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poli, they could not shut their eyes to the reigning barbarism. The sheik, Belgassum Khalifa, a fine old Arab, understood to be high in the favour of the bashaw, had been one evening at an elegant entertainment in the palace, when on reaching his own door a pistol-shot wounded him in the arm, and on his entering the passage a second penetrated his body. He staggered into the house, denouncing his own nephew as the author of the assassination. The murderers rushed in, and completed their crime by stabbing him seven times with their daggers, while his wife received two wounds in endeavouring to save him. The three actors in this tragedy instantly fled for protection to the British consulate; but Mr. Warrington sent notice to the bashaw, "that the murderers of Khalifa would find no protection under the flag of England." That chief, however, either privy to the crime, or disposed to wink at its commission, expressed his regret that the guilty persons had found shelter in the consulate; but added, that he could not think of violating such a sanctuary. Repeated assurance was given that he might send any force, or use any means, to drag them from beneath a banner that never was disgraced by giving protec tion to assassins. The bashaw at length, ashamed of his apathy, sent sixteen stout fellows, by whom the ruffians were seized; and in less than an hour the murderers were seen hanging from the castle-walls.

The mission, fortified with recommendations to the sultan of Fezzan, now entered upon their long and dreary pilgrimage to Mourzouk, where they arrived on the 8th April, 1822. This prince received them with courtesy and affability, but gave himself very little trouble in making provision for the continuance of their journey. He even intimated his intention of visiting Tripoli, and the necessity of their remaining till his return. This arrangement was most disheartening; nor did they know what reliance to place in the sincerity of Boo Khalloom, a great merchant, who invited them to accompany an expedition which he was preparing for Soudan. The sultan and he soon after departed, each with large presents for the bashaw, to intrigue against one another at the court of Tripoli. After this there was scarcely a camel left in Fezzan, or any other means of prosecuting discovery. Major Denham then saw no alternative but that he himself should hasten back to Tripoli, and

remonstrate with the bashaw on this apparent violation of his promise. After a tedious journey of twenty days, with only three attendants, he arrived, and waited on the barbarian, who received him with his usual courtesy ; but, not giving that full satisfaction which was expected, the Major Jost no time in setting sail for England, to lodge a complaint with his own court. This step was painfully felt by the bashaw, who sent vessel after vessel, one of which at last overtook Major Denham while performing quarantine at Marseilles, and announced that arrangements were actually made with Boo Khalloom for escorting him to the capital of Bornou. Accordingly, on the Major's return to Tripoli, he found the Arab chief already on the borders of the Desert.

This trader, who was now to be a guide to the English into the immense regions of the south, was a personage of a very different character from what we in this country can form any idea of. The African caravan-merchant has nothing in common with that respectable class of men who, seated in counting-houses at London or Amsterdam, direct the movement of their ships over the ocean, and count the silent accumulation of their profits. He, on the contrary, must accompany his merchandise from one extremity to the other of a great continent, and across its immense deserts, the scene of much suffering, and frequently of death itself. Nor is it from a parched wilderness and a burning climate that he has most to apprehend. His path is every where beset by bands whose trade is plunder, and who find amusement in assassination. He must therefore have his property guarded by armed men, ready to defend with their blood what his money has purchased. These followers, being in continual service, and exposed to frequent fighting, become practised soldiers, and are more than a match for the roving barbarians who infest the Sahara. Even the greatest princes view these merchant-chiefs with fear and jealousy; and though they contrive to draw considerable advantage from their trade, scarcely consider the kingdom as their own while their troops are within its boundaries. The merchants, unhappily, do not confine themselves to self-defence; but, seeing robbery practised on every side against themselves, begin to retaliate, and soon find it cheaper, and, according to African ideas, not less

honourable, to replenish their stores by plunder than by purchase. Slaves, the staple of their trade, are generally obtained by the most atrocious violence, in expeditions called ghrazzies or felateas, undertaken solely for that guilty purpose; but, by engaging in such enterprises themselves, the merchants enjoy the benefit, since they reckon it such, of paying in blood instead of money. Provided they can escape the dangers and casualties to which they are exposed, their profits are immense, the value of merchandise being somewhat more than tripled by its conveyance across the Desert. Thus a few successful journeys enable a man to acquire a fortune almost princely, and a high degree of influence in the Barbary States. In short, the merchant, the warrior, the prince, the thief, are united in this extraordinary character; and he is prepared, according to circumstances, to act in one or in all of these capacities. Yet Boo Khalloom might be reckoned a good specimen of this evil race. He possessed an enlarged and liberal mind, and was honourable, and even humane, so far as a slave-merchant could retain these qualities; he was dragged, too, with reluctance into the most odious parts of his vocation, -while at home his generosity was such as to make him almost idolized.

Under the guidance of this remarkable personage Major Denham set forth, with almost the full assurance of reaching those depths of Africa from which no European had ever yet returned. Little occurred to diversify the usual monotony of a desert route, till they arrived at Sockna, where Boo Khalloom, who was fond of display, determined to make his entrance with almost kingly pomp. He rode a white Tunisian horse, with gilded saddle and trappings of scarlet cloth bordered with gold; his dress consisted of various caftans and robes of the richest silks, adorned with gold buttons, lace, and embroidery: the burnouse, a present from the bashaw, had cost 400 dollars. The citizens meeting the party with shouts and guns, and the females with singing and dancing, formed a species of triumphal procession. Several days were spent at Sockna, Boo Khalloom being ill, and wishing to try the effect of various charms and superstitious remedies. The English, meantime, witnessed a great marriage ceremony, the chief pomp of which consisted in placing the bride in a basket on the back of a

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camel and leading her round the town, while numerous horsemen galloped up and discharged their muskets quite close to her head; the honour of which compliment was understood to compensate for the fear which it could not fail to occasion.

In journeying onwards to Mourzouk the travellers passed along the naked sides of the Gebel Assoud, which the Major crossed now for the third time; but no familiarity could relieve the sense of dreariness and misery which its aspect occasioned. A rainy day came as a blessing to the whole party, especially to the poor slaves, on whom Boo Khalloom had only in special kindness bestowed one draught of water in the day to cool their burning thirst. On the 30th October the caravan made its entry into Mourzouk with similar pomp as into Sockna, amid the shouts of the inhabitants, whom the chief, by his liberality, had inspired with the warmest attachment. The Major, however, was much disheartened by not seeing any of his countrymen amid the joyous crowd; and his fears were confirmed by finding Dr. Oudney just recovering from a severe attack in the chest, and Mr. Clapperton in bed the fifteenth day with ague,facts which, combined with the unfortunate result of the last expedition and the sickly look of the natives themselves, indicated some peculiarly baneful influence, without any visible cause, in the climate of Mourzouk.

Invalids so severely afflicted were not very fit to begin a ong and laborious journey; but their ardour was extreme, and imagining that a change of air would be beneficial, they contrived, even before Boo Khalloom was ready to set out, to move forward to Gatrone, leaving Major Denham behind at Mourzouk. On the 29th November the whole caravan broke up from that city, and began their journey through the Desert. They were escorted by nearly every inhabitant who could muster a horse. The expedition, besides the English, comprised 210 Arabs, ranged in tens and twenties, under different chiefs. The most numerous were the M'Garha, who, to the amount of seventy, came from the barren shore of the Syrtes. These barbarians enlivened the route by their traditionary tales, their songs, their extemporary poems, in which all the incidents of the journey itself were narrated; in short, by an inexhaustible fund of wit and vivacity. Their pride, their revenge, their rob

beries, did not come into view in their intercourse with the English, who, being received into their camp, having eaten of their bread and salt, and being bound in the cord of friendship, were entitled to all the rights of hospitality, and would have been protected even at the hazard of life.

The caravan arrived in due time at Traghan, a small town containing a fine carpet-manufactory, and ruled by a marabout, who used the sanctity of his character to maintain order and promote the prosperity of the place. Passing that station they were soon in the heart of the Desert, where they spent whole days without seeing a living thing, even a bird or an insect, that did not belong to the caravan itself. After painful marches under the direct action of the solar rays, they were delighted by the stillness and beauty of the night. The moon and stars shone with peculiar brilliancy; cool breezes succeeded to the burning heat of the day; and on removing a few inches of the loose hot soil, a soft and refreshing bed was obtained. Even the ripple of the blowing sand sounded like a gentle and murmuring stream. Every noise was rendered doubly impres sive by the deep stillness, as well as by an echo from the surface of the surrounding waste. The road derived a very peculiar aspect from the quantity of salt with which the soil was impregnated; the clods were often cracked so as to resemble a ploughed field; and from the sides of cavities were hanging beautiful crystals of that mineral like the finest frost-work. Sometimes the ground for several miles was glazed over, resembling a sheet of ice; but though the surface was very hard, the interior was brittle, and the salt fell away in flakes.

The travellers had not proceeded far when the melancholy aspect of the Desert was heightened by a succession of objects which could not be viewed without the deepest horror. The ground was strewed with the skeletons of former travellers, who had perished in the attempt to cross this extensive wilderness. These at first appeared singly, but afterward increased till they amounted to fifty or sixty in a day. At Meshroo a hundred were seen together; and near the wells at El Hammar they were found lying in countless multitudes. One forenoon, as Major Denham was dozing on horseback, he was awakened by the sound of something crashing under his horse's feet, and on look

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