Imatges de pÓgina

a deep and precipitous ravine. Here he had snatched the young branches issuing from the stump of a large overhanging tree, in order to let himself down into the water, when, beneath his hand, a large liffa, 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 Khalloom; but amid 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 on him, rode up and took him on his own horse. Boo Khalloom ordered a burnouse to be thrown over him,-very seasonably, for the burning sun had begun to blister his naked body. Suddenly, however, Maramy called out, 66 See, see! Boo Khalloom 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 thought only 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 Meegamy, who, seeing his wounds festering under the rough woollen cloak which formed his only covering, took off his own trowsers and gave them to him.

The Arabs had lost forty-five of their number, besides their chief; the rest were in a miserable plight, most of them wounded, some mortally, and all having lost 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 altogether devoid of poetical beauty:

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

"Boo Khalloom, the good and the brave, has fallen! Who shall now be safe? Even as the moon

amongst the little stars, so was Boo Khalloom 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 Khalloom 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 Khalloom 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 Khalloom, 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 sounded before him. This monarch is too dignified 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 were 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 Arabs" enchanted men," filled the woods with their cries. Here, too, was found Old now desolate capital, evi

Birnie, the ancient but dently 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 of 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 by the Tuaricks, who carried off their friends, their children, and eattle. 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 the one and the other 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 fell in, 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, which had been seen hastening in parties to the scene of action, were mustered at Kabshary, a town which the Mungas had nearly destroyed. The sheik made a review of his favourite forces, the Kanemboo spearmen, 9000 strong. They were really a very savage and military-looking host, perfectly naked, except a girdle of goatskin 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,

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