course was due south of Kouka. They passed on the 18th and 19h through Deegoa, a large walled town, containing a population of thirty thousand; Affagay, another large and populous town, and a several villages. The road consisted of several narrow paths, passable only for one horse at a time, and these obstructed by prickly trees which hang over them. Twelve pioneers, who carried long forked poles, were employed to keep back the branches; and as they moved on, they gave animation to the march, by perpetually cry i ing out something about the road.

· For example: “ Take care of the holes ! - avoid the branches - 1 Here is the road! – take care of the tulloh!- its branches are like spears -- worse than spears! Keep off the branches !” — “ For whom?" “ Barca Gana." - "Who in battle is like rolling of thunder?" — “Barca Gana!" -“ Now for Mandara! – now for the Kerdies !-- now for the battle of spears ! — Who is our leader ?" — “ Barca Gana.” – “Here is the wadey, but no water.” -“ God be praised !” — “ In battle, who spreads terror around him like a buffalo in his rage?"-" Barca Gana." | - Denham, p. 106.

On the 20th they reached Delahay, ' a spot surrounded by large wide-spreading acacias, affording a delightful shade' and abundance of excellent water, a most acceptable blessing where the ther: mometer was seldom under 113° in the most secluded place. The first town which they entered in Mandara is called Delow: it contains 10,000 inhabitants, has springs of good water, and in the neighbouring vallies are odoriferous shrubs and fig-trees. They were received in a friendly manner by the Sultan of Mandara, who met them on a rising ground, surrounded by five hundred borsemen, who were finely dressed in Soudan tobes of different colours, bornouses of coarse scarlet cloth, and large turbans of white or dark cotton. Their horses were beautiful, and they managed them with great skill." The Sultan's guard was composed of thirty of his sons, all mounted on very superior horses, clothed in striped silk tobes; and the skin of the tiger-cat and leopard formed their shabracks, which hung fully over their horses haunches. The Sultan was an intelligent little man of about fifty, with a beard dyed • of a most beautiful sky-blue.' Upon learning that Major Denham was not Moslem, he had no further intercourse with him. The Sultan refused permission to Boo-Khaloom to invade the country of the Kerdies, an inferior tribe, which supplies the Sultan with numerous slaves. Boo-Khaloom asserted the Kerdies to be Christians, but Denbam disbelieved him, from the uncouth appearance which some of them exhibited, and their propensity to eat horse-flesh; he had, however, no means of ascertaining whether the assertion was really devoid of foundation. After being delayed some days by the indecision of the Sultan, the marauders moved, on the 25th of April, to the east of Delow. The country is here mountainous. In the vallies they found verdure and shade, and saw several of those enormous trees called gubberah, which resemble the fig-tree without its fruit. Their trunks commonly measure ten and twelve yards in circumference near the root, and their branches sometimes cover more than half an acre of ground. As the party advanced, the mountain-scenery improved in beauty and richness, and they saw before them, to the south, mountains still higher and more magnificent. They proceeded through a frightful and difficult pass called the Horza, after which nature seemed to wear a new dress. Flowers, vegetables, and fruits, were abundant. On the road the expedition was joined by the Sultan of Mandara, with a considerable force; and the whole body now exceeding three thousand men, they formed into regular columns on the morning of the 28th, and proceeded to attack some small towns inhabited by the Felatahs.

We have already observed that the Felatah tribe, or rather tribes, are exceedingly powerful in the interior of Africa. They extend through the whole of Soudan quite to Timbuctoo, and they are found in great numbers at D'jennie on the Quolla. They have a peculiar language of their own. They are Moslem, and a handsome as well as brave race of people, wholly distinct from the negroes, and of a deep copper colour. They had several times conquered Mandara, but were at last driven from it to the mountains by the present Sultan, who deerned them a most formidable enemy, and was rejoiced at having an opportunity of directing the energies of Boo-Khaloom and his Arabs against them. After burning Dirkulla and another small town near it, and putting to death, or consigning to the flames, the few inhabitants who were found in them, consisting chiefly of infants and aged persons unable to escape, they proceeded to attack Musfeia, in latitude 9° 10' north, which was built on a rising ground among the mountains, and capable of being defended against double the force now brought against it. It was defended very resolutely by the Felatahs, whose weapons were the spear and bow and poisoned arrow. The Arabs soon took flight, a course of proceeding in which they were instantly followed by their auxiliaries, the Sultan leading the way. Major Denham's horse was disabled by an arrow-wound, and it was with great difficulty he fled from the field, after being stripped absolutely naked by the Felatahs. The narrative of his escape is highly interesting, but too long to be extracted. All their baggage was abandoned to the enemy, and numbers of the invaders were speared to death, or surk under the effects of the poisoned-arrow wounds. Among them perished Boo-Khaloom himself, who was wounded by an arrow in the foot. Thus terminated this expedition, in the signal discomfiture of those who planned it in injustice, and, as far as they were permitted, carried it on with cruelty. Major Denham unfortunately acquired little in the way of his mission to compensate him for the severe sufferings which he most unnecessarily brought upon himself.

Musfeia is distant from Kouka about 230 miles, but such was the haste with which the Arabian remnants of the expedition retreated, that Major Denham and they arrived at Kouka in about seven days after the battle. . He lost almost every thing, his trunk, linen, canteens, azimuth-compass, drawing-case, and some sketches of the Mandara mountains. The inhabitants were unanimous in reporting that these mountains extend southward for two months' journey; and one who represented he had been twenty days south of Mandara said that he had travelled over mountains ten times higher than those of Mandara : he called them “ mountains of the moon.”! If this account be true, and it is by no means improbable, the obvious conjecture is, that they belong to the same chain as the moon-mountains in which the Nile is supposed to take its rise. The same person spoke of several rivers and lakes which he saw in the course of his journey, one of which he represented as flowing eastward to the Nile.

On his return from Musfeia, Major Denham, 'accompanied by Dr. Oudney, made an excursion westward to Soudan (now in ruins) with the Sheikh, who marched through that country in order to reduce the Munga people to obedience. The object of the expedition was effected, by the Sheikh's tact and management without any fighting, which was of the more importance, as they are a powerful race, and can bring ten thousand bowmen into the field. They are described as having all the simplicity, good nature, and ugliness of the people of Bornou. The chief object of Dr. Oudney's and Major Denham's attention was the river Gambarou, which is said, in some parts, to be as wide as the Thames at Windsor, but the water appeared quite stationary. They were told, huwever, that in the rainy season it flows in a strong current eastward, and in the map it is made to join the Yeou, which is tributary to the Tchad.

During the rainy season, the mission remained at Kouka. Rains incessantly fall during the months of August and September, increasing every day till about the latter part of September, when they sensibly diminish. This corresponds with the inundation of the Nile, which is at its height on the 25th of September; but still it does not prove the existence of any communication between the Tchad and that mighty stream. During the rains, almost the whole face of the country round Kouka is covered with the waters; and the probability is, that when the bed of the lake overflows, a great portion of the superincumbent weight of waters finds its way into the Nile through many channels which, when the inundation is subsided, are no longer visible. While the rains prevailed, all the members of the mission, and, indeed, the greater number of the inhabitants, were extremely ill at Kouka. Towards the latter end of October, cool winds purified the air; and about the middle of December Dr. Oudney and Captain Clapperton set out with a kafila on their journey westward, while Major Denham, who about the

in orderre foiled by the letheir journey theanion to have 24524)

Mr. Tyrwhit, there, and in June hep the Tchad, which won that

same time was joined by a new colleague, Lieutenant Toole, proceeded on an excursion to Loggun, to the south-east of Kouka, in order to explore the course of the river Shary. In this object they were foiled by the fear or jealousy of the Sultan of Loggun; and in the course of their journey the climate was fatal to Mr. Toole, who is represented by his companion to have been a young officer of great promise. In the following April (1824) Mr. Tyrwhit, who, we believe, was appointed to act as consul at Kouka, arrived there, and in June he accompanied Major Denham on an expedition to the eastern side of the Tchad, which was unattended by any satisfactory results. We regret to learn that Mr. Tyrwhit has also fallen a victim to the climate. After an excursion, equally fruitless, to the north-eastern banks of the Tchad, Major Denham and Captain Clapperton (who had returned from his western journey) repassed their former road to Tripoli, and after an absence of three years reached England in safety.

The limitation of our space prevents us from following Captain Clapperton in his very interesting journal. Dr. Oudney died at Murmur, and his companion, from causes which he does not detail, was not able to penetrate farther westward than Sackatoo, which, as well as a great part of the country round it, is under the rule of the Felatahs. One of the first questions asked by the Sultan Bello related to Major Denham's appearance with the party of Boo-Khaloom in that unfortunate expedition against the Felatahs at Musfeia. Captain Clapperton endeavoured to explain the matter as well as he could. Bello is described as an extremely intelligent person, very anxious to enter into commercial relations with England, for which the proximity of his dominions to the Bight of Benin affords great facilities. He has also promised to do every thing in his power to put a stop to the slave-trade, which has been principally carried on in that quarter. The whole of the Felatah country is described as superior in many respects to those parts of Africa, which were traversed by Denbam. According to popular report Mungo Park's death occurred at a very short distance from Sackatoo. This town is situated 13° 4' 52" north lat. and 6° 12' east long. It is the most populous which Clapperton saw in Africa, though only twenty years have elapsed since its foundation. Clapperton's visit to it is likely to be attended with the most important results, as in consequence of an arrangement which he made with the Sultan he has already gone out by the way of Benin upon a second mission, most probably empowered by our government to enter into arrangements of a permanent nature. We may, therefore, look forward to fresh discoveries in northern and western Africa, of a more interesting character; and we do feel not a little proud in believing that the extension of British influence in that quarter will be followed by the utter destruction of the slave-trade, the first great step in the civilisation of millions who have hitherto been unknown to Europe.

In the Appendix the reader will find several very curious documents; among them two or three letters from African chieftains to His Majesty, which are quite amusing.

Art. IV. Mr. Blount's MSS.; being Selections from the Papers of a Man of the World. By the Author of “ Gilbert Earle." 2 Vols.

12mo. 14s. London. C. Knight. 1826. This romance is of a better class than many of those which we have lately seen. It describes the career, less of a man than of a mind, and follows this lonely track through a long succession of capricious joys and sorrows, wayward fondnesses, and still more wayward rejections of happiness, with a painful Gidelity. Yet this fidelity wants force. It has a pathetic tinge, yet it wants depth of colouring. The artist's hand is visible, but it is in vapoury and wandering touches. His sunshine has the hue without the heat, his shower falls glitteringly, but it rather refreshes than clears the atmosphere or invigorates the soil.

Nothing could be more captivating to a writer, gifted with the great faculty to dip his pencil in the heart, than such a subject. The rapid summoning up of the spirits that live concealed in our nature, but that will come up only when the legitimate passion puts forth its voice to summon them; those fallen angels, obeying none but the call of their great leader; and then rushing up on the full wing from their beds of gloom and fire; the noble conflicts of principle, the strong resolution triumphing over the strong opportunity, the heroic hazards, mental and corporeal, the glowing and brilliant gallantry, the stern and haughty suffering, the repelled or the broken heart; all might be included within the range of a picture that yet had but a single figure.

Among the minor objections to this work we must place the title. It tells nothing of the purposes of the volume. It even repels the interest that the volume might excite. There is a harshness, and even a vulgarity, in some names which the novelist ought not to encounter. In actual life this cannot be helped: we bave a cluster of appellative horrors even in our highest ranks; but time, the habit of thinking more of the individual than of the name, and the consciousness that the disaster is unavoidable, soften down the natural repulsion. But the novelist has the choice; and the choice of a vulgar nomenclature is visited at once upon himself and his hero. Who, says Addison, can ever care for the loves or sorrows of Mr. Clutterbuck? The present writer gives his hero the common-place name of Blount; and selects for his correspondent the equally unhappy name of Frewin. The book, however, is net common-place; and the author probably thus disguised his personages in order that he might produce the stronger contrast with the feelings developed in their narrative.

« ElőzőTovább »