Imatges de pÓgina

trymen, 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 afterward 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 Christmas-day, 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 Rennel. 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 interest and mystery were suspended over the future course and termination of this great central stream. Kingdoms had been discovered, more flourishing and

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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 evident, 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 mean time 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 almost 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 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 no longer any claim on their hospitality; on the contrary, they eagerly seized every opportunity to obtain some portion of the valuable articles which they saw in his possession. Thefts were common; 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 be tween the hills of Foota Jalla and a high mountain called Muianta. Turning his face almost due west, he passed the streams of the Ba Lee, the Ba Fing, and the Ba Woollima, the three principal tributaries of the Senegal. This change of direction led him through a tract much more pleasing than that which he passed in his dreary return through Jallonka and its 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 that it was composed wholly of natural stone. The crossing of the rivers, now swelled to a considerable magnitude, 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 Falene, 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 Gimbia attempts were made to overpower, by main force, the whole party, and seize all they possessed; but the assault was repelled without bloodshed, by their merely presenting their muskets. At Maniakarro the whole population hung on their rear for a considerable time, headed by thirty of the king's sons; and great 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 pursuit, 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 among the rocks, and were merely seen peeping through the crevices.

The expedition continued to melt away beneath the deadly influence of an African climate. Every day added to the list of 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.

But three weeks, during which he experienced the greatest difficulty and suffering, elapsed before he could arrive at that desired point. 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. Yet his situation and prospects were gloomy indeed, when compared to 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 hope, especially when, on the 22d August, he felt 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 Marraboo; 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 rapidity which was even in a certain degree painful.

At Marraboo he sent forward the interpreter Isaaco 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, durmg which great anxiety was felt, heightened by several unfa vourable rumours, among which was, that the king had killed him with his own hand and announced his purpose

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