Imatges de pÓgina


10 NO 1900



while they pressed forward to attack with their spears. Unlike almost all other barbarous armies, they kept a regular night-watch, passing the cry every half-hour along the line, and at any alarm raising a united yell, which was truly frightful. At the review they passed in tribes before the sheik, to whom they showed the most enthusiastic attachment, kneeling on the ground and kissing his feet. The Mungas, again, were described as terrible antagonists, hardened by conflict with the Tuaricks, fighting on foot with poisoned arrows longer and more deadly than those of the Fellatas.* The sultan, however, contemplated other means of securing success, placing his main reliance on his powers as a Mohammedan doctor and writer. Three successive nights were spent in inscribing upon little scraps of paper figures or words, destined to exercise a magical influence upon the rebel host; and their effect was heightened by the display of sky-rockets, supplied by Major Denham. Tidings of his being thus employed were conveyed to the camp, when the Mungas, stout and fierce warriors who never shrunk from an enemy, yielded to the power of superstition, and felt all their strength withered. It seemed to them that their arrows were blunted, their quivers broken, their hearts struck with sickness and fear; in short, that to oppose a sheik of the koran who could accomplish such wonders, was alike vain and impious. They came in by hundreds, bowing themselves to the ground, and casting sand on their heads in token of

* The group in the accompanying plate shows the three noted military characters, the Bornou horseman, the Kanemboo spearman, and the Munga bowman.

the most abject submission. At length Malem Fanamy himself, the leader of the rebellion, saw that resistance was hopeless. After vain overtures of conditional submission, he appeared in person, mounted on a white horse, with a thousand followers. He was himself in rags, and, having fallen prostrate on the ground, was about to pour sand on his head, when the sultan, instead of permitting this humiliation, caused eight robes of fine cotton cloth, one after another, to be thrown over him, and his head to be wrapt in Egyptian turbans till it was swelled to six times its natural size, and no longer resembled any thing human. By such signal honours the sheik gained the hearts of those whom his pen had subdued; and this wise policy enabled him not only to overcome the resistance of this formidable tribe, but to convert them into supporters and bulwarks of his power.

Major Denham, who always sought with laudable zeal to penetrate into every corner of Africa, now found his way in another direction. He had heard much of the Shary, a great river flowing into the lake Tchad, and on whose banks the kingdom of Loggun was situated. After several delays, he set out on the 23d January, 1824, in company with Mr Toole, a spirited young volunteer, who, journeying by way of Tripoli and Mourzouk, had thence crossed the Desert to join him. The travellers passed through Angornou and Angala, and arrived at Showy, where they saw the river, which really proved to be a magnificent stream, fully half a mile broad, and flowing at the rate of two or three miles an hour. They descended it through a succession of noble reaches, bordered with fine woods and a profusion of variously-tinted and aromatic plants. At length

it opened into the wide expanse of the Tchad; after viewing which, they again ascended and reached the capital of Loggun, beneath whose high walls the river was seen flowing in majestic beauty. Major Denham entered, and found a handsome city, with a street as wide as Pall-Mall, and bordered by large dwellings, having spacious areas in front. He was led through several dark rooms into a wide and crowded court, at one end of which a lattice opened, and showed a pile of silk robes stretched on a carpet, amid which two eyes became gradually visible: this was the sultan. On his appearance there arose a tumult of horns and frumfrums; while all the attendants threw themselves prostrate, casting sand on their heads. In a voice which the court-fashion of Loggun required to be scarcely audible, the monarch inquired Major Denham's object in coming to this country, observing, that, if it was to purchase handsome female slaves, he need go no farther, since he himself had hundreds who could be afforded at a very easy rate. This overture was rejected on other grounds than the price; yet, notwithstanding so decided a proof of barbarism, the Loggunese were found a people more advanced in the arts of peace than any hitherto seen in Africa. By a studied neutrality, they had avoided involving themselves in the dreadful wars which had desolated the neighbouring countries. Manufacturing industry was honoured, and the cloths woven here were superior to those of Bornou, being finely dyed with indigo and beautifully glazed. There was even a current coin made of iron, somewhat in the form of a horseshoe; and rude as this was, none of their neighbours possessed anything similar. The ladies were

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