror around him like the buffalo in his rage? Barca Gana."
Even the chiefs on this expedition carried no provisions, except a
paste of rice, flour, and honey, with which they contented
themselves, unless when sheep could be procured; in which case, half
the animal, roasted over a frame-work of wood, was placed on the
table, and the sharpest dagger present was employed in cutting it
into large pieces, to be eaten without bread or salt. At length they
approached Mora, the capital of Mandara. This was another kingdom,
which the energy of its present sultan had rescued from the yoke of
the Fellata empire; and the strong position of its capital, enclosed
by lofty ridges of hills, had enabled it to defy repeated attacks. It
consists of a fine plain, bordered on the south by an immense and
almost interminable range of mountains. The eminences directly in
front were not quite so lofty as the hills of Cumberland, but bold,
rocky, and precipitous, and distant summits appeared towering much
higher, and shooting up a line of sharp pinnacles, resembling the
Needles of Mont Blanc. It was reported that two months were required
to cross their greatest breadth, and reach the other side, where they
rose ten times higher, and were called large _moon_ mountains. They
there overlooked the plain of Adamowa, through which a great river,
that has erroneously been supposed to be the Quorra or Niger, was
said to flow from the westward. The hills immediately in view were
thickly clustered with villages perched on their sides, and even on
their tops, and were distinctly seen from the plain of Mandara. They
were occupied by half-savage tribes, whom the ferocious bigotry of
the nations in the low country branded as pagans, and whom they
claimed a right to plunder, seize, and drive in crowds for sale to
the markets of Fezzan and Bornou. The fires, which were visible, in
the different nests of these unfortunate beings, threw a glare upon
the bold rocks and blunt promontories of granite by which they were
surrounded, and produced a picturesque and somewhat awful appearance.
A baleful joy beamed on the visage of the Arabs, as they eyed these
abodes of their future victims, whom they already fancied themselves
driving in bands across the desert. "A Kerdy village to plunder!" was
all their cry, and Boo Khaloom doubted not that he would be able to
gratify their wishes. Their common fear of the Fellatas had united
the sultan of Mandara in close alliance with the sheik, to whom he
had lately married his daughter; and the nuptials had been celebrated
by a great slave-hunt amongst the mountains, when, after a dreadful
struggle, three thousand captives, by their tears and bondage,
furnished out the materials of a magnificent marriage festival.

The expedition obtained a reception quite as favourable as had been
expected. In approaching the capital, they were met by the sultan,
with five hundred Mandara horse, who, charging full speed, wheeled
round them with the same threatening movements which had been
exhibited at Bornou. The horses were of a superior breed, most
skilfully managed, and covered with cloths of various colours, as
well as with skins of the leopard and tiger-cat. This cavalry, of
course, made a most brilliant appearance; but Major Denham did not
yet know that their valour was exactly on a level with that of their
Bornou allies. The party were then escorted to the capital, amid the
music of long pipes, like clarionets, and of two immense trumpets.
They were introduced next day. The mode of approaching the royal
residence is to gallop up to the gate with a furious speed, which
often causes fatal accidents, and on this occasion a man was ridden
down and killed on the spot. The sultan was found in a dark-blue
tent, sitting on a mud bench, surrounded by about two hundred
attendants, handsomely arrayed in silk and cotton robes. He was an
intelligent little man, about fifty years old, with a beard dyed
sky-blue. Courteous salutations were exchanged, during which he
steadily eyed Major Denham, concerning whom he at last inquired, and
the traveller was advantageously introduced, as belonging to a
powerful distant nation, allies of the bashaw of Tripoli. At last,
however, came the fatal question,--"Is he moslem?" _"La! la!"_ (No,
no.) "What: has the great bashaw caffre friends?" Every eye was
instantly averted; the sun of Major Denham's favour was set, and he
was never again allowed to enter the palace.

The bigotry of this court seems to have surpassed even the usual
bitterness of the African tribes, and our traveller had to undergo a
regular persecution, carried on especially by Malem Chadily, the
leading fighi of the court. As Major Denham was showing to the
admiring chiefs, the mode of writing with a pencil, and effacing it
with Indian rubber; Malem wrote some words of the Koran with such
force, that their traces could not be wholly removed. He then
exclaimed with triumph, "They are the words of God delivered to his
prophet. I defy you to erase them." The major was then called upon to
acknowledge this great miracle, and as his countenance still
expressed incredulity, he was viewed with looks of such mingled
contempt and indignation, as induced him to retire. Malem, however,
again assailed him with the assurance that this was only one of the
many miracles which he could show, as wrought by the Koran, imploring
him to turn, and paradise would be his, otherwise nothing could save
him from eternal fire. "Oh!" said he, "while sitting in the third
heaven, I shall see you in the midst of the flames, crying out to
your friend Barca Gana and myself for a drop of water, but the gulf
will be between us." His tears then flowed profusely. Major Denham,
taking the general aside, entreated to be relieved from this
incessant persecution, but Gana assured him that the fighi was a
great and holy man, to whom he ought to listen. He then held out not
only paradise, but honours, slaves, and wives of the first families,
as gifts to be lavished on him by the sheik, if he would renounce his
unbelief. Major Denham asked the commander what would be thought of
himself, if he should go to England and turn Christian. "God forbid,"
exclaimed he, "but how can you compare our faiths? mine would lead
you to paradise, while yours would bring me to hell. Not a word
more." Nothing appears to have annoyed the stranger more than to be
told, that he was of the same faith with the Kerdies or savages,
little distinction being made between any who denied the Koran. After
a long discussion of this question, he thought the validity of his
reasoning would be admitted, when he could point to a party of those
wretches devouring a dead horse, and appealed to Boo Khaloom if he
had ever seen the English do the same; but to this, which after all
was not a very deep theological argument, the Arab replied, "I know
they eat the flesh of swine, and God knows, that is worse." "Grant me
patience," exclaimed the major to himself, "this is almost too much
to bear and to remain silent."

The unfortunate Kerdies, from the moment they saw Arab tents in the
valley of Mandara, knew the dreadful calamity which awaited them. To
avert it and to propitiate the sultan, numerous parlies came down
with presents of honey, asses, and slaves. Finally appeared the
Musgow, a more distant and savage race, mounted on small fiery
steeds, covered only with the skin of a goat or leopard, and with
necklaces made of the teeth of their enemies. They threw themselves
at the feet of the sultan, casting sand on their heads, and uttering
the most piteous cries. The monarch apparently moved by these gifts
and entreaties, began to intimate to Boo Khaloom his hopes, that
these savages might by gentle means be reclaimed, and led to the true
faith. These hopes were held by the latter in the utmost derision,
and he privately assured Major Denham, that nothing would  more annoy
the devout Mussulmans, than to see them fulfilled, whereby he must
have forfeited all right to drive these unhappy creatures in crowds,
to the markets of Soudan and Bornou. In fact, both the sultan and the
sheik had a much deeper aim. Every effort was used to induce Boo
Khaloom to engage in the attack of some strong Fellata posts, by
which the country was hemmed in, and as the two monarchs viewed the
Arabs with extreme jealousy, it was strongly suspected that their
defeat would not have been regarded as a public calamity. The royal
councils were secret and profound, and it was not known what
influences worked upon Boo Khaloom. On this occasion, however, he was
mastered by his evil genius, and consented to the proposed attack,
but as he came out and ordered his troops to prepare for marching,
his countenance bore such marks of trouble, that Major Denham asked,
if all went well, to which he Hurriedly answered, "Please God."
The Arabs, however, who at all events expected plunder, proceeded
with alacrity.

The expedition set out on the following morning, and after passing
through a beautiful plain, began to penetrate the mighty chain of
mountains, which form the southern border of the kingdom. Alpine
heights rising around them in rugged magnificence, and gigantic
grandeur, presented scenery which our traveller had never seen
surpassed. The passes of Hairey and of Horza, amid a superb
amphitheatre of hills, closely shut in by overhanging cliffs, more
than two thousand feet high, were truly striking. Here for the first
time in Africa, did nature appear to the English to rival in the
production of vegetable life. The trees were covered with luxuriant
and bright green foliage, and their trunks were hidden by a crowd of
parasitical plants, whose aromatic blossoms perfumed the air. There
was also an abundance of animal life of a less agreeable description.
Three scorpions were killed in the tent, and a fierce but beautiful
panther, more than eight feet long, just as he had gorged himself by
sucking the blood of a newly-killed negro, was attacked and speared.
The sultan and Barca Gana were attended by a considerable body of
Bornou and Mandara cavalry, whose brilliant armour, martial aspect,
and skilful horsemanship, gave confidence to the European officer,
who had not seen them put to the proof.

It was the third day, when the expedition came in view of the Fellata
town of Dirkulla. The Arabs, supported by Barca Gana, and about one
hundred spearmen marched instantly to the attack, and carried first
that place, and then a smaller town beyond it, killing all who had
not time to escape. The enemy, however, then entrenched themselves in
a third and stronger position, called Musfeia, enclosed by high
hills, and fortified in front by numerous swamps and palisades. This
was likewise attacked and all its defences forced. The guns of the
Arabs spread terror, while Barca Gana threw eight spears with his own
hand, every one of which took effect. It was thought, that had the
two bodies of cavalry, made even a show of advancing, the victory
would have been at once decided, but Major Denham was much surprised
to see those puissant warriors, keeping carefully under cover, behind
a hill, on the opposite side of the stream, where not an arrow could
reach them. The Fellatas seeing that their antagonists were only a
handful, rallied on the top of the hills, were joined by new troops,
and turned round. Their women behind cheered them on, continually
supplied fresh arrows, and rolled down fragments of rock on the
assailants. These arrows were tipped with poison, and wherever they
pierced the body, in a few hours became black, blood gushed from
every orifice, and the victim expired in agony. The condition of the
Arabs soon became alarming, scarcely a man was left unhurt, and their
horses were dying under them. Boo Khaloom and his charger were both
wounded with poisoned arrows. As soon as the Fellatas saw the Arabs
waver, they dashed in with their horse, at the sight of which all the
heroic squadrons of Bornou and Mandara put spurs to their steeds, the
sultan at their head, and the whole became one mass of confused and
tumultuous flight. Major Denham saw too late the peril into which he
had inconsiderately plunged. His horse, wounded in to the shoulder,
could scarcely support his weight, but the cries of the pursuing
Fellatas urged him forward. At last the animal fell twice, and the
second time threw him against a tree, then, frightened by the noise
behind, started up and ran off. The Fellatas were instantly up, when
four of his companions were stabbed beside him, uttering the most
frightful cries. He himself fully expected the same fate, but happily
his clothes formed a valuable booty, through which the savages were
loath to run their spears. After inflicting some slight wounds,
therefore, they stripped him to the skin, and forthwith began to
quarrel about the plunder. While they were thus busied, he contrived
to slip away, and though hotly pursued, and nearly overtaken,
succeeded in reaching a mountain stream, gliding at the bottom of a
deep and precipitous ravine. Here he had snatched the young branches
issuing from the stump of a large over-hanging tree, in order to let
himself down into the water, when beneath his hand, a large _siffa,_
the most dangerous serpent in this country, rose from its coil, as in
the very act of darting upon him. Struck with horror, Major Denham
lost all recollection, and fell headlong into the water, but the
shock revived him, and with three strokes of his arm, he reached the
opposite bank, and felt himself for the moment in safety. Running
forward, he was delighted to see his friends Barca Gana and Boo
Khaloom, but amidst the cheers with which they were endeavouring to
rally their troops, and the cries of those who were falling under the
Fellata spears, he could not for some time make himself heard.
Then Maramy, a negro appointed by the sheik to attend upon him, rode
up and took him on his own horse. Boo Khaloom ordered a bornouse to
be thrown over the major--very seasonably, for the burning sun had
began to blister his naked body. Suddenly, however, Maramy called
out, "See! see! Boo Khaloom is dead," and that spirited chief,
overpowered by the wound of a poisoned arrow, dropped from his horse
and spoke no more. The others now only thought of pressing their
flight, and soon reached a stream, where they refreshed themselves by
copious draughts, and a halt was made to collect the stragglers.
Major Denham here fell into a swoon, during which, as he afterwards
learned, Maramy complained that the jaded horse could scarcely carry
the stranger forward, when Barca Gana said, "By the head of the
prophet! believers enough have breathed their last to-day, why should
we concern ourselves about a Christian's death." Malem Chadily,
however, so bitter as a theological opponent, showed now the
influence of a milder spirit, and said, "No, God has preserved him;
let us not abandon him;" and Maramy declared, his heart told him what
to do. They therefore moved on slowly till about midnight, when they
passed the Mandara frontier, in a state of severe suffering, but the
major met with much kindness from a dethroned prince, Mai Meagamy,
who seeing his wounds festering under the rough woollen cloak, which
formed his only covering, took off his own trousers and gave them to
him.

The Arabs lost forty-five of their number, besides their chief; the
survivors were in a miserable plight, most of them wounded, some
mortally, and all deprived of their camels, and the rest of their
property. Renouncing their pride, they were obliged to supplicate
from Barca Gana a handful of corn to keep them from starving. The
sultan of Mandara, in whose cause they had suffered, treated them
with the utmost contumely, which, perhaps, they might deserve, but
certainly not from him. Deep sorrow was afterwards felt in Fezzan,
when they arrived in this deplorable condition, and reported the fall
of their chief, who was there almost idolized. A national song was
composed on the occasion, which the following extract will show to be
marked by great depth of feeling, and not devoid of poetical
beauty:--

"Oh trust not to the gun and the sword: the spear of the unbeliever
prevails!

"Boo Khaloom, the good and the brave, has fallen! Fallen has he in
his might! Who shall now be safe? Even as the moon amongst the little
stars, so was Boo Khaloom amongst men! Where shall Fezzan now look
for her protector? Men hang their heads in sorrow, while women wring
their hands, rending the air with their cries! As a shepherd is to
his flock, so was Boo Khaloom to Fezzan.

"Give him songs! Give him music! What words can equal his praise! His
heart was as large as the desert! His coffers were like the rich
overflowings from the udder of the she camel, comforting and
nourishing those around him.

"Even as the flowers without rain perish in the field, so will the
Fezzaners droop; for Boo Khaloom returns no more.

"His body lies in the land of the heathen! the poisoned arrow of the
unbeliever prevails!

"Oh trust not to the gun and the sword! The spear of the heathen
conquers! Boo Khaloom, the good and the brave, has fallen! Who shall
now be safe?"

The sheik of Bornou was considerably mortified by the result of this
expedition, and the miserable figure made by his troops, though he
sought to throw the chief blame on the Mandara part of the armament.
He now invited the major to accompany an expedition against the
Mungas, a rebel tribe on his outer border, on which occasion he was
to employ his native band of Kanemboo spearmen, who, he trusted,
would redeem the military reputation of the monarchy. Major Denham
was always ready to go wherever he had a chance of seeing the manners
and scenery of Africa. The sheik took the field, attended by his
armour-bearer, his drummer, fantastically dressed in a straw hat with
ostrich feathers, and followed by-three wives, whose heads and
persons were wrapped up in brown silk robes, and each led by a
eunuch. He was preceded by five green and red flags, on each of which
were extracts from the Koran, written in letters of gold. Etiquette
even required that the sultan should follow with his unwieldy pomp,
having a harem, and attendance much more numerous; while frumfrums,
or wooden trumpets, were continually sounding before him. This
monarch is too distinguished to fight in person; but his guards, the
swollen and overloaded figures formerly described, enveloped in
multiplied folds, and groaning beneath the weight of ponderous
amulets, produced themselves as warriors, though manifestly unfit to
face any real danger.

The route lay along the banks of the river Yeou, called also
Gambarou, through a country naturally fertile and delightful, but
presenting a dismal picture of the desolation occasioned by African
warfare. The expedition passed through upwards of thirty towns,
completely destroyed by the Fellatas in their last inroad, and of
which all the inhabitants had been either killed or carried into
slavery. These fine plains were now overgrown with forests and
thickets, in which grew tamarind and other trees, producing delicate
fruits, while large bands of monkeys, called by the Arabs "enchanted
men," filled the woods with their cries. Here, too, was found old
Birnie, the ancient but now desolate capital, evidently much larger
than any of the present cities, covering five or six miles with its
ruins. They passed also Gambarou, formerly the favourite residence of
the sultans, where the remains of a palace and two mosques gave an
idea of civilization superior to any thing that had yet been seen in
interior Africa. There were left in this country only small detached
villages, the inhabitants of which remained fixed to them by local
attachment, in spite of constant predatory inroads of the Tuaricks,
who carried off their friends, their children, and cattle. They have
recourse to one mode of defence, which consists in digging a number
of _blaquas,_ or large pits; these they cover with a false surface of
sods and grass, into which the Tuarick with his horse plunges before
he is aware, and is received at the bottom upon sharp-pointed stakes,
which often kill both on the spot. Unluckily, harmless travellers are
equally liable to fall into these living graves. Major Denham was
petrified with horror, to find how near he had approached to several
of them; indeed one of his servants stepped upon the deceitful
covering, and was saved only by an almost miraculous spring. It seems
wonderful that the sheik should not have endeavoured to restore some
kind of security to this portion of his subjects, and to re-people
those fine but deserted regions.

The troops that had been seen hastening in parties to the scene of
action were mustered at Kobshary, a town which the Mungas had nearly
destroyed. The sheik made a review of his favourite forces, the
Kanemboo spearmen, nine thousand strong. They were really a very
savage and military-looking host, entirely naked, except a girdle of
goat-skin, with the hair hanging down, and a piece of cloth wrapped
round the head. They carried large wooden shields, shaped like a
gothic window, with which they warded off the arrows of the enemy,
while they pressed forward to attack with their own spears. Unlike
almost all other barbarous armies, they kept a regular night-watch,
passing the cry every half-hour along the line, and, at any alarm,
raising a united yell, which was truly frightful. At the review they
passed in tribes before the sheik, to whom they showed the most
enthusiastic attachment, kneeling on the ground, and kissing his
feet. The Mungas again were described as terrible antagonists,
hardened by conflicts with the Tuaricks, fighting on foot with
poisoned arrows, longer and more deadly than those of the Fellatas.

The sultan, however, contemplated other means of securing success,
placing his main reliance on his powers as a mohammedan doctor and
writer. Three successive nights were spent in inscribing upon little
scraps of paper figures or words, destined to exercise a magical
influence upon the rebel host, and their effect was heightened by the
display of sky-rockets, supplied by Major Denham. Tidings of his
being thus employed were conveyed to the camp, when the Mungas, stout
and fierce warriors, who never shrunk from an enemy, yielded to the
power of superstition, and felt all their strength withered. It
seemed to them that their arrows were blunted, their quivers broken,
their hearts struck with sickness and fear, in short, that to oppose
a sheik of the Koran, who could accomplish such wonders, was alike
vain and impious. They came in by hundreds, bowing themselves to the
ground, and casting sand on their heads, in token of the most abject
submission. At length, Malem Fanamy, the leader of the rebellion, saw
that resistance was hopeless. After vain overtures of conditional
submission, he appeared in person, mounted on a white horse, with one
thousand followers. He was clothed in rags, and having fallen
prostrate, was about to pour sand on his head, when the sultan,
instead of permitting this humiliation, caused eight robes of fine
cotton cloth, one after another, to be thrown over him, and his head
to be wrapped in Egyptian turbans till it was swelled to six times
its natural size, and no longer resembled any thing human. By such
signal honours the sheik gained the hearts of those whom his pen had
subdued, and this wise policy enabled him not only to overcome the
resistance of this formidable tribe, but to convert them into
supporters and bulwarks of his power.



CHAPTER XXIII.

Major Denham, who always sought, with laudable zeal, to penetrate
into every corner of Africa, now found his way in another direction.
He had heard much of the Shary, a great river flowing into lake
Tchad, on whose banks the kingdom of Loggun was situated. After
several delays, he set out on the 23d January 1824, in company with
Mr. Toole, a spirited young volunteer, who, journeying by way of
Tripoli and Mourzouk, had thence crossed the desert to join him.
The travellers passed Angornou and Angola, and arrived at Showy,
where they saw the river, which really proved to be a magnificent
stream, fully half a mile broad, and flowing at the rate of two or
three miles an hour. They descended it through a succession of noble
reaches, bordered with fine woods and a profusion of variously tinted
and aromatic plants. At length, it opened into the wide expanse of
the Tchad, after viewing which, they again ascended, and reached the
capital of Loggun, beneath whose high walls the river was seen
flowing in majestic beauty. Major Denham entered, and found a
handsome city, with a street as wide as Pall-Mall, and bordered by
large dwellings, having spacious areas in front. Having proceeded to
the palace, for the purpose of visiting the sovereign, he was led
through several dark rooms into a wide and crowded court, at one end
of which a lattice opened, and showed a pile of silk robes, stretched
on a carpet, amid which two eyes became gradually visible; this was
the sultan. On his appearance, there arose a tumult of horns and
frumfrums, while all the attendants threw themselves prostrate,
casting sand on their heads. In a voice, which the court fashion of
Loggun required to be scarcely audible, the monarch inquired Major
Denham's object in coming to this country, observing that, if it was
to purchase handsome female slaves, he need go no further, since he
himself had hundreds, who could be afforded at a very easy rate. This
overture was rejected on other grounds than the price; yet,
notwithstanding so decided a proof of barbarism, the Loggunese were
found to be a people more advanced in the arts of peace than any
hitherto seen in Africa. By a studied neutrality they avoided
involving themselves in the dreadful wars, which had desolated the
neighbouring countries; manufacturing industry was honoured, and the
cloths woven here were superior to those of Bornou, being finely dyed
with indigo, and beautifully glazed. There was even a current coin,
made of iron, somewhat in the form of a horse-shoe, and rude as this
was, none of their neighbours possessed any thing similar. The ladies
were handsome, intelligent, and of a lively air and carriage; but,
besides pushing their frankness to excess, their general demeanour
was by no means scrupulous. They used, in particular, the utmost
diligence in stealing from Major Denham's person every thing that
could be reached, even searching the pockets of his trousers, and
when detected, only laughed, and called to each other, how sharp he
was. But the darkest feature of savage life was disclosed, when the
sultan and his son each sent to solicit poison "that would not lie,"
to be used against each other. The latter even accompanied the
request with a bribe of three lovely black damsels, and ridiculed the
horror which was expressed at the proposal.

The Loggunese live in a country abounding in grain and cattle, and
diversified with forests of lofty acacias, and many beautiful shrubs.
Its chief scourge consists in the millions of tormenting insects,
which fill the atmosphere, making it scarcely possible to go into the
open air at mid-day, without being thrown into a fever, indeed,
children have been killed by their stings. The natives build one
house within another to protect themselves against this scourge,
while some kindle a large fire of wet straw, and sit in the smoke;
but this remedy seems worse than the evil it is meant to obviate.

Major Denham was much distressed on this journey by the death of his
companion, Mr. Toole; and he could no longer delay his return, when
he learnt that the Begharmis, with a large army, were crossing the
Shary to attack Bornou. Soon after his arrival at Kouka, the sheik
led out his troops, which he mustered on the plain of Angola, and was
there furiously attacked by five thousand Begharmis, led by two
hundred chiefs. The Begharmi cavalry are stout, fierce-looking men,
and both riders and horses still more thoroughly cased in mail than
those of Bornou; but their courage, when brought to the proof, is
nearly on a level. The sheik encountered them with his Kanemboo
spearmen and a small band of musketeers, when, after a short
conflict, the whole of this mighty host was thrown into the most
disorderly flight; even the Bornou cavalry joined in the pursuit.
Seven sons of the sultan, and almost all the chiefs fell; two hundred
of their favourite wives were taken, many of whom were of exquisite
beauty.

Mr. Tyrwhit, a gentleman sent out by government to strengthen the
party, arrived on the 20th May, and on the 22nd delivered to the
sheik a number of presents, which were received with the highest
satisfaction. In company with this gentleman, Major Denham, eager to
explore Africa, still further took advantage of another expedition,
undertaken against a tribe of Shouaa Arabs, distinguished by the name
of La Sala, a race of amphibious shepherds, who inhabit certain
islands along the south-eastern shores of the Tchad. These spots
afford rich pasture; while the water is so shallow, that, by knowing
the channels, the natives can ride without difficulty from one island
to the other. Barca Gana led one thousand men on this expedition, and
was joined by four hundred of a Shouaa tribe, called Dugganahs,
enemies to the La Salas. These allies presented human nature under a
more pleasing aspect than it had yet been seen in any part of central
Africa. They despise the negro nations, and all who live in houses,
and still more in cities, while they themselves reside in tents of
skin, in circular camps, which they move periodically from place to
place. They live in simple plenty on the produce of their flocks and
herds, celebrate their joys and sorrows in extemporary poetry, and
seem to be united by the strongest ties of domestic affection. Tahr,
their chief, having closely examined our traveller, as to the motives
of his journey, said, "And have you been three years from your home?
Are not your eyes dimmed with straining to the north, where all your
thoughts must ever be? If my eyes do not see the wife and children of
my heart for ten days, they are flowing with tears, when they should
be closed in sleep." On taking leave, Tahr's parting wish was, "May
you die at your own tents, and in the arms of your wife and family."
This chief might have sitten for the picture of a patriarch; his
fine, serious, expressive countenance, large features, and long bushy
beard, afforded a favourable specimen of his tribe.

The united forces now marched to the shores of the lake, and began to
reconnoitre the islands on which the Shouaas, with their cattle and
cavalry, were stationed; but the experienced eye of Barca Gana soon
discerned, that the channel, though shallow, was full of holes, and
had a muddy deceitful appearance. He proposed therefore to delay the
attack, till a resolute band of Kanemboo spearmen should arrive and
lead the way. The lowing, however, of the numerous herds, and the
bleating of the flocks on the green islands, which lay before them,
excited in the troops a degree of hunger, as well as of military
ardour, that was quite irrepressible. They called out, "What! be so
near them, and not eat them?--No, no, let us on; this night, these
flocks and women shall be ours." Barca Gana suffered himself to be
hurried away, and plunged in amongst the foremost. Soon, however, the
troops began to sink into the holes, or stick in the mud; their guns
and powder were wetted, and became useless; while the enemy, who knew
every step, and could ride through the water as quickly as on land,
at once charged the invaders in front, and sent round a detachment to
take them in the rear. The assault was accordingly soon changed into
a disgraceful flight, in which those who had been the loudest in
urging to this rash onset set the example. Barca Gana, who had
boasted himself invulnerable, was deeply wounded through his coat of
mail and four cotton tobes, and with difficulty rescued by his chiefs
from five La Sala horsemen, who had vowed his death. The army
returned to their quarters in disappointment and dismay, and with a
severe loss. During the whole night, the Dugganah women were heard
bewailing their husbands, who had fallen, in dirges composed for the
occasion, and with plaintive notes, which could not be listened to
without the deepest sympathy. Major Denham was deterred by this
disaster from making any further attempt to penetrate to the eastern
shores of the Tchad.

The Beddoomahs are another tribe who inhabit extensive and rugged
islands, in the interior of the lake, amid its deep waters, which
they navigate with nearly a thousand large boats. They neither
cultivate the ground, nor rear flocks and herds, while their manners
appeared to Major Denham, the rudest and most savage observed even
among Africans--the Musgows always excepted. They have adopted as a
religious creed, that God having withheld from them corn and cattle,
which the nations around enjoy, has given in their stead strength and
courage, to be employed in taking these good things from all in whose
possession they may be found. To this belief they act up in the most
devout manner, spreading terror and desolation over all the shores of
this inland sea, no part of which, even in the immediate vicinity of
the great capitals, is for a moment secure from their ravages. The
most powerful and warlike of the Bornou sovereigns, finding among
their subjects neither the requisite skill nor experience in
navigation, make no attempt to cope with the Biddoomahs on these
watery domains, and thus give up the lake to their undisputed sway.

While Major Denham was thus traversing in every direction Bornou, and
the surrounding countries, Lieutenant Clapperton and Dr. Oudney were
proceeding through Houssa, by a route less varied and hazardous
indeed, but disclosing forms both of nature and society fully as
interesting. They departed from Kouka on the 14th December 1823, and
passing the site of old Birnie, found the banks of the Yeou fertile,
and diversified with towns and villages.

On entering Katagum, the most easterly Fellata province, they
observed a superior style of culture; two crops of wheat being raised
in one season by irrigation, and the grain stored in covered sheds,
elevated from the ground on posts. The country to the south was
covered with extensive swamps and mountains, tenanted by rude and
pagan tribes, who furnish to the faithful an inexhaustible supply of
slaves. The practice of travelling with a caravan was found very
advantageous, from the help it afforded, as well as from the good
reports spread by the merchants, respecting their European
companions. In Bornou, these last had been viewed with almost
unmingled horror, and for having eaten their bread under the
extremest necessity, a man had his testimony rejected in a court of
justice. Some young Bornouese ladies, who accosted Major Denham,
having ventured to say a word in his favour, an attendant matron
exclaimed, "Be silent, he is an uncircumcised kafir--neither washes
nor prays, eats pork, and will go to hell." Upon which the others
screamed, and ran off. But in Houssa, this horror was not so great,
and was mingled with the belief, that they possessed supernatural
powers. Not only did the sick come in crowds expecting to be cured,
but the ladies solicited amulets to restore their beauty, to preserve
the affections of their lovers, and even to destroy a hated rival.
The son of the governor of Kano, having called upon Clapperton,
stated it was the conviction of the whole city and his own, that the
English had the power of converting men into asses, goats, and
monkeys, and likewise that by reading in his book, he could at any
time commute a handful of earth into gold. The traveller having
declared to him the difficulty he often found in procuring both asses
and gold, induced him with trembling hands to taste a cup of tea,
when he became more composed, and made a sort of recantation of his
errors.

As the caravan proceeded they met many other travellers, and found
sitting along the road, numerous females selling potatoes, beans,
bits of roasted meat, and water with an infusion of gussub-grains;
and when they stopped at any place for the night, the people crowded
in such numbers as to form a little fair. Clapperton attracted the
notice of many of the Fellata ladies, who, after examining him
closely, declared, that had he only been less white, his external
appearance might have merited approbation.

The travellers passed through Sansan, a great market place, divided
into three distinct towns, and Katagum, the strongly fortified
capital of the province, containing about eight thousand inhabitants.
Thence they proceeded to Murmur, where the severe illness under which
Dr. Oudney had long laboured, came to a crisis. Though now in the
last stage of consumption, he insisted on continuing his journey and
with the aid of his servant had been supported to his camel, when
Clapperton, seeing the ghastliness of death on his countenance,
insisted on replacing him in his tent, where, soon after, without a
groan, he breathed his last. His companion caused him to be buried
with the honours of the country. The body was washed, wrapped in
turban shawls, and a wall of clay built round the grave, to protect
it from wild beasts; two sheep were also killed and distributed
amongst the poor.

Katungwa, the first town of Houssa proper, and the next on the route,
is situated in a country well enclosed, and under high cultivation.
To the south is an extensive range of rocky hills, amid which is the
town of Zangeia, with its buildings picturesquely scattered over
masses of rocks. Clapperton passed also Girkwa, near a river of the
same name, which appears to come from these hills, and to fall into
the Yeou.

Two days after, he entered Kano, the Ghana of Edrisi, and which is
now, as it was six hundred years ago, the chief commercial city of
Houssa, and of all central Africa. Yet it disappointed our traveller
on his first entry, and for a quarter of a mile scarcely appeared a
city at all. Even in its more crowded quarters, the houses rose
generally in clusters, separated by stagnant pools. The inhabited
part on the whole, did not comprise more than a fourth of the space
enclosed by the walls, the rest consisted of fields, gardens, and
swamps; however, as the whole circuit is fifteen miles, there is
space for a population moderately estimated, to be between thirty or
forty thousand. The market is held on a neck of land, between two
swamps, by which, during the rains, it is entirely overflowed, but in
the dry season it is covered with sheds of bamboo, arranged into
regular streets. Different quarters are allowed for the several kinds
of goods; some for cattle, others for vegetables, while fruits of
various descriptions, so much neglected in Bornou, are here displayed
in profusion. The fine cotton fabrics of the country are sold either
in webs, or in what are called tobes and Turkadees, with rich silken
strips or borders ready to be added. Amongst the favourite articles
are goora or kolla nuts, which are called African coffee, being
supposed to give a peculiar relish to the water drunk after them; and
crude antimony, with the black tint of which every eyebrow in Houssa
must be dyed. The Arabs also dispose here of sundry commodities that
have become obsolete in the north; the cast-off dresses of the
mamelukes and other great men, and old sword-blades from Malta. But
the busiest scene is the slave market, composed of two long ranges of
sheds, one for males and another for females. These poor creatures
are seated in rows, decked out for exhibition. The buyer scrutinizes
them as nicely as a purchaser with us does a horse, inspecting the
tongue, teeth, eyes, and limbs; making them cough and perform various
movements, to ascertain if there be any thing unsound, and in case of
a blemish appearing, or even without assigning a reason, he may
return them within three days. As soon as the slaves are sold, the
exposer gets back their finery, to be employed in ornamenting others.
Most of the captives purchased at Kano, are conveyed across the
desert, during which their masters endeavour to keep up their
spirits, by an assurance, that on passing its boundary, they will be
set free and dressed in red, which they account the gayest of
colours. Supplies, however, often fail in this dreary journey, a want
first felt by the slaves, many of whom perish with hunger and
fatigue. Clapperton heard the doleful tale of a mother, who had seen
her child dashed to the ground, while she herself was compelled by
the lash to drag on an exhausted frame. Yet, when at all tolerably
treated, they are very gay, an observation generally made in regard
to slaves, but this gaiety, arising only from the absence of thought,
probably conceals much secret wretchedness.

The regulations of the market of Kano seem to be good, and strictly
enforced. A sheik superintends the police, and is said even to fix
the prices. The _dylalas_ or brokers, are men of somewhat high
character; packages of goods are often sold unopened bearing merely
their mark. If the purchaser afterwards finds any defect, he returns
it to the agent, who must grant compensation. The medium of exchange
is not cloth as in Bornou, nor iron as in Loggun, but cowries or
little shells, brought from the roast, twenty of which are worth a
halfpenny, and four hundred and eighty make a shilling, so that in
paying a pound sterling, one has to count over nine thousand six
hundred cowries. Amid so many strangers, there is ample room for the
trade of the _restaurateur,_ which is carried on by a female seated
on the ground, with a mat on her knees, on which are spread
vegetables, gussub water, and bits of roasted meat about the size of
a penny; these she retails to her customers squatted around her. The
killing of a bullock forms a sort of festival at Kano; its horns are
dyed red with henna, drums are beaten, and a crowd collected, who, if
they approve of the appearance and condition of the animal, readily
become purchasers.

Boxing in Houssa, like wrestling in Bornou, forms a favourite
exercise, and the grand national spectacle. Clapperton, having heard
much of the _fancy_ of Kano, intimated his willingness to pay for a
performance, which was forthwith arranged. The whole body of butchers
attended, and acted as masters of the ceremonies; while, as soon as
the tidings spread, girls left their pitchers at the wells; the
market people threw down their baskets, and an immense crowd were
assembled. The ring being formed, and drums beaten, the performers
first came forward singly, plying their muscles, like a musician
tuning his instrument, and each calling out to the bystanders--"I am
a hyena." "I am a lion." "I can kill all that oppose me." After about
twenty had shown off in this manner, they came forward in pairs,
wearing only a leathern girdle, and with their hands muffled in
numerous folds of country cloth. It was first ascertained that they
were not mutual friends; after which they closed with the utmost
fury, aiming their blows at the most mortal parts, as the pit of the
stomach, beneath the ribs, or under the ear; they even endeavoured to
scoop out the eyes; so that in spite of every precaution, the match
often terminated in the death of one of the combatants. Whenever
Clapperton saw the affair verging to such an issue, he gave orders to
stop, and after seeing six parties exhibit, he paid the hire, and
broke up the meeting.

The negroes here are excessively polite and ceremonious, especially
to those advanced in years. They salute one another by laying the
hand on the breast, making a bow, and inquiring, _Kona lafia? ki ka
ky kee--Fo fo da rana:_ How do you do? I hope you are well. How have
you passed the heat of the day? The last question corresponds in
their climate to the circumstantiality, with what our country folks
inquire about a good night's rest.

The unmarried girls, whether slaves or free, and likewise the young
unmarried men, wear a long apron of blue and white check, with a
notched edging of red woollen cloth. It is tied with two broad bands,
ornamented in the same way, and hanging down behind to the very
ankles. This is peculiar to Soudan, and forms the only distinction in
dress from the people of Bornou.

Their marriages are  not distinguished by any great form or ceremony.
When a bride is first conducted to the house of the bridegroom, she
is attended by a great number of friends and slaves, bearing presents
of melted fat, honey, wheat, turkadees, and tobes as her dower.
She whines all the way, _"Wey kina! wey kina! wey lo!"_ O my head! My
head! Oh! dear me. Notwithstanding this lamentation, the husband has
commonly known his wife some time before marriage. Preparatory to the
ceremony of reading the fatah, both bridegroom and bride remain shut
up for some days, and have their hands and feet dyed for three days
successively, with henna. The bride herself visits the bridegroom,
and applies the henna plasters with her own hands.

Every one is buried under the floor of his own house, without
monument or memorial, and among the commonalty the house continues
occupied as usual, but among the great there is more refinement, and
it is ever after abandoned. The corpse being washed, the first
chapter of the Koran is read over it, and the interment takes place
the same day. The bodies of slaves are dragged out of town, and left
a prey to vultures and wild beasts. In Kano they do not even take the
trouble to convey them beyond the walls, but throw the corpse into
the morass, or nearest pool of water.

Major Denham was now informed that the sultan had sent a messenger
express, with orders to have him conducted to his capital, and to
supply him with every thing necessary for his journey. He now begged
him to state what he stood in need of. The major assured him that the
king of England, his master, had liberally provided for all his
wants, but that he felt profoundly grateful for the kind offer of the
sultan, and had only to crave from him the favour of being attended
by one of his people as a guide. He instantly called a
fair-complexioned Fellata, and asked the major if he liked him; the
answer was given in the affirmative, and Major Denham took his leave.
He afterwards went by invitation, to visit the governor of Hadyja,
who was here on his return from Sockatoo, and lived in the house of
the Wanbey. He found this governor of Hadyja, a black man, about
fifty years of age, sitting amongst his own people, at the upper end
of the room, which is usually a little raised, and is reserved in
this country for the master of the house, or visitors of high rank.
He was well acquainted with the major's travelling name, for the
moment he entered, he said laughing, "How do you do, Abdallah? Will
you come and see me at Hadyja on your return?"

"God be willing," answered the major, with due moslem solemnity.

"You are a Christian, Abdallah?" asked the governor. "I am," replied
the major.

"And what are you come to see?" inquired the governor. "The country,"
replied the major, "its manners and customs." "What do you think of
it?" asked the governor. "It is a fine country," said the major, "but
very sickly." At this the governor smiled, and again asked, "would
you Christians allow us to come and see your country?"

"Certainly," said the major, "and every civility and kindness would
be shown to you."

"Would you force us to become Christians?" asked the governor.

"By no means," answered the major, "we never meddle with a man's
religion."

"What!" he exclaimed, "and do you ever pray?" "Sometimes," said the
major. "Our religion commands us to pray always, but we pray in
secret, and not in public, except on Sundays."

One of his attendants here abruptly asked, what a Christian was "Why,
a kafir," rejoined the governor. "Where is your Jew servant?" he
asked, "you ought to let us see him."

"Excuse me," said the major, "he is averse from it, and I never allow
my servants to be molested for their religious opinions."

"Well, Abdallah," said the governor, "thou art a man of
understanding, and must come and see me at Hadyja."

The major then retired, and the Arabs afterwards told him, that he
was a perfect savage, and sometimes put a merchant to death for the
sake of his goods, but this account, if true, is less to be wondered
at, from the notorious villainy of some of them.

From Kano, Lieutenant Clapperton set out, under the guidance of
Mohammed Jollie, leader of a caravan intended for Sockatoo, capital
of the sultan of the Fellatas. The country was perhaps the finest in
Africa, being under high cultivation, diversified with groves of
noble trees, and traversed in a picturesque manner by ridges of
granite. The manners of the people, too, were pleasing and pastoral.
At many clear springs, gushing from the rocks, young women were
drawing water. As an excuse for engaging in talk, our traveller asked
several times for the means of quenching his thirst. Bending
gracefully on one knee, and displaying, at the same time, teeth of
pearly whiteness and eyes of the blackest lustre, they presented a
gourd, and appeared highly delighted, when he thanked them for their
civility, remarking to one another, "Did you hear the white man thank
me?" But the scene was changed on reaching the borders of the
provinces of Goobar and Zamfra, which were in a state of rebellion
against Sockatoo. The utmost alarm at that moment prevailed; men and
women, with their bullocks, asses, and camels, all struggled to be
foremost, every one crying out, "Woe to the wretch that falls behind;
he will be sure to meet an unhappy end, even at the hands of the
Goobarites!" There was danger of being even thrown down and trampled
to death by the bullocks, which were furiously rushing backward and
forward; however, through the unremitting care of the escort,
Clapperton made his way safely, though not without much fatigue and
annoyance, along this perilous frontier.

The country was now highly cultivated. The road was crowded with
passengers and loaded bullocks, going to the market of Zimrie, which
town was passed a little to the southward about noon, when the
country became more wooded. In the evening, a halt was made at a town
called Quarra, where Clapperton waited upon the governor, who was an
aged Fellata. Here Clapperton was unluckily taken for a fighi, or
teacher, and was pestered at all hours of the clay to write out
prayers by the people. His servants hit upon a scheme to get rid of
their importunities, by acquainting them, that, if he did such
things, they must be paid the perquisites usually given to the
servants of other fighis. Clapperton's washerwoman positively
insisted on being paid with a charm in writing, that would entice
people to buy earthen-ware of her, and no persuasion of his could
either induce her to accept of money for her service, or make her
believe that the request was beyond human power. In the cool of the
afternoon, he was visited by three of the governor's wives, who,
after examining his skin with much attention, remarked,
compassionately, it was a thousand pities he was not black, for then
he would have been tolerably good looking. He asked one of them, a
buxom young girl of fifteen, if she would accept of him for a
husband, provided he could obtain the permission of her master, the
governor. She immediately began to whimper, and on urging her to
explain the cause, she frankly avowed, _she did not know what to do
with his white legs._ He gave to each of them a snuff-box, and, in
addition, a string of white beads to the coy maiden. They were
attended by an old woman and two little female slaves, and, during
their stay, made very merry; but he feared much that their gaiety
soon fled on returning to the close custody of their old gaoler.

Clapperton now tried every thing in his power to induce his guide to
proceed, without waiting for the escort; but El Wordee and the
shreef, who were the most pusillanimous rascals he ever met with,
effectually dissuaded him from it.

He was much amused with a conversation he overheard between the blind
shreef and his servant, respecting himself and his intended journey.
"That Abdallah," says the servant, "is a very bad man; he has no more
sense than an ass, and is now going to lead us all to the devil, if
we will accompany him. I hope, master, you are not such a fool."

"Yes," ejaculated the shreef, "it was a black day when I joined that
kafir; but if I don't go with him; I shall never see the sultan; and
when I return to Kano without any thing, the people will laugh at me
for my pains."

"Why did you not talk to him," said the servant, "about the dangers
of the road?"

"D--n his father!" replied the shreef; "I have talked to him, but
these infidels have no prudence."

Clapperton now called out, "A thousand thanks to you, my lord
shreef."

"May the blessings of God be upon you!" exclaimed the shreef. "Oh!
Rais Abdallah, you are a beautiful man. I will go with you wherever
you go. I was only speaking in jest to this dog."

"My lord shreef," said Clapperton, "I was aware of it from the first;
it is of no importance, but, if the escort does not arrive to-morrow,
I may merely mention to you, I shall certainly proceed, without
further delay, to Kashna."

This Clapperton said by way of alarming the shreef, who liked his
present quarters too well, from the number of pious females, who
sought edification from the lips of so true a descendant of the
prophet; besides the chance such visits afforded of transmitting to
their offspring the honour of so holy a descent.

The small-pox was at this time raging in the country to an alarming
degree. The treatment of the disease is as follows:--When the disease
makes its appearance, they anoint the whole body with honey, and the
patient lies down on the floor, previously strewed with warm sand,
some of which is also sprinkled upon him. If the patient be very ill,
he is bathed in cold water early every morning, and is afterwards
anointed with honey, and replaced in the warm sand. This is their
only mode of treatment; but numbers died every day of this loathsome
disease, which had now been raging for six months.

Clapperton had now his baggage packed up for his journey to Kashna,
to the great terror of El Wordee, the shreef, and all his servants,
who earnestly begged him to remain only a day longer. A party of
horse and foot arrived from Zirmee the same night. It was the retinue
of a Fellata captain, who was bringing back a young wife from her
father's, where she had made her escape. The fair fugitive bestrode a
very handsome palfrey, amid a groupe of female attendants on foot.
Clapperton was introduced to her on the following morning, when she
politely joined her husband in requesting Clapperton to delay his
journey another day, in which case, they kindly proposed they should
travel together. Of course, it was impossible to refuse so agreeable
an invitation, to which Clapperton seemed to yield with all possible
courtesy. Indeed he had no serious intention of setting out that day.
The figure of the lady was small, but finely formed, and her
complexion of a clear copper colour, while, unlike most beautiful
women, she was mild and unobtrusive in her manners. Her husband, too,
whom she had deserted, was one of the finest looking men Clapperton
ever saw, and had also the reputation of being one of the bravest of
his nation.

A humpbacked lad, in the service of the gadado, or vizier of Bello,
who, on his way from Sockatoo, had his hand dreadfully wounded by the
people of Goober, was in the habit of coming every evening to
Clapperton's servants to have the wound dressed. On conversing with
Clapperton himself, he told him that he had formerly been on an
expedition under Abdecachman, a Fallata chief. They started from the
town of Labogee, or Nyffee, and, crossing the Quarra, travelled south
fourteen days along the banks of the river, until they were within
four days journey of the sea, where, according to his literal
expression, "the river was one, and the sea was one," but at what
precise point the river actually entered the sea, he had no distinct
notion.



CHAPTER  XXIV.

Early in the morning of the 13th March, Clapperton commenced his
journey, in company with the Fellata chief. El Wordee and the shreef
were evidently in much trepidation, as they did not consider their
present party sufficiently strong, in case of attack; but they had
not proceeded far on their route, when they were agreeably surprised
by meeting the escort, which they expected. It consisted of one
hundred and fifty horsemen, with drums and trumpets. Their leader,
with his attendants, advanced to Clapperton in full gallop, and bade
him welcome to the country in the name of his master, the sultan,
who, he said, was rejoiced to hear he was so near, and had sent him
to conduct the travellers to his capital.

They continued to travel with the utmost speed, but the people soon
began to fag, and the lady of the Fellata chief, who rode not far
from Clapperton, began to complain of fatigue. In the evening they
halted at the wells of Kamoon, all extremely fatigued, and on the
following morning, they discovered that all their camels had strayed
away in quest of food; they were, however, recovered by the exertions
of the escort, to the commander of which Clapperton made a handsome
present, consisting of some European articles, and to his officers a
present of minor value.

On the following day, Clapperton left the wells of Kamoon, followed
by his escort and a numerous retinue, and a loud flourish of horns
and trumpets. Of course, this extraordinary respect was paid to him
as the servant of the king of England, as he was styled in the sheik
of Bornou's letter. To impress them still farther with his official
importance, Clapperton arrayed himself in his lieutenant's coat,
trimmed with gold lace, white trousers, and silk stockings, and to
complete his finery, he wore Turkish slippers and a turban. Although
his limbs pained him extremely, in consequence of their recent forced
march, he constrained himself to assume the utmost serenity of
countenance, in order to meet, with befitting dignity, the honours
they lavished on him as the humble representative of his country.

From the top of the second hill after leaving Kamoon, they at length
saw Sockatoo. A messenger from the sultan met them here to bid the
travellers welcome, and to acquaint them that the sultan was at a
neighbouring town, on his return from a ghrazzie or expedition, but
intended to be in Sockatoo in the evening. At noon they arrived at
Sockatoo, where a great number of people were assembled to look at
the European traveller, and he entered the city amid the hearty
welcomes of young and old. He was immediately conducted to the house
of the gadado or vizier, where apartments were provided for him and
his servants. The gadado, an elderly man named Simnon Bona Lima,
arrived near midnight, and came instantly to see him. He was
excessively polite, but would on no account drink tea with
Clapperton, as he said, he was a stranger in their land, and had not
yet eaten of his bread. He told Clapperton that the sultan wished to
see him in the morning, and repeatedly assured him of experiencing
the most cordial reception. He spoke Arabic extremely well, which he
said he learned solely from the Koran.

After breakfast on the following morning, the sultan sent for
Clapperton, his residence being at no great distance. In front of it
there is a large quadrangle, into which several of the principal
streets of the city lead. They passed through three coozees, as
guardhouses, without the least detention, and were immediately
ushered into the presence of Bello, the second sultan of the
Fellatas. He was seated on a small carpet, between two pillars
supporting the roof of a thatched house, not unlike one of our
cottages. The walls and pillars were painted blue and white, in the
moorish taste and on the back wall was sketched a fire screen,
ornamented with a coarse painting of a flower-pot. An arm-chair with
an iron lamp standing on it, was placed on each side of the screen.
The sultan bade Clapperton many hearty welcomes, and asked him if he
were not much tired with his journey from Burderewa. Clapperton told
him it was the most severe travelling he had experienced between
Tripoli and Sockatoo, and thanked him for the guard, the conduct of
which he did not fail to commend in the strongest terms.

The sultan asked him a great many questions about Europe, and our
religious distinctions. He was acquainted with the names of some of
the more ancient sects, and asked whether we were Nestorians or
Socinians. To extricate himself from the embarrassment occasioned by
this question, Clapperton bluntly replied, we were called
Protestants. "What are Protestants?" said he. Clapperton attempted to
explain to him, as well as he was able, that having protested more
than two centuries and a half ago, against the superstition,
absurdities, and abuses practised in those days, we had ever since
professed to follow simply what was written "in the book of our Lord
Jesus," as they call the New Testament, and thence received the name
of Protestants. He continued to ask several other theological
questions, until Clapperton was obliged to confess himself not
sufficiently versed in religious subtleties, to resolve these knotty
points, having always left that task to others more learned than
himself.

The sultan was a noble-looking man, forty-four years of age, although
much younger in appearance, five feet ten inches high, portly in
person, with a short curling black beard, a small mouth, a fine
forehead, a grecian nose, and large black eyes. He was dressed in a
light blue cotton tobe, with a white muslin turban, the shawl of
which he wore over the nose and mouth, in the Tuarick fashion.

In the afternoon Clapperton repeated his visit, accompanied by the
Gadado, Mahomed El Wordee, and Mahomed Gomsoo, the principal Arab of
the city, to whom he had a letter of introduction from Hat Salah, at
Kano. The sultan was sitting in the same apartment in which he
received him in the morning, and Clapperton laid before him the
presents, in the name of his majesty the king of England. Amongst
these presents, the compass and spy glass excited the greatest
interest, and the sultan seemed highly gratified when Clapperton
pointed out, that by means of the former he could at any time find
out the east, to address himself in his daily prayers. He said "Every
thing is wonderful, but you are the greatest curiosity of all," and
then added, "What can I give that is most acceptable to the king of
England?" Clapperton replied, "The most acceptable service you can
render to the king of England, is to cooperate with his majesty, in
putting a stop to the slave trade on the coast, as the king of
England sends every year large ships to cruise there, for the sole
purpose of seizing all vessels engaged in this trade, whose crews are
thrown into prison, and of liberating the unfortunate slaves, on whom
lands and houses are conferred, at one of our settlements in Africa."

"What!" said the sultan, "have you no slaves in England."

"No," replied Clapperton, "whenever a slave sets his foot on England,
he is from that moment free."

"What do you do then for servants?" asked the sultan.

"We hire them for a stated period," replied Clapperton, "and give
them regular wages; nor is any person in England allowed to strike
another, and the very soldiers are fed, clothed, and paid by
government."

"God is great!" exclaimed the sultan, "you are a beautiful people."

Clapperton now presented the sheik of Bornou's letter. On perusing
it, the sultan assured Clapperton that he should see all that was to
be seen within his dominions, as well as in Youri and Nyffee, both of
which Clapperton informed him, he was most anxious to visit. This
interview terminated very satisfactory to Clapperton, as through the
influence and power of the sultan, he hoped to be able to accomplish
his design of penetrating further into the country, but the sequel
will show, that the knowledge which Clapperton had as yet entertained
of the African character, was very limited and superficial.

In describing the events which took place during the residence of
Clapperton at Sockatoo, we shall be obliged in several instances to
be very circumstantial, as they have all a reference proximate or
remote to the affairs which took place, when he visited the place at
a future period, in company with Richard Lander, in whose papers some
highly interesting information is contained, respecting the conduct
of the sultan and the natives, both prior and subsequent to the death
of Clapperton, and from which in some degree resulted the death of
that amiable and highly spirited officer.

On the morning of the 19th March, Clapperton was sent for by the
sultan, and desired to bring with him "the looking glass of the sun,"
the name which they gave to the sextant. He was on this occasion
conducted further into the interior of his residence, than on his two
former visits. Clapperton first exhibited a planisphere of the
heavenly bodies. The sultan knew all the signs of the zodiac, some of
the constellations, and many of the stars by their Arabic names.
The looking glass of the sun was then brought forward, and occasioned
much surprise. Clapperton had to explain all its appendages. The
inverting telescope was an object of intense astonishment, and
Clapperton had to stand at some little distance, to let the sultan
look at him through it, for his people were all afraid of placing
themselves within its magical influence. He had next to show him how
to take an observation of the sun. The case of the artificial
horizon, of which Clapperton had lost the key, was sometimes very
difficult to open, as happened on this occasion, and he asked one of
the people near him for a knife to press up the lid. The person
handed him one much too small, and he quite inadvertently asked for a
dagger for the same purpose. The sultan was instantly thrown into a
fright; he seized his sword, and half drawing it from the scabbard,
placed it before him, trembling all the time like an aspen leaf.
Clapperton did not deem it prudent to take the least notice of this
alarm, although it was himself who had in reality the greatest cause
of fear. On receiving the dagger, Clapperton calmly opened the case,
and returned the weapon to its owner with apparent unconcern. When
the artificial horizon was arranged, the sultan and all his
attendants had a peep at the sun, and the breach of etiquette which
Clapperton had committed, seemed to be entirely forgotten. In the
evening the sultan sent him two sheep, a camel load of wheat and
rice, and some of the finest figs which Clapperton had ever tasted in
Africa.

On the following day, Clapperton returned the visit of Mahomed
Gomsoo, the chief of the Arabs, of whose excessive greediness he had
been warned at Kano, but at the same time recommended to make him a
handsome present, and to endeavour by all means to keep him in good
humour, on account of his great influence. On receiving the presents,
Gomsoo promised to give Clapperton a letter to the sultan of Youri,
who was his particular friend, and with whom he had lived many years.
From this person Clapperton obtained the following information
respecting the death of Mr. Park, and which confirmed the previous
reports which had been obtained respecting him. Gomsoo said he was at
Youri when the English came down in a boat from Timbuctoo, and were
lost, which circumstance he related in the following manner:--They
had arrived off a town called Boosa, and having sent a gun and some
other articles as presents to the sultan of Youri, they sent to
purchase a supply of onions in the market. The sultan apprised them
of his intention to pay them a visit, and offered to send people to
guide them through the ledges of rock, which run quite across the
channel of the river a little below the town, where the banks rise
into high hills on both sides. Instead of waiting for the sultan,
they set off at night, and by daybreak next morning, a horseman
arrived at Youri, to inform the sultan that the boat had struck upon
the rocks. The people on both sides of the river then began to assail
them with arrows, upon which they threw overboard all their effects,
and _two white men,_ arm and arm, jumped into the water, two slaves
only remaining in the boat, with some books and papers, and several
guns. One of the books was covered with wax-cloth, and still remained
in the hands of the sultan of Youri. Gomsoo also told Clapperton, and
his account was confirmed by others, that the sultan of Youri was a
native of Sockna, in the regency of Tripoli, and prided himself
extremely on his birth, but that he was such a drunkard, whenever any
person of consequence came to visit him, that nothing proved so
acceptable a present as a bottle of rum.

On Clapperton's return home from Gomsoo's, he found a message had
been left for him to wait upon the sultan, which he complied with
immediately after breakfast. He received him in an inner apartment,
attended only by a few slaves. After asking Clapperton how he did,
and several other chit chat questions, he was not a little surprised,
without a single question being put to him on the subject, to hear,
that if he wished to go to Nyffee, there were two roads leading to
it, the one direct, but beset by enemies; the other safer, but more
circuitous; that by either route he would be detained during the
rains, in a country at present in a state of rebellion, and therefore
that he ought to think seriously of these difficulties. Clapperton
assured the sultan that he had already taken the matter into
consideration, and that he was neither afraid of the dangers of the
roads nor of the rains. "Think of it with prudence," the sultan
replied, and they parted.

From the tone and manner in which the sultan pronounced the latter
sentence, Clapperton felt a foreboding that his intended visit to
Youri and Nyffee was at an end. He could not help suspecting the
intrigues of the Arabs to be the cause, as they knew well, if the
native Africans were once acquainted with English commerce by the way
of the sea, their own lucrative inland trade would from that moment
cease. He was much perplexed during the whole of the day, to know how
to act, and went after sunset to consult Mahomed Gomsoo. Clapperton
met him at the door of his house, on his way to the sultan, and
stopped him to mention what had passed, and how unaccountably strange
it appeared to him, that the sultan, after having repeatedly assured
him of being at liberty to visit every part of his dominions, should
now, for the first time, seem inclined to withdraw that permission,
adding, that before he came to Sockna, he never heard of a king
making a promise one day and breaking it the next. All this, he knew,
would find its way to the sultan. Gomsoo told Clapperton that he was
quite mistaken; for that the sultan, the gadado, and all the
principal people, entertained the highest opinion of him, and wished
for nothing so much as to cultivate the friendship of the English
nation. But, said Clapperton, on leaving him, it is necessary for me
to visit those places, or else how can the English get here? As
Clapperton anticipated, Gomsoo repeated to the sultan every word he
had said, for he was no sooner at home, than he was sent for by the
sultan, whom he found seated with Gomsoo and two others. He was
received with great kindness, and Gomsoo said he had made the sultan
acquainted with their conversation. Clapperton thanked him, and
expressed his earnest hope, that he had neither done nor said any
thing to offend him. The sultan assured him that his conduct had
always met with his approbation, and although he was freely disposed
to show him all the country, still he wished to do so with safety to
him. An army, he added, was at this moment ravaging the country,
through which he had to pass, and until he heard from it, it would be
unsafe to go, he expected, however, further information in three or
four days. He drew on the sand the course of the river Quarra, which
he informed Clapperton entered the sea at Fundah. By his account the
river ran parallel to the sea coast for several days' journey, being
in some places only a few hours, in others a day's journey distant
from it. After questioning Clapperton on some points connected with
the English trade, the sultan said, "I will give the king of England
a place on the coast to build a town, only I wish a road to be cut to
Rakah, if vessels should not be able to navigate the river."
Clapperton asked him, if the country which he had promised, belonged
to him. "Yes," said he, "God has given me all the lands of the
infidels." This was an answer that admitted of no contradiction.

The sultan informed Clapperton, that some timbers of Park's boat,
fastened together with nails, remained a long time on the rocks of
the river, and that a double-barrelled gun, taken in the boat, was
once in his possession, but it had lately burst. His cousin,
Abderachman, however, had a small printed book, taken out of the
boat; but he was now absent on an expedition to Nyffee. The other
books were in the hands of the sultan of Youri, who was tributary to
him. Clapperton told the sultan, if he could procure these articles
for the king of England, they would prove a most acceptable present,
and he promised to make every exertion in his power.

The direct road to Youri is only five days' journey; but on account
of the rebellious state of the country, it was necessary to take a
circuitous route of twelve days. Numbers of the principal people of
Sockatoo came to Clapperton, to advise him to give up the idea of
going, all alleging that the rains had already commenced it Youri,
and that the road was in the hands of their enemies. They repeated
the same tales to the servants who were to accompany him, and threw
them all into a panic at the prospect of so dangerous a journey.
Clapperton discovered also, that the Arabs were tampering with his
servants, and some of them absolutely refused to go, from some
information that was given to them, that, if they met with no
disasters on the route to Youri, the sultan there would assuredly
sell them, and that they would never be allowed to return.

The journey to Youri now appeared to engross the whole of
Clapperton's attention, and the sultan sent for him, to consult with
him about the guide, who was to accompany him to that place. One man
had already refused, and he had to tempt another with a promise of
forty thousand kowries unknown to the sultan, who kindly took much
pains to impress upon Clapperton the necessity of his return within
twenty-six days, on account of the capricious character of the people
of the place.

Clapperton now began to see that no chance existed of his prosecuting
his journey to Youri; but it must be admitted, that some of the
suspicions which he entertained were groundless, for the state of the
country was afterwards found to be, if possible, worse than had been
described; and the ravages of the Fellatas so terrible, that any one
coming from amongst them was likely to experience a very disagreeable
reception. Indeed it may be suspected, that the sultan must have been
a good deal embarrassed by the simplicity with which his guest
listened to his pompous boasting as to the extent of his empire, and
by the earnestness with which he entreated him to name one of his
seaports, where the English might land, when it was certain that he
had not a town which was not some hundred miles distant from the
coast. To prevent the disclosure of this fact, which must have taken
place, had Clapperton proceeded in that direction, might be an
additional motive for refusing his sanction. In short, it was finally
announced to Clapperton, that no escort could be found to accompany
him on so rash an enterprise, and that he could return to England
only by retracing his steps.

One morning, Clapperton was surprised at a visit from Ateeko, the
brother of the sultan, to whom he had sent a present of a scarlet
jacket, breeches, and bornouse. When he was seated, and the usual
compliments were over, Clapperton apologized, on the score of ill
health, for not having already paid him a visit. He now told him he
had a few things belonging to the Englishman who was at Musfeia with
the late Boo Khaloom, but as no person knew what they were, he would
gladly sell them to him, ordering his servant, at the same time, to
produce a bundle he held under his arm. The servant took from the
bundle a shirt, two pair of trousers, and two pieces of parchment
used for sketching by Major Denham. The only other articles, Ateeko
said, were a trunk, a broken sextant, and a watch; the latter had
been destroyed, as he alleged, in their ignorant eagerness to examine
its structure. He then invited Clapperton to visit him on the
following morning, when they might fix the price of what he wished to
buy, to which Clapperton assented; but on reconsidering the matter,
he thought it prudent first to consult the gadado, particularly as
the sultan had gone on an expedition, and was not expected to return
for five days. Clapperton began to fear lest a bad construction might
be put upon his visit to this mean prince, who, on the death of his
father, Bello the First, had aspired to the throne, and even had
himself proclaimed sultan in Sockatoo; from the mere circumstance of
his brother Bello, the present sultan, having expressed the
intention, during his father's lifetime, of resigning the splendour
of royalty for the tranquillity of a holy and learned life. Ateeko
had even the audacity to enter his brother's house, preceded by drums
and trumpets; and when Bello inquired the cause of the tumult, he
received the first intimation of his brother's perfidy in the answer,
"The sultan Ateeko is come." Bello, nowise disconcerted, immediately
ordered the usurper into his presence, when Ateeko pleaded, in
vindication of his conduct, his brother's proposed disinclination to
reign; to which the sultan only deigned to reply, "Go and take off
these trappings, or I will take off your head." Ateeko, with
characteristic abjectness of spirit, began to wring his hands, as if
washing them in water, and called God and the prophet to witness that
his motives were innocent and upright, since which time he has
remained in the utmost obscurity. According, however, to another
authority, Bello confined him to the house for twelve months, and
then a reconciliation took place between them. We are apt to speak of
the sovereigns of barbarous and uncivilized nations as deficient in
those virtues for which civilized sovereigns are or ought to be
distinguished; but we suspect that few of the latter would have acted
towards the usurper of his throne with the same magnanimity as was
displayed by the Fellata sovereign.

On visiting the gadado, he told Clapperton by no means to go to
Ateeko whilst the sultan was absent, as his visit at this juncture
might be regarded with a very jealous eye by the people, who would
not hesitate to charge him with a plot to place Ateeko on the throne,
by the assistance of England. The gadado undisguisedly expressed his
contempt at Ateeko's conduct, and assured him that it was entirely
without the sanction of the sultan.

On the return of the sultan from the army, permission was given to
Clapperton to purchase from Ateeko the sorry remains of Major
Denham's baggage; accompanied, therefore, by El Wordee, he went to
the prince's house, and after waiting for some time in the porch of a
square tower, they were introduced into an inner coozee, hung round
with blue and yellow silk, in sharp-pointed festoons, not unlike
gothic arches. Ateeko soon made his appearance, and after a few
compliments, they proceeded to business. He brought out a damaged
leathern trunk, with two or three shirts, and other articles of
dress, much the worse for wear, and the sextant and parchment already
mentioned. The former was completely demolished, the whole of the
glasses being taken out, or, where they could not unscrew them,
broken off the frame, which remained a mere skeleton. Ateeko seemed
to fancy that the sextant was gold, in which Clapperton soon
undeceived him; and selecting it, with the parchment and one or two
flannel waistcoats and towels, likely to be useful to Major Denham,
he offered the prince five thousand kowries, at which he appeared
much surprised and mortified. El Wordee whispered into Clapperton's
ear, "Remember he is a prince, and not a merchant." But Clapperton
said, loud enough for his highness to hear, "Remember, that when a
prince turns merchant, he must expect no more than another man; and
as that is the value of the articles, it is a matter of indifference
to me whether I buy them or not." Ateeko frequently repeated his
belief of the sextant being gold; but at length the bargain seemed to
be concluded, and Clapperton requested the prince to send a slave to
his house with the articles he had picked out, to whom also he would
pay the money. The slave, however, was recalled before he got
half-way, and his suspicious master took back the sextant-frame, in
dread of being overreached by the purchaser in its value, which
Clapperton did not fail to deduct from the price agreed on.

The prince stated, that he kept two hundred civet cats, two of which
he showed Clapperton. These animals were extremely savage, and were
confined in separate wooden cages. They were about four feet long
from the nose to the tip of the tail, and, with the exception of a
greater length of body and a longer tail, they very much resembled
diminutive hyenas. They are fed with pounded guinea corn and dried
fish made into balls. The civet is scraped off with a kind of muscle
shell every other morning, the animal being forced into a corner of
the cage, and its head held down with a stick during the operation.
The prince offered to sell any number of them which Clapperton might
wish to have; but he did not look upon them as very desirable
travelling companions. Ateeko was a little spare man, with a full
face, of monkey-like expression. He spoke in a slow and subdued tone
of voice, and the Fellatas acknowledge him to be extremely brave, but
at the same time avaricious and cruel. "Were he sultan," say they,
"heads would fly about in Soudan."

One evening, on paying the gadado a visit, Clapperton found him
alone, reading an Arabic book, one of a small collection he
possessed. "Abdallah," said he, "I had a dream last night, and am
perusing this book to find out what it meant. Do you believe in such
things?"

"No, my lord gadado. I consider books of dreams to be full of idle
conceits. God gives a man wisdom to guide his conduct, while dreams
are occasioned by the accidental circumstances of sleeping with the
head low, excess of food, or uneasiness of mind."

"Abdallah," he replied, smiling, "this book tells me differently." He
then mentioned, that, in a few days, the sultan was going on another
expedition, and wished him to join it; but that he preferred
remaining, in order to have a mosque, which was then building,
finished before the Rhamadan, lest the workmen should idle away their
time in his absence.

Previously to the sultan's departure, he sent Clapperton a present of
two large baskets of wheat, who now began to think seriously of
retracing his steps to Kano. He was sitting in the shade before his
door, with Sidi Sheik, the sultan's fighi, when an ill-looking
wretch, with a fiend-like grin on his countenance, came and placed
himself directly before Clapperton, who immediately asked Sidi Sheik
who he was. He immediately answered, "The executioner." Clapperton
instantly ordered his servants to turn him out. "Be patient," said
Sidi Sheik, laying his hand upon that of Clapperton; "he visits the
first people in Sockatoo, and they never allow him to go away without
giving him a few goora nuts, or money to buy them." In compliance
with this hint, Clapperton requested forty kowries to be given to the
fellow, with strict orders never again to cross his threshold. Sidi
Sheik now related a professional anecdote of Clapperton's uninvited
visitor. Being brother of the executioner of Yacoba, of which place
he was a native, he applied to the governor for his brother's
situation, boasting of superior adroitness in the family vocation.
The governor coolly remarked, "We will try; go and fetch your
brother's head." He instantly went in quest of his brother, and
finding him seated at the door of his house, without noise or
warning, he struck off his head with a sword at one blow; then
carrying the bleeding head to the governor, and claiming the reward
of such transcendent atrocity, he was appointed to the vacant office.
The sultan being afterwards in want of an expert headsman, sent for
him to Sockatoo, where, a short time after his arrival, he had to
officiate at the execution of two thousand Tuaricks, who, in
conjunction with the rebels at Goober, had attempted to plunder the
country, but were all made prisoners. It may be added, that the
capital punishments inflicted in Soudan are beheading, impaling, and
crucifixion; the first being reserved for Mahometans, and the other
two practised on pagans. Clapperton was told, that wretches on the
cross generally linger three days before death puts an end to their
sufferings. Clapperton was for some time delayed in completing his
arrangements for his departure from Sockatoo, on account of the fast
of the Rhamadan, which the Fellatas keep with extreme rigour. The
chief people never leave their houses, except in the evening to
prayer; and the women frequently pour cold water over their backs and
necks. Under the idea, that the greater the thirst they appear to
endure, the better entitled they become to paradise; though
Clapperton was inclined to believe that they made a parade of these
privations, in a great measure, to obtain the reputation of
extraordinary sanctity.

On the 2nd May, Clapperton sent for the steward of the gadado's
household, and all the female slaves, who had daily performed the
duty of bringing him provisions from the time of his arrival. These
provisions were about a gallon of new milk every morning, in a large
bowl, for himself, and two gallons of sour milk and siccory for his
servants at noon, in return for which he always gave fifty kowries;
at three o'clock three roast fowls, with doura or nutta sauce, for
which he sent fifty kowries; again after sunset two bowls of bozeen
were brought by two female slaves, to whom he gave one hundred
kowries; and about two quarts of new milk afterwards, for which he
gave fifty kowries more. As an acknowledgment for their attention
during his residence in Sockatoo, he now presented the steward of the
household with ten thousand kowries, and the slaves with two thousand
each. The poor creatures were extremely grateful for his bounty, and
many of them even shed tears. In the afternoon he waited upon the
sultan, who told him that he had appointed the same escort which he
had before, under the command of the gadado's brother, to conduct him
through the provinces of Goober and Zamfra, and that an officer of
the gadado, after the escort left him, should accompany him to
Zirmee, Kashna, Kano, and Katagun; the governor of which would
receive orders to furnish him with a strong escort through the Bedite
territory, and to deliver him safely into the hands of the sheik of
Bornou. He also mentioned that the letter for the king of England
would be ready the next day.

On the following day, Clapperton was visited by all the principal
people of Sockatoo, to bid him farewell, and in the evening he went
to take his leave of the sultan. He was, however, at the mosque, and
he had to wait about two hours before he came out. Clapperton
followed him at a little distance to the door of his residence, where
an old female slave took Clapperton by the hand and led him through a
number of dark passages, in which, at the bidding of his conductress,
he had often to stoop, or at times to tread with great caution, as
they approached flights of steps, whilst a faint glimmering light
twinkled from a distant room. He could not imagine where the old
woman was conducting him, who, on her part, was highly diverted at
his importunate inquiries. After much turning and winding, he was at
last brought into the presence of Bello, who was sitting alone, and
immediately delivered into his hands a letter for the king of
England. He had previously sent to Clapperton to know what were his
majesty's name, style, and title. He again expressed with much
earnestness of manner, his anxiety to enter into permanent relations
of trade and friendship with England, and reminded Clapperton to
apprise him by letter, at what time the English expedition would be
upon the coast. After repeating the fatah, and praying for his safe
arrival in England, and speedy return to Sockatoo, he affectionately
bade him farewell.

Clapperton went next to take his leave of his good old friend the
gadado, for whom he felt the same regard, as if he had been one of
his oldest friends in England, and he was certain it was equally
sincere on his side. The poor old man prayed very devoutly for his
safety, and gave strict charge to his brother, who was to accompany
Clapperton, to take especial care of him in their journey through the
disturbed provinces.

The town of Sockatoo lies in latitude 13° 4' 52" north, and longitude
6° 12' east, and is situated near the junction of an inconsiderable
stream, with the same river which flows past Zirmee, and which taking
its rise between Kashna and Kano, is said to fall into the Quarra
four days' journey to the west. The name in their language signifies,
a halting place, the city being built by the Fellatas, after the
conquest of Goober and Zamfra, as near as Clapperton could learn
about the year 1805. It occupies a long ridge, which slopes gently
towards the north, and appeared to Clapperton the most populous town
he had visited in the interior of Africa, for unlike most other towns
in Houssa, where the houses are thinly scattered, it is laid out in
regular well-built streets. The houses approach close to the walls,
which were built by the present sultan in 1818, after the death of
his father; the old walls being too confined for the increasing
population. This wall is between twenty and thirty feet high, and has
twelve gates, which are regularly closed at sunset. There are two
large mosques, including the new one which was then building by the
gadado, besides several other places for prayer. There is a spacious
market-place in the centre of the city, and another large square in
front of the sultan's residence. The inhabitants are principally
Fellatas, possessing numerous slaves. Such of the latter as are not
employed in domestic duties, reside in houses by themselves, where
they follow various trades; the master of course reaping the profit.
Their usual employments are weaving, house-building, shoemaking, and
iron work, many bring firewood to the market for sale. Those employed
in raising grain and tending cattle, of which the Fellatas have
immense herds, reside in villages without the city. It is customary
for private individuals to emancipate a number of slaves every year,
according to their means, during the great feast after the Rhamadan.
The enfranchised seldom return to their native country, but continue
to reside near their old masters, still acknowledging them as their
superiors, but presenting them yearly with a portion of their
earnings. The trade at Sockatoo is at present inconsiderable, owing
to the disturbed state of the surrounding country. The necessaries of
life are very cheap, butchers' meat is in great plenty and very good.
The exports are principally civet, and blue check tobes called
sharie, which are manufactured by the slaves from Nyffee, of whom the
men are considered the most expert weavers in Soudan, and the women
the best spinners. The common imports are goora nuts, brought from
the borders of Ashantee, and coarse calico and woollen cloth in small
quantities, with brass and pewter dishes, and some few spices from
Nyffee.

The Arabs from Tripoli and Ghadamis bring unwrought silk, attar of
roses, spices and beads; slaves are both exported and imported. A
great quantity of guinea coin is taken every year by the Tuaricks, in
exchange for salt. The market is extremely well supplied, and is held
daily from sunrise to sunset.

After encountering several difficulties, and experiencing some very
hair-breadth escapes, Clapperton arrived at Zirmee the capital of
Zamfra, a kind of outlawed city, the inhabitants of which are
esteemed the greatest rogues in Houssa, and where all the runaway
slaves find protection. He passed also through Kashna or Cassina, the
metropolis of a kingdom, which, till the rise of the Fellata power,
ruled over all Africa from Bornou to the Niger. In its present
subject and fallen state, the inhabited part does not cover a tenth
of the wide circuit enclosed by its walls, yet a considerable trade
is still carried on with the Tuaricks, or with caravans coming across
the desert by the route of Ghadamis and Suat. Here Clapperton met
with much kindness from Hadgi Ahmet, a powerful and wealthy Arab
chief, who even took him into his seraglio, and desired him, out of
fifty black damsels to make his choice, a complaisance, nothing
resembling which had ever before been shown by a Mussulman. The Arab
was so importunate, and appeared so determined that Clapperton should
have one of his ladies, that to satisfy him, he at length selected
the oldest of the groupe, who made him an excellent nurse in his
illness.

Lieutenant Clapperton rejoined Major Denham at Kouka, whence they set
out, and crossed the desert in the latter part of 1824. They reached
Tripoli in January 1825, and soon after embarked for Leghorn, but
being detained by contrary winds and quarantine regulations, did not
reach London until the following June.



CHAPTER XXV.

Having now completed our preparatory analysis of the principal
travels for the exploration of the interior of Africa, we proceed to
enter upon those in which Richard Lander was remotely or closely
connected, as the coadjutor or the principal, and to whose
perseverance and undaunted courage, we are indebted for some of the
most important information respecting the interior of Africa,
particularly in the solution of the great geographical problem of the
termination of the Niger. At the time when Lander was ransomed by
Captain Laing, of the Maria of London, belonging to Messrs. Forster
and Smith, the papers, which he had with him respecting the travels
which he had performed, as the servant of Captain Clapperton, who had
been promoted on his return from his first expedition, were not very
voluminous. In our personal intercourse with him, however, he
unreservedly dictated to us many interesting particulars respecting
his travels, whilst in the service of Captain Clapperton, which are
not to be found in his published narrative, and particularly of the
occurrences which took place at Whidah, in the kingdom of Dahomey, on
their passage through that territory, in fulfilment of the object of
their mission to sultan Bello of Sockatoo.

Although the second expedition of Clapperton is ostensibly published
under his name, yet it is generally known, that but for the
information given by Lander on his return, after the death of Captain
Clapperton, very little would have transpired relative to any
discoveries which had been made, or towards an elucidation of those
geographical and statistical objects, for which the expedition was
undertaken. We are therefore more disposed to award the merit where
it is most particularly due, for although in accordance with the
received notion, that whatever was accomplished in the second
expedition, is to be attributed to Clapperton, yet, from our private
resources, we are enabled not only to supply many deficiencies in the
published accounts of Clapperton's second expedition, gathered from
the oral communication of Lander himself, but also to give a
description of many interesting scenes, which throw a distinct light
upon the character of the natives, their progress towards
civilisation, and the extent of their commercial relations.

It may be remembered that when Clapperton took his leave of the
sultan at Sockatoo, he delivered into his hands a letter for the king
of England, in consequence of several conversations that had passed
between him and Clapperton, touching the establishment of some
commercial relations between England and the central kingdoms of
Africa. In that letter the sultan proposed three things:--the
establishment of a friendly intercourse between the two nations by
means of a consul, who was to reside at the _seaport_ of Raka; the
delivery of certain presents described, at the port of Fundah,
supposed to be somewhere near Whidah, and the prohibition of the
exportation of slaves, by any of the Houssa merchants, to Atagher,
Dahomy, or Ashantee.

No doubt whatever rested on the mind of Lander, that Clapperton was
in some respects made the dupe of the pride, pomposity, and deception
of the African sultan. It may be remembered that the sultan offered
him land on the sea coast, on which to form a settlement, when it was
subsequently discovered, that he was not in possession of an inch of
territory within several hundred miles of the sea; the _seaport_ of
Raka was nearly similar to Sancho Panza's Island Barrataria, it was
not to be found in any existing map, and it will be seen in the
sequel, that the people resident on the sea coast knew as little of
sultan Bello of Sockatoo, as he knew of them, although, according to
his own report, the greater part of the sea coast belonged to him.

On the arrival of Clapperton in England, Lord Bathurst, then
secretary of state for the colonies, conceived the proposals
contained in the sultan's letter, to afford a fair opportunity for
endeavouring to carry into effect objects of such considerable
importance, and Clapperton immediately volunteered his services for
the occasion. He had arranged with sultan Bello, that his messengers
should about a certain time be at Whidah, to conduct the presents and
the bearers to Sockatoo. Clapperton was allowed to take with him on
this novel and hazardous enterprise two associates, one of whom was
Captain Pearce of the navy, an excellent draughtsman, and the other
Dr. Morrison, a surgeon in the navy, well versed in various branches
of natural history; and at his particular request, a fellow
countryman of the name of Dickson, who had served as a surgeon in the
West Indies, was added to the list; Richard Lander accompanying
Captain Clapperton in the capacity of a servant.

The travellers embarked on board his majesty's ship Brazen, on the
25th August 1825, and arrived off Whidah on the 26th of the following
November. Mr. Dickson landed at Whidah, for reasons which do not
appear in the narrative of Clapperton's expedition, but which have
been fully stated to us by Lander, to whom we are indebted for the
information which we now lay before our readers of the kingdom of
Dahomy, its natives, customs, natural productions, and commercial
advantages.

Mr. Dickson, accompanied with a Portuguese of the name of De Sousa,
proceeded from Whidah to Dahomy, where the latter had resided for
some time. Here he was well received, and sent forward with a
suitable escort to a place called Shar, seventeen days' journey from
Dahomy, where he also arrived in safety, and thence proceeded with
another escort towards Youri, but has not since been heard of.

It was in consequence of the inquiries that were set on foot relative
to Mr. Dickson, that Lander obtained the following highly interesting
information relative to a part of Africa, which was at one time, the
emporium of the slave trade on the sea-coast, but the interior of
which was but very little known.

Whidah was once an independent kingdom, but in the year 1727 was
conquered by Guadja Trudo, the king of Dahomy. Grigwee, the present
capital, lies a few miles up from the sea coast, and may contain
about twenty thousand inhabitants. Dahomy, including the subjugated
districts, extends at least a hundred and fifty miles into the
interior, the principal town of which is Abomey, lying in about 3°
east longitude.

Dahomy produces in perfection all the immense variety of fine fruits
found within the torrid zone, and amongst others one of a most
singular quality. It is not unlike a ripe coffee berry, and does not
at first appear to have a superior degree of sweetness, but it leaves
in the mouth so much of that impression, that a glass of vinegar
tastes like sweet wine, and the sourest lemon like a sweet orange;
sugar is quite an unnecessary article in tea or coffee; in fact, the
most nauseous drug seems sweet to whomever chews this fruit, and its
effect is not worn away until after several meals. It is generally
called the miraculous berry, and whoever eats of it in the morning,
must be content at least for that day to forego the flavour of every
kind of food, whether animal or vegetable, for all will be alike
saccharine to the palate, and the most ridiculous effect is often
produced by playing tricks upon those, who are not aware of its
peculiar property. Lander himself was one of the dupes, and he
relates, that the first time he partook of one of these berries, he
thought himself under the influence of witchcraft--the fowl of which
he partook at dinner seemed to him as if it had been soaked in a
solution of sugar--the lime juice appeared to him as if it were mixed
with some saccharine matter--his biscuit tasted like a bun--and
although he was convinced that he had not put any sugar into his
grog, it seemed to him as if it had been sweetened by the first maker
of punch in his native country.

The beasts of prey are numerous and dangerous, and often commit great
havoc amongst the sheep, and other live stock, notwithstanding every
precaution to put them in a place of security at night. The tigers
and leopards are not contented with what they actually carry off, but
they leave nothing alive which comes within the reach of their
talons. During the residence of Lander in the country, a good mode of
astonishing a tiger was practised with success. A loaded musket was
firmly fixed in a horizontal position, about the height of his head,
to a couple of stakes driven into the ground, and the piece being
cocked, a string from the trigger, first leading a little towards the
butt, and then turning through a small ring forwards, was attached to
a shoulder of mutton, stuck on the muzzle of the musket, the act of
dragging off which, drew the trigger, and the piece loaded with two
balls, discharged itself into the plunderer's mouth, killing him on
the spot.

Elephants are common in Dahomy, but are not tamed and used by the
natives, as in India, for the purposes of war or burthen, being
merely taken for the sake of their ivory and their flesh, which is,
on particular occasions, eaten.

An animal of the hyena tribe, called by the natives tweetwee, is
likewise extremely troublesome; herds of these join together, and
scrape up the earth of newly-made graves, in order to get at the
bodies, which are not buried here in coffins. These resurrection men,
as Lander termed them, make, during the night, a most dismal howling,
and often change their note to one very much resembling the shriek of
a woman in some situation of danger or distress.

Snakes of the boa species are here found of a most enormous size,
many being from thirty to thirty-six feet in length, and of
proportional girth. They attack alike wild and domestic beasts, and
often human kind. They kill their prey by encircling it in their
folds, and squeezing it to death, and afterwards swallow it entire;
this they are enabled to do by a faculty of very extraordinary
expansion in their muscles, without at the same time impairing the
muscular action or power. The bulk of the animals which these
serpents are capable of gorging would stagger belief, were the fact
not so fully attested as to place it beyond doubt. The state of
torpor in which they are sometimes found in the woods, after a
_stuffing_ meal of this kind, affords the negroes an opportunity of
killing them. Lander informed us, that there is not in nature a more
appalling sight than one of these monsters in full motion. It has a
chilling and overpowering effect on the human frame, and it seems to
inspire with the same horror every other animal, even the strongest
and most ferocious; for all are equally certain of becoming victims,
should the snake once fasten itself upon them.

The religion of this country is paganism. They believe in two beings,
equal in power; the one doing good, the other evil; and they pray to
the demon to allow them to remain unmolested by the magicians, who
are constantly endeavouring to injure them.

In Whidah, for some unaccountable reason, they worship their divinity
under the form of a particular species of snake called daboa, which
is not sufficiently large to be terrible to man, and is otherwise
tameable and inoffensive. These daboas arc taken care of in the most
pious manner, and well fed on rats, mice, or birds, in their fetish
houses or temples, where the people attend to pay their adoration,
and where those also who are sick or lame apply for assistance.

The tiger is also an object of religious regard in Dahomy Proper; but
they deem it the safest mode of worship to perform their acts of
devotion to his skin only after death, which is stuffed for that
purpose.

The people of Whidah occasionally imagine themselves inspired by the
divinity, or, as they term it, are seized by the fetish; and in such
cases, it becomes necessary, from the frantic manner in which they
run about, to secure and place them under the charge of the
fetisheers, or priests, until this fit of inspiration be over, and
they become themselves again.

The political management of Whidah is entrusted to a viceroy, who is
called the Yavougah, or captain of the white men. This officer, at
the time of Lander's visit to the country, was a man of majestic
stature, and possessed an uncommon share of dignity, mingled with
complacency of manner. His dress was generally a large hat, somewhat
resembling that of a Spanish grandee, tastefully decorated, and a
piece of damask silk, usually red, thrown over one shoulder, like a
Scotch plaid, with a pair of drawers; but his arms and legs were
bare, except the bracelets of silver, which encircled the arm above
the elbow, with manillas of the same sort, and rows of coral round
the wrist.

When he had any message to deliver from the king, or other public
affairs to transact with the Europeans, it was done with much
ceremony and state; his guards, musicians, and umbrella-bearers, and
a numerous retinue, always attending him. The most polished courtier
of Europe could not have deported himself more gracefully on public
occasions than this man, or have carried on a conference with greater
ease and affability. He was master, besides his own, of the English,
French, and Portuguese languages, having resided from his birth
chiefly in the vicinity of the European forts, and in his younger
days had been much connected with them, officially as a linguist.

Although, therefore, he understood perfectly what was said to him by
the Europeans, who accompanied Lander, yet it was etiquette for the
viceroy to be spoken to through an interpreter, and it was often
amusing to see the bungling efforts of the latter in the performance
of a task, which the yavougah himself so much better understood, and
which he good humouredly, and in an under tone, assisted him to
complete. After the business of ceremony was finished, he laid aside
all formality, and conversed in a familiar manner upon general
subjects, the whole party joining convivially in a collation, or
repast, which was always served up on such occasions.

The government of Dahomy is, in the fullest sense of the word,
despotism. It is a monarchy the most unlimited and uncontrolled on
the face of the earth, there being no law but the king's will, who
may chop off as many heads as he pleases, when he is "i' the vein,"
and dispose of his subjects' property as he thinks fit, without being
accountable to any human tribunal for his conduct. He has from three
to four thousand wives, a proportion of whom, trained to arms, under
female officers, constitute his body-guards. As may naturally be
supposed, but a few of these wives engage his particular attention.

The successor to the throne is not announced during the king's
lifetime; but the moment his decease is known, the proclamation is
made with all possible despatch by the proper officers; for all is
murder, anarchy, and confusion in the palace until it takes place;
the wives of the late king not only breaking the furniture and
ornaments, but killing each other, in order to have the honour of
attending their husband to the grave.

The choice usually falls on the eldest son of the late sovereign's
greatest favourite, provided there exists no particular reason for
setting him aside. There seem to be no rank nor privileges annexed to
any branches of the royal family; the king, in his own person,
absorbing the undivided respect of the people. Those of his relations
whom his majesty may deign to patronise, will, of course, be more
noticed by their fellow-slaves; but are all alike the slaves of the
king.

His palace at Abomey is walled round, and consists, according to the
report of Lander and others, who had an opportunity of visiting its
interior, of numerous courts connected with each other, occupying, in
the whole, a space full as large as St. James' Park.

The first minister is called the _tamegan,_ and he is the only man in
the country whose head the king cannot cut off at pleasure. By some
ancient regulation, he who attains this rank has that very essential
part of his person secured to him, perhaps that he may honestly speak
his mind to the king, without fear of consequences. The second, or
mahou, is the master of the ceremonies, whose office it is to receive
and introduce all strangers, whether black or white, and also to take
care of them during their stay at court, and to see that they are
well fed and lodged, with all their attendants. The third officer in
the state is the yavougah of Whidah; and the fourth is the jahou, or
master of the horse, who is likewise the chief executioner, and has
the duty of superintending the numerous decapitations, which occur in
various ways.

There are entertained about the court a number of king's messengers,
called half-heads, because one side of their head is always shaved,
whilst the hair on the other is allowed to grow to its full length.
They are men, who have distinguished themselves in battle, and wear,
as the badge of their office, strings of the teeth of those enemies
they have actually killed with their own hands, slung round their
necks, like the collar of an order.

These extraordinary-looking couriers, when sent on any mission, are
never permitted to walk, but run at full speed, and are relieved at
certain distances on the road by relays of others, who push on in the
same manner, on receiving their orders, which they transfer from one
to the other with the greatest exactness. The general officers in the
Dahomian army are distinguished by large umbrellas, and when any of
that class are killed in action, they say figuratively, that, on such
an occasion, we lost so many umbrellas.

In delivering what is termed the king's word, the messenger, as well
as all those around him, fall prostrate on the ground, and cover
their heads with dust, or with mud, if it rains; so that they often
display very hideous figures, with their black bodies and the wool
of their heads thus bedaubed with red puddle.

The ministers of state, in communicating with the king, approach
within a certain distance of him, crawling on their hands and knees,
at last they prostrate themselves, kiss the ground, cover their heads
with dust, then make their speech, and receive his reply. His majesty
usually sits on public occasions, as he is represented in our
engraving, under a rich canopy, on a finely carved stool or throne,
surrounded by his women, some with whisks driving away the flies, one
with a handkerchief to wipe his mouth, and another on her knees,
holding a gold cup to spit in, as he smokes.

Their marriages, like those of most barbarous nations, are settled by
the bridegroom paying a certain sum for the woman, which is
calculated at the rate of one or more slaves, or moveable property in
shells, cloth, or other articles, to the amount of the specified
number of slaves. Polygamy is allowed to any extent, and it is
generally carried as far as the means of the gentlemen will admit,
as, after a short period, or honeymoon, the women are employee in the
fields and plantations, and usually are no better situated than the
common servants of their husbands.

Adultery is punished by slavery, or the value of a slave, by the
offender, and the lady likewise subjects herself to be sold, but it
is remarked that this measure is seldom resorted to, and it sometimes
happens that a handsome wife is repeatedly turned to advantage by her
husband, in alluring the unwary into heavy damages.

The state of women is upon the whole very abject in Dahomy. Wives
approach their husbands with every mark of the humblest submission.
In presenting him even with a calabash containing his food, after she
has cooked it, she kneels and offers it with an averted look, it
being deemed too bold to stare him full in the face. By their
constantly practising genuflexion upon the bare ground, their knees
become in time almost as hard as their heels.

A mutinous wife or a vixen, sometimes the treasure and delight of an
Englishman; the enlivener of his fireside, and his safeguard from
ennui, is a phenomenon utterly unknown in Dahomy--that noble spirit,
which animates the happier dames in lands of liberty, being here,
alas! extinguished and destroyed.

In most nations a numerous progeny is considered a blessing, as being
likely to prop the declining years of their parents, but in Dahomy,
children are taken from their mothers at an early age, and
distributed in villages remote from the places of their nativity,
where they remain with but little chance of being ever seen, or at
least recognized by their parents afterwards. The motive for this is,
that there may be no family connexion nor combinations; no
associations that might prove injurious to the king's unlimited
power. Hence each individual is detached and unconnected, and having
no relative for whom he is interested, is solicitous only for his own
safety, which he consults by the most abject submission. Paternal
affection, and filial love, therefore, can scarcely be said to exist.
Mothers, instead of cherishing, endeavour to suppress those
attachments for their offspring, which they know will be violated, as
soon as their children are able to undergo the fatigue of being
removed from them.

At a particular period of the year, generally in April or May, a
grand annual festival is held, which may with much propriety be
termed a _carnival._ On this occasion the chief magistrates or
caboceers of the different towns and districts, the governors of the
English, French, and Portuguese settlements, are expected to attend
at the capital, with their respective retinues; and the captains of
ships, and factors trading at Whidah, usually take this opportunity
of paying their respects to the king. A great part of the population,
in fact; repair to Abomey, which resembles some great fair, from the
number of booths and tents erected in it for various purposes.

It is at this time also that the revenue is collected; all the people
either bringing or sending their respective quotas to the royal
treasury. White men are received there with every mark of respect,
and even saluted by the discharge of cannon. There appears to be an
extraordinary mixture of ferocity and politeness in the character of
these people; though terrible and remorseless to their enemies,
nothing can exceed their urbanity and kindness to strangers.

Should any white person be taken ill at Abomey, the king sends the
mayhou, or some other great officer, to make daily inquiries about
the state of his malady, and desiring to know in what way he can
assist or promote his recovery.

Notwithstanding, the king exacts from his own subjects the most
humiliating and abject prostrations, on approaching his person, yet
he admits Europeans to his presence without the least scruple,
requiring only from them those marks of respect which they may think
fit to perform, in the style of salutation they have been accustomed
to in their own countries. They are allowed to be seated in his
company, and he personally pays them great attention. Cooks are
procured, who understand the mode of preparing European dishes; even
table cloths, with knives and forks, although never used by
themselves, are furnished, and in short every thing which can
contribute to their comfort, is provided with eastern hospitality.

They are likewise entertained with feasts, music, public dances,
processions of the king's women, and the exhibition of sports and
games.

But amidst this general enjoyment of festivity and mirth, deeds are
done from which the civilized mind recoils with horror, and which it
cannot contemplate without feeling an ardent desire, to see mankind
raised from that state of savage ignorance and superstition, which
leads to acts so monstrous and unnatural.

In order to _water_ with their blood the graves of the king's
ancestors, and to supply them with servants of various descriptions
in the other world, a number of human victims are annually sacrificed
in solemn form, and this carnival is the period at which these
shocking rites are publicly performed.

Scaffolds are erected outside the palace wall, and a large space
fenced in round them. On these the king, with the white strangers who
think proper to attend, are seated, and the ministers of state are
also present in the space beneath. Into this field of blood the
victims are brought in succession, with their arms pinioned, and a
fetisheer, laying his hand on the devoted head, pronounces a few
mystical words, when another man, standing behind, with a large
scymitar severs the sufferer's head from his body, generally at a
single blow, and each repetition of this savage act is proclaimed by
loud shouts of applause from the surrounding multitude, who affect to
be highly delighted with the power and magnificence of their
sovereign.

His bards, or laureats, join also at this time in bawling out his
strong names, (their term for titles of honour,) and sing songs in
his praise. These scenes are likewise enlivened by a number of people
engaged in a savage dance round the scaffolds; should the foot of one
of these performers slip, it is considered an ill omen; the
unfortunate figurante is taken out of the ring, and his head
instantly struck off, whilst the dance continues without
interruption, as if nothing unusual had occurred.

The people thus sacrificed are generally prisoners of war, whom the
king often puts aside for this purpose, several months previously to
the celebration of his horrid festival; should there be any lack of
these, the number is made up from the most convenient of his own
subjects. The number of these victims sometimes amount to several
hundred, but about seventy are the average number.

Their bodies are either thrown out into the fields, to be devoured by
vultures and wild beasts, or hung by the heels in a mutilated state
upon the surrounding trees, a practice exceedingly offensive in so
hot a climate. The heads are piled up in a heap for the time, and
afterwards disposed of in decorating the walls of the royal
_simbonies,_  or palaces, some of which are two miles in
circumference, and often require a renewal and repair of these
ornaments.

An anecdote is related of king Adahoouza, who, on a successful attack
upon Badagry, having a great number of victims to sacrifice, ordered
their heads to be applied to the above purpose. The person to whom
the management of this business was committed, having neglected to
make a proper calculation of his materials, had proceeded too far
with his work, when he found that there would not be a sufficient
number of skulls to adorn the whole palace; he therefore requested
permission to begin the work, as the lawyers would say, _de novo,_ in
order that he might, by placing them farther apart, complete the
design in a regular manner; but the king would by no means give his
consent to this proposal, observing that he would soon find a
sufficient number of Badagry heads to render the plan perfectly
uniform, and learning that a hundred and twenty seven were required
to complete this extraordinary embellishment, he ordered that number
of captives to be brought forth and slaughtered in cold blood.

On visiting the bed-chamber of Bossa Ahadee, the passage leading to
it was found to be paved with human skulls. They were those of his
more distinguished adversaries, captured at different times, and
placed in that situation that he might nightly enjoy the savage
gratification of trampling on the heads of his enemies. The top of
the little wall, which surrounded this detached apartment, was
adorned likewise with their jaw-bones. In some more civilized minds
there is an instinctive dread on viewing the remains of a human
being; but it cannot be laid to the charge of these savages, that the
fear of ghosts and hobgoblins forms any part of their character.

The immolation of victims is, however, not confined to this
particular period; for at any time, should it be necessary to send an
account to his forefathers of any remarkable event, the king
despatches a courier to the shades, by delivering his message to
whomsoever may happen to be near him, and then ordering his head to
be chopped off immediately; and it has not unfrequently happened,
that as something new has occurred to the king's mind, another
messenger, as Mr. Canning very justly observed of the postscript of a
letter, has instantly followed on the same errand, perhaps in itself
of the most trivial kind.

It is considered a high honour where his majesty personally
condescends to become the executioner in these feats of decapitation,
an office in which the king, at the time of the visit of Lander to
Abomey, considered himself as a most expert proficient. The Europeans
were present on one occasion, when a poor fellow, whose fear of death
outweighing the sense of the honour conferred on him, on being
desired by the king to carry some message to his father, who was in
the shades below, humbly declared on his knees that he was ignorant
of the way, on which the tyrant vociferated, "I'll show you the way,"
and with one blow made his head fly many yards from his body, highly
indignant that there should have been the least expression of
reluctance.

The performance of the annual sacrifice is considered a duty so
sacred, that no allurement in the way of gain, no additional price
which the white traders can offer for slaves, will induce the king to
spare even a single victim of the established number; and he is
equally inexorable with respect to the chiefs of his enemies, who are
never, on any account, permitted to live if they fall into his hands.

In illustration of the above, the following narrative is highly
characteristic, and serves at once to a clear exposition of the
savage and relentless feelings of the uncivilized negro. In a warlike
excursion towards the Mahee or Ashantee borders, an enemy's town was
surprised, and a great number of the inhabitants were either killed
or made prisoners; but especial care was taken that the head of the
prince of that district should be sent to Abomey, and that every
branch of his family should, if possible, be exterminated, for it was
one which had often given the Dahomian forces a great deal of
trouble. A merciless massacre, therefore, of these individuals took
place, in obedience to strict injunctions to that effect; and it was
believed that not one of the breed was left alive.

A youth, however, about seventeen years of age, one of the sons of
the obnoxious prince, had managed to conceal his real quality, and
not being pointed out, succeeded in passing among the crowd of
prisoners to the Dahomian capital, where, after selecting that
portion thought necessary for the ensuing sacrifices, the captors
sent the remainder to Grigwee, to be sold at the factories. This
young man happened to be purchased by Mr. M'Leod, and he lived
thenceforth in the fort, as a sort of general rendezvous, or trunk,
as it is called, for those belonging to that department.

In a short time after this transaction, it some how transpired at
Abomey that there yet lived the remnant of the enemy's family, and in
order to trace him out, the king fell upon a scheme, which strongly
displays that species of cunning and artifice so often observed among
savages.

Some of his half-heads, who may very appropriately be termed his
mortal messengers, in contradistinction to the immortals sent to the
shades, arrived at the fort, and, with the Coke, a stern and
hardhearted villain, who, in the absence of the yavougah, was the
next caboceer, demanded admittance in the king's name, prostrating
themselves as usual, and covering their heads with dust. On
entering, they proceeded immediately to that quarter where the slaves
were, and repeated the ceremony of kissing the ground before they
spoke the _king's word,_ that is to say, delivered his message. The
Coke then made a long harangue, the purport of which was to signify
the king's regret that animosity should have so long existed between
him and the chief of that country which he had just despoiled, and to
express his sorrow for the fate of a family, which had suffered from
his displeasure, through false accounts and misrepresentations. For
this reason, he was now most anxious to make every reparation in his
power to a son yet remaining of that prince, and would readily
re-establish him in the rank and possessions of his father, could he
only find him out. Completely duped by this wile, the unsuspecting
lad exultingly exclaimed, "I am the son of the prince!"--"Then,"
replied the Coke, with a hellish joy at having succeeded in his
object, "you are just the person we want." Upon which these
half-heads seized him, and began to bind his hands. Finding by this
time the real state of the case, which at first it was impossible to
comprehend, Mr. M'Leod strongly protested against their seizing a
slave whom he had regularly purchased, and complained loudly of the
insult offered to the company's fort; but all in vain. He then
earnestly entreated them to offer the king his own price, or
selection of goods, and to beg as a favour from Mr. M'Leod, that he
might be spared, strongly urging the plea also, that, when once
embarked, he would be as free from every apprehension, respecting
him, as if he had killed him.

The Coke coolly replied, that Mr. M'Leod need not give himself any
further trouble to make any proposals, for he dared not repeat one of
them to the king; and, after an ineffectual struggle, Mr. M'Leod was
at last compelled to witness, with the most painful emotion, this
ill-fated youth dragged off in a state of the gloomiest despair, a
despair rendered more dismal from the fallacious glimpse of returning
happiness, by which he had been so cruelly entrapped.

The party not being able to obtain the slightest information
respecting Mr. Dickson, retraced their steps, and rejoined Captain
Clapperton in the river Benin, where they met with an English
merchant, of the name of Houston, who advised them by no means to
think of proceeding by that river, a circuitous track, and covered
with pestilential swamps; and more particularly as the king bore a
particular hatred to the English for their exertions in putting an
end to the slave-trade, nor did he, Mr. Houston, know how far, or in
what direction, that river might lead them. He recommended Badagry as
the most convenient point on the coast to start from, and he offered
to accompany them across the mountains to Katunga, the capital of
Youriba. His offer was accepted, and Lander's journal commences with
their starting from Badagry, on the 7th December. They were also
attended by a Houssa black, of the name of Pascoe, who had been sent
from one of the king's ships to accompany the late enterprizing
traveller Belzoni, as interpreter, in his last and fatal journey.

It appears, that during their stay at Whidah, every inquiry was made
after Bello and his messengers, but without the slightest success,
and equally so as to Funda and Raka, names never heard of on that
part of the coast. It is now known that these places are nearly two
hundred miles inland, and that Raka is not even on the banks of any
river, and that neither of them was then under the dominion of Bello.

Badagry, the capital of a small territory, is situated at the mouth
of the Lagos river, in latitude 6° 20', and is much frequented by the
Portuguese slave-merchants, who have five factories there. Canoes
being obtained, the party proceeded slowly up a branch of this river,
as far as the mouth of the Gazie creek, which comes from the
north-west, running through part of the kingdom of Dahomy, having its
rise in the country called Keeto. They ascended this creek for about
a mile and a half, and then landed on the western bank, at a place
called Bawie, where a market is held for the people of Badagry and
the adjacent towns. The very first night, they were guilty of a fatal
imprudence. The banks of both these streams are low and covered with
reeds; the soil a red clay mixed with sand; and the surrounding
country is covered with forests of high trees and jungle. Not a hum
of a single mosquito was to be heard. Every circumstance combined to
create an atmosphere fatal to animal life, and the consequence of the
unaccountable disregard of all precaution on the part of the
travellers was too soon apparent. The seeds of those diseases were
here sown, in the very first night of their journey, which speedily
proved fatal to two of the party, and had nearly carried off the
whole. How an old naval surgeon and two experienced naval officers
could commit such an imprudence, in such a climate, is to us most
surprising, when most dreadful consequences are well known to have
almost invariably resulted from such a practice in tropical climates,

On the 9th of December, they again slept in the open air, in the
market-place of Dagmoo, a large town, where they might have had as
many houses as they wanted. This reckless indifference to the
preservation of their health can only be accounted for on the
principle, that on an expedition attended by so many difficulties and
privations, it was deemed justifiable to attempt to inure the
constitution to the noxious influences of the climate, and to look
down with contempt upon any act which had the least tendency to
effeminacy, or a scrupulous attention to personal comfort. The
constitution of Clapperton was well known to have been of an iron
nature; it had already withstood the pestilential climate of some
parts of Soudan, in his previous travels, and, with that impression
upon his mind, he regarded, perhaps, with indifference, or more
likely with inattention, any effect which might arise from the marshy
and swampy country through which the party travelled in the
commencement of their journey. The disastrous sequel will, however,
soon manifest itself.

One morning, Captain Clapperton walked forward with Mr. Houston to
the town of Puka, the first place in the Youriba territory, where
they were civilly received, and they were visited by one of the Eyeo
war-chiefs, who came in state. He was mounted on a small horse, as
were two of his attendants; the rest of the cavalcade were on foot.
His dress was most grotesque, consisting of a ragged red coat, with
yellow facings, and a military cap and feather, apparently
Portuguese. He came curvetting and leaping his horse, until within
the distance of a hundred yards, when he dismounted, and, approaching
the travellers, seated himself down on the ground. Captain
Clapperton, by the hand of Lander, sent him his umbrella, as a token
that he wished him well, on the receipt of which the drums were
beaten, and hands were clapped and fingers cracked at a great rate.
It must be observed, that the latter motion is the method of
salutation practised by the natives of Dahomy and Eyeo. The chief now
came up to them, capering and dancing the whole of the way, and shook
them by the hand, a few of his attendants accompanying him. Lander
informed us that he was not on this occasion honoured by the salute
of the Eyeo chief, and he attributed it to the nigh notion which the
chief entertained of his own dignity and importance, and that it
would be in him an act of great condescension to notice an individual
who was evidently but a subordinate, and an attendant upon his
superior. He, however, did not hesitate to steal a handkerchief
belonging to Lander, which perhaps he considered to be also an act of
condescension in him. Like other great men, who sometimes speak a
great deal, without much meaning or sense being discoverable in their
oration, the Eyeo chief began his speech by saying that he was very
glad that he now saw a white man, and he doubted not that white man
was equally glad to see him, and then, pointing to the various parts
of his dress, he said, "This cloth is not made in my country; this
cap is of white man's velvet; these trousers are of white man's
nankeen; this is a white man's shawl; we get all good things from
white man, and we must therefore be glad when white man come to visit
our country." Although not cheered at the conclusion of his speech,
like other great speakers, yet, on the other hand, like them in
general, he appeared to be very well satisfied with himself; and
Captain Clapperton, by his demeanour, fully gave him to understand
that he fully approved of the sentiments which flowed from his lips,
and that they were perfectly worthy of a chief of the Eyeo nation.

The two men, who appeared next in authority to himself, were stout
good-looking men, natives of Bornou; they were dressed in the fashion
of that country, with blue velvet caps on their heads. Being
Mahometans, they could not be prevailed on to drink spirits, but the
captain and his men drank two drams.

They paid a visit to the caboceer, or chief man of the town, whom
they found seated in the midst of his elders and women. He was an
ancient, tall, stupid-looking man, dressed in a long silk tobe, or
long shirt; on his head was a cap, made of small glass beads of
various colours, surrounded with tassels of small gold-coloured
beads, and three large coral ones in front. The cap was the best part
of the man, for it was very neat; in his hand he held a fly-flapper,
the handle of which was covered with beads. After a number of
compliments, they were presented with goroo nuts and water. They told
him of their intention to proceed to Eyeo; that they were servants of
the king of England; and that they wanted carriers for themselves and
baggage.

The baggage, however, had not come up from the coast, and Captain
Pearce had to return to the beach and see after it. They remained
here for the night, and the old caboceer, their host, sent them a
present of a sheep, a basket of yams, and some firewood. But when,
the next morning, application was made to him for carriers, not a
single man could be obtained. After a great deal of palavering, the
Eyeo captain loaded his own people. They could not procure any
bearers for the hammocks, but they nevertheless set off, having only
one horse, which Captain Clapperton and Mr. Houston agreed to ride
alternately. The former, however, who had almost crippled himself the
preceding day, with a pair of new boots, and could only wear
slippers, became so galled by riding without a saddle, that he was
soon reduced to walk bare-foot, and whenever he crossed an ant path,
his feet felt as if on fire, these insects drawing blood from them
and his ankles.

After a most toilsome and distressing march, part of which wound
through thick and dark woods, the morning proved raw, cold and hazy;
the travellers had nothing to eat, and when at noon they reached the
town of Humba, Captain Clapperton had a slight fit of ague. On the
following day, bearers were with some difficulty procured, and he was
carried forward in a hammock. At Bedgie, which they reached on the
12th, Dr. Morrison became very unwell with symptoms of fever. This
place stands on the banks of a river about a quarter of a mile in
width, full of low swampy islands and floating reeds. On the 14th,
Captain Pearce and Richard Lander were taken ill.

They had by this, time reached Laboo, a town situated on a rising
ground, where the country begins to undulate in hill and dale. Its
distance from the coast is not specified, but it can hardly be so
much as fifty miles, as Lagos can be reached in one day by a
messenger, yet the journey had occupied the travellers no fewer than
seven days. The delay seems partly to have been occasioned by the
heavy baggage and stores, and by the difficulty of obtaining bearers.
The Eyeo people, as they were afterwards told, are unaccustomed to
carry hammocks, and they ought to have proceeded on horseback, in
fact, Lander did not hesitate to express himself in rather severe
terms, in regard to the manner in which the early part of the
expedition was conducted; for, had the plan been adopted of making
use of horses for the conveyance of the baggage, and not have allowed
themselves to be delayed by the difficulty of procuring human
assistance; had the whole party pressed forward to Laboo, and there
attempted to recruit their strength, it is highly probable that they
would have altogether escaped the poisonous effects of the miasmata.

The country thus far appears to have been an almost perfect level; in
some places swampy, for the most part covered with dense forests, but
partially cultivated, and very populous. Towns and villages were
numerous, and everywhere on the road they were met by numbers of
people, chiefly women, bearing loads of produce on their heads,
always cheerful and obliging, and delighted to see white men. At
Humba, the inhabitants kept up singing and dancing all night, in the
true negro style, round the house allotted to the white men. Their
songs were in chorus, and, as Lander expressed himself, "not unlike
some church-music that I have heard."

On leaving Laboo, they were attended for some distance by the
caboceer of the town, at the head of the whole population, the women
singing in chorus, and holding up both hands as they passed, while
groupes of people were seen kneeling down, and apparently wishing
them a good journey. The road now lay over an undulating country,
through plantations of millet, yams, and maize, and at three hours
from Laboo, led to Jannah, which was once a walled town, but the gate
and fosse are all that remain of the fortifications. It is situated
on a gentle declivity, commanding an extensive prospect to the
westward; to the eastward the view is interrupted by thick woods. The
inhabitants may amount to from eight hundred to a thousand souls. The
account which Lander gave us of the natives of this district was
highly favourable. He had only to complain of the eternal loquacity
of the women, by which he was exceedingly annoyed; in addition to
which, they appeared sometimes to be highly offended because, as he
was ignorant of their language, he very often committed the most
extraordinary blunders, in the answers which he gave by signs, and
which were wholly opposite to what they had every reason to expect,
from the significant language which they made use of. The women here
are, however, not much better treated than in more central Africa;
not only the domestic duties are performed by them, but in all
matters of industry the labour appears to be imposed upon them,
whilst their husbands or owners are loitering away their time,
telling unaccountable stories to each other, or sleeping under the
shade of some of the beautiful trees which adorn this part of the
country.

Very differently is it constituted with the canine species; for here
the dog is treated with respect, and made the companion of man; here
he has collars round his neck, of various colours, and ornamented
with kowries; he sits by his master, and follows him in all his
journeys and visits. The great man is never without one; and it
appeared to Lander that a boy was appointed to take care of him. In
no other country in Africa is this faithful animal treated with
common humanity.

The general character of the people of Eyeo appears to be good and
amiable, and, as a proof of their honesty, to which all the
travellers bore ample testimony, they had now travelled sixty miles
in eight days, with a numerous and heavy baggage, and about ten
different relays of carriers, without losing so much as the value of
a shilling, public or private; a circumstance evincing not only
somewhat more than common honesty in the inhabitants, but a degree of
subordination and regular government, which could not have been
supposed to exist among a people hitherto considered as barbarous. It
appears, however, that the Eyeo captain, Adamooli, had not quite so
high an opinion of their spontaneous honesty; for he told the
travellers, at Puka, to keep a good look-out after their things, as
the people there were great thieves.

In some branches of the arts they possess an extraordinary skill.
They are great carvers; their doors, drums, and every thing of wood
being carved. In the weaving of cloth and linen they also evinced
considerable skill. Eight or ten looms were seen at work in one
house; in fact it was a regular manufactory. Captain Clapperton
visited several cloth manufactories, and three dye-houses, with
upwards of twenty vats in each, all in full work. The indigo is of
excellent quality, and the cloth of a good texture; some of it very
fine. The women are the dyers, the boys the weavers, the men, in
general, lookers on. The loom and shuttles are on the same principle
as the common English loom, but the warp is only four inches wide.
They also manufacture earthen-ware, but prefer that of Europe, which
they obtain from Badagry. In walking through the town, the strangers
were followed by an immense crowd, but met with not a word nor a look
of disrespect. The men took off their caps as they passed, and the
women remained kneeling. The market was well supplied with raw
cotton, cloths, oranges, limes, plantains, bananas, onions, pepper,
and gums for soup, boiled yams, and acassous, a paste made of maize
and wrapped in leaves.

A country finely cleared, and diversified with hill and dale, extends
from Jannah to Tshow, distant two short stages. The route then again
entered upon a thickly-wooded tract, with only patches of corn land,
and the roads were dreadfully bad, being partially flooded by heavy
rains. Captain Clapperton here caught a fresh cold, and all the
patients became worse. Dr. Morrison, after being carried in a hammock
as far as Tshow, finding himself grow no better, was left behind,
under the charge of Mr. Houston, who was to see him safe back to the
coast. He, however, expired at Jannah on the 27th. On the same day,
at a town called Engwa, Captain Pearce breathed his last. On this
occasion, Captain Clapperton says, "The death of Captain Pearce has
caused me much concern; for, independently of his amiable qualities
as a friend and companion, he was eminently fitted by his talents,
perseverance, and fortitude, to be of singular service to the
expedition, and on these accounts I deplore his loss, as the greatest
I could have sustained, both as regards my private feelings and the
public service."

On the following morning, the remains of this lamented officer were
interred, in the presence of all the principal people of the town.
The grave was staked round by the inhabitants, and a shed built over
it. An inscription was carved on a board, and placed at the head of
the grave by Lander, Captain Clapperton being unable to sit up, or to
assist in any manner in the mournful ceremony. Thus did Captain
Clapperton see himself bereft of his comrades, and left to pursue his
journey in very painful and distressing circumstances, with only
Richard Lander as his servant, who stood by him in all his fortunes,
and Pascoe, not a very trusty African, whom he had hired at Badagry.
Two days after the interment of Captain Pearce,  Mr. Houston joined
Captain Clapperton from Jannah, bearing the intelligence of the death
of Dr. Morrison.

These unfortunate officers had been conveyed thus far, about seventy
miles, in hammocks, by the people of the country, every where
experiencing the kindest attention, lodged in the best houses, and
supplied with every thing that the country afforded. The fear,
however, that continually preyed upon the mind of Lander was
excessive; for the general appearance of Captain Clapperton indicated
that he would soon join his comrades in the grave; he was able
occasionally to ride on horseback, and sometimes to walk, but he was
greatly debilitated, and subject to a high degree of fever. By
anticipation, Lander saw himself a solitary wanderer in the interior
of Africa, bereft of all those resources with which Clapperton was
liberally supplied, and his only hope of deliverance resting on his
being able to accomplish his return to Badagry, literally as a
Christian mendicant. Lander describes the country between Badagry and
Jannah, the frontier town of the kingdom of Youriba, as abounding in
population, well cultivated with plantations of Indian corn,
different kinds of millet, yams, plantains, wherever the surface was
open and free from the noxious influence of dense and unwholesome
forests.

The old caboceer of Jannah was, according to the report of Lander, a
merry, jocose kind of companion. On one occasion, when he was
surrounded by a whole crowd of the natives, and was informed that the
English had only one wife, they all broke out into a loud laugh, in
which the women in particular joined immoderately. The vanity of this
old negro almost exceeded belief; during the ceremony of the
reception of Captain Clapperton and Mr. Houston, he changed his dress
three different times, each time, as he thought, increasing the
splendour of his appearance.

The whole court in which they were received, although very large, was
filled, crowded, and crammed with people, except a place in front,
where the august strangers sat, into which his highness led Captain
Clapperton and Mr. Houston, in each hand, followed by Lander, who,
ever and anon, first to the right, and then to the left, felt a
twitch at the tail of his coat, and on looking to ascertain the
cause, found it to have proceeded from the _fair_ hands of a
bewitching negress, who, casting upon him a look of irresistible
fascination, accompanied by a smile from a pair of huge pouting lips,
between which appeared a row of teeth, for which one of the toothless
grannies at Almack's would have given half her dowry, seemed to be
anxious of trying the experiment of how far the heart of an
Englishman was susceptible of the tender passion, especially when
excited by objects of such superlative beauty. It may be supposed
that neither Clapperton nor Houston had as yet taken any lessons in
the art and mystery of African dancing, and as to waltzing, neither
of them felt any great inclination to be encircled in the arms of a
negress, who, although she might be young and graceful in her
attitudes, had a scent about her of stinking rancid oil, which was
not very agreeable to the olfactory nerves of the delicate Europeans.
However, it was the etiquette of the court,--and every court, from
the Cape of Good Hope to the country of Boothia, that is, if a court
were ever held in the latter place,--is cursed with the ridiculous
forms of ceremony and etiquette; it must be repeated, that at the
court which his highness the caboceer of Jannah, in the plenitude of
his official importance, held at that place, it was a rule of
etiquette, that every stranger, of whatever rank or nation, should
choose for himself a partner, wherewith to dance an African fandango
or bolero; and it may be easily supposed that, when the Europeans
looked around them, and saw the African beauties squatting on their
haunches, or reclining, in graceful negligence, on banks of mud, a
great difficulty existed as to whom they should select to be their
partners in the African quadrille. We have ourselves been in a
ball-room where the beating of the female heart was almost audible,
when the object of its secret attachment approached to lead out the
youthful beauty to the dancing circle; and although it cannot be
supposed, that, on so short an acquaintance, the heart of any
beautiful negress palpitated at the approach of Captain Clapperton,
Mr. Houston, or the more timid and bashful Lander, yet it was evident
that the negresses, who were selected as their partners, testified
their unqualified delight at the honour conferred upon them by a
grin, which in a civilized country would be called a smile, but which
happened to be of that extent, as if nature had furnished them with a
mouth extending from ear to ear, similar to the opening of the jaws
of a dogger codfish. The Taglionis and Elsters of the court were
present; and although a latitude of a few degrees to the northward of
the line is not exactly suitable for pirouetting and tourbillons,
which, in a negress in a state of almost complete nudity, could not
fail to attract the doting eyes even of the bishop of London, or of
Sir Andrew Agnew, particularly on the Sabbath; yet, on this occasion,
the beauties of the court attempted to outvie each other in the
gracefulness of their attitudes, and the extraordinary height of
their salutations. There is very little doubt but that the _tout
ensemble_ would have formed an excellent subject for a Cruickshanks,
and particularly to take a sketch of the old black caboceer, sailing
majestically around in his damask robe, with a train-bearer behind
him, and every now and then turning up his old withered face, first
to one of his visitors, and then to the other; then whisking round on
one foot, and treading without ceremony on the shoeless foot of his
perspiring partner, then marching slow, with solemn gait, like the
autocrat of all the Russias in a polonnaise, then, not exactly
leading gracefully down the middle, but twining the hands of his
visitors in his, which had very much the appearance of a piebald
affair, showing at the same time an extraordinary inflation of pride,
that a white man should dance with him. But the fate of Lander was
the most to be commiserated; for although it might be the etiquette
of his country, that master and servant should not be quadrilling at
the same time, yet as no such distinction existed in the court of the
old caboceer of Jannah, as far as the sentiments of the female
beauties were concerned, poor Lander led the very devil of a life of
it. He certainly, as it would have been highly unbecoming in him, did
not solicit the hand of any of the expectant beauties, and therefore,
giving him all due credit for his extreme bashfulness and insuperable
modesty, they were determined to solicit his; he was first twirled
round by one beauty, then by another; at one moment he found himself
in a state of juxta position with the old caboceer; at another, his
animated partner was nearly driving him into a state of positive
collision with his own master; in fact he was, like Tom at Almack's,
putting the whole of the dancers into confusion, from his ignorance
of the intricacies of the African dance, and his total inability to
compete with his partner in her gymnastic evolutions. One of the most
graceful movements, according to the opinion of the natives, consists
in a particular part of the body, situated, as the metaphysicians
would term it, _a posteriori,_ coming into contact with a similar
part of the body of the partner, with as much violence as the
physical strength of the female dancer can effect; and if on any of
these occasions the equilibrium should be lost, and the weaker
individual laid prostrate upon the ground, the laugh then sounds
throughout the whole assembly, and the beauty is highly extolled, who
by her prowess could have so well effected the prostration of her
partner. Now it is very possible, that when a person knows of an evil
coming over him, he will be so upon his guard as to prevent any
disastrous consequences arising from it; but Lander not being aware
that any accident could befall him from any movement of the lady who
had selected him, much against his will, as her partner, was footing
it away very composedly and becomingly, when a tremendous blow was
inflicted on a certain part of the hinder portion of his body, which
being as irresistible as if it had come from a battering-ram of the
Romans, laid him prostrate on the floor, to the infinite delight of
all the fashionables of the court, particularly the female part, who
testified their joy by the utterance of the loudest laughs and
clapping their hands in an extacy of mirth. In fact, the travellers
entered into all the humours of the day, and thus, as Captain
Clapperton expressed himself, "cheered we our old friend, and he was
cheered."

The country between Tshow and Engwa, where the ground has been
cleared, is described by Lander as excessively beautiful, diversified
by hills and dales, a small stream running through each valley. All
the towns, however, are situated in the bosom of an inaccessible
wood. The approach is generally through an avenue, defended by three
stockades, with narrow wicker gates, and only one entrance. Beyond
Engwa, the state of the atmosphere becomes much improved, the country
being clear and gradually rising, and on the high grounds, large
blocks of grey granite cropped out, indicated their approach to a
range of primitive mountains. The plains were covered with the female
cocoa nut, and with long high grass. Walled towns occur at the end of
short stages, each containing from five to ten thousand inhabitants.
Those at which the travellers halted were called Afoura, Assula,
Assonda, and Chocho. At Afoura, the granite formation began to show
itself. Assula is surrounded with a wall and a ditch, and contains
about six thousand inhabitants. At these places, the travellers were
abundantly supplied with provisions, and regaled with dancing and
singing the whole night, by the apparently happy natives.

On leaving the town of Chocho, the road wound through beautiful
valleys, planted in many places with cotton, corn, yams, and bananas
and on the tops and hollows of the hills were perched the houses and
villages of the proprietors of these plantations. At this very time,
however, "a slaving war," was being carried on at only a few hours
ride from the route taken by the travellers; such is the withering
curse that hangs over the fairest regions of this devoted country.

The next stage from Bendekka to Duffoo, lay through mountain scenery
of a still wilder character. Rugged and gigantic blocks of grey
granite rose to the height of between six and seven hundred feet
above the valleys, which now contracted to defiles scarcely a hundred
yards in breadth, then widened to half a mile, and in one part the
route crossed a wide table land. The soil is rich, but shallow,
except along the fine streams of water which run through the valleys,
where large tall trees were growing. The sides of the mountains are
bare, but stunted trees and shrubs fill all the crevices. The valleys
are well cultivated with cotton, corn, and yams. This cluster of
hills is said to rise in the province of Borgoo, behind Ashantee, and
to run through Jaboo to Benin, in a direction from W.N.W. to E.S.E.
The width of the range is about eighty miles.

From a summit overlooking the town of Duffoo, a grand and beautiful
view was obtained of mountains, precipices, and valleys in every
direction. The top of the hill was covered with women grinding corn.
This mount might be almost called a large corn mill. Here and in
every other place, the king of Eyeo's wives were found trading for
his majesty, and like women of the common class, carrying large loads
on their heads from town to town. The town of Daffoo is said to
contain a population of 15,000 souls. On leaving it the road wound
between two hills, descending over rugged rocks, beneath impending
masses of granite, which seemed ready to start from their base, to
the destruction of all below. It continued to ascend and descend as
far as the town of Woza, which stands on the edge of a table-land,
gently descending, well cultivated, and watered by several streams.
The stage terminated at another fortified town called Chradoo,
containing upwards of seven thousand inhabitants.

On leaving this town on the following morning, they were attended by
the worthy caboceer, and an immense train of men, women, and
children; the women singing in chorus, whilst drums, horns, and
gongs, formed a barbarous and discordant accompaniment to their
agreeable voices. A difficult and dangerous road over broken rocks,
and through rugged passes, where the natives were perched in groups
to see the travellers pass, led in five hours to the large and
populous town of Erawa. Here they were received with drums, the
people as usual curious beyond measure, but very kind. The next day a
mountain pass led through a thickly populous tract, to a town called
Washoo, beyond which place they entered a second range of mountains,
more elevated and of a more savage character, than any they had
hitherto passed; they appeared as if some great convulsion of nature
had thrown the immense masses of granite in wild and terrific
confusion. The road through this mountain pass, according to the
information of Lander, was grand and imposing, sometimes rising
almost perpendicularly, then descending in the midst of rocks into
deep dells; then winding beautifully round the side of a steep hill,
the rocks above overhanging them in fearful uncertainty. In every
cleft of the hills, wherever there appeared the least soil, were
cottages, surrounded with small plantations of millet, yams, and
plantains, giving a beautiful variety to the rude scenery. The road
continued rising, hill above hill, for at least two miles, until
their arrival at the large and populous town of Chaki, situated on
the top of the very highest hill. On every hand, on the hills, on the
rocks, and crowding on the road, the inhabitants were assembled in
thousands, the women welcoming them with holding up their hands, and
chanting choral songs, and the men with the usual salutations, and
every demonstration of joy. The caboceer was seated on the outside of
his house, surrounded by his ladies, his singing men, and singing
women, his drums, fifes, and gong-gongs. He was a good-looking man,
about fifty years of age, with a pleasing countenance. His house was
all ready for the reception of the strangers, and he immediately
procured for them a large supply of goats, sheep, and yams, pressing
them strongly to stay a day or two with them. He appeared to consider
them as messengers of peace, come with blessings to his king and
country. Indeed a belief was very prevalent, and seems to have gone
before them all the way, that they were charged with a commission to
make peace wherever there was war, and to do good to every country
through which they passed. The caboceer of this town indeed told them
so, and said he hoped that they would be enabled to settle the war
with the Nyffee people and the Fellatas, and the rebellion of the
Houssa slaves, who had risen against the king of Yariba. When Lander
shook hands with him, he passed his hand over the heads of his
chiefs, as confirming on them a white man's blessing. He was more
inquisitive and more communicative than any one whom they had yet
seen. He sat until nearly midnight, talking and inquiring about
England. On asking, if he would send one of his sons to see England,
he rose up with alacrity, and said, he would go himself. He inquired
how many wives an Englishman had. On being told only one, he seemed
much astonished, and laughed greatly, as did all his people. "What
does he do," said he, "when one of his wives has a child? Our
caboceer has two thousand!!"

On leaving Chaka, the caboceer escorted them several miles, attended
by upwards of two hundred of his wives, _one_ of whom was young and
handsome. The country was now extremely beautiful, clear of wood, and
partly cultivated; and a number of Fellata villages were passed, the
inhabitants of which live here as they do in most other parts of
Soudan, a quiet and inoffensive pastoral life, unmolested by the
black natives, and not interfering with their customs.

The next stage led to Koosoo, the largest town they had yet seen,
surrounded with a double wall, and containing at least twenty
thousand people. This place appears to stand at the northwestern
termination of the granite range, the outer wall extending from some
rugged hills on the S.E., to a great distance in the plain. Here the
same favourable impression respecting the whites was found to prevail
as at Chaki. The walls were crowded with people, and the caboceer,
with his wives and head men, came forth to welcome the strangers. He
was glad, he said, to see white men coming to his country, and going
to see his king, adding that he never expected to see this day, and
that now all the wars and bad palavers would be settled. He presented
to them yams, eggs, a goat, a sheep, a fine fat turkey, and milk, and
a large pig was sent by the caboceer of a neighbouring town. The
country was described as being on every side full of large towns. Its
aspect continued through the next stage very beautiful, and well
cultivated. The route lay in a parallel line with the hills as far as
the town of Yaboo, and then entered a fine plain, studded with
Fellata villages, extending to Ensookosoo. At Sadooli, half an hour
further, the range of hills was seen bearing from E. by S. to S. The
well cultivated country continued as far as Aggidiba, but a
considerable change then took place in its general aspect. The road
led through a wood of low, stunted, scrubby trees, on a soil of
gravel and sand, and the destructive ravages of the Fellatas now
became apparent, in the half deserted towns and ruined villages.
Akkibosa, the next town, was large, and surrounded inside the walls
with an impenetrable wood. It was here that Lander again had the
melancholy prospect of seeing himself a lonely wanderer in the wilds
of Africa, for Captain Clapperton became worse than he had been since
leaving Badagry. The pain in his side was relieved by rubbing the
part with a piece of cord, after some Mallegeta pepper chewed had
been applied to it. But the caboceer of Adja gave our traveller some
medicine, which was far more efficacious. It tasted like lime juice
and pepper, and produced nausea to such a degree, that Clapperton was
unable to stand for half an hour after; he then suddenly got well,
both as to the pain in his side, and a severe diarrhoea, which had
troubled him for some time. The worthy caboceer, who had shown
himself such an adept in practical pathology, was of the same opinion
with others of his species, that a preventive is better than a
remedy; but were this principle to be acted upon by the medical
caboceers of the metropolis of England, we should not see them
driving in their carriages from 10 A.M. to 4 P.M. to convince a set
of dupes, that a few latinized words and hieroglyphics scrawled on a
scrap of paper,  which is to produce  for them a nauseous compound of
aperient drugs, are to save them from the jaws of death. Captain
Clapperton was in reality ill, and therefore the application of the
prescription of the scientific caboceer of Adja, was perhaps
advisable, on the ground that if it did not cure it would kill, but
the case was differently situated with Lander, for although his
health had sustained some severe shocks, yet it was good in
comparison to that of his master; but the prudent caboceer considered
that although he was not then actually ill, yet the possibility, and
even the probability existed that he might become so, and therefore
it was determined that the same medicine should be administered to
Lander, as had been done to his master. Lander, however, protested
that he did not stand in need of so potent a medicine, on the other
hand, the caboceer protested that he was a great fool to entertain
any such an opinion, and following the practice of the celebrated Dr.
Sangrado, Lander was obliged to undergo the purgatory of the
caboceer's medicine, and he was ready to admit that he did not feel
himself the worse for it after its effects had subsided. The town of
Adja is remarkable for an avenue of trees, with a creeping briar-like
plant ascending to the very tops, and hanging down so as to form an
impenetrable defence against every thing but a snake, and it is
impossible to burn it. Leaving their medical friend, the caboceer of
Adja, they proceeded to Loko, which is also a considerable walled
town; and on proceeding about four miles further, they came to a
groupe of three towns, one walled and two without walls, all bearing
the name of Soloo.

The approach to the town of Tshow was through a beautiful valley,
planted with large shady trees and bananas, having green plots and
sheets of water running through the centre, where the dingy beauties
of Tshow were washing their well-formed limbs, while the sheep and
goats were grazing around on their verdant banks. This state of
repose is stated, however, to be frequently disturbed by inroads from
the neighbouring kingdom of Borgho, the natives of which are
described as thieves and plunderers, and as the travellers were now
close on its borders, they thought it necessary to brush up their
arms.

In the evening, however, a caboceer arrived with a large escort of
horse and foot from Katunga, the capital of Youriba, and having
shaken hands with the travellers, immediately rubbed his whole body,
that the blessing of their touch might be spread all over him. The
escort was so numerous, that they ate up all the provisions of the
town. Every corner was filled with them, and they kept drumming,
blowing, dancing, and singing during the whole of the night.

On leaving this place, the road through which they passed was wide,
though woody, and covered by men on horseback and bowmen on foot; the
horsemen, armed with two or three long spears, hurrying on as fast as
they could get the travellers to proceed; horns and country drums
blowing and beating before and behind; some of the horsemen dressed
in the most grotesque manner; others covered all over with charms.
The bowmen had also their natty little hats and feathers, with the
jebus, or leathern pouch, hanging by their side. These men always
appeared to Captain Clapperton to be the best troops in this country
and that of Soudan, on account of their lightness and activity. The
horsemen, however, are but ill mounted, the animals are small and
badly dressed; their saddles so ill secured, and the rider sits so
clumsily in his seat, that any Englishman who ever rode a horse with
an English saddle, would upset one of them the first charge with a
long stick. The party were also attended by a great number of
traders. After passing over a granite ridge, commanding a beautiful
view of fine wooded valleys to the eastward, the road again crossed
the Moussa, running to the Quorra, which is only three days distant.

From the brow of a hill the great capital of Eyeo opened to the view,
on the opposite side of a vast plain bordered by a ridge of granite
hills, and surrounded by a brilliant belt of verdure. The approach to
Katunga is thus described by Clapperton: "Between us and it lay a
finely cultivated valley, extending as far as the eye could reach to
the westward, our view to the eastward intercepted by a high rock,
broken into large blocks, with a singular top, the city lying below
us, surrounded and studded with green, shady trees, forming a belt
round the base of a rocky mountain of granite, about three miles in
length, presenting as beautiful a view as I ever saw."

They entered the city by the north gate, accompanied by a band of
music, and followed by an immense multitude of men, women, and
children. After proceeding about five miles through the city, they
reached the residence of the king, who received them seated under a
verandah; the insignia of his state being two red and blue cloth
umbrellas, supported by large poles held by slaves. He was dressed in
a white tobe over another of blue; round his neck was a collar of
large beads of blue stone, and on his head the imitation of a
European crown in pasteboard, covered with blue cotton. The king's
people had some difficulty in clearing the way for the strangers
through the crowd, and sticks and whips were freely used, though
generally in a good-natured manner. When they had at last got as far
as the umbrellas, the space was all clear. The chiefs were observed
to be holding a parley with the king, which Clapperton conjectured to
relate to his being desired to perform the usual ceremony of
prostration. On this, Captain Clapperton told them, that the only
ceremony he would submit to was that of an English salute; that he
would take off his hat, make a bow, and shake hands with his majesty,
if he pleased. The ceremony of prostration is required from all.
The chiefs, who come to pay their court, cover themselves with dust,
and then fall flat on their bellies, having first practised the
ceremony, in order to be perfect, before a large fat eunuch. It is
also the court etiquette to appear in a loose cloth, tied under one
arm; no tobes, no beads, no coral, nor grandeur of any kind, must
appear, but on the king alone. In many points of the ceremonial, in
the umbrellas, the prostrations, the sticks and whips so
good-naturedly inflicted on the crowd, and the extraordinary
politeness practised by these people to each other, we have a
singular approximation to the customs of the celestial empire. The
theatrical entertainments, too, which are acted before the king, are
quite as amusing, and almost as refined, as any which his celestial
majesty can command to be exhibited before a foreign ambassador. The
king of Youriba made a point of the travellers staying to witness one
of these theatrical entertainments. It was exhibited in the king's
park, in a square place, surrounded by clumps of trees. The first
performance was that of a number of men dancing and tumbling about in
sacks, having their heads fantastically decorated with strips of
rags, damask silk, and cotton of variegated colours, and they
performed to admiration. The second exhibition was hunting the boa
snake by the men in the sacks. The huge snake, it seems, went through
the motions of this kind of reptile in a very natural manner, though
it appeared to be rather full in the belly, opening and shutting its
mouth in the most natural manner imaginable. A running fight ensued,
which lasted some time, till at length the chief of the bagmen
contrived to scotch its tail with a tremendous sword, when he gasped,
twisted up, and seemed in great torture, endeavouring to bite his
assailants, who hoisted him on their shoulders, and bore him off in
triumph. The festivities of the day concluded with the exhibition of
the _white devil,_ which had the appearance of a human figure in
white wax, looking miserably thin, and as if starved with cold,
taking snuff, rubbing its hands, treacling the ground as if
tender-footed, and evidently meant to burlesque and ridicule a white
man, while his sable majesty frequently appealed to Clapperton,
whether it was not well performed. After this, the king's women sang
in chorus, and were accompanied by the whole crowd.

The method of salutation is very singular. The king, for instance, on
saluting Captain Clapperton, lifted up his hands three times,
repeating, "Ako! ako!" (How do you do?) the women behind him standing
up and cheering them, and the men on the outside joined. It was
impossible to count the number of his ladies, they were so densely
packed, and so very numerous.

In a private visit subsequently paid to the travellers, the king
assured them that they were truly welcome; that he had frequently
heard of white men; but that neither himself nor his father, nor any
of his ancestors, had ever seen one. He was glad that white men had
come at this time, and now, he trusted, his country would be put
right, his enemies brought to submission, and he would be enabled to
build up his father's house, which the war had destroyed.



CHAPTER XXVI.

The city of Eyeo, in Houssa language, Katunga, the capital of
Youriba, is situated in latitude 8° 59' N., longitude 6° 12 E. It is
built on the sloping side and round the base of a small range of
granite hills, which, as it were, forms the citadel of the town. They
are formed of stupendous blocks of grey granite of the softest kind,
some of which are seen hanging from the summits in the most frightful
manner, while others, resting on very small bases, appear as if the
least touch would send them down into the valley beneath. The soil on
which the town is built is formed of clay and gravel, mixed with
sand, which has obviously been produced from the crumbling granite.
The appearance of these hills is that of a mass of rocks left bare by
the tide. A belt of thick wood runs round the walls, which are built
of clay, and about twenty feet high, and surrounded by a dry ditch.
There are ten gates in the walls, which are about fifteen miles in
circumference, of an oval shape, about four miles in diameter one
way, and six miles the other; the south end leaning against the rocky
hills, and forming an inaccessible barrier in that quarter. The
king's houses, and those of his women, occupy about a square mile,
and are on the south side of the hills, having two large parks, one
in front and another facing the north; they are all built of clay,
and have thatched roofs, similar to those nearer the coast. The posts
supporting the verandahs and the doors of the king's or caboceer's
houses are generally carved in has relief, with figures representing
the boa killing an antelope or a hog, or with processions of warriors
attended by drummers. The latter are by no means meanly executed,
conveying the expression and attitude of the principal man in the
groupe with a lofty air, and the drummer well pleased with his own
music, or rather deafening noise. There are seven different markets,
which are held every evening, being generally opened about three or
four o'clock. The chief articles exposed for sale are yams, corn,
calavances, plantains and bananas, vegetable butter, seeds of the
colocynth, which form a great article of food, sweetmeats, goats,
sheep, and lambs, also cloth of the manufacture of the country, and
their various instruments of agriculture. The price of a small goat
is from 1,500 to 2,000 kowries; 2,000 kowries being equal to a
Spanish dollar; a large sheep, 3,000 to 5,000; a cow, from 20,000 to
30,000; a horse, 80,000 to 100,000; a prime human being, as a slave,
40,000 to 60,000, about half the price of a horse!

The kingdom of Youriba extends from Puka, within five miles of the
coast to about the parallel of 10° N., being bounded by Dahomy on the
north-west, Ketto and the Maha countries on the north, Borgoo on the
north-east, the Quorra to the east, Accoura, a province of Benin, to
the south-east, and Jaboo to the south-west. These are the positions
of the neighbouring countries, as given by Lander, although it is
difficult to reconcile them with the map; Borgoo seems rather to be
north-east, Dahomy west and southwest, Jaboo and Benin south-east.
If Badagry be included in Youriba, the southern boundary will be the
Bight of Benin.

Dahomy, Alladah, Maha, and Badagry were claimed as tributaries; and
the king of Benin was referred to as an ally. The government is an
hereditary despotism, every subject being the slave of the king; but
its administration appears to have been for a long period mild and
humane. When the king was asked, whether the customs of Youriba
involved the same human sacrifices as those of Dahomy, his majesty
shook his head, shrugged up his shoulders, and exclaimed, "No, no! no
king of Youriba could sacrifice human beings." He added, but probably
without sufficient grounds for the vaunt, that, if he so commanded,
the king of Dahomy must also desist from the practice; that he must
obey him. It is, however, stated, on the authority of Lander, that
when a king of Youriba dies, the caboceer of Jannah, three other head
caboceers, four women, and a great many favourite slaves and women,
are obliged to swallow poison, given by fetish men in a parrot's egg;
should this not take effect, the person is provided with a rope to
hang himself in his own house. No public sacrifices are used, at
least no human sacrifices, and no one was allowed to die at the death
of the last king, as he did not die a natural death, having been
murdered by one of his own sons, though the religion of the people of
Youriba, as far as it could be comprehended by the travellers,
consisted in the worship of one God, to whom they also sacrifice
horses, cows, goats, sheep, and fowls. At the yearly feast, all these
animals are sacrificed at the fetish-house, in which a little of the
blood is spilled on the ground. The whole of them are then cooked,
and the king and all the people, men and women attending, partake of
the meat, drinking copiously of pitto (the country ale). It is
stated, moreover, that it depends on the will of the fetish-man, or
priest, whether a human being or a cow or other animal is to be
sacrificed. If a human being, it is always a criminal, and only one.
The usual spot where the feast takes place is a large open field
before the king's houses, under wide-spreading trees, where there are
two or three fetish houses.

The usual mode of burying the dead in this country is, to dig a deep
narrow hole, in which the corpse is deposited in a sitting posture,
the elbows between the knees. A poor person is interred without any
ceremony; in honour of a rich man, guns are fired, and rum is drunk
over his grave, and afterwards in the house by his friends and
retainers. At the celebration of a marriage, pitto is circulated
freely amongst the guests. Wives are bought, and according to the
circumstances of the bridegroom, so is the price. The first question
asked by every caboceer and great man was, how many wives the king of
England, had, being prepared, it should seem, to measure his
greatness by that standard; but when they were told that he had only
one, (and, if they had felt disposed, they might have extended their
information, by telling the inquirers that she was too much for him,)
they gave themselves up to a long and ungovernable fit of laughter,
followed by expressions of pity and wonder how he could possibly
exist in that destitute condition. The king of Youriba's boast was,
that his wives, linked hand-in-hand, would reach entirely across the
kingdom. Queens, however, in Africa, are applied to various uses,
although in some countries at some distance to the northward, it is a
difficult question to solve, whether they be of any use at all,
except for the purpose of entailing an extraordinary expense upon the
people, who have to labour hard for the support of the royal
appendage, which is generally imported from a neighbouring country,
where pride, pauperism, and pomposity are particularly conspicuous.
It would be well for an admirer of queenship to take a trip to Eyeo,
to see to what uses queens can be applied; for there they are formed
into a body-guard, and their majesties were observed, in every part
of the kingdom, acting as porters, and bearing on their heads
enormous burdens, in which they again differ from the queens of the
more northern countries, where, fortunately for the natives of it,
they never _bear_ at all. The queens of Eyeo are, to all intents and
purposes, slaves, and so are also other queens; but then they are
slaves to foolish and ridiculous customs, to stiff starched
etiquette, and to ceremonies degrading to a rational being.

The Eyeos, like other nations purely negro, are wholly unacquainted
with letters, or any form of writing; these are known only to the
Arabs or Fellatahs, who penetrate thither in small numbers; yet they
have a great deal of popular poetry. Every great man has bands of
singers of both sexes, who constantly attend him, and loudly
celebrate his achievements in extemporary poems. The convivial
meetings of the people, even their labours and journeys, are cheered
by songs composed for the occasion, and chanted often with
considerable taste.

The military force of the kingdom consists of the caboceers and their
immediate retainers, which upon an average may be about one hundred
and fifty each, a force formidable enough when called out upon any
predatory excursion, but which would seem to be inadequate to the
defence of the territory, against the encroachments or inroads of the
Fellatahs, and other more warlike tribes. It was supposed by Captain
Clapperton that the army may be as numerous as that of any of the
kingdoms of Africa. No conjecture was offered as to the total
population, but nearly fifty towns occurred in the line of route,
each containing from six to seven thousand, and some fifteen to
twenty thousand souls, and from the crowds on the roads, the
population must be very considerable.

The Youribanies  struck the travellers as having less of the
characteristic features of the negro, than any other African race
which they had seen. Their lips are less thick, and their noses more
inclined to the aquiline shape than negroes in general. The men are
well made, and have an independent carriage. The women are almost
invariably of a more ordinary appearance than the men, owing to their
being more exposed to the sun, and to the drudgery they are obliged
to undergo, all the labours of the land devolving upon them. The
cotton plant and indigo are cultivated to a considerable extent, and
they manufacture the wool of their sheep into good cloth, which is
bartered with the people of the coast for rum, tobacco, European
cloth, and other articles. The medium of exchange throughout the
interior is the kowry shell, the estimated value of which has been
already given. Slaves, however, form the chief article of commerce
with the coast. A prime slave at Jannah is worth, sterling money,
from three to four pounds, according to the value set on the articles
of barter. Domestic slaves are never sold, except for misconduct.
His majesty was much astonished at learning that there are no slaves
in England. Upon the whole, the Youribanies appeared to be a gentle
and a kind people, affectionate to their wives and children, and to
one another, and under a mild, although a despotic government.

Among the domestic animals of this country, there are horses of a
very small breed, but these are scarce. The horned cattle are also
small near the coast, but on approaching the capital, they are seen
as large as those in England; many of them have humps on their
shoulders, like those of Abyssinia. They have also sheep, both of the
common species, and of the African kind; hogs, muscovy ducks, fowls,
pigeons, and a few turkeys. "The people of Youriba," says Lander,
"are not very delicate in the choice of their food; they eat frogs,
monkeys, dogs, cats, rats, mice, and various other kinds of vermin. A
fat dog will always fetch a better price than a goat. Locusts and
black ants, just as they are able to take wing, are a great luxury.
Caterpillars are also held in very high estimation, they are stewed
and eaten with yams and _tuah._ Ants and locusts are fried in
butter." This statement of Lander, as far as regards the dog, is
somewhat at variance with the compliment paid to the Youribanies, for
their treatment of that faithful animal.

The hyena and the leopard are said to be very common, and the lion is
found in some parts, but monkeys were the only wild animals seen by
the travellers.

Although Clapperton and Lander remained at Katunga from January 23rd
to March 7th, and the mysterious Quorra was not more than thirty
miles distant to the eastward, he was not able to prevail upon the
king to allow him to visit it, but was always put off with some
frivolous excuse, and in these excuses, the old gentleman appears to
have been as cunning and as cautious as a Chinese mandarin; observing
at one time that the road was not safe; at another, that the Fellatas
had possession of the country, and what would the king of England say
if any thing should happen to his guest. The greatest difficulty was
experienced in getting away from Katunga, for his majesty could not
or would not comprehend why he should be in any hurry to depart, and
by way of an inducement, but which secretly might have a very
opposite effect to that which was intended, Clapperton and Lander
were both offered any wife they chose to select from his stock, and
if one were not sufficient, five or six might be selected; for
himself he had plenty, although he could not exactly tell their
number, but if Clapperton would stop, the experiment should be tried,
of how far they would reach hand to hand; even this gracious offer
appeared to have no influence upon the obstinate disposition of
Clapperton, he was determined to leave Katunga and reach Bornou
before the rains set in, but the king was equally determined that he
should not carry his project into execution, for, like all the other
African princes, he seemed disposed to make a monopoly of the
strangers who entered his territory. His majesty hinted that one
journey was well and fully employed in seeing the kingdom of Youriba,
and paying the required homage to its potent monarch.

It is curious how etiquette forms a part of every court, from a
latitude of 52° north, to one almost immediately under the equator,
and it must be admitted that if a school of instruction were
established at the former one, wherein the debutants might perfect
themselves in their various gestures and attitudes, we should not
behold such a number of awkward louts, and johnny raw's, as exhibit
themselves at the levee room of the king of the Guelphs. In the
capital of Eyeo, it is the custom of the court, for the monarch to
hold a levee twice a day, at six in the morning, and two in the
afternoon; rather hot work for the courtiers, perspiring in a
temperature of about 120°. The son of a Highland clansman, or of an
Irish bogtrotter, is ushered into the presence of his sovereign with
very little preliminary instruction; not so however with the more
refined and polished court of Katunga. There, before the legitimate
or illegitimate sons of royalty and nobility, or even of the
plebeians are introduced to the king, they are required to wait upon
the chief eunuch, a kind of African lord chamberlain, and before whom
they are required to practise their prostrations and genuflexions, so
as not to commit themselves in the presence of their august monarch.
The finished courtier at the court of the Guelphs, is known by the
grace with which he seizes the hand of royalty, to imprint upon it a
slobbering kiss; and the caboceer at the court of Katunga, is known
by the grace with which he covers himself with dust, and the
intensity of his homage is estimated according to the quantity of the
article which he throws over himself. It must have been a delectable
treat for the Europeans to have been present at one of these
academies of court etiquette, where the old and young were practising
their prostrations before the ugly antiquated eunuch, and who
hesitated not to give his pupils a kick, when any of them evinced an
extraordinary awkwardness in their attitudes. During the whole of the
time that the prostrations were practising, the attendants were
dancing in a circle, with now and then the interlude of a minuet by
one of the performers, in the course of which he would frequently
throw a somerset, as expert as old Grimaldi, and all this under a
burning tropical sun. These caboceers were dressed in robes of
leopard skin, hung round with tassels and chains, and in a short time
afterwards about twenty of them, in all their dirt and debasement,
stretched at full length before the king, stripped to the waist, and
vying with each other, which should have the most dust, and kiss the
ground with the greatest fervour. When any one speaks to the king, it
must be addressed to him through the eunuch, who is prostrated by the
side of his master.

On the 7th March, the travellers resumed their journey into the
interior, and retracing their steps to Tshow, reached at noon the
next day, the town of Algi, which was just rising from its ruins
after the Fellata, inroad of the preceding year. All the intermediate
villages had shared the same fate. Algi, according to the information
received, no longer belonged to Youriba, but to the sultan of Kiama.
It comprised three small villages, and before it was burnt down had
been of considerable size. These marauders have a singular mode of
setting fire to walled towns, by fastening combustibles to the tails
of pigeons, which, on being loosed, fly to the tops of the thatched
houses, while the assailants keep up a sharp fire of arrows, to
prevent the inhabitants from extinguishing the flames.

On the 11th, the travellers once more crossed the Moussa, which
formerly divided the kingdoms of Youriba and Borgoo. It was now dry
in a great many places, with a very rocky bed; when full, it is about
thirty yards in breadth, and flows with a very strong current. On the
other side, the road to Kiama lay through a flat country, thickly
wooded with fine trees, and inhabited by large antelopes. These
creatures are the most lively, graceful, and beautifully proportioned
of the brute creation. Wherever known, they have attracted the
attention and admiration of mankind from the earliest ages, and the
beauty of their dark and lustrous eyes affords a frequent theme to
the poetical imaginings of the eastern poets. The antelopes seen by
Lander are by the Dutch called springbok, and inhabit the great
plains of central Africa, and assemble in vast flocks during their
migratory movements. These migrations, which are said to take place
in their most numerous form only at the intervals of several years,
appear to come from the north-east, and in masses of many thousands,
devouring, like locusts, every green herb. The lion has been seen to
migrate, and walk in the midst of the compressed phalanx, with only
as much space between him and his victims as the fears of those
immediately round could procure by pressing outwards. The foremost of
these vast columns are fat, and the rear exceedingly lean, while the
direction continues one way; but with the change of the monsoon, when
they return towards the north, the rear become the leaders, fattening
in their turn, and leaving the others to starve, and to be devoured
by the numerous rapacious animals, who follow their march. At all
times, when impelled by fear, either of the hunter or beasts of prey
darting amongst the flocks, but principally when the herds are
assembled in countless multitudes, so that an alarm cannot spread
rapidly and open the means of flight, they are pressed against each
other, and their anxiety to escape compels them to bound up in the
air, showing at the same time the white spot on the croup, dilated by
the effort, and closing again in their descent, and producing that
beautiful effect from which they have obtained the name of the
springer or springbok.

Early on the 13th, the travellers were met by an escort from the
chief of Kiama, the capital of a district of the same name, and
containing thirty thousand inhabitants. Kiama, Wawa, Niki, and Boussa
are provinces composing the kingdom of Borgoo, all subject, in a
certain sense, to the sovereign of Boussa; but the different cities
plunder and make war on each other, without the slightest regard to
the supreme authority. The people of Kiama and of Borgoo in general
have the reputation of being the greatest thieves and robbers in all
Africa, a character which nothing in their actual conduct appeared to
confirm. The escort were mounted on beautiful horses, and forming as
fine and wild a looking troop as the travellers had ever seen.

By sultan Yarro himself the travellers were well received. He was
found seated at the porch of his door, dressed in a white tobe, with
a red moorish cap on his head, attended by a mob of people, all lying
prostrate, and talking to him in that posture. He shook hands with
Captain Clapperton, and after telling him who he was, and where he
wished to go, he said, "Very well; I have assigned a house for you;
you had better go and rest from the fatigues of your journey; a
proper supply of provisions shall be sent you." The travellers took
their leave, and repaired to the house prepared for them, which
consisted of three large huts inside a square; they had not been long
there, when a present arrived from Yarro, consisting of milk, eggs,
bananas, fried cheese, curds, and foofoo. The latter is the common
food of both rich and poor in Youriba, and is of two kinds, white and
black. The former is merely a paste made of boiled yams, formed into
balls of about one pound each. The black is a more elaborate
preparation from the flour of yams. In the evening, Yarro paid the
travellers a visit. He came mounted on a beautiful red roan, attended
by a number of armed men on horseback and on foot, and six young
female slaves, naked as they were born, except a fillet of narrow
white cloth tied round their heads, about six inches of the ends
flying out behind, each carrying a light spear in the right hand. He
was dressed in a red silk damask tobe, and booted. He dismounted and
came into the house, attended by the six girls, who laid down their
spears, and put a blue cloth round their waists, before they entered
the door. After a short conference, in which he promised the
travellers all the assistance they solicited, sultan Yarro mounted
his horse; the young spear-women resumed their spears, laying aside
the encumbrance of their aprons, and away they went, the most
extraordinary cavalcade, which the travellers had ever witnessed.
Their light form, the vivacity of their eyes, and the ease with which
they appeared to fly over the ground, made these female pages appear
something more than mortal, as they flew alongside of his horse, when
he was galloping, and making his horse curvet and bound. A man with
an immense bundle of spears remained behind, at a little distance,
apparently to serve as a magazine for the girls to be supplied from,
when their master had expended those they carried in their hands.

Here, as in other large towns, there were music and dancing the whole
of the night. Men's wives and maidens all join in the song and dance,
Mahommedans as well as pagans; female chastity was very little
regarded.

Kiama is a straggling, ill-built town, of circular thatched huts,
built, as well as the town-wall, of clay. It stands in latitude 9°
37' 33" N., longitude 5° 22' 56", and is one of the towns through
which the Houssa and Bornou caravan passes in its way to Gonga, on
the borders of Ashantee. Both the city and provinces are, as
frequently happens in Africa, called after the chief Yarro, whose
name signifies the boy. The inhabitants are pagans of an easy faith,
never praying but when they are sick or in want of something, and
cursing their object of worship as fancy serves. The Houssa slaves
among them are Mahommedans, and are allowed to worship in their own
way. It is enough to call a man a native of Borgoo, to designate him
as a thief and a murderer.

Sultan Yarro was a most accommodating personage, he sent his
principal queen to visit Captain Clapperton, but she had lost both
her youth and her charms. Yarro then inquired of Captain Clapperton,
if he would take his daughter for a wife; to which Clapperton
answered in the affirmative, thanking the sultan at the same time for
his most gracious present. On this, the old woman went out, and
Clapperton followed with the king's head-man, Abubecker, to the house
of the daughter, which consisted of several coozies, separate from
those of the father, and was shown into a very clean one; a mat was
spread, he sat down, and the lady coming in and kneeling down,
Clapperton asked her, if she would live in his house, or if he should
come and live with her; she answered, whatever way he wished, "Very
well," replied Clapperton, "as you have the best house, I will come
and live with you." The bargain was concluded, and the daughter of
the sultan was, _pro tempore,_ the wife of the gallant captain.

On the 18th, the travellers took their leave of sultan Yarro and his
capital, and the fourth day reached Wawa, another territorial
capital, built in the form of a square, and containing from eighteen
to twenty thousand inhabitants. It is surrounded with a good high
clay wall and dry ditch, and is one of the neatest, most compact, and
best walled towns that had yet been seen. The streets are spacious
and dry; the houses are of the coozie form, consisting of circular
huts connected by a wall, opening into an interior area. The
governor's house is surrounded with a clay wall, about thirty feet
high, having large coozies, shady trees, and square towers inside.
Unlike their neighbours of Kiama, they bear a good character for
honesty, though not for sobriety or chastity, virtues wholly unknown
at Wawa; but they are merry, good natured, and hospitable. They
profess to be descended from the people of Nyffee and Houssa, but
their language is a dialect of the Youribanee; their religion is a
mongrel mahommedism grafted upon paganism. Their women are much
better looking than those of Youriba, and the men are well made, but
have a debauched look; in fact, Lander says, he never was in a place
where drunkenness was so general. They appeared to have plenty of the
necessaries of life, and a great many luxuries. Their fruits are
limes, plantains, bananas, and several wild fruits; their vegetables,
yams and _calalow,_ a plant, the leaves of which are used in soup as
cabbage; and their grain are dhourra and maize. Fish they procure in
great quantities from the Quorra and its tributaries, chiefly a sort
of cat-fish. Oxen are in great plenty, principally in the hands of
the Fellatas, also sheep and goats, poultry, honey, and wax. Ivory
and ostrich feathers, they said, were to be procured in great plenty,
but there was no market for them.

It was at this place that Clapperton had nearly, though innocently,
got into a scrape with the old governor by coquetting with a young
and buxom widow, and, in fact, Lander himself experienced some
difficulty in withstanding the amorous attack of this African beauty;
for she acted upon the principle, that, as she could not succeed with
the master, there was no obstacle existing that she knew of, to
prevent her directing the battery of her fine black sparkling eyes
against the servant.

"I had a visit," says Clapperton, "amongst the number, from the
daughter of an Arab, who was very fair, called herself a white woman,
was a rich widow, and wanted a white husband. She was said to be the
richest person in Wawa, having the best house in the town, and a
thousand slaves." She showed a particular regard for Richard Lander,
who was younger and better-looking than Clapperton; but she had
passed her twentieth year, was fat, and a perfect Turkish beauty,
just like a huge walking water-butt. All her arts were, however,
unavailing on the heart of Lander; she could not induce him to visit
her at her house, although he had the permission of his master.

This gay widow appeared by no means disposed to waste any time by
making regular approaches, like those by which widow Wadman
undermined the outworks, and then the citadel of the unsuspecting
uncle Toby, but she was determined at once to carry the object of her
attack by storm.

The widow Zuma attempted in the first place to ingratiate herself
with the Europeans, by sending them hot provisions every day in
abundance, during their stay at Wawa. She calculated very justly,
that gratitude is the parent of love, and therefore imagined that as
the Europeans could not be otherwise than grateful to her, for the
delicacies, with which she so liberally supplied them, it would soon
follow as a natural consequence, that their hearts would overflow
with love; at all events it was not to be supposed, that both master
and man could remain callous to the potency of her corporeal charms.
Finding, however, that the hearts of the Europeans were much like the
rocks of her native land, perfectly impenetrable, she had recourse to
another stratagem, which is generally attended with success. In the
enlightened and civilized country of Europe, or at least in that part
of it called England, it is by no means an obsolete custom, for an
individual, who wishes to ingratiate himself with the object of his
affections, to bestow a valuable present on the waiting woman or
abigail, who is a great deal about her person, and the eulogiums
which she then passes upon the absent lover, are great and exuberant
in proportion to the extent of the bribe. A female, whoever she may
be, whether a Middlesex virgin, or a Wawa widow, delights not only to
have some one to whom she can speak of the object of her attachment,
but who will be continually speaking to her of him, and as it appears
that the female character is very nearly the same in the interior of
Africa, as in the latitude of London, it is by no means a matter of
surprise, that the amorous widow enlisted Pascoe, the black servant
of Clapperton, in her cause, by offering him in the way of a bribe, a
handsome female slave as a wife, if he would manage to bring about an
interview at her own house, between either Clapperton or Lander,
expressing herself at the same time not to be very particular as to
which of the two this interview was obtained with. Clapperton it
appears had greater confidence in himself than Lander could boast of,
and the former considering himself proof against all the arts and
fascinations of the widow, and wishing at the same time to see the
interior arrangement of her house, he determined to pay her a visit.
He found her house large, and full of male and female slaves, the
males lying about the outer huts, the females more in the interior.
In the centre of the huts was a square one, of large dimensions,
surrounded by a verandah, with screens of matting all round, except
in one place, where there was hung a tanned bullock's hide; to this
spot he was led up, and on its being drawn on one side, he saw the
lady sitting cross-legged on a small Turkey carpet, like one of our
hearth-rugs, a large leathern cushion under her left knee; her goora
pot, which was an old-fashioned pewter mug, by her side, and a
calabash of water to wash her mouth out, as she alternately kept
eating goora and chewing tobacco snuff, the custom with all ranks,
male and female, who can procure them; on her right side lay a whip.
At a little distance, squatted on the ground, sat a dwarfish,
humpbacked female slave, with a wide mouth, but good eyes. She had no
clothing on, with the exception of a profusion of strings of beads
and coral round her neck and waist. This dwarfish personage served
the purpose of a bell in our country, and what, it may be supposed,
would in old times have been called a page. The lady herself was
dressed in a white coarse muslin turban, her neck profusely decorated
with necklaces of coral and gold chains, amongst which was one of
rubies and gold beads; her eyebrows and eyelashes were blackened, her
hair dyed with indigo, and her hands and feet with henna; around her
body she had a fine striped silk and cotton country cloth, which came
as high as her tremendous bosom, and reached as low as her ankles; in
her right hand she held a fan made of stained grass, and of a square
form. She desired Clapperton to sit down on the carpet beside her, an
invitation which he accepted, and in an alluring manner she began to
fan him, at the same time sending humpback to bring out her finery
for him to look at, which consisted of four gold bracelets, two large
paper dressing-cases with looking-glasses, and several strings of
coral, silver rings, and bracelets, with a number of other trifling
articles. After a number of compliments, and giving her favoured
visitor an account of all her wealth, he was led through one
apartment into another, cool, clean, and ornamented with pewter
dishes and bright brass pans. She now entered into the history of her
private life, commencing with bewailing the death of her husband, who
had now been dead ten years, during all of which time she had mourned
after him excessively. She had one son, the issue of her marriage,
but he was much darker than herself. With a frankness perfectly
commendable in an African widow, and wholly at variance with the
hypocritical and counterfeit bashfulness of the English one, the
widow Zuma at once exposed the situation of her heart, by declaring
that she sincerely loved white men, and as her visitor belonged to
that species, he saw himself at once the object of her affections,
and the envy of all the aspiring young bachelors of the town, who had
been for some time directing a vigorous attack against the widow's
heart. The denouement of an English court-ship is frequently
distinguished by an elopement; but although it was the last of
Clapperton's thoughts to run away with such an unwieldy mass of human
flesh, yet she very delicately proposed to him, that she would send
for a malem, or man of learning, who should read the fetah to them,
or, in other words, that no time whatever should be lost in endowing
the widow Zuma with all claim, right, title, and privilege to be
introduced at the court of Wawa, or any other court in Africa, or
even at that time at the virtuous and formal court of queen Charlotte
of England, as the spouse of Captain Clapperton, of the royal navy of
Great Britain.

Clapperton was now convinced that the widow was beginning to carry
the joke a little too far, for she assured him, that she should
commence immediately to pack up all her property, and accompany him
to his native country, assuring him, at the same time, that she felt
within herself every requisite qualification to make him a good,
_active,_ and affectionate wife. Clapperton, however, was by no means
disposed to enter so suddenly into a matrimonial speculation, and he
began to look rather serious at the offer which was so unexpectedly,
but so lovingly made to him. This being observed by the widow, she
sent for her looking-glass, and after having taken a full examination
of herself, in every position which the glass would allow her, she
offered it to Clapperton, observing, that certainly she was a little
older than he was, but that circumstance, in her opinion, should not
operate as a bar to their matrimonial union. This was rather too much
for Clapperton to endure, and, taking the first opportunity, he made
his retreat with all possible expedition, determining never to come
to such close quarters again with the amorous widow.

On his arrival at his residence, Clapperton could not refrain from
laughing at his adventure with the African widow, and informed
Lander, that he had now an opportunity of establishing himself for
life; for although he had rejected the matrimonial advances of the
widow, there was little doubt, that, rather than not obtain a
husband, she would not hesitate to make the offer of her hand to any
other white man, who might present himself. Lander, however, was
still more averse from matrimony than his master, at least with the
African beauty; and although a frequent invitation was sent to him,
yet he very politely declined the acceptance of it, and therefore, as
far as the Europeans were concerned, the widow remained without a
husband.

Lander gives us no very flattering account of the character of the
inhabitants. In the town of Wawa, which is supposed to contain 20,000
inhabitants, he does not believe the virtue of chastity to exist.
Even the widow Zuma let out her female slaves for hire, like the rest
of the people of the town. Drinking is the prevailing vice amongst
all classes, nor is it confined to the male sex, for Clapperton was
for three or four days pestered by the governor's daughter, who used
to come several times during the day, painted and bedizened in the
highest style of Wawa fashion, but she was always half tipsy. This
lady, like the widow, had also a design upon the hearts of the
Europeans. On some of these occasions, she expressed her extreme
readiness to prolong her visit during the whole of the night, but
Clapperton informed her, that at night he was employed in prayer, and
looking at the stars, an occupation which she could not comprehend;
and further he told her, that he never drank any thing stronger than
_wa-in-zafir,_ a name which they give to tea, literally, however,
being hot water. Not being able to soften the obdurate heart of
Clapperton, nor to wean him from the unsociable habit of looking at
the stars at night, she always left him with a flood of tears.

In this part of Borgoo, as well as in the neighbourhood of Algi, and
in all the countries between them and the sea, that Lander passed
through, he met with tribes of Fellatas, nearly white, who are not
moslem, but pagan. "They are certainly," he says, "the same people,
as they speak the same language, and have the same features and
colour, except those who have crossed with the negro. They are as
fair as the lower class of Portuguese or Spaniards, lead a pastoral
life, shifting from place to place as they find grass for their
horned cattle, and live in temporary huts of reeds or long grass."

From Wawa there are two roads leading to the Fellata country, one by
Youri, the other through Nyffee. The former was reported to be
unsafe, the sultan of the country being out, fighting the Fellatas.
The latter crosses the Quorra at Comie, and runs direct to Koolfu, in
Nyffee. It was necessary, however, for Clapperton to proceed in the
first instance to Boussa, to visit its sultan, to whom all this part
of Borgoo is nominally subject. They were also particularly anxious
to see the spot where Park and his companions perished, and, if
possible, to recover their papers.

Leaving Wawa at daybreak on the 30th March, the travellers passed
over a woody country, and at length entered a range of low rocky
hills, composed of pudding stone. At the end of an opening in the
range was a beautiful sugar loaf mountain, overlooking all the rest,
and bearing from the village half a mile E. S. E. The name of Mount
George was given to it by Clapperton. The valleys were cultivated
with yams, corn, and maize; and on the same day the travellers
arrived at Ingum, the first village belonging to Boussa, situated on
the north-eastern side of the hills. At four hours from Ingum, they
halted at a village of the Cumbrie or Cambric, an aboriginal race of
kaffirs, inhabiting the woods on both sides of the river. About an
hour further, they arrived at the ferry over the Menai, where it
falls into another branch of the Quorra, and in about a quarter of an
hour's ride from the opposite bank, they entered the western gate of
Boussa. The walls, which appeared very extensive, were undergoing
repair. Bands of male and female slaves, singing in chorus,
accompanied by a band of drums and flutes, were passing to and from
the river, to mix the clay they were building with. Every great man
had his own part of the wall to build, like the Jews when they built
the walls of Jerusalem, every one opposite to his own house.

The city of Boussa is situated on an island formed by the Quorra, in
latitude 10° 14' N. longitude 6° 11' E. It stands nearest the
westernmost branch of the Menai, which is about twenty yards in
breadth, and runs with a slow and sluggish current. The place pointed
out to Lander as the spot where Park perished, is in the eastern
channel. A low flat island about a quarter of a mile in breadth, lies
between the town of Boussa and the fatal spot, which is in a line
from the sultan's house with a double trunked tree, with white bark,
standing singly on the low flat island. The bank, at the time of
Lander's visit, was only ten feet above the level of the stream,
which here breaks over a great slate rock, extending quite across to
the eastern shore, which rises into gentle hills of grey slate,
thinly scattered with trees.

The following statement of the circumstances attending the lamented
fate of Mr. Park, was given to the travellers by an eyewitness, and
together with all the information which they could collect, tallies
with the story, disbelieved at the time, which Isaaco brought back
from Amadi Fatooma. The informant stated "that when the boat came
down the river, it happened unfortunately just at the time that the
Fellatas had risen in arms, and were ravaging Goober and Zamfra; that
the sultan of Boussa, on hearing that the persons in the boat were
white men, and that it was different from any that had ever been seen
before, as she had a house at one end, called his people together
from the neighbouring towns, attacked and killed them, not doubting
they were the advanced guard of the Fellata army, then ravaging
Soudan, under the command of Malem Danfodio, the father of sultan
Bello. That one of the white men was a tall man, with long hair; that
they fought for three days before they were all killed, that the
people in the neighbourhood were very much alarmed, and great numbers
fled to Nyffee, and other countries, thinking that the Fellatas were
certainly coming amongst them; that the number of persons in the boat
were only four, two white men and two black; that they found great
treasure in the boat, but that the people had all died, who ate of
the meat that was found on board."

This meat according to another native informant, was believed on that
account to be human flesh, for they knew, it was added, that we white
men eat human flesh. Lander afterwards received the following
additional information from a mallam or priest, whom he met with at
Wawa, and who tendered it spontaneously. "The sultan of Youri advised
your countrymen to proceed the remainder of the way on land, as the
passage by water was rendered dangerous by numerous sunken rocks in
the Niger, and a cruel race of people inhabiting the towns on its
banks." They refused, however, to accede to this, observing that they
were bound to proceed down the Niger to the salt water. The old
mallam further observed, that as soon as the sultan of Youri heard of
their death, he was much affected, but it was out of his power to
punish the people, who had driven them into the water. A pestilence
reached Boussa at the time, swept off the king and most of the
habitants, particularly those who were concerned in the transaction.
The remainder fancying it was a judgment of the white man's God,
placed everything belonging to the Christians in a hut, and set it on
fire. It is not a little remarkable, that it is now a common saying,
all through the interior of Africa, "Do not hurt a Christian, for if
you do, you will die like the people of Boussa." On Clapperton
waiting on the sultan of Boussa, he was as usual very kindly
received; his first inquiry was concerning some white men, who were
lost in the river, some twenty years ago, near this place.

The sultan appeared rather uneasy at these inquiries, and it was
observed that he stammered in his speech. He assured both Clapperton
and Lander, that he had not any thing in his possession belonging to
the white men, and that he was a little boy when the event happened.
Clapperton told him that he wanted nothing but the books and papers,
and to learn from him a correct account of the manner of their death;
and, with the sultan's permission, he would go and visit the place
where they were lost. To this request, the sultan gave a decided
refusal, alleging that it was a very bad place. Clapperton, however,
having heard that part of the boat remained, inquired if such were
really the case; to which the sultan replied, that there was no truth
whatever in the report; that she did remain on the rocks for some
time after, but had gone to pieces and floated down the river long
ago. Clapperton told the sultan, that, if he would give him the books
and papers, it would be the greatest favour he could possibly confer
on him. The sultan again assured him, that nothing remained with him;
every thing of books or papers having gone into the hands of the
learned men; but that, if any were in existence, he would procure
them, and give them to him. Clapperton then asked him, if he would
allow him to inquire of the old people in the town the particulars of
the affair, as some of them must have witnessed the transaction. The
sultan appeared very uneasy, and as he did not return any answer,
Clapperton did not press him further at that time upon the subject.

Some unpleasant suspicions floating on the mind of Clapperton, he
took the first opportunity of returning to the subject, and on again
inquiring about the papers of his unfortunate countryman, the sultan
said, that the late iman, a Fellata, had had possession of all the
books and papers, and that he had fled from Boussa some time since.
This, therefore, was a death-blow to all future inquiries in that
quarter, and the whole of the information concerning the affair of
the boat, her crew, and cargo, was indefinite and unsatisfactory.
Every one, in fact, appeared uneasy when any information was
required; and they always stifled any further inquiry by vaguely
answering, that it happened before their remembrance, or they had
forgotten it, or they had not seen it. They, however, pointed out the
place where the boat struck and the unfortunate crew perished. Even
this, however, was done with caution, and as if by stealth, although
in every thing unconnected with that affair, they were most ready to
give the travellers whatever information they required, and in no
part of Africa were they treated with greater hospitality and
kindness.

The place where the vessel was sunk is in the eastern channel, where
the river breaks over a grey slate rock extending quite across it. A
little lower down, the river had a fall of three or four feet. Here,
and still further down, the whole united streams of the Quorra were
not above three-fourths the breadth of the Thames at Somerset-house.

On returning to the ferry, Clapperton found a messenger from the king
of Youri, who had sent him a present of a camel.

The messenger stated, that the king, before he left Youri, had shown
him two books, very large and printed, that had belonged to the white
men, who were lost in the boat at Boussa; that he had been offered
one hundred and seventy mitgalls of gold for them, by a merchant from
Bornou, who had been sent by a Christian on purpose for them.
Clapperton advised him to tell the king that he ought to have sold
them, for that he would not give five mitgalls for them; but that, if
he would send them, he would give him an additional present, and that
he would be doing an acceptable thing to the king of England by
sending them, and that he would not act like a king, if he did not.
Clapperton gave the messenger, for his master, one of the mock gold
chains, a common sword, and ten yards of silk, adding that he would
give him a handsome gun and some more silk, if he would send the
books. On asking the messenger, if there were any books like his
journal, which he showed him, he said there was one, but that his
master had given it to an Arab merchant ten years ago; the merchant,
however, was killed by the Fellatas, on his way to Kano, and what had
become of that book afterwards, he did not know.

Upon this, Clapperton sent a person with a letter to Youri. Mohammed,
the Fezzaner, whom he had hired at Tabra, and whom he had sent to the
chief of Youri for the books and papers of the late Mungo Park,
returned, bringing him a letter from that person, which contained the
following account of the death of that unfortunate traveller. That
not the least injury was done to him at Youri, or by the people of
that country; that the people of Boussa had killed them, and taken
all their riches; that the books in his possession were given him by
the iman of Boussa; that they were lying on the top of the goods in
the boat when she was taken; that not a soul was left alive belonging
to the boat; that the bodies of two black men were found in the boat,
chained together; that the white men jumped overboard; that the boat
was made of two canoes joined fast together, with an awning or roof
behind; that he, the sultan, had a gun, double barrelled, and a
sword, and two books, that had belonged to those in the boat; that he
would give the books whenever Clapperton went himself to Youri for
them, but not until then.

This is, however, not exactly what the sultan says, in his letter, of
which the following is a translation:--


"This is issued from the prince or lord of Yaoury to Abdallah, the
English captain--salutation and esteem. Hence your messenger has
arrived, and brought us your letter, and we understand what you
write; you inquire about a thing that has no trace with us. The
prince or lord of Boossy is older (or greater) than us, because he is
our grandfather. Why did you not inquire of him about what you wish
for? You were at Boossy, and did not inquire of the inhabitants what
was the cause of the destruction of the ship and your friends, nor
what happened between them of evil; but you do now inquire of one who
is far off, and knows nothing of the cause of their (the Christians')
destruction.

"As to the book, which is in our hand, it is true, and we did not
give it to your messenger; but we will deliver it to you, if you come
and show us a letter from your lord. You shall then see and have it,
if God be pleased; and much esteem and salam be to you, and prayer
and peace unto the last of the apostles!

"MAHOMMED"


This may be considered as the conclusion of the information which was
obtained respecting the fate of Park; although Clapperton expresses
it to be his opinion, but founded on very slender grounds, that the
journal of Park is yet to be recovered.

On leaving Boussa, Clapperton retraced his steps to the Cumbrie
villages, and then turned to the south-south-west to another of their
villages, named Songa, situated on the banks of the Quorra. About two
hours above Songa, there is a formidable cataract, "where," Lander
observes, "if Park had passed Boussa in safety, he would have been in
danger of perishing, unheard and unseen." An hour and a half below
Songa, the Quorra rushes with great force through a natural gap, such
it seems to be, between porphyritic rocks rising on each side of the
channel. Between Songa and this place, the river is full of rocky
islets and rapids, and these occur occasionally all the way down to
Wonjerque, or the king's ferry at the village of Comie, where it is
all in one stream, about a quarter of a mile in width, and ten or
twelve feet deep in the middle. This is the great ferry of all the
caravans to and from Nyffee, Houssa, and is only a few hours from
Wawa.

On reaching this ferry, Clapperton was told, that, so far from his
baggage having been sent on to Koolfu, it had been stopped at Wawa,
by order of the governor; but this extraordinary proceeding was in
some degree accounted for, as it appeared that although neither
Clapperton nor Lander would have any thing to do with the corpulent
widow Zuma, she was determined not to let them off so easily, and, to
their great surprise, the travellers heard that she was at a
neighbouring village, from which she sent them a present of some
boiled rice and a fowl, giving them, at the same time, a pressing
invitation to come and stop at her house. The governor's son informed
Clapperton, that his baggage would not be allowed to leave Wawa till
the widow Zuma was sent back. "What the d---l have I to do with the
widow?" asked Clapperton.--"You have," he replied; "and you must come
back with me and take her." Clapperton, however, refused, in the most
positive terms, to have any thing to do with or to say to her. At
this moment Lander returned from Boussa, whither he had followed his
master, to acquaint him with the detention of his baggage; all of
which was owing to the widow having left Wawa about half an hour
after he did, with drums beating before her, and a train after her,
first calling at his lodgings, before she waited on the governor.
It was also ascertained that she had given old Pascoe a female slave
for a wife, without having previously asked the governor's
permission. The widow had also intimated her intention to follow the
travellers to Kano, whence she would return to make war on the
governor, as she had done once before. "This," said Clapperton, "let
me into their politics with a vengeance; it would indeed have been a
fine end to my journey, if I had deposed old Mahommed, and set up for
myself, with a walking tun-butt for a queen." Clapperton, however,
determined to go back to Wawa, to release his baggage; and scarcely
had he got there, when the arrival of the buxom widow was announced,
her appearance and escort being as grand as she could make it, hoping
thereby to make an impression upon the flinty hearts of the
Europeans. The following is the description of her dress and
escort:-- Preceding her marched a drummer, beating the instrument with
all his power, his cap being profusely decked with ostrich feathers.
A bowman walked on foot, at the head of her horse, a long train
following, consisting of tall, strong men, armed with spears, bows,
and swords. She rode on a fine horse, whose trappings were of the
first order for this semi-civilized country; the head of the horse
was ornamented with brass-plates, the neck with brass bells, and
charms sewed in various coloured leather, such as red, green, and
yellow; a scarlet breast-piece, with a brass plate in the centre;
scarlet saddle-cloth, trimmed with lace. She was dressed in red silk
trousers and morocco boots; on her head a white turban, and over her
shoulders a mantle of silk and gold. For the purpose of properly
balancing her ponderous frame on the horse, she rode in the style of
the men, a-straddle; and perhaps a more unwieldy mass never pressed
upon the loins of an animal; had she, however, been somewhat younger,
and less corpulent, there might have been some temptation to head her
party, for she certainly had been a very handsome woman, and such as
would have been thought a beauty in any country in Europe.

The widow was summoned before the governor; went on her knees, and,
after a lecture on disobedience and vanity, was dismissed; but on
turning her back, she shook the dust off her feet with great
indignation and contempt; "and," says Clapperton, "I went home,
determined never to be caught in such a foolish affair in future."

The travellers, having secured their baggage, returned to the ferry,
and crossed the Quorra. They were now on the high-road to Koolfu, the
emporium of Nyffee. In the course of the first two stages, they came
to two villages full of blacksmiths' shops, with several forges in
each. They got their iron ore from the hills, which they smelt, where
they dig it. In every village they saw a fetish house in good repair,
adorned with painted figures of human beings, as also the boa, the
alligator, and the tortoise. The country is well cultivated with
corn, yams, and cotton; but the ant-hills were the highest the
travellers had ever seen, being from fifteen to twenty feet high, and
resembling so many gothic cathedrals in miniature.

In the afternoon of the third day, they crossed a stream called the
May Yarrow, opposite the town of Tabra, by a long narrow wooden
bridge of rough branches covered with earth, the first that they had
seen in Africa; it will not, however, bear a man and horse, nor can
two horses pass at once. Tabra, which is divided by the river into
two quarters, was at this time the residence of the queen-mother of
Nyffee, who was governor _ad interim_ during the absence of her son.
It may contain from eighteen to twenty thousand inhabitants, who,
with a few exceptions, are pagans, and they all, men and women, have
the reputation of being great drunkards. There are only a few
blacksmiths here, but a great number of weavers. The Houssa caravans
pass close to the north side of the town, but seldom enter it. Before
the civil war began, the Benin people came here to trade. The war,
which was still raging, originated in a dispute for the succession,
between Mohammed El Majia, the son of the queen-mother, who was a
moslem, and Edrisi, who was represented to be a pagan. The former was
supported by the Fellatas, whom the people of Nyffee cannot endure;
the other had the best right and the people on his side, but there
was little doubt of his being obliged to succumb.

Clapperton, accompanied by Lander, repaired to the camp, to pay his
respects to El Majia. He was found mounted on a good bay horse, the
saddle ornamented with pieces of silver and brass; the breastplate
with large silver plates hanging down from it, like what is
represented in the prints of Roman and eastern emperors on horseback.
He was a tall man, with a stupid expression of countenance, a large
mouth, and snagged teeth, which showed horribly, when he attempted a
smile. His dress consisted of a black velvet cap, with flaps over the
ears, and trimmed with red silk; a blue and white striped tobe, and
ragged red boots, part leather and part cloth; in his hand he bore a
black staff with a silver head, and a coast-made umbrella and sword
were carried by his slaves. Altogether his appearance was far from
being either kingly or soldier-like, and he displayed the most mean
degree of rapacity. He was the ruin of his country by his unnatural
ambition, and by calling in the Fellatas, who would remove him out of
the way the moment he is of no more use to them. Even then, he dared
not move without their permission. It was reported, and generally
believed, that he put to death his brother and two of his sons.
Through him the greater part of the industrious population of Nyffee
had either been killed, sold as slaves, or had fled from their native
country. Lander considered that it would have been an act of charity
to have removed him altogether.

The _sanson,_ or camp, was a large collection of bee-hive-shaped
huts, arranged in streets, and thatched with straw. But for the
number of horses feeding, and some picketed near the huts, the men
being all seen armed, and the drums beating, it might have been taken
for a populous and peaceful village. Here were to be seen weavers,
tailors, women spinning cotton, others reeling it off; some selling
_foofoo_ and _accassons,_ others crying yams and paste; little
markets at every green tree; holy men counting their beads, and
dissolute slaves drinking _wabum,_ palm wine. The king, when the
travellers went to take leave of him, was found in his hut,
surrounded by Fellatas, one of whom was reading the Koran aloud for
the benefit of the whole, the meaning of which not one of them
understood, not even the reader. It is by no means an uncommon
occurrence, both in Bornou and Houssa, for a man to be able to read
the Koran fluently, who does not understand a word in it but _Allah,_
and who is unable to read any other book.

On the 2nd of May the travellers left Tabra, and journeying along the
banks of the May Yarrow, crossed a stream running into it from the
north, and soon after entered the great market town of Koolfu.
Captain Clapperton, it would appear, was doomed to be brought into
contact with the rich widows of the country, for in this town he took
up his abode with the widow Laddie, huge, fat, and deaf, but reputed
to be very rich. She was a general dealer, selling salt, natron, et
cetera, et cetera, et cetera; but she was more particularly famous
for her _booza_ and _wabum._ The former is made from a mixture of
dourra, honey, chili-pepper, the root of a coarse grass on which the
cattle feed, and a proportion of water; these are allowed to ferment
in large earthen jars, placed near a slow fire for four or five days,
when the booza is drawn off into other jars, and is fit to drink. It
is very fiery and intoxicating, but is drunk freely both by moslem
and pagans. Every night, a large outer hut belonging to the widow,
was filled with the topers of Koolfu, who kept it up generally till
dawn, with music and drink. The former consisted of the erhab or Arab
guitar, the drum, the Nyffee harp, and the voice. Their songs were
mostly extempore, and alluded to the company present.

On the night of the travellers' arrival, the new moon was seen, which
put an end to the fast of Rhamadan. It was welcomed both by moslems
and kaffirs with a cry of joy, and the next day, the town exhibited a
scene of general festivity. Every one was dressed in his best, paying
and receiving visits, giving and receiving presents, parading the
streets with horns, guitars, and flutes, whilst groupes of men and
women were seen seated under the shade at their doors, or under
trees, drinking _wabum_ or _booza._

The women were dressed and painted to the height of Nyffee fashion,
and the young and the modest on this day would come up and salute the
men, as if old acquaintance, and bid them joy on the day; with the
wool on their heads dressed, plaited, and dyed with indigo; their
eyebrows painted with indigo, the eyelashes with khol, the lips
stained yellow, the teeth red, and their feet and hands stained with
henna; their finest and gayest clothes on; all their finest beads on
their necks; their arms and legs adorned with bracelets of glass,
brass, and silver; their fingers with rings of brass, pewter, silver,
and copper; some had Spanish dollars soldered on the back of the
rings; they too drank of the booza and wabum as freely as the men,
joining in their songs, whether good or bad. In the afternoon parties
of men were seen dancing, free men and slaves, all were alike; not a
clouded brow was to be seen in Koolfu. But at nine in the evening,
the scene was changed from joy and gladness to terror and dismay: a
tornado had just begun, and the hum of voices, and the din of the
people putting their things under cover from the approaching storm,
had ceased at once. All was silent as death, except the thunder and
the wind. The cloudy sky appeared as if on fire, each cloud rolling
onwards as a sea of flame, and only surpassed in grandeur and
brightness by the forked lightning, which constantly seemed to ascend
and descend from what was then evidently the town of Bali on fire,
only a short distance outside the walls of Koolfu. When this was
extinguished a new scene began, if possible, worse than the first.
The wind had increased to a hurricane. Houses were  blown down;
Roofs of houses going along with the wind like chaff, the shady trees
in the town bending and breaking; and in the intervals between the
roaring of the thunder, nothing was heard but the war cry of the men
and the screams of women and children, as no one knew but that an
enemy was at hand, and that they should every instant share in the
fate of Bali. At last the rain fell, the fire at Bali had ceased by
the town being wholly burnt down, and all was quiet and silent, as if
the angel of extermination had brandished his sword over the devoted
country.

Koolfu or Koolfie stands on the northern bank of the May Garrow, and
contains from twelve to fifteen thousand inhabitants, including
slaves. It is built in the form of an oblong square, surrounded with
a clay wall, about twenty feet high, with four gates. There are a
great number of dyers, tailors, blacksmiths, and weavers, but all
these, together with the rest of the townsfolk, are engaged in
traffic. There are besides the daily market, general markets every
Monday and Saturday, which are resorted to by traders from all
quarters: Youriba, Borgoo, Soccatoo, Houssa, Nyffee, and Benin.
The caravans from Bornou and Houssa, which halt at Koolfu a
considerable time, bring horses, natron, unwrought silk, silk cord,
beads, Maltese swords from Bengazi, remounted at Kano; clothes made
up in the moorish fashion, Italian looking glasses, such as sell for
one penny and upwards at Malta, tobes undyed, made in Bornou, khol
for the eyelids, a small quantity of attar of roses, much
adulterated, gums from Mecca, silks from Egypt, moorish caps, and
slaves. The latter who are intended for sale, are confined in the
house mostly in irons, and are seldom allowed to go out of it, except
to the well or river every morning to wash. They are strictly guarded
on a journey, and chained neck to neck, or else tied neck to neck by
a long rope of raw hide, and carry loads on their heads, consisting
of their master's goods or household stuff; these loads are generally
from fifty to sixty pounds weight. A stranger may remain a long time
in a town without seeing any of the slaves, except by accident or by
making a particular inquiry. Although professedly moslem, religion
had not yet moulded the society of the Koolfuans into the usual
gloomy monotony, nor had it succeeded in secluding or subjecting the
female sex, who on the contrary, were the most active agents in every
mercantile transaction. In the widow Laddie's house, no fewer than
twenty-one of these female merchants were lodged at the same time
that Clapperton and Lander took up their abode with her, and it may
be easily supposed, that the Europeans led a most pleasant life of
it. An African hut is by no means at any time an abode which an
European would covet, but in addition to the suffocating heat, the
mosquitoes, and many other nameless inconveniences, to be congregated
with twenty or thirty females, not carrying about them the most
delicious odour in the world, and making the welkin ring again with
their discordant screams, there denominated singing, is a
consummation by no means devoutly to be wished. In addition to other
nuisances, the organ of amativeness, as the phrenologists would have
it, was strongly developed in some of the skulls of the ladies, and
displayed themselves in their actions towards the Europeans, who not
being disposed to return their amorous advances, often made a
precipitate retreat out of the hut, not being aware at the time that
by avoiding Sylla, they ran a great risk of failing into Charybdis.
The widow Laddie, although huge, fat, and deaf, was by no means of a
cold, phlegmatic or saturnine disposition--many a wistful look she
cast towards Lander, but he either would not or could not comprehend
their meaning, and to punish him for his stupidity, she took care
that he should not comprehend any of the significant glances, which
were cast towards him by the more juvenile portion of the community.
To protect him from this danger, the kind widow attended him
whithersoever he went, to the great annoyance of Lander, who, in
order to escape from such a living torment, betook himself to a more
distant part of the town, or explored its vicinity, although very
little presented itself to attract his immediate attention.

The following is the manner in which the good people of Koolfu fill
up the twenty-four hours. At daylight, the whole household rise. The
women begin to clean the house, the men to wash from head to foot;
the women and children are then washed in water, in which has been
boiled the leaf of a bush called _bambarnia._ When this is done,
breakfast of cocoa is served out, every one having their separate
dish, the women and children eating together. After breakfast, the
women and children rub themselves over with the pounded red wood and
a little grease, which lightens the darkness of the black skin. A
score or patch of the red powder is put on some place, where it will
show to the  best advantage. The eyes are blacked with khol. The
mistress and the better-looking females stain their teeth, and the
inside of the lips, of a yellow colour, with goora, the flower of the
tobacco plant, and the bark of a root; the outer parts of the lips,
hair, and eyebrows are stained with _shunt,_ or prepared indigo. Then
the women, who attend the market, prepare their wares for sale, and
when ready, set off, ten or twelve in a party, and following each at
a stated distance. Many of these trains are seen, and their step is,
so regular, that if they had been drilled by a sergeant of the
foot-guards in England, they could not perform their motions with
greater exactitude. The elderly women prepare, clean, and spin cotton
at home, and cook the victuals; the younger females are generally
sent round the town, selling the small rice balls, fried beans, &c.,
and bringing  back a supply of water for the day. The master of the
house generally takes a walk to the market, or sits in the shade at
the door of his hut, hearing the news, or speaking of the price of
natron or other goods. The weavers are daily employed at their trade;
some are sent to cut wood, and bring it to market; others to bring
grass for the horses that may belong to the house, or to take to the
market to sell. A number of people at the commencement of the rainy
season, are employed in clearing the ground for sowing the maize and
millet, some are sent on distant journeys to buy and sell for their
master or mistress, and they very rarely betray their trust. About
noon, they return home, when all have a mess of the pudding called
_tvaki,_ or boiled beans. About two or three in the afternoon, they
return to their different employments, on which they remain until
near sunset, when they count their gains to their master or mistress,
who receives it, and puts it carefully away in their strong room.
They then have a meal of pudding, and a little fat or stew. The
mistress of the house, when she goes to rest, has her feet put into a
cold poultice of the pounded henna leaves. The young then go to dance
and play, if it be moonlight, and the old to lounge and converse in
the open square of the house, or in the outer _coozie,_ where they
remain until the cool of the night, or till the approach of morning
drives them into shelter.

The majority of the inhabitants of Koolfu are professedly
Mahommedans; the rest are pagans, who once a year, in common with the
other people of Nyffee, repair to a high hill in one of the southern
provinces, on which they sacrifice a black bull, a black sheep, and a
black dog. On their fetish houses are sculptured, as in Youriba, the
lizard, the crocodile, the tortoise, and the boa, with sometimes
human figures. Their language is a dialect of the Youribanee, but the
Houssa is that of the market. They are civil, but the truth is not in
them; and to be detected in a lie is not the smallest disgrace; it
only causes a laugh. The men drink very hard, even the Mahommedans
and the women are not particularly celebrated for their chastity,
although they succeeded in cheating both Clapperton and Lander; they
were not, however, robbed of a single article, and they were
uniformly treated with perfect respect. The people seem, indeed, by
no means devoid of kindness of disposition. When the town of Bali was
burned down, every person sent next day what they could spare of
their goods, to assist the unfortunate inhabitants. In civilized
England, when a fire takes place, thieving and robbery are the order
of the day, but during the conflagration at Bali, not an article was
stolen.

To their domestic slaves, they behave with the greatest humanity,
looking upon them almost as children of the family. The males are
often freed, and the females given in marriage to free men, or to
other domestic slaves. The food of the slave and the free is nearly
the same. The greatest man or woman in the country is not ashamed, at
times, to let the slaves eat of the same dish; but a woman is never
allowed to eat with a man. With a people, who have neither
established law nor government, it is surprising that they are so
good and moral as they are; it is true, they will cheat if they can,
but amongst the civilized nations, who have both laws and government,
cheating is by no means a rare occurrence, and by those too, who are
the loudest in the professions of their honesty and integrity.

The country round Koolfu is a level plain, well cultivated, and
studded with little walled towns and villages along the banks of the
May Yarrow, and of a little river running into it from the north.
Between the walled towns of Bullabulla and Rajadawa, the route passed
through plantations of grain, indigo, and cotton; the soil clay mixed
with sand, with here and there large blocks of sandstone, containing
nodules of iron and veins of iron-stone.

At five days from Koolfu, the route entered at the town of Wazo, or
Wazawo, the district of Koteng Koro, formerly included in Kashna; and
for another five days' journey through a rich and beautiful valley,
and over woody hills, the travellers reached Womba, a large walled
town, where the caravans both from the east and the west generally
halt a day or two, and where, as at Wazo, a toll is levied on
merchandise. The town stands on a rising ground, at the eastern head
of a valley watered by a small stream, having three bare rocky hills
of granite to the north, east, and south. The inhabitants may amount
to between ten and twelve thousand souls. The travellers were here
objects of much kindness; the principal people of the place sent
presents, and the lower ranks sought to obtain a sight of them by
mounting the trees which overlooked their residence. The Koran does
not seem to have much embarrassed these people; their only mode of
studying it was to have the characters written with a black substance
on a piece of board, then to wash them off and drink the water; and
when asked what spiritual benefit could be derived from the mere
swallowing of dirty water, they indignantly retorted, "What! do you
call the name of God dirty water?" This mode of imbibing sacred truth
is indeed extensively pursued throughout the interior of the African
continent.

On the second day from Womba, the travellers passed through another
large and populous town, called Akinjie, where also kafilas pay toll;
beyond which, the route lay for two days over a very hilly country,
for the most part covered with wood, and but little cultivated, till
they approached Guari.

This town, the capital of a district of the same name, formerly
included in Kashna, is built partly on a hill, and partly in a narrow
valley, through which runs a muddy stream, that is dry in summer;
this stream, the source of which is only a day's journey distant,
divides in one part the states of Kotong Kora and Guari, and falls
into the Kodonia in Nyffee. The district of Guari was conquered by
the Fellatas, in a short time after their rising, together with the
rest of Houssa. On the death of old Bello, the father of the then
reigning sovereign, these districts, with the greater part of Kashna,
joined in the towia, or confederacy, against the Fellatas. The chief
of Zamfra was the first to shake the spear of rebellion, and he was
soon joined by the natives of Goober, and the northern parts of
Kashna, by Guari and Kotong Kora, and at length by the states of
Youri, Cubbi, Doura, and the southern part of Zeg Zeg. The strength
of Youri is said to lie in the bravery of its inhabitants, and the
number of horse they can bring into the field, amounting to a
thousand. Clapperton was, however, disposed to place their real
strength in the hilly and woody nature of their country.

Futika, the frontier town of Zeg Zeg, was reached on the second day
from Guari; and at Zaria, where the travellers arrived on the fourth,
they found themselves in a city almost wholly peopled by Fellatas,
who have mosques with minarets, and live in flat-roofed houses. The
population is said to exceed that of Kano, and must contain above
fifty thousand inhabitants. A great number of the inhabitants are
from Foota Ronda and Foota Torra, the Foulahs and Fellatas being, in
fact, the same people. The people from the west professed to be well
acquainted with both the English and the French, and they rattled
over the names of the towns between Sierra Leone and the Senegal and
Timbuctoo. They were armed with French fusees, preferring the guns of
the French and the powder of the English.

The old city of Zaria was taken by the Fellatas, within a month after
they had made themselves masters of the provinces of Goober and
Zamfra, about thirty years ago. It took a siege of two days, when it
was evacuated by the sultan and the greater part of the inhabitants,
who took refuge in hills south and west, where they still maintain
their independence, though subject to the continual attacks of the
Fellatas. The old city is now known only by its ruined walls,
surrounding some high mounds, which were in the centre of the
enclosed area. The new city, built by the Fellatas, to the south-east
of the old, consists of a number of little villages and detached
houses, scattered over an extensive area, surrounded with high clay
walls. Near the centre of the wall stands the principal mosque, built
of clay, with a minaret nearly fifty feet high. On entering one of
the western gates, instead of finding houses, the travellers could
but just see the tops of some of them over the growing grain, at
about a quarter of a mile distance; all was walled fields full of
dhourra, with here and there a horse tethered in the open space.

The province of Zeg Zeg is the most extensive in the kingdom of
Houssa, and both Kashna and Kano were at one time tributary to its
sovereigns. The name of the country appears to be also given to the
capital, and is possibly derived from it. It must, however, be
observed that Lander mentions Zaria only by the name of Zeg Zeg.
Prior to the Fellata conquest, Islamism is said to have been unknown
in Zeg Zeg, and the southern part is still in the possession of
various pagan tribes, whose country is called Boushir or Boushi, that
is, the infidel country, and is said to extend to the ocean.

The country in the vicinity of the capital, Zaria, is clear of wood,
and is all either in pasture or under cultivation. Its appearance at
this season resembled some of the finest counties in England at the
latter end of April. It was beautifully variegated with hill and
dale, like the most romantic parts of England; was covered with
luxuriant crops and rich pastures, and produced the best rice grown
in any part of that continent. Rows of tall trees, resembling
gigantic avenues of poplar, extended from hill to hill. Zaria, like
many other African cities, might be considered as a district of
country surrounded with walls.

After passing several towns at the distance of short stages, the
travellers, on the fourth day from Zaria, entered, at the town of
Dunchow, the province of Kano. A highly cultivated and populous
country extends from this place to Baebaejie, the next stage. This
town stands in an extensive plain, stretching towards the north till
lost in the horizon. The two mounts inside the walls of Kano are just
distinguishable above the horizontal line, bearing north-east by
north. The hills of Nora are seen about ten miles east; to the south
are the mountains of Surem, distant about twenty-five miles, while to
the westward appear the tops of the hills of Aushin, in Zeg Zeg, over
which the route had passed. Small towns and villages are scattered
over the plain, and herds of fine white cattle were seen grazing on
the fallow ground. The inhabitants of Baebaejie, amounting to about
twenty or twenty-five thousand, are chiefly refugees from Bornou and
Waday, and their descendants, all engaged in trade. They appeared
cleanly, civil, and industrious. A broad and good road thronged with
passengers and loaded animals, led in another day's journey to Kano.



CHAPTER XXVII.

The travellers found the city of Kano in a state of dreadful
agitation. There was war on every side. Hostilities had been declared
between the king of Bornou and the Fellatas; the provinces of Zamfra
and Goober were in open insurrection; the Tuaricks threatened an
inroad; in short, there was not a quarter to which the merchants
durst send a caravan. Kano being nearly mid-way between Bornou and
Sockatoo, Clapperton left his baggage there, to be conveyed to the
former place on his return, and set out for the capital of the sultan
Bello, bearing only the presents destined for that prince. On his way
he found numerous bands mustering to form an army for the attack of
Coonia, the rebel metropolis of Ghoober. The appearance of these
troops was very striking, as they passed along the borders of some
beautiful little lakes, formed by the river Zirmie.

The appearance of the country at this season was very beautiful; all
the acacia trees were in blossom, some with white flowers, others
with yellow, forming a contrast with the small dusky leaves, like
gold and silver tassels on a cloak of dark green velvet. Some of the
troops were bathing; others watering their horses, bullocks, camels,
and asses; the lake Gondamee as smooth as glass, and flowing around
the roots of the trees. The sun, in its approach to the horizon,
threw the shadows of the flowering acacias along its surface, like
sheets of burnished gold and silver. The smoking fires on its banks,
the sounding of horns, the beating of their gongs and drums, the
blowing of their brass and tin trumpets; the rude huts of grass or
branches of trees, rising as if by magic, everywhere the calls on the
names Mahomed, Abdo, Mustafa, &c., with the neighing of horses, and
the braying of asses, gave animation to the beautiful scenery of the
lake, and its sloping, green, and woody banks. The only regulation
that appears in these rude feudal armies is, that they take up their
ground according to the situation of the provinces, east, west,
north, or south; but all are otherwise huddled together, without the
least regularity.

The sultan was himself encamped with the forces from Sockatoo,
whither the travellers repaired to join him, and they arrived just in
time to be eye-witnesses of a specimen of the military tactics and
conduct of these much-dreaded Fellatas. This curious scene is thus
described:--

After the mid-day prayers, all except the eunuchs, camel-drivers, and
such other servants as were of use only to prevent theft, whether
mounted or on foot, marched towards the object of attack, and soon
arrived before the walls of the city. Clapperton accompanied them,
and took up his station close to the gadado. The march had been the
most disorderly that could be imagined; horse and foot intermingling
in the greatest confusion, all rushing to get forward; sometimes the
followers of one chief tumbling amongst those of another, when swords
were half unsheathed, but all ended in making a face, or putting on a
threatening aspect. They soon arrived before Coonia, the town not
being above half a mile in diameter, nearly circular, and built on
the banks of one of the branches of the liver, or lakes. Each chief,
as he came, took his station, which, it was supposed, had been
previously assigned to him. The number of fighting men brought before
the town could not be less than fifty or sixty thousand, horse and
foot, of which the latter amounted to more than nine-tenths. For the
depth of two hundred yards, all round the walls, was a dense circle
of men and horses. The horse kept out of bow-shot, while the foot
went up as they felt courage or inclination, and kept up a straggling
fire with about thirty muskets and the shooting of arrows. In front
of the sultan, the Zeg Zeg troops had one French fusee; the Kano
forces had forty-one muskets. These fellows, whenever they fired
their muskets, ran out of bow-shot to load; all of them were slaves;
not a single Fellata had a musket. The enemy kept up a slow and sure
fight, seldom throwing away their arrows, until they saw an
opportunity of letting fly with effect. Now and then a single
horseman would gallop up to the ditch, and brandish his spear, the
rider taking care to cover himself with his large leathern shield,
and return as fast as he went, generally calling out lustily, when he
got amongst his own party, "Shields to the walls! You people of the
gadado, (or atego, &c.) why do you not hasten to the wall?" To which
some voices would call out, "Oh, you have a good large shield to
cover you." The cry of "Shields to the wall!" was constantly heard
from the several chiefs to their troops; but they disregarded the
call, and neither chiefs nor vassals moved from the spot. At length
the men in quilted armour went up "per order." They certainly cut not
a bad figure at a distance, as their helmets were ornamented with
black and white ostrich feathers, and the sides of the helmets with
pieces of tin, which glittered in the sun; their long quilted cloaks
of gaudy colours reaching over part of their horses' tails, and
hanging over the flanks. On the neck, even the horses' armour was
notched or vandyked, to look like a mane; on his forehead, and over
his nose, was a brass or tin plate, also a semicircular piece on each
side. The rider was armed with a large spear, and he had to be
assisted to mount his horse, as his quilted cloak was too heavy; it
required two men to lift him on. There were six of them belonged to
each governor, and six to the sultan. It was at first supposed, that
the foot would take advantage of going under cover of these unwieldy
machines; but no, they went alone, as fast as the poor horses could
bear them, which was but a slow pace. They had one musket in Coonia,
and it did wonderful execution; for it brought down the van of the
quilted men, who fell from his horse like a sack of corn thrown from
a horse's back at a miller's door, but both horse and man were
brought off by two or three footmen. He got two balls through his
breast; one went through his body and both sides of the tobe; the
other went through and lodged in the quilted armour opposite the
shoulders.

The cry of "Allahu akber!" (God is great), the cry of the Fellatas,
was resounded through the whole army every quarter of an hour; but
neither this nor "Shields to the walls!" nor "Why do not the gadado's
people go up?" had any effect, except to produce a scuffle amongst
themselves, when the chiefs would have to ride up and part their
followers, who, instead of fighting against the enemy, were more
likely to fight with one another. At sunset, the besiegers drew off,
and the harmless campaign terminated in a desertion on the part of
the Zirmee troops, followed by a general retreat.

The flags of the Fellatas are white, like the French, and their staff
is a palm branch. They are not borne by men of honour, but by their
slaves. The sultan had six borne before him; each of the governors
had two. They also dress in white tobes and trousers, as an emblem of
their purity in faith and intention. The most useful personage in the
army, and as brave as any of them, was an old female slave of the
sultan's, a native of Zamfra, five of whose former governors, she
said, she had nursed. She was of a dark copper colour, in dress and
countenance very much like a female esquimaux. She was mounted on a
long-backed bright bay horse, with a scraggy tail, crop-eared, and
the mane, as if the rats had eaten part of it, nor was it very high
in condition. She rode a-straddle, had on a conical straw dish-cover
for a hat, or to shade her face from the sun; a short, dirty, white
bed-gown, a pair of dirty white loose and wide trousers, a pair of
Houssa boots, which are wide, and come over the knee, fastened with a
string round the waist. She had also a whip and spurs. At her
saddle-bow hung about half a dozen gourds filled with water, and a
brass basin to drink out of, and with this she supplied the wounded
and the thirsty.

The army being disbanded, Clapperton obtained permission of the
sultan to proceed to Sockatoo, where he found every thing ready for
his reception, in the house, which he had occupied on his former
visit. The traveller, however, found an entire change in the feelings
of kindness and cordiality towards himself, which had been so
remarkably displayed in the previous journey. Jealousy had began to
fester in the breasts of the African princes. They dreaded some
ambitious design in these repeated expeditions sent out by England,
without any conceivable motive; for that men should undertake such
long journeys, out of mere curiosity, they could never imagine. The
sultan Bello had accordingly received a letter from the court of
Bornou, warning him that by this very mode of sending embassies and
presents, which the English were now following towards the states of
central Africa, they had made themselves masters of India, and
trampled on all its native princes. The writer therefore gave it as
his opinion, that the European travellers should immediately be put
to death. An alarm indeed had been spread through Sockatoo, that the
English were coming to invade Houssa. The sultan irritated doubtless
at the shameful result of his grand expedition against Coonia, felt
also another and more pressing fear. War had just broken out between
himself and the king of Bornou. Clapperton was on his way to visit
that prince, and had left six muskets at Kano, supposed to be
intended as presents to him; and six muskets in central Africa, where
the whole Fellata empire could scarcely muster forty, were almost
enough to turn the scale between those two great military powers.
Under the impulse of these feelings, Bello proceeded to steps not
exactly consistent with the character of a prince and a man of
honour. He demanded a sight of the letter which Clapperton was
conveying to the king of Bornou, and when this was, of course,
refused, he seized it by violence. Lander was induced by false
pretences to bring the baggage from Kano to Sockatoo, when forcible
possession was taken of the muskets. Clapperton loudly exclaimed
against these proceedings, declaring them to amount to the basest
robbery, to a breach of all faith, and to be the worst actions, of
which any man could be guilty. This was rather strong language to be
used to a sovereign, especially to one, who could at any moment have
cut off his head, and the prime ministers of the sultan dropped some
unpleasant hints, as if matters might come to that issue, though in
point of fact, the government did not proceed to any personal
outrage. On the contrary, Bello discovered an honourable anxiety to
explain his conduct, and to soothe the irritated feelings of the
traveller. He even wrote to him the following letter, which it must
be confessed, places the character of Bello in a very favourable
light.


"In the name of God, and praise be to God, &c. &c. To Abdallah
Clapperton, salutation and esteem. You are now our guest, and a guest
is always welcomed by us; you are the messenger of a king, and a
king's messenger is always honoured by us. You come to us under our
honour as an ambassador, and an ambassador is always protected by us.
There is no harm in the king's ministers sending you to the sheik
Kanemi, of Bornou, nor do we see any harm in your coming, when thus
sent. But when you formerly came to us from Bornou, peace was then
between us and the sheik; whereas there is now war between him and
ourselves; we cannot perceive any blame in our preventing warlike
stores being sent to him. We continue to maintain our faith with you,
and are ready to attend to all your wishes, because we consider you
as a trusty friend, and one who enjoys a high degree of esteem with
us. Do not encroach upon us, we will not encroach upon you; we have
rights to maintain, and you have also rights to be respected. And
Salam be to you."

(Signed as usual.)


It is difficult to conceive, why so reasonable and friendly a letter
should have failed to subdue the irritation of the traveller; this
cannot be accounted for only by his ill health, or by supposing that
he was not exactly conversant with its contents. It appears, however,
that the conduct of Bello had such an effect upon the spirits of
Clapperton, that Lander reports, he never saw him smile afterwards.
The strong constitution of Clapperton, had till this period enabled
him to resist all the baneful influence of an African climate. He had
recovered, though perhaps not completely, from the effects of the
rash exposure which had proved fatal to his two companions, but
subsequently when overcome with heat and fatigue he had lain down on
a damp spot in the open air, he was soon after seized with dysentery,
which continued to assume more alarming symptoms. Unable to rise from
his bed, and deserted by all his African friends, who saw him no
longer a favourite at court, he was watched with tender care by his
faithful servant Lander, who devoted his whole time to attendance on
his sick master. At length he called him to his bed-side, and said,
"Richard, I shall shortly be no more; I feel myself dying." Almost
choked with grief, Lander replied, "God forbid, my dear master--you
will live many years yet." Clapperton replied, "don't be so much
affected, my dear boy, I entreat you, it is the will of the Almighty,
it cannot be helped. I should have wished to live to have been of
further use to my country--and more, I should like to have died in my
native land--but it is my duty to submit." He then gave particular
directions as to the disposal of his papers, and of all that remained
of his property, to which the strictest attention was promised. "He
then," says Lander, "took my hand within his, and looking me full in
the face, while a tear stood glistening in his eye, said in a low but
deeply affecting tone, 'My dear Richard, if you had not been with me,
I should have died long ago. I can only thank you with my latest
breath for your kindness and attachment to me, and if I could have
lived to return with you, you should have been placed beyond the
reach of want, but God will reward you.'" He survived some days, and
appeared even to rally a little, but one morning, Lander was alarmed
by a peculiar rattling sound in his throat, and hastening to the
bed-side found him sitting up, and staring wildly around; some
indistinct words quivered on his lips, he strove but ineffectually to
give them utterance, and expired without a struggle or a sigh.

Bello seems to have repented in some degree of his harsh conduct,
especially after the news arrived of a great victory gained by his
troops over the sultan of Bornou. He allowed Lander to perform the
funeral obsequies with every mark of respect, agreeably to the
sultan's own directions at Jungavie, a small village on a rising
ground, about five miles to the S. E. of Sockatoo. Lander performed
the last sad office of reading the English service over the remains
of his generous and intrepid master; a house was erected over his
grave;

"And he was left alone in his glory."



CHAPTER  XXVIII.

Lander may now be said to be in the interior of Africa, a solitary
wanderer, dependent entirely on his own resources, at the same time
that he received from sultan Bello, all the requisite means to enable
him to return to his native country, allowing him to choose his own
road, though advising him to prefer that which led through the great
Desert, but Lander having already had many dealings with the Arabs,
preferred the track through the negro countries.

On arriving at Kano, on his return route, Lander formed a spirited
and highly laudable design, which proved him to be possessed of a
mind much superior to his station, and this was nothing less than an
attempt to resolve the great question, respecting the termination of
the Niger, which he hoped to effect by proceeding to Funda, and
thence to Benin by water. Striking off to the eastward of the route,
on which, in company with his late master, he had reached Kano, he
passed several walled towns, all inhabited by natives of Houssa,
tributary to the Fellatas, and early on the third day from Bebajie,
(as he spells it,) arrived at the foot of a high craggy mountain,
called Almena, from a ruined town said to have been built by a queen
of the Fantee nation, some five hundred years ago. Mahomet, Lander's
servant, who had travelled far and near, and knew all the traditions
of the country, gave the following story:--About five hundred years
ago, a queen of the Fantee nation having quarrelled with her husband
about a golden stool, in other words, we presume about the throne,
probably after her husband's death, fled from her dominions with a
great number of her subjects, and built a large town at the foot of
this mountain, which she called Almena, from which it took its name.
The town, according Lander, was surrounded with a stone wall, as the
ruins plainly attest. The M. S. account of Tukroor evidently alludes
to the same personage. The first who ruled over them, that is the
seven provinces of Houssa, was, as it is stated, Amenah, daughter of
the prince of Zag Zag, (Zeg Zeg?) She conquered them by the force of
her sword, and subjected them, including Kashna and Kano, to be her
tributaries. She fought and took possession of the country of
Bowsher, till she reached the coast of the ocean on the right hand,
and west side. She died at Atagara.

The gigantic blocks of granite forming the mountain Almena, fearfully
piled on each other, and seeming ready to fall, are described as
resembling the rocks near the Logan stone in Cornwall, but on a scale
infinitely larger. To the eastward, a range of high hills was seen
stretching from north to south, as far as the eye could reach, and
Lander was informed that they extended to the salt water. They were
said to be inhabited by a savage race of people called Yamyams, that
is cannibals, who had formerly carried on an extensive traffic with
the Houssa men, bringing elephants' teeth, and taking in exchange red
cloth, beads, &c., but five years before, they had murdered a whole
kafila of merchants, and afterwards eaten them, since which time, the
Houssa people had been reasonably shy of dealing with them.

Sultan Bello informed Lander that he had ocular proof of the fact,
that these same people are in the practice of eating human flesh. The
sultan said, that on the governor of Jacoba telling him of these
people, he could scarcely believe it, but on a Tuarick being hanged
for theft, he saw five of these people eat a part, with which he was
so disgusted, that he sent them back to Jacoba soon after. He said,
that whenever a person complained of sickness amongst these men, even
though only a slight headache, he is killed instantly, for fear he
should be lost by death, as they will not eat a person that has died
by sickness; that the person falling sick is requested by some other
family, and repaid when they had a sick relation; that universally,
when they went to war, the dead and wounded were always eaten; that
the hearts were claimed by the head men, and that on asking them, why
they ate human flesh, they said, it was better than any other, that
they had no want or food, and that excepting this bad custom, they
were very cleanly, and otherwise not bad people, except that they
were kaffirs.

As far as the route of Lander had hitherto extended, all the streams
that were crossed had a north-westerly course, and on the fifth day,
he reached a large river running in the same direction called Accra.
On the following day proceeding S. W., he arrived at Nammalack, built
immediately under a mountain, which, rising almost perpendicularly,
forms a natural wall on the north-eastern side. It is thickly wooded
and abounds with thousands of hyenas, tiger cats, jackals, and
monkeys, who monopolize all the animal food in the neighbourhood, the
poor inhabitants not being able to keep a single bullock, sheep, or
goat.

For four hours beyond this town, Lander's route continued along the
foot of this range of mountains, in a continued direction of S. W.,
it then turned eastward through an opening in the range, and after
crossing one large and three small rivers, led to Fillindushie, the
frontier town of Catica. Lander speaks of the Catica or Bowchee
people as the same. This district must, therefore, belong to the
Bowchee country, which forms part of Zeg Zeg, according to the M. S.
account of Tackroor, apparently on the Boushy, that is infidel or
kirdy country, bordering on Yacoba.

The inhabitants of Catica are described as a fine handsome people,
with features not at all resembling those of the negro race, and very
similar to the European, but below the negroes in civilization,
without any clothing, filthy in person, disgusting in manners, and
destitute of natural affection; the parent selling his child with no
more remorse or repugnance than he would his chicken, yet at the same
time, by way of contrast, artless and good humoured. Their appearance
is extremely barbarous and repulsive. They rub red clay softened with
oil over their heads and bodies, and invariably wear a large
semicircular piece of blue glass in the upper and lower lip, with
ear-pendants of red wood. They make fetishes like the natives of
Yariba.

Turning again to the S. W., the route now led over a fine and rich
country, to a large river rolling to the N. W., called Coodoma
(Kadoma,) which  empties  itself into  the Quorra, near Funda. Lander
reached the north-eastern bank on the tenth day, and on the morrow
after three hours travelling reached Cuttup. Having heard on his
route many different reports of the wealth, population and celebrated
market of this place, he was surprised to find it to consist of
nearly five hundred villages, almost joining each other, occupying a
vast and beautiful plain, adorned with the finest trees. Amongst
these, the plantain, the palm, and the cocoa-nut tree, were seen
flourishing in great abundance, and the aspect of the country
strikingly resembled some parts of Yariba. A considerable traffic is
carried on here in slaves and bullocks, which are alike exposed in
the daily market. The bullocks are bred by the Fellatas, who reside
there for no other purpose.

The sultan of Cuttup being a very great man, that is, in his own
estimation, Lander made him a suitable present of four yards of blue
damask, the same quantity of scarlet, a print of George IV., one of
the late duke of York, which, we have reason to suppose, was held in
higher estimation than his whole-length colossal figure on the top of
the pedestal in this country, which has the superlative honour of
calling him one of the most meritorious, most puissant, and most
honourable of the royal blood. Lander also made the sultan a present
of _other trifling articles,_ in return for which he received a
sheep, the humps, or we should call it the rumps, of two bullocks,
and stewed rice sufficient for fifty men, not being able at the time
to form an accurate opinion of the extent of Lander's gourmandizing
appetite, or most probably, as is generally the case in countries
situated farther to the northward, judging of the appetite of others
by his own. During the four days that Lander remained in these
hospitable quarters, he was never in want of provisions, nor do we
see how it was possible that he should be, when he had two rumps of
beef, from which he could at any time cut a steak, which the most
finished epicurean of Dolly's would not turn up his nose at, and
stewed rice, as an entremet, sufficient for the gastronomic powers of
fifty men. When it is also considered, that the sultan invariably
receives as a tax the hump of every bullock that is slaughtered,
weighing from twelve to fifteen pounds, and the choicest part of the
animal, it is somewhat surprising that the country does not abound
with _hump_-backed tyrants, similar to the notorious Richard of
England; at all events, Lander had to congratulate himself that the
humps, or rumps, were sent to him daily by the king's wives, we will
suppose, out of the pure spirit of charity and benevolence, on the
same principle, perhaps, that the widow Zuma invited Lander to take
up his abode in her house.

It was very proper that Lander should make a return to the sultan's
wives for their rumps of beef, and, therefore, he presented them with
one or two gilt buttons from his jacket, and they, imagining them to
be pure gold, fastened them to their ears. Little, however, did the
Birmingham manufacturer suppose, when he issued these buttons from
his warehouse, that they were destined one day to glitter as pendants
in the ears of the wives of the sultan of Cuttup, in the heart of
Africa; truly may it be said with Shakespeare,

"To what vile uses may we come at last!"

It is very possible, from some cause not worthy here of
investigation, that one of the wives of the sultan had contrived to
obtain a higher place in the estimation of Lander, than any of her
other compeers; but, as a proof that great events from trivial causes
flow, it happened that Lander set the whole court of Cuttup in a
hubbub and confusion by a very simple act, to which no premeditated
sin could be attached, and this act was no other, than presenting one
of the wives of the sultan secretly, clandestinely, and covertly,
with a most valuable article, in the shape of a large darning needle,
which he carried about with him, for the purpose of repairing any
sudden detriment, that might happen to any part of his habiliments. A
female, whether European or African, generally takes a pride in
displaying the presents that have been made her; and the favoured
wife of the sultan no sooner displayed the present which she had
received, than the spirit of jealousy and envy burst forth in the
breast of all the remaining wives. It was a fire not easily to be
quenched; it pervaded every part of the residence of the sultan; it
penetrated into every hut, where one of the wives resided; discord,
quarrels, and battles became the order of the day, and Lander was
obliged to make a precipitate retreat from a place, where he had
incautiously and innocently raised such a rebellion. On relating this
anecdote to us, Lander declared, that, with a good supply of needles
in his possession, he would not despair of obtaining every necessary
article and accommodation throughout the whole of central Africa.

On leaving Cuttup, Lander proceeded south-south-west, over a hilly
country, and on the following day, crossed the Rary, a large river
flowing to the south-east. The next day, part of the route lay over
steep and craggy precipices, some of them of the most awful height.
From the summit of this pass, he obtained a very beautiful and
extensive prospect, which would indicate the elevation to be indeed
very considerable. Eight days' journey might plainly be seen before
him. About half a day's journey to the east, stood a lofty hill, at
the foot of which lay the large city of Jacoba. In the evening, he
reached Dunrora, a town containing about four thousand inhabitants.

Lander had now reached the latitude of Funda, which, according to his
information, lies about twelve days due west of Dunrora, and after
seventeen perilous days' travelling from Kano, he seemed to be on the
point of solving the great geographical problem respecting the
termination of the supposed Niger, when, just as he was leaving
Dunrora, four armed messengers from the sultan of Zeg Zeg rode up to
him, bearing orders for his immediate return to the capital.
Remonstrance was in vain; and, with a bad grace and a heavy heart,
poor Lander complied with the mandate. He was led back to Cuttup by
the same route that he had taken, and here, much against the
inclination of his guards, he remained four days, suffering under an
attack of dysentery. On his arrival at Zaria, he was introduced to
the king; and having delivered his presents, that prince boasted of
having conferred on him the greatest possible favour, since the
people of Funda, being now at war with sultan Bello, would certainly
have murdered any one, who had visited and carried gifts to that
monarch. From this reasoning, sound or otherwise, Lander had no
appeal, and was obliged to make his way back by his former path.

The subsequent part of his route was, however, rather more to the
westward of his former track. The Koodoonia, where he crossed it, was
much deeper, as well as broader, and much more rapid. On Lander
refusing to cross the river till it had become more shallow, his
guards left him in great wrath, threatening to report his conduct to
their master, and they did not return for a fortnight, during which
time, Lander remained at a Bowchee village, an hour distant, very
ill, having nothing to eat but boiled corn, not much relishing
_roasted dog._ The inhabitants, who came by hundreds every day to
visit him, were destitute of any clothing, but behaved in a modest
and becoming manner. The men did not appear to have any occupation or
employment whatever. The women were generally engaged, the greater
part of the day, in manufacturing oil from a black seed and the
Guinea nut.

Not deeming it safe, according to the advice of the sultan of Zeg
Zeg, to pursue his homeward way by the route of Funda, he chose the
Youriba road; and, after serious delays, he reached Badagry on the
21st November 1827; but here he was nearly losing his life, owing to
the vindictive jealousy of the Portuguese slave-merchants, who
denounced him to the king as a spy sent by the English government.
The consequence was, that it was resolved by the chief men to subject
him to the ordeal of drinking a fetish. "If you come to do bad," they
said, "it will kill you; but if not, it cannot hurt you." There was
no alternative or escape. Poor Lander swallowed the contents of the
bowl, and then walked hastily out of the hut through the armed men
who surrounded it, to his own lodgings, where he lost no time in
getting rid of the fetish drink by a powerful emetic. He afterwards
learned, that it almost always proved fatal. When the king and his
chiefs found, after five days, that Lander survived, they changed
their minds, and became extremely kind, concluding that he was under
the special protection of God. The Portuguese, however, he had reason
to believe, would have taken the first opportunity to assassinate
him. His life at this place was in continual danger, until,
fortunately, Captain Laing, of the brig Maria of London, of which
Fullerton was the chief mate, and afterwards commander, hearing that
there was a white man about sixty miles up the country, who was in a
most deplorable condition, and suspecting that he might be one of the
travellers sent out on the expedition to explore the interior of
Africa, despatched a messenger with instructions to bring him away.
The parties who held him were, however, not disposed to part with him
without a ransom, the amount of which was fixed at nearly £70, which
was paid by Captain Laing in broadcloths, gunpowder, and other
articles, and which was subsequently refunded by the African Society.
Lander arrived in England on the 30th April 1828, on which occasion
we were introduced to him by the late Captain Fullerton, from whose
papers the following history of Lander's second journey is compiled.



CHAPTER XXIX.

The journeys of Denham and Clapperton made a great accession to our
knowledge of interior Africa, they having completed a diagonal
section from Tripoli to the gulf of Benin; they explored numerous
kingdoms, either altogether unknown, or indicated only by the most
imperfect rumour. New mountains, lakes, and rivers had been
discovered and delineated, yet the course of the Niger remained wrapt
in mystery nearly as deep as ever. Its stream had been traced very
little lower than Boussa, which Park had reached, and where his
career was brought to so fatal a termination. The unhappy issue of
Clapperton's last attempt chilled for a time the zeal for African
discovery; but that high spirit of adventure which animates Britons
was soon found acting powerfully in a quarter, where there was least
reason to expect it. Partaking of the character which animated his
master, Lander endeavoured, on his return towards the coast, to
follow a direction, which, but for unforeseen circumstances, would
have led to the solution of the great problem. After reaching
England, he still cherished the same spirit; in our frequent
conversations with him, he expressed it to be his decided opinion,
that the termination of the Niger would be found between the fifth
and tenth degree of north latitude, and his subsequent discoveries
proved his opinion to be correct. Undeterred by the recollection of
so much peril and hardship, he tendered his services to the
government to make one effort more, in order to reach the mouth of
this mysterious river; his offer was accepted, but on terms which
make it abundantly evident that the enterprise was not undertaken
from any mercenary impulse. The manner in which he had acquitted
himself of his trust, amidst the difficulties with which he had to
contend after the death of Clapperton, bespoke him as being worthy to
be sent out on such a mission, when scientific observations were not
expected, and the result has proved the justness of the opinion, that
was entertained of him. Descended from Cornish parents, having been
born at Truro, and not gifted with any extraordinary talent, it was
not his fortune to boast either the honour of high birth, or even to
possess the advantages of a common-place education. His leading
quality was a determined spirit of perseverance, which no obstacles
could intimidate or subdue. In society, particularly in the company
of those distinguished for their talents or literary attainments, his
reserve and bashfulness were insuperable, and it was not until a
degree of intimacy was established by frequent association, that he
could be brought to communicate the sentiments of his mind, or to
impress a belief upon the company, that he was possessed of any
superior qualifications.

His younger brother, John Lander, who, influenced by a laudable
desire to assist in the solution of the geographical problem, was of
a very different turn of mind. He was brought up to the profession of
a printer, and, as a compositor, had frequent opportunities of
enriching his mind with various branches of knowledge, and in time
became himself the author of several essays in prose and verse, by no
means discreditable to his talents. Being naturally gifted with an
exuberant imagination, his descriptions partake of the inflated and
bombastic; but we have reason to know, that the information which he
gives is deduced from authentic sources, without the usual
exaggeration proverbially belonging to travellers.

The following were the instructions given by government to Richard
Lander:--


"Downing-street, 31st December 1829.

"Sir,

"I am directed by secretary Sir George Murray to acquaint you, that
he has deemed it expedient to accept the offer, which you have made,
to proceed to Africa, accompanied by your brother, for the purpose of
ascertaining the course of the great river, which was crossed by the
late Captain Clapperton on his journey to Sockatoo; and a passage
having been accordingly engaged for you and your brother, on board of
the Alert, merchant vessel, which is proceeding to Cape Coast Castle,
on the western coast of Africa, I am to desire that you will embark
immediately on board that vessel.

"In the event of your falling in with any of his Majesty's ships of
war on the coast of Africa, previously to your arrival at Cape Coast
Castle, you will prevail on the master to use every endeavour to
speak with such ship of war, and to deliver to the officer commanding
her, the letter of which you are the bearer, and which is to require
him to convey yourself and your brother to Badagry, to present you to
the king, and to give you such assistance as may be required to
enable you to set out on your journey.

"You should incur as little delay as possible at Badagry, in order
that, by reaching the hilly country, you may be more secure from
those fevers, which are known to be prevalent on the low lands of the
sea-coast. You are to proceed by the same road as on a previous
occasion, as far as Katunga, unless you shall be able to find, on the
northern side of the mountains, a road which will lead to Funda, on
the Quorra or Niger; in which case, you are to proceed direct to
Funda. If, however, it should be necessary to go as far as Katunga,
you are to use your endeavours to prevail on the chief of that
country to assist you on your way to the Quorra, and with the means
of tracing down, either by land or water, the course of that river as
far as Funda.

"On your arrival at this place, you are to be very particular in your
observations, so as to enable you to give a correct statement.

"1st, Whether any, and what rivers fall into the Quorra at or near
that place; or whether the whole or any part of the Quorra turns to
the eastward.

"2nd, Whether there is at Funda, or in the neighbourhood, any lake or
collection of waters or large swamps; in which case, you are to go
round such lake or swamp, and be very particular in examining whether
any river flows _into_ or _out_ of it, and in what direction it takes
its course.

"3rd, If you should find that at Funda, the Quorra continues to flow
to the southward, you are to follow it to the sea, where, in this
case, it may be presumed to empty its waters; but if it should be
found to turn off to the eastward, in which case it will most
probably fall into the lake Tchad, you are to follow its course in
that direction, as far as you conceive you can venture to do, with
due regard to your personal safety, to Bornou; in which case it will
be for you to determine, whether it may not be advisable to return
home by the way of Fezzan and Tripoli: if, however, after proceeding
in an easterly course for some distance, the river should be found to
turn off towards the south, you are to follow it, as before, down to
the sea. In short, after having once gained the banks of the Quorra,
either from Katunga or lower down, you are to follow its course, if
possible, to its termination, wherever that may be.

"Should you be of opinion that the sultan of Youri can safely be
communicated with, you are at liberty to send your brother with a
present to that chief, to ask, in the king's name, for certain books
or papers, which he is supposed to have, that belonged to the late
Mr. Park; but you are not necessarily yourself to wait for your
brother's return, but to proceed in the execution of the main object
of your mission, to ascertain the course and termination of the
Niger.

"You are to take every opportunity of sending down to the coast a
brief extract of your proceedings and observations, furnishing the
bearer with a note, setting forth the reward he is to have for his
trouble, and requesting any English person to whom it is presented to
pay that reward, on the faith that it will be repaid him by the
British government.

"For the performance of this service, you are furnished with all the
articles which you have required for your personal convenience during
your journey, together with a sum of two hundred dollars in coin; and
in case, upon your arrival at Badagry, you should find it absolutely
necessary to provide yourself with a further supply of dollars, you
will be at liberty to draw upon this department for any sum not
exceeding three hundred dollars.

"During the ensuing year, the sum of one hundred pounds will be paid
to your wife in quarterly payments; and upon your return, a gratuity
of one hundred pounds will be paid to yourself.

"All the papers and observations, which you shall bring back with
you, are to be delivered by you at this office; and you will be
entitled to receive any pecuniary consideration which may be obtained
from the publication of the account of your journey. "I am, Sir, &c.
&c.

(Signed) "R. W. HAY."

"To Mr. Richard Lander."


In pursuance of these instructions, Richard Lander and his brother
embarked at Portsmouth, on the 9th January 1830, in the brig Alert,
for Cape Coast Castle, where they arrived on the 22nd of the
following month, after a boisterous and unpleasant passage. Here they
were fortunate enough to engage old Pascoe and his wife, with Jowdie,
who had been employed on the last expedition, with Ibrahim and Mina,
two Bornou men, who were well acquainted with English manners, and
could converse in the Houssa language. These individuals promised to
be very useful on the expedition, more especially old Pascoe, whose
merits as an interpreter were unquestionable.

After remaining at Cape Coast Castle eight days, they accompanied Mr.
M'Lean, the president of the council at that place, on a visit to Mr.
Hutchinson, commandant at Anamaboo, about nine miles distant from
Cape Coast. Mr. Hutchinson lived in his castle, like an English baron
in the feudal times, untinctured, however, by barbarism or ignorance;
for the polished, refinements of life have insinuated themselves into
his dwelling, though it is entirely surrounded by savages, and though
the charming sound of a lady's voice is seldom or never heard in his
lonely hall. His silken banner, his turreted castle, his devoted
vassals, his hospitality, and even his very solitariness, all
conspired to recall to the mind the manners and way of life of an old
English baron, in one of the most interesting periods of our history,
whilst the highly chivalrous and romantic spirit of the gentleman
alluded to, was strictly in unison with the impression. Mr.
Hutchinson had resided a number of years on the coast, and was one of
the few individuals, who had visited the capital of Ashantee, in
which he resided eight months, and obtained a better acquaintance
with the manners, customs, and pursuits of that warlike,
enterprising, and original nation, than any other European whatever.
In the Ashantee war he took a very active part, and rendered
important and valuable services to the cause he so warmly espoused.

They resided at the fort till the 4th March, and then sailed in the
Alert for Accra, where they expected to find a vessel to take them to
Badagry, in the Bight of Benin, agreeably to their instructions.

In two days they arrived opposite the British fort at Accra, and,
after staying there a week, they embarked on board the Clinker,
Lieutenant Matson, commander; and having sailed direct for Badagry,
they dropped anchor in the roadstead in the front of that town on the
19th. From the commander of the Clinker they received a young man of
colour, named Antonio, son to the chief of Bonny, who eagerly
embraced the opportunity of proceeding with them into the interior,
being impressed with the notion that he should be enabled to reach
his home and country by means of the Great River, or Niger.

In the earlier part of the afternoon of the 22nd March, they sailed
towards the beach in one of the brig's boats, and having been taken
into a canoe that was waiting at the edge of the breakers to receive
them, they were plied over a tremendous surf, and flung with violence
on the burning sands.

Wet and uncomfortable as this accident had rendered them, having no
change of linen at hand, they walked to a small creek about the
distance of a quarter of a mile from the sea shore, where they were
taken into a native canoe, and conveyed safely through an extremely
narrow channel, overhung with luxuriant vegetation, into the Badagry
river, which is a branch of the Lagos. It is a beautiful body of
water, resembling a lake in miniature; its surface is smooth and
transparent as glass, and its picturesque banks are shaded by trees
of a lively verdure. They were soon landed on the opposite side, when
their road lay over a magnificent plain, on which deer, antelopes,
and buffaloes were often observed to feed. Numbers of men, women, and
children followed them to the town of Badagry, making the most
terrific noises at their heels, but whether these were symptoms of
satisfaction or displeasure, admiration or ridicule, they could not
at first understand. They were soon, however, satisfied that the
latter feeling was predominant, and indeed their clothing was
sufficient to excite the laughter of any people, for it certainly was
not African, nor had it any pretensions to be characterized as
European. In the first place, the covering of the head consisted of a
straw hat, larger than an umbrella, a scarlet mahommedan tobe or
tunic and belt, with boots, and full Turkish trousers. So unusual a
dress might well cause the people to laugh heartily; they were all
evidently highly amused, but the more modest of the females,
unwilling to give them any uneasiness, turned aside to conceal the
titter, from which they were utterly unable to refrain.

On their way they observed various groups of people seated under the
spreading branches of superb trees, vending provisions and country
cloth, and on their approach, many of them arose and bowed, whilst
others fell on their knees before them in token of respect. They
reached the dwelling, which had been prepared for them about three
o'clock in the afternoon, but as the day was too far advanced to
visit the chief or king, they sent a messenger to inform him of their
intention of paying him their respects on the following morning.

Towards evening, Richard Lander his brother being too fatigued to
accompany him, took a saunter in the immediate vicinity of his
residence, when he found, that in one respect, the streets of
Badagry, if they might be so called, and the streets of London, bore
a very great resemblance. It might be the mere effect of female
curiosity, to ascertain what kind of a man's visage could possibly be
concealed under such a preposterous hat, or it might be for any other
purpose, which his penetration could not discover, but certain it
was, that ever and anon a black visage, with white and pearly teeth,
and an expressive grin of the countenance, somewhat similar to that
of the monkey in a state of excited pleasure, protruded itself under
the canopy of straw, which protected his head, but he, who had
withstood the amorous advances of the widow Zuma, or of the fat and
deaf widow Laddie, could not be supposed to yield to the fascinations
and allurements of a Badagry houri. Richard therefore returned to his
dwelling, fully satisfied with himself, but by no means having
satisfied the ladies of Badagry, that an European was a man of love
or gallantry.

At nine o'clock on the morning of the 23rd March, agreeably to the
promise which they had made on the preceding day, they visited the
chief at his residence, which was somewhat more than half a mile from
their own. On their entrance, the potent chief of Badagry was sitting
on a couple of boxes, which, for aught Lander knew, might at one time
have belonged to a Hong merchant at Canton; the boxes were placed in
a small bamboo apartment, on the sides of which were suspended a
great number of muskets and swords, with a few paltry umbrellas, and
a couple of horses' tails, which are used for the purpose of brushing
away flies and other insects.

King Adooley looked up in the faces of his visitors without making
any observation, it perhaps not being the etiquette of kings in that
part of the world, to make any observation at all on subjects before
them, nor did he even condescend to rise from his seat to
congratulate them on their arrival. He appeared in deep reflection,
and thoughtfully rested his elbow on an old wooden table, pillowing
his head on his hand. One of the most venerable and ancient of his
subjects was squatted at the feet of his master, smoking from a pipe
of extraordinary length; whilst Lantern, his eldest son and heir
apparent, was kneeling at his side, the Badagry etiquette not
allowing the youth to sit in the presence of his father. Everything
bore an air of gloom and sadness, totally different from what they
had been led to expect. They shook hands, but the royal pressure was
so very faint, that it was scarcely perceptible, yet, notwithstanding
this apparent coldness, they seated themselves one on each side,
without ceremony or embarrassment. It was evident that neither Lander
nor his brother knew how to deport themselves in the presence of a
king, a thing which the former had never seen in his life but at the
courts of Africa, and they, God knows, were not calculated to give
him an exalted idea of royalty; but when it had been ascertained,
that it was contrary to etiquette at the court of Badagry, for even
the heir apparent to assume any other attitude in the royal presence
than that of kneeling, it might have occurred to the European
travellers, that seating themselves without permission, in the
presence of so august a personage as the king of Badagry, might be
the forerunner of their heads being severed from their body, which,
as it has been detailed in a preceding part of this work, is in that
part of the country, a ceremony very easily and speedily despatched.
It was, however, necessary that some conversation should take place
between the king and his visitors, and therefore the latter began in
the true old English fashion, to inquire about the state of his
health, not forgetting to inform him at the same time, that they
found the weather uncommonly hot, which could not well have been
otherwise, considering that they were at that moment not much more
than 5° to the northward of the equator. In regard to the state of
his health, he answered them only with a languid smile, and relapsed
into his former thoughtlessness. Not being able to break in upon the
taciturnity of the monarch, they had recourse to a method which
seldom fails of "unknitting the brow of care," and that was by a
display to the best advantage, of the presents, which they had
brought for him from England. Badagry is not the only kingdom in
which, if a present be made to the king, the sole return that is
received for it, is the honour of having been allowed to offer it,
and this experience was acquired by our travellers, for the king
certainly accepted the presents, but without the slightest
demonstration of pleasure or satisfaction; the king scarcely deigned
to look at the presents, and they were carried away by the
attendants, with real or seeming indifference. To be permitted to
kiss the hand of the sable monarch could not rationally be expected,
as an honour conferred upon them for the presents, which they had
delivered, but it was mortifying to them not to receive a word of
acknowledgement, not even the tithe of a gracious smile; they
accordingly said not a word, but they had seen enough to convince
them that all was not right. A reserve, the cause whereof they could
not define, and a coldness towards them, for which they could in no
wise account, marked the conduct of the once spirited and
good-natured chief of Badagry, and prepared them to anticipate
various difficulties in the prosecution of their plans, which they
were persuaded would require much art and influence to surmount. The
brow of the monarch relaxed for a moment, and an attempt was made on
the part of Richard Lander to enter into conversation with him, but
on a sudden the king rose from his boxes, and left them to converse
with themselves.

After waiting a considerable time, and the king not returning, a
messenger was despatched to acquaint him, that the patience of his
visitors was nearly exhausted, and they would feel obliged by his
immediate return, in order to put an end to their conference or
palaver, as it is emphatically styled, as speedily as possible. On
the receipt of this message, the king hastened back, and entered the
apartment with a melancholy countenance, which was partially
concealed behind large volumes of smoke, from a tobacco pipe, which
he was using. He seated himself between them as before, and gave them
to understand in a very low tone of voice, that he was but just
recovering from a severe illness, and from the effect of a series of
misfortunes, which had rendered him almost brokenhearted. His
celebrated generals Bombanee and Poser, and all his most able
warriors had either been slain in battle, or fallen by other violent
means. The former in particular, whose loss he more especially
lamented, had been captured by the Lagos people, who were his most
inveterate enemies. When this unfortunate man was taken prisoner, his
right hand was immediately nailed to his head, and the other lopped
off like a twig. In this manner he was paraded through the town, and
exposed to the view of the people, whose curiosity being satiated,
Bombanee's head was at length severed from his shoulders, and being
dried in the sun and beaten to dust, was sent in triumph to the chief
of Badagry. To add to his calamities, Adooley's house, which
contained an immense quantity of gunpowder, had been blown up by
accident, and destroyed all his property, consisting of a variety of
presents, most of them very valuable, that had been made him by
Captain Clapperton, by European merchants, and traders in slaves. The
chief and his women escaped with difficulty from the conflagration;
but as it was the custom to keep the muskets and other firearms
constantly loaded, their contents were discharged into the bodies and
legs of those individuals, who had flocked to the spot on the first
alarm. The flames spread with astonishing rapidity, notwithstanding
every exertion, and ended in the destruction of a great part of the
town. This accounted in some measure for the sad and grievous
expression so strongly depicted on the chiefs countenance; but still
another and more powerful reason had doubtless influenced him on this
occasion.

On returning to their residence, a number of principal men, as they
style themselves, were introduced to compliment them on coming to
their country, although their true and only motive for visiting their
quarters was the expectation of obtaining rum, which is the great
object of attraction to all of them. They had been annoyed during the
greater part of this day by a tribe of ragged beggars, whose
importunity was really disgusting. The men were in general old,
flat-headed, and pot-bellied. The women skinny and flap-eared. To
these garrulous ladies and gentlemen they were obliged to talk and
laugh, shake hands, crack fingers, bend their bodies, bow their
heads, and place their hands with great solemnity on their heads and
breasts. They had not indeed a moment's relaxation from this
excessive fatigue, and had Job, amongst his other trials, been
exposed to the horrors of an interminable African palaver, his
patience would most certainly have forsaken him. Lander was of
opinion that he never would be a general favourite with this
ever-grinning and loquacious people. If he laughed, and he was
obliged to laugh, it was done against his inclination, and
consequently with a very bad grace. At this time, Lander, speaking of
himself, says, "for the first five years of my life, I have been
told, that I was never even seen to smile, and since that period,
Heaven knows my merriment has been confined to particular and
extraordinary occasions only. How then is it possible, that I can be
grinning and playing the fool from morning to night, positively
without any just incentive to do so, and sweltering at the same time
under a sun that causes my body to burn with intense heat, giving it
the appearance of shrivelled parchment. Fortunately these
savages--for savages they most certainly are in the fullest extent of
the word--cannot distinguish between real and fictitious joy; and
although I was vexed at heart, and wished them, all at the bottom of
the Red Sea, or somewhere else, I have every reason to believe that
my forced attempts to please the natives have so far been successful,
and that I have obtained the reputation, which I certainly do not
deserve, of being one of the pleasantest and best-tempered persons in
the world."

This candid exposition, which Lander gives of his own character is
fully borne out by our own personal observation. On no occasion do we
remember that we ever saw a smile sit upon his countenance, and as to
a laugh, it appeared to be an act which he dreaded to commit. He
seemed always to be brooding over some great and commanding idea,
which absorbed the whole of his mind, and which he felt a
consciousness within him, that he had not the ability to carry into
execution, at the same time that he feared to let a word escape him,
which could give a clue to the subject, which was then working within
him. In this respect, he was not well fitted for a traveller in a
country where, if his nature would not allow him, it became a matter
of policy, if not of necessity, to appear high-hearted and gay, and
frequently to join in the amusements of the people amongst whom he
might be residing. Lander himself was not ignorant of the Arab adage,
"Beware of the man who never laughs;" and, therefore, as he was
likely to be thrown amongst those very people, he ought to have
practised himself in the art of laughing, so as not to rouse their
suspicions, which, it is well known, if once roused, are not again
easily allayed.

To return to the narrative, one of the fetishmen sent them a present
of a duck, almost as large as an English goose; but as the fellow
expected ten times its value in return, it was no great proof of the
benevolence of his disposition. They were now obliged to station
armed men around their house, for the purpose of protecting their
goods from the rapacity of a multitude of thieves that infested this
place, and who displayed the greatest cunning imaginable to
ingratiate themselves with the travellers. On the following morning,
they awoke unrefreshed at daybreak; the noise of children crying, the
firing of guns, and the discordant sound of drums and horns,
preventing them from enjoying the sweetness of repose, so infinitely
desirable, after a long day spent in a routine or tiresome ceremony
and etiquette.

On the 24th March, one of the chief messengers, who was a Houssa
mallam, or priest, presented himself at the door of their house,
followed by a large and handsome spotted sheep from his native
country, whose neck was adorned with little bells, which made a
pretty jingling noise. They were much prepossessed in this man's
favour by the calmness and serenity of his countenance, and the
modesty, or rather timidity of his manners. He was dressed in the
Houssa costume, cap, tobe, trousers, and sandals. He wore four large
silver rings on his thumb, and his left wrist was ornamented with a
solid silver bracelet: this was the only individual, who had as yet
visited them purely from disinterested motives, as all the others
made a practice to beg whenever they favoured them with their
company.

The chief's eldest son was with them during the greater part of this
day. The manners of this young man were reserved, but respectful.
He was a great admirer of the English, and had obtained a smattering
of their language. Although his appearance was extremely boyish, he
had already three wives, and was the father of two children. His
front teeth were filed to a point, after the manner of the Logos
people; but, notwithstanding this disadvantage, his features bore
less marks of ferocity than they had observed in the countenance of
any one of his countrymen, while his general deportment was
infinitely more pleasing and humble than theirs. When asked whether,
if it were in his power to do so, he would injure the travellers, or
any European, who might hereafter visit Badagry, he made no reply,
but silently approached their seat, and falling on his knees at their
feet, he pressed Richard Lander with eagerness to his soft naked
bosom, and affectionately kissed his hand. No language or expression
could have been half so eloquent.

They were now preparing to proceed on their journey, when they
learned with surprise and sorrow, that a part of the populace had
expressed themselves decidedly hostile to their projects, and that
the leaders were continually with Adooley, using all their influence,
and exercising all their cunning, in order to awaken his slumbering
jealousy. They endeavoured to persuade him to demand, before he
granted them leave to pass through his country, a sum of money,
which, they were aware, was not in the power of the travellers to
pay; and therefore it was imagined they would be compelled to abandon
the undertaking. The first intimation they received of the effect of
these insinuations on the mind of the chief, was brought to them by a
person, who pronounced himself to be "on their side." This man
assured them, with an ominous visage, that Adooley had declared, in
the hearing of all the people, that the coat which Richard Lander had
given him was intended for a boy, and not a man; it was therefore
unworthy his acceptance as a king, and he considered that by the
gift, they meant to insult him. The coat alluded to by Adooley was
certainly extremely old-fashioned, and belonged to a surgeon in the
navy about twenty years ago, notwithstanding which, it was almost as
good as new, and was made showy by the addition of a pair of
tarnished gold epaulets. It was, however, clear to Lander, that as
this very same coat had been, only two days before, received with
great satisfaction, that some enemy of theirs had been striving to
render the chief discontented and mistrustful. To counteract the
efforts of the malicious, they judged it prudent to sound the
dispositions of those, who they were inclined to believe, from the
fondness which they evinced for their rum, that they were favourable
to their intentions and devoted to their interests.

At this time, there were two mulattoes residing in the town, one of
whom, by name Hooper, acted as interpreter to Adooley, and shared a
good deal of his confidence. He was born at Cape Coast Castle, in
1780, and was for many years a soldier in the African corps. His
father was an Englishman, and he boasted of being a British subject.
He was excessively vain of his origin, yet he was the most confirmed
drunkard alive, always getting intoxicated before breakfast, and
remaining in a soaking state all day long. This did not, however,
make him regardless of his own interest, to which, on the contrary,
he was ever alive, and indeed sacrificed every other feeling. The
other mulatto could read and write English tolerably well, having
received his education at Sierra Leone; he was a slave to Adooley,
and was almost as great a drunkard as Hooper. These drunken political
advisers of the chief they had little difficulty in bribing over to
their interests; they had likewise been tampering with several native
chiefs, apparently with equal success. Unfortunately every one here
styled himself a great and powerful man, and Hooper himself calls a
host of ragged scoundrels "noblemen and gentlemen," each of whom he
advised Lander to conciliate with presents, and especially spirituous
liquors, in order to do away any evil impression they might secretly
have received, and obtain their suffrages, though it should be at the
expense of half the goods in their possession. There is hardly any
knowing who is monarch here, or even what form of government
prevails; independently of the king of kings himself, the redoubtable
Adooley, four fellows assume the title of royalty, namely, the kings
of Spanish-town, of Portuguese-town, of English-town, and of
French-town, Badagry being divided into four districts, bearing the
names of the European nations just mentioned.

Toward the evening, they received an invitation from the former of
these chieftains, who by all accounts was originally the sole
governor of the country, until his authority was wrested from him by
a more powerful hand. He was then living in retirement, and subsisted
by purchasing slaves, and selling them to Portuguese and Spanish
traders. They found in him a meek and venerable old man, of
respectable appearance. He was surrounded by a number of men and
boys, his household slaves, who were all armed with pistols, daggers,
muskets, cutlasses, swords, &c., the manufacture of various European
countries. In the first place, he assured them, that nothing could
give him more pleasure than to welcome them to Badagry, and he very
much wondered that they had not visited him before. If they had a
present to give him, he said, he would thank them; but if they had
not, still he would thank them. A table was then brought out into the
court before the house, on which decanters and glasses, with a
burning liquor obtained from the Portuguese, were placed. In one
corner of the yard was a little hut, not more than two feet in
height, wherein had been placed a fetish figure, to preserve the
chief from any danger or mischief, which their presence might
otherwise have entailed upon him. A portion of the spirit was poured
into one of the glasses, and from it emptied into each of the others,
and then drunk by the attendant that had fetched it from the house.
This is an old custom, introduced no doubt to prevent masters from
being poisoned by the treachery of their slaves. As soon as the
decanters had been emptied of their contents, other ardent spirits
were introduced, but as Richard Lander imagined that fetish water had
been mingled with it, they simply took a tea-spoonful into their
mouths, and privately ejected it on the ground. The old chief
promised to return their visit on the morrow, and lifting up his
hands and eyes to heaven, like a child in the attitude of prayer, he
invoked the Almighty to preserve and bless them; they then saluted
him in the usual manner, and returned well pleased to their own
habitation.



CHAPTER XXX.

They were now most anxious to proceed on their journey, out the
chief, Adooley, evaded their solicitations to depart, under the most
frivolous and absurd pretences. He asserted that his principal reason
for detaining them against their inclinations, was the apprehension
he entertained for their safety, the road not being considered in a
good state. Under this impression, he despatched a messenger to
Jenna, to ascertain if the affairs of that country warranted him
sending them thither. The old king of Jenna, who, it will be
recollected, behaved so kindly to Captain Clapperton, was dead; his
successor had been appointed, but he had not at that time arrived
from Katunga. That being the case, there would not be any one at
Jenna to receive them. Meantime, the rainy season was fast
approaching, as was sufficiently announced by repeated showers and
occasional tornadoes. They were also the more anxious to leave this
abominable place, as they were informed that a sacrifice of no less
than three hundred human beings, of both sexes and all ages, was
shortly to take place, such as has been described in the second
journey of Clapperton. They often heard the cries of many of these
poor wretches, and the heart sickened with horror at the bare
contemplation of such a scene as awaited them, should they remain
much longer at Badagry.

Early on the morning of the 25th March, the house of the travellers
was filled with visitors, and from that time to the evening they
resigned themselves to a species of punishment, which cannot be
characterized by any other terms than an earthly purgatory. After
cracking fingers a hundred times, and grinning as often, they were
informed, that the chief's messenger had returned from Jenna, but for
some reason, which Lander could not define, the man was almost
immediately sent back again, and they were told that they could not
quit Badagry until he again made his appearance. It is the custom in
this place, that when a man cannot pay his respects in person to
another, he sends a servant with a sword or cane, in the same manner
as a gentleman delivers his card in England. They this day received a
number of compliments in this fashion, and it is almost superfluous
to say that a cane or a sword was at all times a more welcome and
agreeable visitor than its owner would have been.

They had scarcely finished their morning repast, when Hooper
introduced himself for his accustomed glass of spirits, to prevent
him, according to his own account, from getting sick. He took the
opportunity of informing them, that it would be absolutely necessary
to visit the _noblemen_, who had declared themselves _on their side_.
As they strove to court popularity and conciliate the vagabonds by
every means in their power, they approved of Hooper's counsel, and
went in the first place, to the house of the late _General_ Poser,
which was at that time under the superintendence of his head man. Him
they found squatting indolently on a mat, and several old people were
holding a conversation with him. As the death of Poser was not
generally known to the people, it being concealed from them, for fear
of exciting a commotion in the town, he having been universally loved
and respected they were not permitted even to mention his name, and
the steward set them the example, by prudently confining his
conversation to the necessity of making him a present proportionate
to his expectations, and the dignity of his situation. Muskets and
other warlike instruments were suspended from the sides of the
apartment, and its ceiling was decorated with fetishes and Arab texts
in profusion. Gin and water were produced, and partaken of with
avidity by all present, more especially by the two mulattoes that had
attended them, which being done, the head man wished the great spirit
to prosper them in all their undertakings, and told them not to
forget his present by any means. They shortly afterwards took their
leave, and quitted the apartment with feelings of considerable
satisfaction, for its confined air was so impure, that a longer stay,
to say the least of it, would have been highly unpleasant. As it was,
they had consumed so much time in Poser's house, that they found it
necessary to alter their intention of visiting the other chiefs, and
therefore resolved to pay their respects to Adooley, whom they had
not seen for two days. Accordingly, they repaired immediately to his
residence, and were welcomed to it with a much better grace, than on
any previous occasion.

The chief was eating an undrest onion, and seated on an old table,
dangling his legs underneath, with a vacant thoughtlessness of
manner, which their abrupt intrusion somewhat dissipated. He informed
them of his intention to send them on their journey on the day after
to-morrow, when he expected that the people of Jenna would be in a
suitable condition to receive them. He was full of good nature, and
promised to make Richard Lander a present of a horse, which he had
brought with him from Sockatoo on the former expedition, adding, that
he would sell another to John Lander. So far, their visit was
attended with satisfaction, but it was rather destroyed by Adooley
informing them that it was his particular wish to examine the goods,
which they intended to take with them into _the bush,_ as the
enclosed country is called, in order that he might satisfy himself
that there were no objectionable articles amongst them. Having
expressed their thanks to Adooley for his well-timed present, and
agreed to the examination of their baggage, they all partook of a
little spirit and water, which soon made them the best friends in the
universe. During this palaver, the chief's sister and two of his
wives were ogling at the travellers, and giggling with all the
playfulness of the most finished coquette, until the approach of the
chief of the English-town and the remainder of the travellers' party
put a sudden stop to their entertainment, on which they presently
left the apartment. These men came to settle a domestic quarrel,
which was  soon decided by the  chief, who, after receiving the usual
salutation of dropping on the knees with the face to the earth,
chatted and laughed immoderately; this was considered by the
travellers as a happy omen. In that country, very little ceremony is
observed by the meanest of the people towards their sovereign, they
converse with him with as little reserve, as if he were no better
than themselves, while he pays as much attention to their complaints,
as to those of the principal people of the country. An African king
is therefore of some use, but there are kings in other parts of the
world, of whose use it would be a very difficult matter to find any
traces, and who know as much of the complaints or grievances of their
subjects, as of the nucleus of the earth. Nor was king Adooley
supposed to be entirely destitute of the virtues of hospitality, for
it was observed that the remainder of his onion was divided equally
amongst the chiefs, who had come to visit him, and was received by
them with marks of the highest satisfaction.

In the afternoon, a herald proclaimed the approach to the habitation
of the venerable chief of Spanish-town, with a long suite of thirty
followers. The old man's dress was very simple, consisting only of a
cap and turban, with a large piece of Manchester cotton flung over
his right shoulder, and held under his left arm. This is infinitely
more graceful and becoming in the natives, than the most showy
European apparel, in any variety of which, indeed, they generally
look highly ridiculous. After they had made the chief and all his
attendants nearly tipsy, the former began to be very talkative and
amusing, continuing to chat without interruption for a considerable
time, not omitting to whisper occasionally to the interpreter, by no
means to forget, after his departure, to remind the travellers of the
present they had promised him, it being considered the height of
rudeness to mention any thing of the kind aloud in his presence. The
rum had operated so cheerily upon his followers in the yard, that fat
and lean, old and young, all commenced dancing, and continued
performing the most laughable antics, till they were no longer able
to stand. It amused the travellers infinitely to observe these
creatures, with their old solemn placid-looking chief at their head,
staggering out at the door way; they were in truth, but too happy to
get rid of them at so cheap a rate. Hooper shortly afterwards came
with a petition from twelve _gentlemen_ of English-town, for the sum
of a hundred and twenty dollars to be divided amongst them, and
having no resource, they were compelled to submit to the demand of
these rapacious scoundrels.

Late in the evening, they received the threatened visit from Adooley,
who came to examine the contents of the boxes. He was borne in a
hammock by two men, and was dressed in an English linen shirt, a
Spanish cloak or mantle, with a cap, turban  and sandals; his
attendants were three half-dressed little boys, who, one by one,
placed themselves at their master's feet, as they were in the regular
habit of doing; one of them carried a long sword, another a pistol,
and a third a kind of knapsack, filled with tobacco. The chief was
presented with brandy, equal in strength to spirits of wine, and he
swallowed a large quantity of it with exquisite pleasure. The boys
were permitted to drink a portion of the liquor every time that it
was poured into a glass for Adooley, but, though it was so very
strong, it produced no grimace, nor the slightest distortion of
countenance in these little fellows. The fondness of the natives, or
rather their passion for spirituous liquors is astonishing, and they
are valued entirely in proportion to the intoxicating effects they
occasion. Adooley smoked nearly all the while he remained in Lander's
house. As each box was opened, however, he would take the pipe slowly
from his mouth, as if perfectly heedless of what was going forward,
and from the couch on which he was reclining, he regarded with
intense curiosity each article, as it was held out to his
observation. Every thing that in his opinion demanded a closer
examination, or more properly speaking, every thing he took a fancy
to, was put into his hands at his own request, but as it would be
grossly impolite to return it after it had been soiled by his
fingers, with the utmost _nonchalance,_ the chief delivered it over
to the care of his recumbent pages, who carefully secured it between
their legs. Adooley's good taste could not of course be questioned,
and it did not much surprise, though it grieved the Landers, to
observe a large portion of almost every article in the boxes speedily
passing through his hands into those of his juvenile minions. Nothing
seemed unworthy of his acceptance, from a piece of fine scarlet cloth
to a child's farthing whistle; indeed he appeared to be particularly
pleased with the latter article, for he no sooner made it sound, than
he put on a horrible grin of delight, and requested a couple of the
instruments, that he might amuse himself with them in his leisure
moments. Although he had received guns, ammunition, and a variety of
goods, to the amount of nearly three hundred ounces of gold,
reckoning each ounce to be worth two pounds sterling, yet he was so
far from being satisfied, that he was continually grumbling forth his
discontent. Gratitude, however, was unknown to him, as well as to his
subjects. The more that was given them, the more pressing were their
importunities for other favours; the very food that he ate, and the
clothes that he wore, were begged in so fawning a tone and manner, as
to create disgust and contempt at the first interview.

It was nearly midnight, before Adooley rose from his seat to depart,
when he very ceremoniously took his leave, with broad cloth and
cottons, pipes, snuff-boxes, and knives, paper, ink, whistles, &c.,
and even some of the books of the travellers, not a line of which he
could comprehend; so avaricious was this king of Badagry.

They rose early on the morning of the 26th, for the purpose of
arranging some trifling matters and taking their breakfast in
quietness and comfort; but they had scarcely sitten down, when their
half-naked grinning acquaintance entered to pay them the compliments
of the day. Notwithstanding their chagrin, so ludicrous were the
perpetual bowing and scraping of these their friends, in imitation of
Europeans, that they could not forbear laughing in good earnest.
Their rum, which had been kindly supplied them by Lieutenant Matson,
they were happy to find was nearly all consumed, and the number of
their general visitors had diminished in exact proportion to the
decrease of the spirit, so that they were now beginning to feel the
enjoyment of an hour or two's quiet in the course of the day, which
was a luxury they could hardly have anticipated. The chief sent his
son to them, requesting a few needles and some small shot; they could
ill spare the latter, but it would have been impolitic to have
refused his urgent solicitations, whatever might have been their
tendency.

The horses promised by Adooley were now sent for them to examine.
They appeared strong and in good condition, and if they played them
no wicked pranks in "the bush," no doubt they would be found
eminently serviceable.

In the evening, Poser's headman, who, it was understood, was one of
the chiefs first captains, returned their visit of the preceding day,
followed by a multitude of friends and retainers. He had been
determined, it was believed, before he left home, to be in an ill
humour with the travellers, and perhaps he had treated himself with
an extra dram upon the occasion. This great bully introduced himself
into their dwelling; his huge round face, inflamed with scorn, anger,
and "potations deep." He drank with more avidity than his countrymen,
but the liquor produced no good impression upon him, serving rather
to increase his dissatisfaction and choler. He asked for every thing
which he saw, and when they had gratified him to the best of their
power, he began to be very abusive and noisy. He said he was
convinced that they had come into the country with no good
intentions, and accused them of deceit and insincerity in their
professions, or, in plainer terms, that they had been guilty of a
direct falsehood, in stating that they had no other motive for
undertaking the journey than to recover the papers of Mr. Park at
Youri. He was assured that they were afraid to tell the true reasons
for leaving their own country. They withstood his invectives with
tolerable composure, and the disgraceful old fellow left them in a
pet, about half an hour after his arrival.

John Lander, we find, on referring to this part of their journey
says, "It is really a discouraging reflection, that, notwithstanding
the sacrifices we have made of all private feeling and personal
comfort, for the purpose of conciliating the good opinion of the
people here; the constant fatigue and inconvenience to which we have
been subjected; the little arts we have practised; the forced
laughter; the unnatural grin: the never-ending shaking of hands, &c.
&c., besides the dismal noises and unsavoury smells to which our
organs have been exposed, still, after all, some scoundrels are to be
found hardened against us by hatred and prejudice, and so ungrateful
for all our gifts and attentions, as to take a delight in poisoning
the minds of the people against us, by publicly asserting that we are
English spies, and make use of other inventions equally false and
malicious. Pitiable, indeed, must be the lot of that man, who is
obliged to drag on a year of existence in so miserable a place as
this. Nevertheless we are in health and spirits, and perhaps feel a
secret pride in being able to subdue our rising dissatisfaction, and
in overcoming difficulties, which at a first glance seemed to be
insurmountable. By the blessing of Heaven, we shall proceed
prosperously in