Imatges de pÓgina

is collected with most advantage after the ground is dry and the harvest removed. Being indicated by its reddish tinge, it is put into large baskets, called calabashes, and agitated with a rotatory motion, so that at every turn a portion of light sand mixed with water flies over the brim. The weightier parts then remaining are mixed with pure water, stirred, and carefully examined ; and it is considered satisfactory if three or four grains are found in the whole basket. The dust is preserved in quills, which are often stuck in the hair as ornaments.

The most formidable part of the journey home. ward was through the Jallonka wilderness, a vast and

very dense forest, in which the caravan travelled during five days without seeing a human habitation. They marched in close and regular order, to protect the party against the attack of wild beasts, whose roarings were heard continually around them, and to which every one who straggled was sure to fall a victim. Such, too probably, was the lot of Nealee, a female slave, who, either from obstinacy or from excessive fatigue, refused to proceed any farther; and after vain attempts to compel her by the whip, she was abandoned to her fate. On emerging from this forest, they had no difficulty in passing through the fine open country of Dentila, and the smaller wilderness of Tenda. Mr Park was again on 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, when compared with the attainments of his countrymen, he was deeply mortified, and exclaimed, “ Black men are nothing!" expressing 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 22d December arrived at Falmouth. He reached London before dawn on the morning of Christmasday, and, in the garden of the British Museum, accidentally met his brother-in-law, Mr Dickson. The interval of two years having elapsed since any tidings of him reached England, had caused him to be given up for lost, so that his friends and the public were equally astonished and delighted by his reappearance. 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. To satisfy the public impatience, an outline was drawn up by Mr Bryan Edwards, accompanied with learned and able geographical illustrations by Major Rennell. The entire narrative was published early in 1799, and besides the interest inseparable from the remarkable events which it describes, the merit of being written in a pleasing and animated style has rendered it one of the most popular books in the English language.


Park's Second Journey.

The discoveries of Park, in his first journey, though the most splendid made by any modern traveller, rather excited than satisfied the national curiosity. The Niger had been seen flowing eastward into the interior of Africa ; and hence a still deeper in. terest 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 in that continent; but other kingdoms, still greater and more wealthy, were reported to exist in regions which he 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 evi. dent, however, 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. Thus it became necessary for George III., the patron and employer of Cook, to come forward as the promoter of discovery in this new sphere. In October, 1801, accordingly, Mr Park was invited by Government to undertake an expedition on a larger scale into the interior of Africa. Having in the meantime married the daughter of Mr Anderson, with whom he had served his apprenticeship as a surgeon, and having entered with some success on the practice of his profession in the neighbouring town of Peebles, it was supposed that, content with 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. 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 Zaire, or Congo, which, since its discovery by the Portuguese, had been al. most lost sight of by 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 farther proceedings till 1804, when he 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 ; with these to proceed direct to Sego; to build there two boats 40 feet long, and from thence to sail downwards to the estuary of the Congo. Instructions were sent out to Goree that he should be furnished liberally with men, and with 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 8th 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. But before all these measures could be completed a month had elapsed, and it was then evident that the rainy season could not be far distant,—a period in which travelling is very difficult, and extremely 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 elevated and enthusiastic state of mind, it would have been extremely painful to have lingered so long on the eve of his grand and favourite undertaking. He hoped, and it seemed possible, that before the middle of June, when the rains usually begin, he might reach the Niger, which could then be navigated without any very 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

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