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overwhelmed me, but for the continual goodness and protection of Providence: I was, bowever, but then half through my journey, aud all ihose dangers through which I had already passed awaited me on my ieturu; I found a despondency gaining ground fast, and blasting the crown of laure.s which I had too rushly wovuli for myself.'
After several adventures in Abyssinia, in the course of which he received high personal distinctions from the king, Bruce obtained leave to depart. He returned through the great deserts of Nubia into Egypt, encountering the severest naruships and dangers from the sand-floods and simoom of the desert, and his own physical suffering and exhaustion.
It was not until seventeen years after his return that Bruce published his Travels. Parts had been made public, and were much ridiculed. Even Johnson doubted whether he had ever been in Abyssinia! The work appeared in 1790, in tive large quarto volumes, with another volume of plates. The strangeness of the author's adventures at the court at Gondar, the somewhat inflated style of the narrative, and the undisguised vanity of the traveller, led to a disbelief of his statements, and numerous lampoons and satires, both in prose and verse, were directed against him. The really honourable and superior points of Bruce's character—such as his energy and daring, his various knowledge and acquirements, and his disinterested zeal in undertaking such a journey at his own expense-were overlooked in this petty war of the wits. Bruce felt their attacks keenly; but he was a proud-spirited man, and did not deign to reply to pasquinades impeaching his veracity. He survived his publication only four years. The foot which had trod without failing the deserts of Nubia, slipped one evening on his own staircase, while handing a lady to her carriage, and he died in consequence of the injury tien received, April 10, 1.9.1. A second edition of the Travels, edited by Dr. Alexander Murray-an excellent Oriental scholar-was published in 1805, and a third in 1813. The style of Bruce is prolix and inelegant, though occasionally energetic. He seized upon the most prominent points, and coloured them highly. The general accuracy of his work has been confirmed from different quarters. MR. JIENRY SALT (died in 1827) the next European traveller in Abyssinia, iwice penetrated into the interior of the country--in 1805 and 1810– lut without reaching so far as Bruce. This gentleman confirms the liistorical parts of Bruce's narrative; and MR. NATHANIEL PEARCE 11870-1820), who resided many years in Abyssinia, and was engaged biy Salt-verifies one of Bruce's most extraordinary statements-the practice of the Abyssinians of eating raw meat cut out of a living Cow! This was long ridiculed and disbelieved, though in reality it is not much more barbarous than the custom which long prevailed among the poor Highlanders in Scotland of bleeding their cattle in winter for food. Pearce witnessed the operation: a cow was thrown down, and two pieces of flesh, weighing about a pound, cut from the buttock, after which the wounds were sewed up, and plastered over with cow-dung. Dr. Clarke and other travellers have borne
testimony to the correctness of Bruce's drawings and maps. The only disingenuousness charged against our traveller is his alleged concealment of the fact, that the Nile, whose sources have been in all ages an object of curiosity, was the Bahr-el-Abiad, or White River, flowing from the west, and not the Bahr-el-Azrek, or Blue River, which descends from Abyssinia, and which he explored. It seems also clear that Paez, the Portuguese traveller, had long previously visited the source of the Bahr-el-Azrek.
Next in interest and novelty to the travels of Bruce are those of Mungo Park in Central Africa. Mr. Park was born at Fowlshiels, near Selkirk, on the 10th of September 1771. He studied medicine, and performed a voyage to Bencoolen in the capacity of assistantsurgeon to an East Indiaman. The African Association, founded in 1778 for the purpose of promoting discovery in the interior of Africa, had sent out several travellers--John Ledyard, Lucas, and Major Houghton-all of whom had died. Park however, undeterred by these examples, embraced the society's offer, and set sail in May 1795. On the 21st of June following he arrived at Jillifree, on the banks of the Gambia. He pursued his journey towards the kingdom of Bambarra, and saw the great_object of his mission, the river Niger, flowing towards the east. The sufferings of Park during his journey, the various incidents he encountered, his captivity among the Moors, and his description of the inhabitants, their manners, trade, and customs, constitute a narrative of the deepest interest. The traveller returned to England towards the latter end of the year 1797, when all hope of him had been abandoned, and in 1799 he published his Travels. The style is simple and manly, and replete with a fine moral feeling. One of his adventures—which had the honour of being turned into verse by the Duchess of Devonshire--is thus related. The traveller had reached the town of Sego, the capital of Bambarra, and wished to cross the river towards the residence of the king
The Compassionate African Matron. I waited more than two hours without having an opportnnity of crossing the river, during which time the people who had crossed carried information to Mun- » sony, the king that a white man was waiting for a passage, and wils coming to se him. He im inediately sent over one of his chief men, who informed me that the king could not possibly see me until he knew what had brought my into his country ; and that I must not pri suine to cross the river without the king's pirmission therefore advised ine to lodge at a disant village, to which he pointed for the night, and said that in the morning he would give the further instructions how to conduct nyse'f This was very discouraging. However, as th re was no remedy. I set off for the villag: whero I found, to my great mortification, that no person would admit me into his house I was regarded with astonishment and fear, and was on lig.d to sit all day without victuals in the shade of a tree; and the night threatened to be very uncomfortable--for the wind rose, and ther: was a great appearance of a hevy rain-iod the wild beasts are so very numerous in the neighbourhood that I should have been under the necessity of climbing up the tree and riting amongst the branches. About sunset, however, as I was preparing to pass the nig!t in this manner, and had turned my hors loose that he might grize ai liberty, a ionin r.. turniug from thu labours of the field, stopped to observe me, and perceiving that I
was weary and dejected. inquired into my situation. which I briefly explained to her; whereupon with looks of great compassion, she took up my saridle and bridle, and told me to follow her. Having conducted me into her bui. she lighted up a lami, Epread a mat on the floor and told me I might remain ther for the night." Finding that I wa very hungry, she said she would procure me something to eat. She accordingly went out, and returned in a short rime witi a very fine fish, which, having Caused to be balf-broiled upou sone embeis, she gave ine for supper. The rites of hospitality bring thus performed towards a strang r in distress, my worthy benefactress-pointing to the mat, aud telling me I might sleep there without apprehention-called to the female part of the family, who had stood gazing on me all the : while in fixed astonishment, to resume their task of spinning cotton, in which they continued to employ themselves great part of the night. They lightened their labour by songs, one of which was composed extempore, tor I was myself the subject of it. It was sung by one of the young women, the rest joining in a fort of chorus. The air was sweet and plaintive. aud the words literally translated, were these: 'The winds roared, and the rains fell. The poor white man, faint and weary, came and sat under our tree. He has no mother to bring him milk-no wife to grind his corn. Chorus.-Let us pity the white man-no mother hus he,' &c. Trilling as this recital may appear to the reader, to a person in my situation the circumstance was affect og in the highest degree. I was oppressed by such mexpected kindness, and sleep fled from my eyes. In the morning I presented my compassionate landlady with two of the four brass buttons which reniained on my waistcout--the only recompense I could make her.
His fortitude under suffering, and the natural piety of his mind, are beautifully illustrated by an incident related after he had been robbed and stripped of most of his clothes at a village near Kooma:
The Traveller's Pious Fortitude. After the robbers were gone. I sat for some time looking around me with amazement and terror. Whichever way I turned, nothing appeared but danger und difficulty. I saw myself in the midst of a vast wilderness, in the depth of the rainy season, naked and alone, surrounded by savage animals, and men still mor- savage. I was five hundred miles from the ne rest European settlement. All these circuinstances crowded at once on my recollection, and I coufess that my spirits began to fail me. I considered iny fate as certain, and that I had no alternative but to lie down and perish. The influence of religion, however, sided and supported me. I reflected that no human prudence or foresight could poscibly have averted my present sufferings. I was indeed a stranger in a strange land, yet I was still under the protecting eye of that Providence who has condescended to call himself the stranger's friend. At this moment. painful as my recollections were, the extraordinary beauty of a small moss in fructification irresistibly caught my eye. I mention this to shew from what trilling circumstances the mind will sometimes derive consolation : for though the whole plant was not larger than the top of one of my fingers, I could not contemplate the delicate conformation of its roots, leaves, and capsula, withont ad. miration. Can that Being, thought I, who planted, watered, and brought to pers fection, in this obscure part of the world, a thing which appears of so small importa ance, look with unconcern upon the situation and sufferings of creatures formed after his own image? Surely not. Reflections like those would not allow me to de spair. I started up, and, disregarding both hanger and fatigue, travelled forwards, assured that relief was at hand; and I was not disappointed. Iu a short time I came to a small village, at the entrance of which I overtook the two shepherds who had come with me from Kooma. They were much surprised to see ine; for they said they never doubted that the Foulabs, when they had robbedi, had murdered ine, Departing from this village, we travelled over several rocky ridges, and at sunset arrived ät Sibidooloo, the frontier town of the kingdom of Manding
Park had discovered the Niger-or Joliba, or Quorra-flowing to the east, and thus set at rest the doubts as to its direction in the interior of Africa: He was not satisfied, however, but onged to follow up his discovery by tracing it to its termination. For some years he
was constrained to remain at home, and he followed his profession of a surgeon in the town of Peebles. He embraced a second offer from the African Association, and arrived at Goree on the 28th of March 1805. Before he saw the Niger once more 'rolling its immense stream along the plain, misfortunes had thickened around him. His expedition consisted originally of forty-four men; now, only seven remained. He built a boat at Sansanding to prosecute his voyage down the river, and entered it on the 17th of November 1805, with the fixed resolution to discover the termination of the Niger, or perish in the attempt. The party had sailed several days, when, on passing a rocky part of the river named Bussa, the natives attacked them, and Park and one of his companions (Lieutenant Martyn) were drowned while attempting to escape by swimming: The letters and journals of the traveller had been sent by him to Gambia previous to his embarking on the fatal voyage; and a narrative of the journey, compiled from them, was published in 1815.
To explore the interior of Africa continued still to be an object of adventurous ambition. Park had conjectured that the Niger and Congo were one river; and in 1816 a double expedition was planned, one part of which was destined to ascend the Congo, and the other to descend the Niger, hopes being entertained that a meeting would take place at some point of the mighty stream. The command of this expedition was given to CAPTAIN TUCKEY, an experienced naval officer; and he was accompanied by Mr. Smith, a botanist, Mr. Cranch, a zoologist, and by Mr. Galway, an intelligent friend. The expedition was unfortunate-all died but Captaið Tuckey, and he was compelled to abandon the enterprise from fever and exhaustion. In the narrative of this expedition there is an interesting account of the country of Congo, which appears to be an undetined tract of territory, hemmed in between Loango on the north and Angola on the south, and stretching far inland. The military part of this expedition, under Major Peddie, was equally unfortunate. He did not ascend the Gambia, but pursued the route by the Rio Nunez and the country of the Foulahs. Peddie died at Kacundy, at the head of the Rio Nunez: and Captain Campbell, on whom the command then devolved, also sunk under the pressure of disease and distress. In 1819 two other travellers, MR. RITCHIE and LIEUTENANT LYON, proceeded from Tripoli to Fezzan, with the view of penetrating southward as far as Sudan. The climate soon extinguished all hopes from this expedition; Mr. Ritchie sunk beneath it, and Lieutenant Lyon was so reduced as to be able to extend his journey only to the southern frontiers of Fezzan.
DENHAM AND CLAPPERTON. In 1822 another important African expedition was planned by a different route, under the care of MaJOR DENHAM, CAPTAIN CLAPPERTON, and DR. OUDNEY. They proceeded from Tripoli across the Great Desert to Bornu, and in February 1823 arrived at Kuka, the capital of Bornu. An immense lake, the Tchad, was seen to form the receptacle of the rivers of Bornu, and the country was highly populous. The travellers were hospitably entertained at Kuka. Oudney fell a victim to the climate; but Clapperton penetrated as far as Sokoto, the residence of the Sultan Bello, and the capital of the Fellatah empire. The sultan received him with much state, and admired all the presents that were brought to him. • Everything,'he said, 'is wonderful, but you are the greatest curiosity of all.' The traveller's presence of mind is illustrated by the following anecdote:
• March 19.- I was sent for,' says Clapperton, by the sultan, and desired to bring with me the looking-glass of the suu," the name they gave to my sextant. I first cxhibited a planisphere of the heavenly bodies. The sultan knew all the signs of the zodiac, some of the constellations, and many of the stars, by their Arabic names. The looking-glass of the sun was then brought forward, and occasioned much surprise. I bad to explain all its appendages. The inverting telescope was an object of immense astonishment; and I had to Bland at some little distance, to let tbe sultan look at me through it, for his people were all afraid of placing themselves within its magical influence. I had next to shew him how to take an observation of the sun. The case of the artificial horizon, of which I had lost the key, was sometimes very difficult to open, as happened on this occasion; I asked one of the people near me for a knife to press up the lid. He handed me one quite too small, and I quite inndvertently asked for a dagger for the same purpose. The sultan was immediately thrown into a fright; he seized bis sword, and half drawing it from the scabbard, placed it before him trembling all the time like an aspen-leaf. I did not deem it prudent to take the least notice of his alarm, although it was I who had in reality most cause of tear; and on receiving the dagger, I calmly opened the case, and returned the weapon to its owner with apparent unconcem. When the artificial horizon was arranged, the sultan and all his attendants had a peep at the suu, and my breach of etiquette seemed entirely forgotten.'
Sokoto formed the utmost limit of the expedition. The result was published in 1826, under the title of ‘Narrative of Travels and Discoveries in Northern and Central Africa, in the years 1822, 1823, and 1824, by Major Denham, Captain Clapperton, and the late Dr. Oudney.' Clapperton resumed his travels in 1825, and completed a journey across the continent of Africa from Tripoli to Benin, accompanied by Captain Pearce, a naval surgeon, a draughtsman, and Richard Lander, a young man who volunteered to accompany him as a confidential servant. They landed at Bagadry, in the Bight of Benin; but death soon cut off all but Clapperton and Lander. They pursued their course, and visited Bussa, the scene of Mungo Park's death. They proceeded to Sokoto, after an interesting journey, with the view of soliciting permission from the sultan to visit Timbuktu and Bornu. In this Clapperton was unsuccessful; and being seized with dysentery, he died in the arms of his faithful servant on the 13th of April 1827. Lander was allowed to return; and in 1830 he published an account of Captain Clapperton's last expedition.
The unfortunate traveller was at the time of his death in his thirty-ninth year.
Clapperton made valuable additions to our knowledge of the in. terior of Africa. The limit of Lieutenant Lyon's journey southward across the desert was in latitude 24 degrees, while Major Den