Imatges de pÓgina
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led to victory by their king, Chaka, who can arm 100,000 fighting men, and has 15,000 constantly ready for war. small English settlement has been formed on his maritime border, which is encouraged by that powerful chief with a view to commercial advantages; but of course much precaution is required in dealing with a potentate who commands so many savage bows and spears.

The Mantatees, after their defeat, separated into several detachments, one of which settled among the Kureechanes, while another advanced against the Caffres, whom they defeated, and part of whose territory they have since continued to occupy and plunder. In 1826, they came within two days' journey of the British frontier, where there was nothing to prevent them from advancing upon the Scotch locations in Albany; but measures have since been taken, by which these settlements are placed in full security.*

We possess only a very limited knowledge respecting the eastern coast of Africa, washed by the Indian Ocean,-a region scarcely visited except by the Portuguese, who continued to throw a veil of mystery over all their discoveries. In 1498, when Vasco de Gama had rounded the Cape of Good Hope, he touched at Mozambique, Mombasa, and Melinda, where he found the ruling people Arabs and bigoted Mohammedans. His object was merely to obtain pilots to guide his fleet to India; but at the two former of these ports he met an inhospitable and treacherous reception; while, on the other hand, he experienced at Melinda the utmost courtesy, and readily found the means of continuing his voyage to the coast of Malabar. Cabral, who followed in the footsteps of Gama, likewise visited Quiloa, which he describes as the capital of an extensive kingdom, and the seat of a flourishing trade; but it was not till he, too, reached Melinda, that he could obtain any friendly as

sistance.

The Portuguese, engrossed for some time with the more brilliant objects presented by the shores of India, sought in African ports only refreshment and pilots, and made no attempt at conquest. As their empire, however, extended, resentment or ambition furnished motives for successively attacking those settlements. In 1505, Almeda, indignant

* The group in the annexed plate represents the Queen of Lattakoo, a Lattakoo warrior, and two Bosjesman Hottentots.

at the reception given to him at Quiloa and Mombasa, landed and took possession of both these cities. In 1508, permission was obtained to erect a fort at Mozambique, by means of which the Portuguese soon expelled the Arabs, and became complete masters of the town. Attracted by its vicinity to the gold mines, and its convenience as a place of refreshment for their fleets, they made it the capital of their possessions in Eastern Africa. Melinda also, which had long shown such a friendly disposition to Europeans, became at last unable to endure the insulting spirit of the Mohammedans; a quarrel arose, and that city was added to the dominion of the Portuguese. They were now masters of an immense range of coast, fully 2000 miles in length, on which they held all the principal positions, though without extending their sway to any distance into the interior.

About 1569, the Portuguese made two vigorous attempts, under Nugnez Barreto and Vasco Fernandez, to advance into the country behind Mozambique, chiefly with the view of reaching the mines of gold, the produce of which was brought in considerable quantities down the Zambese to Sofala. They penetrated a considerable way up the river, on the banks of which they erected the forts of Sena and Tete. Its upper course was found overhung by steep and precipitous rocks, belonging to the mountainous range of Lupala, which here crosses its channel. They arrived at Zimbao, the capital of Quiteve, or king of Motapa, and even at the gold mines of Manica; but, instead of the expected profusion of this precious metal, they found that, as in other parts of Africa, it was laboriously extracted in small quantities from the extraneous substances in which it is imbedded. On this expedition they had frequent encounters with the natives, who were always beaten in the field; but the Europeans were so harassed by long marches, and by the scarcity of provisions, that they finally returned in a very exhausted state, and without having been able to establish any permanent dominion over that vast extent of country.

As the energy of the Portuguese government declined, its sway over these colonies was reduced within limits which always became narrower. In 1631, the people of Mombasa rose, made a general massacre of the Europeans, and re-established their independence. About the end of the

seventeenth century, the imam of Mascat, a powerful Arabian prince, drove them out of Melinda and Quiloa. Their possessions are now confined to Mozambique and Sofala, and are maintained even there on a very reduced scale. The former of these stations, when visited by Mr. Salt in 1808, was found to contain less than 3000 inhabitants, of whom only 500 were Portuguese; and the fortifications were in so neglected a state, that an Arabian chief assured the traveller that with 100 stout followers he could drive the subjects of Portugal out of this capital of Eastern Africa. Yet the government-house, in its interior arrangements, still exhibits some remains of the ancient splendour of the viceroys. The entertainment of tea, which is open every evening to all the respectable inhabitants, is set out in a service of pure gold; and the negroes in attendance are absolutely loaded with ornaments of that metal. Mozambique has still a pretty considerable commerce in gold, ivory, and slaves, brought down from the regions of the Upper Zambese. These captives, since Britain shut against them the markets of the Cape of Good Hope and Mauritius, have been, to the number of about 4000 in the year, sent chiefly to Brazil.

CHAPTER XVI.

On the Social Condition of Africa.

HAVING commenced this work by a general survey of Africa as it came from Nature's hand, we shall conclude with taking a rapid sketch of the changes made by man,the societies formed on its immense surface; its arts, its industry, its social and moral existence; noticing, finally, the few attempts which Britain has made to establish colonies on that continent.

A grand distinction must here be made between the native inhabitants of Africa and the foreign races from Arabia and other Asiatic countries, by whom so large a portion of its surface has been occupied. This distinction we shall

rest, not upon supposed resemblances of form and figure, or faint analogies between the language of distant nations, but upon the introduction, within the limits of authentic history, of a people, manners, and religion belonging to another continent. The changes now mentioned were effected, in a great measure, by the inroads of the Arabs or Saracens, and afterward by the conquests of the Turks,events which have diffused over the northern half of Africa a social system every way different from that of the tribes by whom it was formerly inhabited. We shall begin, however, with considering the native races who at present people this quarter of the globe.

The native tribes of Africa exist generally in that stage of society which is denominated barbarian. They are elevated above the hunting or savage state, by the power of taming and subjecting the lower animals, and by a certain rude agriculture which the fertility of the soil renders productive. Yet few of them are nomadic and wandering like the Arabs or the Tartars: they generally have native seats, to which they cling with strong feelings of local attachment. Even the tenants of the Desert, who roam widely in quest of commerce and plunder, have their little watered valleys, or circuit of hills, in which they make their permanent abode.

Agriculture, including pasturage, forms the most important branch of industry in every society, and more especially in one where all the finer arts are yet in a state of infancy. In Africa, however, both the extent of cultivation and the processes employed are still extremely imperfect. This is particularly manifest from the fact that no private property in land has been any where established. Every city or village is encircled by an unoccupied domain of forest or waste, belonging to the king or the state, and of which a portion is ready to be granted to any one who will undertake the labour and expense of cultivation; while the remainder forms an immense common, on which all the inhabitants have the liberty of pasturing their cattle. There are in Africa no country-seats, no rural farms, such as embellish the aspect of an European landscape; and which, in fact, could not exist in safety, where each little state is begirt with hostile neighbours, and so many predatory bands are prowling in every direction. The population is col

lected in towns or large villages, round which a circle of cultivation is formed; while beyond are pasture-lands where numerous herds are fed, and watched by day as well as by night. The space within the walls forms a pretty wide district, where, even in the largest cities, the houses are interspersed with cultivated fields, and the low roofs are seen rising behind ears of corn. All the processes of preparing the ground, sowing, and reaping, are slight and simple. The plough has not passed the limits of Barbary; and perhaps, in tropical climates, the deep furrow which it lays open might expose the soil too much to the parching effects of a burning sun. Grain is raised only by means of the most profuse moisture, which of itself softens the earth. As soon as the periodical floods have deluged the ground, or the temporary river inundation has retired, the labourers walk forth; one slightly stirs the earth with a hoe, while another, close behind, deposites the grain. Frequently this toil is lightened, from being performed by the whole village in common, when it appears less a scene of labour than a gay festival, like our English period of reaping. The village musician plays the most lively airs; the labourers keep time to his tune; and a spectator at a little distance would suppose them to be dancing instead of working. Irrigation, in all tropical climates, is the grand source of fertility; and wherever industry has made any progress, very considerable pains are taken to collect and distribute the waters, which either fall in rain, or are conveyed by river channels. Egypt is well known to owe its fertility altogether to the canals which diffuse over its plains the water of the Nile; and in Nubia, where the current remains constantly sunk in its rocky bed, there is a succession of sakies or wheels, by which it is raised, and conducted over the adjoining fields. In this way a belt of cultivation, of about a mile in breadth, is perpetuated along the whole upper course of that great river.

In all the tropical and more arid regions, the prevailing grains are of inferior character, coarse, and small, rather, as Jobson says, like seeds than grains, and fitted less for bread than for paste or pottage. The dhourra is the most common, extending over all Eastern Africa; while millet in the west, and teff in Abyssinia,. are productions nearly similar. In the latter country and Houssa, both wheat and rice are

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