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the tidings spread, girls left their pitchers at the wells, the market people threw down their baskets, and an immense crowd was assembled. The ring being formed, and drums beat, 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 up 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 Mr. Clapperton saw the affair verging to such an issue, he gave orders to stop; and, after seeing six pairs exhibit, paid the hire and broke up the meeting;
From Kano he set out under the guidance of Mohammed Jollie, leader of an extensive caravan intended for Sackatoo, 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 I thanked them for their civility, remarking to one another, 'Did you hear the white man thank me?" But the scene was changed when the traveller reached the borders of the provinces of Goober and Zamfra, which were in a state of rebellion against Sackatoo. 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, "Wo to the wretch that falls behind! he will be sure to meet an unhappy end at the hands of the Gooberites." There was danger even of bein
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.
On the 16th March, 1824, after passing through the hilly district of Kamoon, the valleys began to open, and crowds of people were seen thronging to market with wood, onions, indigo, and other commodities. This indicated the approach to Sackatoo, which they soon saw from the top of a hill, and entered about noon. A multitude flocked to see the white stranger, and received him with cheers of welcome. The sultan was not yet returned from a ghrazzie or slave-hunt; but the gadado, or minister, performed handsomely the honours of the place. Next day the chief arrived, and instantly sent for Clapperton. The palace, as usual in Africa, consisted of a sort of enclosed town, with an open quadrangle in front. The stranger, on entering the gate, was conducted through three huts serving as guard-houses, after which he found Sultan Bello seated on a small carpet in a sort of painted and ornamented cottage Bello had a noble and commanding figure, with a high forehead and large black eyes. He gave the traveller a hearty welcome, and, after inquiring the particulars of his journey, proceeded to serious affairs. He produced books belonging to Major Denham, which had been taken in the disastrous battle of Dirkullah; and, though he expressed a feeling of dissatisfaction at the Major's presence on that occasion, readily accepted an apology, and restored the volumes. He only asked to have the subject of each explained, and to hear the sound of the language, which he declared to be beautiful. He then began to press his visiter with theological questions, and showed himself not wholly unacquainted with the controversies which have agitated the Christian world; indeed he soon went beyond the depth of his visiter, who was obliged to own that he was not versant in the abstruser mysteries of divinity.
The sultan now opened a frequent and familiar communication with the English envoy, in which he showed himself possessed of a good deal of information. The astrononical instruments, from which, as from implements of magic,
many of his attendants started with horror, were examined by the monarch with an intelligent eye. On being shown the planisphere, he proved his knowledge of the planets, and even of many of the constellations, by repeating their Arabic names. The telescope, which presented objects inverted -the compass, by which he could always turn to the east in praying-and the sextant, which he called "the lookingglass of the sun," excited peculiar interest. Being desirous to see an observation performed with the latter instrument, Clapperton, who had lost the key of the artificial horizon, asked a dagger to break it open; upon which the sultan started, and half-drew his sword, trembling like an aspen leaf. The other very prudently took no notice of this excitement, but quietly opened his box, when the exhibition soon dispelled all unfavourable impressions. The sultan, however, inquired with evident jealousy into some points of English history that had come to his knowledge; as, the conquest of India, which the traveller endeavoured to represent as a mere arrangement to protect the natives, and particularly the Moslem population. The attack on Algiers, being also alluded to, was justly declared to have been made solely on account of her atrocious piracies.
Sackatoo appeared to Mr. Clapperton the most populous city he had seen in the interior of Africa. The houses stand more closely together than in most other towns of Houssa, and are laid out in regularly well-built streets. It is surounded by a wall between twenty and thirty feet high, with twelve gates, which are punctually shut at sunset. The dwellings of the principal inhabitants consist of clusters of cottages and flat-roofed houses, in the Moorish style, enclosed by high walls. There are two mosques, one of which, then in progress of building, was 800 feet long, adorned with numerous pillars of wood plastered with clay, and highly ornamented.
Mr. Clapperton, desirous to accomplish what had all along been his main object, solicited a guide to the western countries and the Gulf of Benin. By this route he might investigate the course of the Niger and the fate of Park; he might also pave the way for a commercial intercourse, which would be of some benefit to Britain, and of great advantage to Africa. The sultan at first gave assurances of permission and aid in travelling through every part of his domi
nions; but when our countryman specified Nyffe on the banks of the Niger, Youri where the papers of Park were reported to be kept, Rakah and Fundah, where that river was said to fall into the sea, the courtiers began to demur. Professing tender solicitude for his safety, they represented that the season was becoming unfavourable, and that rebellion and civil war were raging to such a pitch in these countries as to make even the mighty protection of Sultan Bello insufficient for his security. Clapperton strongly suspected that this unfavourable change was produced by the machinations of the Arabs, and particularly of Mohammed Gomsoo, their chief, notwithstanding the warm professions of friendship made that personage. They apprehended, probably, that were a communication opened with the western coast, Interior Africa might be supplied with European goods by that shorter route, instead of being brought by themselves across the Desert. Perhaps these suspicions were groundless; for the state of the country was afterward found to be, if possible, worse than had been described, and the ravages of the Fellatas so terrible, that any one coming from among 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 is 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 our traveller 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.
Here the traveller obtained an account of Mr. Park's death, very closely corresponding with the statement given by Amadi Fatouma. The Niger, it appears, called here the Quorra, after passing Timbuctoo, turns to the south, and continues to flow in that direction till it crosses the parallel of Sackatoo, at only a few days' journey to the westward; but whether it reaches the sea, or, making an immense cir
cuit, becomes the Shary, and pours itself into the immense basin of the Tchad, are points on which his informants varied greatly.
Returning by a different route, Mr. Clapperton visited Zirmie, the capital of Zamfra, a kind of outlawed city, the inhabitants of which are esteemed the greatest rogues in Houssa, and where all runaway slaves find protection. He passed also through Kashna or Cassina, the metropolis of a kingdom which, till the late rise of the Fellata power, had 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 Tuat. Here our traveller 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. But our countryman, being indisposed, only picked out an ancient maiden to serve as a nurse.
Mr. Clapperton rejoined Major Denham at Kouka, whence they set out, and recrossed the Desert together in the latter part of the year 1824. They reached Tripoli in January, 1825, and soon after embarked for Leghorn; but being detained by contrary winds and quarantine regula tions, did not reach London till the month of June.
Clapperton's Second Journey-Laing-Caillié.
Ir has appeared, that in spite of some occasional symptoms of jealousy, and even of alarm, the sultan of the Fellatas had manifested a very considerable inclination to cultivate intercourse with the English. He was even understood to have promised that messengers should be kept in waiting at Rakah and Fundah, or at some port on the coast,