Imatges de pÓgina
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successively four other cities; after which they came to the great river Lixus, flowing from Libya and the high boundary of the Atlas. Its banks were infested by numbers of wild beasts, and inhabited only by savage Ethiopians, living in caves, and repelling every friendly overture. Proceeding three days along a desert coast, the navigators reached an island, which they named Cerne, situated in a recess of the sea, where they established their last colony. Sailing onward still for a number of days, they saw a large river full of crocodiles and hippopotami, and containing various islands. The inhabitants were timid, and fled at their approach; but the coast presented some remarkable phenomena. During the day deep silence reigned; but as soon as the sun set, fires blazed on the shore, and the shouts of men were mingled with the varied sounds of cymbals, trumpets, and other musical instruments. This scene, being new to the Carthaginians, struck them with a sort of terror; but in fact it must have arisen from the custom prevalent over native Africa, where the inhabitants rest during the oppressive heat of the day, and spend great part of the night in dancing and festivity. On another shore the navigators were astonished to see the land all on fire, and torrents of flame rushing into the sea,-an appearance doubtless owing to one of those conflagrations frequently occasioned in such countries by the practice of setting fire to the grass at the end of autumn. Next appeared an island in a bay, where they found a most singular race, bearing the human form, indeed, but covered with shaggy hair, resembling those satyrs and sylvan deities with which pagan mythology peopled the woods. These monsters, whom they call Gorilla, and who seem evidently to have been orang-outangs, ran off on their approach, climbed rocks, and threw down stones on their pursuers; yet three females were caught, and their skins carried to Carthage. At length, the coast becoming desolate, and no longer affording either provisions or water, it was found necessary

to return.

How far this voyage extended, and what proportion of the African coast it surveyed, has been the subject of long and learned controversy. The only two disputants who now appear on the field are Major Rennel and M. Gosselin; the former of whom believes that Hanno passed Sierra

Leone, and that the bay and island of the Gorillae were Sherbro' Island and Sound; while the other terminates the voyage on the frontier of Morocco, at the entrance of the river Nun. The one supposes a run of about 600 miles, the other one of nearly 3000; and yet each theory is supported by profound and able arguments. In such a case who shall decide? I really have made some attempts to do so, without being able to come to so clear a decision as would justify me in interposing between two such mighty champions. But he who will undertake the study of the original works will be gratified by finding all the resources of learning, ingenuity, and acuteness exhausted by these two great writers on this curious subject.

The individual who in that early age made the most resolute and persevering efforts to explore Africa was Eudoxus, a native of the city of Cyzicus, who lived about 130 years before Christ. Alexandria was then the centre of naval enterprise, and her Greek princes the most zealous patrons of all useful undertakings. Eudoxus, happening to visit that city, was introduced to Ptolemy Euergetes, whom he ably assisted in prosecuting those schemes of discovery on which this monarch's mind appears to have been deeply intent. Where so much was unknown on every side, it was a subject of grave deliberation in what direction he should first proceed; and an expedition to trace the upper course and fountain of the Nile was at one time contemplated. But the spirit of adventure was soon turned towards another object by the arrival of a native of India, whom one of the king's vessels had saved from shipwreck, and who offered to act as pilot in leading Eudoxus to that opulent and celebrated region. The latter performed the voyage to India prosperously, and returned laden with wealth. Though not quite satisfied with the manner in which he was treated by the king, he yet undertook another expedition to the same quarter. On emerging from the Red Sea, he was driven by a storm upon the eastern coast of Africa, where he observed the land taking such a direction as inspired the idea that it might, by no vast circuit, lead round to the Straits of Gibraltar. To be the circumnavigator of Africa became from that moment the object to which the life of Eudoxus was devoted. On his return to Alexandria, Euergetes was dead, and the succeeding sovereign gave him

still greater cause of complaint; so that he determined to trust no more to the precarious patronage of princes, but to make a general appeal to the commercial public. The merchants of Cadiz were thought most likely to embrace his views; and on his way thither he passed through Rhodes, Marseilles, and other great maritime states, calling upon all who were animated with the generous spirit of enterprise to accompany or to aid him in his undertaking. An extraordinary sensation seems to have been created these commercial cities. Eudoxus easily assembled round him a considerable band of volunteers, and was enabled to equip amply, and even splendidly, two vessels furnished with medical men and artisans of various descriptions, and even enlivened by a band of youthful musicians. In this array he passed the Straits, and turned his prow as he imagined towards India. But his gay crew, inspired by himself probably with too flattering hopes, seem to have anticipated only a smooth and holyday excursion. When, therefore, they saw themselves ranging along an unknown and dreary shore, against which the waves of the mighty Atlantic were beating, they were seized with panic. In vain did Eudoxus urge the necessity of standing out to sea, as the only mode of successfully navigating his large and heavily-loaded ships; they obstinately insisted on his keeping close to land. The consequence was, as he had distinctly foretold, that the principal vessel was stranded upon one of those dangerous sand-banks which abound on the coast. The crew were so fortunate, however, as to convey ashore not only the cargo, but the timbers; out of which Eudoxus, with zeal that nothing could damp, contrived to put together another and smaller bark, in which he pursued the voyage. He came then to nations speaking a language which his fancy flattered him was the same that he had heard on the eastern coast of Africa. But at this moment, when he seemed on the eve of accomplishing his most sanguine hopes, the shattered state of his armament obliged him to return; retaining still the fullest confidence, that if the means could be found of equipping another, all his most brilliant hopes would be realized. Disgusted, however, with his band of timid volunteers, he overcame his reluctance to royal patronage. He sought the precarious aid of Bocchus, king of Mauritania, who received him well, and

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ordered an expedition to be prepared; but Eudoxus was privately warned that this treacherous prince, instead of forwarding him on his voyage, intended that his people should land and leave him to perish on an uninhabited island. It does not appear what motive the king could have for so base a design; however, the Greek, who had better means of judging than we have, believed it and fled. He made his next attempt in Spain, where he found no difficulty in equipping two other vessels, on board of which he placed seed-corn and materials for building, that in case of necessity he might land and raise a crop on a fertile little island which he had observed at an advanced point of his former voyage. Here, very unluckily, Posidonius, Strabo's informant, stops short, and refers to the Spaniards and Gaditanians for farther information; but profound silence reigns on their part, and the world probably must remain for ever in darkness as to the issue of this last expedition. It must not be concealed, that authors of great name, not excepting Strabo himself, have branded Eudoxus as a decided impostor; a reproach which many of the most eminent discoverers have been destined to bear. geographer is a most merciless critic; but though his authorities are admitted to be good, his long objections, drawn from the internal evidence, do not appear at all conclusive. Antiquity has put sundry fables into the narrative of Eudoxus, by which his reputation has severely suffered. According to certain works, he pretended to have really made the circuit of Africa; to have visited some nations that were dumb; others without tongues; and one people who had no mouths, but received all their food by the nose. These are the wild exaggerations which, in a credulous age, a story undergoes in passing from one person to another. The descriptions of Strabo, collected from the best sources, with severe and even malignant scrutiny, contain none of those suspicious wonders, nor any event which at all exceeds the common course of nature.

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A line of navigation along the eastern coast of Africa is described in a work of later date, written apparently after the establishment of the Roman power in Egypt. It is termed the Periplus of the Erythrean or Indian Sea, by an author whose name was Arrian; but it comprises not so much the result of any individual adventure as a general

view of the commercial voyage regularly made thither from Alexandria. After passing Abyssinia, the navigators sailed along a coast (that of the modern Berbera) which abounded in a remarkable degree with myrrh, frankincense, and other odoriferous plants. They then reached Cape Aromata (Guardafui), which forms the termination of the Red Sea and the entrance into the Indian Ocean. The coast of Africa, in this latitude, afforded ivory in abundance, rhinoceros' horns, and tortoise-shell, the latter of which was extremely fine; and in return for these, arms, wine, and corn were the most acceptable commodities. The voyage terminated at a promontory and port called Rhapta, a fact which of itself would show the extent of ancient navigation in this direction, could the learned agree where that town was situated; but all the names being changed, and no observations of latitude having been made, it is impossible to fix with certainty any one position. Rhapta, according to Gosselin, was Magadoxo; according to Vossius and Vincent it was at or near Quiloa, a position more than double the distance of the first from Cape Guardafui. On this point Dr. Vincent seems clearly in the right. The names are all changed, but the natural features necessarily remain the same. Now the navigator is in one place represented as passing successively the seven mouths of a large river at short distances from each other; and these cannot possibly be found any where but in the series of estuaries on which Patta and Melinda are built, the principal of which is that of the Quillimane,-a conclusion which necessarily carries the situation of Rhapta southward to Quiloa. Ptolemy, who wrote probably a century later, gives the more remote position of Prasum as a promontory, port, and city, to which in his time navigators were accustomed to sail. We have no fact to guide us to the locality of that town, except that it was two or three hundred miles south-east from Rhapta. Gosselin makes it Brava; but this is still short of the mouths of the seven rivers which afford the test of this chain of positions. Dr. Vincent, again, would have Prasum to be Mozambique; but though the coast runs south-east from Quiloa to Cape Delegado, from this last point to Mozambique the direction is south, and even a little south-west. At or near Cape Delegado, therefore, must, it appears, be fixed the boundary of ancient aavigation along the eastern co st of Africa.

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