Imatges de pÓgina

myself; therefore cease. Take me and the canoe, but don't kill me.' They took possession of both, and carried them to the king."

These sad tidings, conveyed in course to England, were not for a long time received with general belief. The statement, being sifted with care, was thought to contain inconsistencies, as well as such a degree of improbability as left some room for hope. But, as year after year elapsed, this hope died away; and Denham and Clapperton, in their late expedition, received accounts from various_quarters which very nearly coincided with those of Amadi Fatouma. Park's adventures, they found, had excited the deepest interest throughout Africa. Clapperton in his last journey even saw the spot where he perished, which, allowing for some exaggeration, did not ill correspond with the descrip tion just given. Nay, he received notice, as we shall here after see, that Park's manuscripts were in the possession of the king or chief of Yaour or Youri, who offered to deliver them up on condition that the captain would pay him a visit, which he unfortunately was never able to perform.


Various Travellers-Horneman, Nicholls, Roentgen, Adams,


It has been thought advisable to trace without interruption the interesting career of Park from its commencement to its close. Between his two expeditions, however, there intervened another, which appeared to open under very favourable auspices. Frederic Horneman, a student of the university of Gottingen, communicated to Blumenbach, the celebrated professor of natural history, his ardent desire to explore the interior of Africa under the auspices of the Association. Blumenbach transmitted to that body a strong recommendation of Horneman, as a young man, active, athletic, temperate, knowing sickness only by name, and of respectable literary and scientific attainments. Sir

Joseph Banks immediately wrote, "If Mr. Horneman be really the character you describe, he is the very person whom we are in search of." On receiving this encouragement, Horneman immediately applied his mind to the study of natural history and the Arabic language, and otherwise sought to fit himself for supporting the character, which he intended to assume, of an Arab and a Moslem, under which he hoped to escape the effects of that ferocious bigotry which had opposed so fatal a bar to the progress of his predecessors.

In May, 1797, Horneman repaired to London, where his appointment was sanctioned by the Association; and having obtained a passport from the Directory, who then governed France, he visited Paris, and was introduced to some leading members of the National Institute. He reached Egypt in September, spent ten days at Alexandria, and set out for Cairo, to wait the departure of the Rashna caravan. The interval was employed in acquiring the language of the Mograbin Arabs, a tribe bordering on Egypt. While he was at Cairo, tidings arrived of Buonaparte's having landed in that country, when the just indignation of the natives vented itself upon all Europeans, and among others on Horneman, who was arrested and confined in the castle. He was relieved upon the victorious entry of the French commander, who immediately set him at liberty, and very liberally offered money and every other supply which might contribute to the success of his mission.

It was the 5th of September, 1798, before Horneman could find a caravan proceeding to the westward, when he joined the one destined for Fezzan. The travellers soon passed the cultivated land of Egypt, and entered on an expanse of sandy waste, such as the bottom of the ocean might exhibit if the waters were to retire. This desert was covered with the fragments, as it were, of a petrified forest; large trunks, branches, twigs, and even pieces of bark, being scattered over it. Sometimes these stony remains were brought in by mistake as fuel. When the caravan halted for the night, each individual dug a hole in the sand, gathered a few sticks, and prepared his victuals after the African fashion of kouskous, soups, or puddings. Horneman, according to his European habits, at first employed the services of another; but finding himself thus exposed to con


tempt or suspicion, he soon followed the example of the rest, and became his own cook.

There are as usual oases, or verdant spots, in this immense waste. Ten days brought the caravan to Ummesogeir, a village situated on a rock, with a hundred and twenty inhabitants, who, separated by such immense deserts from the rest of the world, pass a peaceful and hospitable life, subsisting on dates, the chief produce of their arid soil.

Another day's journey brought them to Siwah, a much more extensive oasis, the rocky border of which is estimated by Horneman to be fifty miles in circumference. It yields, with little culture, various descriptions of grain and vegetables; but its wealth consists chiefly in large gardens of dates, baskets of which fruit form here the standard of value. The government is vested in a very turbulent aristocracy of about thirty chiefs, who meet in council in the vicinity of the town-wall, and, in the contests which frequently arise, make violent and sudden appeals to arms. The chief question in respect to Siwah is, whether it does or does not comprise the site of the celebrated shrine of Jupiter Ammon -that object of awful veneration to the nations of antiquity, and which Alexander himself, the greatest of its heroes, underwent excessive toil and peril to visit and to associate with his name. This territory does in fact contain springs, a small edifice with walls six feet thick, partly painted and adorned with hieroglyphics. There are also antique tombs in the neighbouring mountains; but as the subsequent discoveries of Belzoni and Edmonston have proved that all these features exist in other oases scattered in different directions along the desert borders of Egypt, some uncertainty must perhaps for ever rest on this curious question.

The route now passed through a region still indeed barren, yet not presenting such a monotonous plain of sand as

tervenes between Egypt and Siwah. It was bordered by precipitous limestone rocks, often completely filled with shells and marine remains. The caravan, while proceeding along these wild tracts, were alarmed by a tremendous braying of asses; and, on looking back, saw several hundreds of the people of Siwah armed and in full pursuit, mounted on these useful animals. The scouts, however, soon brought an assurance that they came with intentions perfectly peaceable, having merely understood that in the

caravan there were two Christians from Cairo; on being allowed to kill whom, they would permit the others to proceed unmolested. All Horneman's address and firmness were required in this fearful crisis. He opposed the most resolute denial to the assertions of the Siwahans; he opened the Koran, and displayed the facility with which he could read its pages; he even challenged his adversaries to answer him on points of Mohammedan faith. His companions in the caravan, who took a pride in defending one of their members, insisted that he had cleared himself thoroughly from the imputation of being an infidel; and as they were joined by several of the Siwahans, the whole body finally renounced their bloody purpose, and returned home.

The travellers next passed through Augila, a town so ancient as to be mentioned by Herodotus; but now small, dirty, and supported solely by the passage of the inland trade. They then entered the Black Harutsch, a long range of dreary mountains (Mons Ater of the ancients), through the successive defiles of which they found only a narrow tract enclosed by rugged steeps and obstructed by loose stones. Every valley, too, and ravine into which they looked appeared still more wild and desolate than the road itself. A gayer scene succeeded when they entered the district of limestone mountains called the White Harutsch. The rocks and stones here appeared as if glazed, and abounded in shells and other marine petrifactions, which, on being broken, had a vitrified appearance.

After a painful route of sixteen days through this solitary region, the travellers were cheered by seeing before them the Great Oasis, or small kingdom of Fezzan. Both at Temissa, the first frontier town, and at Zuila, the ancient capital, which is still inhabited by many rich merchants, they were received with rapturous demonstrations of joy. The arrival of a caravan is the chief event which diversifies the existence of the Fezzaners, and diffuses through the country animation and wealth. At Mourzouk, the modern capital, the reception was more solemn and pompous. The sultan himself awaited their arrival on a small eminence, seated in an arm-chair ornamented with cloth of various colours, and forming a species of throne. Each pilgrim, on approaching the roval seat, took off his sandals, kissed

the sovereign's hand, and took his station behind, where the whole assembly joined in a chant of pious gratitude.

Fezzan, according to Horneman, has a length of 300 and a breadth of 200 miles, and is much the largest of all the oases which enliven the immense desert of northern Africa. It relieves however, in only an imperfect degree, the parched appearance of the surrounding region. It is not irrigated by a river or even a streamlet of any dimensions; the grain produced is insufficient for its small population, supposed to amount to 70,000 or 75,000 inhabitants; and few animals áre reared except the ass, the goat, and the camel. Dates, as in all this species of territory, form the chief article of land produce; but Fezzan derives its main importance from being the centre of that immense traffic which gives activity and wealth to Interior Africa. Mourzouk, in the dry season, forms a rendezvous for the caravans proceeding from Egypt, Morocco, and Tripoli to the great countries watered by the western rivers. Yet the trade is carried on less by the inhabitants themselves than by the Tibboos, the Tuaricks, and other wandering tribes of the desert, concerning whom our traveller collected some information, but less ample than Lyon and Denham afterward obtained from personal observation. Of Timbuctoo he did not learn much, Morocco being the chief quarter whence caravans proceed to that celebrated seat of African commerce. But respecting the eastern part of Soudan he received intelligence more accurate than had hitherto reached Europe. Houssa was for the first time understood to be, not a single country or city, but a region comprehending many kingdoms, the people of which are said to be the handsomest, most industrious, and most intelligent in that part of Africa, being particularly distinguished for their manufacture of fine cloths. Among the states mentioned were Kashna, Kano, Daura, Solan, Noro, Nyffee, Cabi, Zanfara, and Guba. Most or all of these were tributary to Bornou, which is decidedly the most powerful kingdom in Central Africa; and it was so regarded even before the rise of the Fellatah empire, which has caused, in this respect, a remarkable change. The Niger, according to the unanimous belief in the northern provinces, was described as flowing from Timbuctoo eastward through Houssa, and holding the same direction till it joined or rather became the Bahr-el

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