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Ei rmJfrijDrruil[ru3[fminu^ 



Uni^tri^al CS^roflr^iill^ 











^nalfitCcal, Sijnoptital, ana Slementavg SafcUs. 




Likewise additional matter, not contained in the European Editiooj an(i 










District Clerk's Offlee. 

BF it remembered, that on this fifteenth <1ay of August, in the year of our Lord one thousand 
eiglit liaiidretl and twentv five, and in the forty-ninth year of the Independence of the United States 
of America, Wells and Lill> of .ad district have deposited in this office the title of a book, the right 
whei"eof they claim as Proprietors in the words following, to wit— 

Universal Geogi-apliy. or a Description of all tht Parts of the World, on a New Plan, according to 
the Great Natural Divisions of the Gloht ; accompanied with analytical, synoptical, and elementary 
Tabl s By M. Malte-Bn:n Impro^ed by the addition of the most recent information derived from 
various lources Volume IV ContaiinDK the Dtscriptionof A fricti ai:d adjacent Islands. Likewise 
additional niaiter, not contained in the European Etiition, and Coivctions. 

In Conformity to the Act of the Congress of the United States, entitled, ' An Act for the en- 
couragement of Learning, by securing the Copies of" Maps Charts and Books, to the Authors 
and Proprietors of such Co[)ies, during the Times therein mentioned :" and also to an Act en- 
titletl, '* An Act supplementary to an Act. entitled, An Act for the encouragement of learning 
by securing the Copies of Maps. Charts and Books, to the Authors and Proprietors of such Copies 
durintj the times thtrein nientioiied ; and extendin^i the Benefits thereof to the Arts of Designing, 
Engraving, and Etching Historical and other Prints.'' 


Clerk of the District of Massachusetts, 




A General View of this Division of the World, and its 



Africa little Known ........ 1 

Seas and Guifs, ........ 2 

Promontories- Straits — Isthmus — Rivers — Configuration of 

the Mountains, ........ 3 

Mountain Chains — On the Existence of a Central Chain, T 4 

Reasons against its Existence, ...... 5 

Why has Africa few Islands ?...... 6 

Plains and Table-Lands — Rivers without Outlets — Periodical 

Swellings of the Rivers, . . . . . .7 

Climate — Temperature, . . . . • . .8 

Contrasts of Fertility, ....... 9 

General Vievv of its Vegetation, 10 

Animals — Peculiar Animal Forms, . . . . . 11 

Man — Three African Races, ...... 12 

Languages of Africa — Progress of Civilization — Primitive State, 13 

Fetichism, ......... 14 

Theocracies of Meroe, Thebes, Sic. — Internal Revolutions of 

Egypt — The Carthagenians, . . . . . . 16 

The Romans — Christianity — The Arabs and Mahometanism, 16 

The Turks—Modern State, 17, 18 

O .w S 






A Physical Description of this Country, 


The Nile, its Sources and Course, 19 

Communication of the Nile and Niger — Cataracts of the Nile, 20 

Valley of the Nile — Parallel Line of the Mountains, . . 21 

Level — Basin of Faioom — Plains of the Delta, ... 22 

Mouths, 23 

Depth and Rapidity — Navigation — Inundations of the Nile, 24, 23 

Mud of the Nile, 26 

Qualities of the Nile water^ — Nature of the Rocks — Specimen 

of Obelisks, ,•....... 27 

Mountains of Cosseir, ....... 28 

Mountains of Suez — Saline Depositions — Mountains of Upper 

Egypt — Valley of the Natron Lakes, .... 29 

Valley of the Dry River — Changes of the Soil, ... 30 

Lake Moeris — Maritime Lakes, . . . . ... 31 

Lake Menzaleh, ........ .S2 

v^anais, . . . • . •• . . . tj%j 

Climate — Varied Aspect — Causes of the Scarcity of Rain, . 34 

Temperature — The Mirage, ...... 35 

Progress of the Winds — North Winds, .... 36 

The South Winds, or Khamseen — Endemic Diseases — Oph- 
thalmia, ......... 37 

Vegetables — Crops of the Inundated Lands — Corn Crops, . 38 

Culture of Dry Lands, 39 

Artificial Irrigations, ....... 40 

Fruit Trees — Vmes, . . . . . . . 41 

The Persea — The Lotus, different meanings of this term, . 42 
Forest Trees — Table of the succession of Culture through the 

year, 43, 44 


Animals — Crocodile — Hippopotamus, .... 45 

Fish — Birds, , . . . . . . _ • . 4fi 




Inquiries relative to the Isthmus of Suea^ and the extremity of 

the Arabian Gulf. 

Questions proposed, ........ 47 

Level and Inclinations of the Surface, .... 48 

Consequences of its Level — Hypothesis on the waters of the 

Mediterranean, ........ 49 

Position of Heroopolis — Heroopolis is not Pithom, . . 50 

Distances assigned in the Itineraries, .... 51 

Objections, . . . . . . . . . 52 

Mythological Traditions — Conclusions, . . . . 53 

The Heroopolis of Ptolemy, ,54 

Position of Clysma, . . . . . . . . 65 

Cause of Ptolemy's error — Conclusion, .... 56 

Ancient Measures of the breadth of the Isthmus — Examination 

of a passage in Moses, ....... 57 

Heroopolis is not identical with Baal-Zephon — Canal of the 

two Seas, ......... 58 

Antiquity of this Work, 59, 6Q 






Topographical and Political Details* 


Historical Revolutions, ....... 62 

Maoielukes — French, ....... 63 

Ancient and Modern Division, ...... 64 

Towns of Lower Egypt — Alexandria — Harbours, . . 65 

The Ancient City — Column called Pompey's Pillar, , . 66 

Kosetta, .......... 67 

Northern Coasts— Damietta, ...... 68 

Towns of the Eastern Delta — Point of the Delta, . . 69 

Interior of the Delta — Places of Pi Igrimag-e, ... 70 

To-.vns on the West of the Delta — Grand Cairo, . . 71 

Origin of Cairo — Manners and Amusements, ... 72 

Town of Djizeh, and 'i Great Pyramids, ... 73 

Belzoni's Operations on the cond Pyramid, . . 74,75,76 

The Great Sphinx — Pyramids of Sakhara, ... 77 

Middle Egypt — Faioom — Lake Moeris, .... 78 

Peculiar Land-Tax — The Labyrinth, .... 79 

Caverns of the Thebaid ....... 80 

Ancient Paintings — Akmin — Meshieh — Djirdj^h, . . 81 

Denderah — Its Temples — The Zodiacks, .... 82 

Remains of Ancient Customs — Keft — Ruins of Thebes, . 83 

Temples, 84 

Tombs and Mummy-Pits — Description of the Mummies, . 86 
Evidences of the State of the Arts among the Ancient Egyptians 

— Litjen Manufactures, ....... 86 

Drawing and Painting — Architecture — The Arabs of Goornoo 87 

Researches of Belzoni — Erment, or Hermonthis, . . 88 
Caverns of Elythia — Ruins of Syene — Observations on the 

Change of the Obliquity of the Ecliptic, ... 89 




Appearance of Syene, ....... 90 

Islands of Elephantine and Philae — The names of these Islands, 91 

Shores of the Red Sea, — Cosseir — Desert of the Thebaid . 92 
Monasteries of St. Ant'nony and St. Paul — City of Suez — The 

Ancient Berenice, ....... 93 

Emerald Mountains — Arab Tribes — The Oases, . .94,95 

The Great Oasis— Temple of Ei-Kargeh, .... 96 

Necropolis — Western Oasis, ..... 97 

Temple of Daer-al Hadjar — Indigo Manufacture, . . 98 

Little Oasis — Oases in the Eastern Desert, ... 99 

Government of Egypt — Land fenures, . . . . ib. 

Revenues — Population — Recent Revolutions, . . . 100 
Manners and Customs of the Mamelukes, . . . 101,102 

Manners and Customs of the Copts, ..... 103 

Physical Constitution — Coptic Language, . . . 104 

Religion, 105 

Name of Copts— The Arabs, 106 

Fellahs — Turks— Greeks — Contrast of Manners, . . 107 

Hereditary Parties — Art of Swimming, .... 108 

Carrying Pigeons — Enchanters of Serpents — Pottery, . 109 
Antiquities of this Art — Weaving — Rose-water — Abyssinian 

Caravans, . . . . . . . . . 110 

Commerce of Cosseir — Caravans from Darfoor — Other Cara- 
vans, Ill 

Table of Geographical Positions^ Astronomically observed by M. 

Nouet, 112 




Region of the Upper Nile, 

Nubia — Its boundaries, . 

Climate — Deserts, .... 

Vegetable Species — Animals — Minerals, 







Divisions— Turkish Nubia— Sketches of Topography and An- 
tiquities — Deir — Ibrim — Hogos, . . . . . 117 
Ebsambool — Barabras, . . . • . . . 118 

The Ababdes— State of Dongola, 119 

Kingdom of Sennaar — Inhabitants — The Nubians, . . 120 

The Shillooks— City of Sennaar, 121 

Government — On the Name of Fungi, .... 122 

Southern Provinces — Abyssinia, . . . . . 123 

Situation and Extent — Different Names, . . . . 124 

Mountains — Rivers, . . . . . . . 125 

Temperature — Seasons — Mineral Productions, . . 126 

Plants — Alimentary Plants, . . . . . . 127 

Aromatic Trees — Animals — Two Horned Rhinoceros . 128 

The Giraffe— The Zebra, 129 

Insects — Uncertainty of the Number of Provinces — Kingdom 

ofTigre — CityofAxum, 130 

Inscription — Dixan, ....... 131 

Temple of Abuhasubba — Monastery of Fremona — Provinces 

of Wogara, Sireh, &c . 132 

Kingdom of Dembea — City of Gondar — Kingdom of Gojam — 

Begamder, . . . . . . . . . 133 

Amhara — State Prison — Xoa — Damota, . . , . 134 
Dismembered Provinces — Inhabitants — The Abyssins, or Aga- 


136, 137 



zians — Languages, 
Historical Epochs, . 
Present State — Religion, 
Civil and Political State. 
The Army — Houses — Abyssinian Feasts, . . . . 140 
Savage Nations — Their Religion, Laws, and Customs, . 141 

The Shangallas — The Agows, 142 

The Gafates— The Gurags — The Falasjas, or Abyssinian Jews, 143 
Troglodytica, or the Coast of Habesh — Minerals — Want of 

Water, 144 

Vegetables — Animals — Modes of Living — The Troglodytes — 
Language, Manners, and Customs, . . . . 145 

Fishermen, 14g 

Topography— Emerald Mines— Isle of Topazes— The Coun- 
try of Beja, or Bodsha, 147.148 



Port of Aidab — Town and District of Suakem, 
Island of Dahalac — Massua — Country of Samhar, 
Territory of Bahar-Nagash — Dankali, 







General Features of these Countries, 

Region of the Atlas — Mount Atlas Described, . 
Great and Small Chains — Extension of Atlas, . 
Nature of the Rocks, ...... 

Hypothesis of M. Ideler, on the Atlas of the Ancients 

Atlas of the Phenicians, ...... 

The Atlas of Homer, ....... 

Objections to this Hypothesis, ...... 

'Passage in Maximus Tyrius — Description of the Region of 

Mount Atlas, ........ 

Vegetation — Vegetation of the Table Land, 

The Forests — Flowers, ....... 

Alimentary Plants — Animal Kingdom — Camel of the Desert, 
Degrees of Swiftness — Other Domestic Animals, 
Wild Animals — Description of the Bears of Africa, 
Ostrich Hunting — Inhabitants — The Moors 
Moorish Fanaticism, 
Arabs, .... 

The Berbers, . 

The Maraboots, 
Description of a Plague, 











Detailed Descriptions. 

The Desert or Kingdom of Barca, ..... 

Ruins of Cyrene, ........ 

Oasis of Siwuh, ........ 

The Oasis of Audjelah — The Desert of Haroodjeh — Fabulous 
Town — Fezzan, . . . . 

Climate — Soil and Productions, .... 

Government — Inhabitants — Tibbos, ..... 

Tripoli — Climate and Productions — Towns — Antiquity of Tri 


Different Towns — Government — Navy, .... 

Kingdom of Tunis — Government, ..... 

Climate — Productions — City of Tunis .... 

Ruins of Carthage — IState of Gadames, .... 

State of Algiers — Soil and Productions, 
Boundaries- Divisions — City of Algiers — Towns of the Pro- 
vince of Mascara, . . . . . . . 184 

Of Constantine, ........ 185 

Inhabitants, 186 

Empire of Morocco, . . . . . . . 186 

The Almoravides, . . . . . . . . 187 

Boundaries -Productions — Rivers, ..... 188 

Cities of the Kingdom of Fez, 189 

Towns of the Kingdom of Morocco — Towns to the South of 

the Atlas — Population of Morocco, . . . 190,191 

Government — Administration — Civil Condition, . . 192 
Religions — Situation of the .Tews, 193 




175, 176 






Pride of the Moors — Singular Points of Etiquette, . . 194 

Revenues- — Export Trade — Imports, .... 195 

Bildulg-erid, . . . . • . . . . 196 

Soil and Minerals — Climate — Vegetation — Animals, . . 197 

The Coast— Tribes to the North of Cape Bianco, . . 198 
Fate of the Captives — Tribes to the South of Cape Blanco — 

The Trarsas, 199 

Manners of the Moors, 200 

The Caravan of Morocco — Dangers Encountered, . . 201 

Route of this Caravan, ....... 202 

Mode of Li\ing of the Travellers — Deserts and Oases of the 

Centre, .203 

Origin of the Desert, 204 



Climate and Temperature of Senegambia 

Winds — Temperature of Guinea — Winds — Hurricanes, 

Mountains, ..... 

Rivers — The Senegal — The Gambia, 

Vegetation — Forest Trees, 

Aromatic Plants, 

Gums — Alimentary Plants, 

Guinea Grass — Animals, . 


Domestic Animals — Insects, 

Termites — Cowries — Minerals 

Other Minerals — The French Settlement, 

Kingdom of Owal — The Foulahs — Extension of this 

Serracolets — Kingdom of Galam, 

The Maadingos — ^The Bambookans, 

Jallonkadoo — The Yalofs, .... 

Emperor of the Yalofs — Detached States — Kingdom 

— Palace of Kahane, .... 
The Serreres— Petty States — The Feloops, 

-Gold Mines, 


of Salum 







Boundaries of Guinea — Laws and Manners, . . . 223 

The Papels, 224 

Portuguese Settlement — Bissajos Islands, . . , 225 

Bulam — Manners of the People — Rio Grande, . . . 226 

The Naloes — Sierra Leone — Philanthropic Settlement, . 227 
Slave Trade — Liberated Slaves — Commerce, . . 228, 229 
Division of Guinea into Coasts — Productions of the Grain 

Coast, ......... 230 

Quoya and Hondo Countries, &c. — Manners, . . . 231 
Ivory Coast — The Quaquas — The Gold Coast — European Set- 
tlements, 232 

Particulars on the Interior — Cultivation of the Land, ^ 233 

Diversities of Soil — Inland Nations, .... 234 

Slave Coast — Kingdom of Dahomey, .... 235 

Barbarous Customs — The Eyeos, ..... 236 

Kingdom of Benin, ........ 237 

Laws — Customs — Festivals — Kingdom of Waree, Calabar, 

he. — River of Cameroons, ...... 238 

River of Gaboon — The Calbongos, the Biafras, and the Ibbos, 239 



Discussions on the Niger, . . . . . . 240 

Arabian data, . . . . . . . . . 241 

Hypothesis of M. Reichard — First Argument, . . . 242 

Mass of Water of the Niger, 243 

Second Argument, ........ 244 

Third Argument ........ 245 

Subordinate Argument — Observations on the Name of the Oo- 

lil Island, . . . 246 

Hypothesis of the Identity of the Niger and Nile — Navigation 

from Tombuctoo to Cairo, ...... 247 

Objections, . 248 

Probable Results 249 



Particulars oa ISigritia — Journey of Mungo Park — Country of 

Bambarra — Countrj' of Ludaraar, ..... 260 

Sea of Soodan, ........ 251 

White People — Jews of Melly — the Malays — Accounts of 

Tombuctoo, ........ 252 

Government — Library — -Climate, ..... 253 

Productions, Animal and Vegetable — Gold Mines, . . 254 

Country of Tocroor and Gana — States of Houssa and Kashna, 255 

Productions of Kashna — Eastern Nigritia, . . . 256 

Nature of the Country — Climate, ..... 257 

Inhabitants — Manners — Customs — Language — Religion — 

Towns, ......... 258 

Shillook Country — Mountains — Productions — Towns, . 259 
The Dar-Koollah— The Mobba or Bergoo — Contradictory 

Accounts of the Rivers, ...... 260 

Productions — Inhabitants, . . . . . . 261 

Baghirmah — Historical Anecdote — Remarks on the City of 

Kama — Christian Tribes, 262 

Wangara — Empire of Bornoo — Nature of the Country, . 263 

Rivers —Minerals — Vegetable Kingdom, . . . ^ 264 

Animals — Towns, ........ 265 

Government — Rehgion, ....,., 266 

Europeans at Bornoo — Trade . . . . . . 267 




fcood and Drink, . . . . . . . . 268 

Dwellings — Towns — Palaces, ...... 269 

Want of Industry — Manufactures, ..... 270 

Amusement — Dancing — Play — Physical Constitution — Dis- 
eases — Virility, 271 

Pointed Teeth — Incisions in the Skin — Circumcision, . 272 

Superstition — Worship of Serpents, .... 273 


Funerals — Government, ....... 274 

Civil Laws — Lawyers — Non-existence of great Empires, . 27,& 

Barbarous Pride of the Princes — Portrait of Opoccoo, . 276 

Burial of a King, 277 

Slavery — Slave Trade, ....... ib. 

Mode of procuring Slaves, ...... 278 

Middle Passage, 279 

Numbers that Perish — Situation in the West Indies — Com- 
mencement of the Traffic, ...... 280 

Exertions of the Quakers, . . . . . . 281 

Abolition — United Stales — Treaty with Spain, . . 282 

Treaty vvith the Netherlands — Treaty with Portugal, . 283 
Courts of Mixed Commission — French Slave Trade — Present 

State of the Slave Trade, 284 

Slave and Free Labour, .... 
Present State of Colonial Bondage, . 
Disposition of the Negroes for Civilization, 
Negro Character, ..... 




Continuation of the Description of Africa, — General and Par- 
ticular Description of Congo or Southern Guinea, and 

of some Adjoining States* 

Diversity of Names, . ...... 289 

Climate and Temperature, 290 

Seasons — Mountains — Rivers, ...... 291 

The Coanza— The Zaire, 292 

Hypothesis respecting the Zaire — Mineral Productions, . 293 

Metals, .294 

Vegetables— Alimentary Plants, . . - . 295,296 

Aromatics — Fruit Trees — Indigenous Trees, . . . 297 

Valuable Woods—Palms, .298 

The Baobab, 29?» 




Animals — Fishes, ........ 300 

Reptiles — Different Kinds of Serpents, .... 301 

Insects 302 

Birds, 303 

Quadrupeds, ......... 304 

Carnivorous Animals, . . . . . . • 305 

Monkej'S — Account of a Chimpanzee, .... 306 

Chorographic Description, ...... 307 

Kingdom of Loango, . . . • . • • ^^^ 

Black Jews — Kingdom of Cacongo, .... 309 

Kingdom of Cabinda or En-Goy-— Different Tribes, . . 310 
Kingdom of Congo, ....... 311 

Produce — Government — City of Saint Salvador, . . 312 
Province of Sogno — Province of Bamba — Province of Pemba. 313 
Province of Batta — Province of Panga — Province of Sandi — 

Various Provinces, . *. 
Kingdom of Angola — Physical and Political State, 
Provinces — City of Loanda-San-Paolo, 
Kingdom of Benguela — Provinces, . 
Inhabitants of Bemba — Kingdom of Matamba, . 
General Character of the Natives of Congo — Their 
Polygamy — Singuiar Customs — Husbands, 
The King's Court — Prince who works Miracles, 
Hereditary — Elective — Great Officers of State, 
Classes of Inhabitants — Administration of Justice, 
Laws and Customs, ...... 

Singular Ordeal — Language of Congo, 
Arms — Peligion — Superstitions, 


Raising the Dead — Christian Missions, 

French Missionaries — Contradictory Accounts, 


Neighbouring Tribes of Congo — The Bake-Bake — C 

Anziko — Anthropophagi . . . • 
Manners of the Anziquas — Cities and Provinces, 
Mokko, ........ 



Servility, 319 


326, 327 

330, 331 

332, 333 
ountry of 


Vox. 1V« 





Continuation of the Description of Jfrica-^The Cape, and the 

Country of the Hottentots. 

Coasts of Cimbebas, 

Inhabitants — Manners of the Makosses — Phys 

the Cape, ..... 

Rivers, ...... 

.Description of the Karroos, 
Pastoral Life of the Colonists, . 
Composition of the Mountains, 
Table Mountain, .... 

Minerals — Temperature — Winds and Seasons, 
Vegetable Beauties of the Cape — Groves and Forests 
Oaks — Defects of Vegetation, . 
Culture — Vineyards, .... 

Fruit Trees — Different Attempts at Culture, 
Animals, ....... 

Oxen of the Cape — Birds, 

The Hottentots, ..... 

Mongolian Words among the Hottentots — Tribes of 

tentots — The Koranas, 
Manners and Customs of the Hottentots, 
The Boschmen, .... 

Extreme Barbarity of this Tribe, 

Language of the Hottentots — Peculiar Motion of the 

Colony of the Cape — Colonists, 

Manners of the Colonists — People of Colour, . 

Cape Town, ....... 

Origin of the City — Education, 

Women — Religion, 

Mahometanism — Importance of the Cape, 
Produce — Exports — Internal Commerce, . 


ical Region of 

345, 346 


349, 350 


358, 359 
Tongue, 360 


Crimes— Orphan Chamber, 369 

Bank Money, 370,271 



Continuafion of the Description ofjfrica, — South-east Coasts 
or Caffraria and Mozambique. 

General Idea of the Caffre Nations — Of the name Caffre, or 
CaiTraria, ......... 372 

Mountains and Rivers, 373 

Of the Mountains Lupata— The Natal Coast, . . . 374 
Of the existence of the Unicorn, .... 375, 376 

Tribe of the Koussas, . . . . . . 377,378 

Temperature — Physical Character of the Koussas — Their 

Women, 379 

Their Food— Their Taste for Travelling— Their Clothing, 380 
Pastoral Taste — Public Education, ..... 381 

Circumcision — Women perform the Office of Herald — Arms 
of the Koussas, ........ 382 

Manner of Fighting — Laws of War, .... 383 

Lion Hunt — Dancing, Music — Hereditary Chiefs, . . 384 

Arithmetic — Chronology, 385 

The Tambookas — The Hambounas — Bay of Lagoa, . 386 

The Betjouanas — Appearance of the Country — Names of the 

Tribes, 387 

Tribe of the Maquinis ... . . . . 388 

Manners of the Betjouanas — Their Physical Nature — Lan- 
guage, 389 

Food — Dress, ......... 390 

Houses — Utensils and Instruments, ..... 391 

Morality and Religion— Christian Missions, . . 392, 39S 

Particulars respecting Polygamy — The Barroloos, . . 394 
Connexion with the Great Desert and Congo, . . . 396 
Mampoor — Inhambane. . . . . . . . 39'6 




The Kingdom of Sofala, or Boton^ji — Empire of Monomofapa, 397 
Proilactions — Ety noiogy of the iVame, . . ^ . 398 
Monuments — Provinces and Cities, ...... 399 

Pass i:Tfe across the Continent of Southern Africa — Coast of 

Mozambique, ........ 400 

City of the same name — The Macouas and the Country of 

Vakvak, . . . . . . . . . 401 

The Coast t^uerimbe, 402 



Continuafiov of the Description of *iifrica, — Eastern Coast, or 
Zaivgukbar and Ajan. Remarks on the Interior of South- 
ern Africa, 

Zansfuebar, according to the Arabians, 

Europ*^an Accounts — Quiloa, ..... 

I.shmd of Monfia — Island of Zanzibar, 

Island of Pemba — Doubts and Questions, 

Deita of the River Qu limm y— The Mosegueyos^ — The 

racatas — Kingdom of Ma<>adoxa, .... 

City of Magadoxa — Coast of Ajan, .... 

Kingdom of Adel, ....... 

Aromatic Vegetables, ...... 

General reflections on the Int'^rior — Caravans which go 


Manners of the Jagas, ...... 

Heroes and Heroines — The Bororos — Mono— Emugi, 
Gingiro — Kiver Zebee, . . . . 

Laws and Smofuiar Customs, ..... 

Laughable Etiquette, 









• Contijiiiation of the Description of Africa, — The Eastern 
Jfrican Islands — Socotora, Madagascar. 

Socotora — Productions — Origin of the Inhabitants, . . 418 

Almirante Islands, 419 

The Seychelle Islands— Mahe — Isle of Palms — Maldivia Nut, 

or Coco de rner^ 420 

Small islands— Comora Isles — Appearance of Hfinzouan, . 421 
The Great Comora — Climate — Productions, . . . 422 
Inhabitants — Their Origin— Language, Character, and Man- 
ners, .423 

Houses — Religion — Political State, 424 

Madagascar — Its discovery — Extent, . . . . 423 

Mountains — Rivers — Bays and Roads, .... 426 

Importance of this Island — Minerals — Vegetables, . . 427 

Aromatics — Valuable Woods, 428 

Animals — Remarks on Oxen with moveable Horns, . . 429 

Chorography — The Antavarts, 430 

The Bestimessaras, 431 

1 he Antambasses — The Valley of Amboule — The Antanosses, 

&c. — The Ambanivoules, ...... 432 

The Antsianakes — I he Bezonzons, .... 433 

The Aiitancayes — The Country of Ancova, . . . 434 

The Hovas, or Ambolans — Their Proficiency in the Arts, 435 

The Andrantsayes, ........ 436 

Southern Coast — The Country of the Buques — Different Na- 
tions, 437 

The Seclaves — City of Mouzangaye — The Madecasses — Ara- 
bian Colonies, • . . ' 438 

Two Ancient Races — Madecasse Language, . . 439, 440 

Political State — Castas — Priests, and Sorcerers — Circumcision, 441 



Sentence by Poison, ....... 442 

Singular Imprecation — Alliance of Blood — The Mascarenha 

Isles, 443 

Isle of Bourbon — Mountains— Volcano — General Appearance, 444 
Saint Denis — Different Cultures, ..... 445 

Produce in Corn — Errors of Administration — Revenue, . 446 
Population - Isle of France — Cultivation, . . . 447 

Mountains — Pitons— Cities, ...... 448 

Picturesque Beauties — Population, ..... 449 

Isle Rodriguez — Ressearches of M. Buache, ,on the Isle Juan 
de Lisboa — Ancient Churts, ..... 450 

The island is Condemned — Recent Assurances of its Existence, 451 
Voyage of M. Boynot — Discovery of M. Sornin, . . 452 
New Official Researches, ...... 453 

Hypothesis of M. Rpidariste Collin, .... 454 

Islands of Saint Paul and Amsterdam — Physical Description — 

Confusion on the Subject of this Ishuid, . . . 455 

Land of Kerguelen — IVlarian and Prince Edward Isles — Discus- 
sion on Dina and Marseveen, ..... 456 

Hypothesis of M. Buache, ...... 457 

Observations on this Hypothesis, ..... 45f^ 



Continuation of the Description of Jlfnca,'^-The Western 

Jifncan Islands, 

African Sea — Circumcision Island, ..... 459 
Tristan d'Acunha Islands — Island of Saint Helena — Physical 

Details, 460 

City — Historical Details — Ascension Island, . . . 461 

Islands in the Gulf of Guinea — Prince's Island, . . 462 

Island of St. Thomas — Climate — Productions, . . . 463 

Political and Moral State — Annabona Island, , . 464 



Island of St. Matthew— Sea of Thunder— Cape Verd Islands 
— San-lago, ........ 465 

Productions — Mountains — City, 466 

Mayo, Fuego, &,c. — Islands St. Vincent, &c. — The Sea of 
Herbs, or Sargossa, ....... 467 

Canary Islands — Lancerota, ...... 468 

Ancient Inhabitants — Fortaventura — Great Canary, . . 469 
Teneriffe— The Peak— Its Height, .... 470 

Productions of the Island — The Draon Tree of Orotava, 471 

Towns of Teneriffe — Gomera Island — 1 alma Island, . 472 

Ferro Island— Holy Tree, 473 

Population of the Canaries — Spanish Islanders — The Guanches, 474 
Manners of this People, ....... 475 

Mummies of the Guanches, . . . . . . 476 

Guanche Language — Saint Brandon Island, . . . 477 
Island of Madeira — Mountains — Climate and Seasons, . 478 
Trees — Sugar Canes, ....... 479 

Different Productions — Population, .... 480 

Town of Funchal — Revenue, ...... 481 

Island of Porto Santo — The Azores — General Appearance — 
Nature of the Soil and Climate, ..... 482 

Productions — Population — Exportation, . . . , 483 
Island of Saint Michael — The Valley of Furnas, . . 484 
Culture and Productions — Towns — Temporary Volcanic Isle, 485 
Its Appearance in 1638, ....... 486 

Remarks on the Date of this Phenomenon — Appearance in 

1720, 487 

Appearance of 1811, ....... 488 

Saint Maria Island — Terceira Island — Soil and Productions — 
Inhabitants, ........ 489 

St. George Island — Graciosa Island — Fayal Island — Valley call- 
ed the Chaudiere, 490 

Climate and Productions — Towns — Volcano, or Peak of the 

Azores, ." 491 

Productions — Origin of the Inhabitants, .... 492 
Flores Island — Corvo Island, 493, 494 

^ABLE of Geographical Positions of Jifrica, ^c. , . 495—503 






A General View of this Division of the World and its 


Beginning with the west of Asia, the ancient cradle of book 
history, we have gone over the whole of that great con- Lix. 

tinent to its eastern limits, which were unknown to the " 

ancients. We then ' embai'ked on the Great Ocean, and 
Tisited the numerous and interesting islands of Oceanica, 
a part of the world entirely new, and which might be viewed 
as an immense archipelago annexed to Asia. Fronting 
Oceanica on the west, a vast peninsula goes off from the 
body of the Asiatic Continent. Tliis peninsula forms 
likewise one of the great divisions of the world, and one 
which is particularly well characterized. Africa, on the 
description of which we are now to enter, will not present 
to us a new and unlooked for territory, where the Euro- 
pean traveller, falling in with a numerous succession of 
feeble savage tribes, gives to his discoveries names borrow- 
ed from the recollections of his native country. Africa, Afnra lit- 
the shores of which, our ships have been for three centu- *^® »»o^'"- 
ries in the habit of coasting, has been known to history for 

TOL. IT. 1 


BOOK 5000 years. Yet, notwithstanding its ancient celebrity, and 
^^^' notwithstanding its vicinity to Europe, it still, in a great 

rueasure, eludes the examination of science. It was from 
the Afi ican shores that the Egyptian colonies, in the most 
remote times, brought to savage Europe the first germs of 
civilization. At tlie present day, Africa is the latest por- 
tion of the old world to receive from the hands of the 
Europeans the salutary yoke of legislation and of culture. 

If Africa has remained so long inaccessible to the ambi- 
tion of conquerors, to commercial enterprise, and to the cu- 
riosity of travellers, we shall find, in its physical form, the 
principal cause of its obscurity. A vast peninsula, 5000 
miles in length, and nearly 4600 in breadth, presents, in 
an area of nearly 13,430,000 square miles, few long or 
Seas and casily navigated rivers. Its harbours and roadsteads sel- 
S"^ ^' dom afford a safe retreat for vessels, and no gulf or inland 
sea opens the way to the interior of this mass of countries. 
The Mediterranean on the north, by which it is separated 
from Europe, and the Atlantic and Ethiopic Oceans, which 
encompass it on the west, form inconsiderable inequalities 
in the line of coast to which the name of guF^ is improper- 
ly given, viz. the Gulf of Guinea in the south, and that of 
the Syrtes in the north, both held in dread by navigators. 
The breadth of the continent, between the bottoms of these 
gulfs, is still 1800 miles. The coasts of Seriegal and Gui- 
nea, indeed, present several mouths of rivers accompanied 
with islands ; and were it not for the barbarous character 
of the people, these would be the most accessible parts of 
Africa. To the south, however, the continent resumes 
its usual appearance, and terminates in a mass of land with- 
out any deep windings. To the east a number of islands, 
and some mouths of rivers, seem to promise a readier ac- 
cess. The coast washed by the Indian Ocean lies low, 
like the opposite shores of Guinea, but we find only a short 
way in the interior the formidable terrace of arid mountains 
which forms the eastern extremity of the continent. In 
the north-east the Arabian Gulf separates Africa from 

AMtlCA. 3 

Asia, without breaking the gloomy uniformity of the Afi^i- book 
can coast. -^^^* 

This large continent has its outline marked by four ^ 

great promontories. Cape Serra in the north projects into rjes. 
the Mediterranean. Cape de Verd points due west into 
tiie American Sea. Cape Guardafui receives the first rays 
of the rising sun. The Cape of Good Hope makes a long 
excursion into the soutiiern hemisphere. On three other 
remarkable points Africa comes close up to the rest of the 
old continent. In the nortli-west tlie narrow Strait of Straits. 
Gibraltar divides it from Europe. In tlie east Arabia is 
separated from it by the Strait of Babel-mande!). In the 
iiorth-east the low sandv Isthmus of Suez connects it with isthmus. 

In some parts excessively parched, in others marshy or Rivers. 
flooded, the soil of Africa presents strange contrasts. At 
great mutual distances rae some large raid beneficent rivers, 
as the Nile in the north-east, the Senegal and Gambia in 
the west, the Zaire in the south-west, the Cuama on the 
east coast; and, in the centre, the mysterious Niger, which 
conceals its termination as the Nile used to conceal its ori- 
gin. More frequently we find small and short streams, 
such as all tlie rest, with the exception of ten or tAvelvc, 
almost all containing cataracts in their course, and present- 
ing bars or sand banks at their mouths. In the interior, 
and even on the coast, there are great and If)fty rocks, from 
which no torrents proceed ; and table-lands watered by no 
streams, as the great desert of Zahara, and others of minor 
extent. At a greater distance are countries constantly im- 
pregnated with moisture, as those which contain the lake 
or marsh of Wangara, and the lake Maravi, and some tem- 
porary lakes occasioned by the rising of the rivers. Thcvse 
features constitute the hydrography of this part of the 

When we attend to the structure of the mountains, other Configura- 
singularities come into view.^ Though Africa very proba- ^^^^ "^^}^^ 

*^ o ./ 1 moimtauiS, 

* See the views of the (-elebratec! M. Lacepede, in tiie Annales du Mu#um 
'I'Hift. Nat. vol. vi. p. 284. 


4 Al'KICA. 

BOOK bly luis mountains high enough to be covered with peren- 
iix. j^jj^j snow even under the equator, that is, 16,000 feet in 
elevation, it is, in general, to be remarked, that the African 
chains are more distinguished for their breadth than for 
their heigttt. If they reach a great elevation, it is by a gra- 
dual rise, and in a succession of teiTaces. Perliaps, we 
should not deviate far from truth if we were to venture 
the assertion, that the whole body of the African mountains 
forms one great plateau, presenting toward each coast a 
succession of terraces. This nucleus of the Afri'^an ( onti- 
nent seems to contain few loijg and high ranges in the in- 
terior, so that if the sea were to rise three or four miles 
above its present level, Africa, stript of all the low lands 
which line its shores, would perhaps appear almost a level 
island in the midst of the ocean. 
Mountain None ot' the known chains of Africa are adverse to this 

f* ii 3. 1 n *i 

view of its surface. A ''iis, which lines nearlv the wiiole 
of the north coast, is a series of five or six small chains, 
rising one behind another, and including many table lands. 
The ** littoral chain of the Red Sea," or the Troglodytic 
Chain, resembles Atlas in its calcareous steeps, so impos- 
ing to the eye of the traveller, yet really of very moderate 
height. The Lujjata Chain, ** or the Spine of the world," 
which seems to reach from Cape Guardafui to the Cape of 
Good Hope in a direction not well known, contains the 
plateaus of Adel and Mocaranga ; it terminates in the 
south in high and barren plains, called the Karros, and in 
steep mountains with flat summits, one of which has re- 
ceived the significant name of the Table Mountain. This 
chain seems then to resemble the preceding two. The 
rivers of Guinea descend in a series of cataracts, not in 
long and deep valleys. It is the usual character of calca- 
reous mountains to be formed into terraces, and such seenys 
to be the nature of tlie Kong mountains. 
On the ex- There is just one fact vviiich may be opposed to us with 
Genual °^ ^ '^"'^^ appearance of reason. We are told that "a very 
chain. high central chain crosses Afvica from east to west, begin- 
ning at Cape Guardafui and ending about Cape Sierra 

AFRICA. i.» 

Leone : comprelicnding the Kong mountains and the book 
Mountains of the Moon, whirl) lie to tl«e south of Ahyssi- ^^^* 
nia.' But the extension thus given hy Major Rennel to " 

the Mountains of the Moon, would not he inconsistent with 
the views now given. Africa would still be a plateau con- 
sisting of terraces ; the plateau would only be cut in two 
by a sort of w all But we do not, by any means, admit 
the existence of that high central chain. It is true that 
the nucleus of mountains which gives origin to the rivers 
Senegal, the Gambia, the Mesurada, and the Joliba or Ni- 
ger, gives off, among other branches, one which has an 
easterly direction, and which partly separates the basin of 
the Niger from tlie coast of Guinea. This is the chain 
called the Mountains of Kong, on the southern declivities 
of which rise the Rio-Volta and some otiier livers of Gui- 
nea. But the leained Rennel has stretched his conjectures 
too far, in pretending to connect this chain to that of the 
Mountains of the Moon on the south of Abyssinia. May 
not these mountains be lost in the central plateau of south- 
eastern Africa ? or, if they are extended to the west, may 
they not terminate about Cape Gonsalvo, opposite to St. 
Thomas's Island ? The following facts render this sup- 
position very probable. 

At Darfoor, the south w inds are the hottest and driest, Reasoas 
and bring along with them clouds of dust. This shows existence. 
that there is no high chain of mountains immediately to the 
south, near Darfoor. The Mountains of the Moon must 
be removed farther to the south and to the east, and the 
south winds of Darfoor must sweep over a sandy, though, 
perhaps, somewhat elevated plain. 

The passages of Ptolemy and Leo Africanus, w^hich 
seem to describe a central chain, prove nothing. The 
first of these autiiors mentions several detached mountains 
without saying any thing of their extent. Leo says that 
the inhabitants of Wangara cross very high mountains 
"when they go in search of gold dust. But the position 
of these mountains is not defined any more than the 
country of Zegzeg, the inhabitants of which require large 


BOOK ai'tificial tires to protect them from tlie co]d.=^ Even Ma- 
^^^* jor Reniiel thinks that the mountains last referred to must 
lie to the noi'th of tlic Niger. 

The prodigious numhers of slaves which come to Be- 
nin show that there is an open and easy communication 
with the interior. The slaves of the Ibho nation perform 
a journey of seven months over forests and morasses.f It 
is even probable that, in the sixteenth century, tlie king of 
Benin was subject to the king of Ghana, a city situated 
on the Niger,:|: a circumstance which implies easy inland 
communications. Is it not also probable that the Niger, 
or some other river from the interior, flows into the most 
easterly corner of the Gulf of Guinea? Such large gulfs 
as this have generally some great river falling into their 
Airther extremity. The rivers wliich traverse Benin and 
Calabar seem to be arms of some great river. We are 
indeed told, that this appearance of great size is confined 
to the low lands immediately on the shore, but we have 
hitlierto no accounts from any traveller who has ac- 
tually ascended them, and the hypotliesis has been 
advanced and plausibly supported, that the Niger termi- 
nates here. 
Why has rpj^^^ principle v, hicli we have now defended is suscep- 

Afnca few . •. « . . . 

inlands f tible of some interesting applications. If Africa is one 
immense flat mountain, rising on all its sides by steps or 
terraces, we easily conceive that it will not give origin to 
such nai'row pointed peninsulas, or such long chains of is- 
lands, as those by which other continents are terminated. 
These peninsulas and chains of islands are submarine pro- 
longations of the mountain chains extended across the con- 
tinents. In Africa nothing similar appears, excepting the 
Canary islands. The mountains lying parallel to the coast 
have scarcely any submarine continuation. A sea, clear 
of islands, washes a coast marked by an even, unnotched 
Une. The great island of Madagascar, on the east, is not 

* Leo Africaniis, p. 329, de la Traduction de Jean Temporal, 
+ Oldendoip. See our account of Guinea, in th« sequel. 
J Barros, Dec. I. iir. 3, ch. 4. 


a prolongation of the continent, but follows a direction book 
parallel to that of the coast. ^'^' 

If we turn our attention to tije interior of Africa, the J"! " 

Plains and 

same principle makes its appearance in the vast plains which tablelands. 
occupy the greater part of its extent. Some covered with 
sand and gravel, with a mixture of sea shells, and incrusted 
with crystallizations, look like the basins of evaporated seas. 
Such is the famous desert of Zaiiara, where the sands, 
moving like the waves of the ocean, are said to have some- 
times swallowed up entire tribes. Others, of a marsliy na- 
ture, and filled with stagnant lakes, emit effluvia the most 
destructive to human life, or breed disgusting reptiles, 
and formidable animals of huge size. Neither in the Rivers 
one nor the other do rivers find descent or outlet. They outlets. 
either terminate in lakes, or lose themselves beneath tlie 
sand. Many of the slender rivulets never unite to form 
permanent currents, but disappear with the rainy season, 
to which they owe their origin. Africa contains an infi- 
nite number of these torrents and rivers which never reach 
the sea. Some of them have a long course, and rival the 
greatest rivers in the world. Such is the Niger or Joliba, 
unless it has an outlet, as yet unknown, in the Gulf of 
Guinea. After it come the Bornou and the Kullah ; the 
Misselad in Nigritia; and the Djedyd, in the Zab coun- 
try, belonging the Algerine States. Many of these ri- 
vers must form lakes or small inland seas, probably equal- 
ling the sea of Aral. The heat which rapidly dries up the 
"waters, the bibulous quality of the soil which absorbs them, 
and, still more, the absence of great inequalities, or exten- 
sive hollows, prevents the African table land from possess- 
ing another Caspian Sea. 

Lake Maravi gives some reason to suppose that there 
may be a second Niger in the interior of Eastern Africa. 

The other rivers of this continent, such as the Senegal, Periodical 
the Gambia, the Zaire, and the Orange river on the westei'n o7the"fv- 
shores, the Zambeze, or Cuama, and the Makadshec on^^s. 
the east coasts, and lastly the Nile, which surpasses the 
others, and which is the only one that runs north into tljo 



BOOK Mediterranean, all possess a character of resemblance de- 
^^^' pending partly on the rlinnate of the torrid zone, and part- 
~]y on the structure of tlie plateaus in the heart of Africa. 
One conspicuous character consists in the periodic swells, 
by which these rivers ovei-flovv the countries through which 
they pass, and pai'ticularly those by which their mouths 
are surrounded. These risings differ in nothing from the 
floods of our European streams, except in their regular 
annual return, in the large volume of water which they bring 
along with them, and the great quantity of mud which 
they deposit. It is well known that the rainy season, which, 
over the whole torrid zone, is synchronous with the verti- 
cal position of the sun^ brings on almost continual J. inching 
rains. The heavens, formerly burning like a flame, are 
transformed into a great atmospheric ocean. The copious 
"waters which they pour down collect on the table lands 
of the interior, where they form immense sheets of water, 
or temporary lakes. When these lakes have reached a le- 
vel high enough to overflow the boundaries of their basins, 
they suddenly send down into the rivers, previously much 
swollen, an enormous volume of water, impr gnij-'^d with 
the soft earth over which it has for some time stagnated. 
Hence the momentary pauses and sudden renewals in the 
rise of tlie Nile. Hence the abundance of fertilizing slime, 
"which would not be found so copious in the waters of ri- 
vers which owed their rise solely to the direct influence of 
the rains. These phenomena, simple in their origin, only 
astonish persons who have observed the effects without 
tracing their cause. 

The general climate of Africa is that of the torrid zone; 
more than three-fourths of this coi.tinent, (ten thlrieenths 
at least) being situated betwixt the tropics. The great 
mass of heated air, incumbent on these hot regions has 
ready access to its northern and southern parts, situated 
in the zones called temperate, so that the portions of them 
adjoining the tropics are equally torrid with the regions 
actually intertropical. Nothing really moderates the heat 
and dryness of the African climate, except the annual 




rains, the sea breezes, and the elevation of the surface, book 
These three circumstances are sometimes united in a gi*eat- ^^^* 
er degree unfiet- the efjuator than in the temperate z«,nes, 
Su'Ii parts of the interior of Guinea, Nigritia, or Abyssinia, 
as fall under this description, enjoy a temperature much less 
scorching and dry tS^an the sandy deserts on the south of Mr>unt 
Atlas, though the last are thirty degrees from the equiitor. 
It is not impossible that in the centre of Africa tliere may 
be lofty table-lands like that of Quito, or valleys like the 
valley of Cashmere, where, as in those two happ^ regions, • 

spring !)ohis an eternal reign. 

There is another gf^ueral cause which influences the climate 
of Africa less than might be expected. The greatest cold 
of the southei'n hemisphere is only apparent on tlie soutliern 
shores, and is confined to a very small portion of the year. 
The suline and arid character of the lan^s of t!»e southern 
extremity resembles, in some measure, that of the coasts of 
Zaara and of Ajan. 

No\vhere do the empire of fertility and that of barren- Contrasts 
ness come into clo'^er contact than in Africa. Some of its^^ fertility, 
lands owe tlieir fertility to iiigh wooded moimtains mode- 
rating tlie heat and dryness of the atniospheie. More fre- 
quently the fertile countries, bounded by vast deseits* form 
narrow stripes along the hanks of tlie riv^ers, or alluvial 
plains situated at theii place of exit. These last countries, 
generally contained between two bratu hesof the river diverg- 
ing to form a triangle, have, Iroin their figure, received a 
name taken from Delta, the fourth letter of the Greek alpha- 
bet, which is a triangle. The term has been, by way of emi- 
nence, given to the flat island formed by the Nile in Lower 
Egypt. Another class of fertile lands owes its existence to 
springs, which here and there burst forth in the midst of de- 
serts. These spots oi verdure are called ses. Even Stra- 
bo mentions them, when he says, "To the south < f Atlas 
lies a vast desert of sand and stones, \\hicli, liketh'^ spotted 
skin of a panther, is here and there diversified by o ises; 
that is to say, by fertile grounds, rising like islands in tiie 
midst of the oceauc" 


BOOK It is to these contrasts that Africa owes her twofold 
XIX. reputation. This land of perpetual thirst, this arid nur- 
'~'~'"~~' sery of lions,* as it was called by the ancients, was, at the 
same time, represented under the emblem of a woman 
crowned with ears of corn, or holding ears of corn in her 
hand I Although the character of high fertility belongs 
General especially to the Africa propria of the ancients, that is, the 
vegetation, pi^^sent state of Tunis, it is certain that in this part of the 
world, wherever moisture is conjoined with lieat, vegeta- 
tion displays great vigour and magnificence. The human 
species find abundant aliment at a very insignificant ex- 
pense of labour. The corn stalks bend under their load ; 
the vine attains a colossal size; melons and pumpkins ac- 
quire enormous volume; millet and holcns, the grain which 
is most comnion over three-fourths of this continent, though 
badly cultivated, yield a return of two hundred fold; and 
the date tree, which is to the African what the cocoa nut 
and the bread fruit are in Oceanica, can withstand the fiery 
winds which assail it from the neighbouring deserts. The 
forests of Mount Atlas are equal to the finest of Italy and 
Spain. Those of the Cape boast of the silver leaved Pro- 
tea, and some elegant trees. In the whole of Guinea, Se- 
negambia, Congo, Nigritia, and the eastern coast, former- 
ly denominated India, are to be found the same thick fo- 
rCvSts as in America. But in parts which are mai'shy or 
arid, sandy or rocky, that is, in one half of Africa, the na- 
tural vegetation presents a liarsh and uncouth physiogno- 
my. Scattered tufts of saline plants diversifying a plain 
which has no green sod to clothe its nakedness, — thorny 
shrubs. Mimosas, and Acacias, present impenetrable thick- 
ets. EuphorbiXf Cacti, and arums, tire the eye with their 
stiff and pointed forms. The enormous baobab, and the 
shapeless dragon tree, are void of grace and majesty. The 
fruit of the theobroma, finding its way outward through 
the bark of the trunk, a bark of a blackened and scorched 

'* " Sitientes Afros." — Virgil. Leonum arida nutrix." 
t Rochart, Canaan, I. ch. 2.5. 


appearance, seems affected by the same power of solar heat book 
which has impressed the most sombre hues on the skin of ^^^* 
the negro. — — 

The animal kingdom presents still greater variety, and Animals. 
more originality. Africa possesses most of the aninjals of 
the old continent, and in some species possesses the most 
vigorous and the most beautiful varieties. Such are the 
horse of Barbary, the Cape buffalo, the Senegal mule, and 
the zebra, the pride of th^ asinine race. The African lion is 
the only lion worthy of the name. The elephant and the rhi- 
noceros, though of less colossal dimeiisions than those of 
Asia, have more agility, and perhap:^ more ferocity? yet 
the African elephant is said to fiy at the sight of that of 
Asia. Several very singular animal forms appear to be pe- Pecuiiay 
culiar to this part of the world. The unwieldy bippopo- forms. 
tamus inhabits the south, from the Cape of Good Hope, to 
Egypt, and to Senegal. The majestic giraffe, the proto- 
type of the Seraphim which the Arabian mythology yoked 
in the chariot of the lord of ihunder, roams from the Ni- 
ger to the Orange River. The gazelle, or antelope genus, 
peoples Africa with numerous species and varieties, some 
lighter and handsomer than otiiers, and perhaps all differ- 
ent from those of the table-land of Asia. Following the 
same principle, Africa, filled with monstrous apes and dis- 
gusting baboons, is probaoly deficient in many species of 
monkeys which seem reserved for Oceanica as the ourang- 
outang; or for America, as the sapajoo. The winged race 
of Africa is equally peculiar. The flamingo, in his scarlet 
robe, the paroquet, clad in emerald and sapphire hues, the 
aigretta, of elegant plumage, might have imparted suflicient 
interest to the descriptive pen of Vaillant, though he had 
added no imaginary birds. The ostrich is peculiar to 
Africa, as the cassowary is to Oceanica, and the rhea, or 
tooyoo, to South America ; but, among the walking birds, 
or those which have no true wings, that of Africa is the 
largest and most perfect. We reserve for our special de- 
lineations other researches, which will confirm the old 
adage, "that Africa was always furnishing natural his- 


BOOK tory with some rsew animal :" — researches which will give 
Lix. a pj'obtibility to the existence of some extraordinary ani- 
"^ mals, celebrated in all the writings of antiquity, while mo- 
dern critic ism, perhaps too sceptical, has assigned them a 
place among the rreritions of fable. 

The inconveniences and calamities occasioned hy veno- 
mous or voracious reptiles, are not peculiar to Africa; 
the whole torrid zone has its serpents, its scorpion.s, its 
crocodiles, or other equivalent species. But nowhere else, 
except in New Holland, do the termites build so many de- 
structive nests. The swarms of locusts of Asia are much 
less tiiick and extensive than tjjose of Africa, where whole 
tribes of men use them as food. 

To conclude our pirture, we find the human species in 
this part of the world exhibited in a new light. The 
Man Africans seem to form three races which have long been 

rican races, distinct. The Moors are a handsome race, resembling in 
stature, pliysiognomy, and hair, the best formed nations 
of Europe and Western Asia, though darkened by the 
influence of climate. To this race belong the Berbers or 
Kabvis, and the other remains of the ancient Numidians 
and Getulse. Tliey bear a great similaiity to the Ara- 
bians, from whom they received in the seventh century 
numerous colonies. The Copts, Nubians, and Abyssinians, 
cannot well he considered as originally a distinct race, 
being probably sprung from a mixture of Asiatic und Af- 
rican nations. The second race is that of the Negroes, 
whose general characteristics are universally known. It 
occupies all the centre, and all the west from Senegal to 
Cape Negros, and has found its wa> into Nubia and Egypt. 
The third race is that of the Caffres, which occupies all 
the east coast, distinguished from the negroes by a less 
obtuse facial angle, a convex forehead, and a high nose; 
but approa«hing to it in the thick lips, the curled and al- 
most woolly hair, and a complexion varying from a yellow 
brown to a sinning black. 

Besides these great races, Africa contains some tribes of 
^ character quite peculiar, which they derive either from 

some unknown original, or from the influence of climate, book 
The Hottrntots are the most conspicuous example, but we ^^^» 
shall find some others in the course of our particular de- * 


The languages of Afi'ica must, according to M. de t anguages 
Seetzen, amount to 100 or 150. They differ from one° 
another in a most striking manner, and have so few fea- 
tures of mutual resemblance, that the attempts made to 
classify them have proved fruitless. The Berber language 
has indeed been found to prevail from Morocco to Egypt. 
The three negro languages of Mandingo on the upper Se- 
negal, of Amina on the Goid coast, of Congo on the Con- 
go co.iat, seem to be extensively diffused : and the same 
may be said of the Caffre Bejooanas. But the general 
character of Africa in this respect is still that of a multi- 
tude of confined idioms which seem to comprehend many 
sounds scarcely articulate, some that are very strange, 
sometimes bowlings, sometimes hisses, contrived in imita- 
tion of the cries of animals, or intended as watchwords, to 
distinguish hostile tribes from one another. This fact per- 
plexes those who consider the unity of the human race as a 
demonstrated historic truth ; but it appears to us that in 
Africa and every where else, true history, going back to the 
most remote times, finds the human species, like the plants 
and animals, disseminated over the surface of the globe, 
and divided into numberless small tribes or families, each 
speaking a peculiar idiom, imperfect and often singularly 
distorted. The artificial combination of these primitive 
jargons has given origin to the regular languages which 
probably began with the formation of cities. 

Civilization, which has furnished man with abstract and Progress of 
general ideas, has followed in Africa a singular progress, ''^'^'^*^*^*^ 
dictated by the climate and by the character of the most 
numerous indigenous race. This progress may be distri- 
buted into the following epochs* 

Living in abundance, but separated from one another by p imitive 
deserts ; surrounded by copious and excellent food of ''*^*^* 
spontaneous growth, but encountering prodigious obstacles 


BOOK in all their attempts at artificial culture ; enjoying a cli- 
^ix. mate whicli required no clothing to protect them from cold, 

^ nor cover to shelter them from rain, the Negro (called ihe 

Ethiopian hy the ancients,) and prohahly also the CafFre, 
or Troglodyte, never felt that stimulus of necessity which 
creates industry and reflection. Enjoying a wild happi- 
ness of condition, they satisfied the demands of sense, and 
scarcely possessed any notion of an intellectual world. 
But they felt the presence of an invisible power. They; 
looked for its resilience in the tree which gave them food, 
in the rock which shaded them, in the serpent which they 
dreaded, and even in the monkeys and parrots which flit- 
ted around them. Some believed that a piece of wood, or 
a polished stone, was the seat of a supernatural powers 
they were delighted to think tliat their deities could be 
carried along with them in all their motions. This sys- 

Fetichism. tem, which is culled fetichism, and which is the rudest form 
of pantheism^ seems common to every climate and to every 
race : but it prevailed to the exclusion of every other in 
Africa, and especially among the negroes.-^ These super- 
stitions were merely ridiculous. Vengeance and brutality, 
however, gave birth to others of a horrible and atrocious 
nature. The prisoner of war from an adjoining tribe was 
sacrificed on the tombs of those against whom he had 
fought. Believing in the necessary connection between 
moral powers and visible objects, these barbarians were 
persuaded that by devouring the bodies of their enemies, 
they became imbued with the courage of the deceased. 
Cannibalism, arising from the rites of the hideous altar, 
and at first limited to these rites, was soon converted into 
a capricious taste — a demand of luxurious appetite. Van- 
quished tribes thought themselves fortunate in being re- 
duced to slavery, instead of being devoured ; but their 
masters sold their persons like cattle. In the meantime, 
the Berbers or Moors, proud of a little superiority over 
these degraded beings, hunted them down like wild beasts, 

. '* See after'A'ards Oiir account of Nimitia. 


and wrought them like domestic animals* Such may be book 
considered as the primitive state of the Africans, and it ^'^* 
still in some measure subsists. — — 

Afterwards came some beneficent impostors, who altered Theocra- 
the face of things. Several dynasties of royal high priests roe, Tho- 
erected temples at Meroe, at Thebes, and at Memphis, ^^^> ^^ 
which became the asyla of peace, the focus of arts, and the 
resort of trade. Tlie savage, attracted by curiosity, and 
enslaved by superstition, bowed down before the statue 
of a god with a dog's head, or the beak of a bird, em- 
blems which formed improvements on his rude amulet. 
At the command of the servants of the gods, a multitude 
which scarcely possessed cabins of palm trunks for them- 
selves, cut the granite into columns, carved hieroglyphics ^ 
on the porphyry rocks, and by persevering labour complet- 
ed monuments which stood undecayed for ages. Nor 
were works of utility neglected. The sacred water of the 
Nile, confined by dykes, and distributed by canals, fertilized 
the plains which had previously been overrun with reeds 
and rushes. Caravans, protected by the name of the dei- 
ties, ascended the Nile, and penetrated to the remote val- 
leys of Ethiopia, collecting gold and ivory, spreading 
every where the germs of new religions, new laws, and new 

At Memphis, Thebes, and Meroe, the caste of warriors internal 
rebelled against the pontiffs. The gentle illusions of theo- o^Eiypt*."' 
cracy were succeeded by revolutions, wars, and agitations, 
at the despotic court of the Pharaohs. Notwithstanding 
events of this kind, Egypt long continued a great and 
flourishing empire, but was less fortunate as to any influ- 
ence on the civilization of the rest of Africa. 

Carthage had founded another empire in the west. Her The Cav- 
hardy sailors, and her enterprizing merchants, reached as^ agimans, 
far as Cape Blanco by sea, and her inland travellers reach- 
ed the Niger by land ; but the only means which they pos- 
sessed for subjugating nations were their armed force, and 
the attractions of certain articles of commerce. Intimate- 
ly coHnect«d with the Barbary, or Moorish people, whose 



The Ro- 

BOOK talents for war they brought into acthity by raising among 
^'^* them light troops for their own service, they exercised only 
an indirect influence on the Ethiopians or the negroes. 
This race of men, left to themselves, confined their exer- 
tions to the picking up of such simple alinients as the earth 
afforded ready prepared. The government of petty des- 
potic p^.triarchs gave place to more extended n?onarchies. 
In the mysterious associations of Guinea, the spirit of the 
priests of Meroe was seen to revive. The most essential 
change which the civil constitution of Africa underv/ent, 
was the distinction established between free-men and slaves. 
That distinction existed among the Greeks and the Ro- 
mans with features equally odious and inhump.n as in 
Africa. But, while Christianity abolished it in Europe, in 
Africa it has been perpetuated. 

Beyond the limits of their own empire, the Romans had 
no direct relations with any people except the inhabitants 
of Fezzan and of Nubia, and, at a very late period, with 
Christian- Abvssinia, or the kingdom of Axum. Nor did Cljristian- 
' ^' ity succeed in shedding her light on the west, the centre, 

and the south of Africa. Her benefits, which were spread 
over the north, disappeared under tlie effects of disastrous 
wars. To Mahometanism was reserved the task of effect- 
TheArabsinga change in African civilization- The fanatic Arab, 
nietanism! mounted on the active dromedary, or embarked in light 
vessels, flew to plant the standard of his prophet on the 
banks of the Senegal, and on the shores of Sofala. Never 
did a people possess a union of qualities better adapted for 
conquering and preserving the entpire of Africa. Among 
the Mauritanians and Numidians they found brothers and 
natural friends; an identit)' of manners, food, and a genial 
climate. The fanatic mussuiinan spirit astonished and sub- 
dued the ardent imaginations of the Africans; the simpli- 
city of the creed suited their limited intellect, and easily 
connecteo tself with the superstition of feticliism, and the 
ideas wl.ich these people entertained of magic and en- 
chantments. Africa, and especially the ouses of t!»e Gieat 
Desert, soon furnished the new religion with its most zeal- 

AI'KICA. 17 

ous defenders. Civil slavery and despotic government book 
suffered jio change, except that the Maraboots, or Mus- ^^^* 
siilman priests, and the Slierifs, or descendants of tlie pro- ' 

phet, formed, in some of the states, a species of aristo- 
cracy. Cannibalism alone was of course abolished, and 
that was a real benefit which humanity received at the 
hand of Islamism.^ One event favoured, for a moment, the 
civilization of the Moors. The expulsion of those of their 
number who had ruled in Spain peopled Barbary, and 
even the Oases of the great desert, with a more industrious 
and better informed race tlian the rest of the Mahometans. 
But, unhappily for Africa, a handful of Turkish adven- The Turks. 
turers, vying with one another in ferocity and ignorance, 
established themselves on the coast of Barbary, subdued the 
Moors, and founded the barbarous governments of Algiers, 
Tunis, and Tripoli, forming a deadly barrier, more efficient 
than Mahometanism itself, in separating Africa from the 
civilized world. 

The voyages of the Portuguese, and the slave trade. Modem 
have subsequently opened new communications between '^^^®* 
Africa an<! the west of Europe. These countries were found, 
as they still are, distracted b^ perpetual war, a war so much 
the more deplorable, because, being confined to a system 
of cruel robbery, without the spirit of territorial con- 
quest, it does not give birth to those great empires which 
sometimes admit a species of civilization. A lengthened 
observation of the character of the Africans made us ac- 
quainted with their virtues, their docile dispositions, and 
their versatility in imitating our arts. Sufficient proof is 
obtained that there is nothing in their moral nature which 
condemns, them to perpetual barbarism. f Europe, unfor- 
tunately occupied with tlie East and West Indies, has paid 

* M. de Harainer, Meinoire sur rinfluence du Mahomciisme, dans les Minee^ 
de I'Orient, et dans les Annales des Voyages, 
t See the interesting work of M. Giegoire, Bishop of Blois, sur la Litteraure 

les Negrcs. 

VOL. IV, 2 


BOOK comparatively little attention to a country nearer home, 
XIX. j^jjj] perhaps more wealthy than those others. Hence our 
"""*"""" relations with the African coasts have heen long confined 
to that traffic in hnman heings which is reprobated both 
by religion and philosophy, and only justified by a falla- 
cious reference to ad^cntitious circumstances, from which 
this traffic appears to operate as a corrective of greater dis- 
orders and inhumanity. Tliese circumstances are many of 
them the creation of this infamous traffic itself, which de- 
bases and brutalizes the miserable natives, as has been 
amply proved by a comparison between the state of the 
same countries before and since the late partial abolition, 
and under the temporary revivals of the same disgraceful in- 
humanity to which individual avarice has, in some places, 
given rise. That the utter abolition of the slave trade vvili 
ever be the cause of tlie revival of cannibalism and human 
sacrifices, as some have ventured to predict, is impossible. 
Moral practices, as well as physical population, do not, in 
Africa, depend on causes different from those which regu- 
late them in France or England. The introduction of 
knowledge and enliglitened habits is tlie great engine by 
which we hope to see xifrica made to hold a respectable rank 
in the scale of human society. The colonies established on 
its shores, and the efforts mac'c to open a legitimate and 
beneficial trade between Africa and the civilized world, 
w ill, it is hoped, excite, in the minds of its inhabitants, a 
due esteem for regular laws and civilized manners, and in- 
duce them either to emulate them by efforts of their own, 
or to submit to receive from others these benefits in ex- 
change for the miseries of a wretched independence. 





Jl Physical Description of this Country, 

Egypt is the connecting link between Africa and the ci- book. 
vilized world. This country, unique in its nature and in lx. 

its historical records, deserves a more minute description 

than the other countries of Africa. Egypt consists entire- 
ly of a vale, watered by the Nile, by which it is in part 
formed ; and confined, on the right and left, by a barren 
expanse of deserts. The physical picture of this country, 
therefore, will be introduced with an account of the Nile, 
whose bounties render Egypt independent of all foreign 
supplies, and independent of the rains of heaven. 

The Nile, the largest river of the old world, still con- The Nile ; 
ceals its true sources from the research of science. At and courS 
least, scarcely any thing more of them is known to us now 
tlian was known in the time of Eratosthenes. That learn- 
ed librarian of Alexandria distinguished three principal 
branches of the Nile. The most easterly was the Tacazze 
of the moderns, which flowed down the north side of the 
table land of Abyssinia. The second known branch, or 
tiie Blue River, first makes a circuit on the table land of 
Abyssinia, and then flows down through the plains of Sen^ 

20 EGYPT. 

BOOK iiaar, or of Fungi. The sources of this Blue River were 
^^* found and described by the Jesuits, Paez and Tellez, two 
' centuries before the pretended discovery of Bruce. These 

two rivers are tributaries to the White river, the Bahr-el- 
Abiad, which is the true Nile, and tlie sources of which 
must lie in the countries to the south of Darfoor. These 
countries are, according to the report of a Negro, named 
Dar-el-Miad, The mountains from which it issues are 
called Dyre and Tegla ; and probably form part of the 
Al Quamar mountains, or the mountains of the Moon. 
As it seems proved that travellers have passed by water 
from Tombuctoo to Cairo, the N?ger must fall into the 
Nile, and be really the Nile itself; or there must be inter- 
Communi- mediate rivers, forming between the Nile and Niger a 
theNiie Communication resembling that which was found by 
and Niger. Humboldt, between the Orinoco and the Amazons. The 
first hypothesis might seem to be supported by a vague 
romantic passage of Pliny the naturalist, quoted in our 
History of Geography.^ The other hypothesis is the 
only one which can reconcile the accounts of persons who 
have travelled by the way of Tombuctoo, with the posi- 
tive testimony of Mr. Browne, according to which the 
rivers Misselad, and Bar-Koolla, run from south to north. 
This fact which is generally admitted, does not allow us 
to suppose any other communication between the Nile and 
the Niger, than one which may be formed by canals which, 
like those of Casiquiari in Guiana, might wind along 
a table land where the sources of tiie Misselad and Bar- 
Koolla are at a short distance from each other, and from 
those of the Nile. Perhaps some of our readers will con- 
tent themselves with supposing that the sources of all these 
rivers are sufficiently near to communicate by means of 
temporary lakes during the rainy season. 
Cataracts The true Nile, whatever may be its origin, receives two 
o the Nile, j^^gg j^iyers from Abyssinia, and then forms an extensive 
circuit in the country of Dongola by turning to the south- 

* See Book IX. of the History of Geos;raphy. » 

JEGYPT. ' 21 

west. At three different places a barrier of mountains book 
threatens to interrupt its course, and at each place the bar- ^'^' 
rier is surmounted. The second cataract in Turkish Nu- 
bia, is the most violent, and most un- navigable. The third 
is at Syene, or Assooan, and introduces the Nile into Upper 
Egypt. The height of this cataract, singularly exaggerated 
by some travellers, varies according to the season, and is 
generally about four or five feet. 

From Syene to Cairo, the river flows along a valley Vaiiey oi 
about eight miles broad, between two mountain ridges, 
one of which extends to the Red Sea, and the other ter- 
minates in the deserts of ancient Libya. The river occu- 
pies the middle of the valley, as far as the strait called 
Gibbel-Silsili. This space, about forty miles long, has 
very little arable land on its banks. It contains some isl- 
ands which from their low level easily admit of irriga- 

At the mouth of the Gibbel-Silsili,=^ the Nile runs along 
the right side of the valley, which in several places has the 
appearance of a steep line of rock cut into peaks, while the 
ridge of the hills on the left side, is always accessible by a 
slope of various acclivity. These last mountains begin 
near the town of Sioot, and go down towards Faioom, 
diverging gradually to the west, so that between them and 
the cultivated valley there is a desert space, becoming gra- 
dually wider, and which in several places is bordered on 
the valley side by a line of sandy downs lying nearly south 
and nortli. 

The mountains which confine the basin of the Nile in Parallel 
Upper Egypt are intersected by defiles which on one side 4"cfi,°tains. 
lead to the shores of the Red Sea, and on the other to the 
Oases, These narrow passes might be habitable, since the 
winter rains maintain for a time a degree of vegetation, 
und form springs which the Arabs use for tliemselves and 
their flocks. 

^ Givavd, Mem. siir I'Esiypte, t. III. p. 1". 






Basin of 

Plains of 
the Delta, 

The stripe of desert land wlucli generally extends along 
each side of the valley, parallel to the course of the Nile, 
(and which must not he confounded with the barren ocean 
of sand which lies on each side of Egypt,) now contains 
two very distinct kinds of land ; the one immediately at the 
bottom of the mountain, consists of sand and round pebbles; 
the other, composed of light drifting sand, covers an extent 
of ground formerly arable. If a section of the valley is 
made by a plane perpendicular to its direction, the surface 
will be observed to decline from the marsiins of the river to 
the bottom of the hills, a circumstance also remarked on 
tl)e banks of the Mississippi, the Po, part of tiie Borys- 
thenes, and some otiier rivers. 

Near Beni-sooef, the valley of tlie Nile, already much 
widened on the west, has on that side an opening through 
which a view is obtained of the fertile plains of Faioom. 
These plains form properly a sort of table land, separated 
fi'om the surrounding mountains on the north and west by a 
wide valley, of which a certain proportion, alw ays laid under 
water, forms what the inhabitants call Birket-H-Karooiu 

Near Cairo, the chains which limit the valley of the 
Nile diverge on both sides. The one, under the name of 
Jibbel-al-Nairon, runs nortli-wcBt towards the Mediter- 
ranean : the other, called Jibbel-al-Attaka, runs straight 
east of Suez. 

In front of these chains a vast plain extends, composed 
of sands covered with the mud of the Nile. At tlic 
place called Batu-el-Bahara, the river divides into two 
branches; the one of which flowing to Rosetta, and the 
other to Damietta, contain between them tlie present 
Delta; but this triangular piece of insulated land was in 
former times larger, being bounded on the east by the 
Pelusian branch, which is now choked up with sand or 
converted into marshy ])ools. On the west it was bound- 
ed by tlie Canopic bi-ancli, whicli is now^ partly confound- 
ed w ith the canal of Alexandria, and partly lost in lake 
Etko. But the correspondence of the level of the surface 



with that of the present Delta, and its depression as com- book 
pared with that of the adjoining desert, togctlier with its ^^* ' 
greater verdure and fertility, still mark the limits of the 
ancient Delta, although irregular encroachments are made 
by shifting banks of drifting sand, which are at present on 
the increase. 

The different hoga^, or mouths of this great river, have Mouths. 
often changed their position, and are still changing it; a 
circuinstance which has occasioned long discussions among 
geographers. The following are the most established re- 
suits. The seven mouths of the Nile, known to the an- 
cients, were, 1. "the Canopic mouth, corresponding to the 
present mouth of lake Etko: or according to others, that 
of the lake of Aboukir, or Maadee; but it is probable, 
that at one time, it had communications with the sea at 
both of these places. In that case it is probable that these 
lakes existed nearly in their present state, except that tho 
Nile flowed through them, and gave them a large pro- 
portion of fresh water, instead of tlie sea water with which 
thev are now lilied. We cannot believe that the bottoms 
of these lakes were formerly hiiiljer, as we know of no na- 
tural process by which .;urfaccs of such breadth could 
have been subsequent!}^ excavated. 2. The Bolbitine 
mouth at Rosetta. 3. The Sehenitic mouth, probably the , 
opening into t!ie present lake Burlos. 4. The Fhatnitic, 
or Bucolic at Damietta. 5. The Mendesian^ winch is lost 
in the lake Menzaleh, the mouth of which is represented 
by that of Dibeh. 6. The Taniiic, or Saitic, which 
seems to leave some traces of its termination to the east of 
lake Menzaleh, under the modern appellation of 0mm- 
Faredje. The branch of the Nile which conveyed its 
waters to the sea corresponds to the canal of Moez, which 
now loses itself in the lake. 7. The Fclitsiac mouth seems 
to be represented by what is now^ the most easterly mouth 
of lake Menzaleh, where the ruins of Pelusium are still 

* Mem. sur TEgypte, T. 1{)5. Compare Dubois-A3'nie, Mcmoires sur les 
Bouches-du-JXil. Livourne. 1812, 

24: EGYPT. 

BOOK The depth and rapidity of the Nile differ in different 

^^' places, and at different seasons of the year. In its ordi- 

nary state, this river carries no vessels exceeding sixty 

rajHciity." tons burden, from its mouth to the cataracts. The bogaz 
of Daniietta is seven or eight feet deep when the waters 
are low. Tlsat of Rosetta does not exceed four or five. 
When the waters are high, each of them has forty-one 

Naviga- feet more, and caravels of twenty-four guns can sail up to 
Cairo.* The navigation is facilitated in a singular degree 
during the floods : for, while the stream carries the vessels 
from the cataracts to the bogaz with great rapidity, the 
strong northerly winds allow them to ascend the river, by 
means of set sails, with equal rapidity. These winds are 
constant for nine months of the year, and, when the river 
is low, and the stream less rapid, vessels cannot often make 
their w^ay downward even with their sails furled, the 
wind upward being more powerful titan the stream, even 
under these circumstances. The regular practice at such 
times is, to row down with the stream during the night 
\vhen the wind has subsided, and to halt somewhere dur- 
ing the day ; while the vessels that are upward bound 
sail by day and halt by night. The passage from 
Cairo to the Mediterranean, occupies eight or ten days. 
When both voyages are practicable, it is an interest- 
ing sight to see the numerous boats passing one an- 
other on their way. The bogazes are difficult to navigate 
even during high Nile. The shifting sand-banks create 
unforeseen dangers over the whole extent of bottom which 
is liable to them. The cataracts are sometimes passed » 
with the aid of a little address, combined with courage, 
the lowest cataract, in particular, being rather a rapid than 
a waterfall.! 

Inunda- The celebrated plaius of Egypt would not be the abode 

5Jf°"p°^^^^® of perpetual fertility were it not for the swellings of the 

* Description tie I'Egypte, vol. 1. Memoirc de M. Lepeie, suif le canal 
des deux mers, sect. II. paragr. 5 et 6. 

t Sicard, Nordeii. 5f;R pnrticularlv Belzoni, vol.11, n. IIP, PToud rdition. 

liGTPT. 25 


river, which both impart to them the requisite moisture, book 
and cover them with fertilizing mud. We now know for ^^* 
certain what the ancients obscurely concluded,^ and what 
was asserted by Agatharcides, Diodorus, Abdolatif, and 
the Abyssinian envoy, Hadgi Michael, f that the heavy 
annual rains between the tropics are the sole cause of these 
floods, common to all the rivers of the torrid zone, and 
which, in low situations such as Egypt, occasion inunda- 

The rise of the Nile commences with the summer sol- 
stice. The river attains its greatest height at the autumnal 
equinox, continues stationary for some days, then dimi- 
nishes at a less rapid rate than it rose. At the winter sol- 
stice it is very low, but some v/ater still remains in the 
large canals. At this period the lands are put under cul- 
ture. The soil is covered with a fresh layer of slime of 
greater or less thickness. 

The fertility and general prosperity of Egypt depend 
much on a certain medium in the height to which the Nile 
rises in its inundations; too little rise or too much is near- 
ly equally hurtful. In September, 1818, M. Belzoni wit- 
nessed a deplorable scene, from the Nile having risen three 
feet and a half above the highest mark left by the former 
inundation.:}: It was productive of one of the greatest ca- 
lamities that had occurred in the memory of any one liv- 
ing. Rising with uncommon rapidity, it carried oJQT several 
villages, and some hundreds of their inhabitants. Expect- 
ing an unusual rise, in consequence of the scarcity of wa- 
ter during the preceding season, the inhabitants had erect- 
ed, as usual, fences of earth and reeds round their villages,, 
to keep the water from their houses, but its force baffled 
their efforts, and the rapid stream carried before it men, 
women, children, cattle, and corn, in a moment. In Up- 

* Meiners. Histoire du Nil, dans ses ffiuvres Philosophiques, p. 80. 
+ Quoted by Wansleben in au unpublished account of a journey in Egypt. 
Collection de Paulus, I. 21. 

t Belzosij's Narrative, vol. II. p. 25— !?9. 

2(> EGYPT. 

B60K per Egypt, the villages are not raised above tlie level even 
^x- of the ordinary inundations, but depend for their safety 

~~" on artificial fences. When a village is in danger, the 

boats are busily employed in removing the corn and the 
people, the former being first attended to, as more import- 
ant to the Pasha; and, if the water brealvs in before the 
inhabitants have been placed in security, their only re- 
' source is to climb the palm trees, and there wait till a 

boat comes to tlieir rescue. Tliose who have it in their 
power repair with their property to a higher ground, others 
escape mounted on buiFalocs or cows, or keep themselves 
afloat on logs of wood. Mr. Belzoni, in tiie course of his 
travels, came to the village of Agalta, between Luxor and 
Cairo, which he found four feet lower than tiic surface of 
the surrounding water ; the caimalvan, or guard, deplor- 
ing his imminent danger of heing swept away from a place 
in which honour and duty obliged him to remain. Some 
poor refugees were placed on spots of ground very little 
raised above the river, which had still twelve davs to rise 
before reaching its utmost height, at which it remained sta- 
tionary for other twelve. 
Mild of the Tlie analysis of the mud of the Nile gives nearly one 
" ' ^' half of argilhiceous earth, about one-fourth of carbonate of 

lime, the remainder consisting of water, oxide of iron, and 
carbonate of magnesia.-'^ On the very banks of the Nile, 
the mud is mixed with much sand, which it loses in propor- 
tion as it is carried farther from the river, so that at a 
certain distance it consists almost of pure argil. This mud 
is employed in several arts in P^gypt. It is foi'med into 
excellent bricks, and vessels of divers forms. It enters 
into tlie manufacture of tobacco pipes. Glass manufactur- 
ers employ it in the construction of their furnaces, and the 
country ])eoplc cover their houses with it. This mud con- 
tains principles favourable to vegetation, and the cultiva- 
tors consider it as suflicient manure. 

* Mem siir TEgypt, I. p. 34??, 382. 

EGYPT. 27 

The salubrity of the water of the Nile, so uiiicli extolled book 
among the ancients, is aclvnowledged also by the moderns ^^* 
under certain limitations. Being very li2;]it, it may de- "^ ~ 
serve in this respect the character given of it by Maillet, oi the r^iie 
that it is among other waters what Champagne is among "^'*^'^* 
wines. If Mahomet had tasted it, the Egyptians say, he 
would have supplicated heaven for a terrestrial immortali- 
ty, to be enabled to enjoy it to eternity.^ It is said to be 
laxative, owing to certain neutral salts contained in it. But 
during the three summer months when it is in some places 
almost stagnant, it requires to be filtered, or otherwise cla- 
rified before it can be used with safety. During the in- 
crease of the Nile, it first acquires a green colour, some- 
times pretty deep. After thirty or forty days, this is suc- 
ceeded by a brownish red. I'hese changes are probably 
owing to the augmentations which it receives from differ- 
ent temporary lakes in succession, or from the waters 
formed by a succession of rains on the different table lands 
of the interior of Africa. 

The mountains on the west side of the Nile seem to Nature of 
consist oE limestone containing many shells. In those of '''^ ^°*^^^^' 
the east side, serpentine and granite seem to form the 
highest ridges. 

The stone of which the pyramid of Cheops, near Djizeh 
is built, is a fine gi-ained carbonate of lime, of a light brown 
colour, and easily cut. The red granite, or, rather syenite, 
of the ancient monuments, and which forms the coating of 
the pyramid called Mijcerinus, is believed to be the Fyro- 
pdecylon of Pliny. In the neighbourhood of the pyramids 
are found the Ethiopian jasper, the quartz rock with am- 
phibole, and the Egyptian pebble, which is a quartzose agate 
coarsely veined. From the old specimens preserved at 
Velletri, in Cardinal Borgia's museum, a Danish mineralo- 
gist, M. Wad, has published an essay on the fossils ofsperimen 
Egypt. These specimens are, red granite, white granite, °^ °^^^^'^'^^' 

* JMailletj Description de I'Egyptp, I. p. 16. Mem. sur TEgypte, II. p. 35. 

2B iiGYPT. 

BOOK mixed with liornblende, (a character "which distinguishes 
^^* syenite from the proper granites) green feldspar, and 
" black hornblende. The porphyry seems to he formed of 

petrosilex, with crystals of feldspar. Tliere is likewise 
found among them a small specimen of a dark brown mi- 
caceous schistus. The others are limestone, feldspar, brec- 
cia, serpentine, potstone, marble with veins of silvery mi- 
ca, swinestone, jaspers of all varieties, the topaz or chry- 
solite of the ancients, amethyst, rock-crystal, chalcedony, 
onyx, helioti jpe, obsidian, and lapis lazuli, but no emeralds. 
The greater part of the specimens are basalt, the Ethio- 
pian stone of Herodotus and of Strabo.* 
Mountains The Valley leading to Cosseir is covered with a sand 
oii^osseir. pj^,,|.|y calcarcous, partly quartzose. The mountains are 

of limestone and sandstone. As we approach to Cosseir 
we find three sorts of mountains. The first consist of 
rocks of granite, of a small fine grain. The second chain 
comprehends rocks of breccia, or puddingstone, of a par- 
ticular sort, known by the name of breccia di verde»j To 
the mountains of breccia, for a space of thirty miles, a sub- 
stance of slaty texture succeeds, which seems to be of co- 
temporaneous formation with the breccias, since they are 
connected by gradual transitions, and contain rounded 
masses of the same substance. 

At the fountains of El-Aoosh-Lambageh, there is a 
leading chain of schistose mountains presenting in their 
composition rock-crystal, and steatitic rocks : but at a dis- 
tance of eight miies from Cosseir the mountains suddenly 
change their character; a great part of them are lime- 
stone, or alabaster in strata, almost always lying north and 
south. Here are found the debris of the osirea diluviana. 
Among the mountains considered by cosmogonists as of 
later formation, ai^e found schisti, and indistinct porphy- 
ries, with grains of feldspar. The bottom of the valley, 
covered with immense rocky fragments, presents a num-^ 

* Wad, fossil iEgypt, Musee Borgiani, 
t Mem. sur I'iEgypt, III. p. 240, 

EGYPT. 29 

berless variety of materials, sometimes serpentines, some- book 
times compound rocks in which the predominating ingre- ^^* 
dients are actinote, schisti, gneiss, porphyries, granites ; — — — 
sometimes it consists of a particular kind of steatite con- 
taining nodules of schistose spar. There is besides a new 
and peculiar substance in mineralogy, which is also found 
' in several spots of the desert of Sinai, and which resembles 
thallite, or the green schorl of Dauphine. It is not found 
in a separate state, but forms part of the granites, the por- 
phyries, and other rocks.^ Towards the valley of Suez, Mountains 
the mountains are calcareous, and in several places com- ° 
posed of concreted shells. 

In the valley of the wilderness,! sea-salt is found in Saline de- 
thin compact layers supported by strata of gypsum. In '^^^^ '^"^' 
many of the surrounding deserts this salt is very common, 
sometimes crystallized under the sand, sometimes on the 

In Upper Egypt, near Edfoo, the mountains are com- Mountains 
posed of slate, sandstone, white and rose-coloured quartz, £„y^^^^^ 
and brov n pebbles, mixed with white cornelians.^ Near 
the ruins of Silsilis, the granite rocks contain cornelian, 
jasper, and serpentine. A little higher in Upper Egypt, 
the rocks are granite alternated with decomposed sandstone, 
forming on the surface a friable crust, giving the appear- 
ance of a ruin. 

But the most curious country undoubtedly, is that which Vaiiey of 
is comprehended in the Bahr-bela-Maie (the river without iJ^es.^ '^^ 
water) and the bason of tiie Natron lakes. These two 
valleys are parallel to each other. The mountain of Na- 
tron skirts the whole length of the valley of that name. 
That mountain contains none of the rocks which are found 
scattered about in the valley, such as quartz, jasper, and 

* Mem. sur TEgypte, III. p. 255. + Valiee d'Egarement. 

4: Denon, t. II. p. 49. >) Denon, p. 150. 195. 208. 

§ Andreossy, Mem. sur la valiee des lacs JNTatron, dans la descfip. de 
TEgypte, vol. I. 

36 EGYPT. 

BOOK There is a series of six lakes in the direction of the val- 
^^* ley. Theii' bank^ and their waters are covered with crys- 
tallizations, both of muriate of soda, or sea salt, and of 
natron, or carbonate of soda. When a volume of water 
contains both of these salts, the muriate of soda is the first 
to crystallize ; and the carbonate of soda is then deposit- 
ed in a separate layer. Sometimes the two crystallizations 
seem to choose separate localities in insulated parts of the 
same lake.* 

This curious valley is only inhabited by Greek monks. 
Their four convents are at once their fortresses and their 
prisons. They subsist on a small quantity of leguminous 
seeds. The vegetation in these valleys has a wild and 
dreary aspect. The palms are mere bushes, and bear no 

Caravans come to this place in quest of natron. Ac- 
cording to Andreossi, the farming of the tax on this sub- 
stance, wliicli is in demand for divers manufactures, was on 
the same footing with the old gabelle on salt in France. 
The valley parallel to that of Natron is called Bahr- 

Vaiiey of beia-Maie, or ** the Dry River." Separated from the 

t^^e cry u- ^.j^jj^^, ^f Natron by a small ridge of heights, it has for the 
most part a breadth of eight miles. In the sand with 
which the surface is every where covered, trunks of trees 
have been found in a state of complete petrifaction, and a 
vertebral bone of a large fish. The same stones arc met 
with here as in the valley of Natron. Some of the learned 
Lave thought that the stones have been brought to the 
j)lace by a branch of the Nile which once passed in this 
direction. The valley of Bahr-bela-Maie, is said to join 
Fa'ioom on the south, and to terminate in the Mediterra- 
nean in the north. 

Ghan?es of Thcse countrics have undoubtedly undergone violent 
revolutions, of a date prior to the present constitution of 

^ the globe.. Their modern changes have, in extent and im- 

portance, been much exaggerated by authors attaclied to 

* BerthoUetj Jomn. de Pbysique ; incspulor. an VIII. p. 5, &> . 

EGYPl^k 31 

system. M. Reynier judiciously remarks that the dimi- book 
nution of arable land must have been of older date than ^^' 
any historical records carry us. "Several spots which 
the ancients have delineated on the borders of the deserts 
are still recognized^ the canal of Joseph, though neglect- 
ed for ages, is not in any part obstructed." Reynier only 
found one encroachment of the sands on the cultivated 
land, which was well authenticated, " it is in the province 
of Djizeh, near the village of Ooardan, where the sands 
have advanced to the banks of the Nile, and occupy a 
league of land."* 

Others say that the canal of Joseph is partly choked 
up with accumulations of slime. This canal is eighty-four 
miles long. It w^as employed to conduct the water into 
the district of Faioom, and into lake Moeris, the modern Lake Moe- 
Jjiiket-el-Karoon. It afforded the double advantage of 
watering completely the lands of Faioom, and of disposing 
of a superabundance of water when the overflow of the 
Nile was extraordinary and excessive. It is probable that 
the canal dignified with the name of Joseph, like many 
other remarkable works, was executed by order of king 
Moeris. The waters then filled the basin of the lake Bir- 
ket-el-Karoon, which received the name of the prince who 
effected tliis great change. We shall thus reconcile the 
different positions assigjied to lake Mceris by Herodotus, 
Diodorus and Strabo, and give a reason why the ancients 
say that the lake was of artificial formation, while the 
Birket-el-Karoon gives no evidence of any sucli opera- 

The maritime districts of Egypt present several lakes, Mavitims 
or rather lagoons, which in the lapse of ages sometimes ^^^^®^- 
suffer diminution, sometimes enlargement. To the south 
of Alexandria is lake Mareotis. For many ages this lake 

* Mem. sm- I'Egypt, t. TV. p. G. 

t Description de TEgypte : Antiquites; Memoires, vol.1, Memoire sui 3e 
lac Moeii?j par M. Joruaid, Compare Pococke, D'Anvilie, Gibert, &c. 

32 EGYPT. 

BOOK was dried up ; for tlioiigh the bed is lower than tlie sur- 
i-x. faf^p Qf ii^Q ocean, there is not sufficient rain to keep up 

"""■"""" any lake in that country in opposition to the force of per- 
petual evaporation. But in 1801, the English, in order to 
circumscribe more effectually the communications which 
the French army in the city of Alexandria maintained with 
the surrounding country, cut across the walls of the old 
canal which had formed a dyke, separating this low ground 
from lake Maadie, or the lake of Aboukir on the east. In 
consequence of tliis easy operation, the water had a sudden 
fall of six feet, and the lake of Mareotis which had so long 
disappeared, and the site of which had been occupied part- 
ly by salt marshes, partly by cultivated lands, and even 
villages, resumed its ancient extent. The inhabitants of 
the villages were obliged to fly, and bewail, from a distance, 
tlie annihilation of their gardens and their dwellings. This 
modern inundation from the sea indeed is much more ex- 
tensive than the ancient lake Mareotis, occupying, proba- 
bly, four times its extent. The lake of Aboukir has a phy- 
sical history somewhat similar, having been for two centu- 
ries in a dry state, till in 1778, an irruption of the set* 
broke thniugh the embankment by which it had been pre- 
viously protected. Lake Etko, to the south-east, has a 
similar character, communicating with tiic sea hy a narrow 
mouth, which would admit of being closed up, so as to 
convert the lake into a dry or a marshy salt plain. 

Lake Men- The map of lake Menzaleh, constructed by General An- 
dreossi, furnishes important corrections to the description 
given of Egypt by M. d'Anville. This lake is formed by 
the junction of large gulfs, and bounded on the north by a 
long narrow stripe of low land, separating it from the sea. 
The two gulfs are partially separated by the peninsula of 
Menzaleh, at the extremity of which are found the islands 
of Matharyeh, the only ones in this lake that are habitable. 
D'x4.nvillc has also given too much breadth to the northern 
coast of this lake ; and the measurements lately taken dif- 
fer from this by more than 25,000 yards. Lake Menza- 
leh communicates with tlie sea only by two navigable 

EGYPT. 33 

mouths, those of Ybeh and of Omfaredgie, which are the book 
Mendesian and Tanitic mouths of the ancients.* The ^^^« 
breadth from the mouth of Ybeh to that of Pelusium is 
95,920 yards. 

It is impossible to fix the number of canals appropriat- Canals. 
ed to the distribution of the waters of the river to the dif- 
ferent parts of the country. When we find that one tra- 
veller gives 6000 to Upper Egypt alone,t while another 
allows only about ninety large canals, viz. forty for Up- 
per Egypt, twenty-eight for the Delta, eleven for the 
eastern, and thi' teen for the western provinces,:]: we per- 
ceive that a discrepancy so great must arise from the man- 
ner of reckoning the canals. One concerns himself only 
with large ones which he knows to be kept up, and the 
opening of which is fixed by the regulations of the coun- 
try. Another extends his views to canals ramifying from 
these, which vary in number from one year to another. 
The Mameluke Beys applied to their private use the 
funds destined to the support of these public works, on 
which the fertility of Egypt depends. Many canals were 
even abandoned by these barbarians, who thus destroyed 
the sources of their own revenues. The most famous of 
these artificial rivers is the canal of Joseph, or the Call- 
deh-Menhi, which is 110 miles long, with a breadth of 
from 50 to 300 feet. One part of this canal seems to cor- 
respond to the ancient canal of Oxyrynchus, which Strabo 
in sailing along mistook for the Nile itself.§ 

Another canal, which, however, was intended solely for 
navigation, viz. that of Suez, has furnished matter for 
many discussions ; these we shall consider in the next Book, 
in w^hich we shall treat expressly of every thing relating 

* Mem. sur I'Egypte, 1. 1, p. 165, with a raap. 

t Maillet, &c. 

If. ToLirtechot, Voyage en Egypte, trad. All, p. 423. Sicard, Nouv. Mem, 
des Mission. VII. p. 115. 

Norden, p. 259, (in German.) DWnvillp, Mem. sur I'Egypte, p, 166^ 
Hartmann, Egypten, p. 1019. 


\ cifiec 

34 EGYPT. 

BOOK to the celebrated isthmus wliich connects Africa with 
^'^' Asia. 

The climate and fertility of Egypt have given rise to 
an equal number of discrepant opinions among authors. 
One French traveller finds in this country a terrestrial pa- 
radise ;=* another assures us that it is a most unpleasant 
country to reside in.f Observers of a more composed turn 
of mind show us how to reduce to their proper value the 
3d as- descriptions of these two volatile writers. The aspect of 
^^^ ' Egypt undergoes periodical changes with the seasons. In 
our winter months, when nature is for us dead, she seems 
to carry life into these climates, and the verdure of Egypt's 
enamelled meadows is then delightful to the eye. The air 
is perfumed with the odours of the flowers of orange and 
citron trees, and numerous shrubs. The flocks over- 
spreading tlie plain, add animation to the landscape. — 
Egypt now forms one delightful garden, though somewhat 
monotonous in its character. On ail hands it presents no- 
thing but a plain bounded by whitish mountains, and di- 
versified here and there with clumps of palms. In the 
opposite season this same country exhibits nothing but a 
brown soil, either miry, or dry, hard, and dusty ; immense 
fields laid under water, and vast spaces unoccupied and 
void of culture, plains in which the only objects to be seen 
are date trees; camels and buffaloes led by miserable pea- 
sants, naked and sun-burnt, wrinkled and lean; a scorch- 
ing sun, a cloudless sky, and constant winds varying in 
force. It is not, therefore, surprising, that travellers have 
differed in their physical delineations of this country.:j: 
Causes of " A long valley," says M. Reynier,§ " encircled with 
V V/iahi" ^**^^'* ^^^^ mountains, presents no point in which the sur- 
face has sufficient elevation to attract and detain the clouds. 
The evaporations from the Mediterranean too, during sum- 
mer, carried off* by the north winds, which have almost 

•"= Savary, Lettres sur I'Egyple, passim. 

t Volney, Voyage, t. II. p. 219. 

t Brown, ft Reynier, Traitesur I'Egypte, II. p. 12. 

EGYPT. . 35 

the constancy of trade winds in Egypt, finding nothing book 
to stop their progress^ pass over this country without in- ^^' 
terruption* and collect around the mountains of central " 

Africa. There, deposited in rains, they swell the torrents 
Avhich, falling into the Nile, augment its waters, and, un- 
der the form of an inundation, restore, with usury, to 
Egypt, the blessings of which the defect of rain otherwise 
deprived it. Thus, excepting along the sea shores, nothing 
is more rare in Egypt than rains, and this scarcity is the 
more marked in proportion as we go southward. The sea- 
son in which any rain falls is called winter. At Cairo, 
there are, at an average, four or five showers in the year; 
in Upper Egypt, one or two at most. Near the sea rains 
are more frequent.-' This last circumstance, however, 
shows that the want of rain does not arise solely from the 
flatness of the surface, but partly from its previous aridity; 
nothing can be more flat than the sea shores, and the sur- 
face of the sea itself, but the perpetual humidity in the 
latter has the effect of producing a deposition of rain, both 
on its own surface and on the adjoining land, to which the 
more remote sandy expanse of territory is unfavourable* 
If Egypt were in the hands of a nation and government 
that cultivated the economical arts with spirit, perhaps the 
extension of herbage from the seashore towards the interior 
would be followed by an extension of the domain of animat- 
ing showers. 

By a great proportion of the Egyptian farmers, however, 
tlie rains are considered as by no means beneficial occurren- 
ces, but as only occasioning the springing of a multitude of 
weeds which prove hurtful to the corn crops. 

From the nature of the surface, and the universal ari- Tempera- 
dity of the surrounding deserts, Egypt is much hotter ^"^^* 
than most other countries under the same parallel of lati- 
tude. The heated and rarefied state of that portion of 
air Avhich is in immediate contact with the sand through 
the day, is productive of a refraction of the rays of light, 
giving origin to the surprising appearance called the mi- xhe Mi- 
rage^ presenting on the dry surface an exact representation ^^^^^ 

36 EGYPT. 

BOOK of a lake of water, sometimes ruffled into waves, at other 
^^' times still and smooth, and appearing to reflect like a mir- 
ror the images of houses and other objects situated be- 
yond it. Such is its most common appearance when seen 
from a distance. This phenomenon is the more striking, 
as watci- is generally much in request with the thirsty tra- 
veller, in a country where it is so scanty, and so depend- 
ent on the vicinity of the Nile, and when the illusion va- 
nishes on his arriving at the spot, he feels a cruel dis- 
appointment, especially if not much used to the phenome- 

Progress of ^he wiuds are very regular during the months of June, 
July, August, and September, blowing almost without 

North interruption from the north, and the north-east. In the 
day the sky is clear, v»ithout clouds or mists. But the 
cooling of the atmosphere consequent on the setting of 
the sun condenses the vapours. These are then observed 
to pass with a hurried motion from north to south, and 
this motion continues till after sunrise on the following day, 
when the solar heat rarefies them anew and renders them 

The epoch of the decrease of the Nile, which generally 
takes place in October, is accompanied with intermitting 
winds. These winds blow from the north, with intervals 
of calm weather. In winter the winds are changeable; 
the cloudless atmosphere opposes no obstacle to the action 
of the solar rays, and vegetation, then in all its strength, 
applies, with the best possible effect, the moisture contain- 
ed in the earth. The only symptoms of moisture in the 
air are the abundant dews deposited in the night, which 
are always in proportion to the clearness of the atmo- 
sphere, =^ and some mists which make their appearance in 
the morning. The latter, however, are comparatively un- 

^ * See a scientific and satisfactory account of this subject in Dr. Wells's Es- 

say on Dew, and in the article DEW in the Supplement to the Encyclopaedia 
Britannica, by Professor Leslie, 

EGYPT. 37 

The approacli of the vernal equinox changes tlie face of book 
the country ; the hot south wind begins to blow, but sel- ^^* 
dom lasts more than three days at a time. Wlien this ,"7 T" 

The south 

south wind, called the khamseen in Egypt, samiel in Ara- winds, or 
bia, and samoon in the desert, begins to blow, the atmo- i^i'^'^^een. 
sphere becomes troubled, sometimes acciuiring a purple 
tinge ; the air seems to lose its power of supporting life and 
vigour; a dry burning heat reigns universally, and the 
whirlwinds resembling the blasts of a heated furnace, 
sweep along the country in frequent succession. They 
often raise the sand and even small stones to a consider- 
able height, so as to form a black cloud ; and deposit it 
in large heaps on particular spots of ground. Tlie fine 
sand is forced into the houses through every cranny, and 
every thing is filled with it. 

The season of the khamseen is the only one in which the ?"^^"^^<'' 


atmosphere of Egypt is generally unhealthy.^ It is then 
that the ])lague makes its appearance in all its dreadful 
power, a disease the nature and origin of vWiich still escape 
the researches of medical science. To us it seems proved 
that the plague is indigenous in Egypt, and not brought 
to it from other countries.! Ancient Egypt was not ex- 
empt from this scourge. It is without reason that some 
modern writers have accused the ancients of exaggerating 
the salubrity of Egypt. Certain passages in the works of 
Aretseus of Cappadocia show that a disease nearly allied to 
the plague was in his time considered as endemic in Egypt 
and Syria. 

The ophthalmia makes greatest ravages during the in- Ophthai- 
undations, a circumstance which shows that it is not en- ^^^' 
tirely owing to the glare of the sun and the heat of the 
scorching winds. As it attacks principally persons who 
sleep in the open air, it is natural to look for one cause of 
it in the copious night dews.:]: Some have ascribed it to 
the natron with which the soil is impregnated, communi- 

* Larrey, Relation historique et chiiurgicale de i'armee (VOrient, p. 419. 
t Memoires de Gaetan Sotira et de Pugnet. X Tott, IV. p. 46. 

38 ' ilGYPT. 

HOOK eating pungent qualities to tlie air,* a cause altogether 
^^' fanciful. It is now well substantiated that this disease is 
cherished hy a specific conta,9,ion existing in the country, 
and singularly favoured hy different causes which bring it 
into frcfjiKnt activity. Some of these causes are apparent- 
ly opposite to one another, such as the solar glare, and the 
nocturnal cold, both of which are known with certainty to 
be frequent immediate causes of it in individuals. 

Vegetables. To an atmosphere thus singularly constituted, and to 
the regular inundations of the Nile, Egypt is indebted for 
the advantage which it enjoys of uniting almost all the 
cultivated vegetable species of the old continent. The cul- 
ture of Egypt may be divided into two great classes. The 
one class belongs to the lands watered by the natural ov( v- 
flowings of the Nile, and the other to those which the in- 
undation does not reach, and which are supplied by artifi- 
cial irrigations. 

Crops of Among the first we include wheet, barley, spelt, beans, 

dated lands lentils, sesamum, mustard, flax, anisc, carthamuni, or saf- 
fron w^ood, tobacco, lupins, vetches, harsim, or Egyptian 
trefoil, fenugreek, pumpkins, melons, cucumbers of dif- 
ferent kinds, and lettuce. The best wheat grows at 
Maraga, in Upper Egypt,f The district of Akmin pro- 

Corn crops, duccs the largest crops. Barley with six rows of grains in 
the ear, {Hordeum hexasfichon,) forms a large proportion 
of the food given to cattle and horses. The cucurbitaceous 
vegetables, and also tobacco, and lupins, generally cover 
the banks of the river in pro^ oi ticn as tlie water subsides, 
and the islands which it leaves uncovered. The melons 
and cucumbers grow almost visibly. In twenty-four 
hours they gain twenty-four inches of volume,^ but are 
generally watery and insipid,^ the tobacco is weak, but 

* Olivier, Magasin Encyclopedique Ve annre t. I. n. 290. 

+ Norden, Voyage, p 274. 

:|: Volney, Voyage, Forskal, Flora JEgyptiaca. 

<) Abdollatif, Relnt. de TKgypte, chap. II. Sonnini, Voyage d'Egypte, III, 
p. 145 et 251. 

EGYPT. 39 

reckoned miicli pleasanter to smoke than that of Aaicrica. kook 
The wood is almost always cultivated in the canals when ^^' 
the water has retired. The flax in most districts is also " 

cultivated on lands artificially irrigated. These cultures 
are not laborious. After a slight preparatory working, 
the seed is committed to the earth, still moist and slimy : 
it sinks by its own weight to a due depth, needing no har- 
rowing to cover it; but, if the working and sowing are de- 
layed, the soil cracks and hardens to such a degree as not 
to admit of being cultivated without great toil.* In Up- 
per Egypt the grain is pulled when ripe; and in some 
parts of Lower Egypt it is cut with a sickle. The 
plough used here is simple and better contrived than that 
of the Arabians.! 

The second kind of culture requires more attention andCuUmeof 
labour. It is that of lauds which, from their elevation or"^^ 
from the means which localities afford for protecting them 
from the inundations of the river, are appropriated to 
plants that require repeated waterings during their growth. 
These cultures are chiefly on the very banks of the Nile, in 
Upper Egypt, in Faioom, and in the lowest part of Egypt 
where the waters already exhausted are not in suflicient 
abundance to cover all the lands. In Upper Eg} pt, these 
lands are chiefly sown with the Holctts doura, which forms 
the prevailing food of the people. That grain is some- 
times eaten like maize in a green state, being previously 
roasted on the fire. Its stalk is eaten green like sugar 
cane : the dried pith is used as starch ; the leaf is the food 
of cattle. The stalk is used as fuel for heating ovens. 
The grain is ground into meal, of which thin cakes are 
made in the manner of muffins, or crumpets, which eat to- 
lerably well when newly made, but are extremely stale in 
a short time after. None of the preparations of this grain, 
in short, are agreeable to a European taste.:}; Upper 

* Norden, Voyage, p. 335. 

+ Niebulu's Arabia, p. 151, (in German.) 

t Sicard, Nouv. Mem. II. p. 143. 

40 EGYPT. 

BOOK Egypt produces also in this sort of lanls the sugar cane, 
^^* the growth of which is completed there in a single season, 
°*~~~"~ as in Mazanderan on the sliores of the Caspian Sea. In- 
digo, and cotton are cultivated in the same situation, and 
in the neighhouihood of the towns some pot-herhs. Fai- 
oom is distinguished for the cultivation of rose hushes, 
from which is obtained the rose-w ater, which is in so great 
request over the East. Pot herbs are also produced here, 
and a little rice in the immense ravines which go off from 
Illahoon, to the north of tliat province. The lowest part 
of the Egyptian territory abounds in rice and pot-herbs. 
The best rice grows in the province of Damietta. The 
rice culture was introduced under the Caliphs, and was 
probably borrowed from the Hindoos.* Doura and maize 
are still cultivated in the Sharkieh, or the ancient Delta of 
the east, where now a Utile sugar-cane, indigo, and cotton 
are produced. 
Artificial All lands Under the second sort of culture are laid out 
iiugations. .^ artificial squares separated by low dykes on the tops of 
which a small channel is formed. These channels com- 
municate with one another. The w^ater is raised by means 
of a long lever provided with a weight behind, which as- 
sists the ascent of the bucket hung to the extremity of the 
longest arm, and which a man depresses by a slight exer- 
tion ; at the moment of its ascent the water is emptied into 
a reservoir from which it flows by the channels to the spot 
to which the person who manages the irrigation chooses to 
direct it. The motion of the lever not being capable of 
raising the water more than six feet, the cultivators are 
obliged to provide themselves with a succession of basins 
and levers, in proportion to the height of their land above 
the level of the river. Various other machines are used 
for raising water,f particularly the Persian wheel, driven 
by an ox. In Faioom, a method of watering the land is 
in use similar to that which prevails in certain districts of 

* Hasselquist, Travels in Palestine, p. 130. (German.) 
t Niebuhr, tab. XV. fie. 1, 2, 3, 4, 

EGYPT. 41 

China and Japan. The waters intended for irrigating book 
lands situated on t?5e sides of the hills and at the 'otto in ^^* 
of a valley, are first raised to the top by a balance called 
deloOf or shadoof. They are received into liorizontal rills, 
and then descend from one rill to another to the lower ter- 
races, which are arranged like the seats of an amphithe- 
atre on the sides of the hills. It must be acknowledged, 
however, that an injudicious waste of labour is incurred 
by raising any portion of the water higher than is requi- 
site for diffusing it over that terrace for which it is ulti- 
mately designed. 

Some European species of fruit trees do not grow in Fruit trees, 
Egypt. This is the case with the almond, the walnut, and 
the cherry.^ The pear, the apple, the peach, and the 
plum, are neither so plenty nor so good ;f but the citrons, 
lemons, oranges, pomegranates, and apricots, prosper, along 
with the banana, a single tree of which sometimes produces 
500.:|: The sycamore, or iig of Pharaoh, less valued for 
its fruit than for its deep and broad shade, the carob, the 
jujube, the tamarind, and other trees, are cultivated, but 
none of them are equal in number and usefulness to the 
date palm, which is cultivated both in lands of natural and 
those of artificial irrigation. Groves are to be seen con- 
sisting of 300 or 400, sometimes of several thousands ; each 
is valued at one piastre.^ The olive tree is only met with 
in gardens, but there are some olive plantations in Faioom, 
where the inhabitants preserve the fruits in oil, and sell 
them all over Egypt. The vine, in ancient times, formed Vines. 
an interesting branch of culture. Antony and Cleopatra 
inflamed their voluptuous imaginations by drinking the 
juice of the Mareotic grapes. In the days of Pliny, Se- 
bennytus furnished the Roman tables with their choicest 
wines. At present the vine is not cultivated in Egypt ex- 

* Maillet, Descript. de TEgypte, II. 285. 

T See Wansleb, Relat. dell. stat. present, p. 59. 

J Abdollatif, trad, de M. Silvestre de Sacy, p. 27 et 106. 

§ Hasselquist, 128—133, &c. &c. 

42 EGYPT. 

BOOK cept for its shade and its grapes. Some Christians, who 
^^* manufacture an indifferent wine in Faioom, form a very 
insignificant exception. The vines of Foua, mentioned hy 
travellers of the last century, are no longer in existence. 
The per- A large and heautifiil fruit tree, celebrated among the 
ancients, the persea of the Greeks, and the lehakh of the 
Arabians, seems to have disappeared from the Egyptian 
soil,^ at least, naturalists cannot recognise it in any of the 
species now existing in that country. It has been suppos- 
ed to be the aguacate or avocatier of St. Domingo, to 
which, in consequence of this conjecture, botanists have 
given the name of Laurus persea.j Others have attempted 
to prove the identity of it with tlie sebesten,:|: but the dif- 
ferences are too glaring to allow this hypothesis to be terp 
able. We are only assnred by positive testimony that this 
tree had become rare, and at last disappeared before the 
year 700 ; and that having come from Persia, where its 
fruit was crude and bitter, it acquired by culture those ex- 
cellent qualities for which it was so celebrated ; these cir- 
cumstances ought to have led naturalists to look for this 
tree in tlic East Indies. 
The lotus. Another production of Egypt, which makes a great 
meanfn-s fig^i'^ in the Writings of antiquity, is the lotus. This 
of this word was taken in different acccptations.§ The plant pro- 
perly called the lotus is a species of nymphseaf or water 
lily, ^vhich, on the disappearance of the inundation, covers 
all the canr^ls and pools with its broad round leaves, among 
which the flowers, in the form of cups of bright white or 
azure blue, rest with inimitable grace on the surface of the 
water. There are two species of the lotus, the white and 
the blue, both known to the ancients, though the blue kind 
is seldom mentioned. The rose-lily of the Nile, or the 

* Silvestre de Sacy, Notes sur Abdollatif, 47 — 72. 

t Clusius, Ravier, plant, histor. lib. 1. cap. 2. 

ij; Schreber, de Pevsea Comment. III. 

J Desfontaines, Mem. de TAcademie des Sciences, 1788. Sprengel, Speci- 
men Antiq. Boian. Delille, Aiuiales du Museum, t. I. p. 372, Savigny, dans 
les Mem. sur I'Egypte, T. p. 105. 


EGYPT. 43 

Egyptian bean, which is frequently carved on the ancient book 
monuments of Egypt, is not at present found in that coun- ^^* 
try. The plant would have been unknown to naturalists " 

if they had not found it in India. It is the JVymjjhsea ne- 
Itimho of Linnjeus. It was on this plant that the lotus- 
eating Egyptians lived. But the fruits of the lotus, prais- 
ed by Homer, and which so much delighted the compa- 
nions of Ulysses, were those of the modern jujube, or 
Rhamnus lotus. This same tree is described by Theo- 
phrastus under the name of the lotus, and is perhaps the 
duddine of the Hebrew writings. Lastly, the plant called 
by Pliny Faha gr3eca, or lotus, is the Diosjnp'os lotus, a 
sort of guayacana or ebony. — The 'papyrus, equally cele- 
brated in ancient times, and which is believed to have dis- 
appeared from the banks of the Nile, has been re-discover- 
ed in the Cifperus papyrus of Linnseus. The colocasium, 
so renowned in antiquity, is still cultivated in Egypt for 
the sake of its large esculent roots. 

Egypt, so rich in cultivated plants, is destitute of forests. Forest 
The banks of the river and of the canals sometimes pre-*^'^*'^* 
sent us with coppices of acacias and mimosas. They are 
adorned with groves of rose laurel, of willows, (the Salix 
ban, of Forskal,) saules-kalef, cassias, and other shrubs. 
Faioom contains impenetrable hedges of cacti. This illu- 
sory appearance of forests furnishes the Egyptians with 
no firewood, and all that they make use of is brought from 
Caramania.=^ The peasants burn cow-dung, which they 
collect with an almost ludicrous solicitude. Scarcely does 
one of these animals show a disposition to part with any 
refuse, when the peasant stretches out his hand to receive 


The economical year of Egypt presents a perpetual cir- T'^^^^e of 

cle of labours and enjoyments. — In January, lupins, the sion of cui- 

dolichos, and cummin, are sown in Upper Egypt, ^^hile ^[J^^^^^j^ ^^^ 

the wheat shoots into ear ; and in Lower Egypt the beans yeai 



* Forskal, Flora ^gj'pt.^Arab. LVI. 
i Niebuhr, Voyage, p. 151, 

44 EGYrT. 

BOOK and fiax are in flower. The vine, the apricot, and the 
^^' palm tree are pruned. Towards the end of the month, 
^""""^ the orange, the citron, and pomegranate trees hegin to be 
covered with blossoms. Sugar cane, senna leaves, and va- 
rious kinds of pulse and trefoil are cut down. In Febru- 
ary all the fields are verdant; the sowing of rice begins; 
the first barley crop is harvested ; cabbages, cucumbers, 
and melons ripen.— -Tlie month of March is the blossoming 
season for the greater part of plants and shrubs. The 
corn sown in October and November is now gathered. 
The trees which are not yet in leaf are the mulberry and 
the beech. — -The first half of April is the time for gather- 
ing roses. Almost every sort of corn is cut down ahd 
sown at the same time. Spelt and wheat are ripe, as well 
as the greater part of legumin(>us crops. The Alexandrian 
trefoil yields a second crop. — The harvest of the winter 
grain continues during the month of May ; Cassia fistula 
and henne are in flower : the early fruits are gathered, such 
as grapes, Pharaoh's figs, carobs, and dates. — Upper Egypt 
has its sugar cane harvest in June ; the plants of the sandy 
grounds now begin to withes^ and die. — In the month of 
July, rice, maize, and canes are planted ; flax and cotton 
are pulled : ripe grapes are abundant in the environs 
of Cairo. There is now a third crop of trefoil. The 
nenuphar and jessamine flower in August, while the 
palm trees and vines are loaded with ripe fruits, and the 
melons by this time have become too watery. — Towards 
the end of September, oranges, citrons, tamarinds, and 
olives, are gathered, and a second crop of rice is cut 
down. — At this time, and still more in October, all sorts 
of grain and leguminous seeds are sown ; the grass grows 
tall enough to hide the cattle from the observer's view; 
the acacias and other thorny shrubs are covered with 
odoriferous flowers. — The sowing continues more or less 
late in November, according to the degree in which the 
waters of the Nile have retired. The corn begins to spring 
before the end of the month. The narcissuses, the vio- 
lets, and the colocasias, flower on the dried lands ; the 

EGYPT. 45 

nenuphar disappears from the surface of the waters ; dates book 
and the sebcsten fruit are gathered. — In December, the ^^* 
trees gradually lose their foliage; but this symptom of au- 
tumn is compensated by other appearances : the corn, the 
long grass, and the flow ers, every where display the specta- 
cle of a new spring. Thus in Egypt the land is never at 
rest. Every month has its flowers, and all the seasons their 

The animal kingdom of Egypt will not detain us long. Animals. 
The want of meadows prevents the multiplication of 
cattle. They must be kept in stables during the inunda- 
tion. The Mamelukes used to keep a beautiful race of 
saddle horses. Asses, mules, and camels, appear here in 
all their vigour. The numerous buff'alocs often attack the 
Franks on account of their strange dress, and frequently 
bright colours, particularly when they happen, as in the 
instance of the British soldiers, to be dressed in scarlet. 
In Lower Egypt there are sheep of the Barbary breed. 
The large beasts of prey find, in this country, neither prey 
nor cover. Hence, though the jackal and hyena are com- 
mon, the lion is but rarely seen in pursuit of the gazelles 
which traverse the deserts of the Tliebaid, The crocodile Ciocodiie, 
and the hippopotamus, these primeval inhabitants of the 
Nile, seemed to be banished from the Delta, but are still 
seen in Upper Egypt. The islands adjoining the cata- 
racts are sometimes found covered with flocks of croco- 
diles, which choose these places for depositing their eggs. 
The voracity of the hippopotamus has, by annihilating his Hippopota- 
means of support, greatly reduced the number of his race. "^"^* 
Abdollatif, with some justice, dejiominates this ugly ani- 
mal an enormous water-pig. It has been long known that 
the ichneumon is not tamed in Upper Egypt as Buflbn 
had believed. The ichneumon is the same animal which 
the ancients mention under that name, and which has never 
been found except in this country. Zoology has lately 
been enriched with several animals brought from Egypt, 

* Nordmeier, Calendar, ^gypt. Oeconomic. Gotting. 1792. Foiskal, 
Hasselnuist, Pococke, iS'orden, Niebuhr, &c. quoted by Nordmeier. 

46 EGYPT. 

liooK among wliicli arc the jerboa, the Bipus meridianuSf a new 
^^' species of hare, a new fox, a hedgehog, a bat, and four spe- 
cies of rats, two of which are bristly. The Coluber haje 
has also been found, an animal figured in all the hierogly- 
phical tables as the emblem of pro\ idence ; and the Coluber 
vipera, the true viper of the ancients. 

Fish. The Nile seems to contain some singular fishes hitherto 

unknown to systematic naturalists. Of this the Folyptera 
bichir described by Geoffi'oy-Saint-Hilaire,* is a very re- 
markable example. That able naturalist observes, in ge- 

Birds. neral, that the birds of Egypt do not much differ from 
those of Europe. He savr the Egyptian swan represented 
in all the temples of Upper Egypt, both in sculptures 
and in coloured paintings, and entertains no doubt that 
this bird was the Chenalopex of Herodotus, to which the 
ancient Egyptians paid divine honours, and had even de- 
dicated a town in Upper Egypt called chenohoscion. It 
is not peculiar to Egypt, but is found all over Africa, and 
almost all over Europe. The Ibis, which was believed to 
be a destroyer of serpents, is, according to the observa- 
tions of Cuvier, a sort of curlew, called at present Moo- 
hauues. Messieurs Grobert and Geoff*roy-Saint-Hilaire 
have brought home mummies of this animal, which had 
been prepared and entombed with much superstitious 

The Egyptians keep a great quantity of bees, and trans- 
port them up and down the Nile, to give them the advantage 
of the different clim^'tes, and the different productions of 
Upper and Lower Egypt. The hives are kept in the boats. 
The bees spread themselves over both banks of the river, 
in quest of food, and return regularly on board in the even- 

* Annales du Museum, I. p. 57. 

t Memoire sur ribis, par M.Cuviei. 





Inquiries relative to the Isthmus of Sue% and the exlremitij 

of the AraMan Gulf, 

In taking a view of the outline of Africa, and tracinc; the book 


physical geography of Egypt, an interesting and curious 
subject must have suggested itself to the minds of our well — — — 
informed readers. We have deferred the examination of 
it till now, that we might render it more complete by mak- 
ing it the subject of a separate book. 

Has the isthmus of Suez always existed ? Has Africa Questions 
never been an island ? Or has the neck of land which con-^'°^°^^ * 
nects it witli Asia been at any time much narrower than 
now ? These questions have, since the publication of the 
labours of the Egyptian Institute, even divided intelligent 
men who have visited the country. 

Let us begin with an account of the facts. The istli- 
mus in its present state is a low lying land, composed of 
shell limestone rocks, mixed with strata of siliceous lime- 
stone, and partly covered v/ith sands, or with saline mar- 
shes. In several places the solid strata are with difficulty 
perceived by their slight undulations ; in the northern 
part, in particular, there is a vast plain, varied only by 
the inequalities created by sand hills. In the middle of 

48 EGYPT. 

BOOK its breadth, the ridges of the hills show their bare heads 
^^^* at certain distances, like a series of large ste^s. To the 
east, the south-east, and the south-west, the mountain 
chains of Arabia Petrtea and of Egypt skirts at a dis- 
tance the table land of the isthmus, which is terminatejl 
at the Red Sea.-^ The lake Birket-el-Ballah adjoining 
lake Menzaleh, Temsah or Crocodile Lake, and the almost 
dry basin of the Bitter Lakes, foi-m, from north to south, 
a series of depressions, interrupted only by stripes of low 
land. The line prolonged on one side to the mouth of 
Tineh, and on the other to the point of the Gulf of Suez, 
marks the natural boundary of Afi'ica. The breadth of 
the isthmus, in a straight line, is 378,844 feet, or nearly 
seventy-two miles. 
Level and The surfacc of this isthmus a'enerally declines from the 
tionsof the shores of the Red Sea towards those of the Mediterra- 
suiface. iiean. The level of the latter sea is thirty feet lower than 
that of the Gulf of Suez.f There is a similar descent to- 
wards the Delta and the bed of the river Nile. The level 
of the water of the Nile at Cairo at its lowest, in 1798, 
1799, and 1800, was nine feet lower than the surface of 
the gulf at low water. But the Nile rising sixteen cubits 
by the Nilometer, is nine feet higlier than the Red Sea at 
high water, and fourteen higher than the same sea at low 
water. Besides these leading inclinations of the surface, 
there is a particular one in the middle of the isthmus. The 
deep basin, called the Bitter Lakes, is more than fifty-four 
feet lower than the level of the Red Sea, the waters of 
which would enter and fill it, if they were not prevented 
by a little sandy isthmus about three feet above the level 
of the sea. In another part the valley of Sababhyar, and 
that of Ooady-Toomylat open to the waters of the Nile, 
during its rise, an entrance into the Bitter Lakes. 

* Rozieies, dans la description de I'Egypte, Antiquites; Memoires, I, p. 136. 
v.i la carte hydrographique de la Basse-Egypte, de M. Lepere. 

t Description de I'Egypte, etat moderne, I. p. 54 — 57 — 160 — 176. Me- 
inoires sur le canal des deux mers, par M. Lepere, et le Tableau des Nivelle- 
mens dans I'Atla?. 

■ ranean. 

EGYPT* 49 

From this account, it follows that the Red Sea never book 
could have occupied the hasin of the Bitter Lakes in a ^^^' 
constant manner, because its waters, if raised sufficiently ' 

high to form such a communication, would have found noquencesof 
barrier to the north of that basin : they would have flow- ^^^ ^^^^'• 
cd all the way to the Nile by the Ras-el-Ooadi, and to the 
Mediterranean by the Ras-el-Mayah. The two seas thus 
brought into mutual contact would have reached a com- 
mon level, and the strait would have become permanent. 
AYe do not deny the possibility of a sudden violent irrup- 
tion, but only that of a permanent communication. 

But it will be said, the Mediterranean may have been Hypothesis 
formerly thirty or forty feet hie;lier than now : in that case "" ^^^l Y'^' 

•' •' •^ ^ ' tersofthe 

it must have covered, in a great measure, the Delta and Mediter- 
the isthmus; it must have penetrated into the basin of 
the Bitter Lakes, from which it is now only separated by 
a tongue of low land, which perhaps has not always ex- 
isted. This is the only rational hypothesis that can be 
advanced in favour of the existence of an ancient strait in 
this situation. But it is evidently a hypothesis which goes 
back to an epoch anterior to history, for no authentic testi- 
mony of such a state of things is now in existence. The 
vague traditions mentioned by Homer and Strabo on tlie 
separation of the isle of Fharos horn tiie continent, would 
not even on the system of those who believe them,^ afford 
proof of so great a cliange. But these traditions when 
duly weiglied, prove, in fact, nothing at all ; for the re- 
moval of Pharos from the river of Egypt to a distance of 
seven days sail, may be found, perhaps, along the present 
coast, taking the Sebenr.itic mouth for that by which Me- 
nelaus entered. It is also possible that the Delta, inha- 
bited by savage shepherds, was not yet separated from the 
kingdom of Thebes, or Egypt properly so called. At all 
events, an account so vague cannot be received as a his- 
torical proof. 

* DoIomieiN Journal de Physique, t. XLIT. 

▼01;. IV. 4 

54) EGYPT. 

BOOK Shells, crystals of sea salt, and brackish waters are found 
ixi. every where, even to the centre of Africa. These remains 

of ancient catastrophes, have nothing in common w itli 
events belongiiig to historical epochs. 

One plausible geograpliical proof has been brought for- 
ward to show that the limits of the Red Sea have been 
Position of contracted. This is the position of Heroopolis,^ We 
' shall discuss anew this important question, defending, with 
certain modifications, and by some new arguments, the 
hypothesis of M. d'Anville, against the opinions of Messrs. 
Gosselin and Roziere ; we shall show that this hypothesis 
does not lead to the consequences which Messrs. Lepere 
and Dubois- Ay me have drawn from it with regard to the 
contraction of the gulf. 

Some insurmountable arguments concur to place the 
city of IleroopoliSf mentioned by Strabo, Eratosthenes, 
and the Itineraries, at Abookesheyd, in the valley of Sa- 
babhyar, to the north-west of the Bitter Lakes. We do 
Heroopoiis not indeed believe this city to be identical with the Fatu- 
thorn. ^ 'f^os of Herodotus,! and the Pithom of the Sacred Scrip- 
tures.:): The Seventy interpreters, and the Coptic trans- 
lator, not only agree indeed in considering Pithom and 
Heroopoiis as identical, but in confounding them with 
RamseSf the capital of the land of Goshen, the abode of 
the Israelites. But, as Herodotus makes Fatiimos the 
site of the beginning, and not of the termination of the 
canal of the two seas,§ it is evident that this place cannot 
be at a great distance from the Nile. We think that Pi- 
thom corresponds to the fortified place called Thou in the 
Itinerarv of Antoninus, and Tohum in the Account of the 

* Dubois-Ayme, sur les anciennes limites de la Mer Rouge. Descript. de 
I'Egypte, etat moderne, I. 187, fee. LepSre, Mem. sur le canal des deux 
mers. Ibid. Append. II. vv. 147, fcc. 

t Her )dot. II. 158. Steph. Byz. in voce. 

I Exod. I. 11. compare d'Anville, Mem. sur TEgypte, p. 123 — 124. 

$ See the text, huran Jt atto tov Nuxa ro vd'cc^ «/? Avntv (t»v J'lugv^x). hKTUl St 



Empire, a place situated at the very point at wiiich the 
canal enters the desert, and where the inundations generally 
terminate. Herodotus liaving seen these places while the' 
waters were at their lieight, may have believed that the ca- 
nal began here; but Heroopolis is certainly the same city 
with that called Hero^ in Antoninus's Itinerary, and in Ste- 
phen of Byzantium. This last lexicographer gives us a 
formal assurance of it. The measurements of the itinerary 
in the most authentic manuscripts, correspond well with the 
situation of the very remarkable ruins discovered at Abook- 
esheyd, among which is recognised a caravansera, an evi- 
dence of the busy trade which must have been carried on at 
that place. 

In order to assist our readers in forming a proper idea of 
the argument, we have reduced the distances of the ancient 
and modern places to the form of a table. 


assigned in 
the Itinera-" 

Thie places, according to the 
ancient and modern names. 

Distances by the 

Babylooia (Old Cairo) 
Helioii (Ruins of Heliopo- 


Scenae Veteranorura, (Me- 


Vicus Judseorum (Belbeis) 
Thou or Tohura (Pithom. 


Hero or Heroopolis (Che- 

rosh. Aboukesheyd) . 
Serapeum (Ruins to the 

north of the Bitter 


Clysma (Ruins of Kolzoora) 
to the north of Suez 

In Roman . In English 
miles. feet. 













Measured distances 

on the hydiographic 

chart of Lower 







r 229,600 by the 
west side of 
the lakes. 

] 239,440 by the 

I east of the 

1 lakes. 


* The name has been written Hero like Heliu, the termination poli» being 





If it is considered that we do not know the windings of the 
road, and can onl} form an imperfect estimate of them, the 
coincidence between the sums total of the measurements will 
appear very striking. But it is farther possible to remove 
tlie disagreement of some of the partial numbers; for the 
Itinerary in another passage give the distances from Heli- 
opolis to Thou in the following manner. 

Names of Places. 


Distances in the Itinera y. 

hy the 

"From Heliou to Scense Veteran- 


From Scenas to Thou .... 


XIV m. p 


H3 aso 

!■'**. 720 




The testimony of Str ibo, or of the authors whom he has- 
followed, is perfectly reconciled with that of Stephanus and 
of the Itinerary. This geographer adopts expressly a pas- 
sage of Eratosthenes which runs thus : ** After the city of 
Heroopolis, which is on the JSTile, we find the extremity of 
the Arabian Gulf."'^' Thus Heroopolis must be situated in 
a place where the waters of the Nile can ]:ass, consequently 
on a canal connected with that river. How could Messrs. 
Gosselin and Roziere overlook an authority so formal and 
so worthy of confidence ? 
Objections. The other passages of Strabo and of Pliny do not con- 
tradict one anot'jer. Sometimes it is asserted that He- 
roopolis is near ^rsinoe, or CleopatriSf which is on the 
gulfjf but we are not to conclude with confidence that 
these authors place Heroopolis itself immediately on the 
gulf. Sometimes we are told that the Heroopolitan gulf 
derives its nanie from this city, which is in its neighbour- 
hood. But we must not give these words a meaning 

* AoTi *!Te Hgcoay TrtXiUii riTit «r* Trgoi Ta NwVb /utv^os 'AgctC/s KOhTTis. Geogr. 
lib. xvi. p. 767. Alraelov. 

'a^aChu kokv^v. Geog. lib. XVII. p. 804. 

liGYPT. 53 

ill contradiction with other more positive expressions. The book 
example of the sjulf of Lyons shows that it is not necessary -^^^' 
that a city should be on the very shores of a gulf to which 
it gives its na?ne. 

Some mythological traditions brouglit forward in this Mythoiogi- 
discussion may furnish a subject for fresh local research, tions?'^'" 
^^ Hero or Heros, is a city of Egypt called also Haimos, 
(blood) because Typhon being there struck with a thun- 
derbolt,* stained the ground with his blood." But Hero- 
dotus tells us of a place called Erijthr^-BoloSf that is, 
"Red clay."f Now Typhon was called by the Egypt- 
ians Roslu or the red, and the words " red earth,'* or 
"earth of Typhon" were in their language translated into 
Cherosh,-f Is it not probable that Herodotus has given 
a simple, and Stephanus a poetical translation of the Egyp- 
tian name of the city of Typhon ? The true name of this 
city, Cherosh, preserved in the Itineraries, has thus been 
transformed by the Greeks into Heroopolis, or " the city 
of heroes." To give these connections of circumstances 
the force of an argument, it would be sufficient to find near 
the locality which we assign to Heroopolis^ a soil composed 
of red clay. 

The position of Heroopolis^ or rather Hews or Cheroslh Conciu- 
being fixed by the Itinerary to the north-west of the Bit- 
ter Lakes, it is evident that this city never could, at least 
not in the time of Strabo, be found on the shores of the 
Red Sea. For, as the levels of the ground demonstrate, if 
the waters of that sea had filled the basin of the lakes and 
the valley Sababhyar, they would also have come in con- 
tact with those of the Nile. There would have been a 
real strait, and the execution of a canal would have been 
superfluous. But as the basin in Strabo's time communi- 
cated with the Red Sea by a canal, and could at pleasure 

* Stephanus de Urb. t Euterpe, Cap. 3, 

± Hennicke, Geo?raph. Herodot, p. 72. 


54 EGYPT. 

sooK be filled with the waters of that sea, the basin might with 

^^^' some reason be considered as a prolongation of the gulf, 

'" and Heroopolis spoken of as the place where the navigation 

of small boats commenced, — as the seat of a great trade 

both maritime and inland, and a citj worthy of giving its 

name to the gulf. 

Having hitherto intentionally kept Ptolemy out of view, 
we now proceed to comment on his evidence, which ap- 
pears to be at utter variance with all the attempts at conci- 
liation in which we have been engaged, 
TheHeroo- ^hen the canal, neglected and deserted, no longer sup- 
Ptolemy, ported the commerce of Heroopolis, it it probable that the 
inhabitants transferred their abode to a place nearer the 
gulf itself, or rather were removed to another city which 
may have taken the name of Heroopolis, on becoming the 
capital of the district or prefecture. 

This new Heroopolis, the only one known to Ptolemy, 
may have been properly placed by that geographer in a 
latitude a little north of Suez. We think that this se- 
cond Heroopolis, marked in Ptolemy's tables,* occupied a 
place marked by some ruins, to the north-east of the 
end of tlie gulf: which agrees sufficiently well with M. 
Gosselin's opinion, in the other parts of which we do not 
acquiesce.f These ruins cannot belong to Arsinoe, sur- 
named Cleopatris, as the engineers of the French army of 
Egypt believed ; for that city was, according to one who 
was probably an actual observer, situated at the end of 
the canal of the two seas;:|: and it was in this harbour 
that ^lius Gallus collected the war galleys intended to act 
against the Arabians. This passage, overlooked in recent 
discussions, seems to fix the position of Jlrsmoe Cleopatris 
to the north of Kolzoom. The small creek which forms the 

* Ptolemee, Geogr, lib. iv. cap. 5. 7. 

t Recheiches sur la Geogr. de Grecs. ii. p. 166. 183. 278. 

1^ KetT* KAeoTATg/tTst tdv ^^og r« TTAhctict. TrS^ia^uv tx atto tou 'Numv, Geogr, lib. 
XVI. p, 537, ed. Causab. " Amnem qui Arsinoen prfefluit, Ptolemseiun appella-. 
vit." Plin. IV. p. 29. 

EGYPT. 35 

inner harbour of Suez, corresponds to the Cljaranda Gulf* book 
of Pliny, where this Roman geographer seems to place al- ^^^' 
so the small place Aennus,f probably Bir-Suez, and the " 
Dancon, or lower harbour,:!: which may represent the tow^n 
of Suez itself. 

The whole of the obscurity attached to the Heroopolis Pfitionof 

1 o I tllysma. 

of Ptolemy will not be removed unless we can also fix the 
position of Clysma, which was at first only a strong hold.§ 
The hypothesis of the learned M. Gosselin, of there be- 
ing two places called Clysaia, falls to the ground with the 
false version of M. De Guignes, on which it was founded : 
it is proved that no Arabian author has said what this ori- 
entalist has ascribed to lbn-al-Vardi.|| All the oriental 
writers acquiescing in a tradition universal among the in- 
habitants of the country, place Kolzoom, or Clysma, a 
little to the north of Suez, where Niebuhr saw its ruins. 
The meaning of the Greek name also shows that this for- 
tress^ must have been situated near the sluice which dam- 
med up the canal. The same position is assigned to it by the 
measurements of the Itinerary, if from Serapkim we follow 
the sinuosities of the west bank of the Bitter Lakes. The 
table seems, indeed, to place Clysma on the other side of 
the canal, and also of the gulf; but, as the distance given 
in the tables would remove its situation to Arabia Pe- 
trsea, and farther south than the fountains of Moses, this 
obscure passage can neither support the one nor the other 
side of the questions now under discussion. 


* This word seems to be Arabic, or from the Hebrew verb H'lSj perfodit. 
t From Aiin, a fountain. 

I From pn lower. 

i Kctrgov, tp^airm. 

II Quatremere, Mem. Histor. et Geograph. I. p. 179. 

^ KKua-fxct, irrigation, inundation, sometimes signifies the same, as KWTHii a 
gutter, a syringe. Lucian, in the Pseudomantis, speaking of this place, couples 
with it the article, tu KKva-fAHTOi, i. e. the dam or floodgate. Strabo speaks ef a 
xxs/roc EvgiTTo:. 

.)b EGYPT. 

liooK The name of the fortress seems to have been afterwards 
XXI. given to the town which it commanded. But was this town 
still, after the Arabian conquest, the ancient Arsinoe, to 
the north of Clysma^ or the modern city of Suez, to the 
south of it ? The passages quoted from the Arabian au- 
thors fui'nisli no data on the question. At all events, in 
the fifth century, the name of Clysnia was, from the city, 
given also to the gulf.*' It is in imitation of the Greeks, 
that the Arabians said, the sea of Rolzoom, an observation 
which escaped the learned commentator of Edrisi. The 
name, then, might naturally be given to the chain of moun- 
tains bounding the west side of the Gulf of Suez; though 
we must not look tJiere for a city of the same name. 
Cause of This discussion leaving no doubt respecting the posi- 
rnw""^^ tion of the city of Clysma, w^e ask, why Ptolemy has re- 
moved it so far to the south, by placing it at least forty 
minutes (miles) from his Heroopolis ? — The answer is easy. 
He only knew the position of Clysma by its distance from 
the ancient Ileroojwlis, which is not much less than forty 
minutes, and he transferred this same distance to the south 
of the new Heroopolis. 
Conciu- Ptolemy's text, thus explained, furnishes no argument 

'^""* for or against the contraction of the sea ; It does not op- 

pose it, for the position of the old Heroopolis, the princi- 
pal proof of the hypothesis of the contraction is indepen- 
dent of that which Ptolemy gives to the new city of that 
name. Nor does it favour the hypothesis; for New He- 
roopolis and Arsinoe were of contemporaneous existence 
with the fortress of Clysma; the one was the capital of the 
name or district, the other, like the port of Suez now, was 
the point of departure for ships. We have no evidence 
that the new Heroopolis was on the very shore of the gulf, 
and that the latter must, therefore, hav^e retired 5970 
yards, as Gossclin maintains.! 

* Philostorg, Hist. Ecclesiast. III. cbap. 6, 
t Recherches sur la Geographie, II. p. 184. 

EGTPT. 57 

Having shown that the topography of Heroopolis, agree- book 
able to the system of ti'Anville, does not lead necessarily ^'^'* 
to the inference of a change in the shores of the Red Sea, . 
we should now discuss the actual measfsres which the an- measures of 
cients ha e left us of the breadth of the isthmus. But our ^*1^ !"^r^\^^ 
uncertainty respecting the value or the stadium renders themus. 
discussion fruitless. If the thousand stadia assigned by 
Herodotus were Egyptian stadia of 108 yards, they would 
bring the extremity of tlie gulf only to the south end of the 
Bitter Lakes. But these lakes being considerably lower 
than the surface of the water, the latter could not have 
stopped at this point, where no barrier was presented to it. 
The 900 stadia of Strabo, and the 817 of Marinus Tyrius, 
considered as Egyptian stadia, favour somewhat more the 
contraction of the isthmus, but without being quite decisive. 
If we reckon them as stadia of 700 to the degree, these 
measures support the opinion that the state of the isthmus 
has not altered.* 

As we must take every fact into view, we acknowledge Examina ■ 
that the march of the Israelites in leaving Egypt, has fur- passa-re% 
wished an argument for a contraction of the gulf.f This Moses. 
line of march would appear more probable, if we should 
suppose that the Red Sea extended as high as Saba-Hbyar; 
we slmuld then conceive that this fugitive tribe, coming 
from the neighbourhood of Abbaseh and of Belbeis, and 
bending their course to the desert, fell in with the sea in the 
neighbourhood of Heroopolis, and had, in consequence of 
an extraordinary tide, or a violent wind, found the isthmus 
dry, which at present separates the Gulf of Suez from the 
basin of the Bitter Lakes. 

This view of the matter would be very favourable to 
an improved interpretation of a passage:]: in which the 

* Rozierc, Memoire sur la geogiapbie coniparee de I'isthme de Suez. — De- 
scription de I'Egypte, vol. I. 

t Baron Castaz, an unpublished report on the Memoire of J)ubois-Ayme. 

t Exod. xiv. 22—29. 

58 EGYPT. 

BOOK translators liave made the author of tlie Books of Mosto 
^^^' say, (Exodus, chap. xiv. verse 22d and 29th) that the 
"""""^^ waters stood up on the left and on the right of the Is- 
raelites like a wall, but where the text only says that the 
waters were like a wall, or a rampart, on their left and on 
their right. An army, in fact, passing between the Gulf 
and the Bitter Lakes would have both flanks covered in 
this manner. 
Heroopoiis An argument is furnished by the pretended identity of 
ticarwUh" Heroopolis with the Baal-Zephon of the Hebrew text.* 
Baai-Ze- Scphon, or Sophon, we are told, is one of the names of 
^ "' Typhon : and the city of Cherosh, Heros, or Heroopoiis, 
is the city of Typhon. The Israelites, before passing the 
sea, encamped opposite to Baal-Zephon : that town must, 
therefore, have been only a short way from the shores of 
the gulf. 

This argument, drawn from etymology, however, admits 
of a corresponding reply. Baal-Zephonf literally signifies 
** tlie Lord of the North ;" and may be applied to any city 
to the north of the termination of the gulf opposite to Aje- 
rood, or Hagirood, which to us appears identical with the 
Hachiroth of Moses. 

The narrative of tlie Hebrew legislator, though simple, 
and carrying conviction along with it, is not sufficiently 
circumstantial to allow us to entertain a hope of explaining 
it. The poetic hymn with which it is accompanied, and 
which contains the most important details, does not admit 
of a precise interpretation. All the information that these 
records give us in physical geography is, that in former 
times, as in our own, the level of the gulf was liable to con- 
siderable variation from the influence of the tides and the 
Canal of If the isthmus of Suez has not undergone any change 
within the limits of history, particularly no remarkable 

the two 

* Numbers, chap, xxxiii. v. 7. Exod. chap. xiv. v. 2. J. J, H. Forster, Epist. 
28, 29. Hennicke, Geogr. Herodoti, p. 72. 

EGYPT. 59 

contraction, if a natural communication between the two book 
seas has never existed within the periods of human record, ^^i» 
we know that industry has attempted to open by art, a 
passage which nature had denied. The forming of a 
canal between the two seas has been the subject of many- 
projects and many discussions. Tlie engineers of the 
French army of the east ascertained the traces and remains 
of a can ill, with a most satisfactory precision. The canal 
goes from Balbeis {Viciis Judseorum) on the old Pelusiac 
branch of the Nile, now the canal of Menedji, to Abbaseh, 
the ancient Thou, There it enters the narrow valley of 
Arabes-Tonmylat, the level of which is thirty-two or thir- 
ty-three feet lower than that of the Red Sea. Several 
portions of the bed of the canal are still in such a state of 
preservation as to require nothing except cleaning. It 
passes on to Abookesheyd, which is considered as identi- 
cal with the old Heroopolis. The basin of the Bitter 
Lakes might have been filled at pleasure from the v/aters 
of the Nile : beyond this basin, the traces of the canal re- 
appear in the isthmus which separates the lakes from the 
Red Sea, and show that the canal was continued the whole 
way.^ But to what age and to what potentate is this great Antiquity 
work to be referred ? Without noticina: the fabulous times °L\^'^ 
of Sesostris and Menelaus, there are two kings better known 
in history, Necho and Psammetichus, neither of whom ap- 
pears to us to have been its author. They, like Darius, 
were prevented by the dread of seeing Egypt inundated 
by the waters of the Red Sea, which were known to have 
a higher level than the Nile. It would have been a sacri- 
legious act to have thus admitted the malignant Typhon 
into the "happy empire of Osiris. The use of locks and 
floodgates was unknown, which would have protected the 
Egyptian fields from this imaginary danger. The Pto- 
lemies, according to Strabof who had travelled in Egypt, 

* Description de I'Egypte ; Memoire de M, Lepere. 
f Geogr. XVII. 

60 EGYPT. 

BOOK completed the canal. According to Pliny, they only 
ixi. brought it as far as the basin of the Bittei* Lakes.* The 
former of these ai'thors makes Phacusa the point at which 
the canal communicated with the Nile, which would sup- 
pose this canal to be a different one from that which has 
been recently traced. The latter gives, in Roman paces, 
the exact measures of the length of the canal from Balbeis 
to the Bitter Lakes, as well as that of the total distance of 
the Gulf of Suez from the Nile, both of which measure- 
ments are found correct. If so well-informed a writer be- 
lieved that the canal die- not extend to the Red Sea, which 
its vestiges show it to have done, we here find a proof that 
the navigation of it had been relinquished. Perhaps the 
sluices had not been well constructed, or it had been found 
more convenient and profitable to convey merchandise by 
the harbours of Myos-Hormos and Berenice, The empe- 
ror Adrian, who caused a canal to be formed to the east of 
the Nile, called Trajanus Jlmnis^ and which went off from 
Babylonia, seems to have intended it solely for irrigations, 
by means of which the province of Augustamnica was ren- 
dered a flourishing country. 

But the Arabians, particularly El-Magrizi and El- 
Makyn, attest that this canal w as opened again by order 
of the Caliph Omai', and was used for navigation from the 
year 644 to 7^7. At this time another caliph caused it to 
be shut up, in order to deprive a rebel chief of his supplies 
of provisions. The Ottoman emperors have oftener than 
once contemplated the re-establishment of this canal. While 
the French army was in Egypt, some learned discussions 
were maintained on the practicability and advantages of 
such a restitution. A steady and enlightened government 
could execute the project at a moderate expense. The 
value of the lands which by means of it would be brought 
into cultivation, would be more than sufficient to cover it. 
But, as the navigation would, on the one side, depend on 

^ Plin. VI. cap. 29. 

EGYPT. 61 

the rising of tlie Nile, and, on the other, on the monsoons book 
which prevail in the Arabian gulf; and as shese two con- ^^^^• 
ditions do not coincide to such a degree as to allow an un- — ^— 
interrupted navigation, it is very probable that this canal, 
though highly useful and necessary for the commercial pros- 
perity of Egypt, would produce no great revolution in the 
East Indian trade. 





Topographical and Political Details. 



In our pliysical sketch of Egypt, we traced the influence 
of a monotonous territory and an unchanging climate. A 
certain gloom will also be attached to our accounts of the 
cities and towns of a country which has been so often des- 
cribed. We must always sail along the river or its canals, 
always admire antique monuments which we are unable to 
explain, always cast a mournful look on modern towns fast 
hastening to destruction, surrounded by palms and syca- 
mores. On every hand oppression, misery, distrust and dis- 
cord hold possession of a country so well fitted to become 
the abode of happiness and prosperity. 

In order to give some interest to this account, it is ne- 
cessary to call to mind at every step the nations which 
have successively ruled this country, and have left monu- 
ments behind them. In the history of every age Egypt 
holds a conspicuous place. Under her Pharaohs she de- 
rived strength from the stability of her laws, and was of- 
ten the successful I'ival of the greatest monarchies of the 
world. Invaded and devastated by Cambyses, she was for 
193 years either the subject or the vassal of Persia, and 
frequently in a state of open rebellion. The Greeks at 

i:gypt. 63 

last came to her assistance. Alexander the Great was re- book 
ceived by her as a deliverer, and, it is probable, intended ^xii. 
to make this conntry the seat of his empire. 

For three centuries the Ptolemies made Egypt a flou- 
rishing country in commerce and the arts, and her towns 
under them were almost converted into Grecian colonies. 
Augustus united this fertile kingdom to the Roman em- 
pire, and for 666 years it was the granary of Rome and 
Byzantium. It formed one of tlie earliest conquests of the 
successors of Mahomet. About the year 887, the power of 
the caliphs was succeeded by the reign of the Turcomans, 
their own janissaries, whom they had called to their aid. 
The dynasties of the Tolonides, the Fatimites, and the 
Aioobites, ruled over Egypt till the year 1250. 

The Mamelukes, or military slaves of the Turcoman sul- Mamelukes 
tans of Egypt, then massacred tlieir masters, and took pos- 
session of the sovereignty. The Turkish dynasty, or that 
of the Bassarite Mamelukes, reigned till 1382. The Cir- 
cassian race, or that of tlie Bordjite Mamelukes, ruled here 
till within these very few years ; for Selim 11. emperor of 
the Ottomans, after taking possession of Egypt, only abo- 
lished the monarchical form of government of these Ma- 
melukes ; he allowed an aristocracy of twenty-four Beys 
to remain, subjected to a stated tribute. Since his death, 
the Mamelukes have more than once thrown oft* the autho- 
rity of the Ottomans. 

In 1798, the French abolished the Mameluke aristo- Fiencb. 
cracy, and made themselves masters of the whole of Egypt. 
A great European colony now seemed to spring up in this 
line country, and a fair hope was cherished for the progress 
of civilization. The sciences, and especially that of geo- 
graphy, would have derived inestimable accessions from 
the success of that noble project. But it was attempted 
during the bloody wars and jealousies by which enlight- 
ened Europe was distracted. Far from being concerted 
by the combined wisdom of the civilized world, and sup- 
ported by its united energies, it was undertaken in sub- 
serviency to the paltry object of gratifying the selfish glory 


BOOK of Buonaparte, and the aggrandizement of the French na- 
iduci* tion, which had tarnished the liberal character of her re- 

volution, and lost the confidence of every philanthropic 

mind by the barbarous pillage of Sierra Leone. The ri- 
val selfislniess of Great Britain, aiding the views of the 
Sublime Porte, poured from the British isles, from the 
Bosphorus, and the Ganges, numerous armies to extermi- 
nate the French army, which was too happy to take shel- 
ter under the wing of the civilized maxims of war, and re- 
turn safe to Europe, to avoid falling under the ruthless 
sabre of the Turks. In 1801 this evacuation was effected, 
and barbarism again took possession of her prey. Perfidi- 
ous assassinations, and merciless massacres, have signalized 
the contests between the Turkish government and the Ma- 
melukes, and between the latter and the now almost inde- 
pendent Pasha of Egypt. A ray of improvement in the 
arts, and of encouragement to industry, has unexpectedly 
begun to glimmer amidst the arbitrary sway of the ruffian 
masters of Egypt ; but under such patronage, permanent 
advancement in civilization cannot be expected. 

Ancient The ancieuts had divided Egypt according to a princi- 

and modern p|g afforded them bv the course of the river: into Upper 

divisions. Mr J 7 rr 

Egypt called the Thebaid, because Thebes was its capital ; 
Middle Egypt, called also the " Seven Governments," or 
the Heptanomis; and Lower Egypt, or the Delta, extending 
to the sea. 

The Arabs and Ottomans have only changed the names 
of these divisions : 

1. Upper Egypt is called the Said, and includes the pro- 
vinces of Thebes, Djirdjeh, and Sioot. 

2. Middle Egypt is called the Vostani, consisting of the 
provinces of Faioom, Benisooef and Minyet. 

3. Lower Egypt is called Bahari, or "the Maritime 
Country," and includes the provinces of Bahyreh, Rasid or 
Rosetta, Gharbyeh, Menoof, Massoora, Sharkieh, and the 
Cairo district, consisting of the subdivisions of Kelioobeh 
and Atfihieh. 

EGYPT. 65 

The appellation of Upper Egypt is sometimes taken in book 
a strictly physical acceptation, and made to include all the i^xii. 
provinces above Cairo. =^ On this principle Abnlfeda and"" * 

Ebn-Haukal divide Egypt into two parts, the Rif and the 
Said, that is, the coast and the high country. f Another 
Arabian calls these divisions Kibli and Bahari, or the south 
and the coast.:}: But the most recent observations, by mak- 
ing us acquainted with a defile or contraction, separating 
the Vostani from the Said proper, incline us to prefer the 
nsual threefold division. 

We shall first take a view of the towns and remarkable Towns of 
localities of Lower Egypt. ^l^^l 

The ancient glory of Alexandria is still attested by the Aiexau- 
extensive ruins by which the present city is surrounded, 
and in a manner concealed. It is built on a sandy stripe 
of land formed by the sea, along the ancient mole which 
once connected Pharos with the continent. Of its two 
harbours the most easterly seems to have lost its former 
advantages by the changes which the coast has undergone. 
The ancient promontory, the situation of the modern 
Pharillon, has been worn lower and destroyed by the 
waves : its ruins have been carried into the interior of the 
harbour, where the vessels have also been long in the habit Harbours. 
of discharging their ballast. — The famous Pharos, built 
on the island (now a peninsula) of the same name, serves 
as a light-house at the entrance of the harbour, or rather 
roadstead, where vessels are frequently lost. The other 
extremity of the peninsula surrounds in part the western 
or old harbour, which is possessed of great advantages, 
but shut against Christians. To the south of the modern 
city and of the two harbours is the site of old Alexandria. 

* Compare d'Anville, Mem. sur TEgypte, p. 36. Wansleben in Paulin, p. 8. 

t Abulfeda vers Michael, p. 33. Compare with the notes of M. Silvestre ds 
Sacy orv Abdollatif, p. 39?. 

X Notice et extraits de Memoiies, 1, 250. 

TOI,, IT. 5 




The an- 
cient city. 


Here among the heaps of rubbish, and among the fine 
gardens planted with palms, oranges, and citrons, are seen 
' some churches, mosques, and monasteries, and three small 
clusters of dwellings, formerly three towns, one of which 
is surrounded with a wall, and called the fort* Traces are 
seen of ancient streets, in straight lines, and some ruins of 
colonnades mark the sites of palaces. One of the obelisks, 
called Cleopatra's Needle, still stands upright. All this 
confused mass of ruins, gardens, and masonry, is in the 
greater part of its circumference, surrounded with a high 
and double wall. The commission of the French Institute 
of Egypt seemed to regard this inclosure as the work of 
the Arabians. Such also is the opinion of Niebuhr, Wans- 
leb, and the greater part of travellers. Pococke, however, 
thinks that the Arabians only built the inner wall; and 
Baron de Tott believes that nothing about it is modern, ex- 
cept some local reparations. To us this inclosure appears 
to represent precisely the space of thirty stadia in length, 
and ten in breadth, which Strabo assigns as the dimensions 
of the city of Alexander and the Ptolemies. Only that part 
of the wall which extends from the Rosetta Gate towards 
the Roman Tower, in a direction from east-south-east to 
west-north-west, seems to pass through the ancient quarter 
of Bruchium, which, filled with palaces and monuments, 
extended quite round the New Harbour. Might not this 
part of the wall be the work of Caracalla, when, according 
to the expression of Dion the historian,=^ that ferocious beast 
of Ausonia came to devastate and drench with blood the 
beautiful city of Alexandria ? Even the forts which exist to 
the north and south of the ancient city seem to be those 
erected by that tyrant. We also think that many of the 
ruins date from the epoch of the capture of the city by the 
cruel Aurelian. 

On the outside of the southern gate, a detached column 

* Dion. Hist. Rom. 1. LXVIII. p. 1307. Herorlian, 1. IV. p. 158. Compare 
the plan of Alexandria bj' M. Lepere in the Atlas of the Description de 

EGYPT. 67 

eighty-eight feet high, forms the most commanding ob- book 
ject connected with the city and its environs. It has been i^^ii. 
erroneously called " Pompey's Pillar," and ^^ the Pillar — — 
of Severus.'- It is the great column which served as the 
principal ornament of the famous Serapeum, a vast build- 
ing consecrated to the worship of an Egyptian divinity, 
and which, after the destruction of the Museum of the 
Ptolemies became the receptacle of the Alexandrine li- 
brary, and the resort of men of letters. Here, as in a place 
of safety, Caracalla feasted his eyes with the massacre of 
the people of Alexandria; a circumstance which, added 
to many others, leads us to think that both the Serapeum 
and the Circus were situated in a suburb without the walls 
of the ancient city.* 

Reduced to a population of 16,000 souls, Alexandria 
before the French invasion carried on a trade in which 
the south of Europe had a considerable share. It was 
the medium of all the exchange of commodities that took 
place between Egypt and Constantinople, Leghorn, Ve- 
nice, and Marseilles. 

Near Aboukir, the roadstead of which makes so conspi- 
cuous a figure in history, the coast ceases to be composed 
of rocks ; and alluvial lands begin. The city of Rosetta Rosetta. 
is described at a distance in the midst of groves of date 
trees, bananas, and sycamores. It is situated on the banks 
of the Nile, which annually washes, without injury, the 
walls of the houses. Its population, like that of Alexan- 
dria, progressively declines. The houses, though gene- 
rally better built than those of Alexandria, are so crazy 
that they would go to ruin in a few months, if they were 
not favoured by a climate which destroys nothing. The 
stories projecting successively beyond one another, render 
the streets dark and dismal. An island in this part of the 

* Langl^s, notes on Norden, Voyage III. p. 279. Silvestre de Sacy, notes 
sur Abdollatif, p. 231 — 239. Zopga de origine obeliscorum, p. 24 et 607. 





BOOK river, a league in diameter, presented to M. Denon the 
xxii. appearance of a most delicious garden,^ but is described 
by Hasselquist as an insupportable place with musquitos 
and buffaloes.f 

From Rosetta to Damietta the low sandy coast was 
formerly infested by robbers, or occupied by rude shep- 
herds and fishermen living without law. Lake Bourlos, fill- 
ed with islets, extends over a part of this country. Beltym, 
a town situated on the side of the lake, seems to correspond 
to the ancient Buto. Here a learned man, well versed in 
Egyptian antiquities, places Elearchia or Bucolise, that is, 
the country of marshes and of buffalo-herds.:}: This dis- 
trict bore in the Egyptian language,-^ the name of Bash- 
moor, the same word which was used for a name to the 
third dialect of the ancient language of Egypt. The sa- 
vage Bashmurians lived sometimes in their boats, and 
sometimes among the reeds which covered their marshy 
hanks. Such appears still to be the condition of the people 
wiio live round Bourlos. The same picture is applicable 
to the neighbourhood of Lake Menzaleh, where Elearchia 
was placed by other writers. 

All the country round Damietta is filled with large rice 
fields, on which great attention is bestowed. The rice of 
Damietta is the most esteemed of any in the Levant. But 
the city, which according to Binos contains 30,000, and 
according to Savary 80,000 souls, is very dirty, almost 
all the inhabitants delighting in the most filthy habits of 
living. Their health, especially that of the females, soon 
languishes, and multitudes of blind and purblind persons 
are met in every corner. This city, one of the keys of 
Egypt, carries on a great trade in rice, and other provi- 
sions. It was built in 1250, five miles and a half from 


* Denon, t. I. p. 88. 
t Hasselquist, Voyage, p. 68. 

X Etienne Quatiem&re, Recherches sur la litterature Egyptienne, p, 147. 
Idem, M^moires historiques et geographiques, 1. 1, p. 220— S23, 

EGYPT. 69 

the site of the ancient Thamiatis, but destroyed in the time book 
of the crusades.'^ lxii. 

The coast of the ancient eastern Delta is still lower and — — 
more marshy than that between Rosetta and Damietta. the eastern 
Menzaleh would not deserve particular attention, were it^®^*^* 
not for its very large lake, in the bosom of which are the 
islands of Matharyeh, which are very populous, and co- 
vered with houses, some of brick, and others of clay. In 
that which is called Myt-el-Matharyeh, the hovels of the 
people and the tomlis of the dead form one promiscuous as- 
semblage. The houses seem rather to be dens than human 

The fishermen of Matharyeh allow none of their neigh- 
bours to fish in the lake. Constantly naked, w^ading in the 
water, and engaged in their severe labours, they are hardy 
and vigorous, but almost perfect savages. 

On the east side of the lake are the ruins of Pelusium ; 
on the south side those of the ancient Tanis ; and on an islet 
in the middle those of Tennis. Ascending higher in the 
province of Sharkieh, we find the sites of Mendes and of 
T/wnms, ancient cities now in ruins. 

Lofty minarets point out from a distance the city of 
Mansourah, famous for the battle fought under its walls 
in 1250, in which Louis IX. was taken prisoner. We 
have also Mit-Gamar on the Damietta branch of the Nile; 
Tell-Bastah on the canal of Moez ; Balbeis on that of Me- 
nedje ; Salehieh, an important military post ; and El-kanka, 
on the borders of the desert which lies between Cairo and 
the Red Sea. Having passed these different places, we ar- 
rive at the point of the ancient Delta, forming now the Point of 
small country of Kelyoubeh,f rich in grain, in pastures, 
and in different species of trees. Its villages are large, its 
flocks numerous, and its inhabitants peaceable and compa- 

* Abulfeda, Tab. Egypt, p. 24. Abulpharag, Chron. Syriac, vers, la 
p. 329, Index G^ograph. ad Bohad. vit. Salad, edit, Schultens, in voce Da- 

'■ MaluSj Memaire sur TEgypte, 1. 1, p. 215. 

70 EGTPT. * 

juooK rativcly happy. To the north of Kelyouheh, the ground is 

XXII. intersected by an infinity of small canals for irrigation. The 

roads, though difficult, are very pleasant ; several of them 

are skirted with rich gardens, others lead through thick 

groves and immense nurseries. 

Interior of The interior of the modern Delta contains the populous 

the Delta 

city of Mehallet, surnamed el Kebir, or "the Great." Lu- 
cas, Sicard, and Pococke, considered it as, next to Cairo, 
the most important in all Egypt.^ It is built of brick, on 
a navigable canal, and surrounded with fertile fields always 
under crop. Aboosir, the ancient Busiris, formerly occupi- 
ed the central point of the Delta. Samanoud, or Djemnou- 
ti, the ancient SebennytuSfj a large town on the river of 
Damietta, is famous for producing numerous and excellent 
Places of rjy)^Q f^^y ^f Tcnta is at present one of the most conside- 
rable places in the interior of the Delta. It is the resort of 
pilgrims from different parts of Egypt, Abyssinia, the Hed- 
jaz, and the kingdom of Darfoor. The inhabitants esti- 
mate the annual number of these pilgrims at 150,000. The 
object of these meetings is to pay their respects at the tomb 
of a saint called Seyd Ahmed-el-Bedaooi. Commerce de- 
rives from them some advantages.:): Kenoof is the capital 
of the smiling and fertile province of Menoufieh, which con- 
tains also the city of Shiquin-el-Koom. 

In the north of the Delta we must take notice of the 
monastery of Saint Geminian, a place of pilgrimage both 
for Christians and Mahometans. The surrounding plains 
are covered with tents; horse races are held; wine and 
good living animate the pilgrims ; the festival continues for 
eight days ; it brings to the place a great number of dan- 
cing women, who contribute much to the pleasures of the 

* See Hartmann, Egyptien, p. 789. 

t D'Anvillo, Mem. siir TEgypte, p. 85. ai)d Quatremere, Mem. Hist, et 
Geogr. I. p. 503. 

X Savary, Lett, siir I'Egypte, t. I. p. 281, 282. Giraril, in the Memoires sm 
TEgypte, t. III. p. 356—360, 

3BGTPT. 71 

occasion, pleasures which are kept up day and night. In book 
this country, the night being cooler than the day, is more ^^*^* 
favourable to amusements. — 

In the corner of the Delta, adjoining to Rosetta, amidst 
a great number of flourishing villages, and fields covered 
with excellent produce, we remark the towns of Berimbal 
and Fouah. This last was, in the sixteenth century, the 
seat of that trade which has since been transferred to Ro- 

At the place where the canal of Alexandria joins the Towns on 
Nile, we find the large town of Rahmanie. On another Jjjg peUa! 
canal is situated the small town of Damanhour, a mart for 
the cottons produced in the neighbouring country, and a 
place where, in the time of the fairs, the coarse rejoicings 
of the peasantry sometimes remind the spectator of the 
noisy orgies of ancient Egypt. Terraneh, which derives 
prosperity from the Natron trade, is situated on the western 
bank of the Nile, and above it Wardan, which is at the 
distance of a journey of twenty -four hours from Cairo. 

At last the plain no longer displays its uniform luxuri- Grand 
ance. Mount Mokattan raises on one side its arid head, ^*"*°* 
on the other we find Djizeh, with its eternal pyramids. 
Opposite to these monuments, the eye descries in succession, 
on the eastern banks of the great river, the cities of Boo- 
lak. New Cairo, and Old Cairo. 

Boolak is the port of Cairo, where the vessels lie that 
come from the lower part of the Nile. It extends along 
the banks, and exhibits all the bustle and confusion of 
commerce. In ithe harbour of old Cairo the vessels lie 
that have arrived from Upper Egypt. Some of the most 
distinguished inhabitants of Cairo have here a sort of coun- 
try seats, to which they retire during high Nile. Between 
these two cities is New Cairo, called by the orientals. 
Grand Cairo, by way of eminence. The name Kahera, 
signifies ** the victorious." This city lying a mile and a 
half from the Nile, extends to the mountains on the east, 
which is nearly three miles. It is surrounded by a stone 




Origin of 

and amuse 

wall surmounted by fine battlements, and fortified with 
lofty towers at every hundred paces. There are three or 

■ four beautiful gates, built by the Mamelukes, and uniting 
a simple style of architecture with an air of grandeur and 
magnificence. According to Abd-el-Rashid, El-Kaherah, 
or Cairo, was built in the S60th year of the hegira, the 
970th of our common era, by the Caliph Almanzor, (el- 
Moez-le-Dym illah ebn el Mansoor,) the first of the Fati- 
mite caliphs who reigned over Egypt. That city was 
afterwards joined to that of Fostat, built also by the Ara- 
bians. Salahh-ed-Dyn, or Saladin, about the year 572 of 
the hegira, (A. D. 1176,) built the ramparts with which 
it is surrounded, which are 13,116 yards in length. But 
in this vast extent we find only one narrow unpaved street. 
The houses, like all others in Egypt, are badly built of 
earth or indifferent biicks, but differ from most others, in 
being, like those of Rosetta, two or three stories high. 
Being lighted only by windows looking into back courts or 
central squares, they appear from the street like so many 
prisons. The aspect of Cairo is a little relieved by a num- 
ber of large public but irregular squares, and many fine 
mosques. That of sultan Hassan, built at the bottom of 
the mountain containing the citadel, is very large, and has 
the form of a parallelogram ; a deep frieze goes all the way 
round the top of the w all, adorned with sculptures which 

"' w^e call gothic, but which \vcre introduced into Europe by 
the Spanish Arabians. 

The inhabitants of Cairo, fond of shows like all the peo- 
ple of large cities, amuse themselves chiefly wdth feats of 
bodily exercise, such as leaping, rope-dancing, and wrest- 
ling matches ; also singing and dancing. They have buf- 
foons, whose rude pleasantries and stale puns excite the 
ready laugh among an ignorant and corrupt people. The 
almehSf or female improvisatores, who amuse the rich with 
the exercise of their talent, differ from such as exhibit to 
the common people. They come to relieve the solitude of 
the harem, where they teach the women new tunes, and re- 
peat poems which excite interest from Die representations 

EGYPT, 73 

which they give of Egyptian manners. Tiiey initiate the book 
Egyptian ladies in the mysteries of their art, and teach i*xii. 
them to practise dances of rather an unbecoming charac- 
ter. Some of these improvisatrici have cultivated minds 
and an agreeable conversation, speaking their native lan- 
guage with purity. Their poetical habits make them fa- 
miliar with the softest and best sounding expressions, and 
their recitations are made with considerable grace. The 
almehs are called in on all festive occasions. During meals 
they are seated in a sort of desk, where they sing. Then 
they come into the drawing room to perform their dances 
or pantomimic evolutions, of which love is generally the 
ground work. They now lay aside the veil, and along 
with it the modesty of their sex. They make their ap- 
pearance covered with a piece of light transparent gauze, 
and the spirit of the scene is kept up by tabors, castanets, 
and flutes. Thus wx find, in all countries, dancing and 
music made subservient to voluptuous indulgence, and em- 
ployed as the allies of licentiousness. 

On the west bank of the Nile, we find the city of Djizeh, Town of 
pleasantly shaded by sycamores, date trees, and oJives. the^greaT 
To the west of this city stand the three pyramids, which, pyramids. 
hy their unequalled size and celebrity, have eclipsed all 
those numerous structures of the same form which are 
scattered over Egypt. The height of the first, which is 
ascribed to Cheops, is 477 feet, that is, forty feet higher 
than St. Peter's at Rome, and 133 higher than St. Paul's 
in London. The length of the base is 720 feet. The an- 
tiquity of these erections, and the purpose for which they 
were formed, have furnished matter of much ingenious 
conjecture and dispute, in the absence of certain informa- 
tion. It has been supposed that they were intended for 
scientific purposes, such as that of establishing the proper 
length of the cubit, of which they contain in breadth and 
height a certain number of multiples. They were, at all 
events, constructed on scientific principles, and give evi- 
dence of a certain progress in astronomy ; for their sides 
are accurately adapted to the four cardinal points. Whe- 

74 EGTPT. 

BOOK ther they were applied to sepulchral uses, and intended as 
XXII. sepulchral monuments, had heen doubted ; but the doubts 
have been dispelled by the recent discoveries made by 
means of laborious excavations. The drifting sand had, 
in the course of ages, collected round their base to a consi- 
derable height, and had raised the general surface of the 
country above the level which it had when they were con- 
structed. The entrance to the chambers had also been, in 
the finishing, shut up with large stones, and built round so 
as to be uniform with the rest of the exterior. The largest, 
called the pyramid of Cheops, had been opened, and some 
chambers discovered in it, but not to so low as the base, till 
Mr. Davison, British counsel at Algiers, explored it in 
1763, when accompanying Mr. Wortley Montague to 
Egypt. He discovered a room before unknown, and des- 
cended the three successive wells to a depth of 155 feet.* 
Captain Caviglia, master of a merchant vessel, has lately 
pursued the principal oblique passage 200 feet farther 
down than any former explorer, and found it communicat- 
ing with the bottom of the well. This circumstance cre- 
ating a circulation of air, he proceeded twenty-eight feet 
farther, and found a spacious room sixty-six feet by twen- 
ty-seven, but of unequal height, under the centre of the 
pyramid, supposed by Mr. Salt to have been the place for 
containing the theca, or sarcophagus, though now none is 
found in it. The room is thirty feet above the level of the 
Nile. The upper chamber, 35^ feet by 17i, and 18|^ 
high, still contains a sarcophagus. Herodotus eri^ed in 
supposing that the water of the Nile could ever surround 
the tomb of Cheops. In six pyramids which have been 
opened, the principal passage preserves the same inclina- 
tion of 26° to the horizon, being directed to the polar star. 
Beizoni's M. Belzoni, after some acute observations on the appear- 
orthe se"-^ auccs Connected with the second pyramid, or that of Ceph- 
cond pyra- rcues, succeeded in opening it. The stones, which had 


* See W^alpole's Interesting Collection of Memoirs relating to European aud 
Asiatic Turkey, 1817^ 

• JEGYPT. 75 

constituted the coating, (by which the sides of most of the book 
pyramids which now rise in steps had been formed into ixii. 
plain and smooth surfaces,) lay in a state of compact and 
ponderous rubbish, presenting a formidable obstruction ; 
but somewhat looser in the centre of the front, showing 
traces of operations for exploring it, in an age posterior to 
the erection. On the east side of the pyramid he disco- 
vered the foundation of a large temple, connected with a 
portico appearing above ground, which had induced him 
to explore that part. Between this and the pyramid, from 
which it was fifty feet distant, a way was cleared through 
rubbish forty feet in height, and a pavement was found at 
the bottom, which is supposed to extend quite round the 
pyramid ; but there was no appearance of any entrance. 
On the north side, though the same general appearance 
presented itself after the rubbish was cleared away, one of 
the stones, though nicely adapted to its place, was disco- 
vered to be loose; and when it was removed, a hollow 
passage was found, evidently forced by some former enter- 
prising explorer, and rendered dangerous by the rubbish 
which fell from the roof; it was therefore abandoned. 
Reasoning by analogy from the entrance of the first pyra- 
mid, which is to the east of the centre on the north side, he 
explored in that situation, and found at a distance of thir- 
ty feet the true entrance. After incredible perseverance 
and labour, he found numerous passages all cut out of the 
solid rock, and a chamber forty-six feet three inches by 
sixteen feet three, and twenty-three feet six inches high, 
containing a sarcophagus in a corner, surrounded by large 
blocks of granite. When opened, after great labour, this 
was found to contain bones, which mouldered down when 
touched, and, from specimens afterwards examined, turned 
out to be bones of an ox. Human bones were also found 
in the same place. An Arabic inscription, made with char- 
coal, was on the wall, signifying that "the place had been 
opened by Mohammed Ahmed, lapicide, attended by the 
Master Othman, and the King Alij Mohammed," suppos- 
ed to be the Ottoman emperor, Mahomet I. in the begin- 

76 EGYPT. 


BOOK iiing of the fifteenth century. It was ohserved, that the 
XXII. pQci^ surrounding the pyramid on the north and west sides, 
"""■^"^ was on a level with the upper part of the chamber. It is 
evidently cut away all round, and the stones taken from it 
were most probably applied to the erection of the pyramid. 
There are many places in the neighbourhood where the 
rock has been evidently quarried, so that there is no foun- 
dation for the opinion formerly common, and given by He- 
rodotus, that the stones had been brought from the east 
side of the Nile, which is only probable as applied to the 
granite brought from Syene. The operations of Belzoni 
have thrown light on the manner in which the pyramids 
were constructed, as well as the purpose for which they were 
intended. That they were meant for sepulchres cannot admit 
^ of a doubt. Their obliquity is so adjusted as to make the 

north side coincide with the obliquity of the sun's rays at 
the summer solstice. The Egyptians connected astrono- 
my with their religions ceremonies, and their funerals; 
for zodiacs are found even in their tombs. It is remarkable 
that no hieroglyphical inscriptions are found in or about 
the pyramids as in the other tombs, a circumstance which 
is supposed to indicate the period of their construction to 
have been prior to the invention of that mode of writing, 
though some think that the difference may be accounted 
for by a difference in the usages of different places and 
ages. Belzoni, however, says that he found some hiero- 
glyphics in one of the blocks forming a mausoleum to the 
west of the first pyramid. The first pyramid seems never 
to have been coated, and the^ is not the slightest mark of 
any coating. The second pyramid showed that the coat- 
ing had been executed from the summit downward, as it 
appeared that it had not in this instance been finished to the 
bottom.^ — The following are the dimensions of the second 
pyramid : The basis, 684 feet ; the central line down the 

* Belzoni's Narrative of Operations and recent Discoveries in Egypt and Nu- 
bia, second edition, vol. I. p. 395. 425. 

EGYPT. 77 

front from the apex to the basis, 568 ; the perpendicular, book 
456 ; coating from the top to \vhcre it ends, 140. These di- i-xii. 
mensions being considerably greater than those usually as- — ^— 
signed even to the first or largest pyramid, are to be ac- 
counted for by those of BeJzoni being taken from the base 
as cleared from sand and rubbish, while the measurements 
of the first pyramid given by others, only applied to it as 
measured from the level of the surrounding sand. 

The largest of the numberless sphinxes found in Egypt, The great 
is in the neighbourhood of the pyramids of Djizeh ; it * 
was, at an expense of J800 or £900, (contributed by some 
European gentlemen,) cleared from the accumulated sand 
in front of it under the superintendence of Captain Cavig- 
lia. This monstrous production consists of a virgin's head^ 
joined to the body of a quadruped. The body is principally 
formed out of the solid rock; the paws are of masonry, 
extending forward fifty feet from the body ; between the 
^ paws are several sculptured tablets so arranged as to form 
a small temple; and farther forward a square altar with 

Ascending tlie Nile we come to Sakhara, near which Pyramids 
are many pyramids, some of them formed of brick. They of Sakhara, 
are dispersed over a line of eleven miles, and are known 
by the name of the pyramids of Aboosir.* At the foot of 
this chain of mausolea, lies the ancient Memphis, which 
has left some of the rubbish of its immense buildings at 
Mitrahenoo, and probably extending to Mohannan.f The 
inhabitants carry on a traffic in mummies, the embalmed 
bodies of men and of sacred animals found in the excava- 
tions of the rocks. On the eastern bank is seen the fa- 
mous mosque called Atsar-en-Neby, which is much fre- 
quented by the mussulmans of Cairo, who perform a pil- 
grimage to pay their respects to a stone marked with a 
perfect impression of the feet of the prophet. It is cover- 

* Abdollatif, p. 204. 

t Compare Pococke, Description, I. p. 39 — 293. D'Anville, Mem. p. 138, 
T,arc.\erj Herodotu?^ IT. 362—366. 

78 EGYPT. 

BOOK ed with a very rich veil which the priests of the mosque 
ixii. raise only for the gratification of those true believers who 

"———■ evince their piety by means of certain offerings. Atfieh, 
the capital of the province of Atfieheli, is situated on the 
east bank, as Savary has observed, in opposition to the 
greater part of geographers. 

Middle At a distance of fifteen miles to the west of the Nile, 

rSm. the mountains open to form a valley leading into the Fai- 
oom, the ancient province of Arsinoe. The Bahr Yoosef 
coming from the Nile, passes through the centre of the 
valley in various serpentine turns, till it reaches the Fai- 
oom. In the north part of this extensive and fine district 

Lake Mob- is lake Moeris, round which the soil is barren and wild. 
This lake which is now call Cairoon, is much inferior in 
size to what it was in ancient times, when described with 
enthusiasm by Strabo, as resembling the sea in its extent, 
in the colour of its water, and in the nature of the sur- 
rounding shores ; but it is still about thirty leagues in cir- 
cumference, its length being between thirty and forty miles, 
and is greatest breadth about six.* Its |shore towards the 
Faioom is flat and sandy. The water of the lake has a 
slight saline impregnation, but it is very well fitted for hu- 
man use. It contains some fish, and thus supports a few 
fishermen who send the fish to be sold in the different 

This lake has been believed to have been an artificial exca- 
vation executed by Moeris an ancient king of Egypt, who 
most probably only formed the canal by which it is filled from 
the Nile. Belzoni thinks that the water was retained by a 
dam at its place of entrance, and a second irrigation thus 
produced. This at least is considered by that traveller as 
the only way in which it could have been rendered subser- 
vient to agriculture, and thus it would resemble the artifi- 
cial tanks which at present abound in India, but to the first 
irrigation itself the canal was necessary.f This canal, how- 
ever, has been much neglected, and the depositions of earth 

* Browne's Travels, p. 169. + Belzoni's Narrative, vol. II. p. 150—152; 

EttlTFT. 79 

brought by the Nile have elevated the surface of the whole book 
Faioom, which, though displaying traces of its former i-xii. 
fertility, has by the circumstances now specified, and the — — - 
encroachments of the sand of the desert, been reduced to 
one third of its former extent. All the villages in it ex- Peculiar 
cept four, pay a fixed mirif independent of what is due at *" '*^*' 
the rise of the Nile. This financial arrangement must be 
very ancient, and appears to have been established in con- 
sequence of the great expense at which the kings of Egypt 
had rendered this country habitable. At the entrance of 
the Faioom is the town of Medineh, or Medinet-el-Fai- 
oom, (the word Medineh signifying " the City ;") near to 
which are the ruins of the ancient Arsinoe, These ruins 
contain granite columns which are only found in this place 
and at the pyramids, and many of them are seen among 
the materials of which the town of Medineh is built. In this 
town there are manufactures of linen, cotton, and woollen 
stuffs ; of oil and rose water. The last article supplies the 
immense consumption which takes place among the great 
people who keep their divans covered with it, and are in 
the habit of offering it to strangers. Wines also are made, 
but much inferior to those formerly produced in this Ar- 
sinoitic district. In this district was situated the Laby- T^® Laby- 
rinth so celebrated in antiquity, consisting of 3000 cham- 
bers, one half above ground, and the other half below. 
These have left no corresponding marks, at least none visi- 
ble above ground, to render its exact situation certain. It 
is generally supposed to have been in the place where the 
ruins of the town and palace of Caroon are now found, 
about three miles from the western extremity of the lake. 
Here are to be seen the remains of a town wall, fragments 
of columns, and blocks of stone of middling size. The 
town is a mile in circumference. In the middle is the 
temple, which is in tolerable preservation, and is of a sin- 
gular construction, different from the Egyptian, having 
probably been at some period altered or rebuilt. It con- 
tains no hieroglyphics. Mr. Belzoni did not believe this 
to be the situation of the labyrinth. That traveller visited 

80 EGYPT* 

BOOK some other ruins of ancient Greek towns, situated in the same 
XXII. neighbourhood. He found among the blocks some fragments 
""■"■"""" of Grecian statues and other specimens of sculpture. When 
the sand is removed the roofs of habitations are found, with 
their wooden materials in a state of preservation. This 
traveller thinks that the remains of the labyrinth might 
perhaps be discovered if it were practicable to remove the 
sand, but at the same time states that several ancient re- 
mains are beneath the present level of the water, that many 
of them must be now deeply covered by the annually accu- 
mulating depositions from the waters of the Nile, brought 
by the canal of Joseph, and that the celebrated labyrinth 
may possibly be utterly out of the reach of discovery.=^ 
All along the west side of the lake, this traveller found a 
great number of stones, and columns of beautiful colours, of 
white marble and jof granite. The Faioom contains a town 
called Fedmin-el-Kumois, or "the Place of Churches,'* 
from a tradition that it once consisted of 300 Christian 
churches, which the Mahometans converted into a town. 
One part of it is inhabited by Mahometans, and the other 
by Copts, who live on very tolerant terms with one an- 
other ; but the latter are poor, and destitute of the means of 
educating their children. 

Vostani, or Middle Egypt, contains also Benisooef, 
where there is a manufacture of coarse carpeting ; Minieh, 
the capital of a province, the territory of which is elevated 
above the adjoining lands ; Ansana, or Ensineh, where the 
statues found among the ruins of Antinoopolis have given 
rise to a notion among the Arabs that human bodies had 
been petrified :f Mellavi, a prettily situated town, which 
annually exports 400,000 sacks of wheat; and Momfaloot, 
known for its manufactures. 

Caverns of At the town of Sahoodi is the beginning of the caverns 
viti, ^^ of the Thebaid. These are quarry holes, to which the 

* Belzoni, vol. II. p. 161— 1G3. 

^ Yakootj. Not. et Extraits, p» 240. 

EGYPT. (51 

anchorets, in the first ages of Christianity, retired. They book 
have an extent of fifty-six miles; and the hieroglyphics i-xn. 
found in them prove them to have been the work of the 
Egyptians, who had taken their marble from this place 
at a very remote period. 

The grottos, near tlic city of Sioot, contain very curi- Ancient 
ous antique paintings in a good state of preservation, xiie P^"^^'"^^* 
city, one of the largest in the Said, is the resort of the ca^ 
ravans of Nubia. Its vicinity, and that of Abootish, pro- 
duce the best opium.=^ 

Among the other villages, we remark on the east bank 
Gau-Shenkieh, which has succeeded to Anteopolis. Here 
was a magnificent temple in honour of Anteus. The 
porch still remains, which is supported, according to Nor- 
tlen, by columns, and which appears to be of one stone, 
sixty paces in length, and forty in breadth. This splendid 
w ork now forms the entrance of a stable, where the Turks 
keep their flocks. 

Akmin, the residence of an Arab prince, has succeeded -'^'^"'^"'• 
to the ancient Shemmis or Panopolis. Ancient ruins are 
found here or. the outside of the present town. Abulfeda 
mentions a temple built of stones of astonishing size, w hich 
he ranks among the most celebrated ancient monuments. 
Mere fragments, however, are all that now remain. The 
modern town is iianusome ; very commercial, and has 
manufactures of cotton cloth and of pottery. It has a re- 
gular and strict police, and its territory is fertile in all sorts 
of produce. 

Opposite to Akmin, on the w^est bank of the river, isMeshiek. 
the large town of Meshieh. Here all the boats which go 
from Cairo to tlie cataracts, or from the cataracts to Cairo, 
stop to take in provisions, which are plenty and cheap. 

Seventeen miles to the south-east of Meshieh, we find Djirdjehv 
Djirdjeh, the capital of Upper Egypt, and lately the resi- 
dence of a Bey, and the scat of a Coptic bishop. The city 
is modern, and owes its origin and name to a convent dc- 

* JSTolicCs et Exit, t. U v- 42'!. 

82 EGIPT. 

BOOK dicated to St. George,=^ It lias public buildings and 
liXii. squares, but no monuments. It is a place of trade and in- 

dustry, and the territory belonging to it is fertile. 

Dendeiah. Denderah is a place of little consequence in itself, but 
travellers visit it with great interest on account of a great 
quantity of magnificent ruins found three miles to the west 
of it. Bruce, Norden, and Savary, agree in identifying it 
with tlie ancient Tentyra, 

Its temples. Thc remains of three temples still exist. The largest 
is in a singularly good state of preservation, and the enor- 
mous masses of stone employed in it, are so disposed as 
to exhibit every where the most just proportions. It is 
the first and most magnificent Egyptian temple to be seen 
in ascending the Nile, and is considered by Mr. Belzoni as 
of a much later date than any of the others. From the supe- 
riority of tiie workmanship, he inclines to attribute it to 
the first Ptolemv, the same who laid the foundation of the 
Alexandrian library, and instituted the philosophical so- 
ciety of the Musfeum. Here, Denon thought himself in 
the sanctuary of the arts and sciences. The columns 
which form the portico are twenty-four in number, divided 
into four rows. Within the gate, the square is surround- 
ed with columns with square capitals; the shafts and every 
part of the wall are closely covered with hieroglyphics and 
figures in basso-relievo. On each side tliere is a colossal 
head of the goddess Isis, with cow's ears, with a simple 
and almost smiling expression. The ceiling contains the 
zodiac, inclosed by two female figures, which extend from 
one side of it to the other. The walls are divided into seve- 
ral square compartments, each containing figures of dei- 
ties, and priests in the act of offering, or immolating vic- 
tims. On the top of the temple the Arabs had built a vil- 
lage which is now deserted and in ruins.f 

The Zo- As for thc zodiacs or celestial planispheres found here, 
, and tlieir high antiquity so much boasted, an able anti- 

* Denon, Voyages, I. p. 304. Soiinini, II. p. 37»;. 
■'■ Belzoui's Narrative, vol. I. p. 52 — 57. 


EGYPT. 83 

quary has shewn that they could not have been prior to book 
the conquest of Alexander.* xxii. 

From Djirdjeh to Thebes, the Nile forms a great bend- 
ing to the east. At the elbow nearest to the Red Sea, 
stands Kenneh, tlie ancient Cenopolis, a town which once 
carried on an active commerce with Cosseir, According 
to Irwin, an English traveller, this city, which is still of 
considerable size, retains traces of many ancient customs. 
In the funeral processions, the women dance to the sound Remains of 
of dolorous music, and utter hideous cries. The festivals customs. 
here, as in the Said in general, are held during the night, 
and on the river. They are concluded with a drama, par- 
taking a little of a mythological character. The dancing 
women plunge almost naked into the water, where they 
swim about like so many nymphs or naiads.f 

Keft seems to be the harbour of the ancient city ofKeft* 
Kopt or Koptos, from wliich some authors derive the ap- 
pellation given to the Coptic nation.:}: In all that coun- 
try the inhabitants manufacture the vessels of light and 
porous clay, which by allowing the water slowly to tran- 
sude so as to keep up an external evaporation, communi- 
cate a refreshing coolness to that which remains. These 
are used through the whole of Egypt. 

The village of Luxor, that of Karnak, and some others 
on the eastern bank, contain more ruins. The case is the 
same with the western side. Savary, Bruce, Norden, 
Browne, and Denon, concur in speaking with admiration 
of the ancient ruins of these places. New researches have 
proved that they belong to ancient Thebes, the city with Ruins of 
a hundred gates, known to Homer, and which was 400 '^^^^^^^ 
Egyptian stadia in circumference.^ Diodorus, who speaks 

* Visconti in Lardiei's Herodotus. 
+ Irwin's journeyHo tiie Red Sea. 

Compare with Sonnini, Denon, and 

% Michaelis ad Abulfedam, not. 153, p, 73. Hartmann, Edrisi Africa, 
p. 519, 520. 

b Account of Thebes in the description de I'Egypte. Monumens, vol. II. 

8/1 EGrPT. 

uoOK of Thebes as of a city already in ruins, takes particular 
liXii. notice of four principal temples. He speaks of sphinxes, 
colossal figures decorating the entrances, porticoes, pyra- 
midal gateways, and stones of astonishing magnitude which 
entered into their structure. In the description given by 
the travellers now mentioned, and by others who preceded 
them, these monuments cannot be mistaken. Browne tells 
lis, that " there remain four immense temples, yet not so 
magnificent nor in so good a state of preservation as those 
of Denderah." "It is surprising,'*^ says Norden, "how 
well the gilding, the ultramarine, and various other co- 
lours, still preserve their brilliancy.'' He speaks also of 
a colonnade of which thirty-two columns are still standing, 
of platforms, preserved galleries, and other remains of an- 
tiquity, which he has represented in his plates, and which 
lie thinks the more worthy of attention that they appear 
to be the same that are mentioned by Philostratus in his 
account of the temple of Memnon. 
Temples. No description can give an adequate idea of these won- 
ders of antiquity, both in regard to their incredible number 
and their gigantic size. Their form, proportions, and 
construction, are almost as astonishing as their magnitude. 
The forests of enormous columns, towering high above the 
palm trees of the country, with their capitals gracefully 
adorned with the lotus, and the shafts covered with or- 
namental figures, the avenues of sphinxes miles in length, 
the colossi placed at the numberless gates, all produce a 
most bewildering impression on the mind of the admiring 
traveller. The temple of Tentyra, being in high preser- 
vation, pleases by the beauty of its workmanship and sculp- 
ture; but at Thebes tlie mind is lost in a mass of colossal 
objects, every one of which is more than sufficient to ab- 
sorb its whole attention. On the east side of the Nile, at 
Karnak, and Luxor, amidst the multitude of the temples 
there arc no tombs; these are confined to the west bank. 
An iron sickle was lately found under one of the buried 
statues nearly of the shape of those which are now in use, 
though thicker ; it is supposed to have lain there since the 

JiGYPT. <>^> 

invasion of Cambyscs, when tbe idols were concealed by book 
t!)e superstitious to save tbem from destruction. Mr. Bel- ^^^^' 
zoni, and others, have been busily employed in uncovering 
and carrying away specimens of these antique remains, 
such as sphinxes, obelisks, and statues. On the west side 
of tlie river at Goornoo, Medinet Aboo, and Beban-el- 
Malook, are numberless tombs in the form of subterranean Tombs and 
excavations, and containing many human bodies in the p-its*^'"'^ 
state of mummies, sometimes accompanied with pieces of 
papyrus, and other ancient curiosities. These have been * 

the subjects of ardent research ; and the ti-ade of digging 
for tombs and mummies being found gainful, has been re- 
sorted to by numerous Arabs belonging to the place. The 
tombs and mummies of persons of condition are easily dis- 
tinguished from those of the common people, by tlie care 
and expense displayed in preparing them; and from the 
state in which they are found many interesting conclusions 
are drawn illustrative of the manners and customs of the 
ancient Egyptians, who employed their wealth in nothing 
more lavishly than in their mode of disposing of the bo- ^ 
dies of their deceased kindred. 

On the east side of tiie river, no palaces or traces of an- 
cient human habitations are met with; but at Medinet 
Aboo there are not only Propylcea, and temples highly 
valued by the antiquarian, but dwelling houses which seem 
to point out that place to have been once a royal residence. 
Mr. Belzoni found at Goornoo the ruins of a temple with 
octagonal columns abounding in hieroglyphics, yet so 
completely unique in its style, that he was led to consider 
it as of later date than the works of the ancient Egyp- 

With respect to the mummies, some are found in wood- Descrip- 
en cases shaped like the human body. These belonged to mummies. 
persons superior to tlie lowest rank, but differing from one 
another in the quantity and quality of the linen in which 
the body had been wrapped. The mummies of the poor- 
est classes are found without any wooden covering, and 
wrapped in the coarsest linen. These differ from the for- 

80 EGirr. 

BOOK mer also in being often accompanied with pieces of papy- 
XXII. j,jjg^ Qj^ which Belzoni supposes that an account of the lives 

of the deceased had been written, while a similar account 
was carved on the cases of the more opulent. The cases 
are generally of Egyptian sycamore, but very different from 
one another with respect to plainness or ornament. Some- 
times there are one or two inner cases, besides the outer one. 
Leaves and flowers of acacia are often found round the 
body, and sometimes lumps of asphaltum, as much as two 
pounds in weight. The case is covered with a cement re- 
sembling plaster of Paris, in which vaiious figures are cast. 
Evidences The wholc is painted, generally with a yellow ground, on 
of the ^Yts which are hieroglyphics and figures of green. The tombs of 
among the the better classes are highly magnificent, consisting of dif- 
Kgyptians. fcrent apartments adorned with figures representing the 
different actions of life, such as agricultural operations, 
religious ceremonies, feasts, and funeral processions, these 
last being generally predominant. Their paintings, which 
are described by Mr. Hamilton, contain numerous articles 
illustrating the domestic habits of the Egyptians. Small 
idols are found lying about, and sometimes vases contain^ 
ing the intestines of the mummies, generally of baked clay 
painted, some few of alabaster; there is much pottery be- 
sides, and many wooden vessels. Mr. Belzoni found 
some leaf-gold beaten nearly as thin as ours. No instru- 
ments of war are found in these places. Tliis gentleman 
only found an arrow with a copper point, well fixed in one 
end, while the other end had a notch. Figures of the sca- 
rabeus or beetle, a highly sacred animal among the Egypt- 
ians, are sometimes found executed in alabaster, verde an- 
tico, and other materials. 
Linen ma- From the garments in which the mummies are some- 
pufactures. ^jj^^g Wrapped, it appears that linen manufactures were 
brought to equal perfection among the ancient Egyptians 
as they are now among us.* They understood the tan- 
ning of leather, of which some shoes are found. Some of 

* r>p.]7.oms Narrative, vol. T. [>. 268, ^c. 

EGYPT. 87 

the leather is stained with various colours, and embossed, kook 
The art of gilding is proved to have existed among them I'Xii. 
in a state of great perfection. They knew how to cast 

... . f. Drawing 

copper, as weJl as how to torm it into sheets. A few" spe- and paint- 
cimens of varnishing are found whicli show that this art '"^* 
and the baking of the varnish on clay, were in such per- 
fection, that it appears doubtful wliethcr it could now be 
any where imitated. In the art of painting, they were a 
little behind in not giving their figures relief by shading; 
but their colours, particularly the red and green, are well 
disposed, and produce a splendid effect, especially by 
candle light.* Their drawings are always in profile. 
Some drawings are found preparatory to sculpturing on 
the walls, and others in different stages of their execution. 
Mr. Belzoni observed some drawings executed by learners, 
and afterwards corrected in faulty places by a master with 
a different coloured chalk. — This gentleman saw in some 
brick buildings of the highest antiquity, evidences that the ArchUec- 
Egyptians understood tlie building of arches with the key- 
stone, though their predilection for numerous columns in 
the construction of their large temples, led them in these 
buildings to neglect the arch.f Their sculptures are exe- 
cuted in four kinds of stone ; sandstone which is compa- 
ratively soft, a hard calcareous stone, breccia, and granite. 
This last is more finely polished than it could be by our 
present tools. 

The Arabs of Goornoo lead the lives of troglodytes The Arabs 
in the entrance of the tombs, w- here they choose a place ^^ ^°°'^" 
of convenient dimensions, and shut up the entrance be- 
tween them and the tomb with clay, leaving only a hole 
to creep through. Here their sheep, as well as themselves 
are housed. They use lamps of sheep's tallow : the walls 
are black like chimneys, and human bones and pieces of 
mummies lie every where about them unheeded. They 
live almost naked; their children entirely so. They are 
oppressed and prevented from accumulating wealth, yet 
are reconciled by custom to their situation, and on the 

* Ibid. p. 271, t Ibid. p. 273, 


88 EGYPT. 

BOOK whole happy. Their women are very ambitious of such 
ixii. jewellery as beads, coral, and pieces of coin, and look down 
witli pity on those who iiave none. A mat, a few earthen 
pots, and a grinding stone, are all the household furniture 
they require. Tliey are exceedingly expert in the art of 
cheating strangers, which constitutes the height of their vir- 
Rescarches |yg ,^Y^^[ ^ gj^eat part of their industry.*— The researches of 
Mr. Belzoni have had the effect of enriching the British 
Museum with some interesting specimens of Egyptian anti- 
quity, among which arc a fine obelisk from the island of 
Philse, and a colossal bust called younger Memnon. The 
model which he lias made of an Egyptian tomb is particu- 
larly gratifying to antiquarian curiosity. While he was in 
Egypt, he made moulds of every individual sculptured figure, 
and other objects in the tomb, and a tomb is built on the 
same scale as the original, v»ith fuc similes of all its con- 
tents executed with correctness in form, relief, and colour- 
ing. It is seen by candle light, and gives precisely the same 
effect with the original excavation. 
Ermcntor The ancient Hermonthis is represented by the village of 
this. Erment. In its vicinity is to be seen a large temple in a 

Tery good state of preservation, and the paintings of which 
represent, among other animals, the giraifc, an animal at 
present unknown in Egypt.f A learned discussion has re- 
cently confirmed d'Anville's conjecture, according to which 
the ancient Latopolis corresponds to the modern town of 
Esneh,:|: where a temple of very high antiquity is found. 
This town, situated on a height where vegetation is sup- 
ported by artificial irrigation, was enriched by the resi- 
dence of some Mameluke beys, who spent here the money 
which they extorted from the cultivators of the neighbour- 
hood. Esneh displays more luxury, and a more^refined 
industry, than tlic other towns of Upper Egypt. Among 

* Belzoni, vol. I, p. 281— 2fi2. 

t Account of Hevinoiithis by M. Jomavd, in the Pesciiptiou dc I'Egypte, 
Monumons, vol, I. 

X JoUais and Devillicfi;, in the De?ci-iplion de TEgypte, Eticnne Quartro- 
mere, Mem. hist, sur I'Egypte, I. p. 172. 

EGYPT. 89 

other things, a great quantity of very fine cotton stuffs and book 
shawls called Malayeh, much used in Egypt, are manufac- i^xii. 
tured here. The caravan from Sennaar brings hither also 
the different articles of its commerce, particularly gum ara- 
ble, ostrich feathers, and ivory. Wood in this place is ex- 
tremely rare. 

Esneh is the last large town in Egypt. But a little high- Caverns of 
er up we find some interesting ruins. At Elythia there " ^ ^ ' 
are two caverns, containing a great number of paintings, re- 
presenting the customs and occupations of the ancient Egypt- 
ians, and particularly the various forms of ploughs, and 
other agricultural implements.^ At Edfoo is a large temple, 
the corridors and mysterious passages of which are still to 
be seen. At an elbow^ of the Nile, forming a harbour, we 
find the ruins of Ombos on a hill called Koom-Ombos. In 
the great temple, some paintings which have not been finish- 
ed, show that the Egyptians employed in their drawings the 
same geometrical methods with the moderns. They divided 
the surface into small squares, — a method which they also 
no doubt employed in geography.j 

Near Assooan are found the remains of the ancient 8y- Ruins of 
ene, consisting of some granite columns, and an old square ^y^"^* 
building, with openings at top. The researches made here 
have not confirmed the conjecture of Savary, who conceiv- 
ed it to be the ancient observatory of the Egyptians, where, 
with some digging, the ancient well might be found, at the 
bottom of which the image of the sun was reflected entire 
on the day of the summer solstice. The observations of O'^^'^rva- 
the French astronomers place Assooan in lat. 24° 5' 23" chaogTof '^ 
of north latitude. If this place was formerly situated un- ^'^^ °^^j- 

Q UIl V of tllS 

der the tropic, the position of the earth must be a little ecliptic. 
altered, and the obliquity of the ecliptic diminislied. But 
Ave should be aware of the vagueness of the observations, 
made by the ancients, wiiich have conferred so much ce- 

* Baron Costaz, Mem. sur les grottes d'Elethya, dans la Doscript. de 

t Chabrol ct Jomard, dans la Description de I'Egypte. 

90 EGYPT. 

BOOK lebrity on tiicse places. The phenomenon of the extinction 
XXII. Qf i\^Q sliadow, whether within a deep pit, or round a per- 
"■"""""""^ pendicular gnomon, is not confined to one exact mathemati- 
cal position of the sun, but is commo]i to a certain extent of 
latitude corresponding to the visible diameter of that lumi- 
nary, which is more than half a degree. It would be suffi- 
cient, therefore, that the northern margin of the sun's disc 
should reach t]ie zenith of Syene on the day of the summer 
solstice, to abolish all lateral shadow of a perpendicular 
object. Now, in the second century, the obliquity of the 
ecliptic, reckoned from the observations of Hipparchus, was 
23° 49' 25". If we add tlie semidiameter of the sun, which 
is 15' 57", we find for tlie northern margin 24° 5' 22", which 
is within a second of tlie actual latitude of Syene. At pre- 
sent, when the obliquity of the ecliptic is 23° 28' the north- 
ern limb of the sun comes no nearer the latitude of Syene 
than 21' 3", yet the shadow is scarcely perceptible. We 
have, therefore, no imperious reason for admitting a great- 
er diminution in the obliquity of the ecliptic than that 
which is shown by real astronomical observations of the 
most exact and authentic kind. That of the well of Sye- 
ne is not among the number of these last, and can give us 
no assistance in ascertaining the position of the tropic thirty 
centuries ago, as some respectable men of science seem to 
have believed.=^ 
Appear- Syene, which, under so many different masters, has been 

Syene! *^^^ southern frontier of Egypt, presents in a greater de- 
gree than any other spot on the surface of the globe, that 
confused mixture of monuments which, even in the desti- 
nies of the most potent nations, reminds us of human in- 
stability. Here the Pharaohs and the Ptolemies raised 
the temples and the palaces which are found half buried 
under the drifting sand. Here are forts and walls built 
by the Romans and the Arabians, and on the remains of 
all these buildings French inscriptions are found, attesting 

* Compare Jomard, Description de Syene et des Cataractes, in the Descrip-r 
tion de I'Egypte. 



tliat the warriors and the learned men of modern Europe book: 
pitched their tents, and erected their observatories on this ^^^i* 
spot. But the eternal power of nature presents a still 
more magnificent spectacle. Here are the terraces of reddish 
granite of a particular character, hence called Syenite, a 
term applied to those rocks which differ from granite in 
containing particles of hornblende. These mighty terra- 
ces, shaped into peaks, cross the bed of the Nile, and over 
them the river rolls majestically his impetuous foaming 
waves. Here are the quarries from which the obelisks 
and colossal statues of the Egyptian temples were dug. 
An obelisk, partially formed and still remaining attached 
to the native rock, bears testimony to the laborious and pa- 
tient efforts of human art. On the polished surfaces of 
tliese rocks hieroglyphic sculptures represent the Egyptian 
deities, together with the sacrifices and offerings of this na- 
tion, which more than any other has identified itself with 
the country which it inhabited, and has in the most literal 
sense engraved the records of its glory on the terrestrial 


In the midst of this valley, generally skirted with arid 
rocks, a series of sweet delicious islands covered with palms, 
date trees, mulberries, acacias and napecas, has merited J^J^nds of 

' ' ^ Elephan- 

the appellation of "the Tropical Gardens." Ihe one tine and 
called El- Sag, opposite to Syene, is the Elephantine of the ^^'''^• 
ancients ; while the ancient Philse is recognized in the El- 
Heif of the moderns. Both of them, especially the latter, 
filled with beautiful remains of temples, quays, and other 
monuments,^ attest the ancient civilization of which they 
must have been the seat. 

It is probable that the two names of Philae and Ele- ^^^^eir'' 
phantine are originally one, for Fil in these Oriental Ian- islands. 
guages, signifies an elephant, and these islands, ferti- 
lized by the deposited slime of the river Nile, must, in an- 
cient times, have attracted elephants by their rich vegeta- 

* Joniard, Dssciiption d'Elephantine. Lanciet, Desciiplion de Piiilae. Gi- 
rard. Mem. sur le Nilometre d'Elephantine, in the Description de i'E^ypte. 




tion. This ingenious conjecture explains the reason why 
Herodotus has not named Fhilse in descrihing Elephantine^^ 
so as to give the idea tliat he placed it to tlie south of the 
first cataract. It explains the possibility of a former king- 
dom of Elephantine, a kingdom which could not be con- 
fined to a single island 1400 yards long and 400 broad. 
Julius Africanus bears testimony to its existence and dura- 
tion. The Augustine history speaks of a king of Thebes, 
an ally of Zenobia. These facts, taken altogether, sliow 
that the narrow valley of Upper Egypt, has, in all ages, 
been the retreat of small and almost independent states. 

Shores of 
the Red 


Desert of 
the The- 

From the ever memorable scenes of the vallev of tlie 
Nile, we cross narrow gorges and sterile plains covered 
with sand, where even the serpent and the lizard cannot 
find subsistence; and where no bird dares to extend his 
flieht, — and arrive at the no less arid shores of the Red Sea. 
The coasts of this sea are rich in coral, madrepores, and 
sea sponges. Among the reefs of coral is found the port of 
Cosseir. The town of this name is only a collection of old 
houses, and large storehouses occupied from time to time by 
the caravans, but without any fixed inhabitants. It labours 
under a want of fresh water, and the only produce of the 
vicinity is the coloquintida.f 

But tlie vast desert of the Thebaid, lying between this 
portion of the valley of the Nile and the Red Sea, is not 
equally sterile in every part. Mr. Irwin, who travelled 
from Kenne to Cairo by a road which passes obliquely the 
northern part of this desert, found by the sides of fright- 
ful ravines and black chasms, some valleys in which aca- 
cia bushes, covered with white and fragrant blossoms, fur- 
nished a delightful shade to the timid antelope. Some 
tufts of wild wheat, a date tree, a well, and a grotto call- 
ed to mind the old anchorets, who chose in these soli- 
tudes to relinquish their intercourse with a perverse world. 

* Jomard, loc. cit. Compare Forster, epist. ad. Michael, p. 36. Zoega de 
origine obeliscor. p. 28G, not. 28. Quatrenieie, Mem. hist. geog. I. p. 387. 
^ Dubois-Ayme dans In Description de I'Eeiypte, I. p. 193, 194. 

EGYPT. 93 

Two similar verdant spots near the shores of the Red Sea, book 
somewhat nearer to Suez than Cosseir, contain the monas- i-xii. 
teries of St. Anthony and St. Paul, surrounded with hand- 

!• I'j^ mi iVlOllSStC"" 

some orchards of date trees, olives, and apricots. Iheriesof st. 
first of these convents has a vineyard which produces good ^^^J^g"^ 
"white wine.^ Paul. 

A route somewhat less gloomy leads from Cairo to City of 
Suez, a town situated on the isthmus of that name. The ^"®^* 
port of Suez has only a bad quay at which small hoats 
can scarcely land at high water, while the vessels lie at an- 
chor in the roads. The only supply of water that the in- 
habitants have is one brackish spring. The sea abounds 
in fish, but they are neglected by the people. All the ne- 
cessaries of life are wanting in this wretched place, which 
is situated in a parched sandy plain, about a league from 
the roadstead. The fortress is of a piece with the town, 
consisting of some towers in a half ruinous condition. 

In the most southerly part of this desert, about the la- The an- 
titude of Assouan or Syene, is the site of the ancient city "^'^"^ ^^*^ 
of Berenice, delightfully situated in a plain almost sur- 
rounded by mountains, at a distance of five miles. Its 
ruins are still perceptible, even to the arrangement of the 
streets, and in the centre is a small Egyptian temple, which, 
as well as the insides of the houses, is nearly covered by 
the sand. The temple is built of soft calcareous stone, 
and sandstone. Mr. Belzoni found it adorned with Egyp- 
tian sculpture, well executed in basso-relievo, and carried 
away a tablet of breccia covered with hieroglyphics and 
figures. The soil of the plain is sandy, but appears sus- 
ceptible of cultivation for pasture and other purposes. It 
contains some bushes which make good firewood. Mr. 
Belzoni calculated from the apparent extent of the ruins 
and the size of the houses, that this sea-port had contain- 
ed a population exceeding 10,000. It has a fine harbour 
with a northern entrance entirely formed by nature. 

Not far from this place are the famous mountains of eme- 

■'■' Sicard, Cartes des deserts de la Thebaide, aux environs des monasteres, &c. 


94 EGYPT* 

BOOK raids, the higliest of which is called Zubara, and which were 
XXII. visited by Mr. Bruce and Mr. Belzoni. The present Pasha 
~ ~ of Egypt made an attempt to work the emerald mines, and 
mountaijis. had about fifty men employed as miners in the year 1818, 
but the mines appear to have been exhausted by the an- 
cients. I'he miners were exposed to great inconvenience 
and risk, being supplied with all their food by caravans 
from the Nile, at a distance of seven days journey. From 
the negligence of the purveyors it was often late in arriv- 
ing; and the caravans were liable to be interrupted by tlie 
inhabitants of the desert. These miners sometimes rose 
against their leaders and killed them. The old excava- 
tions consisted of low galleries much obstructed with rub- 
bish, and rendered dangerous by the looseness of the roof. 
The passages went very far into the mountain, along the 
strata of mica and of marble, and emeralds were found at 
a great distance from the surface, and chiefly at the place 
where two marble strata inclosing the mica between them, 
met one another. 
Arab The dcserts of eastern Egypt are inhabited by some 

tribes. tribes of Arabs, who call themselves its sovereigns. Those 
who occupy the countries between the isthmus and the val- 
ley of Cosseir, receive the general name of Atoonis, or An- 
tonis, whicli to us seems a corruption of Saint Antony, 
whose name was given to a part of these deserts. The 
tribes whose real names are known, are the Hooatal, who 
occupy the isthmus and the vicinity of Suez; the Maha- 
zeh, who live about the latitudes of Benisooef and the 
monastery of St. Antony; and the Beni-Wasell who live 
in the latitude of Monfaloot and Minieh. All these Arabs 
are enemies to the Ababdeii, who rule over all the deserts 
from Cosseir to a distant part of Nubia. 

The Oases. In the topography of Egypt we must include the oasesy 
which have always formed part of this kingdom. Strabo 
gives an excellent definition of the word oasis. "This," 
says he, " is the name given in the language of the Egypt- 
ians, to inhabited cantons, which are entirely surrounded 

EGYPT. 95 

by vast deserts, in whicb tliey resemble so many islands in book 
tbe midst of the ocean." The Arabs call them Ooadeh, and ^^"* 
in a Coptic dictionary we are told that, in tlie Coptic Ian- ' " 

giiage, that word signifies an inhabited place.^ There are 
three to the west of Egypt to which this name is particular- 
ly applied. The term oasis is somewhat ambiguous from 
being indiscriminately used to signify either one of these 
islands, or a collection of them. 

The great and the small oasis of the ancients are each 
composed of a certain number of spots generally separated 
by spaces larger than their own diameters. These places 
have, like Egypt itself, been described in very opposite co- 
lours by different writers. The Greeks called them " the 
islands of the blessed," {MaKu^m vjj«ro/,) and they certainly 
appear delightful in the eyes of the traveller who has for 
days been traversing the parched and sterile desert. But 
the inhabitants of extensive cultivated countries liave ha- 
bitually viewed them with horror. They were often as- 
signed as places of banishment. They have, for the most 
part, been described by grave writers in terms unusually 
poetic, and leaning to the lively or the dismal according to 
the prevailing bent of the respective authors. Even the 
physical delineations of them have often laboured under 
essential errors. Their physical character, as distinguish- 
ed from tlie surrounding deserts, is chiefly derived from 
subterranean springs, by means of which vegetation is 
created and maintained, and a vegetable mould formed. 
The springs are accounted for by the high lands with 
which these oases are universally surrounded. Wells are 
often dug to a depth of 300 and sometimes 500 feet, and 
the water is drawn up from them for irrigation. M. Mail- 
let, in describing these spots, allows his imagination to be 
so far deceived by what he knew of the Faioom, as to say 
that these oases are watered by canals connected with the 
Nile. Their fertility has always been deservedly cele- 
brated. Strabo mentions the superiority of their wine, 

■^ Langles Voyage de Hornemum, «fcc. t. II. p. 243, &<•. 

96 EGYPT. 

BOOK Abulfeda and Edrisi, the luxuriance of the palm-trees; 
^^^'' and Vansleb, the Dominican traveller, states that they ex- 
ported sweeter and finer dried dates than were to be found 
any where else. Sir Archibald Edmonstone states that, in 
one of them, he passed through a beautiful wood of acacias 
far exceeding in size any he had ever seen, the trunks of 
some of them measuring more than seventeen feet in circum- 
The Great rjij^g Great Oasis, w hich is most to the south and the east, 

Oasis, ^ 

is formed of a number of fertile isolated spots, which lie in a 
line parallel to the course of the Nile, and to the mountains 
which bound the valley of Egypt on the west. These patches 
of firm land are separated from one another by deserts of 
twelve or fourteen hours walk; so that the whole extent of 
this oasis is nearly 100 miles, the greater proportion con- 
sisting of a desert. M. Poncet visited it in 1698. He says 
it contains many gardens watered with rivulets, and that its 
jialm groves exhibit a perpetual verdure. According to a 
more recent account, it contains Egyptian ruins covered with 
hieroglyphic inscriptions.! The principal town is called 
Tepipie of El-Kargeh. Here are the remains of a temple, beautifully 
''■^^'^°^^^' situated in the midst of a rich grove of palm trees4 The 
temple stands east and west, and a rich cornice runs all 
round the top. The front is covered with colossal figures 
and hieroglyphics. There are several chambers still entire, 
containing hieroglyphics in stucco, with marks of red and 
blue paint ; but the roof of a great part has fallen in. It 
seems to have been protected by a triple wall ; each wall had 
its propylon or door-way, and these are all standing. One 
of the inopyla is covered over with a Greek inscription^ 
consisting of a long rescript, published in the reign of Gal- 
ba, respecting a reform in the administration of justice in 
this and other Egyptian territories.^ 

* Sir Archibald Edmonstone's Journey to Two of the Oases of Upper Egypt, 
1822, p. 44. " 

t Annales des Voyages, t. XXI. p. 163. 

4: Edmonstonc's Journey to Two of the Oases of Upper Egypt: 

• Ibid. p. 74 — 9S. Classical Journal, No. 45 and 46. 

KGIPT. 97 

Near El-Kargeh there is also a regular Necropolis, or book 
cemetery, containing 200 or 300 buildings of unburned brick, i^xii. 
chiefly of a square sliape, and each surmounted by a dome 
similar to the small mosques erected over the graves of hs! 
sheiks. One of them is divided into aisles, and has been 
used at one time as a Christian church, as appears from the 
traces of saints painted on the wall. Sir A. Edmonstone 
found them to be very different in form from any other ce- 
meteries that he had seen, and represents in a plate the ge- 
neral aspect of this curious groupe of buildings.* At dis- 
tances of a few miles some other remains of ancient temples 
are found. This whole oasis has always been, and still is 
dependent on Egypt. It serves as a place of refreshment 
for the caravans, being on the route from Abyssinia and 
from Darfoor to Egypt. Its distance from Egypt is live 
days journey, by the route from the Faioom to the Great 
Oasis, and about two days journey west from the nearest 
part of the valley of the Nile. Mr. Belzoni found in the 
adjoining desert about thirty tumuli, some large enough to 
contain 100 corpses : he supposes them to contain the bo- 
dies of that part of the army of Cambyses winch was 
sent to conquer the Ammonii in the deserts of Libya, and 
who were left to perish in the desert, in consequence of be- 
ing betrayed by their guides. But that is a mere surmise. 
The question naturally arises. What set of people can we 
suppose to have so far interested themselves about these un- 
fortunates as to give them interment, and collect stones 
over their graves ? Edmonstone considers them as natural 

At the distance of 105 miles to the west of the great Western. 
Oasis, there is another which was never visited by any Eu-^^''^* 
ropean before Sir A. Edmonstone in 1819, and is not even 
mentioned by any ancient or Arabian geographer except- 
ing Olympiodorus. The chief town of that Oasis is El- 
Cazar, beautifully situated on an eminence at the foot of a 
line of rocks rising abruptly behind it, and encircled by 

* Sir A. Edmonstone, p. 108, 109. 
VOL. IV. 7 

98 EGYPT. 

BOOK extensive gardens filled with a great variety of trees. It 
liXii. contains a strong sulphureous chalyheate spring, on which 
the inhabitants set a high value. There are some mummy 
Temple of pits in the caverns of the neighbouring rocks. A few miles 
Daer-ai- fpom El-Cazar are the remains of a temple called Daer-al- 
Hadjar, veiy much choked up with sand, like other Egyp- 
tian antiquities. But some chambers, covered with hierogly- 
phics, and blackened with the lamps of the ancient worship- 
pers, are accessible, and their roof still entire. This oasis 
contains in all twelve villages. The climate is extremely 
variable in winter. The rains are sometimes very abun- 
dant, though some seasons pass without any. Violent 
Avinds are frequent, and the khamseen in May and June is 
severely felt. The plague is unknown, but intermittent 
fevers are very common during the intense heats of sum- 
mer. The soil is a very red light earth, fertilized entirely 
by irrigation, and producing chiefly barley and rice. The 
inhabitants are Bedouins. They are much exposed to the 
incursions of the Barbary or Mogrebbin Arabs. From 
this to Tripoli is thirty days' journey of ten hours each. 
Lions and hysenas are not uncommon. At a village called 
jndigo nia-Bellata, indigo is manufactured. The dry plant is put in- 
to an earthen jar with hot water, and stirred round and 
worked till the colour is pressed cut. The liquor is then 
strained through the bark of a tree into another jar, where 
it is left for eight or nine days. The sediment is poured 
afterwards into a broad shallow hole in the sand, which 
absorbs the water, and leaves the indigo in solid cakes. 
It is one of the few manufactures which the pasha of 
Egypt has not monopolized. This western oasis is con- 
nected with the great oasis to the east by a low chain of 
mountains, with a table land on the top, along which tra- 
vellers proceed from the one to the other. The elevation 
of this table land makes it comparatively cold. In the 
course of this track are found the dilapidated remains of a 
very ancient temple, called Enamoor. The inhabitants 
have some vague reports about other oases to the west and 

EGYi?T. 99 

to the north, which, however, are otherwise alike uiiknowii book: 
to them and to' geographers. liXii. 

The Little Oasis is on a road that is very little frequent- ". 
ed ; Ptolemy makes its latitude 28° 25'. Such is the position Oasis. 
probably of its principal place. This oasis produces the 
best dates known in Egypt. According to Browne, it is a 
kind of head quarters for the Mogrebbin, or western Arabs, 
w^ho extend as far as Fezzan, and even to Tripoli. — Towards 
the isthmus of Suez, there is an oasis called Korayii by the Oases in 
inhabitants of the country. It contains eight or ten hamlets desert?^^"^^ 
with their gardens, and about 4000 inhabitants. In the 
same direction is Saleheyd, another oasis shaded by a wood 
six miles long. It contains ten villages and about 6000 in- 

Egypt, which we have described in a physical and topo- Govern- 
graphic point of view, has in modern times been considered Egypt* 
as forming part of the Ottoman empire, and, like all the 
great divisions of that empire, has had a pasha at the head 
of the government. This situation did not confer much au- 
thority, but was very lucrative. It was an object of keen 
vSolicitation at Constantinople, and generally well paid for 
to the intriguing characters of the Seraglio. The pasha held 
his place only for a year or two. When he arrived in Egypt 
he received great honours. He presided over the divan at 
public ceremonies ; yet was only the idle spectator of the 
acts of the Mameluke Beys, those military chiefs, who held 
the efficient authority in their own hands, and even dismiss- 
ed the pashas if they were not satisfied with their conduct. 
The Porte has repeatedly submitted to this indignity. The 
pasha had a feeble militia of ill equipped janissaries, and 
raw undisciplined Arnauts. 

The lands of Egypt were possessed as fiefs of the Grand Land te- 
Signior, by the multecymSf a sort of nobility who in Turkey 
Proper are called timariots. Almost all the fiefs of Egypt 
were till lately in the hands of the Mameluke soldiery and 
their Beys. In its internal administration, Egypt was di° 


100 EGYPT. 

BOOK vided into twenty-four provinces, called Kirrats. The com- 
ixii. mand of the provinces was every year distributed among the 
Beys. They made their respective circuits to enforce the 
payment of taxes, keep the Arabs in subjection, and main- 
tain the police. The Bey possessed of most influence gen- 
rally resided at Cairo, with the title of Sheik-el-Beled, 
(Sheik of the country.) 
Revenues. The revenues were of two descriptions ; those which be- 
longed ^to the government, and those which belonged to the 
Mamelukes. The first comprehended the miri, or territorial 
tax, valued either in money or in produce ; the customs, or 
duties on inland commerce : the rent of certain mines ; and 
the kharadjeh, or capitation tax paid by foreigners. These 
revenues were charged with the expenses of government, 
and the surplus was supposed to be sent to Constantinople ; 
but the different agents, from the receivers up to the Beys, 
managed so well, that the Grand Signior seldom touched 
any part of all tliese imposts. They even charged to his 
account expenses incurred by repairs of buildings and canals 
which never were executed. 

The revenues of the Beys were composed not only of 
whatever they received from the villages assigned to them, 
but also of what they could extort in numberless ways. It 
is generally believed that the Mamelukes drew from Egypt 
in public and private revenues, about a million and a half 
sterling. While the French were in possession of the coun- 
try, they varied from year to year according to the state of the 
war. General Reynier values them at from twenty to twen- 
ty-five millions of franks, (from L.833,S33, to L.1,041,666.) 
Popuia- '^^^^ population of Egypt has often been rated at two 

tion. millions and a half: but it has never been numbered,(a) and 
we do not even know whether this estimate includes the 
Arabs who occupy so great a part of the country. 

The power of the Mamelukes received from the French 

Recent re 

(rt) [By a tax laid on every liouse in Egypt, the total number of houses is 
said to have been recently ascertained to be 603,700; from which M. Mengin 
calculates the population at 2,514,400.] — AM. Ed. 

EGYPT. • 101 

invasion a serious shock, from which it has not been able book 
to recover. The Arnauts, or Albanian troops who came i*xii. 

to subjugate the country to the Turks, sought to seize it 

as a sovereignty for themselves. Egypt was distracted by 
numerous parties, and seemed to long for another Euro- 
pean invasion. But a pasha of energetic character arrived, 
who stuck at no cruelty or perfidy in the execution of his 
policy, and, having brought the Mamelukes together into 
his palace under the pretext of an entertainment, put them 
to the sword. Those who had the good fortune to escape 
fled to Nubia, where they established themselves first at 
Ibrim, and attempted to make a stand. Driven from that 
place by the arms of the pasha, they retreated to Dongola 
to the number of 500, where they armed 4000 or 5000 negro 
slaves, and surrounded their city with a wall. At their 
head was Osman Bey Bardisi, who is said to have made 
a vow never to shave his head or his beard till he should 
enter Cairo in triumph. It appears however, that in con- 
sequence of the farther extension of the warlike operations 
of the pasha Mahomet Ali, they have been forced to leave 
that station, have been reduced to an insignificant number 
by war and hardships, and that their slender remains had 
found their w^ay to the kingdom of Darfoor, where their 
restless character was likely to procure their speedy anni- 

These famous Mamelukes, the tyrants of Egypt, were, Manners 
as is well known, military slaves purchased by the Fati- ^o^ms^^of "the 
mite Caliphs, to form their body guard. Notwithstand- Mame- 
ing the influence which the Turks exercised on the civil 
administration, the Mameluke body maintained its own 
military organization, and was always recruited in the 
same manner. Turkish merchants brought to Egypt 
slaves collected from diffierent countries. Some were Ger- 
mans and Russians ; the greater part were from the Cau- 
casian countries, from Georgia and Circassia, and were 
generally from fifteen to seventeen years old. The Ma- 
meluke chiefs always purchased some of them. These 
children were employed in personal attendance on their 


BOOK masters, Avho gave them an education entirely military. 

XXII. Each styled his master father, and was regarded as a part 
""■ of his family. 

When a master in reward of their services gave them 
their freedom, they left his house, taking with them some 
property : often he married them to one of his slaves. 
They were always ready to obey him and followed him in 
war. The great badge of their liberty was permission to 
let tlie beard grow. 

The spirit of the corps quite extinguished the sentiment 
of parental affection. The children of Mamelukes only 
succeeded to the personal effects of the father, never to his 
rank and power. A child reared by the women in the 
harem was an object of contempt. Perliaps that mode of 
thinking arose from an observation verified by long experi- 
ence, tliat in Egypt foreign races degenerate like exotic 
plants in the second or third generation. 

In general, the wives of the Mamelukes lived like those 
of the Osmanlis ; for their husbands were equally jealous. 
But, as the children could never succeed to the situations 
or the titles of their fathers, they were less addicted to the 
delights of maternal fondness, and all those who could dis- 
pense with the privilege of becoming mothers took the 
requisite means without attaching to the act any notion of 

The government is now more completely Turkisli in its 
character than under the Mamelukes. The pasha in many 
of his acts disregards the Grand Signior, in this respect re- 
sembling most other Pashas placed in his commanding si- 
tuation ; but he does not declare himself independent. On 
the contrary, he lays his conquests at the feet of the Sul- 
tan's throne, as in the instance of his victory over the Wa- 
liabees, and the deliverance pf Mecca, wlien he sent the 
captive chief of that formidable sect to Constantinople to 
give the supreme powers the pleasure of beheading him. 
For this he received the distinguishing title of Khan, 
which carries with it a perpetual immunity from the risk 
of judicial decapitation. His troops are chiefly Albanians^ 

EGYPT. 103 


and Syrian cavalry, and, like other Turkish armies, occa- book 
sionally prone to formidahle mutinies, one of which lately ''^^i* 
occurred among the Alhanians, while Mr. Belzoni was in — — ~" 
the country, "^ and was attended hy a dreadful state of law- 
less disorder, more especially at Cairo and in its neighbour- 
hood. It arose from an attempt on the part of tlie pasha to 
introduce European discipline and tactics, and it was only 
on abandoning that design that the soldiers were appeased, 
and the pasha's own security for power and life restored. 
The energy of that ruler, however, has created a greater 
degree of order in the country than had ever before existed 
in modern times. His police is vigilant, and Europeans can 
consequently travel here with safety, without being subject- 
ed to those dangers and indignities which formerly rendered 
a journey through Egypt a scene of perilous adventure and 
perpetual suffering. This regularity is kept up by a system 
of summary justice in cases of murder, and other lawless 
acts. The pasha encourages the introduction of European 
improvements, wherever the prejudices, and the established 
and immediate interests of the natives do not present an 
unsurmountable obstruction ; but that is not always the 
case even in the most civilized states. He has introduced 
the fabrication of gunpowder, the refining of sugar, the 
making of fine indigo, and the silk manufacture, from which 
he derives great advantage. He is always inquiring after 
novelties in experimental philosophy, as well as the econo- 
mical arts. He is very active, and constantly in motion. 
His leisure time is mostly spent at Soubra, a pleasure-house 
furnished with delightful gardens, three miles from Cairo, 
where one of the quondam Mamelukes who had been faithful 
to him, and recommended himself by his knowledge of agri- 
culture and his general intelligence, occupies the situation 
of governor. 

The Copts may be regarded as the rightful proprietors Manners 
of Egypt. They bear the same relation to the Arabs that toms^oTtbe 
the Gauls did to the Franks under the first race of the ^^v^^- 

* Belzoni's Narrative, vol. I. 






French kings. But tlie victors and the vanquished have 
not been amalgamated into one national body. The Arabs 
in their fierce intolerance reduced the unhappy Greeks 
and Egyptians to a state of oppression. They thus forced 
them to live separate from themselves, forming a different 
nation, ruined, and almost annihilated. They did not, 
however, peremptorily insist on the alternative of conver- 
sion or extermination and exile, as the Romish Christ- 
ians did with the Arabian Mussulmans in Spain; and the 
talent for writing and keeping accounts which the Copts 
possessed proved the means of earning a livelihood, and 
thus keeping up the existence of their race. The Arab, 
who knew no art but that of war, saw^ that he had an in- 
terest in preserving them. The present number of Copts 
is estimated at 30,000 families, or according to other data 
200,000 souls. They are scattered partly over the 
Delta; but they live principally in Upper Egypt. In the 
Saide they are sometimes almost the exclusive inliabitants 
of whole villages. They are the descendants of the an- 
cient Egyptians, mingled with the Persians left by Cam- 
by ses, and the Greeks left by Alexander and the Ptole- 

According to the concurring testimonies of travellers, the 
Copts are distinguished by a darker complexion than the 
Arabs, flat foreheads, and hair partaking of the woolly cha- 
racter ; the eyes large, and raised at the angles ; high cheeks ; 
short, though not flat noses, wide unmeaning mouths, far 
from the nose, and surrounded with rather thick lips ; thin 
beards, w ant of grace in their shape, bandy legs ill adapted 
for agility, and long flat toes.^ 

Eight or ten centuries ago the Copts spoke a peculiar 
language, which is still employed in their worship. It is 
a relict of the ancient Egyptian, mixed with some Ara- 
bic and Greek words. Tliough generally superseded by 
the Arabic in common conversation, it is still commonly 

* Voyage de Denon, t. I. p. 136. Planclie, 108. No. 23. Wansleb. 

asGTPT. 105 

used in the Coptic town of Nagadeh.^ Two dialects of book 
this idiom, the Memphitic or Bahiritic and the Saidic, are i-xii. 
known to us by different religious books written in them : " 
a third, the Bashmooric, has occasioned great discussions 
among philologists, and they are not yet agreed about its 
nature and origin.f The general character of the Coptic 
language consists in the shortness of its words, which are 
often monosyllables, in the simplicity of its grammatical 
modifications, and in the circumstance of expressing gen- 
ders and cases by prefixed syllables, and not by termina- 
tions.:): Compared with all other known languages, it has 
only been found to have some feeble indications of an an- 
cient connection with the Hebrew and the Ethiopian. 
Without any foreign derivation, or known affinities, it 
seems to have an origin and formation of its own. The 
theoci^cy of ancient Egypt perhaps created a new and ar- 
bitrary language for the nation, which it was the object 
of that body to isolate from all its neighbours. The Cop- 
tic alphabet, though evidently modelled on the Greek, con- 
tains some characters belonging to the ancient alphabet or 
alphabets of Egypt. § — The Copts, at first attached to the Religion, 
ceremonial of the Great Eastern Greek Church, were 
drawn off by the sect of the Eutychians or Jacobites, 
whose creed confounds under one the two natures of Christ. 
Circumcision, though not viewed as a religious ceremony, 
is practised among them as contributing to decorum and 
cleanliness. The patriarch of Alexandria gives himself 
out as the successor of St. Mark the evangelist, whose bo- 
dy, or the head at least, the Venetians pretend to have 
removed. Acute, sober, avaricious, and grovelling, the 
Copts of the towns succeed in matters of business, and 

* Infeimation from a native Copt. Tr. 

t Quatremere, Recherches sur la litterature Egypt, p. 173, 174. Idem, 
Mem. gcogr, et histor. sur TEgypte, I, p. 235. Munter de indole versionis 

I Vater in Adelung's Mithridates, t. III. p. 87. 

9 Zoega, de orig. et usu obeliscorum, sect. IV. ch, 2, p. 424 — 463, p. 497 
Tychsen, Biblioth. de Tancienne litterature, ch. 



Name of 

BOOK make themselves useful to the ignorant Mameluke and 

XXII. Turkish governments. 

These characters furnish evidences of the identity of this 
nation with the ancient inhahitants of Egypt, who, under 
the Ptolemies and the Cesars, necessarily mingled with 
the Greeks, the Syrians, and the Romans. Some have 
derived the term Copt from the name of the city Koptos 
in Upper Egypt ; but that city seems never to have en- 
joyed any distinction, being only one of the nine residen- 
ces of their bishops. Others have identified the term with 
a Greek word signifying circumcised.^^ But it is not pro- 
bable that the Copts themselves would adopt a nickname 
of that kind. Tlie most probable opinion is, that it is 
identical with ^gyptmSf which was also written ^gop- 
tios,f and in which the first syllable is an article. It is 
the same with the term kypt, kibt, or kebt, employed by 
the Copts as a designation for their country.:}: Homer 
seems to have given the name of ^gyptos to the Nile^§ 
and, according to Herodotus, Thebes, the ancient capital, 
was called JEgyptus ;|| wliich at least serves to prove that 
this term was equally indigenous with Chymi or Chemi^ 
under which the Egyptians habitually designated their 
The Arabs. After the Copts come the Arabs, the most numerous of the 
inhabitants of modern Egypt; distinguished by a lively and 
expressive physiognomy, sunk, small and sparkling eyes, 
a general angularity of form, short pointed beards, their 
lips habitually open and showing the teeth, muscular arms, 
the whole body more remarkable for agility than beauty, 
and more nervous than handsome. Such is the pastoral and 

* Du Burnat, Nouv. Mem. des Missionn. II. p. 13. 

t Masius in Syror. peculio. quoted by Bierewood in his Recherches sur les 
Langues, ch. 23. Des Cophtites. 

X D'Heibelot, Bibliolh. orient. See Kebt and Kibt. 
5 Schlichthorst, Geogr. Homeri. 
II Herod. Euterpe in princ. p. 59, editio H. Stephani, 
If Kircheri, Prodromus Koptus, p. 29f?. 

EGYPT. \ 107 

more civilized Arab.^ The Bedouin, or independent -tab, book 
has a wilder physiognomy. The Arab cultivators, inud- ^'Xii. 
ing all who live in the country, such as the sheiks or bids 
of villages, the fellahs or peasants, the boufakirs or ig. Fellahs. 
gars, and the artisans, being more mixed and of diffehit 
professions, present a character less distinctly marked.- 
The Turks have graver features and sleeker forms, thk Turks. 
eyelids allowing little expression to the eyes, large nos, 
handsome mouths, good lips, long tufted beards, light- 
complexions, short necks, a grave and indolent habit of b 
dy ; and in every tiling an air of weight which they assoc 
ate with the idea of nobleness. The Greeks, who must no Greeks. 
be classed as foreigners, give us an idea of the regular fei 
tures, the delicacy, and the versatility of their ancestors 
they have the character of shrewdness and roguery in thei 
transactions. The Jews, who have the same physiognomy 
as in Europe, but among whom some handsome individuals 
particularly among the young, remind us of the head conse 
crated among painters as a representation of Jesus Christ 
are, as every where else, devoted to the pursuits of com 
merce. Despised and incessantly buffetted about without be 
ing expelled, they compete with the Copts in the large town 
of Egypt for situations in the customs, and the managemen 
of the business of the wealthy. 

Nothinaj could be more curious than to see alongside cContrast of 
Arabs, who are a people rigidly attached to the distinc 
tions of hereditary rank, a numerous class whose respec 
was all reserved for the purchased slave whose relation 
were unknown, and whose bravery, or other personal qua 
lities, raised him to the first honours in the country. " 
have heard," says General Reynier, "both Turkish an 
Mameluke officers say of persons who occupied great pos^? 
*He is a man of the best connections ; he was purchased.^ ^: 
On the contrary, the sheiks of villages, as soon as they a'e 

* Denon. PI. 109, No. 4. 

t Idem, PI. 9, fig. 1 ; PI. 107, fig. 5, ; PI. 106, No. 1. 

I Reynier, I'Egypte, p. 68. 


108 I EGYPT. 

BOOK rid iiough to have a household, and a certain number of 
ixii. hor^nen, get a genealogy made out, whicli makes them to 
"" des^id from some illustrious personage. 

Heredita- |sides the various alliances which subsist among tribes, 
ry parties. ^|^^pj^|jg y^^iVQ leading parties, which may be considered as 
so/iany confederacies, and are headed by powerful sheiks. 
Sole of these are found even in the heart of the Delta. 
*«|iie inhabitants of the villages," says M. Girard,* "form 
tv hostile parties, who do every thing in their power to 
itire each other. They are distinguished by the appella- 
ths of the Saad and the Hharam. In the civil wars which 
dfolated Arabia in the 65th year of the hegira, under the 
q(iph Yezyd-ebn-Ma'ouyeh, the two armies used these 
>()rds as their respective watchwords during the night, 
ley were the family names of their respective chiefs, 
le combatants and their posterity adopted them ever after, 
|d under them perpetuated their discords. The Arabs, 
»o have at different times come to settle in Egypt, brought 
mg with one or other of these names a blind hatred to- 
irds the opposite faction. 
^v!mLn,T Some particular traits distinguish the Egyptians from 
te other Orientals. A country frequently laid under wa- 
Ijr makes the art of swimming a valuable acquisition, 
'^e children learn it at play, even the girls become fond 
(]it, and are seen swimming in flocks from village to vil- 
Ige with all the dexterity of the fabled nymphs.f At 
te festival of the opening of the canals, several profes- 
sjnal swimmers publicly perform a swimming mock-fight, 
ad land to attack an enemy, in presence of the pasha. 
Tieir evolutions are executed with surprising vigour. 
'i^ey sometimes float down the river on their backs, with 
a up of coffee in one hand, and a pipe in the other, while 
thv feet are tied together with an iron chain.:!: The 
EWtians are well acquainted with the art of training ani- 

*Mem. sur I'Egypte, III. p. 358. 

tTott, Memoires, t. IV. p. GO. Savary, Lettres, 1. 1. Sicard, iNouv. Mera. 
II. J. 190. 
i VSian?leb. deux Voyages, p. 279. 



EGYPT. (09 

nials. Saddled goats are seen carrying monkeys on their uoK 
backs, and asses as well trained and as docile as English ^^^' 
horses. Carryins: pigeons were more common here than in ^ 
any other part of the east. In the 17th century the govern- pigeo 
or of Damietta corresponded with the pasha of Cairo by 
means of these winged messengers.^ Mallet mentions this 
as a practice which had fallen into disuscf The most aston- 
ishing phenomenon of this description is the power which 
certain persons have of handling and governing the most 
venomous serpents. The modern psylUs are not inferior to Enchiters 

of S6£ntSa 

the ancient. They suffer vipers to twine round their bodies ; ^ 
they keep them in the folds of their shirts; they make them 
go into bottles, and come out again : sometimes they tear 
them with their teeth, and eat their flesh.:|: The secrets on 
which these practices depend are unknown : they are found- 
ed on address and observation, though the Orientals ascribe 
them to magic.§ 

In order to complete our picture of modern Egypt, we 
shall give a brief view of its trade and manufactures. 

It is chiefly at Balass in Upper Egypt that the earthern Poyry. 
jars, hence called balasses, are manufactured. These ma- 
nufactures supply not only the whole of Egypt, but Syria 
and the islands of the Grecian Achipelago. They have 
the property of allowing the water to transude gradually, 
and thus keep up a refreshing coolness by its evaporation. 
The manufacture not being expensive, they are sold so 
v^ry cheap that the poorest person can command as many 
as he wants, and they often enter among the materials for 
building the walls of houses; nature furnishes the rav, 
clay in a state ready for use, in the adjoining desert. It 
consists of a fat, fine, saponaceous and compact marl, whicl] 
only requires moistening and working up to become pliable 
and tenacious, and the vessels which are turned from iij 

* De la Valle, p. 128. Monconys, p. 295. / 

t Mallet, Desciipt. de I'Egypte, II. p. 267. 

I Idem, I. p. 132. Savaiy, Thevenot. 

§ Hasselquist's Travels, p. 76 — 80. (in German.) 



1>0K after being dried and half baked in tJie sun, are, in a few 
^^^' hours, completed by the heat of a slight straw fire. They 
are set up in rows, which are described by all travellers 
in Egypt. Such is the stability of the liabits, customs, 
Arquities and arts in this singular country, that M. Denon observed 
jars of the same sort, of tlie same shape, employed for 
the same purposes, and set on the same triponds in hiero- 
glyphic paintings, and in representations contained in ma- 

In Sioot and the neighbourhood, a considerable quantity 
Weing. of linen is manufactured ; at Djirdjch, Farsliyoot, and Ken- 
neh, cotton stuffs and shawls of a much closer fabric. The 
cotton manufactured in these three places is brought from 
Syria and the Delta, that which is produced in the coun- 
try being only employed at Esneh, where the handsom- 
est cotton cloths of Upper Egypt are made. From this 
part of the country there is a considerable exportation of 
grain, linen, and cotton stuffs, and different sorts of oil. 
It receives in exchange rice and salt from the Delta, soap, 
silk, and cotton stuffs from Syria, and different European 
articles, such as iron, lead, copper, woollen cloths, and 
Rose w.. It is only in Faioom that rose water is made. When the 
roses are plenty, thirty sets of apparatus are employed at 
Medineh for distilling them. The apparatus is very sim- 
ple. The same place also contains manufactures of woollen, 
cotton, and linen stuffs and shawls. Sometimes 8000 shawls 
a^e exported from this place in a month. 
Abyssiniai The caravaus from Abyssinia travel northward through 
cardvan?. ^^^ ^esert, on the east of the Nile, as far as Esneh. They 
Dring ivory and ostrich feathers ; but their principal trade 
consists in gum and young slaves of both sexes. Cairo is the 
uHimate destination of the latter, and the place where their 
sales are made. They carry home Venetian glass manufac- 
tures, woollen dresses, cotton and linen stuffs, blue shawls, 
and some other articles which they purchase at Sioot and at 
Kennch. The Ababdeh and Bisharich tribes also come to 
Esneh for metals, utensils, and such grain as they require. 

JlOTPl". Ill 

They sell slaves, camels, acacia gum which they gather in book 
their deserts, and the charcoal which they make from the i-^i^* 
acacia trees ; hut the most valuahle commodity which they ^ 

bring is senna, which they gather in the mountains between 
the Nile and the Red Sea, as high as Syene, and farther 
south, where it grows without culture. The inhabitants of 
Goobanieh, a village four hours walk below Syene, on the 
left bank of the Nile, form, every year, in company with 
the Ababdehs, a caravan, which goes to the interior of the 
deserts which lie south-west from the first cataract to col- 
lect alum, which was formerly a considerable part of the ex- 
ports of Egypt. 

The trade to Cosseir, on the shore of the Red Sea, is on- Commerce 
ly a feeble remnant of that by which Egypt was once en- " . 
riched. The exports are wheat, flour, barley, beans, lentils, 
sugar, carthamom flowers, oil of lettuce, and butter. The 
importations are, coffee, cotton cloth, Indian muslins, En- 
glish silks, spices, incense, and Cashmere shawls. This 
trade is conducted by persons going on their pilgrimage to 

Two caravans arrive every year from Darfoor, each com- CaraTans 
posed of 4000 or 5000 camels, led by 200 or 300 persons, 5^°?.'^^'" 
who bring to Sioot and to Cairo elephants' teetli, rhinoce- 
ros' horns, ostrich feathers, gum-arabic, tamarinds, natron, 
and slaves, the number of which averages 5000 or 6000 an- 
nually, chiefly young girls or women. One author says 
that the number of slaves sometimes amounts to 12,000, and 
that of the camels to 15,000. 

Egypt also receives caravans from Syria, from Barbary, other ca- 
and from Sennaar. Those from Syria bring cottons, tobac- '^^^^"^' 
CO, silk and woollen stuffs, wax, honey, dried raisins, and 
other objects of consumption. The caravans from Sennaar 
are smaller than those from Darfoor, and bring nearly the 
same articles, together with civets, and the teeth and skins 
of the hippopotamus.* 

* Mem, sur TEgypte, TV", p, 81, 




Such is the present languishing condition of Egypt, that ce- 
lebrated country which was once covered with towns, tem- 
ples, palaces, obelisks and pyramids. Yet Egypt is still a 
civilized and happy country in comparison of some others 
in Africa which are immediately to come under our review. 

Table of Geographical Positions^ astronomically observed by 

M. JW)uet. 


Aboe-el-Sheik, (on the canal of Soveys) 

Alexandria, (at Pharos) 

Antinoe, (its luins) 




Denderah, (temple) 

Dybeh, (mouth of Lake Menzaleh) - . . 

Edfoo, (town and temple) 

Esne, (town and temple) 



Isle of Philce, (temple above the cataracts) 

Cairo, (house of the Institute) 

Karnac, (ruins of Thebes) 

Koom-ombos, (temple) 


Longsor, (ruins of Thebes) 

Medinet- A boo (ruins of Thebes) . . . 


Omfarege, (mouth of Lake Menzaleh) . . 
Palace of Memnon, (ruins of Thebes) . . 

Pyramid north of Memphis 

Kaoo-el-Koobra, (town and temple) . . . 


Rosetta, (north minaret) 


Saieh-hiyeh .•..., 



Tannis, (island of Lake Menzaleh) . . . 

Tower of Aboo Gir 

Tower of the Jannissaries, (Cairo) . . . 

Tower of Boghaseh 

Tower of Boghaz 

Tower of Maraboo 

31 52 

29 55 

30 55 

Long. E. 
from Lon. 




32 40 
32 8 
32 53 
32 29 

31 55 

32 21 
32 54 

31 18 

32 39 
32 59 

31 47 

32 39 
32 37 
30 49 
32 31 

Lat. N. 














24 24 
54 31 
19 25 















32 35 

15 26 







31 52 
29 49 

22 31 
56 31 


31 10 
13 5 
48 15 

24 49 
8 28 

8 3P 

21 24 

58 43 
17 38 

20 3 

11 20 

1 34 

2 21 
42 57 
27 17 

29 8 

41 57 

42 58 
5 28 

8 16 

43 27 

59 5 
53 33 

9 36 
24 34 
58 37 
47 30 

5 23 
10 14 

19 44 

2 8 

21 41 

30 7 
9 9 

EGYPT. 113 

We shall not undertake to give a comparative tabular book 
view of the ancient and modern divisions of Egypt. For I'Xii. 
such a task we have not sufficient data. The reader who 
wishes for such information as history affords on this sub- 
ject, may consult a work by the learned M. Champollion, 
entitled, ** I'Egypte sous les Pharaons." 

vol. IV. 8 

1 1^1 




BOOK ^^E have described tlie region of the lower Nile, with a 
XXIII. minuteness corresponding to its great celebrity. Our sur- 
vey of the countries situated on the higher parts of the 

Region of course of this river w ill be somewhat more rapid. In the 
Niie/^^'^ present state of our knowledge, it is convenient not to in- 
clude in this division the countries yet unknown which are 
watered by the Bahr-el-Abiad, before it joins the Nile of 
Abyssinia. The region now to be described, being thus 
restricted, will correspond to the Ethiopia supra JEgyptum 
of the ancients, a country concerning which ancient history 
furnishes us with some scattered lights, such as the accounts 
contained in the history of Herodotus, the researches of 
Strabo, the travels of Artemidorus and Agatharchides, to 
which are to be added the inscriptions of Adulis, which 
are monuments of the expeditions of one of the Ptolemies, 
or of an Abyssinian king,^ and the information given by 
Pliny the naturalist, as stated in our History of Geogra- 

Nubia. The first country which is entered by a person ascend- 
daries!" *^S ^^^^ Nile, above the first cataract, is Nubia, a most ex- 
tensive region, the boundaries of which are vague and un- 

* Con.pare the account in the History of Geoe;vaphy with the observations 
of Mr. Salt, and with Silvestre de Sacv's IMeui. sur rinsciiption d'Adidi--. 

KUBIA. 115 

certain. Bakooi makes the road along tlic east bank of book 
the Nile,=^ thirty days journey in length. Edrisi, \vho i-xiii. 
most probably includes Sennaar under the same name, says 
that two months are required for crossing Nubia,} an ac- 
count which in that case coincides with tlie journals of 
Poncet and Bruce. 

While authors dioer widely in several particulars rela- Climate. 
tive to Nubia, they all agree respecting the physical aspect 
of the country. From January to April it is scorched up 
with insupportable heats. The rainy seijson lasts fi'om 
June to September, with frequent irregularities. The 
thermometer sometimes reaches 119 degrees of Fahren- 
heit, and the burning sands render travelling impracticable 
except by nighty The higli lands consist entirely of 
frightful deserts. That which is called the Deseit of Nu- Deserts. 
bia extends on the east of the Nile from Syene to Gooz. 
The traveller constantly marches either over deep sand or 
sharp stones. In several places tlie ground is covered with 
a sti'atum of rock-salt, or studded wit!) masses of granite, 
jasper, or marble. Now and then we find a grove of stunt- 
ed acacias, or tufts of colocynth and of senna. The tra- 
veller often finds no water to allay his thirst, except what 
is brackish and putrid, for the murderous Arab, the san- 
guinary Bishareen, the fanatical Jahalee, the Takakee, and 
the Shaigee, lie in ambush near the few springs which the 
country contains.^ The western desert, less arid and less 
extensive, is known by the name of Bahiooda. Between 
these two solitudes, condemned by nature to an unvarying 
and utter sterility, lies the narrow vale of the Nile, which, 
though deprived of the advantages of regular inundations 
in consequence of the height of the surface above the river,, 
has some districts, and more particularly islands, in which 
a high degree of fertility rewards tlic industry of those 

* JNotes et Extr. de iMSS. de la Bibliotl], clu Koi, II. 396. 
■'■ Ediisi Clini. I. 4. Haitmann, Comm. dc G'^og. Edrisi, p. SO. 
4; Abulftda, Africa, ed. Eichoni. Ava'o. p. 29. 
■ Bnicc, I. VIII. rh. u i;t 12-. 



BOOK wiio raise by aitilicial means the waters of the river.* The 
LXiii. southern parts of Nubia, watered by the Tacazze, the 
Bahr-el-Aznrek, and the Bahr-el-Abiad, present a very 
different appearance. Under the shade of close forests, 
or on the verdant sui'face of vast meadows, are seen so|iie- 
times the heavy buffalo, sometimes the fleet gazelle. Fre- 
quently, however, the extreme heat, the rains, and the 
formidable swarms of the saltsalya iiy, spread desolation 
over these countries, wiiicli belong to the kingdom of Sen- 
naar. The dourra and the bammia, (the last of which is 
described by Prosper Alpinus,) are the principal sorts of 
grain, though wheat and millet are also cultivated. Two 
sorts of senna are exported ; but the sugar cane, which 
abounds along the course of tlie Nile, is not turned to any 
account. The ebony tree predominates in the forests,f 
which also contain many species of palms. 

The Jlcacia vera and Mimosa niloticaf from which the 
gum is obtained, extend from Egypt to Darfoor. Pliny 
seems to reckon the large wild cotton tree among the trees 
of Nubia.:^ About the ancient Meroe apple trees, ac- 
cording to Strabo, ceased to prosper, and the sheep were 
covered with hair instead of wool.§ Elephants, rhinoce- 
roses, gazelles, ostriches, and all the African animals, per- 
haps even the giraffe, || are to be seen in Nubia. The gold 
Minerals, of Sennaar is sometimes mentioned ; but, though Ibn-al- 
Ooardy says that there are mines of this metal in Nubia, it 
is impossible to determine their situation. The famous 
mountain of emeralds, which was said to be in Nubia, be- 
longs to its northern part, or rather to the south of Egypt. 
It is called Zubarah, and is not far from the Red Sea. 
Of these mines, in their present state, we have already gi- 
ven an account. Strabo and Diodorus tell us that the 



* Poncet, Lcttres edif. t. IV. 

I Idem, lib. XIII. cap. 12. 

I| Bar. IlebraeuS; cite par Brun?. 

t Plin. 1. VI. chap. 30. 

^ Strabo, lib. XVII. p. 565. Casaub. 



ancient Mcro'c, which corresponds with Southern Nubia, con- book 
tained mines of gold, of copper, and of iron.^ liXiii. 

It wouhl be vain to attempt to give any precise account of . ' . '. 
the political subdivisions of a country so little known, and 
involved in so wild a state of anarchy. We shall merely 
give a few rapid sketches on the subject. Turkish Nubia Turkish 
extends from Assooan, or SyenCf to the fort of Ibrim, (or^"*^'^- 
Ibrahim,) which Father Sicard dignifies with the title of its 
capital.! The power of the beys or pashas of Egypt over 
this remote district, has always been uncertain and tempo- 
rary. At present the energetic and enterprising Pasha Ma- 
homed Ali has extended his arms to a great distance up the 
Nile, having subdued the whole of Nubia Proper, and even 
taken Sennaar. 

Egyptian Nubia contains, along the banks of the Nile, Sketches of 
numerous monuments of ancient art, as temples, obelisks, loppgi^Miy 

^ * ' ' and anti- 

and statues. Some of these monuments are Egyptian, others quities. 

At Taffa, the granite rocks rise prerupt on each side of 
the Nile, the chain crossing it at this place, and appearing 
as if a passage had been cut through it for the river. At 
Katabishe tliere are ruins of some Sarasenic houses, and 
an elegant Egyptian temple, thought to have been built in 
the time of tlie Ptolemies ; in that neighboui'hood the ruins 
of a small Grecian temple are observed, which has been 
overturned by violence. Lately a golden Grecian lamp 
was found buried under the ruins. 

Deir, the capital of lower Nubia, consists of several groups Deiiv 
of houses, built of earth intermixed with stones. 

Ibrim is built on a rock at the river's edge, but the houses ibrim. 
have been deserted ever since the Mamelukes left the place 
on their retreat to Dongola. 

Mr. Belzoni is the first recent traveller who has ascend- 
ed the river beyond Ibrim. He found the remains of a 
well constructed tower on the island of Hogos. The people Hogos. 
here are exceedingly poor and dirty, sometimes eating the 

* Diod. Sic. I. p. 29, p. 145. Wess. 

t N. Mem. de la Comp. de Jesus, II. 186. 




BOOK i-aw entrails of animals, after dipping them once slightly in 
Lxiii. water. At Ebsambool are some temples and colossal sta- 
■ tucs. Some of the latter cut out of the solid rock, are thirty 
feet high. The inhabitants of t!ie place and neighbourhood 
lead the most abject lives that can be imagined. The Ca- 
c}ief and his servants make the freest use of the property of 
the people, taking without ceremony whatever they want. 
If refused they !ise force, Jind if resisted they murder the 
opponent. In tliis manner all the time of the rulers is spent ; 
and in this manner they live. Their purchases and sales 
arc entirely conducted by barter, and Mr. Belzoni found it 
almost impossible to convince them that money could pro- 
cure dourra or other articles from Syene and other distant 

At Ooadi-Halfa, above Ebsambool, is the second cataract. 
The rock forming it is black, probably basaltic. It seems 
not to be navigable at any season. Tlie Iiigh lands of 
northern iSubia are inhabited by two almost independent no- 
made tribes. One of them lives on the west side of the Nile, 
Barabias. and is called the Barabras. They are a very lean race of 
men, apparently destitute both of fat and of flesh, and made 
up of nerves and tendons, with a few muscular fibres, more 
elastic than strong. Their shining skin is of a transparent 
^ black and brown. They have no resemblance to the ne- 

groes of the west of Africa. Their hollow eyes sparkle 
under an uncommonly projecting eye-brow, their nostrils 
are large, the nose shaj-p, the mouth wide, yet the lips thin ; 
the hair of tlie head and beard is thin and in small tufts. 
Wrinkled at an early age, but always lively, always nimble, 
they only betray their age by the whiteness of their beards. 
Their pliysiognomy is cheerful, and their dispositions lively 
and good humoured. In Egypt they are generally employ- 
ed to watcli the magazines and wood-yards. They dress in 
a piece of white or blue woollen cloth, earn very little, sub- 
sist on next to nothing, and are always attached and faith- 
ful to their masters.* 

* Coslaz, Mem. sur les Barabias, dans la Descript. de TEgyple. Denon, PI. 
J07, fig. 4. Thevenot, Voyage, p. I. 1. 2. ch. 69. 

NUBIA. 119 

The deserts situaterl to the east of the Nile, from the val- book 
ley of Cosseir till we proceed far south in Nubia, are occupi- i^xiii. 
ed by the Ababdes. They are enemies to all the tribes which 

The Abab- 

live between the valley of Cosseir and the isthmus of Suez. des. 
The Ababdes differ entirely in their customs, language, 
and dress, from the Arabs found in Egypt. They arc 
black, but have the same form of head as the Europeans.'>^ 
Their heads are uncovered, but tiieir hair is worn long. 
Their clothing consists of a piece of cloth fixed over tlie 
haunches. They anoint their bodies, and particularly ^ 

their heads, with suet. They have no fire-arms, and few 
horses. They rear a sort of camel which they call aguine, 
which is smaller, better madfe, and more active than the 
common kind. Their warlike amusements are animated 
by a music less pensive and dull than that of the Egyp- 
tians. The same individual is both poet and musician, 
and he accompanies his song with a sort of mandoline. 
They are Mahometans, but not rigid. They bury their 
dead by covering the bodies with stones. 

The middle part of Nubia contains a state or kingdom State of 
concerning which we have little recent information. It '' 
goes under tiie name of Dongola, which is also the name 
of the capital, — a city rich and commercial, and contain- 
ing 10,000 families, according to the Arabian authors of 
the middle age.j Poncet found the city ill built, the ca- '* 

bins formed of clay, and the intervening spaces en- 
cumbered with sand-hills.:|: The castle which stands in 
the centre of the city is spacious but poorly fortified, 
though sufficient to keep the Arabs in check. The fields, 
watered by the Nile, exliibit in the month of September 
an agreeable verdure. The people conjoin great ferocity 
with great cunning. The palace, like those of all the 
kings of Africa, is a vast cottage. According to Theve- 
iiot, the king of Dongola paid a tribute in cloth to the 

* Mem. sur TEgypte, III. p. 2S0. 

t Leo Africauus, VII. cap. 17. Bakooi, &c. 

t Poncet. Lettr. edif. IV. p. 8. (N.B. Gondala is a typographical error.) 




king of Sennaar. The inhabitants export slaves, gold 
dust, and ostrich feathers, and, according to Leo, musk 
' and sandal- wood. They are Barabras, or, as Thevenot 
calls them, Barberins. Persons of rank here go bare- 
headed, their hair being disposed in tresses, and their 
whole clothing consists in a rude vest without sleeves. 
They are very skilful riders, and have beautiful horses. 
They profess the religion of Mahomet, and continually re- 
peat its brief and comprehensive creed, but know nothing 
farther. Their lives are extremely dissolute. The Mame- 
lukes, when they fled from Egypt, lately took possession 
of Dongola, but subsequently Mahomed Ali, Pasha of 
Egypt, carried his victorious arms to this part of Nubia, 
and added it to his dominions. 


OF SeX- 


The Nu- 

Ascending to the confluence of the great Nile with the 
Nile of Abyssinia, we enter the territories of the kingdom 
of Sennaar, which occupy the space assigned by the an- 
cients to the famous empire of Meroe, the origin of which 
is lost amidst the darkness of antiquity. Many writers, 
both anciejit and modern, have considered it as the cradle 
of all the religious and political institutions of Egypt,^ 
and it must at least be admitted to have been a very civi- 
lized and a very powerful state. Bruce thought that he 
saw the ruins of its capital under the village of Shandy, 
opposite to tlie isle of Kurgos. The distances given by 
Herodotus and Eratosthenes coincide very well with that 
position; and the island which, according to Pliny, formed 
the port of Meroe, is found to correspond with equal pro- 

The J^uhse of Ptolemy lived more to the west. They 
probably extended to the countries adjoining the Nile, 
above the fall of Meroe. These people are a gentle sort 
of Negroes, with small features, woolly hair, flat noses, 
speaking a soft sonorous language totally distinct from that 
of their neiglibours. They are idolaters, or rather, ac- 

* Heeren, Idem uber Politick, &c. T. 2G2. fcc. 1st edition. 




cording to Bruce, they appear to have preserved some tra- book 
cesofthe ancient religion of the Sabeans. They worship i-xiii. 
the moon, and always do homage to that luminary vhile 
she shines during the night. At new moon they issue from 
their dark huts, and pronounce some forms of religious 
words. They seemed to Bruce to show less respect to the 
sun. The Nubse resemble the Mahometans in being cir- 
cumcised, but they keep flocks of pigs, and eat pork freely. 
They probably were once subdued by the Arabs ; for, 
according to Bakooi,=* the Nubians had a king of the an- 
cient family of the Homerites. It is possible, however, as 
this same author affirms, that tliey may have been Christ- 
ians. The Christian religion was lost for want of priests, 
which they could no longer procure from Egypt, and with 
which the Abyssinians refused to supply them.f 

In 1504, a negro nation, till then unknow^n, leaving the The Shii= 
west bank of the White River, or Bahr-el-Abiad, embark- 
ed on this river, and came down to invade the lands of tlie 
Nubian Arabs. The event of a very bloody battle proved 
favourable to their cause. These negroes called them- 
selves Shillooks. Tiiey demanded that the Arabs should 
give them every year one half of their flocks. On tliis 
condition, they allowed the Arabs to retain their own chief, 
imder the title of wed-agid, and lieutenant of their malek* 
On the Blue River, or Abyssinian Nile, the Shiilooks found- cit} of 
ed the city of Sennaar, w hich, according to Poncet,(tt) con- 
tained 100,000 inhabitants.+ It is a commercial place, and 
sends caravans to Egypt, to Nigritia, and to the port of 
Jidda in Arabia. The brick w ails of the mahlvs palace, 
and some Persian tapesti*y displayed in tiie interior, an- 
nounce tlie magnificence of a great sovereign for this coun- 
try. The tow n is neaily on the same level with the river, 
being only as high above it tis to prevent the danger of being 

=^ Not. et Extr. de MSS. de la Biblioth. 

t Alvarez, Hist. iEtheop. c. 37. % Poncet, p. 25 and 36. 

(a) [Poncet visited Sennaar in 1690 : in 1821 it was visited by Mr. English, 
wlio describes it as " almost nothing but a heap of ruins." He estimates it ;it 
about three miles in circumference ; the greater part of the space being covered 
with the ruins of houses built of brick, either burnt or dried in the sun. He sup- 
poses the whole number of houses now standing not to exceed 400, few of which 
are of more than one story.]— Am. Ep. 



BOOK flooded. The soil of the adjoining district, for a breadth of 
XXIII. two miles on each side of the river, is uncommonly rich and 
fertile, and produces gr»*at abundance of food. But the coun- 
try is unhealthy to men, ami 5!o domestic animals can live in 
it. The latter are reared on the neighbouring sands. The 
king of Sennaar cannot maintain a single horse, while the 
slieik of the desert has a regular establishment of cavalry. 

To the north of Sennaar we find Gherri, the ancient ca- 
pital of the Nubians ; Haltaya, which is built of hewn 
stone; Harbagi, in a wooded country, wliere the yellow 
and blue flowers of a very thorny acacia exhale their per- 
fumes, and where the scene is animated with paroquets, and 
a thousand other birds. To the south we find Gisine, in 
the midst of a forest of dooimj palms, the leaves of which 
are used for making sails and cordage, while their fruit 
contains a juice very pleasant to drink ;^ then Deleb ; and, 
after crossing a forest of tamarind trees, we find Serke, a 
town of 700 houses on the frontier of Abyssinia. 

The Shillooks were originally idolatei's, bu; their inter- 
course with the Egyptians brought them o^er to Maho- 
metanism. Their government is despotic, yet mild. They 
attach to the title of slave the same honour which in Eu- 
rope is connected with that of a nobleman. The king- 
dom is hereditary, descending to the eldest son, and all 
the other sons are put to death. A council of the gran- 
dees of the state has the power of deposing the sovereign, 
or condemning him to death. During his reign, there is 
one of his relations whose office it is to act the executioner's 
part in case of his condemnation, and who has the title of 
the royal hangman. It is a place of great distinction; and 
the individual who holds it lives on terms of sufficient cor- 
diality with the prince to whom he stands in so sin^iuiar a 
relation. Some of tliem have had repeated occasion to ex- 
ercise their function. The army consists of 1800 Shillook 
cavalry, and 12,000 Nubians armed with lances. The 
name of Fungi by which the Shillooks are called, is, ac- 
cording to Bruns, only an honourable title of Arabic de- 


On the 
name of 

* Poncet, p. 47. 


rivation* signifying victors. But it is worthy of remark, book 
that the Portuguese give the name of Funchens to a nation ^^m* 
in the neighbourhood of Congo. Sennaar, however, is in- 
eluded among the recent conquests of the Pasha of Egypt; 
and if the former government, with its laws and arrange- 
ments, is permitted to rcnain, it is only as the vassal of that 
Turkish power. 

According to some geographers, we must also comprehend Southern 
in Nuhia three provinces sitt;ated to the south of Sennaar. P'^^^'^"" * 
The first is El-Aice, situated :n both sides of a great river, 
a country peopled by fishermen, who in their small barks 
boldly pass the cataracts. 

Kordofan extends along the Bahr-el-Abiad. There a 
trade is carried on in slaves, brought from Dyre and from 
Tegla, unknown countries of the interior. 

Lastly, the country of Fazuelo is bounfled on the east by 
the Bahr-el-Azurek, or the Nile of x\hyssinia. The public 
revenues here are paid in gold or in slaves. These three 
countries, however, seem to undergo a frequent change of 
masters, and, according to Browne, Kordofan was about 
twenty years ago subject to the sultan of Darfoor. 

We might have now given a sketch of the coast of Nubia 
on the Arabian Gulf, but several reasons, both geographical 
and historical, liave determined us to connect that territory 
in the same description with the coast of Abyssinia, which 
will be found in a subsequeiit part of the present Book. 

To the south of Nubia arc situated the extensive pro- Abyssi- 
vinces which belong, or have belonged, to the kingdom of ^''^' 
Ethiopia, more generally known by the name of Abyssi- 
nia. We have not much certain and authentic informa- 
tion respecting this country. The accounts given by the 
Arabian geographers, Bakooi, Edrisi, and most particularly 
by Macrizi,f show us that the Mahometans have had little 
connection with this Cliristian empire. The modern geo- 

* Afrika, 1. 11. p. 31. t Bruns, Afrika, If. 49—57. 



BOOK graphy of the country is almost entirely derived from the 
liXiri. travels of the Portuguese, Alvarez, Berniudez, Payz, Al- 
" meida, and Lobo, carefully extracted by their countryman 

Tellez, and learnedly commented on by the German Ludolf, 
the Strabo of these countries. To this we must add a few 
notices furnished by Thevenot and Poncet. An important 
narrative by Petit-la- Croix, dated in 1700, partly drawn up 
from information furnished by Abyssinianswlionithe author 
had known in Egypt, exists in manuscript in the library at 
Leyden.^ At last in the eigliteenth century appeared the 
famous work of Mr. Bruce, the best known, though not the 
purest of all our sources of information. It has since re- 
ceived confirmation in some points, and correction in others, 
from Mr. Salt. 

It is with these insufficient materials that geography has 
to make out a description of Abyssinia. This descrip- 
tion must therefore be vague and incomplete. Our ac- 
count of the situation and extent of the country does not 
Situation admit of rigorous precision ; for the limits which separate 
'*"^*^''^^"^*the Abyssinians from Nubia on the north, from the Galla 
on the south-west and south, and from the kingdom of 
Adel on the south-east, constantly depend on the uncertain 
issue of frequent appeals to arms. If we include in it the 
coasts of the Red Sea, and the provinces occupied by the 
Gallas, we may give Abyssinia a length of 560 miles, from 
the 15th to the Ttli parallel of north latitude, and a 
breadth of 640 miles from the 32d to the 42d degree of 
east longitude. Taken in this geographical and historical 
acceptation, Abyssinia would have an extent of 3£2,000 
square miles. This country corresponds to the southern 
part of the fMthiopia sujtra *Mgtjptum of the ancients, and, 
DiflFerent although we are certain that the denomination of Ethiopi- 
ans is of Greek origin, and has been employed to signify 
every people of a deep complexion, the Abyssinians still 
call themselves Itiopiawan, and their country Itiopia. But 

* BiaBrnstahl, Voyac;*?, p. 391. (in German.) Bruns, Afiika, IT. 65. 



tliey prelcr the name of Agazian for the people, and tliat book 
of Agazi, or Gliez for the kingdom. The name of Ha- I'Xiii, 
besh, given to them by the Mahometans, and from which — — — 
the Europeans have coined such names as Jibassi and 
Myssini, is an Arabic term, signifying, '* a mixed people," 
and the Abyssinians scornfully disclaim it.* 

Considered as a whole, Abyssinia forms a table land 
gently inclined to the north-west, and having two great 
steeps on the east and on the south ; the first towards the 
Arabian Gulf, and the second towards the interior of Mountains. 
Africa. Do these two steeps consist of regular chains ? 
or are they only crowned with isolated mountains, like 
Lamalmon and Amba-Gedeon ? These are questions which 
we are not yet prepared to answer. Travellers only speak 
in a general way of the extraordinary configuration of these 
mountains. They shoot up almost every where in sharp 
peaks, and are ascended by means of ropes and ladders. 
The rocks resemble the ramparts and traces of ruined 
towns. Father Tellez pretends that these mountains are 
higher than the Alps,f but we find them nowhere capped 
with snow, except, perhaps, the Samen mountains in the 
province of Tigre, and that of Namera in Gojam.ij: 

The number of rivers which take their rise in this coun- Rivers, 
try is one evidence of its great elevation. Beginning in the 
^vest, the Maleg, the Bahr-el-Azurek, or Abyssinian Nile, 
(the ^stapus of the ancients,) the Rahad, which receives 
the Dender, and the Tacazze^ which receives the Mareb, 
all contribute to form or to augment the great Nile, while 
the Hanazo and the Hawash disappear under the sand be- 
fore reaching the Arabian Gulf. The Zebee runs perhaps 
to the coasts of Zanguebar. According to Petit-la-Croix, 
it is lost in the sands of the southern plateau.§ \Te must 
also take notice of the great lake Dembea, which, like all 

* Ludolf, Hist. 1. I. cli. T. Comment, p. 50. 

t Ludolf, Hist. I. 6. 

% Lobo, Hist. iEth. I. p. 141. Hist, de ce qui s'est passe, &c. p. 131. 

Bruns, Afrika, II, 87, 







those of the torrid zone, changes its size with the revolu- 
tions of the seasons. 

In general,' the rivers, the rains, and the elevation of the 
surface, render the temperature much cooler than that of 
Egypt and of Nubia. The heat of the atmosphere, judg- 
ing by the feelings of the human body, is much less than 
that indicated by the thermometer** Some of the provinces 
are even more temperate than Portugal or Spain ; but in 
the low villages, the eltects of a suffocating heat are com- 
bined with those of the exhalations of stagnant water, to 
give origin to elephantiasis, ophthalmia, and many fatal 

The winter in Abyssinia, in so far as weather is con- 
cerned, begins in June, and continues till the beginning 
of September. The rain, often attended with thunder 
and dreadful hurricanes, obliges the inhabitants to inter- 
mit all their labours, and puts a stop to all military ope- 
rations.:j: The other months of the year are not entirely 
exempt from inclement weather. The finest are those 
of December and January. Tliis is the general charac- 
ter of the climate, particularly in the interior of the coun- 
try. But the mountainous surface of Abyssinia gives rise 
to many variations. In the east, on tlie borders of the 
Red Sea, between the shore and the mountains, the rainy 
season begins when it is over in the interior. Tliis singu- 
larity greatly surprised Alvarez, a Portuguese, who, at 
Dobba, found himself transported at once from winter to 

Abyssinia, being full of mountains, cannot be destitute of 
minerals. According to the manuscript of Petit-la- Croix, 
it contains many mines of iron, copper, lead, and sulphur,|| 
but no mention is made of them by travellers. The wash- 

* Blumenbach's Notes on Bruce, V. 274. 
T Alvarez, Hist. c. 41. c. 67. Bruce, &c. 
i Lobo, Hist. I. 101. Bruce, &c. 
^ Hist. c. 47. < 

II B.runs, IT. 11 T. 


ing operations of I>amota, and the .shallow mines of Ena- book 
rea, produce a gold of extreme fineness.=^ Bruce informs I'Xiii. 
us that the finest gold is found in the western provinces, at 
the feet of the mountains of Dyre and Tegia. The great 
plains, covered with rock-salt, at the hottom of the eastern 
mountains, have excited the admiration of travellers. The 
salt here forms crystals of uncommon ler^gtli. 

In a mountainous humid country, warmed by a vertical Plants. 
sun, the vegetable kingdom naturally displays a magnifi- 
cence which botanists are sorry they havt- not an opportunity 
of surveying. On this, as on many other points, Mr. Eruce 
has deceived our hopes. He gives little inforniation that is 
really new. The cusso tree, for example, which he has 
named Banksia Abyssinca, had been previously described 
by Godigny.f Messrs. Blumenbach ruid Gmelin had been 
long acquainted with the girgivn a gramineous plant, wliich 
the English tra\'^ller considered as a discovery of his own. 
The trees of Abyssinia Mtherto described, though probably 
not the principal ones of the co-ntry, are the sycamore-fig, 
the Erythrina corallodendron^ the tamarind, the date, tlie 
coffee tree, a large tree used for building boats which Bruce 
calls the raJu and two species of gum-bearing mimosas. 
The Euphorbium arbor escens is found on some of the arid 
mountains. A shrub called in the language of the country 
wooginoos^ the Brucea antidysenterica of Bruce and Gmelin, 
is justly praised by the English traveller for its medical 

The chief alimentary plants are millet, barley, wheat, Aiimenta- 
maize, and teff, besides which t]«^re are many others. All '^ p^^^^^, 
travellers concur in praising the fine wheaten bread of Abys- 
sinia ; but it is only eaten by people of rank. 

The te^ or tafo is a grain smaller than mustard seed, 
well tasted, and not liable to the depredations of worms.:}: 

* Alvarez, c. 39. c. 133. Ludolf, Hist. 1. 7. Therenot, II. 69, p. 760. 

1 Bruns, Afrika, ii. 115. 

+ Gmelin's Appendix to Bruce's Travels, p. .^9 of Rinteln's German trans- 




BOOK Blumcnbacli thinks that it is the same with the Poa Myssi- 
liXiii. fiica. The gardens of Abyssinia contain many species of 
fruit trees, and of leguminous and oily plants v\hich are un- 
known to us.^ There are generally two harvests, one dur- 
ing the rainy season, in the months of July, August, and 
September; the other in spring. At Adowa and in the 
neighbourhood, there are three crops. Eere, as in Egypt, 
the grain is thrashed by the feet of cattle. Some vines are 
cultivated, and wine is made, though in very small quantity ; 
for this liquor is not much relished by the inhabitants, who 
prefer a sort of hydromel mixed with opium. The natives 
cultivate great quantities of a herbaceous alimentary plant 
resembling the banana, which serves them for bread, and 
which Lobo calls ensete.j The Cypems papyrus is found in 
the marshes of Abyssinia as well as in Egypt. Mr. Bruce 
asserts, that the tree which produces the balm of Judea, and 
myrrh, is indigenous in Abyssinia, or more properly speak- 
ing, on the coast of Adel, from the Straits of Bab-el-mandeb 
to Cape Guardafooi. He expresses his apprehensions that 
the odoriferous forests of that country, which were known 
even to Herodotus,^: were cut dowm so fast that they were 
in danger of soon disappearing. The whole of Abyssinia is 
scented with the perfumes exhaled from the roses, jessa- 
mines, lilies, and primroses with which the fields are co- 

The animal kingdom displays equal variety and abund- 
ance. The cattle are numerous and of large size, with 
horns of enormous length. There are wild buffaloes, which 
sometimes attack travellers. The ass and the mule supply- 
in this country the place of the camel. The horses, wiiich 
are small but extremely lively, as in all mountainous coun- 
tries, are only used for the purposes of war. The two- 

Two-horn- homed rhinoceros is seen wandering in numerous flocks. 

ed rhinoce- rp|^jg animal differs essentially from the one-horned rhino- 


* Petit-la-Croix, c. 6. Alvarez, c. 19. c. 44. c. 48. 
t Lobo, Voyage Historiquc, I. p. 143. 
t I'hilosophical Transactions, LXV. 409. 


ceros of Asia. Lobo and Bruce both think, in opposition book 
to the general opinion of naturalists, that the one-horned i-^m* 
rhinoceros is also found in Abyssinia. But Lobo says that "—"— ""^ 
lie has found in the accounts given by some of his own coun- 
trymen, another a»iimal quite different from the rhinoceros. 
This, he supposes to be the famous unicorn, which resembles 
the horse, and is furnished with a mane.* Very probably 
these Portuguese had seen the same animal which has lately 
been seen, and authentically described, by Mr. Campbell, in 
exploring the south of Africa, and of which we shall give an 
account in a subsequent Book. 

It is unnecessary to name the lions, panthers, and vari- 
ous other animals of tlie cat kind, of which Africa is the 
native country. The giraffe extends to Abyssinia. Mar-^^^ 
CO Polo and Bakooi, an Arabian author, long ago spoke of 
it in such a way as to leave no doubt of its existence. 
Browne says that it is found in Darfoor. So numerous^, ' 

so ferocious, and so bold are the hyaenas in Abyssinia, 
that they sometimes prowl in the streets of the towns dur- 
ing the night. There are also wild boars, gazelles or an- 
telopes, and monkies : among the last is a small green kind 
W'hich commits serious ravages among the corn. Lobo 
and Petit-La-Croixf describe the zebra so minutely as to The Zebra. 
show that this animal is found in Abyssinia. The Ash- 
kokOf described by Mr. Bruce, is the Cavia capenis ac- 
cording to Blumenbach, and the booted lynx according to 
Gmelin.ij: There is also a great number of serpents of re- 
markable species, and enormous in size. The lakes and ri- 
vers swarm with hippopotami and crocodiles. The species 
of birds are no less numerous. One of these is the great 
gilded eagle. Alvarez and Lobo mention many singular 
birds resembling the birds of paradise, the ostrich, and other 
species peculiar to the torrid zone ; but aquatic birds are 

* Lobo, Short Relat. p. 23. 

i Idem Voy. Hist. T. 291—292. Bnins, 11. SI. 

X See Brucc's Travels, Appendix. 

vol, IV. 9 


BOOK Travellers speak of many species of wild bees, wliich build 

ixiii. their combs under ground, and produce excellent honey.* 

The most remarkable insect is a fly, the sti)is: of which is 


dreaded even bv the lion, and which forces whole tribes to 
change their residence, acircumstance-which Agatliarchides 
Lad anticipated Bruce in rema^-king.f The locusts ure still 
more destructive. Their numberless swarms devastate 
^vhole provinces, and involve the inhabitants in the miseries 
of famine4 
Urieertain- This general description of so extensive a country, must 
mimber^of ^® subjrct to many local gi-adutioiis and modiiications, de- 
provinces, pending on the different positions of its component parts. 
But our topograpliical information respecting Abyssinia is 
so limited and obscure, that v;e cannot even give a complete 
enumeration of the provinces. Ludolf speaks of nine king- 
doms and five provinces. Thevenot, from the information 
of an Ethiopian ambassador, says there are seven kingdoms 
and twenty-four provinces. Bruce mentions nineteen pro- 
vinces, and, lastly, Petit-la- Croix enumerates thirty-five 
kingdoms and ten provinces, which have belonged to the 
Abyssinian monarch, of which he retains only six kingdoms 
and a half, with the ten provinces.^ 
Kingdom Reserving the maritime parts of Abyssinia for another 
'^'^^* place, we must begin our tour with the kingdom of Tigre, 
which forms the north-eastern extremity of Abyssinia. 
This large and very populous province contains the city 
City of of Axum, which is 120 miles from the Red Sea.|) It is the 
ancient residence of the Abyssinian monarchs, who still go 
thither for the ceremony of coronation. The learned are 
not agreed respecting the antiquity of this city, which was 
not known to Herodotus or Strabo. The first author who 
mentions it is Arrian, in his Periplus of the Erythrean Sea. 
In the second century, w hen he wrote, it was a place of 

* Ludolf, Hist. I. 13. Lobe, T. p. 89. 
+ Agath. in Geogr. Min. Hudson, 1, 43. 
"X Alvarez, c. 82, 83. Lobo. Ludolf. 
5 Petit-Ia-Croix, ch. 21. 
Ij D'Anville, Mem. sur TEgypte, p. 265. 


great trade in ivory.* Its flourishing- condition in the four- book 
teenth, fifteenth, and sixteenth centuries, is attested by i-xiii. 
the descriptions left us by Procopius, Stephanus Byzan- " 

tinus, Cosmas, and Nonnossus.f The Portuguese travel- 
lers found in it magnificent ruins, the remains of temples 
and palaces, obelisks without hieroglyphics, one of which 
was sixty-four feet in height, consisting of a single block 
of granite, terminated by a crescent vsith mutilated figures 
of lions, bears, and dogs, and Greek and Latin charac- 
ters.:): According to Mr. Salt, the obelisk, which is still 
standing, is eighty feet high. There were fifty-four 
others wiiich had been thrown down by the misguided 
zeal of a Christian princess. The seat on which the kings 
used to sit when the crown was put on their head, in front 
of the great church, has an Ethiopic inscription. An- inscriptioa. 
other Greek inscription on a monument, the original pur- 
pose of wiiich is unknown, attests the victories of King 
Aeizanes. The existence of tiiat inscription establishes 
the authenticity of the one seen by Cosmas at Adulis, 
But the one which Bruce pretended to have discovered 
at Axum appears to have been a mere fabrication. The 
modern town of Axum reckons 600 houses, but no 
remarkable buildings. It contains manufactories of 
good parchment, and of coarse cotton stuffs. This last 
branch of industry is also carried on to a great extent at 
Adorva, a town of 300 houses, which has, since 1769, be- 
come the ca])ital of the province. The neighbourhood of 
Adorva, though containing steep mountains, yields three 
crops in the year. — In the northern part of this province^ 
on the road from Masuah to Axum, is Dixan, a considera- Dixan. 
able town, with flat-roofed houses, on the tops of which 
two earthen pots are stuck up instead of chimneys. The 

* Hudson, Geogr. Minor, t. T. 1. 3. 

+ Quoted by Liidolf, Hist. JEthiop, H. ch. 11. Comment, p. 60 and 251, 

:{: Lobo, Voyage, 255. Alvarez, cap. 38. Hist, de ce qui s'est pas??, &c, 
p. 137. 



HOOK iniiabitaiits are said to be idle and dirty. The women per- 
ixiii. fom^ the drudgeries of agriculture, to which they go out 
~ ^ carrying their children on their backs. The people are very 
ignorant, and the few who can read are considered as fully 
qualified for the priesthood. It is an emporium for the sale 
of white cloths, tobacco, pepper, looking-glasses, and spirits. 
Many children are also sold and sent to the Arabians of 
icmpieof Mecca. — At Abuhasubba, between Dixan and Axura, there 
5,a, " is a large chuj'ch cut entirely out of the solid rock. One of its 
rooms is fifty feet by thirty : another has a dome forty feet 
high. The walls are carved, adorned with crosses, Ethi- 
opic inscriptions, and paintings, representing Christ, the 
apostles, and St. George. On the eastern frontier of Ti- 
gre is the town of Antale, wdiich, during the visit of Mr. 
Salt, was the seat of government, being the residence 
of the viceroy, Ras Wellata Selasse. It consists of 
about 1000 hovels of mud and straw, together with the 
Monastery palace. — In this province is the monastery of Fremona, 
frl^i^ w hich has always been the chief establishment of the Je- 
suits. It is about a mile in circumference, surrounded by 
walls, flanked with towers, and pierced for musketry. It 
appeared to Mr. Bruce to have more the air of a castle 
than of a convent, and to be the most defensible place that 
he saw in Abyssinia. The province of Tigre in general 
is extremely fertile, but tlie inhabitants are a ferocious, 
blood-thirsty, corrupt, and perfidious race.^ 
Provinces The provinccs adjoining Tigre on the west are called 
Sirdi° &c? ^ogara, Sireh, and Samen. Wogara is one of the grana- 
ries of Abyssinia. The humid plains of the Sireh pro- 
duce numerous palms, and a variety of fruit trees. The 
banks of the Tacazze, on its borders, are very beautiful, 
from the number of fine trees with which they arc 
decorated. In Samen we find several mountain chains, 
the most celebrated of which are Lamalmon and Amba- 
Gideon. The last is properly a table land, which has so 

'^ Petit-la-Croix, cli. 10. 

AliYSSTNIA. 133 

steep a descent all round as to be rcnderett almost inacces- book 
sible, but sufficient, both in size and fertility, to support a i-xiii. 
whole army. It was the fortress of the Falasja or Abys- 
sinian Jews, who were once masters of the province of 
Sam en. ' 

To the soutli-west of Tigre, in the fertile plains sur- Kingdomot 
rounding lake Tzana, lies the province or kingdom of ^"^^'^^' 
Dembea, where we fmd Gondar, the modern capital of 

This city, according to the report of a native, almOvStcity of 
equals Grand Cairo in extent and population.* Eut Bruce 
reduces the number of its inhabitants to 10,000 (amilies.f 
The houses are built of red stone, and roofed with thatch. 
It contains a hundred Christian churches. One quarter of 
the city is peopled with Moors. The king's palace le- 
sembles a Gothic fort. Tlie trade, winch is extensive, is 
carried on in a vast open space, where the goods are daily 
exposed on mats. The current media of exchange arc 
gold and salt; sometimes, also, the woollen cloths manu- 
factured at Adowa. The province of Dembea contains 
also the town of Emfras, consisting of 300 houses, and 
agreeably situated. This province is remarkably fertile 
in grain. 

To the south of Dembea the Nile winds round the Kingdom 
kingdom of Gojam, forming thus a sort of peninsula. This ° °^ 
part of the river has a most magnificent waterfall, the 
whole river falling down from a height of forty feet, with 
tremendous force and noise, into a basin where it wheels 
round in numerous eddies. Abounding in all sorts of pro- 
ductions, this province derives its chief riches from its herds 
of cattle. 

To the east of Gojam are found the provinces of Am- 
hara and Bcgamder ; the name of the latter of which Begamder, 
signifies "the Sheep Country." It also contains horses, 

* Abraham, an Abyssinian, quoted by Sir W. Jones, in his Asi^itic Re- 

+ Bruce's Travels. 







and its inhabitants are very warlike. The mountainous 
country called Lasta, inhabited by a tribe which is gene- 
* rally independent, contains some iron mines. Amhara, 
to the south of Begamder, has always passed for one of 
the principal provinces of Abyssinia, and contains a nu- 
merous and brave nobility. =^ Here is the famous state- 
prison of Geshen, or Amba-Geshen, which is now succeed- 
ed by Wechneh in the province of Begamder. It seems 
to consist of steep mountains, which contain either a na- 
tural cavern or an artificial ditch, into which the prisoners 
descend by means of a rope. Here the Abyssinian mon- 
arch causes to be kept under his own eye all those princes 
of liis family from whom he thinks he has any thing to ap- 
prehend. It is often to this tonib of living beings that 
the grandees of the kingdom come to select the prince 
whom, from a regard for his birth, or from pure affection, 
they call to the throne. These barbarous usages, however, 
vaiy according to the character of the monarch, and ac- 
cording to the anarchical or comparatively peaceful state 
of the country.! 

When we have added to these provinces that of Xoa, 
or Shoa. formed by a large valley xQvy difticult of access,:]: 
and tliat of Damota, rich in gold, in crystal, and in 
cattle witli monstrous horns ;§ we have gone over the 
Abyssinian empire properly so called. Lobo, who re- 
sided for a time in Damota, extols it as the most delight- 
ful country he had ever beheld. The air is temperate and 
healthy, the mountains beautifully shaded with trees, with- 
out having the appearance of wild and irregulai- forests. 
Vegetation here is perpetually active : the operations of 
sowing and reaping are common to all seasons of the year, 
and the whole scene has the aspect of a pleasure-garden. 
As for Shoa, its ruling prince is stated by Bruce to be ra* 
ther an ally to the king of Gondar than a vassal. 

* Thevenot, p. 764. 
■:^Sah's Travel?. 

t Briint, Afrika, IT. 
J Lacioze, quoted by Bruns, Afrika, II, p. 217. 


The more remote provinces are mostly under the yoke book 
of the ferocious Galla, and other savage tribes hostile to Lxiii. 
the Abyssinians. To the east are the countries of Angot "^ " 

and Bali: to the south we are told of those of Fatgar, of bemr^o- 
Yvat, of Cambat, and most especially the kingdom of^^"^*^*' 
Enarea, which, from Bruce's account, seems to be a table 
land, watered by several rivers which have no visible out- 
let, and deriving a temperate clitTiate from its elevation. 
The inhabitants, who in tlie mountains have pretty clear 
complexions, trade with the people of Melinda on the In- 
dian ocean, and with those of Angola on the Ethiopic. 
The hilly district of CafFa must be conterminous with 
Enarea on the south. All these heights are covered with 
coffee trees. But this report, from a traveller in other 
respects not very scrupulous, requires further confirma- 

In the topographical sketch of Abyssinia now given, inhablt- 
we observe the mixed nature of the population of this coun- 
try. We sliall first take a glance of the Abyssins, or, as The Abys- 
they call themselves the Agazians. In their handsome ^oaziaus. 
forms, their long hair, and their featui'es, tliey approach to 
the European; but they are distinguished from all known 
races, by a complexion altogether peculiar, wliich Mr. . 
Bruce compares sometimes to that of pale ink,f sometimes 
to an olive brown, and which, according to the French In- 
stitute of Egypt, seems to partake of a bronze colour. 
The portraits of the Abyssinians, given by Ludolf and 
Bruce, betray, however, some traits of similarity to the ne- 
groes. When we attend to their language, we find that the Languages. 
Gheez, which is spoken in the kingdom of Tigre, and in 
which the books of the Abyssinians are written, is regard- 
ed bv all the learned as a dialect derived from the Arabic. 
The Amharic language, used at the Abyssinian court since 
the 14th century, and spoken in most of the provinces, has 
also many Arabic roots, but carries in its syntax eviden- 

* Bruns, Afiika, II. 217, 218, t Adelung, Mithiidates, I. 404. 

i36 ABTSSIJflA. 

T500K CCS of a peculiar origin. The Gliecz language, harder than 
XXIII. ii^g Arabic, contains five consonants which, to the organs 
of a European, are unuttcrahle. Tlje Amharic is mucli 
softer, but has not that variety of grammatical forms whicli 
characterizes the Asiatic languages.^ It would appear, 
therefore, that Abyssinia, first peopled by an indigenous 
and primitive race, has received, more especially in its 
northern and maritime parts, a colony of Arabs, and pro- 
bably of the tribe of Cush, whose name is, in the prophetic 
books [of Scripture, applied botli to a part of Arabia and 
to Ethiopia.! This Arabian origin of a part of the Abys- 
sinians explains the reasons why several of the Byzantine 
authors have placed the country of tlje Mascni in Arabia 
Historicr-i The intimate relations which Abyssinia has maintained 
epochs. ^^,-^lj^ ^1^^ nations of Asia confirm the opinion of their de- 
scent from the Kushite xlrabs. The indigenous history 
of the Abyssinians, so far at least as it is known to us, 
goes no farther back than the famous Queen of Sheba, w ho 
travelled to Judea to admire the magnificence of Solomon. 
The son whom she bore to the king of the JeAvs had the 
two names of David and Menihelcc. His descendants con- 
tinued to reign till the year 960 of the Christian era, 
— Under the two brothers, Abraha and Azbaha, in the year 
530, the Christian religion was introduced into Ahyssi- 
jiia. In 522, king Caleb, called also Elesbaan, in alliance 
with the emperor Justinian, fought several campaigns in 
Arabia against the Jews and the Koreishites. The Zogaic 
dynasty reigned for 340 years. The most celebrated king 
of that family, Lalibala, caused several dwellings to be cut 
in the rocks, and among others, ten churches, of which 
a traveller of the I6th century has given representations 
in plates. In 1368, the grandees of Shoa reinstated a 

* Lu<1o)f, Grainin. Arnhnrica, 

t Michaelis, Spicileg. Geogr. Hebr. Extersc, t. I. p. 143 — 157. Eichhonij 
Progiamina de Kn^chocis. Ainstadt, 1774. Compare Isaiah, cap. 18 & 20. 
Ezeitiel, cap. 29. v. 10. cap. 30. 'f. 3. v, 9. Neheiuiah. cap. 3. v. 8. Joseph. 
Antiq. Judaic. I. 6. * 2. «fcc. i^o. 


branch of the old Solomonic dynasty on a throne, of which, book 
twenty years ago, it continued in possession. Among the i^xiii. 
princes of this dynasty, Amda Zion, at the beginning of 
t!ie 14th century, was a warlike and powerful prince. 
Zara Jacob sent to the council of Florence ambassadors, 
who declared for the eastern church. — Under the unfortu- 
nate DaVid III. began tlie connections of Abyssinia with 
Portugal. His son Claudius, or Azenaf Segued, a prince 
of the highest endowments, had to contend at the same 
time with the ferocious Mahometans who devastated his 
empire, and the intrigues of the missionaries who laboured 
to subject him to tlic authority of the Pope. He kept up 
the alliance with the Portuguese, who, in 1542, sent him 
an auxiliary body of 450 men, under the command of 
Christopher de Gama. That hero died gloriously fighting 
against a numerous army of Moors, and the king himself 
lost his life in a subsequent battle. Under the reigns of 
his successors the intrigues of the Roman Catholics conti- 
nued unsuccessful ; and, when at last, in the year 1620, the 
learned and able father Paez succeeded in making the 
king Socinios, or Susneus, declare publicly for the church 
of Rome, the only result w as a train of the bloodiest civil 
wars. In 1632, king Easilides, or Facilidas, put an end 
to them, by expelling the catholics and securing the ex- 
clusive sway to the Abyssinian church. From that period 
Abyssinia ceased to be know^n in Europe. But in 1691, 
king Yasoos I. sent an embassy to Batavia. This mon- 
arch, distinguished for his virtues, repaired to the foot of 
the famous mount Wechneh, caused all the princes who 
were immured in that place of confinement to be brought 
before him, consoled them, passed some weeks in their so- 
ciety, and left them so delighted with his kindness, that 
they returned with good will to their dreary abode. The 
vices of the children of Yasoos I. favoured for a moment 
the enterprizes of a usurper who filled the throne, and de- 
clared in favour of the catholic religion. Yasoos II. spent 
his leisure hours in studying the arts, particularly archi- 
tecture. He married a princess from one of the Galla 


BOOK tribes, and his successor, by his marriage, gave occasion to 
XXIII. (.jyjj Yyrars, by conferring some of the government appoint- 
r ments on the Gallas. — At the time of Mr. Bruce's visit, the 

state, reigning king, called Tecla Haimaniit, succeeded in quiet- 
ing these troubles; but, dethroned by a rebel prince, he left 
his country a prey to anarchy." The ras^ or governor 
of Tigre, the powerful Wellata Selasse, whom Mr. Salt 
visited, supports a nominal king who lives at Axum, 
■while Guxo, a Galla chief, has set up another nominal sove- 
Religion. Separated from Europe by distrust as well as by natu- 
ral obstacles, and insulated in the midst of Maliometan and 
pagan nations, the Abyssinians, though possessing vigour 
and talent, languish in a condition not unlike that of Eu- 
rope in the 12th century. Tlieir Christianity, mixed with 
Jewish practices, admits circumcision in both sexes as a 
harmless practice. They keep both the Jewish sabbath 
and the first day of the week. During the great discus- 
sions which were held on abstract doctrines respecting the 
nature of Jesus Christ, the church of Abyssinia was by 
its geographical position drawn over to the sect of the Mo- 
noph} sites, of which it forms a leading branch along with 
the Copts of Egypt.j Yet, in their numej'ous festivals, in 
the worship of saints and angels, and in the adoration al- 
most divine which they pay to the Virgin Mary, they come 
near to the Catholicism of the Spaniards and Italians.t 
They make use of incense and of holy water. The sacra- 
ments which they acknowledge are baptism, confession, and 
the eucharist. Thev take tlie last in both kinds, and" 
believe in transubstantiation. Their Bible contains the 
same books as that of the catholics, besides an additional 
one called the book of Enoch, of wliich Mr. Bruce 
brought home three copies.§ In the metropolitan church 

* Salt's Travels. 

+ Tecla Abyss, quoted by Thomas a Jesus, de Convers. gent, VII. 1. e. 13. 

X Liidolf, Hist. III. cap. 5. Lobo, II. 00, 91. 

i Silvestre de Sary, Magasin Eucycloped. 1800, 


of Axuni, a holy arch is kept up, which is regarcled as the book 
palladium of the empire. The Ahuna, who is the head of i-xiii. 
the clergy, and may he compared to the exarchs^ is no- — — 
minated by the Coptic patriarch of Alexandria, and is al- 
ways a foreigner. The monks of the two orders of Saint 
Eustathius and Saint Tecla Haimanut, make tliemseives 
useful in cultivating the ground.^ The marriage of priests 
is allowed as in the Greek church. 

If this religion be, as the Abyssinians pretend, one of ^'^'' ^^^ 

^ -^ r ' political 

the most ancient forms of Christianity, it certainly has lit- state. 

tie influence on the civilization of tlie people. Every 
thing almost is conducted in the same nsainier as in Tur- 
key. The Abyssinian monarch, an absolute despot, sells 
the provincial governments to other subordinate despots.f 
Some of these governors have contrived to render their 
dignity hereditary.:}: The Vizier or prime minister has the 
title of Ras, The nobility consists of descendants of the 
royal family, tlie number of which is augmented by the 
practice of polygamy, whirli, though condemned by the 
church, is kept up by the force of custom, and the influ- 
ence of the climate. Those princes who have pretensions 
to the succession are usually kept in the royal prison. 
According to some authors, there is scarcely such a thing 
as the right of property ; yet other accounts mention a sort 
of magistrate who taxes the produce, and fixes the sum to 
be paid by the farmer to the proprietor, a procedure which 
seems to suppose considerable respect for tlie rights and in- 
terests of the people.§ Justice is administered with great 
promptitude ; punishments of the most barbarous kind 
seem to be frequent. There are tribunals of twelve per- 
sons with a presiding judge, which, like the old Gothic 
tribunals, hold their court in the oj)en air. The king's 
revenues consist of supplies of grain, fruit, and lioney, 
with some slender payments in gold. Every three -ye^ivs 
a tenth part of the cattle is appropriated by the govern- 

* Petit-la-Croix, ch. 17—20. &c. + Lobo, I. 323. 

1 Petit-la-Croix, ch. 21. * Bruns, Afiika, II. 326. 




The army 



iiient.^ The army, wiiicli is paid by grants of land, 
amounts to 40,000 men, a tenth part of whom are cavalry. 
" Some carry short firelocks, which they never fire without 
resting them on a post. The greater part are armed with 
lances and swords. The bravery of the Abyssinians, not 
being directed by tactics, has usually no other effect than 
that of exposing them to extensive carnage. When vic- 
torious they give full scope to their ferocity, mutilating 
the dead bodies of their enemies in a shocking manner, 
and exhibiting publicly the most indecent trophies of their 
success. f 

This single feature must excite in our readers a disgust 
sufficient to suppress ail avidity for a detailed descrip- 
tion of the manners of the Abyssinians ; w^e shall therefore 
only subjoin such brief sketches as are necessary. They 
live in round hovels with conical roofs, a form rendered 
necessary by the violent rains. A light cotton dress, some 
pieces of Persian carpet, and a few articles of handsome 
black pottery, form the chief objects of luxury. The chil- 
dren go naked till the age of fifteen.:]^ The arts and me- ' 
cbanical professions are in a great measure in the hands of 
strangers, and especially of the Jews.§ To these last be- 
long all the smiths, masons, and thatchers in the country. 

The proud indolence of the Abyssinians is shown in 
their manner of eating. The great lords have servants 
at table to introduce their newly dressed victuals into their 

It seems certain, after much discussion maintained on the 
point, that the Abyssinians have no repugnance to raw flesh, 
accompanied with a gravy of fresh blood, and rather consi- 
der it as a delicacy. 1 1 Bruce has perhaps exaggerated in 
saying that they cut slices from the live ox for immedi- 
ate use, the blood of the animal staining the entrance, 

* Petit-la-Cioix, ch. 22. 

if Petit-la-Croix, ch. 11. 

$ Ludolf, 1. IV. c. 5. Pelit-la-Croix, ch. 9. &c, 

tl Bruns, Afrika, TI. lf?7. 

i Bruce's Travels. 


and liis bellowiiigs mingling with the festive noise of the book 
company. The savage gaiety of these feasts is animated hy i-xiii. 
hydroniel in which opium is dissolved. The tv»o sexes in- " 

dulge publicly in freedoms which to other nations seem li- 
centious, tijough perhaps not in the gross debaucheries of 
which they have been accused. 

Such being the character of the Christians of Abyssi- 
nia, we cannot be surprised at any thing in the manners 
of the more savage nations that live in this country. The Savage na- 
ferocity and the dirtiness of the Gallas surpass every idea * ^* 
that can be formed. They live entirely on raw meat; 
they smear their faces with the blood of their slain enemies, 
and bans: their entrails round their necks, or interweave 
them with their hair. The incursions of these nomade and 
pastoral tribes are sudden and disastrous. Every liv- 
ing thing is put to the sword ; they butclier the infant 
in the mother's womb ; and the youths, after being muti- 
lated, arc sold by them into slavery. These people are 
distinguished from the negroes by their low stature, their 
deep brown complexions, and their long hair. These Afri- 
can Tartars, who first made their appearance in the coun- 
tries situated to the south-east of Abyssinia, now occupy 
five or six great provinces of that empire, as stated in the 
topography. Tiicy are divided into many tribes, which, 
according to some, are arranged into three national commu- 
nities. Those of the south are little known ; those of the west 
are called Bertuma-Galla: they have kings, or war chiefs, 
called Loobo ; those in the east are called Boren-Galla, and 
their chiefs Mooty. Their chiefs, w^ho, according to Lobo, Their leii- 
only enjoy a temporary authority, give audience in w^retch- 1^^^^' ^^^^^» 
ed hovels. Their guards and courtiers beginning by beating toms. 
with bludgeons any stranger who presents himself; then 
introduce him into the king's presence, and compliment 
him as an intrepid fellow who would not suffer himself to 
be dismissed.! The Gallas worship trees, stones, the moon, 
and some of the stars. They believe in magic, and in a 

* Brucc's Travels. Ludolf, Histor. iEthiop. I. 15, 16. ValeiUia's Voyages 
ar.a Travels, III. p. 26. 
t Lobo. 1. c. I, D. 26, 


BOOK future sta^e. Th^^ rights of property, niarriag:e, and the 
XXIII. support of aged relations, arc made binding by their laws, 
— Wariioi's are allowed to expose their children. In their dis- 
tant expeditions across the desert countries, they live on 
pounded coffee. 

The Abyssinians consider the Gallas as originally be- 
longing to the east coast of Africa. Their name seems to 
figure among the nations which were vanquished or subju- 
gated by Ptolemy Philadelphus, according to the inscrip- 
tion of Ajiulis. When, along with these circumstances, we 
take into view the physical features wliich distinguish them 
fronj the negroes, we must at once reject the hypothesis of 
so:ne geographers who would represent them as a colony 
of tiie Galla negroes of the Pepper Coast. They belong 
more probably to the nomade tribes of southern central 
The Shan- The otlier pagan and savage races are not quite so for- 
^^ ^^' midablc. In the north-west parts, and to the east of the 
river Tacazze, the Shangalla inhabit the wooded heights 
which are called Kolla by the Abyssinians. The visages 
of these negroes bear a resemblance to those of apes. They 
spend one part of the year under the shadows of trees, and 
the rest in caverns, which have been dug in the soft sand- 
stone rocks. Some of these tribes live on elephants and 
rhinoceroses, others on lions and boars ; one of them subsists 
on locusts. They go quite naked, and are armed with poi- 
soned javelins. The Abyssinians hunt them like wild beasts. 
These ti'ibes, tlie description of which forms one of the 
most valuable pai'ts of Mr. Bruce's account,^ were long 
ago designated by ancient authors under the name of lo- 
cust-eaters, ostrich-eaters, and elephant-eaters.f The nature 
of tlie soil, alternately covered with water, and baked and 
cracked into chinks by the violent heats, excludes e\erj sort 
of culture. 
The There are two nations called Agows. The one lives in 

Agaws. ^jjp pi'ovince of Lasta, round the sources of the Tacazze, 

* Blumenbach in his translation of Bruce, V. 2G0. 

t Agatharch. in Geogr. Min. Hudson, I. 37. Diod. Sic. Ill, <fec. 


the other possesses the neighbourhood of t!ie sources of the book 
Nile of Abvhsinia. Possessins: fertile but inaccessible coun- I'^m* 
tJ'ies, courageous, and provided witlj good cavalry, they ~" 

maintain their independence both against tlie Gallas and 
Abyssinians. The Agows of the Nile furnish Gondar with 
beef, butter, and honey. Although they retain some traces 
of the progress which the Christian religion formerly made 
among them, their principal worship is addressed to the 
spirit whom they consider as presiding over the sources of 
the Nile. Every year tbey sacrifice a cow to that spirit, 
and some neighbouring tribes, among whom are the Gafates, 
join in the sacrifice. 

The Gafates are a numerous people, who speak a distinct The Ga- 
language and live in Damot. Their country produces very ^*^** 
fine cotton. * 

The Gurags, a set of expert and intrepid robbers, live in The Gu- 
the hollows of rocks to the south-east of Abyssinia. Ber- * * 
mudas places them in the kingdom of Oggy, contained in the 
list of provinces given by Petit-la-Croix.^ ** This country," 
says that author, ** produces musk, amber, sandal-wood, 
and ebony, and is visited by white merchants." 

Of all the inhabitants of Abyssinia, the JeAvs, called Fa- TheFaias- 
lasja, or " tbe exiled,'^ present the most extraordinary his- ^^^^ °^j^._ 
torical curiosity. That nation seems to have formed for an Jews. 
ages a state more or less independent in the province of 
Samen, under a dynasty, the kings of which always bore 
the name of Gideon, and the queens that of Judith.f Tiiat 
family being now extinct, the Falasja submit to the king 
of Abyssinia.:): They exercise the vocations of weavers, 
smiths, and carpenters. At Gondar they are considered 
as sorcerers, who during the night assume the form of hy- 
jenas. According to Ludolf they had synagogues and He- 
brew Bibles, and spoke a corrupt dialect of Hebrew.§ 

* Bruns, Afrika, II. 230. 
t Bruce's Travels. 

X Salt's Travels. 

* Ludolf, Hist. .Ethiop. 1. I. cap. 14. 

144 HABESH. 

BOOK Bruce asserts that they have the sacred books only in the 
ixiii. Qjiees language ,* that they have lost all knowledge of the 

Hebrew, speak a jargon peculiar to themselves, and know 
nothing of the Talmud, the Targorun, or the Cabbala. The 
greater part of the Falasjas live on the Bahrel-Abiad among 
the Shillooks. This is tlie *very country that was occupied 
by the Egyptian exiles, the Asmach and Sebridie. Perhaps 
u company of Egyptian Jews followed the steps of these 
emigrants, and it is not unlikely that they have been mixed 

Troglo- Travellers, both ancient and modern, agree in compre- 
th^co^a^'tof ^^®"^^*^S ^11 ^he African coasts, from Egypt to the strait of 
Habesh. Bab-el-Mandeb, under the general name of Troglodytica, 
the coast of Abex, or Habesh, or New Arabia. There is 
nothing to prevent us from adopting that interesting division, 
in relation to history and to physical geography. We 
have found that neither Nubia nor Abyssinia have any fixed 
limits : and an Arabian geographer of great weight, Abul- 
feda, makes a formal distinction between Nubia and the ma- 
ritime parts.^ 

Tlie ancients, whom we must often take for our guides, 
represent the chain of mountains which skirts the Arabian 
JViinerais. Gulf as very rich in metals and precious stones. Aga- 
tharchidesf and Diodorus:j: make mention of mines of gold 
which were worked. These were contained in a white 
rock, probably granite. Pliny makes these riches com- 
mon to all the mountainous region between the Nile and 
the Gulf.§ The Arabian geographers have confirmed 
these accounts as well as those which relate to a quarry of 
Want of emeralds. But the excessive heat and the scarcity of water 
water. render the low part of the coast almost uninhabitable. 
Cisterns must be every where used, as there arc no springs.|| 
In the dry season the elephants dig holes with their trunks 

* Ahulfcda, AlVika, edit. Eicbiioni, talj. XXV^Il. 

i Agatliavcli. dc Mar. Rub. Ceogr. iMm. Hudson. 

:l Died. ^ic. MMin. V[. 30. !j Idem. 


and their teeth to iind water. Tlie Etesian, or north-east book 
winds bring the periodical rains.* The small lakes or i-xiii, 
marshes which abound on the coast are then filled with rain — — 

water. The palms, laurels, olive trees, styraxes, and other Vegetables 
aromatic trees, cover the islands and low coasts. In the Animals. 
woods arc found tlie elepliant, the giraffe, the ant-eater, 
and numerous sorts of monkeys. The sea, which is not 
very deep, is green like a meadow, from the great quantity 
of algre and other marine plants which it maintains. It 
likewise contains much coral. 

The nature of the soil and climate has, in all aees, kept ^''^?^^s of 


the inhabitants in a uniform state of savage wretchedness. T^g r^^Q„ 
Divided into tribes, and subject to hereditary chiefs, they giodytes. 
lived formerly, and still live, on the produce of their flocks 
of goats, and by fishing. The hollows of the rocks were 
and still are their ordinary dwelling. From these caverns, 
called in Greek trogla^ is derived the general name under 
which they are designated by the ancients. That kind of 
lodging was anciently used in many other countries of the 
world. We find Troglodytes at the bottom of Caucasus 
and of Mount Atlas, in Mcesia, in Italy, and in Sicily. 
This last mentioned island contains an example of a whole 
city, formed by excavation in the interior of a mountain.f 
But of all the races that have dwelt in caverns, those of the 
Arabian Gulf have longest preserved the habits and the 
name of Troglodytes. 

According to the ancients, these people are of Arabian Language^ 
origin. Bruce considers them under the general and com- ^^^ 
preliensive name of Agazi or Gheez, which means shepherds, toms. 
They speak the Gheez language, which is a dialect of the 
Arabic. The uncouth and singular sounds of this language 
made the ancients say that the Troglodytes hissed and 
howled instead of speaking. They were said to practise 
circumcision on both sexes. They employed a barbarous 
custom, which is used at this day among the Kora-Hotten- 

* Strabo, t Travels in Sicily by Privice Biscari, in Italian, 

V0L» IV. 10 


146 HABESH. 

3500K tots, that of a partial castration.*' In ancient times they 
ixiii. observed none of the laws of marriage ; the wives of the 

'"~~^~" chiefs of tribes were the only women who could be said to 
have husbands.f They painted their whole bodies with 
white lead, and hung round their necks shells, wliich they 
believed to have the power of protecting them from sor- 
cerv. Some of these tribes killed none of their domestic 
animals, but lived on their milk, as the Hazorta still do; 
others ate serpents and locusts, a food still relished by va- 
rious tribes of the Shangallas; finally, there were among 
them some who devoured the fiesh and bones of animals 
mashed togetiier, and cooked in a bag formed of the 
skin. They rtnar/ufacturcd a vinous liquor from certain 
wild fruits. The most wretched among them repaired 
in flocks, like cattle, to the marshes or lakes, to allay 
their thirst. This picture of the ancient Troglodytes is in 
a great measure applicable to the present inhabitants of 
these coasts. 

Mr. Belzoni, who, in his excursion to the Red Sea, 
came near the countries now under consideration, met with 

1 ishcinien. a fisherman, who was probably a fair specimen of that de- 
partment of the population.:): He lived in a tent only five 
feet wide, with his wife, daughter, and son-in-law. He 
had no boat, but went to sea on the trunk of a doomt tree,§ 
ten or twelve feet long, with a horizontal piece of wood at 
each end, to prevent it from turning round ; a small hole 
for a mast; and a sliawl for a sail, managed by means of 
a cord. Ow this apparatus two fishermen mount as on 
horseback, carrying a long spear, which they dart at tlic 
fish when they see them. The weather requires to be very 
favourable when they go to sea, this being impracticable 
during the east, and dangerous in west, winds. 

* " lis se privaient d'un testiculc, coutume barbare qui se retiouve aujourd'- 
iiui chez les Koia-Hottentots." 

t " Anciennement Ics femmes etaient en commun, a Texception de celles des 
chefs de. tiibus," 

:|: Narrative, vol. II. p. 68. 

; The Cucifera Thehaica of Delillc. a palm. 

HABESH. 147 

We shall begin the topography of the coast with the pro- liOOK 
montory Ral-el-enf, or the Mons Smaragdus of the ancients. I'Xiii* 

Mr. Bruce places opposite to this Cape an " Isle of Erne- ^ 
raids,'' where he found fine green crystals of fluor spar. phy. 
But the famous emerald mine, which was worked by the ^'."^'^^^'^ 

' ^ mines, 

Egyptians, was on the continent. The Arabian geographers 
place it in a more southerly latitude than Assouan or Syene. 
They say that the mountain is shaped like a bridge, and 
that the emeralds are found sometimes in sand, sometimes 
in a blackish gangue.^ Some moderns have given vague 
confirmations of the existence of this mine.f We believe it 
to be the same which was visited by Belzoni. Pliny ex- 
tols its precious stones for their hardness,:]: and they are in 
great request in the east, under the name of ** emeralds of 
tlie Saide."§ 

Zemorget Island, which is farther from the continent isles of To- 
than the Isle of Emeralds, passes for the Topaz Island of P^^®^* 
the ancients.|| It is a barren rock, and was inhabited only 
by serpents, when chance led to the discovery of a quarry of 
beautiful stones, which the ancients called topazes, and the 
working of them was undertaken by the kings of Egypt. 

The coast makes a great concave sweep, called, by an- 
cient and modern navigators. Foul Bay. At the bottom 
of this gulf is the port of the Abyssinians. The Arabian 
geographers give the coast nearest this port, the name of 
Baza, Beja, or Bodsha. According to them it is a king- The coun- 
dom separated from Nubia by a chain of mountains, rich o/Bodeha.' 
in gold, silver, and emeralds.^ We have very discordant * 

* Edrisi, Bakooi, Ibn-al-Ooardi, in Edrisi's Africa, ed. Hartmanii, p. 79. 

t Maillet, Desciipt. de I'Egyptf, p. 307. Niebuhr, Voyage, I. 210, 
Lucas, &c. &c. 

X Plin. XXXVir. 16. 

? Otte:, Voyage, &c. I. 208. Wansleben, in Paulus, Collect, des Voy- 
ages, &c. I. 33. 

II D'Anville, Descr. du Golfe Arab. p. 233. Gosselin, Recherches sur la 
Geographic des Anciens, II. 196. 

IT Abulfeda, loc. cit, Edrisi, Africa, p. 78 — 80. 


14^ liABESU. 

sooK accounts, both of the orthography of the name and the 
xxTii. boundaries of the country. The name of Baza is found 
in that of the promontory called Barium by the ancients, 
and now Raz-el-Comol. The inhabitants of this country, 
who are called Bugiha by Leo Africanus, Bogdites in the 
inscription at Axum, and Bedjah by the generality of the 
Arabians, lead a nomade and savage life. They derive abun- 
dant aliment from the milk and flesh of their camels, cattle, 
and sheep ; every father exercises a patriarchal rule in his 
family, and they have no other government. Full of loy- 
alty to one another, and hospitable to strangers, they 
continually rob the neighbouring agriculturists, and the 
trading caravans. Their cattle have horns of enormous 
size, and their sheep are spotted. The men are all sub- 
jected to tlic barbarous and indecent mutilation already 
mentioned of the Gallas and the Kora-Hottentots. There 
are some tribes among them in which the front teeth are 
extracted ; and there is a society of women who manufac- 
ture arms, and lead the lives of x\mazons.^ The custom 
of hanging up a garment on the end of a pike as a signal 
of peace, and for commanding silence, is common to them 
with the Hazorta, a tribe on the coast of Abyssinia.f — • 
Bruce asserts that they speak a dialect of the Gheez, or 
Abyssinian language. But the Arabian historian of Nu- 
bia makes them belong to the race of Berbers, or Bara- 
bras. ' A learned orientalist, M. Quatremere, has endea- 
voured to demonstrate the identity of the Bugihas or Be- 
jabs, with the Blemmyes of the ancients, or the Balnemoois 
of the Coptic writers. The descriptions of the ancients 
appear to us to apply more naturally to the Ababdehs. 
The other hypothesis is formally contradicted by a pas- 
sage of Strabo. " The Megabari," says that geographer, 

* Abdallah, Histoire de la Nubie, d'apres Makrisi, trad. par. M. E. Qua- 
ireradre. M6m. Hist, Geogr. sur I'Egypte, II, p. 135. 
•-• Compare Quatremere, ibid. p. 139, and Salt's Travels. 

HABESM. 149 

" and the Blemmyes, live beyond Meroe, on the banks of tlie book 
Nile nearest the Red Sea. They are neiglibours to the i^xiii. 
Egyptians, and subject to the Ethiopians, but on the sea 
shorepive tlie Troglodytes."* From this passage we must 
consider the Megabaris as chiefly represented by the Ma- 
korrah of the historian Abdallah, the Blemmyes by the 
Ababdehs, and the Troglodytes by the Bejahs. 

The port of Aidab, called Gidid by the Portuguese long i'?""* "^ 
served as a point of communication between Africa and 
Arabia. It was a great place of embarkation for Mahome- 
tan pilgrims bound to Mecca. The Samoom v^ind renders 
this place scarcely habitable. 

Suakem, called Szawaken,| by M. Seetzen, in the latitude Town anii 
of Dongola in Nubia, is now the most frequented port. s«akem! 
The town is surrounded with some redoubts, and is mostly 
built on an island. It possesses mosques and even schools, 
and has a garrison appointed by the Sheriff of Mecca. 
The adjoining coast has no river, and is badly supplied with 
fresh water ; it contains calcareous rock, potters clay, and 
red ochre, but no metals. Here some dourra, tobacco, wa- 
ter-melons, and sugar-cane, are cultivated. Among its 
trees we find the sycamore, which, as well as the Fersettf^ 
the ancients mention as growing in Troglodytica. The 
forests consist of ebony trees, gummy acacias, and many 
varieties of palms. There is a large tree which produces a 
fruit resembling grapes. Here are found the gii'affe and 
numerous herds of elephants. The sea yields pearls and 
black coral. Besides all these productions, the city exports 
slaves and gold rings brought from Soodan.§ The inhabit 
tants of Suakem, and those of Hallinga-Taka, the adjoining 
tribe of the Bishareens, and that of Hadindoa, speak a pe- 
culiar language. I 

* Geographia, lib. XVII, in principio. 
t Sz in the Polish language, is pionounced like our sfi. 
1^ Strabo, loc, cit. , 

$ SeetzcM, information received from a native, Zacii's correspondence, July, 
)| Mithridate, t. III. p. 120, from a manuscript note of M. Seetzen. 



Island of 

BOOK The promoiitoiy of Ras-Ageeg, or Aheliiis, seems to be 
xxiii. ^\^Q termination of the Bejali, or Bodja, or Baza country. 
After this promontory comes a desert coast lined with islets 
and rocks. It was here that the Ptolemies procured the 
elephants which they required for their armies. Here 
Lord Yalentia found a large harbour, to which he gave the 
name of Port Mornington. The first considerable island 
met with is called Daiialac, the largest indeed belonging 
to the Arabian Gulf, being more than sixty miles in cir- 
cumference. It is level on the side towards the continent, 
but rises eastward, and has a rocky precipitous coast to- 
wards the sea.* It contains goats with long silky hair, 
and furnishes a sort of gum-lac, the produce of a particular 
shrub.f The pearls formerly got liere had a yellowish 
water, and were of little value.:j: To this island vessels 
repair for fresh water,§ which, however, according to Mr. 
Bruce's account, is very bad, being kept in 370 dirty cis^ 

In the gulf formed between this island and the coast is 
found Massua, or Matzua, an arid rock, with a bad fortress 
and a very good harbour. It is here that travellers land 
who go to Abyssinia by sea. At the bottom of the gulf 
the town of Arkiko commands an anchorage, which is ex- 
posed to the north-east winds. It contains 400 houses, 
some of which are built of clay, and others of plaited 
grass. !| 
Country of This low, saudy, and burning coast, called Samhar, is 
pamhar. ^j^^ scene of the wanderings of different noniade tribes, as 
the Shihos, who are very black in complexion, and the Ha- 
zortas, who are small and copper-coloured. These people, 
like the ancient Troglodytes, inhabit lioles in the rocks, 
or hovels made of rushes and sea-weed. Leading a pas= 


* Alvarez, c. 19. c. 20. D'Anville, Descript. tin golfe Arab. p. 206. 

t Vincent Leblanc, p. I. ch. 9. Coionelli, Tscl. p, 110. 

+ Lobo, I. 51, 

? Poncet, German trausl. 171. 

11 Brace's Travels, lib. V, ch. 12. 


toral life, they change tlieir dwelling as soon as the rains hook: 
give riseio a little verdure on the burning soil; foi*, when -tiXiii. 

the rainy season ends in the plains, it begins amcmg the 

The Turks, who have been masters of this coast since 
the sixteenth century, gave the government of it to an 
Arab Sheik of the Bellowe tribe, w ho has the title of Naib. 
But, according to recent accounts, it appears that the go- 
vernor of Abyssinia and of Tigre, has resumed his ancient 
influence over this part of the Abyssinian empire.* The 
last traveller, Mr. Salt, found the Naib independent of 
the Turks, and acknowledging the power of the Ras of 

The government of the coast, called in ancient accounts Territory 
the territory of the Bahar-Nagash, that is, "the King of^a<-asi^.^ 
the Sea," formerly extended from Suakem to the south of 
the Straits of Bab-el-Mandcb. Dobarva, or Barva, its an- 
cient capital, was, in Bruce's time, in the hands of the Naib 
of Massua. This town, situated on the Mareb, is consi= 
dered as the key of Abyssinia towards the sea. During 
the existence of tlie Portuguese influence it was a place of 
great trade,f but it w as not visited by Mr. Salt. 

To the south of Samhar, the coast takes the name of Dankaii. 
Dankali, or, as Niebuhr calls it, Denakil,:j: a sandy coun- 
try from which salt is obtained, and the chief port of 
which is Bayloor. The inhabitants are called Taltals, and, 
though Mahometans, are in alliance with Abyssinia. 

The country round the strait of Bab-el-Mandeb is, iu 
the best modern maps, called Adeil ; but we know not whe- 
ther it belongs to Abyssinia, or, as the name seems to in- 
dicate, to the kingdom of Adel. Bruce mentions some 
magnificent ruins at Assab, the chief port of this province, 
but gives a very obscure account of the place and coun- 

* Bruns, Afrika, II. 195. Lett, di S. Ignacio di Loj'ola, &:c. Rome, 1790^. 
p. 21. 

t Alvarez, c. 18. 20. 23. 128. 

T- Niebuhr, Descript. de I'Arabie, tab. XX, 


«00K LXIV. 




General Jeatures of these Couutrieii* 

sooK From the Egyptian Delta and the pyramids, VrC have as- 

XXIV. cended the Nile as far as we enjoyed the assistance of his- 

>. - . — tory and of the journals of European travellers. Before 

attempting to penetrate the mysterious centre of northern 

Africa, we shall complete our view of its more accessible 

Tiegion of parts, turning our attention in the first place to mount At- 

the Atlas, j^^^^ ^^^j ^j^^ pillars of Hercules. A straight line passing 

from the cataracts of the Nile to Cape Blanco, or the 
mouth of the Senegal, will form the southern boundary of 
the region now to be described. Here physical geography 
presents us with two leading and characteristic phenomena, 
the greatest desert in the known world, and one of the most 
extensive mountain chains. These two features belong to 
two distinct regions. We shall first trace that of Mount 
Atlas, to whicli the* common practice of Arabian and Eu- 
ropean geographers has given the name of Barbary, or 
more properly Berbery, from the Arabic name of the most 
ancient indigenous race of its inhabitants. 
Mount At= Mount Atlas has a certain desjree of poetical celebrity, 
jas escriD- |jgj,^g represented by Homer and Herodotus as one of the 
pillars of heaven. According to Virgil, " Atlas is a hero me- 


tamorphosed into a rock. His robust limbs are converted book 
into pillars; he bears on his shoulders the entire hea- ^^iv. 
vens, with all their orbs, without feeling oppression from " 

their weight. His head, crowned with a forest of pines, is 
continually girt with clouds, or battered by winds and 
storms. A mantle of snow covers his shoulders, and rapid 
torrents flow down his venerable beard." But this famous 
mountain is at present obscurely known to Europeans, 
and we wait for some fortunate traveller to give us a satis- 
factory and complete description of it. M. D esfontaines, 
who with the eyes of a learned botanist surveyed a great 
part of this system of mountains, considers it as divided into 
two leading chains. The southern one, adjoining the de- Great and 
sert, is called the Great Atlas, the other lying towards chain?. 
the Mediterranean is called the little chain. Both run 
east and west, and are connected together by several 
intermediate mountains running north and south, and con- 
taining between them both valleys and table lands. This 
description, though general and rather vague, is the clear- 
est that we possess. It is easily reconciled with the ac- 
count given by Mr. Shaw, who describes Atlas as a se- 
ries consisting of many ranges of hills successively increas- 
ing in elevation, and terminating in steep and inaccessible 
peaks.* But it is worthy of remark, that the great and 
little Atlas of Ptolemy, the one of which is terminated at 
Cape Felneh, and the other at Cape Cantin, differ from 
the chains of the French traveller, being lateral branches 
which go off from the main system, to form promontories 
on the sea coast. Another question is, whether is the prin- Extension 
cipal chain continued without interruption to the east of"^*^^^^^* 
the smaller Syrtse ? or do the mountains of Tripoli, of 
Fezzan, and of Barca, form separate systems ? The Ara- 
bian geographers seem inclined to the former opinion,! and 
no person is prepared to contradict them. They tell us 

* Shaw's Travels and Observations, p. 5. 

t Abulfeda. See Busching's Magasin, Geogr. t. IV. p. 418. Hartmann^ 
Edrisi, Geogr. p. 143, 144. 


sooE that " Mount Daraii extends eastward from Sus in Moroc- 
I.XIV. CO, joins the mountains of Tripoli, and then is lost in a 

"■""~~~" plain." These expressions are not inconsistent with the be- 
lief that Atlas is completely terminated on the South of the 
Great Syrtse, from whence it is probable that a low lying 
territory extends a great way into the interior. 

The great height of Mount Atlas is proved by the per- 
petual snows wiiich cover its summits in the east part of 
Morocco, under the latitude of 32°^ According to Hum- 
boldt's principles, these summits must be 12,000 feet above 
the level of the sea. Leo Africanus, who travelled here 
in the month of October, narrowly escaped being buried 
in an avalanclie of snow. In the state of Algiers, the snow 
disappears on the tops of Jurjura and of Felizia in the 
month of May, and covers them again before the end of 
September.! ^The Wanashisre, situated in 35° 55', and 
forming an intermediate chain between the maritime one 
and that of the interior, is covered with a mantle of snow 
nearly the whole of the year.^ Even to the east, where 

f the elevation appears to diminish, the Gariano, or Garean 

mountains to the south of Tripoli, are covered with snow for 
three months. 

Nature of The ingredients of the rocks have not been sufficiently in- 
vestigated. In the parts belonging to Tunis, Algiers, 
and Morocco, which were visited by M. Desfontaines, 
the chain of the Atlas is formed of limestone,§ and this 
gentleman adds that he found in the mountains large 
heaps of shells and marine bodies, at a great distance from 
the sea ; a phenomenon noticed by all modern travellers,|| 
and which also struck the less observant minds of the an- 

* Haest's Account of Morocco, p. 78. (German translation.) Chenier His- 
toire de Mavoc. 

t R.elation du royaurae d'Alger, (Altona, 1798.) t. I. p. 152. 

I Ibidem, 249. 

§ Flora Atlantica, preface, p. 3. 

ijl Shaw's Travels, p. 470. Poiret, Voyage en Barbaric, TI, p. 27f«. 


cieiits.^' Some of the elegant marbles of Numidia, ex- book 
liausted by Roman luxury, were of a uniform yellow, others i^xiv. 
were spotted with various colours.f The Carthaginians 
employed them previously to the Romans, for constructing 
pavements in mosaic. But the copper, iron, lead, and 
other mines, worked in Morocco and Algiers, show the ' 

existence of schistous or granitic rocks. M. Poiret informs 
us, that in the neighbourhood of Bana, a maritime town 
of the kingdom of Algiers, the rocks are of quartz mixed 
with mica,:|: and Shaw mentions that a sort of sandstone 
is employed for building in Algiers.§ The hills which ter- 
minate the Atlas in the desert of Barca, are calcareous 
masses surrounded by a crest of basalt. Such at least is 
the case with the mountain of Harutch, observed by Hor- 
iiemann. According to Pliny, the sides of the Atlas which 
look toward the Western Ocean, that is, the south sides, raise 
their arid and dark masses abruptly from the bosom of a 
sea of sand, while the more gentle northern declivity is 
adorned with beautiful forests and verdant pastures. || 

But was the chain of mountains now described really the Hypoihesis 

of M. Ide- 

Atlas of the ancients ? This is denied by a learned Ger- ler on tiie 
man, who reasons in the following: manner. Atlas of tho 

' '-' . ancients. 

^* In the earliest periods of history the Phenicians ven- 
tured to pass the Strait of Gibraltar. On the shores of 
the Atlantic they founded Gades and Tartessus in Spain, 
and Lixus and several other cities in Mauritania. From 
these settlements they navigated northward to the coast of 
Prussia, where they found amber. In the south they pro- 
ceeded beyond Madeira to the islands of Cape Verd.— - 
They frequented, most especially, the archipelago of the 
Canaries. Here they were astonished at the sight of the The Atlas 
Peak of Tenerifte, the height of which, in itself very great, nidans/^^ 

* Strabo's Geography, XVII. at the end. 

t Pliny and Isidorus, Compared in the notes of Justus Lipsius on Seneca's 

X Poiret, II. p. 277. ^ Shaw, p. 15?. 

1! Pliny, V. cap, I. 


sooK appears still greater by shooting up immediately from the 
XXIV. flat surface of the ocean. The colonies which they sent 

• to Greece, and most especially tliat which, under the con- 

duct of Cadmus, settled in Bfeotia, brought to these coun- 
tries some information respecting that mountain which 
towered above the region of the clouds, and the Happy 
Islands over which it presides, embellished with oranges, 
called in their phraseology, golden apples. This tradition, 
propagated over Greece by the verses of the poets, was 
handed down to the era of Homer. His Atlas has its 

The Atlas foundation in the depths of the ocean, and lofty pillars 
°"^^^' reaching from earth to heaven.-^ The Elysian Fieldsf 
are described as an enchanting country, situated some- 
where in the west. — Hesiod speaks of Atlas in a similar 
style, describing tliat personage as the near neighbour of 
the Hesperian nymphs.:|: He calls the Happy Islands the 
Elysian Fields, and places tliem at the western extremity 
of the earth. 5 Later poets added new embellishments to 
the fables of Atlas and the Hesperides, their golden ap- 
ples, and the Islands of the Blessed, describing them as 
the destined habitation of the righteous after death. With 
these they have connected the expeditions of Melicertes, 
the Tyrian god of commerce, and those of the Grecian 
Hercules. It~was at a comparatively late period that the 
Greeks began to rival the Carthaginians and Phenicians 
in navigation. They visited the shores of the Atlantic 
Ocean, yet it does not appear that i;heir voyages in that 
ocean were greatly extended. It is doubtful whether or 
not they ever saw the Peak of Teneriffe and the Canary 
Islands, for they thought it necessary to search on the west 
coast of Africa for the Atlas which their poets and their 
traditions had represented to them as a very lofty moun- 

* Odyssey, Book I. verse 52. 

t Iliad, Book IV. v. 561. The word is of Phenician origin, and signifies the 
abode of joy — (A note by M. Idcler.) 
X Theogonia, lib. V. v. 517. 
b Opera et Dies, v. 167. 



tain situated at the western extremity of the earth. It is book 
thus that Straho, Ptolemy, and other geographers, have ^^"^^^ 
altered its position. But since there is not found in the 
north-west of Africa any mountain of remarkable height" — 
(this is a mistake) — " much difficulty arose in recognising 
the true position of Atlas. Sometimes search was made 
for it on the coast, sometimes in the interior of the coun- 
try, sometimes near the Mediterranean sea, sometimes far- 
ther to the south. In the first century of our era, when 
the Romans carried their arms into the interior of Mauri- 
tania and Numidia, the habit sprung up of giving the name 
of Atlas to the chain of mountains in the nortl) of Africa, 
which extends from east to west, in a direction nearly pa- 
rallel to the coast of the Mediterranean. Pliny and Soli- 
nus perceived that the descriptions of Atlas given by the 
Greek and Roman poets did not apply to this chain of 
mountains. They, therefore, thought it necessary to find 
in the unknown part of central Africa a locality for this 
Peak, of which, while they copied poetical traditions, they 
drew^ so agreeable a picture. But the Atlas of Homer and 
Hesiod can only be the Peak of Teneriffe, while the Atlas 
of the Greek or tlie Roman geographers must be found in 
the north of Africa.''^ 

This reasoning w-e cannot consider as well founded. Objections 
The passages referred to in Homer, Hesiod, and Herodo- pojjjegj'sy' 
tus, are extremely vague. The iltjas of Herodotus 
might be a promontory of the southern cliain, rising from 
the plains of the desert, such as Mount Saluban in Bildul- 
gerid appears to be. It agrees with the distances assign- 
ed by this historian. It is besides possible, that all these 
contradictions may owe their origin to that optical illusion 
by w hich a chain of mountains seen in profile has the ap- 
peari-nce of a narrow peak. "When at sea," says Hum- 
boldt, "I have often mistaken long chains for isolated 

* Idelfer, in M. de Humboldt's Tableaux de la Nature, I. p, 141, &;c. trad. 
de M. Eyries. Compare Bory Saint-Vincent, Essai sur les lies Fortun^es. 
p. 427. 


BOOK mountains." This explanation might be still farther sim- 
XXIV. plified, if it were admitted that the name of Atlas belong- 
'" ed originally to a promontory remarkable for form and 

its peculiar isolated situation, such as most of those ou 
the coast of Morocco. A curious passage in Maximus 
Passage in Tyrius sccms to countenance tliis hypothesis : " The Ethi- 
?>riuT."^ opian Hesperians," says he,^ " worship Mount Atlas, who 
is both their temple and their idol. The Atlas is a moun- 
tain of moderate elevation, concave, and open towards the 
sea in the form of an amphitheatre. Half w^ay from the 
mountain a great valley extends, which is very remarkably 
fertile and adorned with richly laden fruit trees. The eye 
plunges into this valley as into a deep well, but the precipice 
is too steep for any person to venture to descend, and 
the descent is prohibited by feelings of religious awe. The 
most wonderful thing is to see the waves of the ocean at 
high water overspreading the adjoining plains, but stopping 
short before Mount Atlas, and standing up like a wall, 
without penetrating into the hollow of the valley, though 
not restrained by any earthy barrier. Nothing but the air 
and the sacred thicket prevent the water from reaching the 
mountain. Such is the temple and the god of the Liby- 
ans ; such is the object of their worship and the witness of 
their oaths." In the physical delineations contained in this 
account we perceive some features of resemblance to the 
coast between Cape Tefelneli and Cape Geer, which re- 
sembles an amphitheatre crowned with a series of detach- 
ed rocks.f In the moral description, we find traces of 
fetichism; rocks remarkable for their shape being still 
worshipped by some negro tribes. 
Descrip- Leaving these dubious questions to the sagacity of au- 
Tee^on^of ^ thors who make them a subject of express research, we shall 

Mount At- 

* Max. Tyr. Dissertat. XXXVIII. p. 457, 458. edit. Oxon. e theatro 


t Dalzel, Instruction sur les cotes d'Afrirjue, Trad. Manusoite, avec Notes, 
par M. Mallard Dubcce. 


now give a view of the actual physical geography of the book 
region of Mount Atlas. ixiv. 

The fertility of this part of Africa was celebrated by — — — 
Strabo and Piiny. Tlie latter extolled its figs/^ olives,! t^on!'^' 
corn,! and valuable woods,§ He observed that the wines 
had a certain sharpness, which was corrected by adding to 
them a little plaster,|| and says that the vineyards had a nor- 
thern and western exposure.^ Strabo says that the vine 
trunks v/ere sometimes so thick that two men could scarcely 
clasp them round, and that the clusters were a cubit in 
length.^* A horrible government, and a total absence of ci- 
vilization, have not succeeded in annihilating these bounties 
of nature. Barbary and Morocco still export large quanti- 
ties of grain. The olive tree is superior here to that of Pro- 
vence,! f and the Moors, notwithstanding the hostility to 
Bacclius which marks their religion, cultivate seven varie- 
ties of tlie vine. The soil of the plains in many places re- 
sembles that of the rest of Africa, being light and sandy, and 
containing numerous rocks : but the valleys of Mount At- 
las, and those of the rivulets which descend from it to the Me- 
diterranean, are covered Avith a compact, fertile, and well 
watered soil. Hence, the most common native plants flour- 
ish on their banks, or strike their roots deep into the move- 
able sands, while the rarest species grow in the marshes and 
the forests. The arid shores are covered with numerous sa- 
line and succulent plants, sucJi as the Salsola and Salicor- 
nia, the Pancratium maritimunu and the Scilla maritimaf 
with different species of hardy long-rooted plants, among 
whicli are the Lygeiim spartumf the Panicum humidum, 
the Saccharum cijlindricum, and the Agrostis pungens^ 
mixed here and there with the Heliotr opium and Soldanel- 
Za.!! The dry and rocky table-lands which lie between the Vegetation 

^' Pliny, lib. XV. cap. 18. t Pliny, lib. XVII. cap. 12. 

X Idem, lib. XVIII. cap. 7. ♦ Idem, lib. XIII. cap. 15—19. 

jj Idem, lib. XIV. cap. 9. IT Idem, lib. XVII. cap. 2. 

** Strabo, lib. XVII. p. 568. ft Poiret, Voyage, II. p. 81. 

t| Desfontaines, Flora Atlantica. Poiret, Voyage en Barbarie, passim. 

of the ta- 


BOOK valleys of the interior greatly resemble the downs flandesj 
XXIV. Qf Spain. They abound in scattered groves of cork trees, 
' and evergreen oaks, under whose shadovr sage, lavender^ 
and other aromatic plants grow in great abundance, and rise 
to an extraordinary height. The tall-stemmed Genista, the 
different species of cistus, mignonette, sumac, broom, agave, 
and many species of euphorbium and cactus, adorn the wind- 
ings and clefts of the rocks, where, braving the heat and 
drought, they furnish a shade and a wholesome food for the 

The fo- The forests which cover the sides of the fertile moun- 
tains in the northern parts of these countries are, accord- 
ing to M. Desfontaines, composed of different species of 
oaks, as the ^uercus ilex, coccifera, and Ballota, the 
acorns of which form part of the food of the inhabitants. 
The mastic tree, the Pistacia Aflantica, the Thuya arti' 
culata, and the Bhus ijentaphyllum, are frequently found 
here. The large cypress, like a verdant pyramid, stretches 
its brandies towards heaven ; the wild olive yields excel- 
lent fruit without culture. The Arbutus unedo bears a 
red fruit resembling strawberries. The tall broom tree 
diffuses widely its delightful perfumes. All the valleys that 
have a moderate elevation form in April and May so many 
little Elysiums. The shade, the coolness, the bright ver- 

Fiowers. dure, the diversity of the flowers, and the mixture of 
asrreeable odours, combine to charm the senses of the bo- 
tanist, who, amidst such scenes, might forget his native 
country, were he not shocked and alarmed by the barba- 
rity of the inhabitants.^ On the coasts and in tne plains, 
the orange-tree, the myrtle, the lupine, the virgin's bower, 
and the narcissus, are, in tlie month of January, covered 
with flowers and young leaves. But in June, July, August, 
and September, the parched and cracked soil is only co- 
vered with the yellow remains of dead and withering 
])lants. The cork tree darkens the forest with the gloom 
of its scorched bark. Yet at this season,! the rose-bay 

* Poiiet, II. p. Tl. + Poiret. p. 129- 


displays its bright flowers on the banks of all the torrents book 
and rivers, from the tops of the mountains down to the I'Xiv. 
deepest valleys. — — • 

Among tlie cultivated plants are hard wheat, barley, Alimentary 
maize, the Uolcus sorghum^ and the Holcus saccharatus ; P^^"^^* 
rice in the lands capable of being inundated, tobacco, dates, 
olives, figs, almonds, vines, apricots, jujubes, melons, pump- 
kins, saffron, the wliite mulberry, the Indigofera glauca, 
and the sugar-cane. The gardens yield almost all the spe- 
cies of pulse known in Europe. The inhabitants of these 
countries preserve their grain for several years, by burying 
it in large holes in dry situations. Wheat is sown in au- 
tumn, and gatliered in April or May. Maize and sorghum 
are sown in spring, and cut down in summer.^ Oats grow 
spontaneously.! Some of the fruits, such as the fig,! are 
inferior in quality to those of Europe : but the acorns of the 
oak taste like our chesnuts.§ 

The animal kingdom comprehends most of the species Animal 
known in the rest of Africa; we must except from these the^"^^'^°'"* 
rhinoceros, the hippopotamus, the giraffe, the zebra, and 
several of the monkeys. 

Nature has supplied the inhabitants of the desert of 
Zahara with the means of crossing the immense deserts 
of western Africa in a few^ days. Mounted on the lieiree. Camel of 
or camel of the desert, which resembles the dromedary, ^'^® i^^sert. 
and is only distinguished from it by greater elegance of 
figure, the Arab, after tying up his loins, his breast, 
and his ears, to protect himself from the blasts of a dan- 
gerous wind, traverses with the speed of an arrow that 
burning desert, the fiery atmosphere of which deeply af- 
fects respiration, and is almost sufficient to suffocate any 
unwary traveller. The motions of this animal are so harsh 
and violent, that no person could bear them without all 
the patience, the abstinence, and toilsome habits of the 

* Desfontaines, Flora Atlanlica. t Shaw, p. 138. 

X Poiret, II. p. 267. k Hocst, p. 305, 

VOL. IV. 11 


BOOK Arabs. The most indifferent variety of these camels is 
XXIV. called talayeJh a term denoting that the animal cannot ac- 
complish more than three ordinary days journeys in a day. 
swiftness^! The most abundant variety called sebay can make out seven. 
There is a kind which accomplishes nine, and is called ta- 
say, but tliese are exceedingly rare, and bring enormous 
prices. The Arab in his figurative phraseology thus des- 
cribes the swiftness of the camel of the desert — *• When you 
meet a heiree, and say to the rider saleni alik, (peace be with 
you,) he is out of sight before he can return the alik sa- 
lenif for he flies like the wind." Mr. Jackson relates facts 
on this subject which are almost incredible. A heiree 
arrived at Senegal in seven days from Mogadore, having 
traversed 14 degrees of latitude, and, including the wind- 
ings of the road, had travelled 1000, or 1100 English miles, 
making 150 in a day. A Moor of Mogadore mounted his 
heiree in the morning, went to Morocco, which is 100 Eng- 
lish miles off, and returned in the evening of the same day 
with a parcel of oranges, for wliich one of his women had 
longed. Mr. Jackson allows that these facts put the faith 
of the reader to a severe test ; but three older travellers 
give similar accounts. It is at the same time added, that 
camels of this quality are but few%^ Geography might 
receive some interesting accessions, if Europeans, well arm- 
ed, and in sufficient number, could procure these fleet crea- 
tures, and learn to ride them, in order to explore the de- 
other do- serts of northern Africa. Asses are also used, and are of 
mestic ani- ^wo sorts, the oue stroug and large, the other very small. 
Morocco produces fine horses of the Arabian breed. In 
the whole of Barbary the cattle are small and lean; the 
cows give liftle milk, and that of an unpleasant taste.— 
Goats and sheep are plenty. Pigs being held in abhor- 
rence among Mahometans, are only found in tlie houses of 
Europeans. Cats, dogs, and European poultry are com- 
mon. The Arabs breed a great many bees.f 

* Hoest's Account of Morocco, translated from Danish into German, p. 289. 
Shaw's Travels in Barbary, p. 157. Lempriere's Travels. 
"*■ Nachrichten und Bemerkunsien uber Algier, Szc. t. Iff. 


The pantlier has in all periods been a famous animaf, book 
but it is only within these few years that he has been de- ^^*v. 
scribed with precision.* The ounce and leopard of Buf- 
fon seem to be the panther at different ages; yet it would mais. 
be rash to expunge them at once from the list of quadru- 
peds. The buhaluSf an animal of the antelope kind, be- 
longs to the deserts of the north of Africa. It lives in a 
gregarious state, and flocks of them come to the marshes 
and canals of Egypt to assuage their thirst. The hiero- 
glyphics in the temples of Upper Egypt contain several 
figures evidently representing this animal. Among the 
other animals of tlie same genus common in these coun- 
tries, the pasan is the most frequent, then the corinna ga- 
zelle, which differs very little from the kevel, or proper 
gazellcf In the forests and deserts are found the ele- 
phant, the lion, the African bear, two species of the hyse- 
na, the ferret, which lives in the bushes, and some apes, 
among which are the old man and the baboon. According 
to a conjecture of M. Walckenaer, the rats seen by Wind- 
hus the traveller, in the neighbourhood of Mequinez, 
" rats as large as rabbits, and which like them burrow in 
the earth," were arctomys gundi, a kind of marmots. It 
has been disputed whether there are any bears in Africa. Descrip- 
The learned Cuvier doubts their existence in such sou- bears of ^ 
therly latitudes, but Baldens, a well informed writer, says Africa. 
that he saw them in Ceylon.:j: It cannot be denied, that 
two grave authors, Herodotus and Strabo, assert the exist- 
ence of the bear in Africa, distinguishing him from the 
lion and from the panther. Dion, or his abridger Xi- 
philin, makes a similar assertion; Virgil, Juvenal, and Mar- 
tial might be quoted to the same effect.§ Aristotle does 
not expressly exclude the bear from Africa. || On these 

* Cuvier, Menagerie du Museum, article Panther. 
t Idem, ibid* art. Corinue. 
X Zimmermanii, Geographisclie Geschiclite, &Lc. 
^ Salmasii, Exercitationes Plinianas, I. p. 22G 
II Hist. Animalium, VllI, p. 28. 






accouiits we ought not yet to reject the testimony of mo- 
dern travellers, who maintain the existence of this animal 
in the high parts of Mount Atlas, only acknowledging 
that it cannot be very common. =^' 

Ostrich hunting is a curious amusement of this coun- 
try. Twenty Arabs mounted on the horses of the de- 
sert, which are as transcend ant among horses as the 
heiree is among camels, proceed to windward in quest of 
an ostrich track, and when they have found one, follow it 
in a body with the utmost rapidity, keeping at the distance 
of half a mile from one another. The ostrich, fatigued 
with running against the wind, which beats against his 
wings, turns about to the hunters and attempts to penetrate 
their line; but they surround him, and all at once fire 
on the bird, when he falls. Without this address they 
could never take the ostrich, which, though deprived of 
the power of flying, surpasses in running the swiftest 

The south wind brings along with it clouds of locusts, 
which, by devastating the fields, create famines, and often 
cover the ground so completely, as to make a traveller lose 
his way.f The wild bee fills the trunks of the trees with 
aromatic honey, and with wax, which are gathered by the 
inhabitants in great abundance.:]: 

Inhabit- To the preceding physical delineation, which is appli- 
cable to the States of Tripoli, Tunis, Algiers, and Mo- 
rocco, we shall subjoin an equally general view of the in- 

The inhabitants of the tow^ns and cultivated plains are 

Tlie Moors, distinguished by the name of Moors. Though they speak 
a dialect of the Arabic, abounding in expressions peculiar 
to themselves, their physical constitution, their complexion, 
which is whiter than that of the Arabs, their counten- 

* Poiret, II. p. 238. Shaw, p. 177. Hoest, p. 291. 
t Hoest, p. 300. Agrell, Lettres sur le Maroc, p. 319. 
X Poiret, I. p. 324. Hoest, p. 303. 


ance, which is more full, the less elevated nose, and less ex- book 
pressive physiognomy, seem to show that they are descend- I'Xiv. 
ed from a mixture of the ancient Mauritanians and Nu- — — — 
midians, with the Phenicians, Romans, and Arahians. — 
Since Sallust asserts, that the Numidians and Mauritanians 
had sprung from an Asiatic colony, composed of Medes, 
Armenians, and Persians,* it would be an interesting thing 
to examine thoroughly the characteristic idioms of the 
Moorish language.f The accounts given by European tra- 
vellers make the moral character of this nation a compound 
of every vice. Avaricious and debauched, blood-thirsty and 
effeminate, greedy yet idle, revengeful yet fawning, they do 
not redeem these vices by a single good quality : But may 
we not suppose that the hatred which the Moors have vowed 
against their Christian persecutors, ever since they were 
driven out of Spain, has excited corresponding feelings 
among our travellers ? The Moors are Mahometans, and 
belong cliiefly to the fanatical sect called Maleki. They, 
like the fanatics of many other religions, consider their 
piety as compensating for every moral defect, and heresy 
as a stain wiiich can scarcely be rendered more tolerable 
by the brightest assemblage of moral virtues.-— They have Moorish 
among them many saints ; some distinguished by their ab- ^"^^'"^"^' 
solute inaction, others by a turbulent and mischievous in- 
sanity. These last have been seen to knock down an ass, 
and devour the flesh, still reeking and bIoody.:|: Several of 
the emperor's horses have been raised to the dignity of 
saintship : one, in particular, when Commodore Stewart was 
there,§ was held in such reverence by the monarch, that 
any person who had committed the most enormous crime, 
or had even killed a prince of the blood royal, was per- 
fectly secure as soon as he laid hold of the sainted animal. 
Several Christian captives had by this manoeuvre saved 

* Sallust in Jtiguvtha. 

t Norberg, Disput. de gente et lingua Marocano, Lund, in Scania, 1787, 

% Bruns, Afiika, VI. p. 126. 

ft Windhus's Journey of Mcquinez, (London, 1723.) 


BOOK their lives. When his majesty intended to confer a signal 
ixiv. ixiai-k of favour, he and his horse drank successively from 
the same bowl, and then caused it to be handed to the dis- 
tinguished individual. These people are addicted in an 
uncommon degree to a superstitious belief in the influence 
of evil eyes. An emperor of Morocco kept his soa in a 
state of rigorous confinement, to preserve him from that 
fatal influence. One part of their marriage ceremonies is 
to make a solemn procession for the express purpose of as- 
cei'taining the purity of the betrothed maid. In no part 
of the world do the men discover more sensitive jealousy, 
l)oth before and after wedlock. In Morocco, and through 
the whole interior, the Moors are temperate in their eating, 
{and simple in their dress, but iii Tunis and Algiers the 
women wear elegant dresses, glittering with gold and dia- 
inonds.=^ The whiteness of their skin is only discovered 
by their bare feet. To be able to read the Alcoran is in 
the eyes of most Moors the summit of polite learning. 
They have also their astrologers, and they are fond of his- 
tory and poetry. Their square flat-roofed houses are 
sometimes ornamented in the interior with rich carpets 
and salient fountains. Horse-exercises, and shooting- 
matches, with feats of rope-dancing, form their favourite 
pastimes. At their funerals, a long train of women, paid 
for crying and howling, accompanies the dead bodies to 
their tombs. 

The nomade Arabs, who brought hither the Mahometan 
religion from Asia, preserve the purity of their race, which 
is distinguished by a more masculine physiognomy, more 
lively eyes, and almost olive complexions. Their women, 
destitute of personal attractions, enjoy a great degree of 
freedom. There would be no use, indeed, in concealing 
their brown and haggard countenances, which operate 
rather as antidotes than incitements to guilty passions. 
The women of some tribes ingrain black lines and figures 

* Narhncliteiij &,c. An Account of Algiers, T. p. 493. Altona. 179S. 



on their cheeks and bosoms.* The tents of the Arabs, book 
covered with a coarse stuff, or with palm leaves, have pre- J^xi>'» 
served the form of an inverted boat, which, according to 
Sallust, was that of the mapalia of the Numidians.f Tliey 
call a cabin of this kind shaima, and a group of them forms 
a duar, or hamlet, w iiich is in the form of a ring, with the 
Sheik's house in the centre, and is frequently surrounded 
with a tliorn hedge, as a defence against the lions which 
roar around them. The number of these Arabs in the em- 
pire of Morocco alone is sometimes estimated at 40,000. 
The Arabs as well as the Moors send caravans of pilgrims 
to Mecca. In Asia both these classes of people are com- 
prehended under the name of Magrebi, or MogrebbiUvS, a 
term which signifies " people of the west." 

The Berbers, who are totally distinct from the Arabs and The Bei- 
the Moors, seem to be the indigenous race of northern 
Africa. They probably comprehend the remains of the 
ancient Getulce to the west of Mount Atlas, and of tlie Li- 
byans to the east.:j: They form at present four distinct 
nations. 1. The Amazirgh, called by the Moors Shilla, 
or Shulla, in the mountains of Morocco. 2. The Cabyls, 
in the mountains of Algiers and Tunis. 3. The Tibbos, in 
the desert between Fezzan and Egypt ; and, 4. The Tooa- 
riks in the great desert. The identity of the language 
spoken by these different tribes, which is perceived bj a 
comparison of their vocabularies,^ is one of the most im- 
portant discoveries made in ethnographic history. This 
language has not hitherto been found to show" any analogy 
to that of the Barabras of Nubia, or of the Shillooks of 
Abyssinia, but it is not impossible that farther researches 
may discover a connection. The Berber language, which 
the Amazirgh call the Tamaoasght, and the Cabyls, Showia, 

* Agrell, p. 39, German translation, 

t On the etymology of this word, see Bochart, Canaan, 1. II. cap. 9. 

:|: MithridateSj by Adelung and Vater, III. p. 45. 

i Hoest's Account of Morocco, (in Danish,) p. 128. Jones's Dissertation de 
lingua Shillensi in the Dissertat. ex Occas. Sylloges, &c. Amsterd. 1715. 
Shaw's Travels, p. 52. Hornemann. Marsden. Venture. 


BOOK seems to us to have quite an original cliaracter, though ap- 
XXIV. proacliing to the Hebrew and the Phenician. The Ber- 
hers have a complexion of mixed red and black, a tall and 
handsome form, of spare litibits, and a lean body.* In re- 
ligious fanaticism they surpass even the Moors. When an 
opportunity is presented they occasionally gratify their 
antipathies by shedding the blood of Jews and of Christ- 
ians. The Shillahs, however, eat the flesh of the wild 
The Mara- Jjoar, and drink wine. The Maraboots, who arc honoured 
as a sort of saints, exercise in many of the Kabyl villages 
a despotic authority. These hypocrites distribute amulets, 
and affect to work miracles. Two of the most eminent of 
these at present in Morocco are Sidi Hamct and Sidi Alar- 
bi, and hardly any thing is done in that empire without con- 
sulting them. Though they are considered as endued with 
the gift of prophecy and of miracles, they are not distin- 
guished in the least degree by personal austerity or self- 
denial. In their respective districts no tribute is paid but 
to them. With their revenues and the valuable offerings 
which they continually receive, they support an armed 
force, with which tiiey are always surrounded, and main- 
tain a liberal establishment of wives and concubines, with- 
out incurring the slightest abatement from the sanctity of 
their character. In other situations, especially among the 
Shillahs, there are sheiks who rule the small tribes into 
which the nation is divided. Those who live in the high 
valleys of the Atlas arc almost entirely independent. In 
Morocco some tribes have joined together under princes 
or hereditary kings, called Jlmargar, whose patriarchal au- 
thority extends no farther than to the punishment of theft 
and murder. They manufacture their own gunpowder. 
Their meals consist of brown bread, olives, and water. The 
poverty and dirtiness of their dress give them a most sa- 
vage appearance. Yet the Berbers manifest, in the culti- 
vation of their fertile fields, a laborious disposition, and a 
degree of intelligence which might be turned to good ac- 

* Hoestj p. 141. Lemprieve, Chenier, Shaw, i^c. 


count. They furnish the indolent Moors ^vith wheat, book 
olives, and all sorts of provisions. Tlieir villages, some of ^^i^- 
which may, for size and population, be called towns, are 
fortified with watch-towers, from which they can spy the 
approach of an enemy. On the slightest signal all the men 
are in arms. Thev handle the musket with much skill, toss- 
ing it in the air, catching it again, and discharging it with 
astonishing accuracy and rapidity. 

Besides these genuine African nations, the northern part 
of this continent contains some foreign colonists, among 
whom are the Turks, the masters of Algiers, and once of 
Tunis and Tripoli, and the Jews, who are spread over the 
whole of Barbary, even among the valleys of the Kabyls. 

This country, though one of the most salubrious, and 
the most propitious to the multiplication of the human race, 
is, in consequence of the absence of a regular government, 
exposed to calamitous visitations, and particularly to the 
ravages of the plague. Mr. Jackson, British consul at 
Mogadore, has drawn a horrible picture of a plague, which, Descrip- 
some years ago, depopulated the empire of Morocco. Thepiagi^e. 
deatlis in the city of Morocco amounted to 50,000, those 
at Fez to 65,000, at Mogadore to 4500, and at Saffi to 
5000. The survivors liad not time to bury the dead with 
any regularity. The bodies were thrown into large trenches, 
which, when nearly full, were covered over with earth. 
The young, the healthy, and the vigorous, were first at- 
tacked ; then the women and children ; and last of all, the 
lean, the exhausted, the valetudinary, and the aged. When 
the scourge disappeared, a total revolution was found to 
have taken place in the fortunes and situation of individu- 
als. Some who had previously been plain mechanics, now 
found themselves in possession of large capitals, and some- 
times purchased horses which they scarcely knew how to 
mount. Provisions were sold in great abundance and ex- 
tremely cheap. Flocks, with their shepherds, wandered in 
the pastures without owners. Great temptations were thus 
presented to the Arab, the Berber, and the Moor, all equally 
prone to theft. But they were restrained by an appre- 


BOOK lieiision for their lives : for the plague, (^el khere,J is be- 
ixiv. lieved by them to be a divine judgment in punishment of 
^ their crimes. It was, therefore, imperiously necessary to 

avoid being caught by the avenging angel in the flagrant 
act, and rather to regulate their conduct so as to prepare 
themselves for paradise. The price of labour was soon out 
of all bounds; and as the number of persons capable of 
working was not sufficient to supply the demands of the rich 
who were able to pay them, the latter found themselves un- 
der the necessity of performing little domestic offices with 
their own hands. They ground corn and baked bread, and 
the simplicity of the golden age seemed to spring up in this 
recommencement of the organization of society. Many 
large estates which remained without owners were seized by 
the Arabs of the desert.=^ 

* Jackson's Account of the Empire of Morocco. Londonj 1809. 






Detailed Descriptions. 

In the preceding Book we have delineated the physical book 
geography and ethnography of the whole Atlantic regions, i-xv. 

We must now take a view of the different states or king- "^ 

doms of Barbary, and the cities and towns included in these 
political divisions. We shall first turn our attention to the 
small states scattered over the desert which bounds Egypt 
on the west. Then passing the Syrtse, we shall follow the 
chain of Mount Atlas, giving an account of the States of 
Tripoli, Tunis, Algiers, and Morocco, and conclude with a 
description of the Great Desert of Zahara. 

The country of Barca is the first that comes in our way The desert 
on leaving Egypt. Some call Barca a rfeserf, and the in- "f 3^^^"^®"* 
terior certainly merits that name ; others call it a kingdom^ 
an appellation founded on the existence of this country as 
the inoependent kingdom of Cyrene, governed by a branch 
of the Ptolemies. The coast of Barca, once famed for its 
threefold crops,* is now very ill cultivated ; the wander- 
ing tribes of the desert allow no rest to the inhabitants, or 

'* See Herodotus and Strabo, and our volume on the History of Geography. 

1 72 BAacA. 

uooK security to tlicir labours. The sovereignty of it is divided 
i-xv. between two Beys, one of whom resides at Derne, a town 
surrounded with gardens, and watered by refreshing rivu- 
lets: his subjects may amount to 30,000 tents or families. 
The other lives at Bengazi, a town of 10,000 houses, with 
a tolerable harbour, on a shore abounding with fish, and in 
a fertile territory, from which much wool is exported. The 
Bey of Tripoli appoints these two governors, whose obedi- 
ence to his authority is often ambiguous.* Among the 
Fuins of magnificent ruins of Cyrene^ the limpid spring still flows 
from which the city had its name. A tribe of Arabs pitches 
its tents amidst its sadly mutilated statues, and falling co- 
lonnades. Tolometa, or the ancient FtolemaiSf the port of 
Barca, preserves its ancient walls, a temple, and some in- 
scriptions. This coast seems to hold out an invitation to 
European colonies; it seems to be the property of no gov- 
ernment or people. A colony established here would re- 
discover those beautiful places which the ancients surnamed 
the Hills of the Graces, and the Gardens of the Hesperides. 
Such, however, is the latent rivalry of the civilized world, in 
matters connected with power and vanity, and the phantoms 
attached to the ideas of national greatness, and even nation- 
al existence, tluit the most beneficent efforts of any people 
are liable to be resisted by the jealousy of another of equal 

The travels of the intrepid Ilornemann have procured 
for us a little information respecting the countries situated 
beyond J5arca. A chain of mountains runs west from 
the Natron Lakes as wc leave Egypt, and taking success- 
ively the names of Mokarra and Gulsdoba, extends to the 
oasis of Audjelah, being about four miles in length. These 
mountains are calcareous, naked, and precipitous. At 
their feet we pass over a flat marshy country, from one to 

* Lemaive, consul Fran^ais, Voyage dans les Montagnes de Dcrng, dans le 
fieuxieme Vayage de Paul Lucas, II, p. UOj &c. 

BAECA. 173 

six miles broad, and abounding in springs. Following book 
these mountains westward, we first arrive at the oasis of ^^v» 
Siwah, which forms a small independent state. The inha- " '. ' 

Oasis of 

bitants speak the Tibbo dialect of the Berber language, siwah. 
This is the country of Amraon of tlie ancients. The ruins 
of Oummibida seem to belong to a fortified caravansera, 
connected with the temple of Jupiter Ammon. They con- 
tain some hieroglyphics in relief. Their materials consist 
of a limestone brought from the adjoining mountains, con- 
taining petrified shells and marine animals. Diodorus 
speaks of the temple situated in the port as distinct fi-om 
that of the forest near the fountain of the sun.^ The 
arable territory of the oasis of Siwah is about six miles 
long and four broad. The chief plantations consist of date 
trees ; there are also pomegranates, fig trees, olives, apri- 
cots, and bananas. A considerable quantity of a reddish 
grained rice is cultivated here, being a different variety 
from that which is grown in the Egyptian Delta. It also 
produces wheat for the consumption of the inhabitants. 
Abundance of water, both fresh and salt, is found. The 
fresh water springs are mostly warm, and are accused of 
giving rise to dangerous fevers, when used by strangers.f 
The population of Siwah is capable of furnishing about 
1500 armed men. This country is the Santariah of Abul- 
feda, and the Sant-Ryah of Edrisi. According to Ebn- 
Ayas, an Arabian author, the zebra is met with in the ad- 
joining deserts.:}: 

From Siwah to Audjelah, the mountains rise in peaks 
from the midst of the plain. The naked rock is not co- 
vered with a particle of soil, or even w ith sand. A sandy 
plain at the bottom of the mountains, presents on its sur- 
face an immense horizontal calcareous bank, which contains 
no traces of petrifaction, while the adjacent mountains, al- 

* Diodorus, edit. Wessel, p. 589. 

t Voyage de Browne, 1. 1, p. 34. de la trad. Frangaise. 

$ Langl^s, Meraoire sur les Oases. 

174 BARCA. 

BOOK SO calcareous, are full of the remains of marine animals 
^x^* and shells. These are also met with here in large isolated 

*""""■" heaps. 

The oasis The oasis of Audjelah, the Augila of Herodotus, con- 
"^^^ ^ tains three towns or villages, and is the residence of a bey, 
who is dependent on the bey of Tripoli. The town of 
Audjelah is only a mile in circumference, and contains only 
three narrow and dirty streets of mean houses built of lime- 
stone. The public buildings have a most wretched aspect. 
At Audjelah is the termination of the long chain of moun- 
tains which bounds the desert of Barca on the south, and 
separates it from that of Libya, turning west to Fezzan. 
A little beyond this we find another chain called Marai, 
of the extent and direction of which we know but little. 

The desert Qj^jy that it appears to send off ramifications to the north. 

Jeh. ^'°'' Then we find the singular hilly desert called Haroodje, 
which is probably the Mons ater of Pliny. It commences at 
two or three days' journey from Audjelali, reaches the 
mountains by which Fezzan is bounded, and is prolonged 
to the north of Fezzan ; but the branches which it forms 
in this direction, and those also to the south, are less known. 
Haroodjeh presents a mass of broken mountains, mostly 
bare and sterile, composed of black basalt. Their appear- 
ance is volcanic and exceedingly wild. In several places 
the ranges of basalt alternate with others of limestone. The 
low calcareous hills bounding the plains are composed of 
petrifactions, which consist mostly of the heads of fishes. 

It is probably in Haroodje that the solution will one day 
be found of the enigma of the Arabian geographers, re- 

Fabuious specting a town, which they call Raz Sem, the inhabitants 

town. q£ which were turned into stone. Shaw and Bruce did not 
penetrate so far as to procure information deserving of re- 
liance. The tradition has the appearance of concealing 
under it a curious fact, the existence of mummies in some 
JVecropoliSf or city of the dead, like tliose of Egypt. 

iezzan. From the Haroodje we enter Fezzan. Major Renncl 
and the learned Larcher consider Fezzan as the ancient 

FEZZAN. 175 

country of the Garamantes ; a point still, however, very book 
doubtful, as we have shown in our History of Geogra- ^^^" 


Fezzan is bounded by the state of Tripoli on the north, 
by tlie desert of Barca on the east, and by the great desert 
of Zahara on the west iuu! south. The greatest length of 
the cultivated country, from north to south, is about 255 
miles, and its greatest breadth 200 miles from east to west ; 
but the mountainous region of Haroodjeli is comprehended 
in its territory. According to Hornemann, this small state 
contains 100 towns and villages, of which Moorzook is the 
capital. Sakna, Wadan, and Germah, are the names of others, 
the last of whicli resembles the ancient Garama. There 
is also Zooilah, which, according to old travellers, contain- 
ed magnificent ruins, but none such were seen by Horne- 
mann. During the south wind the heat here is scarcely Climate. 
supportable even to the inhabitants, who then sprinkle their 
rooms over with water, in order to be able to breathe. The 
winter is not so mild as might be expected, owing to a cold 
and piercing north wind, which completely chilled the inha- 
bitants while Hornemann was tliere, and obliged this trav- 
eller himself, though inured to a cold climate, to draw near 
a fire.*' Rains here are infrequent and scanty. Hurricanes 
sometimes blow from the north, darkening the atmosphere 
with clouds of dust and sand. 

In the whole country there is no river or stream worthy 
of notice. TJie soil is a deep sand covering rocks, and Soil arrd 
sometimes calcareous or argillaceous earth. There are nu- Ji'on='^^" 
merous springs, which supply water for the purpose of 
agriculture. The whole of Fezzan, indeed, abounds in 
water, at a moderate depth underground, derived, no doubt, 
from the rains which fall on hills more or less distant, per- 
haps on the confines of the desert, and though absorbed by 
the sand, find their level among the loose strata, across a 
broad extent of desert, till they become accessible in Fez- 

'•^ Proceedings of the Afiican Association, vol. L 

176 FEZZAN^. 

BOOK zan, and impart to tliis country its characteristic fertility. 

liXV. Dates are the natural produce and the staple commodity 
of Fezzan. Figs, pomegranates, and lemons, also succeed. 
A great quantity of maize and bai^ley is cultivated ; but the 
inhabitants do not raise wheat sufficient for their own con- 
sumption, and receive a great part of what they use from the 
Arabs. Some ascribe this to their indolence; but remarks 
of that kind are often gratuitous conclusions, arising from a 
deficient comprehension of the principles of wealth and com- 
merce. If the inhabitants are indolent, how do they con- 
trive to procure an equivalent to give to these Arabs for 
their wheat ? The latter may feed them because they are 
ricli, but not simply because they are unwilling to work. 
Such facts, if they authorize any inference on the subject, 
would rather incline us to think that the industry of the 
people w as such as to produce a population greater than the 
food produced in the country is able to maintain, or that 
a produce of a more delicate kind was given by them to 
the importing Arabs, in exchange for an article which 
goes farther for the purposes of nutriment. Fezzan abounds 
in pulse and culinary vegetables. The most common do- 
mestic animal is the goat. Sheep are reared in the south- 
ern parts. The ass is their beast of burden and draught. 
Camels are extremely scarce and high priced. All these 
animals are fed on dates or date-stones. In the province of 
Mendrah, natron floats in large masses on the surfaces of 
several lakes, over which a dense fog is frequently seen to 
hover. . 

The Fezzanese send caravans to Tripoli, Tombuctoo, 
and Bornoo. They trade in gold dust and black slaves. 
They are acquainted with the cowrie shell, or mjphroea mo- 
neta, a circumstance which sliows that their commercial re- 
lations extend to the coast of Guinea.'"- From October to 
February, Moorzook is the great mart and rendezvous of 
the different caravans which come from Cairo, Bengazi, 
Tripoli, Gadames, Tooat, and Soodan, 

* Brun's Afrika, V. p. 315. 

* TEZZAX. 177 

According to some, the sultan of this country is tribu- book 
tary to the Bey of Tripoli;* according to others, he only ^^^* 
sends him a present.f According to Hornemann his reve- ^. 

* ' '-' Govern- 

nues arise from his landed estates, others mention three or meut. 
four moderate taxes. The population of Fezzan is esti- ^"'^^tii- 
mated by Hornemann at 60,000 or 70,000 souls. The^*"^'* 
variety of their complexion shows that they are a mixed 
people. The indigenous race is of middling stature, of 
little vigour, with brown complexions, black short hair, 
a form of countenance which in Europe would be called 
i*egular, and a nose less flattened than that of the negro. 
The women, as in the whole of Africa, are immoderately 
fond of dancing. According to Hornemann, all the inha- 
bitants are Mahometans; according to others, there are 
also some pagans among them, who live in a good under- 
standing VAith the Mussulmen.:|: The Fezzanese intoxi- 
cate themselves with the juice of the date ; in other re- 
spects tliey are very sober, which is partly the result of 
necessity. Hornemann says that a person who can afford 
to eat bread and meat daily is esteemed a man of great 
wealth. The houses of Fezzan are built of sun-dried 
bricks, made of calcareous and argillaceous earth. They 
are extremely low, and lighted only by the door. In this 
country young persons are often mutilated and transform- 
ed into eunuchs. 

The Tibbos, a Berber nation, occupy the almost de- Tibbos, 
sort countries to the south-east of Fezzan, and from these 
extend eastward along the southern boundary of Harood- 
jeh, and the desert of Audjelah, as far as the vast sandy 
desert of Levata, by which Egypt is hemmed in on the 
west. This desert is the eastern limit of the Tibbos. 
The Si^ace on the south, lying between the Tibbos and the 
kingdom of Bornoo, is in the possession of the wandering 

* Abderrhaman Aga, Tripolitan Ambassador, Account given to Mr, Nie- 
buhr in the New German Museum, III. p. 992. 
t Proceedings of the African Association, I. 
t Nouv. Mus. Allem. p. 993. 

VOIe IV, 12 



BOOK Arabs, some of whose tribes live in caverns or grottos dur- 
liXV. jj^g l\^Q intense heats. Berdoa, an oasis mentioned by 

Leo, is perhaps identical with Boorgon, the capital of the 


and pro- 

Tripoli. Xhe state of TRIPOLI, properly so called, extends on 
the north of Fezzan between the great and the little Syrtse ; 
that is, between the Gulf of Sidra and that of Gabes. 

Here the climate is extremely unpleasant; the heat of 
the day and the coldness of the night being equally in- 
supportable. From the month of May till the end of 
October no rain falls. Vegetation is more abundant in 
winter than in summer. The soil is tolerably fertile, 
producing dates, oranges, citrons, figs, almonds, and many 
other fruits. In winter there is abundance of all sorts of 
pulse, cabbages, turnips, and onions : in summer cucum- 
bers and melons. Two days' journey south from Tripoli 
there is on Mount Garean a great plantation of saffron. — 
Lions and panthers are rarely seen ,• the jackals and hedge- 
hogs are numerous. Much inconvenience is created by 
serpents and scorpions.^ 

The comparative geography of the towns is involved in 
an obscurity which it is not in our power to dissipate. — 
There were three conspicuous towns in the Syrtic region ; 
and in the fifth century this region received the name of 
Tripoli, which means "the country of the three cities;" 
but, in order to determine what these towns v^ere, and what 
modern' localities correspond to them, would require a long 
and not very amusing discussion. It seems to be certain, 
that during the first invasions of the Arabians, the city of 
Ahtiquity Sabrata, apparently the capital of the province, had in 
^ '^^° '• common language received the name of Tripolis. It is 
still called Sabart, and ** Old Tripoli." Its inhabitants 
took refuge in the place now called New Tripoli. This 
city may have been called Neapolis by the Byzantine au- 


* Rothmann's Letters on Tripoli, in Schlietzer's Political Correspondence. 
Vol. fX. No. VI. (in German.) 


thors, but it was certainly different from that wlucli Pliny book 
and the rest of the ancients designated under that name. ^^^' 
Was it identical with Ocea ? This has been denied with- 
out decisive evidence. It is at least an ancient city, for it 
lias a triumphal arch, dedicated, as appears by the remains 
of the inscription, to Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, surnamed. 
the philosopher, and to his imperial colleague, Lucius Ve- 
rus.=^ After being taken from the Arabs by Roger of 
Sicily, and occupied by the troops of Charles V. and by 
the Knights of Malta, it always returned into the hands of 
the Mussulmans ; but industry and trade have been much 
injured by these revolutions. Some stuffs are manufactur- 
ed here. The harbour opens in a semicircular form, and is 
feebly protected by old fortifications. 

To the east of the capital is Lebida, the ancient Leptis Difteient 
magna, with the remains of a temple, a triumphal arch, and^°^^"^' 
an aqueduct;! also Mesurate, or Mezrata, the residence 
of a Bey. To the west we find Arzori, of sufficient im- 
portance in the fifth century to give its name to the pro- 
vince which was called drciugum Regio ; and the island 
of the Lotophagi, now called Zerbi. The small towns on 
the borders of the two Syrtse, obscure in modern, as they 
were in ancient geography, seem to disappear with a ra- 
pidity like that of the shifting sand hills by which they are 
surrounded. The populous villages of Mount Garean are 
partly composed of grottos cut in the rocks. The tombs 
are sometimes over the dwellings of the living.:]: 

The State of Tripoli, possessing an extensive territory, Govern- 
but depopulated, full of barren districts, and a prey to JJ®"^; 
anarchy, is the weakest of the Barbary States. The he- 
reditary prince, or pasha, who reigns here, does not annex 
to his name the title of Dey, but only that of Bey. He is 
moro dependent on the Sublime Porte than the princes of 

* Picturesque Travels in Caramania, &c. from the cabinet of Sir Robert 
Ainslie. London, 1G09. 

t Strotnberg's Remarks on the Trade of Tripoli, (in Sv/cdish), 
■^ Rothmann, Lcltres sur Tripoli, 


180 TUNIS. 

BOOK Tunis and Algiers. He does not maintain regular troops, 
^^y» and his navy consists of ^onie xebecs and armed polacres. 
The Danish frigate the Naiad, of 40 guns, commanded 
by Captain Sten-bille, was perfidiously inveigled into the 
harbour of Tripoli, where it was attacked by the whole 
Tripolitan navy. The frigate drove off all the xebecs and 
polacres, and made the pasha tremble in his palace, so 
that he offered more moderate conditions than he usually 

Tripoli exports the wool of Barca, gold dust, ostrich 
feathers, slaves brought from the interior of Africa, senna, 
wax, and morocco leather. Caravans annually arrive here 
from Fezzan, Morocco, and Tombuctoo. 

KiifGDOM To the west of Tripoli is the kingdom of Tunis, the 
ancient Africa Propria, and the seat of the Carthaginian 
power. In the middle age, the State of Tripoli was sub- 
ject to Tunis, of which Barbyrossa took possession in 1533. 
At the present day, the Tunisians, more civilized than the 
Algerines, are their inferiors in power, and have some dif- 
ficulty to support their independence. The State contains 
four or five millions of inhabitants. The Moorjs, who are 
the agriculturists and merchants, are less numerous than 
the nomade Arabs. The Turkish and Mameluke soldiery 
are comprehended under the designation of harefi^ and are 

Govern- jjow deprived of all influence. The princes, who are he- 


reditary, are descended from a Greek renegado, and a 
Genoese female slave, but they are surrounded by an army 
of Moors. The sovereign is called Kamouda Bey, a per- 
son of extraordinary vigour of character, and has now 
reigned nearly thirty years, without any attempt having 
been made to shake his authority. He is not the legiti- 
mate heir, yet lives on terms of intimacy with his cousins, 
who ought to have inherited the throne. He superintends 
all the departments of government, and extends the pro- 
tection of the law to Christians and Jews. The regular 
army does not amount to 20,000 men, and the navy con- 
sists of a few vessels armed for giving chace. Addicted 


TUNIS. 181 

to agriculture, and other bandies of industry, the Tuni- book 
sians are less given to piracy tlian tlie other people of ^^^* 
Barbary. Tlie State revenues may amount to a million 

The heat becomes insupportable in July and August, Climate. 
when the south wind brings the heated air from the inte- 
rior of Africa. Some branches of the Atlas contain ele- 
vated and temperate regions. A fertile plain lies along 
the river Mejerda, the Bagradas of the ancients. Among Pro^^uc- 
its minerals are found alabaster, crystal, clay, plumbago, 
iron, and lead. The cattle are small and delicate. The 
horses are a degenerate breed. The sheep of Zaara, which 
are bred here, are as large as deer. Here are lions, pan- 
thers, hyjenas, jackals, and other ferocious animals. 

The southern part is sandy, rather level, barren, and 
dried up by the solar heat. It contains a large shallow 
lake called Loodeah,f which is the Palus Tritonis of the 
ancients. The country along the sea shore is rich in olives, 
and contains many towns and populous villages. But the 
western part is full of mountains and hills, watered by nu- 
merous rivulets, with highly fertile banks, yielding the 
finest and most abundant crops. Even the Mejerda is not 
navigable in summer. The generality of the soil is im- 
pregnated with sea salt and nitre, and salt springs are more 
plenty than fresh ones. 

The city of Tunis is one of the first in Africa. It has City of 
a harbour, with good fortifications. The only fresh water 
to be had is rain water. This city has manufactures of 
velvets, silks, cloths, and red bonnets, which are worn by 
the people. The chief exports consist of woollen stuffs, 
red bonnets, gold dust, lead, oils, and morocco leather. 
The most active part of the trade is carried on with 
France. In no part of Barbary are the Moors so tolerant 
and so courteous as here. The commercial spirit of an» 

* Chateaubriand, Memoire sur Tunis, dans I'liineraire a Jerusalem. Mac- 
Gill's Account of Tunis. London, 1311, p. 24—39, &c. 
■" Bruns, Afiika, VI. p. 329. 

82 TUNIS. 

HOOK cient Carthage seems to hover over this locality, so long 

XXV. ^\^Q focus of African civilization and power. The ruins 

of that ancient city are to the north-west of Tunis. Her 

janhage. liarbours, once the asylum of so many formidable fleets, 
seem partly filled up by the falling in of the ground. In 
the south-east part are seen some remains of the moles by 
which they were bounded. =^ A noble aqueduct is still to 
be seen, a monument of the Roman power, under which 
the seconi Carthage flourished. I'he emperor Charles V. 
caused a drawing to be made of it, and the design was ar- 
ranged by the celebrated Titian, to serve as a model for 
some tapestry to be executed for the Austrian court.f 

Among the modern places we may mention Barda, the 
Tunisian Versailles, being the palace in which the Bey 
resides. Tlie Goletta, a well appointed fortress, com- 
mands the roadstead of Tunis, and the entrance of a large 
pool, which is scarcely navigable for boats. Biserta, a for- 
tified town, is situated on a lagoon, which is exceedingly 
well stocked with fish, and might be formed into a magni- 
ficent harbour. 

Porto-Farina, situated to the north-west on the Medi- 
terranean, has an excellent harbour, which has become 
foul with rubbish. The ancient Utica, where the younger 
Cato died a voluntary death, was near this place. Sooza, 
a trading town, built on a rock, has a castle, and a good 
harbour on the Mediterranean. Hamamet, Sfakes, and 
Gabes, have also harbours or roadsteads. In the inte- 
rior we notice Kairooan, a town founded by the Arabians, 
and for some centuries the capital of Africa. The Mus- 
sulmans boast of its principal mosque, supported, as they 
say, by 500 granitic columns. Foser, on Lake Loodeah, 
is a great mart for wool. 

state of The Bey of Tunis has sometimes disputed with the 


* Chateaubriand, Itineraire, III. p. 186, &c, Jackson, Memoir on the 
Ruins of Carthage, 

t Fischer O'Erlacb, Architecture Historique, liv. 11. Planche II. Vien- 
ne, 1721. 

ALGIERS. , ]8:> 

Bey of Tripoli the sovereignty of the small state of Ga- hook 
dames, which is at a distance in the interior, to the south of ^^^* 
the lesser Syrtae. Gadames had once a flourishing trade, 
which has declined since the caravans, in going from Tripo- 
li to Tombuctoo, have stopped at Agadez, instead of this 
place. All the caravans from the interior bring slaves, os- 
trich feathers, ivory, amber, senna leaves, and gold dust. 
Gadames is called by a modern author drdamsia.-^ 

Proceeding westward, we enter the state of Algiers. State of 
This kingdom, watered by the Shellif and the Wadi-Jidi, ^'^'^*' 
is crossed in its southern part by the chains of the Atlas, 
called Lowat and Ammer. We have described these 
chains, and mentioned the mountain of Jurjura, one of 
the highest in Barbary. This chain is about twenty-two 
miles long from north-east to south-west: the chains of 
Wannoogah and of Auress form the continuation of it to 
the east. Full of rocks and precipices, they are covered 
with snow for more than nine months, perhaps the whole 

According to M. Desfontaines,! the territory of Algiers, Soil and 
with the exception of the parts bordering on the desert, is umis^'^ 
less sandy and more fertile than that of Tunis. He found 
the climate more temperate, the mountains higher and more 
numerous, the rains more plentiful, the springs and streams 
more frequent, the vegetation more active and more diversi- 
fied. The mountains arrest the clouds that come from the 
north, and condense them by means of the snovvs which co- 
ver their summits, so that they fall down in rain. There 
are many rivers and salt springs, and near the lake called 
Marks there is a mountain of rock salt. Several mineral 
springs are known. Earthquakes are frequent but not dis- 
astrous. There is a sandy plain which the Moors call 
Shott or Shatt, which is sometimes inundated, and receives 
five small rivers. 

* Flora Atlautica, preface, p. 2. t Idem, ibirl. 






City of 

Towns of 
the pro- 
vince of 

According to Mr. Shaw, the boundary of this state, witii 
that of Morocco, is Mount Trara, which lies north and 
' south, forming with its northern extremity Cape Hone, called 
by the inhabitants Hunein or Mellack : otliers extend it to 
the little river of Mulloia or Malva. It is a matter of lit- 
tle moment, as the country which lies between these two 
states is the desert of Angara, a sandy country, whicli ap- 
pears to be still, as in the time of Leo Africanus, the abode 
of lions, ostriches, and Arabian robbers, w ho plunder every 
defenceless traveller. On the south the state of Algiers 
extends no farther than the river Wadi-Jiddi. It is divi- 
ded into four provinces. Mascara in the west; the pro- 
vince of Algiers ; Titeri, to the south of it ; and Con- 
stantine, which is the most easterly, and conterminous with 

The country of Zab, in the south, inhabited by Arabs or 
nomadic Berbers, yields a very doubtful obedience to the 
authority of Algiers, the southern limits of wliich are un- 
certain, and lost in the desert. 

The city of Algiers, which contains a population of 
80,000 souls, rises in the form of an amphitheatre at the 
extremity of a fortified anchoring ground, which however 
is not safe in a north wind. The numerous and hand- 
some country seats scattered over an ampliitheatre of hills, 
among groves of olive, citron, and banana trees, present a 
rural and peaceful landscape, very dissimilar in character 
to a nation of pirates.* In the province of Algiers the 
city of Shersel, the ancient Cesarea, exhibits its ruins at 
the foot of a mountain covered with orchards. On the 
coast of the province of Mascara, we find Mostagan, a 
large town ; Arseoo, a harbour from which grain is ex- 
ported ; and Oran, a fortress long occupied by the Span- 
iards, who restored it to the Algerines^ reserving to them- 
selves the fort of Marsal-kibir, so situated as to command 
a large and good anchorage. Telemsen is always the 
phief city of the interior, although the governing bey has 

* Hehensireit. dans BernouiUi, Collect, des Vojae;es, IX, p. 32f^ 


established his residence at Mascara, a fortified place. At book 
Tclemsen there are some woollen manufactures. Among ^^^• 
the nomade tribes of this province, the Beni-Ammer had 
in a great measure adopted the language and manners of 
the Spaniards of Oian. — In the provijice of Titeri is the 
town of Bleda, occupying a cheerful situation. It con- 
tains some independent tribes. — The province of Constan-O^ Pon- 
tine, governed by a very powerful bey, almost forms an 
independent state. On the coast we have the town of 
Boogia, with a good harbour, where the mountaineers sell 
ship timber, figs, and oil ; Coolloo, which exports cow- 
hides ; Bona, in a country so rich in olives, lemons, ju^ 
jubes, ^gs, and other fruit, that they are suffered to rot 
on the trees ; and, lastly, La Calle, lately the station of a 
French commercial company, the chief object of which 
was the coral fishery. The interior contains the towns of 
Tubnali, Messila, Medrashem, with the tomb of Syphax. . 
There is also Tifseh, a place fortified to cover the frontier 
on the side of Tunis, and the capital Gonstantine, containing 
nearly 100,000 souls, and adorned with many fine remains 
of Roman architecture. A short way from this city, the 
petrifying springs, called the enchanted baths, form small 
pyramids by the deposition of calcareous earth with which 
their waters are impregnated. The Coocos and Beni- 
Abbes, in the vicinity of Boogia ; the Henneishas, on the 
Tunisian frontier, and on the banks of the Mejerda, are 
powerful tribes of Kabyls, who yield to the Bey of Gon- 
stantine an obedience equally precarious with that which 
he yields to tlie Dey of Algiers. In the mountains of Au- 
ress, the romantic traveller, Mr. Bruce, says he met with 
a tribe distinguished by a white complexion and red hair, 
wiiom he believed to be a remnant of the Vandals.* They 
mark their foreheads with a Greek cross. 

The country of Zab, watered by the river El-Djidid, 
which loses itself in a marsh, supports with much difiiculty 
its inhabitants, who are called Biscaris. It is a desert, con- 

^ Brure's Travels, 




sooK taining some scattered groves of date trees. The coun- 
^^v* tries of Wadreag and Guargala in the south, and of So- 
bair and Tegorarin in the west, seem to belong to inde- 
pendent Berbers. 

In Algiers there are about 14, or 16,000 Turks. The 
remainder of the population consists of Coloris, or Kulog- 
loos, Jews, Moors, Arabian shepherds, negro slaves, and 
Christians, part of whom, till lately, were in a state of 
slavery, part free. The Coloris, or Kulogloos, are the 
posterity of Turks, by Moorish and negro women. They 
hold a middle rank between the Moors and Turks. They 
occupy some offices, but not the highest; many of them 
are very rich. They diffi r little from the Turks in figure, 
and a mutual jealousy subsists betsveen these two classes. 
The government is both despotic and aristocratic. The 
army, which is composed of Turks, chooses the Dey, or 
Sovereign, whose arbitrary power seems to be mitigated by 
the principal officers composing the Divan, the members 
of which are chosen from the oldest warriors. The array 
consists of about 6500 Turks ; but during war, and when 
the Coloris are armed, the city of Algiers can send 16,000 
nien into the field. The revenues raised in the three pro- 
vinces, from taxes on the Jews and Christians of Algiers, 
from the government monopoly of grain, the sale and 
ransom of prisoners, and confiscations, amount to a mil- 
lion and nine tliousand Algerine piastres. The sciences 
and arts here are in a most deplorable state. The Alge- 
rines are even indifferently skilled in ship-building, and 
their compass is only marked with eight points. The chase 
is with them an interesting occupation. In autumn, and 
in winter, fifty or sixty persons join together to hunt the 
lion, the leopard, and other ferocious animals. 

OF Mo- 

The empire of Morocco is a remnant of the great Afri- 
can monarchies, founded by the Arabs. The dynasty of 
the Aglabites, whose capital at one time was Kaironan, 
and more lately Tunis, and that of the Edrisites, which 
resided at Fez, were subjugated by the Fatimites, wlio af- 


terwards being occupied with the conquests of Egypt, al- book 
lowed their western possessions to be usurped by the Zei- I'XV. 
rites, who were succeeded by the Hamadians and the Abu- — "— ~~ 
hafsians in the provinces of Tunis and Constantine. But 
in the western extremity, a prince of tlie Lemtunaas, a 
tribe belonging to the Great Desert, at present unknown, 
chose for the reformer of his people, their legislator and 
high priest, Abdallah-Ben-Iasin, an extraordinary person, 
who lived on water, game, and fish, but who married and 
divorced many women every month. This artful fanatic 
created a sect marked in the first instance by furious zeal, 
and always extremely ambitious and enterprising, called 
the Almoravides, or more properlv Morabeth. It issued '^'^^ Aimo- 
from the deseit like a fiery hurricane, threatening by turns 
Africa and Europe. The supreme head of these conquer- 
ing zealots took the title of Emir-al-Mumeninif or Prince 
of the Faithful. In 1052, Abutasfin built the city of Mo- 
rocco, or Merakash. Joosooph invaded and subjugated 
the finest part of Spain. At the same time the religious 
and political rule of the Morabeths extended over Algiers, 
the Great Desert, Tombuctoo, and other towns of Soodan ; 
but new sectaries of a more austere character, the Mooa- 
hedes or Almohads, that is, the Unitarians, conquered in 
1146 the great empire of Mogreb, or the west. Though 
less fortunate in Spain, they extended their power in Africa 
as far as Tripoli. Their princes took the title of Emir-al- 
Mumenim, and even that of Caliph. After the lapse of a 
century, intestine discords laid the Almohads open to the 
successful attacks of several rivals, among whom were the 
Merinites, who took possession of the kingdom of Fez and 
Morocco. This dynasty, more bent on retaining than on 
extending its possessions, made no effort to re-establish the 
great empire of Mogreb. In 1547, a Sherif, or descendant 
of Mahomet, put a period to the power of the Merinites. 
His posterity still reigns, after having weathered frequent 
revolutions. The sovereigns of Morocco conjoin the title 
of Sheriff with that of Sultan. 







The State of whicb we have now traced the origin, still 
embraces a territory of 500, or 550 miles in length, and 
420 in breadth, almost as large as Spain, even when we 
confine ourselves to the cultivated parts of the provinces 
of Segelmesias, Tafilet, and Darah, situated near Mount 
Atlas. All travellers join in praising the fertility of the 
kingdoms of Fez and Morocco, the one of which is situated 
to the north and the other to the west of the Atlas. This 
fertility, however, seems to be confined to those parts in 
which sufficient supplies of water co-operate with the good- 
ness of the soil, and the heat of the climate. Though the 
inhabitants almost entirely neglect cultivation, fruit and 
grain are produced, not only in quantities sufficient for the 
wants of the people, but also for exportation. Morocco 
supplies a part of Spain with these necessaries of life. The 
principal grain is wheat. Barley is also abundant. It 
comes into ear in the month of March. Oats grow sponta- 
neously. The olive in its best state, the citron, the orange, 
and the cotton tree, cover the hills. In the sandy plains, 
the Moors, by dint of irrigation, rear a variety of pulse, 
melons, and cucumbers. Many varieties of the vine suc- 
ceed in the northern provinces. The forests are full of 
oaks, with sweet acorns, cork trees, cedars, arbutuses and 
gum trees. The minerals are neglected ; copper, tin, and 
antimony are found ; but they are only worked superficial- 
ly.* The climate, excepting for three months in summer, 
is very pleasant, but the dreadful hot wind of the desert pre- 
vails for fifteen days, or three weeks, before the rainy sea- 
son, which commences in September. At this time the rains 
are not constant. Much snow falls in the valleys of Mount 

The rivers are shallow, and generally have a bar at their 
mouth, which prevents the entrance of large vessels. The 
largest rivers are tlie Mulluia which flows into the Medi- 
terranean ; the Subu ; the Morbeia, or Ommirabee, and the 
Tensif which fall into the Atlantic. 

* Jackson's Account of Marocco. HoRst's Relation du Maroc. 


Without bewildering ourselves in the labyrinth of the book 
topography of the provinces, we sliall take notice of the ''^^* 
principal cities. Fez, the capital of the kingdom of that ~7~ J^ 
name, is conspicuous among the African cities for its an- the king- 
cient literary renown. The passion for study, however, is ^°""*'^^®^ 
now extinct. It lias preserved some manufactures of silk, 
wool, and red morocco ; it has an active trade, and^is said 
to contain a population of 30, or according to others, 60,000 
souls. Mequinez, in the plain to the west of Fez, has, on 
account of its salubrious climate, been frequently selected 
as a place of residence for the Sultan. On the coast *of the 
Mediterranean, the fortresses of Melilla, of Pennon-de-Ve- 
lez, and of Geuta, possessions of little sise to Spain, are me- 
morials of the attempts which the Christians have made to 
invade, in their turn, the territories of Islamism. In Te- 
tuan, a town of 20,000 souls, the houses are generally two 
stories high, and good, but the streets are extremely nar- 
row and gloomy. Their mode of building is to make a 
large wooden case for the wall, or for a part of it, into which 
they put the mortar, and when it is dry the case is remov- 
ed. The roofs are flat, and the women, who live in the 
higher apartments, walk along them in paying their mutual 
visits. The women are so handsome, and at the same time 
so susceptible, that Mussulman jealousy has been obliged 
to prohibit Europeans from settling in it.^ Tangier, or 
Tandja, a town pleasantly situated on the Straits, has be- 
come the residence of most of the European consuls. Pas- 
sing Cape Spartle, we find on the shore of the Atlantic 
Ocean, the large town of Larash, or El-Araish, at the 
mouth of the river Luccas, which here forms a port : Ma- 
mera on the south side of a mimber of large lakes, and Sa- 
leh, formerly a sort of piratical republic, now a commercial 
town, the residence of the French consul, and separated by 
the river Buragrag from the town of Rabat, or New Saleh. 
At Azamor on the Morbeya, the kingdom of Fez ends, and 
that of Morocco begins. 

* Agrel), Letties sur le Maioc. 


BOOK The capital of this kingdom, and the ordinary residence 

liXV. Qf ti^g Sultan, is properly called Merakash. It contains, 

" according to the best authorities, from 20, to 30,000 inha- 

Towns of . 

the king- Ditants, Silk, paper, and red morocco manuiactures, large 
dom of Mo- jjj^g^2ities of grain, built Under the direction of a Danish 
architect,* and numerous mosques, one of which had mi- 
narets, surmounted with four golden globes, which were 
said to be enchanted, but which a Sheriff had courage 
enough to order to be removed.f On the coast we find 
Mazagan, a Portuguese fortress, which was unsuccessfully 
besieged by 200,000 Moors. — Valadia, the best situation 
for a harbour on this coast, where rapid currents and vio- 
lent squalls, render a place of shelter a most valuable ob- 
ject to the seaman : — Safi, or Asafi, a small town at the 
foot of Mount Atlas : — Mogadore, the great emporium of 
the whole empire, regularly built, on plans given by a 
French engineer, well fortified, and provided with a har- 
bour, which, however, like all the rest on this coast, is filled 
with sand. — Next comes Agadir ; and lastly, Santa Cruz, 
the most southerly port of Morocco, situated in the pro- 
vince of Sus, the capital of which is Tarodant, a large in- 
land town, and a military station for resisting the depreda- 
tions of the nomad es. 
Towns to The cities of Tafilet, and Seffelmessa on the south-east 

the south of „ ,_ . , i- , 

the Atlas. 01 Mouut Atlas, thougii now little known, were once very 
flourishing places. The caravans bound to Soodan and 
Egypt, seem still to join at the latter of these places, or at 
least both pass through it. According to Jackson, Tafilet 
possesses excellent woollen manufactures. 

P°Hation The writer now mentioned, who officiated as British con- 
sul at Mogadore, lias given an opinion on the population 
of Morocco, very different from what is entertained by the 
greater part of travellers, who represent this country as ex- 
tremely depopulated, containing not more than five or six 

* Hcest, p. 76—78, Sic. 

''' Saint-Olen. f|uotP(l by Bniyzen La INTniiiuieio,* under the article J^Iaroc. 


millions of inhabitants.^^ This author says he has collect- book 
ed minute information on the subject; but he does not al- ^^^* 
ways mention the precise sources from which it is derived. " 

He professes to have seen the imperial registers, in which 
the names of all taxed persons are inscribed ; but he does 
not say how these registers are kept, and what evidence we 
have of their correctness. The following are the numbers 
which he assigns : 


Cities and towns of the Empire 936,000 

Kingdom of Morocco and Fez, to the west of Mount Atlas 10,300,000 

Nomade tribes on the north of the Atlas 3,000>000 

Tafilet, a kingdom to the east of the Atlas 6.'J0,000 

Total population of the empire 14,886,000 

As the whole surface of the Morocco states is 359,380 
square miles,f the population would average forty-two in- 
habitants to the square mile ; but it consists of two very dif- 
ferent countries ; — that which lies to the west and the north 
of the Atlas, and that which lies to the east and the south. 
As the latter, which gradually passe?^ into the desert, would 
only contain 700,000 persons on a surface of 134,225 
square miles, making five or six to each square mile, the 
maritime part, or the kingdom of Fez and Morocco, would 
contain, on a surface of 201,544 square miles, more than 
fourteen millions of inhabitants, which would make the re- 
lative population amount to seventy per square mile; a 
proportion perhaps equal to what exists in Spain or Tur- 
key, and which it is not easy to admit without further in- 
quiring into a country so much exposed to intestine trou- 
bles, so ill governed, and so destitute of the means of civil- 
ization. Mr, Jackson makes the city of Morocco to con- 
tain 270,000 inhabitants, and Fez 380,000, — assertions 
too extravagant to require discussion. Travellers of ex- 
cellent character give the first of these cities no more tlian 


'^ Chenier, Lempiiere, &c. Sec. See Brims, Afrika, VI. p. 60, 
'■ batterer's Geo2;raphy, p. 123, (German.) 






Civil con- 

SO.OOO, and the other 70,000, and yet seem to think it pos- 
sible that they exaggerate thein.* 

The subjects of this empire are slaves to an absolute des- 
pot, and strangers to the benefits of fixed laws, their only 
rule being the will of the emperor. Wherever this prince 
fixes liis residence he distributes justice in person ; for this 
purpose he generally holds a court twice, and sometimes four 
times in the week, in a hall of audience called M'shoire.f 
Here all complaints are addressed to him ; every person has 
access; the emperor hears each individual, foreigners or na- 
tives, man or woman, rich or poor. Distinctions of rank 
have no influence, every person being entitled without 
hindrance or embarrassment, to approach the common sove- 
reign. Sentence is promptly pronounced, always with ab- 
solute and ultimate decision, and for the most part with 

With the exception of these imperial audiences, the ad- 
ministration under tliis government is a tissue of disorder, 
rapine, and violence. The governors of provinces have the 
title of kalif, or lieutenant, that of pasha, or of kaid ;^ 
and combine the executive with the judicial power. They 
only remit to the judges some complicated causes. In some 
of the towns, such as Fez, there are kadis, or independent 
judges, who are invested with great powers. Oppressed 
and harassed by the sovereign and the courtiers, all these 
governors and judges oppress the people in their turn. 
The lowest oflicer pillages legally in his master's name. 
The wealth thus acquired falls in the end into the coffers of 
the sultan, who, under some pretext or other, causes those 
who have amassed treasures to be dismissed from office, ac- 
cused, and condemned. The sovereign can deprive a sub- 
ject of every tiling belonging to him except what is strictly 
necessary to save him from starvation. The confiscated 
sums are said to pass into the common treasure of the Mus- 

* Hoest, p. 78 and 84. 

i Chcnier writes it Meschouar ; Hoest, Moschoiiar. 

+ Hoest, p. 184. Jackso-.'. 



sulmaiis; this is all the account of them that is given. The Bobk 
consequences of such a system may he easily conceived, .^^I/,. 
The people, suspicious, cruel, and perfidious, respect no — — — 
sort of ohligations. Their universal aim is to pillage one 
another; no confidence, no social tie exists among them, 
and scarcely even any momentary feelings of affection. The 
father dreads the son and the son detests the father. 

The different religions which maintain the unity of God Religions* 
are tolerated. There are Roman Catholic monasteries at 
Morocco, at Mogadore^ at Mequinez, and Tangier; but 
the Romish monks at Morocco and at Mequinez are close- 
ly watched and exposed to vexations.=^ The Jews, who are 
exceedingly numerous, and extend even among tlie valleys 
of the Atlas, are treated witii the most revolting barbarity. 
Their situation, civil and moral, in this country, is a most Situation 
singular phenomenon. On the one hand, their industry, jews. 
their address, and their intelligence, make them masters of 
all the trade and manufactures. They direct the royal 
coinage ; they levy the duties on exports and imports ; and 
officiate as interpreters and men of business.! On the 
other hand, they experience the most odious vexations and 
the most dreadful usage. They are prohibited from writ- 
ing in Arabic, or even learning the characters, because for 
them to read the Koran would be a profanation. :j: Their 
women are prohibited from wearing any green article of 
clothing, and are only allowed to veil one half of the face. 
A Moor enters the Jewish synagogues without ceremony, 
and even abuses and insults the rabbins. In passing a 
mosque, the Jews must uncover their feet, and remove their 
slippers to a respectful distance. They dare not be seen on 
horseback, or sit cross-legged before Moors of a certain 
rank. They are often assailed by the lowest blackguards 
in the public walks, who cover them over with mud, spit in 
their faces, or knock them down ; they are obliged to ask 

* HcBst, p. 161. Lempriere, p. 108. 
t Hoest, Relat. p. 144. Lemprieie, p. 102. 165. 
I Agrell, p. 263. HcEst, p. 145. 
VOL. IV. 13 


BOOK pardon, and call tlic person sidi, or 'sir,' who, the moment 
^^^' before, most outrageously maltreated them.* Should a 
Jew, under any provocation, raise his hand to strike a 
Moor, he runs the risk of being capitally condemned. 
When employed to w^ork for the court, the Jews receive no 
pay, and think themselves happy if they are not beaten. 
One prince, Js/ie?H, ordered a dress from a Jewish tailor; 
the dress when it came did not exactly fit him ; the prince 
proposed to kill the Jew on the spot ; the governor of the 
city interceded for him, and he got oflf with having his beard 
pulled out hair by hair.f At Tangier, an order of go- 
vernment once appeared in the middle of winter, that every 
Jew should go bare-footed, under the penalty of being 
hung up hj the feet. To crown all, they are frequently 
condemned in Morocco to be thrown, like Daniel, into a den 
of lions ; but, as the keepers of the lions are themselves 
Jews, it is rarely that any deadly consequences ensue. The 
keepers use the precaution to feed the lions abundantly, and 
not to leave their countrymen exposed longer to them than 
a single night4 
Pride of the The Moors entertain the loftiest ideas of themselves and 
their country. These half-naked slaves style the Europe- 
ans ageiUf or barbarians. They are not altogether desti- 
tute of virtues. A Moor never abandons himself to des- 
pair; neither sufferings nor losses can extort from him a 
single murmur; to every event he submits as decreed by 
the will of God : and habitually hopes for better times. 
Singular The Moors admit of no distinction founded on birth; no- 
etiquettc. thing except public office confers rank. Among the points 
of etiquette which prevail at the court of the princes of 
Morocco, a very singular one is quoted by the author whom 
we follow. The w^ord death is never uttered in presence of 
the sultan. When it is unavoidable to mention to his so- 
vereign the death of any person, it is expressed by such 
words as, " He has fulfilled his destiny," on which the mo- 

^- Hoest, p. 143. 209. t Agrell. p. 89. 

1 Htest, p. 290. 



iiarch gravely remarks, " God be merciful to him." Another book 
point of whimsical superstition is, that the numbers ^re and ^^^* 
fifteen must not be mentioned in the presence of the prince.-^ "" 

Mr. Hoest estimates the revenues at a million of piastres. Revenues, 
the chief sources of which are the customs and the land 
tithes. The sultan generally amasses treasure. Tlie army, 
composed of 24,000 negroes and 12,000 Moors, is ignorant 
of discipline and manoeuvring. The navy consists entirely 
of corsairs, which are sometimes fifty in number. It is only 
by the position of their country that these ignorant and 
cowardly seamen are enabled to inflict inconvenience on Eu- 

Raw produce is all that a country so far behind in civi- Export 
lization can export. Tlie following is a list of its exports, 
according to the concurring accounts of travellers : wool, 
wax, (5000 quintals,) ox-hides, morocco-leather, ivory, os- 
trich feathers, poultry, and eggs, (to the amount of two 
millions of francs, or ^683,333, by the ports of Larache and 
Tangier alone, according to Lempriere,) cattle for Portugal, 
mules for the West Indies, gum-arabic of indifferent quality, 
crude copper, almonds, oil d'argane, used in the manufacture 
of Marseilles soap ; various fruits, and wheat, when the ex- 
portation of it is allowed. The imports are cloths, pottery? imports, 
Biscayan iron, spiceries, and tea; also ship-timber, which 
is not to be had on the coast, though probably it would be 
found on Mount Atlas if pains were taken to inquire for it. 
In 1804 the exports from the harbour of Mogadore did not 
exceed £128,000 Sterling, duties included, and the imports 
amounted to i^ 150,000. The most active part of the trade of 
the Moroccans seems to be that which they carry on with 
Tombuctoo, by means of a caravan which goes from Akka 
in the province of Darah. 

Now that we have taken our survey of the whole of Bar- 
bary, from the confines of Egypt to the shores of the At- 

* Hoest, p. 222. Agrell, p. 296, 

1 o 


BOOK lantic Ocean, the old routine of geographers should bring 
^^^* us to Bildulgerid ; but there is in reality no such geogra- 
~ phical division. The name of Belad-el-Djerid, or ** the 

rid. Land of Dates," falls under the same description with those 

of Belad-el-Tolfolf "the Pepper Country," and Belad-el- 
Tibr, " the Land of Gold." Such appellations cannot 
apply to a country of definite limits. The Arabs gave the 
name of the " Land of Dates*' to all the countries situated 
on the southern declivity of the Atlas, as far as the Great 
Desert. This stripe extends from the Atlantic Ocean to 
Egypt. It includes Darah, Tafilet, Sedjelmessa, Tegora- 
rin, Zab, Guargala, the country of Totser, Gadamis, Fez- 
zan, Aujelah, and Sivah.* All these districts have been 
already mentioned in their proper places : the country of 
Totser, which belongs to Tunis, and to which Shaw and 
some others give the special name of Delad-el-Djerid, is 
properly the Kastili ih of the Arabian geographers.! Other 
travellers, with rather less impropriety, give the name of 
Bildulgerid to the province of Darah in the south part of 

The Great Desert, called in Arabic Zahara, extends, in 
the ordinary acceptation of the term, from Egypt and Nu- 
bia to the Atlantic Ocean, and from the foot of Mount At- 
las to the banks of the Niger. But, as Fezzan and Aga- 
dez, at least according to the latest notions, separate the 
deserts of Bilma and of Berdoa from the rest of the Za- 
hara, we shall not at this place take them under our view. 
The great desert of tlie north-west of Africa seems to be a 
table-land little raised above the level of the sea, covered 
with moving sands, and here and there containing some 
rocky heights and some valleys, where the water collects 
and nourishes some thorny slirubs, ferns, and grass.^ The 

* Leo Africanus, p. 623, edit. Elz. 

t Abulfeda, Africa, p. 25. Timimi, quoted in Edvisl, Hartmanirs edit, p. 
257. Paulus, Memorabil. III. p. 239. 

1 Marmol, Afiique,, III. p. 41. Leo, Elzevir's edit. p. 67. 


moimtains along the shore of the Atlantic Ocean are in no book 
continued chain, hut only in detached peaks. Towards ^^^* 
the interior they lose themselves in a plain covered with ~ 7" 
white and sharp pehbles. The sand hills, being frequently minerals. 
moved by the wind, lie in undulating lines like the surface 
of an agitated sea. At Teg^zza, and some other places, 
a sal-gem whiter than the purest marble, lies in extensive 
strata under a bed of rock.=^ No other mineral suhstance 
belonging to this desert is mentioned by authors ; but, on 
its southern margin, Golherry found masses of native iron, 
his confused description of which excites our curiosity with- 
out^giving any satisfactory information. For a great part Climate. 
of the year the dry and heated air has the appearance of a 
reddish vapour, and the horizon looks like the fire of a se- 
ries of volcanoes.! The rain, which falls from July to Oc- 
tober,:!: does not extend its precarious and momentary bless- 
ings to all the districts. An aromatic plant resembling Vegeta- 
thyme, the same which bears the grains of Zahara, acacias, 
and other thorny shrubs, nettles, and brambles, constitute 
the ordinary vegetation of the desert. It is rarely that a 
grove of date trees, or other palms, is to be seen. The 
forests of gum trees, (the Mimosa Senegal of Linnseus) 
situated on the extreme border of the desert, seem to be 
detachments derived from the vegetation of Senegambia. 
Some monkeys, and some gazelles, support themselves on Animals. 
this scanty vegetation. The ostrich also lives here in nu- 
merous flocks, feeding on lizards and snails, together with 
some coarse plants, such as apocijnnms,§ Lions, panthers, 
and serpents, sometimes of enormous dimensions, add to 
the horrors of these frightful solitudes. Ravens, and other 
birds, dispute with the Moorish dogs the dead bodies of 
men and quadrupeds. These animals live here almost 
■without drinking. The flocks consist of camels, goats, and 

* Leon, p. 633. ' 

•'r Brisson, Voyage, p. 24. 35, 36. (Ciennan edit.) 
I Follie, Voyage, p. 63, tr. allum. Brisson, p. 45. 161. 
^ Cadamosto in Sprengel, Beytraege, XI. p. 112. Sliaw, >, 453. Poiret, 
T. p. 280. 

The coast. 


BOOK sheep. The horses, wliich are very rare, sometimes receive 
liXV. j^jj|j_ ^Q allay their thirst, for want of water.* 

The const of Zahara contains some harhours and road- 
steads. Those of Rio-do-Ouro, and of St. Cyprian, are 
formed by lai'ge creeks, resembling the mouth of rivers. 
The Gulf of Ardum, and the Portendic road, have often 
been visited by Europeans. On the same line are Cape 
Bojadore, the terror of the navigators of the middle age, 
I and, down to 1533, the fatal limit of all sea voyages in this 

direction, and Cape Blanco, which, according to the most 
probable opinion, was the limit of the discoveries of the 
Tribes to The people called Mooselmins, live to the north of Cape 
of Cape Bojadore. Their territories are intermediate between Mo^ 
Blanco, j-qcco and the desert. These people are composed of a 
mixture of the descendants of Arabs and fugitive Moors 
from Morocco. Their lands are not destitute of fertility, 
and the limits between them and the desert are indicated 
by a series of lofty pillars. Their life is intermediate be- 
tween the pastoral and the agricultural state. Their corn 
is, in harvest, deposited in large holes dug in the sand, in 
which the different individuals have shares proportioned to 
the number of labourers whom they have employed. They 
remain by their fields in seed-time and harvest, but wander 
in all directions with their cattle during the rest of the year, 
taking with them only necessary articles, and returning to 
their stores from time to time for a supply. The more 
opulent among them, and the artizans, reside in towns. 
The former are proprietors of cattle, which are abroad in 
the country under the care of their slaves. Gratuitous 
hospitality is habitually practised in the country, but not in 
the towns. Their government is republican, and their 
chiefs elected annually. Their country is populous, though 
their numbers are in some measure kept down by frequent 
warfare witli the emperor of Morocco. These people arc 
better clothed and more prosperous than the Moroccans, 

* Brisson, p. 161. Follie, p, 63. Compare with Leo. p. 48 



They are almost contimially on horseback. They excel in book 
breaking and managing their horses, wliich are tlie best in i-xv^ 
the world, and are skilful riders. The Mongearts live be- 
tween Cape Bojadore and Cape Blanco. On the heights, 
along this dangerous coast, they generally make signals to 
the ships at sea, in order to allure them to their inevitable 
ruin. These ferocious Africans instantly take possession 
both of the goods and crews. The Wadelims and the Lab- 
dessebas, who live near Cape Blanco, are described as mon- 
sters of cruelty, by a Frenchman who had tlie misfortune 
to suffer shipwreck on their coasts. The fate of the pri-Faieofti 
soners is truly lamentable. The Moors, in conveying them ^^P*^^^^- 
to the heart of tlie desert, make them walk, like themselves, 
fifty miles per day, giving them in the evening only a little 
barley meal, mixed with water, the common food of these 
nomades. The soles of the feet in the European swell 
dreadfully from the heat of the burning sand, in which the 
Arab travels without inconvenience. The master soon 
perceives how ill qualified his slave is for the travels and 
toils of this sort of life, and therefore endeavours to get rid 
of him. After a succession of hard marches, he generally 
meets with one of the Jewish travellers who are settled at 
Wadi-Noon, and cross the desert with their merchandize. 
The Jew purchases the prisoner for a little lobacco, salt, 
and clothes. This person afterwards writes to the agent 
of the European nation to which the prisoner belongs, and 
endeavours to obtain for his liberty as high a ransom as ho 


The ffum forests between Cape Blanco and the Senegal, Tribes to 

- - - tlie south 

are in the possession of three tribes, called Trarsas, Aulad- of Cape 
el-Hadgi, and Ebraquana. All the three are of Arabian ori- Blanco. 
gin, and speak their mother tongue : they are Mahometans, 
and live in camps, without any fixed houses. 

The territory of the Trarsas is bounded on the west by The Trai- 
the ocean, and on the south by the Senegal. Their capi- ^^^* 
tal, if we can be allowed to use the term, is in an oasis, the 

* Jackson's Account of Morocco. Brisson, and Follic. 


BOOK name of wliicli is believed to be Hodeii. To this place they 
I'XV. seem to retire during rainy weather; but they anxiously 
' conceal the place of their retreat, wbich they call their 

country. Wc are only permitted to know that these oases 
arc situated between the ISth and the 22d degree of north 
latitude, and between the ocean and the 7th degree of lon- 
gitude, (reckoning from the island of Ferro.) The territory 
of the Brachnas, or the Ebraquana, and of the Aulad-el- 
Hadgi, is bounded on the west by the Trarsas, on the south 
by the Senegal, on tlie east by Ludamar. On tiie north 
they have the same sort of boundaries as the rest. 

Portendik, on the coast, is the harbour where the trade 
with the Trarsas is carried on. Podor, on the Senegal, is 
the resort of the most easterly tribes. 
Manners of These Moors or Arabs, are in general a base and per- 
the Moors. fj^j^Q^^g people, altliough individuals have been found among 
tbem distinguished for courage and other virtues. Cruel 
wlierever they are possessed of power,— treacherous and 
faithless, — tliey are strangers to every sentiment of gene- 
rosity or humanity. Their wild aspect corresponds to their 
barbarous manners. Even in their copper complexion, con- 
taining a mixture of red and black, there seems to be some- 
thing that indicates badness of character. 

Golberry, who has drawn this picture, saw tlieir women 
4n a more agreeable light, at least during youth. Accord- 
ing to him, they are handsome at that happy age ; their 
features are line, mild, and regular; their colour inclines 
to a pale yellow, but fairer and clearer than that of the 
men. They live in tents; men, women, children, horses, 
camels, and other animals, being crowded promiscuously 
under the same cover. The camps, which they form on 
the banks of the river, are composed of the better sort of 
tribes. They live on millet, maize, dates, and gum ; and 
their sobriety and abstemiousness are almost inconceiv- 
able. Tbe greater part of their fruits are furnished by the 
oases : the date palms, above all, grow in the greatest abun- 
dance. They liave cattle with humps on tlie back, and ex- 


cellent horses, whose rapid pace equals the speed of the book 
ostrich. ^^^* 

Our arts and trades are not altogether unknown to these -— "~~ 
barbarous people : tliey even practice some of them with 
skill. They have weavers who, with the simplest portable 
looms, make stuffs out of the hair of animals, especially the 
camel and the goat. They have even the secret of manufac- 
turing morocco-leather. They know how to apply to pur- 
poses of utility the skins of lions, leopards, panthers, and 
hippopotami. They reduce lamb's skins to the thinness of 
paper, then dye them with different colours, and fashion them 
into ornaments. They form stirrups and bridle-bits of sin- 
gle pieces of metal, as well as sabres and poinards ; incrust 
and damaskene the handles of the latter, and adorn the scab- 
bards with plates of gold and silver. They have their itine- 
rant goldsmiths and jewellers, wlio make bracelets, chains, 
gold-rings, filligrees, and arabesque ornaments, by which 
they compose, with no small skill and taste, pieces of orna- 
mental dress for ladies and royal personages. 

Farther to the east, we know the tribes of the desert only The caia- 
by the Moroccan caravan, or akkabah, which travels every rocco. 
year to Tombuctoo. The akkabahs do not proceed in a 
straight line across the immense desert of Zahara, which 
would afford no practicable road, but turn sometimes west- 
ward, sometimes eastward, according to the position of the 
uifferent oases. These verdant lands, scattered over this 
vast desert, serve as places of rest and refreshment to the 
men and animals. So violent is the burning wind, call- 
ed the samoom or shoom, that the scorching heat often dries 
up the water contained in the leathern bottles which the 
camels carry for the use of the merchants and the drivers. 
There was a monument here which, in the time of Leo Dangers 
Africanus, attested the deplorable fate of a driver and a ^^'^°"°^°^'' 
merchant, the one of whom sold his last cup of water to the 
other for ten drachms of gold. Both had perished. In 
1805, an akkabah consisting of 2000 persons, and 1800 
camels, not finding water at the usual resting-places, died 
of thirst, both men and animals. The vehemence of tlie 


BOOK burning wind, wliich in tliesc vast plains raises and rolls be- 

XXV. ff)pg j^ ti^g waves of red sand, makes the desert so much to 

"""""^ resemble the stormy sea, that the Arabs have given it the 

name of a dry sea, (Bahar billa maia.) Possessing some 

knowledge of the positions of the stars, they use the polar 

star for direction, and often prefer travelling during the clear 

nights of these climates, rather than brave during the day 

the intense heats of a burning sun. 

Route of rpi^g Akkabahs of Morocco take about 130 days to 

this cara- ^ •' 

van. cross the desert, including the time occupied in resting at 

the different oases. Leaving the city of Fez, proceeding 
at a rate of three miles and a half per hour, and travelling 
seven hours each day, they arrive in six at Wadi-Noon, 
Akkaj or Tatta ; here they stop a month for the arrival of 
the other caravans which are to join tliem; sixteen more 
days are then occupied in travelling from *^kka to Tarassa, 
where they rest fifteen days. They then set out for Tom- 
buctoo, where they arrive on the sixtii day, after a journey 
of 129 days, being fifty-four of travelling, and seventy-five 
of rest. Another caravan which leaves Wadi-Noon and 
Sola-Assa, crosses the desert between the black mountains 
of Cape Bojadore and Galata, goes to the western Tarassa 
(probably the country of the Trasarts,) where it stops to 
procure salt, and arrives at Tombuctoo after a journey of 
five or six months. This Akkabah goes as far as Jibbel- 
el-Bud, or the white mountains near Cape Blanco, and 
cro.^ses the desert of Magaffra, to the district of Agadir, 
where it rests twenty days. These caravans obtain an es- 
cort from each tribe through whose territories they pass. 
Thus, in crossing those of Woled-Abuseed, they are ac- 
companied by a great number of soldiers, and two sebay- 
ers or chiefs of clans, uho, after condu/Cting them to the 
territory of Woled-Deleim, receive their remuneration, and 
commit the akkabah into the hands of the chiefs of this 
district : these escort them to the territory of the tribe of 
Magaffra, where other guides convoy them to Tombuctoo. 
Sometimes a caravan bolder or more hurried than the rest, 


attempts to cross the desert without an escort; but they book 
seldom fail to repent of their temerity, by falling into the ^'^^• 
hands of the two tribes of Dekna and Emjot, which inha- " " 

bit the northern frontiers of the desert. 

Being subject to a religious code which forbids the use Mode of 
of inebriating liquors, the merchants of the caravans know lUe^tfavei- 
no other drink than water; dates and barley meal serve ^^rs. 
them for food during a journey of many weeks across the 
desert. Their clothing is equally simple. Fortified by 
this frugality, and sustained by the prospect of returning 
to their homes, they sing as they trudge along, to shorten 
the long hours of travel. When t!iey come near a few- 
houses, or when their camels seem in danger of dropping 
down witb fatigue, their songs acquire additional spirit and 
expression ; their melody and sweetness restore animation 
to the toiling camels. At four in tlie evening they pitch 
their tents, and join in prayer ; to this act of devotion sup- 
per succeeds ; then they sit down in a ring, converse or 
recite stories till their eyes are closed in sleep. The Ara- 
bic language becomes extremely agreeable in the mouths 
of the camel drivers: it is then equally soft, and more so- 
norous than the Italian ; their particular dialect resembles 
the ancient language of the Alcoran, which for 1200 years 
has scarcely undergone any alteration. The Arabs of Mo- 
gaffra, and those of Woled-Abusebah, compose extempor- 
arieous verses w4th great readiness ; the women are good 
judges of poetry, and sho\v particular favour for those 
young Arabs who excel in this literary exercise. 

We do not know^ the precise situation of the deserts of Deserts 
Zuenga and Targa, mentioned by Leo: they must be to ^J'^j^g'^^^^j^^^ 
the north of the oasis of Thuat. The Lemtuna people of tie. 
this writer seem to form part of the Tuariks of the mo- 
derns. Agadez, a large town inhabited by slave-merchants, 
and situated to the south of Tezzane, is also know n by the 
name of Tuarik,=^ probably as being the chief settlement 
of that people. 

* Abderrhaman, in dans le Nouv. Mus. Alle^i. HI. p. 988, 


BOOK May not the great desert which we have now described 
^^^* be the dried basin of a sea ? Diodorus speaks of the lake 

Ori in of ^^ *^® HespeHdes, which was turned into dry land by an 
the desert, earthquake ; perhaps the countries of Mount Atlas, once 
surrounded by a double Mediterranean, formed that cele- 
brated Atlantic island which is sought for in every direc- 
tion and nowhere found. On the borders of the great de- 
sert there are immense collections of the remains of marine 
animals. The Soodan is destitute of salt, but the deserts 
of Zahara are covered witli it. Pliny and Leo concur in 
saying that in several districts, sal-gem was cut like marble 
or jasper, and used as stones for building houses. These 
facts seem favourable to the hypothesis now mentioned; 
but the level of the desert is unknown ; and such theories 
do not, in the present state of retrospective geology, admit 
of any approximation to proof. 




The country which we are now to visit, affords a remark- book 
ahle example, hoth of the beneficence of nature and of the ixvi. 
perversity of the human mind. Those countries, in which " 

tyranny and ignorance have not had the power to destroy 
the inexhaustible fecundity of the soil, have, down to the 
present times, been the theatre of eternal robbery, and one 
vast market of human blood. 

The sea-coasts of this country experience the most in- Climate 
tense heat that is known in any part of the globe. The ^^tulTof^' 
c^use of this is to be found in the east winds which arrive Senegam- 

ill 3 

on these coasts, after having swept over the burning sur- 
face of Africa in all its breadth.* At Goree, in the years 
1787 and 1788, in November and in May, the ther- 
mometer stood at 68° and 881°: during the night it did 
not fall below 60°. From May till November it did not 
fall below 77° nor rise above 99i. Thus there are just 
two seasons; the one may be considered as a moderate 
summer, the other as a continuation of burning dog-days. 
But, during the whole year, the sun at mid-day is unsup- 
portable. At Senegal it is most intense, amounting to US'" 
and sometimes to 131°. The barometer almost always rises in 

* Schotte dans Forster et Sprengel, Reciieil des Memoires peur la Gcogru- 
pbie et I'Ethnosfvaphie,, T. p. 55. 





ture of 

those circumstances under which it falls in France, that is, 
at the commencement of a storm. The north and north- 
west winds blow almost without interruption. The east or 
trade winds are only felt within 90 or 120 miles of the 
coast. Tlie south wind is very rare. During the great 
heats a dead calm prevails for about 30 days, which is 
enervating to the most robust constitutions. From the be- 
ginning of June till the middle of October, sixteen or eigh- 
teen heavy rains fall, amounting to fifty or sixty inches of 
water. A single one sometimes gives as much as six or 
seven inches. During the rest of the year there are heavy 

Of all the countries of western Africa, the Gold Coast 
seems to be subjected to the most intense heats. Near 
Rio Volta, Isert saw the tliermometer of Fahrenheit rise to 
95i within an apartment, while it was 134 in the open air, 
which surpasses by 26 degrees the greatest heats observed 
by Adanson on the banks of the Senegal. 

In the Gulf of Guinea the prevailing winds are from the 
south-west, which makes it difficult for vessels which ven- 
ture into it to get out. This direction of the wind, being 
contrary to the trade winds, is to be explained by the rare- 
faction of the air in the central countries of this part of 
Africa, — a circumstance from which some infer the absence 
of high mountains. 
Hurricanes Between Cape Verga and Cape Palmas, the hurricanes 
called tornadoes, from a Portuguese term for whirlwinds, 
are very frequent in summer and autumn ; their approach 
is announced by a small cloud apparently five or six feet 
broad, remaining immoveably in one spot. This soon ex- 
tends, and covers a great part of the horizon. An impetu- 
ous whirling wind now breaks forth, which lasts only about 
a quarter of an hour; but in this short space, enormous 
trees are torn up by the roots, cottages are thrown down, 
entire villages destroyed, and vessels driven from their an- 


* Adanson, Voyage au Senegal. Wadstroni, siir les Colonies, p. 55^ trad. 
Mlem. de M. Zimnierinann. 


cliors and wrecked. This scourge is unknown on the Sene- book 
gal, and even from Cape Blanco to Cape de Verga ; but it ^^^^' 
sometimes occurs in the Zahara. The winds raise the impal- 
pablc sand, for ming them into columns which rise to an im- 
mense height, and become a sort of sand-spout. After diffe- 
rent changes of form, they are either dissipated through the 
air, or carried along, sometimes to very great distances; 
sometimes they break througli in the middle with a crash 
like the explosion of a mine.* The harmattan, the name 
of which seems to be of European origin, {air matan) is au 
east wind which prevails chiefly in Benin, and extends 
to the Gold Coast ; it brings on a dry haze ; the horizon 
is darkened, the skins of animals and men become contract- 
ed and chopped. These liarmattans are felt about the sol- 

Near the sources of the Senegal, the Joliba or Niger, the Moun- 
Gambia, and the Mesurado, there is a nucleus of mountains 
from which, according to the most recent accounts, some 
branches go off like so many rays, which might lead us to 
suppose that they are granitic, or schistous mountains, yet 
the numerous falls in the rivers seem to indicate a surface 
rising by terraces, and hence probably calcareous. Some 
of them must be of great elevation, if the reports of the ne- 
groes to M. Mollien were correct, that to the southeast of 
Timbo and the sources of the great river, some (if the moun- 
tains ^* have a white hat.":}: 

The mountains on the coast, from Cape de Verde to the 
Gambia, present indications of valcanoes, which, however, 
are allowed to be equivocal, as the lavas of authors may be 
considered as basaltic rocks. The foot of Siera Leon Cape 
is encircled with basaltic rocks, called by the English Car- 
penter's Rocks, and the whole coast has the same general 
appearance. Immense alluvial tracts make Senegambia to 

* Philosoph. Trans. LXX. p. 478. 

t Aitkin's Voyage, p. 147. 

If Mollien's Travels to the Sources of the Senegal and Gambia, edited by 
Bowditch, p. 292, 


BOOK have some resemblance to Guinea. The islands to the 
^^^^' south of the Gambia are partly inundated, and continually 
"^ accumulating. 

Rivers. The rivers of this country are very numerous. The 

The Sene- Senegal, long confounded with the Niger, rises in the coun- 
s^^? try of Foota-Jallon, near Timbo, about 10° N. lat. and 

has a course, first to the north-east, then to the north-west, 
then west, more than 800 miles in all, before it reaches the 
ocean.* Among the falls of this river, that of the Feloo 
rock merits most particular attention. For seven months 
in the year the rock stops the course of the water, but 
during the other five they rise high enough to flow over 
the top of the rock. At the mouth of the Senegal there is 
a bar which prevents the entrance of all vessels that draw 
more than ten feet of water, though immediately within 
the bar the river is thirty feet deep. La Barthe observes, 
that in 1T79 the entrance of the bar was eleven miles from 
the island of St. Louis, though now it is fourteen. 
These variations are of great importance in determining 
the mooring grounds. They are owing to the currents in 
opposite directions, wliich, in proportion to their relative 
strength, deposit the sand in a place from which they af- 
terwards carry it away. Similar shiftings take place over 
the coast in general. The banks of the Senegal become 
highly picturesque when we ascend 140 miles from the 
sea. Lined with hills and mountains, wiiere tall trees, 
mixed witli handsome shrubs, form verdant arches and am- 
phitheatres, this river would furnish one of the most in- 
teresting voyages in the world, were not its charms so es- 
sentially impaired by the unwholesomeness of the air, the 
hideous aspect of the crocodiles, and the bellowing of *the 
hippopotamus. The merchants even avoid it, and prefer 
The Gam- going by land.f While the Senegal is only navigable in 
'^'^- the rainy season, the Gambia cannot be navigated except 

■■■- Mollien, p. 152. 

t Durand, Voyage au Senegal, p. 343, Lainira!, rAtrique et lo peuplc 


in the dry season. Forty gun frigates can go up thirty- isook 
seven miles, and large merchant vessels 180.^ The rains ^^^^'^' 
give it an enormous increase of depth, but at the same ~ 

time, such inordinate rapidity that no vessels can stem the 
current. This river, though exceedingly deep and wide, 
has only a course of 610 miles. The Rio Grande, no less 
remarkable both for depth and width at its mouth, whicli 
is encompassed with islands, has a course only half as long 
as that of the Gambia. The Rio Mesurado is remarked 
for its short and rectilinear course, but otherwise little 
known. The rivers of the coast of Guinea seem to take 
their rise in the Kong mountains, at distances from 300 to 
400 miles. The Rio Volta, which is the least known, de- 
scends in a series of cascades ; but the deepest angle of the 
Gulf of Guinea receives the Formosa, the Calabar, and 
other broad and deep streams, which form at their termina- 
tion a delta larger than that of Egypt. We shall after- 
wards state some reasons for considering these rivers as the 
mouths of tlie Niger. 

At the bead of the trees of these regions stands that co- Vegeta- 
lossus of the vegetable kingdom, the immense baobab, the ^^°"* 
Jldanson'ui digitata of Linnaeus. Isert, a learned Dane, oh- Forest 
served several species of this genus, though only one has 
been hitherto boti\nically known. f Its fruit, surnamed 
monkey's bread, affords abundant aliment to the negroes, 
who, at sun-rise, watch religiously the opening of its flowers, 
which have been closed during the night. The whole of 
Senegambia and Guinea is adorned with its green elliptic 
arches. The name of Cape de Verd is said to have been 
particularly suggested by the foliage of this tree. The 
wide trunk becomes liollow within while its diameter is aug- 
menting, and the cavern which it forms is large enough to 
serve as a temple to the negroes, a hall of assembly to a 
tribe, or a habitation for several of their families. Its 
height, liowever, is very moderate. Mr. Golberry obseiv- 

* Demanet, Labat, &c. 
t Isertj Voyage a. la Guinee, p. 110—281. 
VOL. IV. 14 





eil one which was twenty-four feet high, by thirty-four in 
diameter, and 104 in circumference. The forests of these 
■ countries, equally close with those of Guiana or Brasil, con- 
tain, like them, cocoa-trees, palms, mangos, bananas or pi- 
sangs, tamarinds, papaws, various species of citrons, oranges^ 
pomegranates, and sycamores. =^ Among the rest we re- 
mark the courbaril, or locust tree, a species of Hymendea, 
which yields an agreeable beverage;! the Elais Ghiinensis, 
from which oil and a kind of butter are obtained ; a pea-tree, 
a new species of liobinia, found on the Gold Coast; a tree re- 
sembling the tulip-tree, forming a new genus in the Linnean 
class of Tetrandria ; and another, improperly called a cedar, 
which is a new species of Avicennia,^ The valuable shea^ 
or butter-tree, forms a great part of the riches of the king- 
dom of Bambook ; but that tree, probably a species of crO' 
ton, belongs more properly to Nigritia.§ The tallow-tree, 
however, according to Rcemer, grows on the coast of Gui- 

It has been said that the nutmeg,|| and the cinnamon- 
tree,^ grow here spontaneously, though in small number, 
but the assertion requires to be accompanied with stronger 
evidence than we as yet have. It seems certain that the 
Laurus cassia grows in the forests. The existence of the 
cofFee-tree'*=^ is only probable. "We know that it grows to 
the south of Abyssinia, but we are not certain that it is 
precisely the Arabian species. Among other aromatic 
plants, Senegambia and Guinea possess a species of pepper, 
the Cardamomum majus, called, from its locality, nialagu- 

* Labat, Nouvelle Desciiplion, &c. I. p. 62. II. p. 322. III. p. 12— 
37, &c. Schott, in Spiengel, I, p. C6, 67, Adanson, Voyage an Senegal. 

t Labat, IV. p. 363. 

I Isert, p. 116. 182, &c. 

i Labat, III. p. 345. Ehrmann, Histoire des Voyages, 111. p. 72. Com- 
pare Rocmer, Relat. de la cote de Guinee, p. 175. 

II Clarkson, on the Impolicy of the Slave Trade, p. 14. 

"tT Smith's New Voyage, p. 162. Ehrmann, Hisioiie des Voyages, X, 
p. 40. 

*«= Wadstrom, Essai sur les Colonics, p. 84. 


ette, also pimento, Spanish pepper, and ginger. Cotton uooK 
succeeds, and even excels that of Brazil. xxvi. 

The indigo of this country is excellent. A great innnber ^^^^ 
of val'iable gums which this country furnishes as articles of 
commerce are well known, such as gum guaiac, the red as- 
tringent gum, gum copal, the inspissated juice of euphorbi- 
um, and Sanguis draconis. The courageous and able Wad- 
strom, a Swede, had brought from Africa fourteen kinds of 
valuable woods, among which were acajou and ebony. Sev- 
eral dye-woods are found here. 

Alimentary plants are in great abundance. Two species Aiimema- 
of Holcus are cultivated, the sorghum and the dourra*^^ ^^^^^^' 
There is a third species, called by Isert the Holms Ucolor, 
which is known by the Portuguese name milho, or millet, on 
the Gold Coast, and gives a return of 160 for one. Rice is 
cultivated in the high lands. Africa has received maize 
from America; but the potato, which in Fetoo is called 
broddi, seems to be indigenous.^ The other esculent her- 
baceous plants are the yam, the manioc, or cassava, the 
large bean produced by the Dolichos lignosus, the delicious 
pine-apple, which grows in the most desert places, and last- 
ly, different species of melons and of cucumbers. Orange, 
banana, and papaw trees have been introduced by the Por- 
tuguese, and grow in abundance and perfection. 

Tobacco is found every where in great abundance; that 
of Senegal is excellent, but that of the Gold Coast is of the 
most indifferent kind. The negroes are so fond of smoking 
this plant that they complain less of hunger than of the 
want of tobacco. The sugar-cane, though abundant and 
excellent, serves only to feed the elephants, the pigs, and 
the buffaloes, who are extremely fond of itf The negroes 
sometimes drink the juice of it. The exuberant abundance 
of the aloes, balsams, Gloriosse superbde, tuberoses, lilies, 
and amaranths, gives the flora of these countries a look of 
pomp and magnificence quite astonishing to the European 
traveller. The most singular feature of the African 

* Mollien, p. 241. i Wadstrom, p. 67. 



BOOK vegetation is perhaps the height to which the Guinea grass 
^^^'* grows. This plant forms immense forests, from ten to thir- 

^ . ty feet in heia^ht, where flocks of elephants and boars wan- 

Guinea ^ o ' i • ip • 

g.ass. der unseen. The enormous boa serpent conceals himself in 
this gigantic turf. In order to render the air more salubri- 
ous, or to prepare for cultivation, the negro frequently sets 
fire to these savannahs, which shine in long lines during the 
night, resembling rivers of fire, that relieve the gloom for 
a great way round; by day they cover the horizon with col- 
umns of smoke; and the birds of prey follow these confla- 
grations in flocks, to devour the serpents and lizards which 
the flames have suffocated. This practice has appeared to 
some of the learned to furnish the most natural explanation 
of the " torrents of fire," seen by Hanno, the Carthaginian, 
in his voyage to the south of Cerne,^ 

Animals. j^q part of the world produces more numerous flocks of 
elephants, monkeys, and antelopes, deer, rats, and squir- 
rels. In every part of Africa the elephant lives in a state 
of nature ; he is nowhere tamed. The ancients justly ob- 
served, that the African elephant is smaller and less cou- 
rageous than the Asiatic; but his organs of defence are 
much larger, the substance of his tusks is harder, and less 
apt to become yellow, and furnishes almost all the ivory 
of commerce. The method of catching them, employed 
by the chiefs, is to assemble the young men and take them 
out into the woods; at the season when the grass is dry, 
they set fire to the grass all round the elephants, who, find- 
ing themselves unable to escape from the flames, perish in 
the conflagration, sometimes to the number of twenty or 
thirty, by which means the negroes procure a large quan- 
tity of ivory. The hippopotamus, which lives in fresh wa- 
ter and marshy places, grows to a monstrous size, and is 
most frequently seen to the south of the river Cassemance. 
s^ The rhinoceros is scarcely known even in Benin. The 

lion is less common than the panther and the leopard. The 
spotted or striped hysena is frequent in the country, but 

*• See 9m Hifiory of Geography. 


the common species is most common in the north of Afri- book 
ca. The jackal, however, is more formidable and destruc- I'XVi. 
tive. The giraffe, which has been seen by Mungo Park and ' 

other travellers in Nigritia, sometimes wander over these 

The zebra is met with in droves, and the negroes hunt it 
for the sake of the skin and the flesh. 

The most remarkable species of monkey is the Simla Monkeys. 
troglodytes, called kimpanz>ay in Congo. It is the jocko 
of Buffon, who has confounded it with the ourang-outang 
of India. This monkey has less approximation to the hu- 
man form than the ourang-outang ; but perhaps surpasses 
him in intelligence. They sometimes attack people, espe- 
cially women who carry any provisions, and beat them with 
sticks till they let go their burden ; when pursued and at- 
tacked, they defend themselves by hurling stones and bit- 
ing ; and the females which have young ones to protect, are 
particularly fierce and courageous in their resistance.f A 
recent traveller says that this animal is far from being com- 
mon. The hideous mandril varies according to his age; 
whence Linnseus has erroneously divided this species into 
two, (the Simla malmon, and Marmon.) According to a 
learned naturalist, it has not hitherto been found except in 
Guinea and on the Congo.:}: We likewise meet with the 
pithecus, the hamadryad, the Simla leonlna, or macaque; 
the diana ; the Simla cephus, or moustac ; the Callltrlchef 
or green ape ; the Simla sahsea ; the white-nose, or Simla 
petaurlsta ; in short, almost all the tailed apes and baboons, 
of which these regions seem to be in a particular manner 
the native country. Two remarkable animals, akin to the 
monkey tribe, have hitherto been found only in Senegam- 
bia. These are the Lemur galago, and the Lemur mlnu- 
t2is. The poto or sloth is common in Guinea. The Se- 

* Sprengel and Forster, I. p. 72. III. p. 140. 

t MoUien, p. 290. 

,t Cnvier. Msnajerie cUi Muspum, art. Mandrill. 







iiegal negroes catch the zibeth in a very young state, and 
tame it. Among the antelopes, or gazelles, the kob, the 
nanguer, and the nagar, inhabit the banks of the Senegal 
and Rio Volta. Some kevels and corinnse are also found : 
these antelopes go in numberless flocks, which often contain 
upwards of a thousand.* The boar of Ethiopia peoples the 
marsliy woods ; but the pig of this country is small and 
weak. The dogs are of the size of our setters, but approach 
somewhat to the mastiff; they do not bark, and their hair 
is short, coarse, and red, as in all warm countries.! The 
horses of tlie Gold Coast are small and ugly ; but Adanson 
admires the horse of Senegal. That river is probably the 
southern limit of the Berber, or Moorish breed. The ass 
is exceedingly handsome, and very strong. Camels are 
sometimes seen here, but never to the south of the Senegal. 
The negroes rear cattle, buffaloes, sheep, and goats. — The 
trumpet-bird, or monoceros, is found in all the court-yards 
of the negroes, together witli the armed swan, the Egypti- 
an swan, the pintado, and the greater part of the poultry 
known in Europe. Among the multitude of birds which 
inhabit the forests, we remark the Ardea alba minor, or 
aigrette, the feathers of which form an article of trade. 
The beautiful paroquets are in unlimited numbers. Swarms 
of them are seen to rise from the trees, frightened by the 
cries of the monkeys. Adanson saw the nest of an enor- 
mous species of eagle, or vulture, called by the natives, 
n^ntann. This nest was three feet high. Numerous fami- 
lies of sparrows and humming birds sport round the hut of 
the negro, and the immense baobab supports the nest of the 
enormous pelican.:): 

This region is much infested by venomous insects, dis- 
gusting reptiles, and clouds of locusts. Of the last, Isert 
distinguished more than twenty different species on the 
Gold Coast. On that coast cameleons are very common. 
The serpents are numerous, and some of them of enormous 

* Golbeny, Fragmens sur I'Afrique, t. II. 
t Poemer, p. 273. MuVier, p. 244, 

Mollien, p. 51 


size. M. Mollien mentions a snake, the bite of which oc- book 
casioned the skin to fall off in scales, an instance of which I'Xvi. 
came under his eye. There are numerous swarms of wild ' 
bees, the honey and wax of which arc objects of trade 
among the negroes. In the sequestered forests, the ter- 
mites, improperly called white ants, display their astonish- 
ing industry. Golberry saw in the woods of Lamayava, Termites. 
and Albrida, on the banks of the Gambia, some pyramidal 
buildings, formed by these insects, which were sixteen feet 
high, and the bases of which occupied an area from 100 
to 110 square feet. In these nests the wild bees general- 
ly deposit their honey, to obtain which, the natives set 
them on fire during the night, that they may avoid the risk 
of being stung by the bees.* The crocodiles, the cacho- 
lots, and the manatis, sometimes inhabit, in one common 
society, the mouths of the great rivers. Oysters are said 
to fasten in great multitudes on the immersed branches of 
the mango with which tliese rivers are bordered. They 
are large, fat, and very good to eat, though less fresh and 
cool than tliose found in more northern situations. Cow- Cowries. 
ries, the shells called by naturalists Cypraea moneta, which 
are used as money in all these countries, as well as in many 
parts of India, are fished on the coast of Congo and An- 
gola,! ^^^ ^^® ^"^ brought hither from India as some tra- 
vellers have asserted. We are not certain if they are found 
on the coast of Guinea Proper, as travellers give no precise 
statements on that point.^ Much coral and ambergris is 
also procured on all these coasts.§ 

The mineral kingdom of these equinoctial countries is Minerals. 
probably as rich and varied, though not in so great pro- 
portion, compared to other parts of the world, since mi- 
neral productions are not influenced by climate; but we 
know little of their mineralogy. Among the objects most 
worthy of attention are the gold mines, which are said to Gold mines 
exist in the country of Bambook, situated between the Se- 

* Mollien, p. 227. t Proyart, Relat, p. 25. 

% Bruns, Afrika^ IV. p. 347. ^ Wadstrom, p. 75. 








negal and the Gambia, at equal distances from the two ri- 
vers. If wc believe two French writers, Pelays and David, 
who were sent into these countries by the old French In- 
dian Company to examine these mines, they are situated 
near the villages of Natakon, Semayla, Nambia, and Kom- 
badyree; but these grounds from which the negroes ob- 
tain gold, are only alluvial deposits, derived from real 
mines, concealed among the mountains of Tabaoora. Eighty 
pounds of crude mixed earth, taken from a pit in the small 
mountain of Natakon, yielded 144 grains and a half of 
gold. The Semayla mine appears to be the richest.^ — 
There are also gold mines on the Gold Coast at Akim, 
five days' journey from the Danish Fort of Christianburg, 
but they are not very productive. At a distance of twelve 
<lays' journey farther north, near the mountains of Kong, 
we have reason to believe that the Accasers work a rich 
mine of this precious metal in the form of deep pits.f Iron 
ore, in the form of silicious stones, is abundant in many 
places, and is smelted by the inhabitants, and manufactured 
into vessels with the hammer; from which we may conclude 
that the metal is excellent in quality, and highly malleable.:}: 
Labat saw whole mountains of fine red marble with white 
veins. The negroes make fine pottery with a white unc- 
tuous earth, Avhich is common in these countries. It is 
on the coast, and most especially in the rivers, near the 
gulf of the Idolos Islands, that the fat clay is found, which, 
the people are said to mix with their food like butter. 

After this general view, we shall now proceed to some 
detailed descriptions of this wide and important region. 

The fertile plains, watered by the Senegal and the Gam- 
bia, are occupied by a multitude of small kingdoms, some 
consisting of the indigenous negroes, and others which have 
been seized by the Moors. Various European powers have 
perceived the advantages which this country offers for colo- 
nial establishments. The French at one time had the largest 

* Colbcrry, 1. 1, p. 433. 439, 
i Mollien, p. 147. 

t Mullcr, 1 c. p. 271. 


and most numerous, as Fort St. Louis, and Podor on the book: 
Senegal ; the forts of St. Joseph and St. Pierre, in the in- I'XVi. 
terior in the kingdom of Galam ; the island of Goree, call- —— — " 
ed by the natives Barsaghish, near Cape Verd ; Albreda 
and Joal, on the river Gambia; Bintam, on the Cerebes 
river; and the if^land of Bissaos. AH these settlements 
are now abandoned, and the island of St. Louis is merely 
a factory under military government, the returns of which, 
in 1801, gave a population of 10,000 inhabitants, consisting 
in a great measure of slaves. According to Labat, a mil- 
lion and a half pounds weight of gum were exported; also 
1500 negroes. The English have, besides Fort St. James, 
three factories on the Gambia ; one at Vintain, another at 
Jookakonda, and a third at Pisania : the last of which is 
the farthest from the sea-coast. The French exported to 
the Senegal goods to the amount of ^750,000; and the 
English disposed of an equal amount on the Gambia. Spi- 
rituous liquors were the cliief articles. 

The kingdom of Owal, or Ualo, contains the lake of Kingdom 
Panier Foule, which, in the dry season, is transformed into ° 
a fertile plain. The sovereign, who has the title of brak, 
(meaning king of kings,) is .generally subject to the neigh- 
bouring Moors. ' 

The Foulahs of Senegal live above Owal. Some ofTheFou- 
their tribes enjoy a turbulent independence, such as those 
of Footatoro, who are also remarked to be the most inso- 
lent and inhospitable.^ The greater part of them are sub- 
ject to a sovereign possessed of considerable power, who 
has the title of Siratik, In this country is situated Fort 
Podor, in the large and fertile island of Morfil, formed by 
two arms of the Senegal. 

The Foulahs, who are also called Peuls or Foleys on Extension 
the Senegal, are widely diffused over Africa. The great p[^*^^' P'"" 
body of the nation lives about the sources of the Gambia 
and Rio-Grande. Besides the colonies found on the river 
Faleme and the Senegal, there are tribes of them on the 

* MoUien, p. ISH, 





of Galacn. 

soiitli of Fezzan, on the confines of Bournoo, and even in 
the interior of this kingdom, where they are called Fellata. 
The Foulahs also inhabit the kingdoms of Massina and 
Tombuctoo on the Joliba, and from these parts probably 
the colonies went off that are now found in Bournoo. This 
curious fact seems to be substantiated by some collections of 
words of the language of these people, made in Senegara- 
bia, compared with others, communicated to M. Seetzen 
by a Fellata of the town of Ader, between Bournoo and 
Agadez.* The Foulahs have a reddish black or a yellow^- 
ish brown complexion, longer and less woolly hair than the 
negroes, noses less flat, and lips not quite so thick.f These 
features seem to indicate a mixture of the Berber and Ne- 
gro race. But this mixed nation, which puts the reader 
in mind of the Leucaethiopes of the ancients, seems to us to 
have received from the Arabs not only the religious and 
civil influence of the Koran, but also the name which it 
bears, which seems to be the same with that of the Fellahs 
or cultivators of Egypt. The Foulahs have mild disposi- 
tions, flexible minds, and a great turn for agriculture ; but 
those among them who live by rearing cattle, migrate from 
one country to another rather than submit to tyrannical 

The different states of the Serracolet or Serrawoolet ne- 
groes, form a sort of confederation, of which Galam is the 
metropolis ; but the true name of the country is Kadjiga. 
The king of Galam at least enjoys a certain ascenden- 
cy over that country, which he owes chiefly to the trade of 
which his territories are the centre, as well as to the trade 
in prisoners, who are brought from more distant countries. 
By an agreement among all the Serracolet princes, the 
throne of Galam is occupied by their families by turns.^: 
These negroes are treacherous and cruel, their complexion 

* Mithridates, by Adelung and Vater, III. p. 146. 

t Golbeny, Voyage en Afrique, I. p. 101, &c. Oldendorp, Hisloire de 
la Mission des Fr^res evangeliques, p. 274. Labat, III. p. 170. Pomme- 
gorge, Descript. de la Nigritie, p. 52. 

X Golberry, Voyage en Afrique. I. p. 571. 


is extremely black, and it is difFiciilt to distinguish them book 
from the Yalofs.=^ The air of the country is the purest i-xvi, 
along the coast. The Serracolets are great smelters of iron. 
For hammering it they use rounded pieces of granite, en- 
circled with a leather band fastened to thongs, which the 
workman holds in his handwS. He raises and drops it alter- 
nately on the iron, which is placed on a low anvil in the 
sand, and thus fashions it into bars eight inches long.f 
They are the most skilful and persevering in commercial 
affairs of all the negroes; and being reputed rich, their 
travelling merchants are obliged to pay heavier duties, in 
the form of presents, to the chiefs through whose territo- 
ries they pass. In Galam they are great hunters. Some 
describe them as treacherous and criminal. Yet it is al- 
lowed by all that hospitality is practised by them in a most 
ample and disinterested manner. 

The Mandingos are spread over the country which bears The Man- 
their name, and which is near the sources of the Niger. *"^ ^* 
They extend eastward among the states of Bambara, and 
westward among those of Bambook and Woolly. These 
negroes, who are not of so fine a black as the Yalofs, file 
down their teeth to a pointed shape. They are a sort of 
Mahometans, have many Arabic words, and use the Ara- 
bic alphabet.:}: Their maraboots, or hermits, perform long 
commercial journeys, and receive visits from those of Mo- 
rocco and Barbary. They are well acquainted with the 
interior of Africa,^ and the negro slave trade is in their 
hands. Since the year IIGO this nation has ruled over the 
rich kingdom of Bambook. 

The Bambookans furnish an example of the usual fate of TheBam^ 
a corrupted people. Their rich and fruitful soil supplies 
the inhabitants with the necessaries of life, with scarcely any 
Jabour.y Voluptuous and indolent, they live in a state of 

* Labat, III. p. 308 — 370. IV. p. 45. 

t Mollien, p. 213. 288. 

:j: Matthews' Voyage to Sierra Leone, p. 71 — 97, &c. 

f Jobson, in Purchas's Pilgrim, p. 1573, 

l| Coir.pagnon, dans I'Histoire Generale des Voyaj^es. 




BOOK utter anarchy, and their wealth hecomes the prey of their 
ixvi. more active neighbours. Major Houghton, however, gives 

them a more favourable cliaracter, representing them as an 

industrious people, who manufacture cotton stuffs and iron 

The kingdom of Jallonkadoo, in which the river Sene- 
gal takes its rise to the south-east and south of Bambook, 
is inhabited by numerous tribes, whose language, notwith- 
standing the doubts of Mungo Park, seems to be a dialect 
of the Mandingo.j The Jallonka race have, in general, 
been either converted or persecuted by the Foulahs and 
other Mahometans. Some fugitives, who have not renoun- 
ced fetichism, have sought an asylum in the most mountain- 
ous districts, such as the mountains of Nickolo and Ran- 
deia, where they have mixed with the Youluks, and pro- 
duced a mulatto breed, who are savage and wretchedly poor. 
They are remarked for bad and decayed teeth. On the 
east side of these heights, where the chief rivers begin their 
course, there is a remarkable difference in the domestic ani- 
mals. The ass, which is found wild on the southern de- 
clivity, is here so entirely unkno\Nn, that when M. Mollien 
brought one with him in his travels, an animal so strange 
produced consternation among the inhabitants, both young 
and old.:}: Descending the Senegal from this country, we 
might name kingdoms and principalities almost without 
number; but we shall merely notice the state of Bondoo, a 
pastoral country to the west of Bambook ; the inhabitants 
of which manufacture cotton cloths, and dye them black 
with indigo.§ The country of Kassan, to the cast of Ga- 
1am, is considered as rich ii» gold, silver, and coffee. 

The country between the Senegal and the Gambia is 
chiefly inhabited by the Yaiof, sometimes called the Wa- 
lof nation. They are the most handsome negroes of west- 

Thc Ya- 

* Elucidations of African Geography, p. 9. 

t See the words quoted in Mithridates, III. p. 16P. 

:{: Mollien, p. 228, 230. 

{' Voyage au pays de Bambouc, 17R?». 


ern Africa. They have woolly hair and thick lips, and book 
very black complexions, but are tall and well made, and i-xvi. 
their features remarkably regular. If we credit M. Gol- ' 

berry, they are a mild, hospitable^ generous, and faithful 
race; and their women are as attractive as jet-black females 
can be. 

They call themselves Mahometans, but their religion has 
an alloy of idolatry and superstition. Their language is 
graceful and easy. Their chief takes the title of Barb-i- Emperor of 
Talof, emperor of the Yalofs, and reigns over an extensive ^ ^ ^ ° ^* 
country, little visited by Europeans. His place of residence 
is Hikarkor. Rich in provisions, cattle, and poultry, this 
country flourishes under a more regular administration than 
that of the adjoining .states. Justice is administered by a 
chief judge, who holds circuit courts over the kingdom.* 
The people manufacture cotton goods.f 

Several states have separated from the Yalof empire ; Detached 
such as that of Baol, and that of Cayor, governed by a ^ 
prince who has the title of Damel. Cape Verd and the 
small island of Goree, which was fortified and embellished 
hy the French, are in the territory of Damel. 

The most commercial of the Yalof states is that of Sa- Kingdom 
lum, on a branch of the Gambia. The king's residence is ° "™* 
at Kahan ; his cottage is within an inclosure of great ex- 
tent, which contains more than sixty others, inhabited by 
his wives, children, officers, and principal slaves. At its 
entrance are three large courts, lined with the cottages of 
his servants, each court being guarded by twenty men arm- 
ed with javelins and zagays. In the centre of the royal in- ^^^^^® °^ 
closure the cottage of the prince stands by itself, in the 
form of a round tower, thirty feet in diameter, and forty- 
five in height, covered with a dome of twenty feet. It is 
built, like all the dwellings in this part of Africa, of pieces 
of wood covered with millet straw, but executed more nice- 

* Benezet's Account of Guinea, p. 8. (London, 1733.) 
t Francis Moore's Travels, &c. p. B\, 


BOOK \y than ordinary houses. The cieling is covered with car- 
ixvi. petg curiously figured ; the floor is formed of a composition 
" of a kind of mastic with red earth and sand, and covered 
with mats. The cieling is hung all round with muskets, 
pistols, and other arms, and horse harness. The king is 
seated on a low stage at the farthest part of the cottage, 
fronting the entrance. The kingdom has an area of 11,500 
square miles. Tlie population is said to be 300,000 ; the 
lands are fertile and well cultivated; the foreign commerce 
is extensive, particularly with the French and English, the 
former nation being most respected, and best adapted to the 
character of the people. 

The Ser- The Scrreres, a wild and simple tribe, without cultiva- 
tion or laws, live in the country of Sin, (or Barb-Sin,) and 
thatofBaol. The negroes call them savages, but Euro- 
peans speak in praise of their mild and peaceful disposi- 

It is in works more voluminous than the present that a 
reader could expect to find a complete enumeration of the 
little principalities situated along the Gambia, together 

Petty vfith the discussions which might arise out of the perpetual 
contradictions found among travellers.! We shall notice^ 
on the north bank of the rive r? the countries of Barr ah, of 
Yani, and of ^Voolly, the capital of which, called Cassana 
by the negroes,:}: and known also by the Arabic term, Me- 
dina, or the city, is populous and hospitable. To the 
south of the Gambia, there are twenty small states which 
dispute with one another their obscure existence. The 


Tiie Fe- most conspicuous nation is that of the Feloops, whose ter- 
°°^^* ritories are greatly scattered, and extend from the Gambia 
to the river St. Dominique, and a little beyond it, Sa- 

* Pommegorge, Descript. de la Nigritie, p. 120—128. Labat, IV. p. 156. 
t Moore's Travels, p. 200. 

X Schad, a German Traveller, quoted by Bruns, Afrika, IV. p. 289, Com- 
pare Golberr}'^, I. p. 109. 


vage and revengeful, but faithful to their friends, they book 
scarcely acknowledge any government ; and the paltry feti- I'Xvi. 
che is the only object of their worship. Their country is — — 
flat, somewhat sandy, but rich in pasture and rice grounds, 
abounding in cattle, and maintaining numerous swarms of 
wild bees, which produce a great quantity of wax. Higher 
up the country there are steep mountains, composed accord- 
ing to a rather unlearned traveller, of fine sandstone. 

The mutual boundaries of Senegambia and Guinea are Boundaries 
left to the caprice of geographers. In the interior of this ^^ "i^ea. 
doubtful space, on the upper part of the Rio Grande, live 
the nation of the Soosoo, erroneously called the Foulahs of 
Guinea. They have nothing in common with the Foulahs 
of the Senegal, though Golberry says otherwise. This is 
shown by the whole dissimilarity of their language.^ 

Teembo, the capital of their country, contains about 
7000 inhabitants. They have iron mines, worked by w^o- 
men, also some manufactures in silver, copper, and wood; 
it is said that these people can bring into the field 16,000 
cavalry, or upwards. They are Mahometans, but sur- 
rounded by twenty-four pagan nations or tribes, on whom 
they are always ready to make war, in order to procure 

They live in a sort of federal republic, in which a secret Laws and 
association, resembling the vehmic, or black tribunal of the "farmers, 
middle age, maintains order and dispenses justice. This is 
called the poorrah. Each of the five cantons of the na- 
tion has one of its own, to which the men are not admit- 
ted till tliey are thirty years of age. The principal mem- 
bers, consisting of persons above fifty years of age, form 
the supreme jmorrah,^ The mysteries of initiation, ac- 
companied with some dreadful test of merit, are celebrated 
in the midst of a sacred forest. All the elements are put 
in requisition to try the courage of the candidate. It is 

* See eight grammars and dictionaries of the Soosoo language, published at 
Edinburgh, in 1800—1802. 

t Golberry, Voyage en Afrique, I. p. 114. 


BOOK said that lie finds himself assaulted by roaring lions, who 
ixvi. aj.g restrained by concealed chains. A dreadful howling is 
kept up over the whole forest; and a devouring fire flames 
around the inviolate inclosure. Any member who has com- 
mitted a crime, or betrayed the secrets of the body, finds 
himself visited by armed and masked emissaries. On the 
ominous words being pronounced, " the poorrah sends the 
death," his relations and friends desert him, and he is left to 
the avenging sword. Even entire tribes, which make war in 
contempt of the orders of the great poorrah, are laid under 
the ban, and oppressed by the united attacks of armed de- 
putations from all the neutral tribes. This institution seems 
to indicate an improved degree of intelligence, and conside- 
rable elevation of sentiment. 
The Pa- Proceeding now along the line of coast, we find some de- 
* tached low lands on the south of the river St. Dominique, 
inhabited by the Papals, who are all pagans, worshipping 
trees, cow's horns, and all sorts of visible objects. Wiien 
' their king dies, according to the report of a traveller, the 
grandees range themselves arounil his coffin, which is toss- 
ed high up in the air by some sturdy negroes, and the indi- 
vidual on whom the coffin falls, if not killed by the weight, 
succeeds to the throne.* 

They are a brave people, their only weapon is a very 
long sabre. Large herds of oxen constitute their chief 
wealth which they fatten with rice straw. The territories 
of these people extend from the river Geba, to that of Ca- 
cheo, the gates of the Portuguese settlement of Bissao. 
And the market of that town is so dependent on them for 
supplies of provisions, that the Portuguese government find 
themselves under the necessity of cultivating habits of good 
neighbourhood, with having on some occasions been threat- 
ened with a famine when a good understanding was acci- 
dentally interrupted. 

On the frontiers of the Papals, to tlie south, dwell the 
Balantes, a cruel and savage race, with whom the Portu- 

* Schad, quoted by Bruns. p. 280. 


guese have very little communication. Salt is the only ar- book 
tide of merchandize which they sell. They cat dogs, and I'Xvi. 
reckon rats the most exquisite of dishes. ' 

Cacheo a fortress with a small town, is the station of the poitugueso 
Portuguese authorities, and of a weak garrison to maintain s^^^^ic- 
in point of form the sovereignty of Portugal over this 
coast. There is also a fortress called Bissao on a large is- 
land of the same name formed by the river Geba, at 
its mouth. The situation is rendered unhealthy by the 
dampness, accompanied with the intense heat. Yet it is 
said rather to have the effect of rendering life sickly, than 
of abridging its duration. The soldiers of the garrison 
consist chiefly of mulattoes and blacks, with a few whites 
"without shoes or uniform, but are muffled up in robes of 
flowered cotton and mostly in rags. They are on the 
whole much neglected by the government. All the com- 
merce here is conducted by barter, and is exclusively iu 
the hands of the governor, who thus acquires considerable 
wealth, while the inhabitants are idle and poor. In an in- 
land situation 160 miles up the river Geba, is the Portu- 
guese settlement called Geba, of which M. Mollien gives a 
curious account. The commandant receives visits in a large 
liall where straw beds are placed all round, on which tho 
negroes seat themselves indiscriminately with Europeans, 
and every one has complete personal liberty either to whis- 
tle or lie down to sleep, or eat at any time ho thinks fit; 
yet none must pass the door without taking off his hat most 
respectfully, whether the master be within or not. The sur- 
rounding district is called Kaboo, and is inhabited by a mix- 
ture of nations consisting chiefly of pagan Madingoes. The 
villages are large and populous, and the fields well cultivat- 
ed. The houses of Geba are composed of mud, and there 
is no fort; the soldiers are negroes. The settlers are on 
good terms with the surrounding natives, Avho make war on 
one another's villages, and sell their captives at this place 
to the Portuguese. M. Mollien saw only three Europeans 
at this place. 

The Bissaios islands form a smiling and fertile archipe- Bissajoa 

VOX. TV. 15 




BOOK lago, suiTOiinded, and almost covered on the west side by a 
liXvi. sepjgg Qf sum} and clay banks, 165 miles long, rendering the 
" navigation extremely dangerous. 

The soil of these islands is watered by numerous small 
rivers ; it produces rice, oranges, citrons, bananas, melons, 
peaches, and excellent pastui-es, on which the inhabitants 
rear cattle, consisting chiefly of hump-backed oxen of pro- 
digious size. Fish are in great abundance on all their 

Bulam Island, which is the one nearest the continent, 
was pronounced by the intelligent M. Brue, a good place 
for a French settlement;^ the English hearing of the plan, 
hastened to anticipate it; but they treated the natives rude- 
ly ; they neglected the precautions which the climate re- 
quires ; their colony went to ruin, and is now annihilated.! 
The useful plants grow here in great profusion, as rice, in- 
digo, the coffee shrub, the tea shrub, and a variety of fruit 
trees. But the air is humid, and proves highly deleterious 
when the due precautions are not observed.]: The Bissajos, 
or Bidjoogas, make themselves formidable to their neigh- 
bours, by their incursions, and the cruelties which they com- 
mit. Fishing and piracy are professions which they culti- 
vate by turns. The cock is esteemed among them a sacred 
animal. They possess much muscular strength of arm, harsh 
features, and quick movements. Almost all of them have 
muskets, or lances, which they use with much address. 
Their petty chiefs have turbulent subjects and tempestuous 
courts. The family of a minister is sometimes ordered by 
the caprice of a despot to he sold into slavery. Fertile as 
this archipelago is, the diet of the inhabitants is extremely 
simple. Zealous friends of the Portuguese, they bear an 
implacable hatred to other European nations. 

The Portuguese have numerous settlements along the 
banks of the Rio Grande, especially on the south bank. 
Entire villages are peopled by their race ; but the English 

of the peo- 

Rio Gian- 

* Labat, V. p. 85. Pommegorge, p. 133—135. 

t Beaver, African Memoranda. 

J: JohaDsen's Account of the Island ef Bulain, (Loudon, 1780/ 


derive much more commercial profit from them than their book 
own nation. The north bank of the river is occupied by J-^vi. 
the Biafars, called also Jolas, who possess all the track that ^ 

lies between the Geba and the Rio Grande. This people 
are almost continually at war with the Papels; but they are 
much gentler, and more tractable, and suffer much from 
the former, to whom the wealth acquired by their industry 
presents strong temptations. Here we find the city of Go- 
iiala, where the king resides ; Bidjooga, on a river of the 
same name; Balola, and several Portuguese settlements, the 
largest of which is Caooda, about 140 miles from the mouth of 
the river. The south bank is inhabited by the Naloes, a ne- The isTa- 
gro race so completely mingled with the descendants of^°^^ 
the original Portuguese, as not to be distinguishable from 
them. Their pursuits are agricultural and pastoral, and 
their country is exceedingly fertile. The Portuguese have 
introduced among them some useful knowledge ; their well 
cultivated fields produce the best indigo, and the finest cot- 
tons. The clotbs whicb they manufacture from the latter 
substance are highly valued for the fineness of their fabric, 
and they have the art of dyeing them with beautiful co- 
lours, which make them objects of demand with the ad- 
joining nations. Their principal river is Nuno-Tristao, call- 
ed by some writers Nonunas, a name which appears favour- 
able to the views of those who wish to identify it with the 
river Nunius of Ptolemy; but both terms are of Portu- 
guese origin. 

The islands of Los, where some English merchants have 
formed a settlement,^ owe their present name to the Portu- 
guese, being a corruption of Fola de los idolos. The na- 
tive inhabitants are called Forotimah. 

Immediately to the south of this Portuguese line of coast Sierra 
we find the English settlement of Sierra Leone, formed in Phiiantiiro» 
1787, for the express purpose of labouring to civilize the v^^ settle- 
Africans. In this quarter the English have made the great- 
est exertions to limit, if not to abolish the trade in slaves, 
hut philanthropy, and penal statutes, and vigilance, have 
been found but feeble barriers, when opposed to the cupi- 

* Curry's Observations on the Windward Coast, p. 180. 




• rade. 

dity of iniprinciplecl traders. It is computed that there are 
not less than three hundred vessels on the coast, engaged in 
■ this disgraceful ti nffic, which is probably carried on to as 
great an extent at this day as at any former period. It ap- 
pears from papers recently laid before the British Parlia- 
ment,-^ that the whole line of Western Africa, from the ri- 
vev Senegal to Benguela, that is to say, from about the la- 
titude of 15" north, to the latitude of about 13° south, has, 
during that period, swarmed with slave vessels; and that 
an active and increasing slave trade has also been carried 
on, upon the eastern shores of that continent, particularly 
from the island of Zanzebar. Not less than 10,000 liber- 
ated slaves, from the slave ships captured by British crui- 
zers, were calculated to be in the colony in 1821. The 
landing of these cargoes is often a very affecting scene. The 
poor creatures, delivered from the hold of a slave ship, faint 
and emaciated by harsh treatment and disease, when re- 
ceived with kindness and sympathy by the inhabitants^ 
among whom, perhaps, they recognise a brother, a sister, or 
countryman, whom they had supposed long since dead, but 
■whom they are^ astonished to see clothed and clean, are 
overwhelmed with feelings which they find it difficult to 
express.! On their arrival, those of a proper age are nam- 
ed, and sent to the adjacent villages. A house and lot is 
appointed to each family ; they are supported one year by 
government, at the expiration of which they are obliged to 
provide for themselves. The captured children are also 
sent to villages, where they are kept at school till married, 
which is always at an early age. At the head of each vil- 
lage is a missionary, who acts in the double capacity of 
minister and schoolmaster. The number of persons attend- 
ing the schools in January, 1821, was 1959. 

The African institution endeavours to promote a friend- 
ly intercourse with distant, as well as neighbouring coun- 
tries. The natives of Foulah resort to the colony to parti- 
oonmerce. cipate in the advantages of legitimate commerce; and it may 
even, b^ expected, that some years hence, caravans shall 


^ Report of Commodore Sir G. R. Collier, Dec. 27, 1821. 
■ ?j^!'?en(h Reoort of ft\e African. Insritutjon, d. 32?-. 

GUINEA. 229 

resort to the neighbourhood of Porto Logo, (on a branch kook 
of the Sierra Leone,) to convey the manufactures of Europe i-^vi. 
into the very interior of the continent of Africa.* Trade """"""^ 
is rapidly increasing. The total invoice amount of imports 
at the port of Freetown, for the year 1820, was L. 66,72 5. 
9s. 4|d. ; and, for the same period in 1821, the am.ount 
was L.105,060. 15s. 10|d. being an increase of L.38,335, 
6s. 6d. 

The exertions of the African Institution, aided by the 
Missionaries of the Church of England, have effected a re- 
markable improvement in the morals of the inhabitants, 
who are stated to be generally contented and industrious. 

The total population of Sierra Leone, by the latest returns, 
is computed at 17000. Besides Freetown,! there have been 
built Regent's Town, which contains nearly 2000 inhabitants, 
and the towns of Gloucester, Leopold, Charlotte, and Ba- 
thurst, all of w hich appear to be thriving. A little to the west 
of Sierra Leone is Krootown, a small village inhabited by 
about 500 Kroomen. The British ships of war on the sta- 
tion, have each from twenty to seventy of these men in 
their books, who are said, whatever their pilfering habits 
may be on shore, to behave with the utmost propriety on 
board of ship. A fort, erected on the Island of Bance, com- 
mands the entrance of the river, which has been ascended 
by Europeans as high as was allowed by its picturesque 
cataracts. In this country indigo grows well ; several va- 
rieties of coffee are known,:j: the citron is degenerated, and 
its fruit resembles lemons. All the esculent and aromatic 
plants of Africa are in great abundance. The gum of the 
butter-tree is used as a yellow dye ; the colla bark seems to 
belong to a species of cinchona,^ The pu Ham-tree produ- 
ces a silky cotton. The chimpanzey monkey is met with in 
the interior; an animal five feet in height, with a pale face, 
the hands and stomach without hair, habitually holding 
himself erect, and even, it is said, sitting like a man; cir- 

* Sixteenth Report of the African Institution. t lb. 354. 

+ Afzelius, in the Repfort oh Sierra. I^eone, addrf^Sffl to the FrPpriPtor?, 
Curry, p. 37. 

^ <7tirrr, n. 4fl, 

230 GUINEA. 

iiooK cumstances which make him highly interesting to the natu- 

XiXVi. ralist.'^ 

When the Portuguese discovered these places, they call- 
ed the promontory to the soutli of the present settlement 
Cape Ledo, and the mountains in the interior Sierra Leone, 
or "the Mountain of the Lioness." This name, somewhat 
disfigured, has been since given to the Cape, the river, and 
the adjacent district.f 

Division of The English seamen have given the name of the Wind- 
Guinea in 

to coasts. 

ward Coast to all that lies between Cape Mount and the 

river Assinee,:}: and they divide it into tliree parts, the Grain 
Coast, which terminates in Cape Palmas; the Ivory Coast, 
bounded on iha east by the river Frisco or Lagos, and the 
coast ; and the coast of Adoo or Kaka comprehending the 
remainder. The part lying between Cape Palmas and 
xVpollonia, is generally included under the name of the 
Cote lie Dents, or the Ivory Coast. The English themselves 
differ in their application of the term Windward Coast; 
some of them extending it no farther east than Cape Pal- 
mas.§ The Gold Coast begins either at Cape ApoUonia, 
or the river Assinee, and is generally considered as termi- 
• nating at the river Volta. Then comes the Slave Coast, 
that of Benin or Wara, that of Calabar, and that of the 
river Gabon. All these countries taken together form 
Guinea in jits strictest acceptation, which we shall here re- 
Produc- Between Cape Mount and Cape Palmas, the coast pro- 

tionsofthe ■• , i « • i • nni j.. 

Grain duccs abundance of rice, yams, and manioc. 1 he cotton 

Coast. ^j^(] indigo of this country are of the first quality.|| The 

articles for which Europeans have hitherto visited it are 

malaguette pepper, red wood, and ivory. The inhabitants 

are skilful and intrepid rowers, and bid defiance to Euro- 

* Afzelius, libro citato. 

+ Dalzel's Instructions on the Coast of Africa. London, 1806. 
X Norris and Young, quoted by Dalzel, 

^ Claikson's Essay on Slaver}', p. 29. Newton's Thoughts on the African 
Slave Trade, at the beginning. 

!1 Falconbridge. Account of the Slave Trade, p. 53 

GUINEA. 231 

peans. The negroes on the banks of the river Mesurado book 
speak a corrupt dialect of Portuguese, and acknowledge ^^^''* 
themselves vassals to Portugal, but are not, as some have 
suppose?^, Europeans changed to negroes by the power of 
the climate. Sesthos, or Sestrc, is a pretty large negro 
town. The houses are in the form of conical huts two 
stories high,^ 

The old travellers, consulted by Dapper,f assign a place Quoya and 
here to the kingdoms of Quoya and Hondo, which they des- co^untries, 
cribe as dependent on a more powerful kingdom in the interi- *^^' 
or, the inhabitants of which were called Mendi-Manoo, that 
is, the governing people. The word manoOf or monoOf an 
epithet common to all the tribes of these nations, has a 
striking affinity to the word mannoo, which signifies man in 
the dialect of the Sokkos, a people, of whom Oldendorp, 
the missionary, knew some individuals at Saint Croix, and 
who must live to the north-west of the Aminas.:|: The 
Sokkas are neighbours to the Uwangs. The specimens of 
their language given by Oldendorp, resemble the Jallon- 
kadoo words given by Mr. Park. The king of the Sokkos 
has many princes under him, and takes the title of mansa. 
There are presumptions of the identity of the Sokkas with 
the Mendi-Manoos. In manners and laws, these people Manners. 
hear some resemblance to the Soosoos. They have a se- 
cret tribunal, a mysterious order called Belli- Raaro, similar 
to the poorrah of the Soosoos.§ At the funeral of a man 
his favourite wife is sacrificed by the priests and thrown in- 
to the grave of her husband. The Sokkos, whom Olden- 
dorp knew, said that baptism and circumcision were among 
the religious practices of their country, from which a learn- 
ed geographer rather boldly attempts to infer some connec- 
tion between the nations of Guinea and the Abyssinians.|j 
These Sokkos, it must be remarked, are quite different 
from the Asokkos, in the country of the Issinese, on the 

* Atkin's Voyage, p. 63. Smith's Voyage, p. 106. 

+ Dapper, Descript. de TAfrique, p. 336, &c. (edit. All. de 1670,^ 

;|: Oldendorp, Hist, des Missions Evangel, p. 2B0. 

^ Dapper, 1. citat. p. 415. 

il Br u lis, Afrika, IV. p. 374 - « 



i rovy 

T6c Qua- 


The Gold 


Gold Coast, which appear to us to be the Insokkos of M. 
Ehrmann/^ though M. Bruns saysf that he could not find the 
"" insokkos. 

Two other traditions arc ^^ orthv of our notice. The na- 
tions now mentioned have been subdued by the Folglans, 
who are probably the southern Foulahs. Another nation 
called the Gallas has been expelled from these countries,! 
but to look in these for tlie Gallas on the confines of Abys- 
sinia, is to confound the negro and the CafFre race with each 

The Ivory Coast, as far as Cape Lahoo, is inhabited by 
a warlike nation of a dark unsociable disposition, at least 
towards Europeans, and according to report addicted to 
cannibalism. § The Portuguese have surnamed them ma- 
las-genies. The coast is adorned with natural orchards. 
In the river St. Andre, elephant's teeth are exposed for 
sale, weighing 200 lbs. The animal called quogelo men- 
tioned b}^ Desmarchais, docs not resemble any species 
known to us. 

To the east of Cape Lahoo, are the Quaquas, or Good 
People. These are divided into castes like the Hindoos and 
ancient Egyptians, and the son unifoiMnly follows the pro-- 
fession of his father. 

The Gold Coast derives its name from the great trade in 
gold dust carried on in it, which has given rise to many 
European establishments. It also abounds in fish, the 
chief of which arc the sea bull, and the fish called from its 
shape, the hammer. 

The forts and counting houses belonging to Europeans 
in this quarter, are about forty in number, fifteen Dutch, 
fourteen English, four Portuguese, four Danish, and tJiree 
French, At present most of them have been destroyed or 
deserted, which some ascribe to the slave trade,* a circum- 
stance which, if true, would indicate that they were concern- 
ed in a business less innocent than the trade in gold dust* 

* Hist, (les Vo3-ages, X. p. 137. i Afrlka, IV. p. 376. 

+ Dapper, p. S88. 

^> ^niitb, p. tin. Dpismavchais, Vovaire a Cavenue. k:c.l, p. 200 

GUINEA. 233 

*The "Dutrti trade was concentrated at Elmina. The book 
principal English establishment was Cabo-Corso. The i-^vi. 
head quarters of the Danes were Christianburg ; the Danish -— -~— 
forts of Printzensten and Konegsten are well built. The 
Danes commanded the river Volta, and were in great fa- 
vour with the tribes on the coast. 

A learned Dane, Mr. Isert, went into the country of Particuiaia 
Aquapim, fifty-six miles from Christianburg. The coun- °g"iQ^.^ '"" 
try seemed beautiful, fertile, and populous. It is generally 
well wooded, yet more salubrious than the sea-shore, and 
agreeably diversified with mountains, valleys, and hills. 
Water, which on the sea-shore is scarce and brackish, is 
good and plenty in the interior. At a distance of five Da- 
nish miles from Christianburg* a chain of mountains be- 
gins, which is covered with tall trees, and composed of 
coarse-grained granite, gneiss, and quartz. The infoj-ma- 
tion obtained by the researches of the African Association 
of London coincides with the accounts of Mr. Isert. 

In the neighbourhood of the sea, the soil of Guinea is in 
many places light and sandy, and consequently unfavour- 
able to the culture of the greater part of tropical produc- 
tions. In places where the soil is of a deficient character, 
the vegetation of many plants is opposed by other circum- 
stances. Among these are the coolness and moisture of 
the sea-breezes, or south-west winds, which meet with no- 
thing along the coast to interrupt their progress; the saline 
impregnation which the air derives from the sea ; and the 
surf, which is general and violent. At a distance of two 
or three miles from the shore, the land becomes more pro- 
ducti\e, and improves progressively, till, at a distance of * 
eight miles, it becomes very fertile and fit for all the crops 
reared in intertropical situations. The climate at the same 
time is sufficiently temperate to admit of the vegetation of 
the different grasses and trees of Europe.* 

These observations apply in a particular manner to the Cultivation 

*^ "^ ^ of the land, 

^ Meredith's Description of the Agoona country, in the Fourth Annual 
Report of Uie African Association. 

234 GUINEA. 

BOOK Agoona country, of which Wimbak, or Winnebak, is the 
I.XVI. capital. All the lands of this district are in common. No 

■ person is allowed to become proprietor of more land than 

he can labour ^^ith his own hands: scarcely a tenth part 
of the land is cultivated. Each individual may occupy 
and till whatever portion he pleases; but if he leaves it 
untilled, he cannot prevent another from seizing it in the 
same temporary way. The purchasing and measuring of 
land are unknown among tije people. It is never sold ex- 
cept to Europeans. The latter are safe from all disputes 
about their right of possession ; but they are not equally 
sure of enjoying the benefit of their crops, unless they have 
an adequate force to defend them from the licentious cove- 
tousness of the natives. 

Diversities Though the whole Gold Coast exhibits one general cha- 

° ^°* ' racter in its soil and climate, there are essential differences 
in some particulars. For example, the Anta country, which 
the river Aucobra separates from the State of Apollonia, 
has a rich soil, plenty of wood, is well watered, and indus- 
triously cultivated. It has harbours and good roadsteads. 
The State of Apollonia is still better watered with lakes 
and ri\ ers ; it contains more flat land adapted to rice crops, 
' sugar cane, and other species wliich require humidity. 
The chief disadvantage under which this coast labours, is a 
violent surf, which makes the landing very dangerous. The 
form of government is absolute despotism, which operates 
as a preventive of most of the disorders which are common 
in the adjoining countries. Africa unfortunately is oblig- 
ed to look to slavery for its safety. Among the pretended 
republics, or rather turbulent oligarchies of the Gold 
Coast, the warlike State of Fantee is the most powerful 
and the most regularly constituted.^ 

^(^niaad The interior is occupied by two powerful nations. The 

Aminas, who have plenty of gold, extend in a north-west- 
ern situation to a space of fourteen days journey.f Their 

* Roemer, p. 1S7, p. 236. 

t Oldendorp, Hist, des Missions, p, 277. &c. 


GUINEA. 235 

language, which has become known by the researches of the book 
Danes, prevails over a great part of the coast.* The i-xvi. 
Ashantees in the north-east, seem to be the Argurtans of " 

a certain French writer.f A king of this nation in 1744, 
made a very distant expedition to the north-east, marching 
twenty-one days tlirough a well wooded country intersected 
by rivers ; fourteen days were employed crossing a sandy 
desert where no water was found. The Mahometan nation 
which it was his object to attack, surrounded him with an 
immense army of cavalry, so that he returned with a slen- 
der remnant of his force, bringing along with him a great 
number of books in the Arabic language, which afterwards 
came into the hands of the Danes, and probably are now 
in the royal library of Copenhagen.:]: The learned Mr. 
Bruce thinks that this country was Degombah, the same 
which was visited by the sheriff Imhammed, and Timbah, 
lijentioned by Oldendorp, on information derived from ne- 
groes. The Timbah nation is called by the Aminas, the 

The Slave Coast, in the strictest acceptation, includes Slave 
the States of Coto, Popo, Widah, and Ardra. The mari- ^°^'^- 
time of flat countrv here is broader than that of the Gold 
coast, and extremely fertile. Poultry are in uncommon 
abundance, and the air is darkened by flocks of bats like 
dense clouds. The French had a trading settlement at 
Widah, or Judah, and the Portuguese sell their tobacco at 
Port-Novo. The small states of the sea-coast are subject 
to the king of Dahomey, who by his conquests raised him- Kingdom of 
self from the rank of a small proprietor, to that of a great * °™^^' 
African monarch. He has only 1940 miles of sea-coast, 
and though he can bring into the field 8000 men, yet be- 
ing every where surrounded by enemies, he would soon be 
expelled from the maritime parts, if he were not supported 

* See Protten's Introduction to the Fantee, or Amina language, published in 
the Danish language at Copenhagen, 1764, 

+ Pommegorge, Description de la Nigritie, p. 142. 
t Roemer, p. lOf?. 

236 GUINEA. 

BOOK by the European forts. His villages are large and popu- 
liXYi. lous. Abomey, the capital of his kingdom, is situated at a 

" distance of eighty miles from the coast, and contains 2400 

inhabitants. The king has two pleasure-houses at Clami- 
na and Agona, where he most commonly lives. These 
palaces are only a better sort of cottages, contained within a 
park more than half a mile broad, surrounded by an earthen 
wall. In this place there are 800 or 1000 women, armed 
with muskets or javelins. These light troops form the 
king's guard, and from them he selects his aides-de-camp 
and his messengers. The ministers leave their silk robes 
at the gate of the palace, and approach the throne walking 
on all fours, and rolling their heads in the dust. 

Barbarous The ferocity of these kings almost surpasses concep- 
ustoms. ^^^^ ^^ Dalzel, the English governor, found the road to 
the king's cottage strewed with human skulls, and the walls 
adorned and almost covered with jaw bones.=* The king 
walks in solemn pomp over the bloody heads of vanquish- 
ed princes or disgraced ministers*! At the festival of the 
tribes, to which all the subjects bring presents for the king, 
he drenches the tomb of his forefathers with human blood. 
Fifty dead bodies are thrown round the royal sepulchre, 
. and fifty heads stuck up on poles. The blood of these 
victims is presented to the king, who dips his finger into it 
and licks it.:|: Human blood is mixed with clay, to build 
temples* in honour of deceased monarchs.§ The royal wi- 
dows kill one another till the new sovereign puts an end 
to the slauf^htei. The people, in the midst of a joyous 
festival, applaud these scenes of horror, and with delight 
tear the unhappy victims to pieces, yet they abstain from 
eating their flesh.|j 

The Eyeos. The king of Daliomey is tributary to the king of the 
Eyeos, a very powerful nation, whose territories are north- 

* Dalzefs History of Dahoiney, London, 1796. 
i Bruns and Zimmermann, Recueil Geograph. III. p. 115. 
% Norris, Voyaf^e a Dahomey, dans le Magasin des Voyages, V. Berliiij 1792. 
Isert, Voyages, p. 178. 

<J Bruns and Ziramermann, p. IM 
II Inert* T). 18». 


GUINEA. 231 

east from Dahomey, and extend to the banks of a large book 
lake, from which several rivers take their rise, and fall into i-xvi, 

the Gulf of Guinea. May not this be the lake of Wan- r~* 

gara ? The Eyeos are considered as conterminous with 
Nubia; which is certainly an exaggerated statement. The 
king, whose numberless cavalry forms his chief force, lives 
150 miles from the coast. The Eyeos are a warlike peo- 
ple. They have among them extensive cotton manufac- 

East from Dahomey, and south from the Eyeos, lies the Kingdom 
kingdom of Benin, the king of which can bring 100,000"^^^"'"* 
men into the field. The river, which the Portuguese call 
Rio-Formosa is very broad at its mouth, and has been na- 
vigated as high as Agathon, one of the chief towns, about 
forty miles north-east from the sea. The road from Be- 
nin t«j Agathon is much frequented, and lined with very- 
tall, and very strong trees, which affoid an abuifdant shade. 
The city of Benin on the river of the same n me, is sur- 
rounded with deep ditches, and thei'e are traces of an 
earthen wall by which it has been protected. The streets 
are fifteen feet broad ; the houses low, covered with the 
leaves of the macaw tree, and kept exceedingly clean. — - 
There are no stones in this country, and the soil is so soft 
that the river detaches several acres at a time. The move- 
able islands thus formed are the dread of seamen.f The 
vast palace of the king, on the outside of the city, is defend- 
ed by walls; it contains some handsome apartments, and 
fine galleries supported by wooden pillars. The market is 
not exactly adapted to the taste of Europeans : the leading 
articles are dog's flesh, of which the negroes are very fond | 
roasted monkeys, bats, rats, and lizards; it also contains 
delicious fruits, and goods of all descriptions. The climate 
is one of the most deadly to the European constitution.— 
M. Palisot-Beauvois calls it pestilential.:|: Between three 

* Idem, p. 160. Snelgi-ave, p. 56— -121. Dalzel, Ponimegorge, &c. 

t Bosmann, p. 450, &.c. 

t Palisot-Beauvois, Meraoire lu arinstituie, 15 Nivose, an IX 






of Waree, 

River of 



and four thousand slaves were purchased here by the 

The inhabitants of Benin have the same laws and cus- 
toms as the people of Dahomey. The king, who is vene- 
rated as a demi-god, is believed to live without aliment, 
and when he dies, is believed only to lose his former body, 
in order to revive under another shape. At the festival of 
yams, he plants a root in a pot of earth in the presence of 
the whole people. Immediately after it, another pot is 
presented with a juggling dexterity, containing a root which 
has begun to bud. This miracle inspires the credulous 
spectators with the hopes of a good harvest. Human sa- 
crifices form part of the propitiatory worship offered to the 
avenging or evil genius. The victims, who are generally 
prisoners of war, when immolated, amidst the dreadful vo- 
ciferous songs of the whole people, show a most stupid in- 
difference. At the festival of corals, the king and hII the 
grandees dip their coral necklaces in human blood, sup- 
plicating the gods to preserve for them this high mark of 
their dignity.^ 

The kingdom of Waree comprehends the flat marshy 
countries to the south of Benin, where there is a number 
of rivers, probably branches of the Rio Formosa. After 
Cape Formosa, the Calabar country begins, which is also 
intersected by many rivers, among which is the river Bey, 
or ^ew Calabar, whicli admits vessels of 300 tons. The 
sovereign has the title of delemongo, or ** the Great Man.'^ 
The island of Bonny is a great slave market, and, along 
with Calabar, used to export 14,000 annually. One part 
of this coast is covered with layers of sea salt.f After the 
high land of Amboses, which seems to contain volcanoes 
equalling the Peak of Teneriffe in height, we arrive at the 
river of Cameroons or Jamoor, the mouth of which is very 
broad. It has a good harbour, and the water is good and 
sweet. Here wax, elephants teeth, red wood, and refresh- 

* Palisot-Beauvois, Memoire lu a I'liistitute, 15 Nivose, an IX. 
t Oldendorp, Hist, des Missions, p. 280. 

GUINEA. 239 

ments, are to be had at reasonable prices, and the Dutch book 
carry on a great trade with the natives. The river of San- I'XVi. 
Benito is 110 niiles beyond it. From the shore a double ' 

range of very high mountairjs is seen at a distance of thirty 
or forty miles. About forty miles from the mouth of the 
river is Cape St. John, vvhicli is rather of dangerous navi- 
gation, fr<tm a sand-bank about a league out in the sea. — 
This Cape forms, with Cape Esteiras to the south, a bay, 
in the middle of which is the island of Coris(50, which has 
never been particularly explored. The river of Gaboon to River of 
the south of this Cape, in the Pongo country, is only twen- ^^^°°"' 
ty-eight miles from the equator. The approach to these 
coasts is rendered difficult by the prevailing currents. There 
are two small islands at the mouth of the river; one called 
King's Island, because it is the residence of a king; and the 
other called the Island of Parrots. The negroes along this 
coast are a bold and hardy race. 

The gulf, which is bounded by Cape Formosa on the north- 
west, and on the south by that of Lopez- Gonsalvo, takes the 
}iame of the Gulf of Biafra. It contains the islands of Fer- 
nando-Po, St. Thomas's and Prince's Island, which we 
shall describe in another place. 

The nations of these coasts are very little known. The The Cai- 
Calbonffos live on the San-Benito, and the Biafras on the ^°"S°S' ^'*e 


Cameroons. In the interior, an African has informed us of and the Ib- 
the Ibbo nation, to which he himself belonged, and which ^°^' 
seems to furnish the greatest part of the slaves exported 
from Benin. He had travelled between six and seven 
months from his native district to the smiling and fertile val- 
ley of Calbari. In every part yams, bananas, pumpkins, 
and sugar canes, were in abursdance: the cocoa tree was 
rare. There is a town called Timmah, situated on a lake. 
He had also seen a great river, but does not give any cer- 
tain account of its direction.'* The vague notices of this 
traveller serve rather to excite than to satisfy the curiosity 
of geographers. 

* Olauda Esquianos, or Gustavus Vasa the African's Account of bis own 




BOOK Having gone over some countries which are imperfectly 
LxviT. known, we now^ come to regions of which we know nothings 
'" We must penetrate, in imagination, these central parts 

where European travellers have merely touched the out- 
skirts. Not having it in our power to describe it, we pro- 
cee«J to discuss the vague traditions and contradictory re*- 
ports, which sliow" us that this hitherto inaccessible country 
contains great rivers, opulent cities, and numerous, nations, 
which are concealed from our view. 
Discussions In our History of Geography, we give a rapid account 
on^the Ni- ^^ ^j^^ knowledge obtained, and the conjectures formed, by 
the Greeks, Romans, and Arabians, concerning these coun- 
tries. Ptolemy, the best informed of the ancient geogra- 
phers, and commented on by the most learned of the mo- 
derns, M. d'Anville, makes mention of two great rivers, 
the Ghir, which runs from south-cast to north-west, nearly 
like the Misselad, or Bahr-el-Gazel in our modern maps ; 
the other, the Niger, runs nearly in the direction of the Jo- 
liba, from west to east. But in following the literal mean- 
ing of Ptolemy, we are not certain that this author thought 
all that his commentator makes liim say. He seems to give 
the Niger two courses; one westerly to the lake .l^igrites^ 


the other easterly to the Libyan Lake, besides different ca- book 
rials of derivation, by one of the most ambiguous words in i^xvii. 
the Greek language, (sx/C^v,) a word which may signify the ' 

mouth of a river, or a place where two roads separate, or a 
canal, or a simple bending. Taking advantage of these un- 
certainties, and applying to the interior the system of M. 
Gosselin, which contracts Ptolemy's map to two-thirds, 
some have attempted to prove that the Ghir and the Niger 
of Ptolemy do not belong at all to Nigritia, but were only 
small rivers on the southern declivity of Mount Atlas.* 
Tlie great characteristic mark given by Pliny, to wit, the 
position of the Niger between the Libyans and the Ethio- 
pians, I. e. between the negroes and the Moors, appears to 
us conclusive against these recent hypotheses. Perhaps it 
would be sufficient to limit a little the information of Pto- 
lemy, by extending them no farther west than Lake Djib- 
beb.f Agathemerus, who confounds the Ghir and the 
Niger with one another, stiil makes this one of the largest 
rivers in the world. 

The Arabians indeed furnisb us with more numerous Arabian 
particulars than Ptolemy; but the contradictions contained ^^^^* 
in their accounts render them very diiiicult of application. 
"The Nile of the Negroes,'' says Edrisi, " runs from east 
to west, and falls into a sea, (or the sea,) at a distance of a 
day's journey west from the island of Oolil. The dwellings 
of the negroes are along this river, or along another which 
falls into it.":): Leo Africanus applies Edrisi's description of 
the Nile of the negroes to the river Niger. He even ex- 
pressly says that this river falls into the ocean, but he all 
along acknowledges that some authors make it run from 
west to east, and terminate in a great Iake.§ Shehabeddin 
is the only Arabian author who asserts that the Nile of 
Djenawa does not reach the ocean, but ends its course in the 

* Meraoires de M. Latreille. 

t Voyez I'Afrique Ancienne, dans notre Atlas complet. 

if Edrisi de Haitmann, p. 12. 

i Leo Afiicaniis, p. 6. 

VOL. lY. ]6 


BOOK deserts.* All of them mention, like Ptolemy, many fresh 
ixvii. ^vater lakes which must be formed by rivers. 

^^ Applying the name of the Nile of the Negroes to the 

Misselad, and supposing that both this river and the Niger 
lose themselves in lakes or in the sands, d'Anville, and, 
long after him, Rennel, have constructed maps, half tradi- 
tional and half hypothetical, which are usually followed 
with more or less modification. 

Hypothesis But a Very able geographer has proposed an important 

chard. ^* alteration, which amounts to more than a mere modifica- 
tion. Allowing the Niger and the other rivers the general 
direction assigned to them by d'Anville and Rennel, he 
adds an outlet connected with the Gulf of Guinea. " To 
the west of Wangara," says this author, " the Nile has a 
soutlierly course; and the Misselad, after having crossed 
the lake of Fittree, then that of Semegonda, leaves this last 
in two leading branches, which encircle Wangara and fell 
into the Niger, then this last river continues in a south- 
westerly course, till it terminates in the Gulf of Guinea, 
where it forms a delta between its w^estern branch, the Rio- 
Formosa, and the eastern one, Rio-del-Rey.'^f This opi- 
nion he supports by the following train of argument4 

First' argu- Rennel supposes that all the waters produced by the in- 
undation of the Niger, of the El-Gazel, the Misselad, and 
other rivers which water the Wangara, are dissipated by 
evaporation. The principles of natural science will not al- 
low us to admit such a supposition. The Wangara is a 
fertile populous country, covered with towns. The tropi- 
cal rains occasion annual inundations. The rivers begin to 
overflow about the middle of June, they are at the highest 
in August, and are restored to their usual state in Septem- 
ber.§ This is generally understood. When the waters 


* Notices et Extraits de MSS. II. p. 156, 

t See our General Map of Africa. 

X Ephemerides Geographicie of Weimar, v. XII. cah. 2. (Aout, 1803.) 
p. 157, «fcc. Annales des Voyages, t. V. p. 232, &.c, 

t Browne, ch. XVIII. Hartmann, Edrisi Africa, art. Wangara, p. 47, 
&(\ quoted liv Reichard 


have subsided, the country must he sufficiently dry for cul- B(iok 
tivation. Let us allow three months, i. c, till the end of ^^^^i^f- 
December, for complete evaporation, although Edrisi says 
that the inundation continues no longer than that of the 
Egyptiaii Nile. Browne, in his chapter on vegetation, says 
that in this climate the ground is dry for seven or eight 
months. The meteorological observations made by this 
traveller for two years, make the usual heat of these countries 
in these months 85° of Fahrenheit. The temperature of 
"Wangara must be still warmer. Let us allow that the 
thermometer in general rises to 90°, and that, in this burn- 
ing climate, the evaporation of water exposed to the sun 
will be three Parisian feet in a month. This estimate is cer- 
tainly not too low, for it allows an evaporation three times 
as great as takes place in our temperate climate during one 
of the warmest months of the jear* 

Then calculating what may be the mass of water which Mass of 
the Nile pours into Wangara, M. Reicliard finds for the three J^^^ Ni^cx- 
months of the inundation, 14,226,969,600,000 cubic feet. 
'' The surface of this country, which Rennel, after 
Edrisi, estimates at 370 miles in length, by 170 in 
breadth, is 22,595 broad, or 2260 square miles, equal 
to 1,182,190,594,000 square feet^ the length of a mile 
being about 22,870 feet. According to tliis reckoning, 
the Niger alone would pour into the basin of Wangara a 
mass of water more than fourteen feet deep. But, says M. 
Reichard, this is only one of the rivers. On all sides to- 
wards Borneo, fiom Kookoo, from Baghermi, from Ber- 
goo, from Foor, from Medra, the waters of Africa flow 
into Wangara. We may reasonably consider these put to- 
gether as equal to the Niger, for, as their course is shorter, 
they lose less by evaporation and absorption in the soil than 
the Niger, which comes from a distance three ')v four times 
greater. Taking the quantity of water supplied by these 
rivers at one half of what calculation would make it, there 
will be seven billions of cubic inches of water; which will 



BOOK make tlie depth of that which is brought into Wangara 
XXVII. ij^jjj.g iix^fi tu'cnty-one feet. But siuce only nine feet can 
be evaporated in three months, more than seven months 
will he required to dry tlie surface ; which, added to the 
three months of the inundation, will only allow i]\e inhabit- 
ants two months for seed time, growth, and harvest. The 
expenditure of the water cannot, therefore, be accounted for 
by evaporation alone." 

This first argument of M. Reichard is not perfectly con- 
clusive. His calculations cannot he depended on. Tiie ex- 
istence of a great lake would explain the whole difficulty. 
But let us hear his other reasons, which give support to one 
Second Edrisi says tbat the Nile of the negroes surrounds the 

Wangara the whole year. From this testimony that coun- 
try has received the figure which we find given to it in our 
maps. The Niger, which comes from the west, is divided 
into two below Ghana. The northern arm runs straiglit 
east, the southern one forming an elbow, corresponding to 
the surface of the Wangara, turns round again to the 
north, and both fall into the lake of Semcgonda. This 
at least is what may be conceived to take place. But is this 
result just and conformable to the nature of things? Can 
we suppose a river which is navigable the whole year, and 
one or two English miles broad, will fall into a lake which 
has scarcely twenty or twenty-five square miles of area, 
without making it rise high above its banks. For the Ni- 
ger alone a lake would be required as large as the sea of 
Aral. The opinion is still more untenable w lien we consider 
that the lake of Semegonda also receives all the rivers which 
come from Bornoo, Kanga, Begharmeh, Bergoo, and Foor, 
and particularly the Misselad, which is of great size, and 
never dried up, and that all these are brought thither by 
the discharge of the lake Fittree, their point of union. It 
is only in this w ay that the communication of the I'ivers 
mentioned by Edrisi can be explained. He gives to the 
Nile, which surrounds Wangai'a, a general direction to the 


west. It must, therefore be the Misselatl, and, as Home- book 
mann says that this river flows out of Lake Fittree, the com^ liXVii. 
munication of the waters of the Kaagoo with the Lake of 
Scinegonda, alleged by Edrisi, is confirmed. But the last 
lake being too small to contain all these waters, one of the 
two branches which issue from it must run west, the other 
soutii or south-west, and fall into the true Niger at a great 
distance from each other. The true Niger, therefore, can 
only water the western part of Wangara, and then proceed 
in its cour'se. 

The examination of the nature of the country furnishes Third ai- 
M. Reschard with tl»e most specious of his arguments. gum«" • 

** I'he countries of Benin, of Owarah, New Calabar, and 
Calbongo, are," says he, ** the Delta oi a great river which 
comes from a great distance in the north-west." 

The accounts collected by Nyendael, Rasmann, Dap- 
per, and the two Barbots, inform us that the Rio Formosa is 
eight marine miles in width at its exit. Higher up, it is four, 
and in still higher situations it is sometimes wider, sometimes 
narrower. It separates into an infinite number of arms, which 
spread over the whole adjoining country. A communication 
can be kept up in boats from one arm to another. There is 
also, in the interior, a passage by water to the Calabar, easi- 
ly sailed in a canoe. From the Rio Formosa to the west 
bank of the Cameroons River the coast is very low and 
marshy, and preserves the same character to a considerable 
distance in the interior. This whole country forms ono 
immense plain, intersected by large, navigable rivers, such 
as those of Forcados, Ramos, Dodos, Sangama near Cape 
Formosa, Non, Oddi, Filana, Saint Nicolas, Meas, Saint 
Barthelemy, New Calabar, Bandi, Old Calabar, and Del- 
Rey. This last is seven or eight miles broad at its mouth. 
It preserves this breadth a considerable way up, and comes 
from a great distance in the north. All these rivers belong 
to one principal river; for the Rio-del-Rey coming from 
the north, and the Rio Formosa from the north-east, the 
two lines which they follow should intersect one another 
forty or fifty geographical miles farther north, each having 


BOOK ii separate course of at least two hundred miles. Then we 
a^.xvii. yy^rj^y reasouably give their course, in a united state, a length 
^"""—'^ Qf three or four liundred miles. The extent must indeed 
he almost unexani])led, since the Delta, including the pro- 
jection of Cape Formosa, occupies ninety miles of the sea- 
sliore, and contains so many branches of rivers. In size it 
far surpf^sses the Delta of the Ganges. 
Suboifii- The physical circumstances of this Delta furnishes an 
inent. auxiliary argument. Composed of mud, and destitute of 
stones, it must have been formed by periodical inundations 
from one or more great rivers. We know also from James 
Barbot, and from Grasilhier, who are eye-witnesses, that all 
the country about New Calabar and Bandi is every year 
inundated in the months of July, August, and September. 
The coincidence of the time of overflow with that which 
takes place in the Wangara and the Foor, is too striking 
not to produce some presumption that the two countries 
are connected together by the same river. Lastly, pimento, 
Avhich is very abundant in Benin, is equally so in the Dar- 
Kulla, which seems to show that these countries are not se- 
'parated by any mountain-chain ; a circumstance rendered 
very probable by otlier concurring reasons. 

To these arguments of M. Reichard, which appear to 
us to merit the greatest attention, we shall add another, 
Obgeiva- which has certainly some weight. The Arabs speak of an 
ji'anie of ^^ island called Oolil, at the mouth of the Nile of the Negroes, 
Jijf^d^'^ as the only country in Nigritia that has salt marshes or 
pits, and a place from which much salt is exported.^ 
Another writer makes Oolili a city. Now> at the mouth of 
the Old Calabar river there is an island called the Salt Land, 
^vhich is covered with a layer of sea salt, and the Portu- 
guese charts copied by d'Anville mark a town called Oolil 
on its west bank. The distances assigned by the Arabs 
"would place the island of Oolil in a great inland lake, but 
the singular coincidence of the names and of physical chav 

* Fl5»rtnTann, Edrisi, p. 29, (Vf 


racters is not the less favourable to the hypotiie.;is of M. book 
Reichard. xxvii. 

At the very time when this hypothesis appeared to be es- "^ 

tablished, an opinion diametrically opposed to it, and the o/the icTen- 
least probable of all that had been advanced, has been again ^A!7 ^^^^^ 
brought forward. It is nearly that which v, as given by Nile. 
Pliny the naturalist, wlio considered the Niger as the prin- 
cipal branch of the Nile, allowing, however, that it frequent- 
ly disappeared under ground. Some of the contradictory 
testimonies of the ancients and of the Arabians may be in- 
geniously combined in favour of this opinion,^ but the only 
powerful argument is derived from a recent account of a 
journey performed by water, from Tombuctoo to Cairo. 
The journal has come to us in an indirect channel. Mr. 
Jackson, British consul at Mogadore, collected from the 
oral declaration of a Moroccan, who had visited Tombuc- 
too, various particulars, by means of which, he wishes to 
demonstrate the identity of the Niger with the Nile.f 

<* The Nil-el-Abeed, or Nile of the Negroes," says this 
writer, '^ is also called Nil-el-Kebir, or the Great Nile ; that 
of Egypt is called Nil-el-Masr, or Nil-el- Scham, from the 
Arabic terms for Egypt and Syria. The inhabitants of 
Tombuctoo and the whole of central Africa maintain that 
these two rivers communicate together, and even that they 
are the same I'iver. The Africans are surprised when they 
hear that the Europeans make them two distinct rivers, ex- 
perience having taught them otherwise. 

"In the year 1780, a society of seventeen negroes ofNaviga- 
Jinnee weiiit from Tombuctoo, in a canoe, on a commercial q ""iibu?! 
speculation. They understood Arabic, and could read the too to 
Koran. They exchanged their goods repeatedly in the 
course of the passage, and in fourteen months arrived at 
Cairo, having lived on rice and other provisions, which they 
procured in the different towns which they visited. Their 

* See an Article of M. Hoffmann in the Joureal de I'Ejnpii-e, 

t Jackson's Account of Moxacco, last chapter. Anmiles des Voyages, 
XVIU. p. 340, &c;. ■ 'i-rf 


BOOK report is that there are 1200 towns and cities, containing 
XXVII. mosques or towers, between Tombuctoo and Cairo, on the 
banks of the Nile of Egypt and the Nile of Soodan. 

"They stopped occasionally a few days at several towns 
to transact business, or gratify inclination or curiosity. In 
three places they found the Nile so shallow, in consequence 
of numerous canals of irrigation connected with the main 
branch, that they could not proceed by water, and there- 
fore carried their vessel over land till they found the river 
deep enough to permit them to proceed by water. They 
also met with three cataracts, the chief of which was at the 
western entrance of the Wangara. They cai'ried their boat 
by land past this cataract, then launched into an immense 
lake or merja, which could not be seen across. In the night 
they used a large stone by way of anchor. They kept re- 
gular watch, as a precaution against the attacks of croco- 
diles, elephants, and hippopotami, which abounded in many- 
places. When they arrived at Cairo, they gained the great 
caravan of the west, (Akkabah-el-Garbie,) then went back 
with the caravan of Morocco, and from Morocco returned 
by the caravan of Akka to Tombuctoo, and from that place 
to Jinnee, where they arrived after an absence of three years 
and two months." 
Objections. Such is the account of the negi;o travellers. "Were wc 
to adopt it without reflection or question, we should believe 
the identity of the Nile and Niger to be demonstrated. The 
powerful reasons taken from Ptolemy's Geography, and 
from the Arabian authors, for the total distinctness of the 
two rivers ; the conclusions forced on us by the accounts col- 
lected by Browne, on the courses of the rivers Misselad and 
Bahr-Kulla, (accounts confirmed by the information obtain- 
ed by Mr. Seetzen ;) and lastly, the extreme improbability of 
so long a course to any river as that of the Niger and Nile, 
united over countries which must differ considerably in ele- 
vation; — with some minds, all these arguments would not, 
perhaps, be sufficient to invalidate the evidence of tliese un- 
known negroes, who pretend to have actually seen objects, 
of which we only presume to form conjectures. Must we, 


on such data, overthrow in toto the maps of Ptolemy, d'An- book: 
ville, and Rennel ? remove the mountains on the east of Dar- I'Xvii. 
foor ? make the Misselad and Bahr-Kulla run backward? 
We certainly do not yet think so. It appears to us, on the 
contrary, that tlie very account given by these pretended 
negro navigators, presents features which deprive it of any 
power of disturbing our old geographical creed. 

First, These negroes were thrice forced to drag their 
boat along the land, because the Nile had not sufficient 
depth. Now, the Joliba, or Niger, is known to be A very 
large river near Tombuctoo. If it joins the Nile, it ought 
to gain an immense volume of water, and no canals of ii*ri- 
gation could run it dry. Besides, when once dried up, 
how does it all at once re-acquire its water? 

The three cataracts mentioned may justly induce a sus- 
picion of other interruptions in the course of the rivers na- 
vigated by tlie negroes. 

Lastly, If this navigation had no insuperable obstacles to 
encounter, why did not the Soodan merchants prefer it to 
the laborious plan of accompanying the caravans across 
frightful and immense deserts? Mr. Jackson himself re- 
plies, because the road by land is more convenient and more 

This account of the negroes seems, therefore, to furnish Probable 
only these three results: 1. That there are one or more^^^"^^^" 
rivers communicating between the Egyptian Nile and the 
Niger, in the same way as the Cassiquiai'i, in America, 
connects the Orinoco with the Amazons, and as in Norway, 
near Lesso, two rivers running north and south communi- 
cate with each other near their sources. The intermediate 
rivers are probably to the south-west of Darfoor. 

2. A mountain chain coming from Afnoo, or fi'om Kash- 
na, joins that of Melli, and forms a large cataract to the 
west of Wangara ; thus the western Soodan forms one or 
many basins with scarcely any outlet. 

3. The existence of very large lakes in the south of Wan- 
gara, may induce a belief that the rivers of the central ta- 


BOOK ble-land render an outlet by the Gulf of Guinea unneces- 
XXVII. sary.* 

; Having exposed, with ali the pains and impartiality of 

on JMigri- which wc are capable, the uncertainties which prevail re- 
^^** specting the courses of the rivers of central Africa, we shall 

endeavour to combine the most precise information contain- 
ed in the accounts which we possess of the different coun- 
tries, towns, and nations, of this vast region. 
Journey of Mungo Park is the first to guide us in penetrating along 
Parkf° ^^® banks of the Senegal to reach those of the Niger. His 
first journey reaches only to Silla, between Sego and Jinnee; 
but he collected important information. He W'as the first 
European who saw the river Joliba, which is also called the 
Gulbi.f The name Joliba signifies the great water. This 
river, when seen by the British traveller, had a gentle east- 
erly course, glittered under tlie reflected beams of the rising 
sun, and was equal in breadth to the Thames at Westminster. 
Country of He soou Came near Sego, then the capital of Bambarra. 
Bambarra. rpj^jg city, built on both sides of the river, consists of four 
quarters, surrounded by high clay walls. The houses are 
square and flat roofed, made of clay ; some two stories high, 
and generally white- washed. Several mosques are also to 
be seen. The number of inhabitants is estimated, perhaps 
rather too high, at 30,000. The king lives on the south 
bank. The inhabitants sail in canoes, which are formed of 
two large trees, scooped out, and joined at the two ends like 
the boats of the Foulahs. Immediately round the city there 
is a little culture, but the clav walls and rude canoes show 
the backward state of African civilization. 
Countryof Park gives a description of the Moorish kingdom of Lu- 
u amar. ^j^j^j^j.^ where he was detained at Benown, and another cal- 
led Biroo, the capital of which is Walet. To the ea 't of 
this lies the celebrated kingdom of I'ombuctoo. To the 

'- Voyez notre Carte de I'Afrique septentrionale. 

T Abderrahman-Aga, Tripolitoij Ambassador, in the Nouv. Museum Al- 
)em. Ill, p. 9r!7. 


south of these states are the negro kingdoms of Kaarta and book 
Bambarra. lxvii. 

In Ludamar, Mr. Park learned, by a sheriff who came 
from Walet with salt and some other provisions, that Hous- 
sa was the largest city he had ever seen, though Walet was 
larger than Tomhuctoo. At Si II a, some Moorish and ne- 
gro merchants had informed this traveller that two days' 
journey to the east was situated the city of Jinnen, or an 
island in the river; two days' journey beyond this city was 
found Dibbi, or the Black Lake, which is crossed from west 
to east. Here the canoes' are said to lose sight of land for 
a whole day. From this lake the river divides into several 
streams, and ends in two branches which meet at Kabra, the 
port of Tomhuctoo, v/hich is a day's journey to the south 
of that city. At eleven days distance from Kabra, the river 
passes to the south of Houssa, which is two days journey 
from the Joliba. All the natives with whom this traveller 
conversed seem to have been ignorant of the course of this 
great river beyond that point, and of its mode of terminat- 
ing. To the east of Houssa is the kingdom of Cassina. 
The king of Tomhuctoo, whose name was Abu-Abrahima, 
was considered as rich, and his wives and concubines were 
dressed in silk. The kingdom of Houssa is of greater im- 
portance. To the south of the Niger are the kingdoms, 
or rather districts, of Gotto, to the west of which, are Bai- 
doo and Maniana ; the inhabitants of the latter have the 
character of being cannibals. Such is the information given 
hy Mr. Park. 

With these particulars are naturally connected those of 
Mr- Jackson, obtained from oral communications, given by- 
some inhabitants of Tomhuctoo. Fifteen days journey 
east from this city is found a vast lake called Bahar Soo- 
dan, or the Sea of Soodan, on the banks of which there Sea of Sofc 
lives a white nation, which in language imitates, like the "^^"^ 
English, the whistling of birds, ride saddled horses, and 
use spurs. Their face, all except the eyes, is covered 
•with a turban, armed with swords, bows, lances, and darts; 


BOOK they fight man to man. Their bodies, and thrise of their 

XXVII. horses, arc covered over with amulets. These people have 

' decked vessels, forty cubits in lensjth and eisjht in breadth, 

White peo- •> J i3 o 

pie. built of boards, which are united by twisted cords. These 

barks carry from one hundred and fifty to two hundred men? 
and a burden of twenty tons. They have no sails, and are 
put in motion by forty oars. These white people sail as far 
as Tombuctoo. In the year 1793 they extended their navi- 
gation to Jinnee, on the west of Tombuctoo ; but were not 
allowed to trade. They are neither Moors nor Arabs, nor 
Shi Hooks.* 

According to another passage, these white people, be- 
yond the great lake, is called, by the Arabs, JST'sarrath 
Christian^ or Christian Nazarites. They are distinguish- 
Jews of ed from a tribe of Jews who live on the frontier of Lem- 
^" lem or Melly. This account acquires some importance 
when we compare it with tiie testimony of Edrisi, who ex- 
pressly places the Jews in Lemlem,t and which Leo Africa- 
nus calls Melly, from the city of Malel.:}: These Jews are 
vej*y probably travelling merchants, known for a century 
The Mai- back, on the slave coast, under the name of Maillys or Mal- 
^^^* lays :§ for, though circumcised, these merchants neither ab- 

stained from w ine or other strong liquors. They selected, 
and killed with their own hands, the animals whose flesh 
they ate. Tliey came from a country to th-e north of Guinea, 
rich in gold, copper, and pi*ecious stones. 
Accounts Mr. Jackson tells us that the city of Tombuctoo is situ- 
buctoo. ated in the midst of a plain, surrounded with sand hills, 
about twelve miles from the banks of the Nil-el-abeed, or 
the Nile of the Negroes, and nearly three days' journey 
from the frontiers of Zahara. It is un walled, and about 
twelve miles in circumference. It is frequented by all the 
negro nations, who exchange here the productions of their 

* Jackson's Moiocco, at the end. 

t Edrisi. Hartmann, p. 37. 

X Leo Afiicanus, p. G41. 

^ Desmarchais, ii. p. 273. Snelgvave, p. 89. 


country for tlie manufactures of Europe and Barbary. The book 
last sovereign of Morocco, Muley Ismael, had appointed a ^^vii. 
Moorish governor at Tombuctoo ; but at present the city 
is dependent on the negro king of Bambarra, wliose pre- ^ 

sent residence is at Jinnee, the Ginnea of Leo Africanus, 
and the Genni of some other writers. Tlie king has three 
palaces at Tombuctoo, a place which is said to contain 
an inunense quantity of gold. This city is said to be kept 
under excellent police regulations ; its industrious inhabit- 
ants, who are chiefly negroes, are said to be strangers to 
theft, and emulous to copy the hospitality, elegance, and 
politeness of the Arabians. 

The government never intermeddles with the different ^^v®"^^" 

[116 nt 

religions professed by the people who frequent Tombuc- 
too ; but the Jews are excluded from it by the commercial 
jealousy of the Moors. 

The government of the city is committed to a divan or 
council, composed of twelve alemas.* These magistrates, 
who are learned expounders of the Koran, nominated by 
the king, remain in office oily three years. Mr. Jackson, 
who wishes to induce the English to engage in the Tom- 
buctoo trade, by tl»e way of Mogadore, says that the library 
of that city contains Arabic, Hebrew, and Chaldaic manu- Library. 
scripts among which are translations of the Greek and 
Latin authors.f Other accounts maintain that the Tombuc- 
tans make use of characters different from those of the 
Hebrews and Arabians,:}^ which is denied by Mr. Jackson 
or his Moorish authority. 

The climate is celebrated for salubrity, and the hu- Climate. 
man constitution very soon arrives at maturity. " It is 
said to be a rare thing to see a young man of eighteen who 
has not several lawful wives or concubine slaves, the Maho- 

* Probably aa Arabic word, and the same as uleraa, See our account of 
t Annales des Voyages, t. XIV. p. 25. 
t Proceedings of tlie African Association, p. 2. 19. 


BOOK medan law being here followed, and one who attains the 
I.XVII. j^gg Qf twenty, without being married, is not thought re- 
"""■^"^ spectable." 

Produc- i^he Niffer or Joliba overQows its banks when the sun 

mai and cnters the sign of Cancer. This is the rainy season. At 
Ycgetabie. g^^fj^a fhc inuHilatiou becomes considerable. This wide 
and rapid river breeds crocodiles and hippopotami. The 
lands along the southern bank are covered with forests^, 
where huge elephants lie under the shade of trees of extra- 
ordinary size and beauty. The soil round Tombuctoo pro- 
duces rice, millet, Indian corn, and other grain. In the 
plains the Arabs of the tribe of Brabesha cultivate wheat 
and barley. Coffee and indigo grow spontaneously. The 
latter is in some places cultivated, and produces a fine blue 
dye, which is employed in dying and printing the cotton 
goods. These fabrics are made at Jinnee and Tombuc- 
too, with whimsical figures. They are used as bed-covers, 
and are much esteemed for the firmness of their texture, and 
are sold in Morocco at a high price. The breadth of the 
wove pieces varies from two to three inches, and are sewed 
together, with thread or silk, so closely and neatly that 
the interstices are not seen. The cultivators, who are here 
csiWed fulahf^ have a great talent for rearing bees; honey 
and wax are in great abundance, and large quantities are 
consumed by the inhabitants. 
Goldmines. i^[^g g^id mjnes, found to the south of the river, belong 
to the king, and their produce is deposited in his palace at 
Tombuctoo. The people employed in working these mines 
are Bambarra negroes, who become very wealthy, as all the 
particles of gold under a certain weight (twelve mizans) be- 
long to them. So very rich are these mines, that pieces of 
gold weighing some ounces are said to be frequently found. 
It is no wonder then that this precious metal is so little 
prized at Tombuctoo, and that objects which are of so lit- 
tle value among Europeans, such as salt, tobacco, and work- 
ed copper, are here exchanged for their weight in gold. 

* See page? 217, 21^. 


The remainder of western Nigritia was, in the time of book 
Edrisi, divided into two kingdoms, that of Tocroor, and I'XVii. 
that of Gana. In the first of these, where the people lived '' ' '. 

C«ountry oi 

on dourra, milk, and fish, (an evidence of a moderate lertil- Tocroor 
ity of territory,) were found the city of Tocroor, then the ^"'^ ^''°^- 
centre of the trade of Nigritia, also Berissa, and Sala. 
The capital of the state of Gana, bearing the same name, 
was situated on a large fresh-water lake, and was built of 
chalk. It was the Ta-Gana of Ptolemy, and the Cano of 
Leo Africanus. This was probably a flourishing empire 
in the fifteenth century, for, according to Barros, the am- 
bassadors of the king of Benin said to John II. king of 
Portugal, that " the kingdom of Benin was in some measure 
in a state of vassalage to a powerful prince in the interior, 
called Ogane, who was venerated as great pontiif.'^ 

At present Houssa is mentioned in the situation assign- States of 
ed to Tocroor, and the state of Kashna occupies the place of ^nd KasU- 
Gana; but both of them are among the least known coun- J^*- 
tries of Nigritia. "With some, Houssa is an immense city ; 
with others, it is the name of a very populous territory, 
where the economical arts have arrived at high perfection, 
excellent steel files being in the number of their articles of 
manufacture.! The kingdom of Kassena, or Kashna, is 
known to us only from the accounts of the Tripolitans and 
Fezzanese. This country, bounding with the territories of 
Bornoo and Fezzan, seems to be properly called Afnoo,:j: 
and is known by the name of Affano, in the capital of Bor- 
noo.§ The chief city, to which the name of Kashna seems 
more particularly to belong, is five days' journey to the 
north of the Niger,|| on the road from Fezzan to Zampha- 

* Juaa de Barros, Asia. Dec. I. liv. 3, ch. 4. Leo Afric. p. 651, Mamolt, 
III. p. 66. 

t Proceedings of the African Association, p. 2. Elucidations, &c. by Major 
Houghton, p. 25 — 27. 

% Niebuhr, dans le Nouv. Museum Allem. IV. p. 421. Einsiedel distinguish- 
es Kashna from Hafnoo, Cuhn, Voyages en Afrique, III. p. 436—442. 

$ Seetzen, Annales des Voyages, XIX. p. 174. 

i| Proceedings of the African Association for 179'^- 



tioiis of 

liooK ra, another large city, which is also represented as the seat 
XXVII. of a sultan. On the way to Kashna is Agades, the cliief 
town of an oasis, inhabited by the Tooaricks. The vine 
does not grow so well, nor docs the camel thrive equally 
well in the west and south of Kashna. The chief produc- 
tions of tjje country are gold dust, cotton, a particular kind 
of rice called bishna, numerous monkeys and paroquets. 
Dressed goat skins, ox-hides, zibet, and musk are exported.* 
The surface is extremely mountainous. On this account, 
in our map of northern Africa, we place the cataracts of the 
Niger between the kingdoms of Melli and Kashna. 

It is certain that Nigritia is naturally divided into several 
basins, or table-lands, differing in elevation. According to 
Leo Africanus, there are inland districts where the cold 
obliges the inhabitants to use fire for part of the year. "At 
Gago the vines are unable to stand the cold, while the vi- 
cinity of Gana is covered with cotton shrubs, and orange 



Eastern Nigritia contains two countries which are better 
known tiian the rest, Darfoor and Bornoo. The first, which 
was imperfectly known to Leo and Wansleb, has been visit- 
ed and described by Mr. Browne. An inhabitant of that 
country, of the name of Mahomed, whom Mr. Seetzen met 
at Cairo, has also given some curious information respect- 
ing it. The dgclahec or merchants, after leaving Cairo, 
first stop at Sioot, and then cross a wide desert, containing a 
small number of cultivated oases* At the end of five days 
after leaving Sioot, they reach Khargeh, the capital of the 
Great Oasis. From this place they take two days to reach 
Beris, six more to Sheupp, three from thence to Selim, five 
to Legghyeh, and six to Bir-el-Attroon, and, lastly, other 
ten days to Darfoor, making in all a journey of thirty-seven 

* Einsiedel, p. 440. &.c. &,c. 
t Annales des Voyages, t. XXI. 


Darfoor is watered bv the river Bahr-Attaba, which book 
is said to flow into tlie Nile, and is navigated by small ^^^ii. 
craft. This river, according to the map of Mr. Browne," 
can only fall into the Misselad, as a mountain chain ex- the couiv- 
tends along the east side of the country. Darfoor con- ^^^* 
tains iron, and a copper ore which gives an excellent red 
colour. According to Mr. Browne, the copper is bought 
near the sources of the Abiad. The quarries yield mar- 
ble, alabaster, granite, fossil salt, and nitre. It labours, 
however, under a want both of lime and building stone. 
According to Mohammed's account, snow falls every year, 
but melts as soon as it touches the ground. One of the 
largest mountains of the country is called Marra. 

The rains begin in the middle of June, and last till theciimate^ 
middle of September. The whole aspect of tiie country is 
at that time changed, the character of utter sterility being 
replaced by pleasing verdure. When the rainy season be- 
gins, the proprietors of the land go to their fields with such 
labourers as they are able to collect. They make holes in the 
ground, at distances of two feet, where they sow the mil- 
let seed, and cover it over with their feet, and thus termi- 
nate the labours of seed-time. The crop of millet is har- 
vested in the course of two months : wheat requires threcj^ 
rice grows spontaneously, and so abundantly that it is lit- 
tle valued, though of superior quality. Dourra and mil- 
let are greatly cultivated in Darfoor, but wheat is neglect- 
ed. Dates are abundant, and, like wheat, are used for the 
preparation of a spirituous liquor. According to Browne 
the vegetation is not greatly diversified, and is chiefly re- 
markable for the thorny and hard nature of the wood, con- 
sisting of the tamarind, the plane, the sycamore, the neb- 
bekf and several others, which are mentioned, and briefly 
described by this traveller ; but the tamarind is the only tree 
the fruit of which is well worth gathering; for even the 
date bears a small and tasteless fruit. The tobacco seems 
to be an indigenous production in some parts. 

Mr. Browne, who scarcely went out of the capital, repre- 
sents the animals as few in number, consisting anly of wJeJJ 

VOL. IT. 17 




BOOK known species. Mohammed says that the mountains and 
XXVII. forests abound with game. He mentions different sorts of 
gazelles, wild boars, buffaloes, and apparently a sort of 
deer witli which we are not acquainted. Darfoor contains 
the elephant and the rhinoceros, and numerous giraffes, 
"which are called our, in the language of the country. 

The skins of elephants, rhinoceroses, and hippopotami are 
used for making whips, which are sold in great numbers at 
Cairo. Bees and honey are in abundance. 

The Darioorians, who ought t© be called Foorians, have, 
according to Mr. Browne's observations, very thick, coarse 
skins, but not particularly black. They are brawny and 
muscular. Their eyesight is excellent. There are few 
blear-eyed persons among them, and none blind. Their 
teeth are white and durable, being generally entire till 
a very advanced age. The Darfoor negroes differ in 
features from those of Guinea ; but their hair is genei^ally 
short and woolly. They are cowardly, dirty, thievish, and 
deceitful. They use no baths, but apply a greasy paste to 
their skin. Commerce is conducted by barter, money be- 
ing unknown. Polygamy is carried to great extravagance, 
and the intercourse of the sexes subjected to little regula- 
tion. Circumcision and excision are practised among them. 

Language. They Seem to use the Berber language, but understand 
Arabic. According to Mohammed all the inhabitants of 

Religion, the country profess the Mahometan faith. They have the 
Alkoran, and many among them have their children taught 
to read that work, and to write in Arabic. This language is 
exclusively used for epistolary correspondence, which, how- 
ever, is very rare among them. With the exception of the 
name of the Deity, all the terms used for metaphysical ob- 
jects, as well as the generality of those which are connect- 
ed with political offices and arrangements, are borrowed 
from the Arabic. The government is despotic. The sul- 
tan or sovereign engages in trade, lays duties on all the 
goods, and is furnished annually with a quantity of millet, 
from every village, which is collected by the slaves. Ac- 

TotviTP. cording to Browne, there are no more than twelve towns in 




the whole of Darfoor, and cacli of these contains no more book 
than 5000 or 6000 inhabitants. Cobbek, the metropolis, i-xvii^ 
is more than two miles long, but very narrow, and its 
population does not exceed 6000. Moliammed calls the 
sultan's place of residence Tandelty, and gives the names 
of fifty towns. 

A great desert, called Dar-Kab, separates Darfoor from Shiiiook 
Kordofan. Mohammed mentions a very interesting coun-*^"""^'-* 
try to the south-east, the empire of the Shillooks, which lies 
west from Abyssinia, and twelve days' journey south from 
Darfoor. Tlieir sultan is one of the most powerful among 
the negro princes. The territory is very mountainous, and 
watered by a great number of rivers, among whicli Mo- 
hammed mentions the Bahr-el-Abiad, Bahr-lndry, Bahr- 
el-Harras, and Bahr-Esrak, all of which take their rise in 
the country of the Shillooks, and afterwards join the Egyp- 
tian Nile. The Bahr-el-Abiad is the great western branch 
of the Nile, and its origin should be considered as the source 
of the Nile, which Father Lobo and Mr. Bruce wished to 
find in Abyssinia. The Shillooks are negroes and idolaters, 
and go^quite naked. Their only arms arc tlie bow, the ar- 
row, and the lance. The Bahr-cl-Abiad passes through 
the middle of their country. The largest mountains arc Moun- 
theDjibbel-el-Djinse, and tl»e Djibbel-er-Temmaroo, which ^^"''• 
are frequently covered with snow. They form apparently 
a part of the Mountains of the Moon. The Shillooks are 
constantly at war with the Abyssinians, but maintain com- 
mercial relations with tlie people of Darfoor ; and the traders 
of the two nations often visit one another. By wasliing therrocUtc- 
sand of the rivers they obtain gold, which is kept in the ^'*^"^* 
quill- tubes of a huge bird, called in Egypt the sakgar, and 
in Darfoor the doulh. This bird, which is probably a sort 
of condor, possesses immense strength, and even attacks and 
kills asses. A number of giraffes are also found here. 

Mohammed himself had visited this country. The ca- Towns. 
pital city and residence of the sultan is called Bahr-el-Abiad, 
being situated on the river of that name. He says that it 




Tke Dar- 


The Mob- 
ba or Ber- 

tory ac- 
counts of 
xii« rivers. 

is a commercial place, and contains a great number of 
remarkable buildings, but he is not quite consistent in his 

Another and bettei* informed negro described to M. 
Seetzen the Dar-el-Abiad as a large hilly country, full of 
rivers, and inhabited by real savages. The name seems to 
point it out as the country which gives rise to the Bahr-el- 
Abiad, and where, in the rainy season, it probably commu- 
nicates with the rivers which join the Niger. 

The inforuiation furnished by Mr. Browne applies to a 
direction somewhat different, viz. the south-west. 

At a distance of three days journey to the south of Cab- 
beh, there are copper mines; and seven days journey and 
a half beyond these is the Bahr-el-Abiad. To the west of 
this is the river Koollah, the banks of wiiich, according to 
the information of Mr. Browne, abound with pimento trees. 
The boats are forced along by poles and two oars each. So 
large are the trees that one of them may be scooped out in- 
to a canoe fit to carry ten people. The natives of Koolla 
are partly black and partly red or copper coloured. The 
country is chiefly frequented by the djelaby, or merchants 
of Bergoo and Darfoor, who come thither to buy slaves, the 
slightest offence being here punished by the sale of the de- 
linquent to foreign merchants. 

To the west of Darfoor, is a country w^hich the natives call 
Mobba, the Arabs Bar-sheleh, and the Foorians Dar-Ber- 
goo, known to us from the reports of two natives,* who 
agree on most of the facts. Mobba is to the west of Dar- 
foor, and to the south of Bornoo. Vara, the capital, is 
thrice as large as Bulak. The town itself contains many 
earthen houses, but in the neighbourhood, conical cabins^ 
made of reeds and canes, are the only habitations. 

The sultan's seraglio is an immense brick building, and 
contains the only mosque belonging to the place, which is 
kept constantly lighted with lamps. The country is all di- 
versified on hill and dale. " There are no rivers properly so 
called," says one of the native reporters, " but rain torrents. 

* Annalgs des Voyages, XXI, p. 164. 


^vllicIl, when dried up, leave considerable lakes or fens, book 
The largest of these torrents is between Mobba and Bagir- ^'^vii. 
mah, and is called Bahr-el-Zafal." The other native says, 
"that at tbree days' distance west from the city, there is a 
large river, running from south to north, broader than the 
Nile, and, like this last, subject to periodical inundations, and 
called in the Mobba language Engy," (their word for water.) 

The Mobba country produces soda, which is exported to Produc- 
Cairo; rock salt of different colours; and another salt not *'""^' 
accurately known. Two sorts of iron ore are found in the 
beds of the torrents, one in the form of sand, the other in 
that of a stone, and from which knives and needles are ma- 
nufactured. There are no other metallic substances. Lime- 
stone is rare. But this country is covered with trees, 
among which are different sorts of sycamores, palms, and 
the Jicacia vera. Every kind of poultry is found here, as 
fowls, pigeons, wild geese. There are also many bees, 
scorpions, and locusts, the last of which are used as food. 
There are plenty of horses, dogs, cats, buffaloes, and ga- 
zelles. The large ponds created by the rain water harbour 
numbers of crocodiles. 

The rainy season lasts seven or eight months. The dry 
season consequently only four or five. Ice is unknown ; 
snow and hail are very rare. The chief culture is that of 
dourra and millet. There is neither wheat, barley, nor 
pulse. Cotton is abundant; rice is grown every where; and 
the gummy shrubs are frequent. 

Most of the inhabitants are Mahometan negroes, some of Inhabit- 
whom have learned to read and write the Arabic language. ^"^^" 
The children of both sexes are circumcised. The women 
go unveiled. The arms of these negroes consist of sabres, 
lances, bows and arrows, and bucklers. The few muskets 
which they have come from Cairo, as well as lead, gun- 
powder, and cuirasses. The plague is very rare in this 
country; but the sm^ll-pox produces great ravages; and 
diseases attached to libidinous conduct are very common.* 

* Browne's Journey to Darfoor. 






on the city 
oi Kama. 


To the west of Mobba, all our accounts agree in placing 
Bagbiimah, a state now depentlent on the powerful mussul- 
mati emperor of Borneo, as is sliown by the following anec- 
dote, related by Hassan, an inhabitant of Mobba. 

The sultan of Basjhirmah had married his own sister. 
An action so contrary to the law could not I'emain conceal- 
ed, but came to the knowledge of the sultan of Bornoo, 
who, in a paroxysm of wrath, oi^dered him instantly to re- 
linquish that incestuoufi connection, under the penalty of 
the vengeance of xVUah and the emperor. The sultan of 
Baghirmah not suffering himself to be intimidated, sent back 
the sultan's letter, writing on the back for an answer, that 
the custom of marrying a sister had existed long before the 
prophet, and that he saw no reason why it should not exist 
after him." An answer so laconic from a dependent raised 
the emperor's passion to madness. He immediately order- 
ed the vassal sultan of Mobba to enter the Baghirmah 
country with an invading force, a commission which the 
latter prince executed, and having vanquished the rebel 
king, sent him prisoner to Mobba. Hassan did not know 
the subsequent fate of tliat prince ; but the Baghirmah coun- 
try had been for five years attached to the territories of 

It is very probable that, at the beginning of the eighteenth 
century, the sultan of Baghirmah ruled over the adjoining 
countries, including Bornoo, for his place of residence is 
called Kama ; but according to the accounts collected by 
Father Sicard, the city of Karneh, situated on a great river 
communicating with the Nile of Egypt, was the capital of 
the state of Bornoo.* The river was called Bahr-el-Gazel, 
and the canal of communication between the Niger and Nile, 
says Sicard, is Bahr-el-x\zurak. 

Other accounts make the Baghirmah country contain 
some inhabitants professing the Christian religion,! coincid- 

* Nouv. Mem. de la Compagnie de Jesus dans le Levant, IF. p. 186. 
+ Nicbubr, after Abderraliman-Aga. Nouv. Miispum. Allemand, III, p. 


ing witli a negro tradition, which states, that to the cast of book 
Houssa, heyond a great lake, there is a nation of Naza- ^^^i'* 
reans. The inhabitants of the country of Andani thus pass 
for Christians, and are said to have pointed teetli. The 
same shape of the teetli is common among the Jemjens, who 
are pagans and cannibals. The Kendil nation has long 

The Wangara, or Vankara, a marshy coinitry, surround- Wangaia. 
ed either by different rivers, or the different branches of one 
great river, and rich in gold dust, is surnamed in Arabic 
JBelad-el-Tiber, or the country of Pure Gold, is still less 
known to us than the preceding countries. Here Edrisi 
places among other cities those of Ragbil and Semegunda, 
on the borders of a fresh water sea, but luckily for those who 
are fond of disputes, the Arabic term, w^hich is translated 
sea, also signifies a great river. =^ 

We shall conclude our account of Nigritia with a des- Empire of 
cription of the empire of Bornoo, respecting whiclj Mr. 
Seetzen has collected some interesting information from a 
native. This state seems at the present moment to com- 
prehend several kingdoms once independent. We have 
just seen that the princes of Mobba and Baghirmah depend 
on it. Among other vassal countries, we hear of Phalla- 
teh, which is inhabited by a colony of Senegal Foulahs or 
Fellahs ; the Kotkoo, who seem to be the Kookoo of Edri- 
si; Kanem, in which the city of Matsan seems to correspond 
to that of Mathan, which at one time was its capital, or ra- 
ther the residence of a prince who for a very short interval 
ruled over these countries.! The Bornese pretend even 
that Fezzan, Afnoo, Kishena, probably Kashna, Darfoor, 
and Sennaar, acknowledge the ascendancy of their emperor. 

The eastern part of the territory of the empire of Bor- Nature of 
noo contains some mountains. About three miles froni ^^^ ^^""^^y 

* Hartmann's Edrisi, Africa, p. 50 — 52. 

^ D'Anville, Hist, de I'Academ. XXVI. p. 69. Leo/p. C56. Cuhn, IIT. 
p. 437. 






tlie capital, there is a river, called Halemm, avS broad as the 
Nile, on which there is a number of vessels with sails and 
oars formed of planks, fixed with iron nails. Abdallah 
could not inform M. Seetzen either of tbe source or the 
termination of this river, but he assured him that it ran 
from south to north, and that it overflo^ved its banks in the 
rainy season like the Nile. If we consider this account as 
correct, we must give the river of Bornoo a direction oppo- 
site to that given it in our maps. In the towns of Bornoo 
well water is commonly used, and is said to be of excellent 

The soil consists of a soft sand, which renders the shoe- 
ing of horses in this country unnecessary, but without irri- 
gation it cannot be made productive. Along the side of 
the river, black chalk is found, likewise some pyrites and 
potters' clay. According to the Tripolitan Abderrabman- 
Aga, the sultan receives from the mining operations im- 
mense quantities of gold.=^ Leo Africanus asserts that, at 
the court of Bornoo, the stirrups, spurs, dining plates, and 
oven the chains of the hunting horses, were of pure gold.f 
But the native Abdallah says, that no ore of gold, silver, 
or copper, has been discovered, though tliere are some iron 
mines now worked. These testimonies may, however, be 
reconciled. The gold, though unknown as a product of 
Bornoo Proper, may come from Wangarah, one of its de- 
pendencies. The merchants of the province of Affanoh 
bring rock salt, which has a degree of hitterness. A good 
salt is extracted from the ashes of a thorny plant by lixivi- 
ation. A very distant desert produces two varieties of so- 
da, one white, and the other red. 
Vegetable The Vegetable kingdom is very rich, containing abun- 
^ting om. j^jj(,g Qf irmt trees and forests of wild timber. Date palms 
are in abundance. According to Abdallah, there are no 
pitrons nor pomegranates, though other accounts mention 
these among tbe trees of the country. The shooldeh surr 

* Nouv. Mus. Allemand., III. p. 386. 
t Leo, p. 65p, 


passes all other trees in height and thickness. Its fruit is book 
not an article of food, but yields an oil which is employed I'Xvii. 
as a medicine. ^ 

The country produces grain, but none of the leguminous 
species cultivated in Egypt. Rice comes up spontaneously 
in great abundance after rains; for, says Abdallah, there is 
much rain in that country, from which, and from the action 
of the cold, men often die ! The sugar cane is here un- 
known. The bitter JVgoro nut, perhaps the areca, comes 
from Kanem and from Affanoh. 

Bornoo possesses all the domestic animals of Egypt. Animals, 
The forests contain a gi-eat quantity of monkeys. Abdal- 
lah told M. Seetzen that women were particularly exposed 
to annoyance frt>m these animals, on which account they 
never go through the forests except in large parties. Nu- 
merous giraffes browse the leaves and young branches of 
the trees. The lions inhabit the deserts. The skin of the 
hippopotamus is used for making whips, and his fat for 
candles. Tapers are made from wax. The horns of the 
glembOf which seems to be a wild goat, furnish war trum- 
pets. The rivers swarm with crocodiles. Ostrich feathers 
form an article of trade. The mat%akweh, called the king 
of birds on account of the incomparable beauty of his va- 
riegated plumage ; the adgunon, the largest bird with the 
exception of the ostrich, wliich, however, is always afraid 
of it; and, lastly, the /r7m^odan, a carnivorous quadruped 
stronger than the lion or the tiger, are animals w hich still 
remain to be subjected to authentic and scientific examina- 

The locusts fly in numerous swarms : they are of two ' 
kinds, one of which is frie^l with butter in a pot, and used 
as food. There is abundance of wild honey in the trunks 
of the trees. 

According to the inhabitants of Mobba, the capital is Towns, 
called Akumbo. It has also the name of Birni, in the lan- 
guage of the country. " I have always heard people speak 
of Cairo and Grand Cairo," says Abdallah, ** but it is har- 
ra (a trifle) in comparison of Bornoo.^* He says, that a 


sooK person could not go from one end of it to another in a day. 
XXVII. If a child should lose itself in the city, it loses its parents 

"- for ever, as it is impossible to find them again." This de- 
scription is, to a certain extent, confirmed by other testi- 
monies. The Tripolitans allow that Bornoo or Barni has 
10,000 houses, and is much larger than the capital of their 
country.=^ Bornoo has a great number of gates and thick 
walls built of stones and mud, and provided with steps In 
the inside. The mosques are adorned with very high tow- 
ers. The dwellings of tlie grandees and the rich are built 
in a very solid manner of stone, in a similar style to the 
houses of Cairo, but higher. The great mosque contains 
the principal school, which Abdallah compared to the acad* 
emy in the mosque of El-Asher at Cairo ; that, besides the 
Koran, there are several books of science for the use of the 
numerous scholars who learn here to read, to write, and to 
calculate. The paper which is wanted is brought from 
Egypt, Tripoli, and Tunis. Tlie students are supported at 
the sultan's expense. 

Govern- The reigning dynasty, in the time of Leo Africanus, w^as 

^^^^' of the Arab or Berber tribe of Berdoa. The same family 
seems still in possession of the throne; for, according to 
Abdallah, "the sultan is not black, but of a deep brown. 
He never eats bread, but only rice, being persuaded by vir- 
tue of an old prophecy, that the use of bread would be the 
cause of his death." The government is only hereditary in 
the male line. The sultan keeps four lawful wives, who are 
natives of Bornoo, and a crowd of female slaves. 

Eeligion. In the time of Leo, the Bornese, living without any positive 
religion, or at least without any form of worship, had their 
wives and children in common.f They now profess the 
Mahometan religion, and circumcision in both sexes is the 
universal law. There are also some free Christians, who 
keep certain holidays, but have no church. The country 

* Njebuhr, Nouv. Mus. Allem. p, 981, 1000. Einsiedel, chez Cuhn, III. p, 

t Lfon, p. 65f5. 


contains no Jews. Negroes and Abyssinian slaves are mi- book 
merous. A very efifectual metliod is practised for convert- ^^^^^' 
ing them to the Mahometan religion ; whicli is to beat them 
till they learn to repeat the creed, ** There is no God but 
God, and Mahomet is his prophet." This profession once 
uttered, concludes the business. Several negro slaves 
brought from the Banda country have the teeth much 
pointed ; the wounds which they inflict in biting are diffi- 
cult to heal ; and their masters take the precaution of blunt- 
ing them with a file. 

M. de Seetzen was much surprised to learn, that the Europeans 
Sultan of Borneo had many French slaves, some of whom ^^ 0^"°''' 
even preserved their European dress. They have esta- 
blished for him a foundery for brass cannon, which he uses 

in his wars with the negroes to the south of the empire 

We are almost tempted to conceive a suspicion, that this 
Sultan follows, in regard to European travellers, the po- 
licy of the government of Habesh, which we know puts 
every possible obstacle in the way of their return to their 
own country ; so that it is not impossible that intelligence 
may yet be received of Mr. Hornemann. 

The trade of Bornoo is very active, and always brings Trade. 
to it a multitude of foreign merchants. The chief business 
is transacted by the Tunisians; but the Tripolitans, the 
Egyptians, the Fezzanese, and the Affano negroes, bring 
a large quantity of goods. Finger rings of gold, silver, 
and yellow copper, are manufactured in Bornoo ; also co- 
verlids and woollen stuffs. And here are some lapidaries 
acquainted vvitli the art of polishing and cutting stones, and 
engraving seals.(a) 

(a) [According to Major Denham, who is now in Africa, and whose notices 
respecting Bornoo were forwarded in 1824, this country produces but few vege- 
tables or fruits. He names 36 towns and cities, and estimates the population 
of the country at 2,000,000. He describes the natives as having large, unmean- 
ing faces, flat negro noses, mouths of great dimensions, good, regular, white 
teeth, and high foreheads ; as being peaceable, good natured, timid, of phlegma- 
tic disposition, temperate, and regular in their habits, — Qixarierly Revievj for 
March, 1825.] Am. Ed. 




BOOK The numerous black nations on the north of the equator, 

XxviiT. whose countries we have surveyed, in so far as the present 

*'""""""' state of our knowledge permitted, present the liistorian, in 

the great outline of their manners, with a vast subject of 


The physical properties of the country perpetuate in all 
those nations that indolent levity, and childish carelessness. 
Food and ^^hich Seem innate qualities of the negro race. Twenty 
days of work in a year are sufficient, in most of these coun- 
tries, to secure the crops of rice, millet, maize, yams, and 
manioc, that are required for his frugal repast. His gross 
taste gives him every where the readiest resources. The 
flesh of the elephant, even when full of vermin, does not 
prove repulsive to his sturdy stomach.''^ He is fond of the 
crocodile's eggs, and even their musky flesh. The mon- 
keys are very generally used as food.f Even dead dogs 
and putrid fish give no disgust. Roasted dogs even 
figure as an exquisite treat at their great feasts. But the 
negro rejects sallad, because he will not so far imitate the 

* MuUer, Descript. de Fetu, p. 163. 

t Labat. III. p. 302. Atkins, p. 7. p. 152. Moore, p. 77. 


herbivorous animals.^ The preparation of thick soups, and book 
hashes, juicy and well seasoned, which compose his cookery, I'Xvm* 
requires very little care. An easy manufacture sjives him 
his palm, or banana wine, and his millet-beer, which form 
his ordinary drink. Europe furnishes the negroes of the 
sea coast with those pernicious spirituous liquors which 
make them pass at once from a state of intoxication to a 
state of slavery. Little labour is required in providing 
for their dress. The cotton grows among their feet with- 
out culture. From titis the females derive the stuffs 
necessary for their families, and dye them with indigo, 
a production likewise spontaneous. The negro's cabin Dwellings, 
costs equally little care. Some trunks of trees, scarcely 
stripped, or in any way shaped, some branches stripped of 
their bark, a little straw, or a few palm leaves, are his whole 
materials ; to connect them in the form of a cone, is the 
amount of the art which he requires. That simple archi- 
tecture is dictated to him by the climate and the violence 
of the annual rains. It is only on the Gold Coast, or on 
the banks of the Niger, that European example has taught 
the negro, that a flat roof, if solid, may be made proof 
against rain. 

The towns are only great collections of such cottages. Towns, 
There are no public buildings even among the tribes, which 
live under a sort of republican government. The most 
that they ever have is a large cottage, open on all sides, 
called a boorree, for conducting their public deliberations, 
denominated, from a corruption of a Portuguese term, the 
palaver,j The palaces of their chiefs are only distinguish- Palaces, 
ed by the multiplicity of cottages of which they consist. — 
The furniture of the poorer sort is often confined to two or 
three calabashes, the rich have some fire-arms to show off; 
the sovereigns, who adorn their dwellings with human skulls, 
and jaw-bones, have stone-ware, and carpeting of European 
manufacture. But these monar^hs, whose distinguishing 
pomp consists in walking in slippers, under the shade of 

* Isert, p, 209. t Isert. p. 77. Roemer, p. 179, 


BOOK an umbrella, have sometimes a piece of massive gold for a 
' iXYiii. throne. 

TTr T Mr. fisert has remarked, as a stronsj proof of the in- 

^ ant of ^ o 1 

industry, dolence of the negro, that lie has never tamed the ele- 
phant, an animal so common in Africa and so capable of 
becoming the useful and intelligent auxiliary of man. 
The inhabitants of Begombah, an unknown country in 
the interior of Guinea, are said to have made some at- 
tempts to employ the services of the elephant. The ne- 
gro in general is not a courageous hunter, nor does he 
cause liis dominion to be felt among the numerous wild 
animals which share with him his fertile country. He is 
more active, more skilful, and more successful, in fishing. 
Both by swimming and by rowing, he braves the stormy 
waters, and carries home his lines loaded with immense 
booty. But he quickly relapses into his habitual indolence, 
and the very abundance of this resource proves an obsta- 
cle to the development of his natural talent, for the pur- 

Manufac- suit of industry.^ The existence of this talent is shown 
in the fabrication of stuffs, as of coverlids, sails for vessels, 
pottery, tobacco pipes, and wooden utensils, manufactures 
which are very general among this people. We are in- 
formed that even at Bambarra, Tombuctoo, and Bornoo, 
the art of weaving is carried to considerable perfection. 
The talent of the negroes is also remarkable in the skill of 
their blacksmiths and goldsmiths, who, with a few rude in- 
struments, make swords, axes, knives, golden braids, and 
many other articles. They can also give steel a good tem- 
per,! and reduce gold wire to a great degree of fineness.i 
The precious stones are cut among the people of Whidah.§ 
All this industry, indeed, is contracted by the paucity of 
wants, and the best negro artizan never thinks of working 
more than is requisite for earning his dailj' subsistence. 
Strangers to our feelings of avarice and ambition, the 
Africans consider life as a brief interval, which it is incum- 

* Labat, II. p. S34. Isert, p. 71. 206. Ad;aibOn, (fee. &c. 

•?• Labat, TI. p. 304. t Muller, p. 274. >' Isert, p. 177. 



bent on them to enjoy to the utmost. They wait for sun- book 
set to begin the giddy dance, which they keep up the whole i-xviii. 
night, animated by the hoarse sounds of the ivory trumpet, " 

and the beating of drums, mingled witli tlie cadence of va- ment. 
rious guitars and harps. Young and old, all take their ^^"^'"S* 
part in the nightly festivity. From one village the sound 
of their songs and concerts is passed responsive to another. 
These pastoral scenes will not surprise those who have read 
the English verses w^ritten by some emancipated negroes, 
which are far from being deficient in sentiment and fancy. 
Gaming has charms in the eyes of the African more potent Play. 
than those of the dance. But the ingenious combinations of 
the oori, more varied than our game of draughts, only inte- 
rest the women, while the men court the violent mental agi- 
tation attending on games of blind cliance, with as much 
keenness as we find prevailing among many young persons 
of fashion in Europe. 

The negroes, amidst all the varieties of their colour and Physical 
conformation, seldom labour under bodily defects. Their tk)". 
health is kept up by a simple style of living, exercise, and 
perspiration ; and among some negro nations, if not all, 
infants born with any defect are destroyed.^ The ne- 
groes do not seem to have inherited the privilege of the an- 
cient M aerobians. The length of their lives, at least in 
Senegambia and at Sierra Leone, is not equal to ours.f In- 
stances of longevity are very common among the negroes 
transported to the colonies,:]; which must belong to some 
tribes more favoured by nature. Fevers, diarrhoea, small- Diseases, 
pox, leprosy, a variety of syphilis, called the pian, and the 
Guinea worm, are the most common scourges of the life of 
the negro. 

The thin beard of the negroes partakes of the woolly virility, 
character of their hair, yet in pruriency of temperament, 
and vigour of constitution, and fecundity of population, 

* Muller, Descript. de Fetu, p. 184. 

t Adanson, Bosmann, Curry, Observations on tiie Windward Coast, 

t Oldendorf, p. 407. Muller, p. 280, 


BOOK they excel all other races of mankind ; and polygamy is 
I.XVIII. carried to a greater excess among them than in any other 

part of the world. 
Pointed There are some nations which give their teeth a pointed 

teeth. forjn by filing. But Isert asserts that he lias seen some ne- 
groes whose teeth were naturally so formed. Some among 
them boast of being cannibals, and, to prove the fact, bite 
off a piece of flesh from the arm of a bystander.^ 
Incisions in The practice of making incisions in the skin prevails, in 
t e skin. Yarious fomis and dcgi-ees, among all the negro nations 
which have preserved their primitive character. The 
Mandingos have vertiral cuts over their whole body.f 
The same sort of mark is found among the Akras, the 
Watiehs, the Tamboos, the Mokkos, the Eyeos of Gui- 
nea,:}: and among the inhabitants of Bornoo, Darfoor, and 
Mobha,§ the situation and number of these incisions vary. 
The people of Darfoor are marked in the face and the 
back, those of Mobba in the neck. The Mokkas mark 
their bodies on the stomach with figures of trees and foliage. 
The Calabars mark their foreheads with cuts in a horizon- 
tal direction, the Sokkos with two crossed lines. The Su- 
baloas cover their cheeks and the whole body with curved 
lines, ci'ossing one another.!! The Mangrees mark them- 
selves under the eyes with a figure i*esembling the letter V 
inverted. Some tribes near Sierra Leone have the art of 
making their skin rise in elevated marks like basso re- 
Circumci- Circumcision is detested by the Foulahs, but becomes a 
religions observance among the Mandingos, who extend it 
to both sexes,*"^ and is also practised by some negro nations 
of idolaters, such as the Akras on the jold Coast, the 
Dahomeys, the Mokkos, the Wattees, the Calabars, and 

* Isert, p. 196. Roemer, p. 18. 

t Schott, in Forster and Sprengel, BeytiJege, I. 56. 

X Oldendorf, I. p. 291. 

5 Annales des Voyages, XXI. p. 184. 

II Isert, p. 233. Oldendorf, loc. citat. 

^ Matthews, p. J 18. ** Labat, IV. 350. 



the Ibboos.^ In Benin the females are mutilated, while book 
the Dahomeys, like the Hottentots, resort to the unseemly i-xviii. 
practice of producing by artificial means a sort of apron by ' 

the elongation of the skin in front of the body.f 

Any thing that strikes the irregular imagination of the Superstu 
negro becomes his feiishf or the idol of his worship. He ^'°"* 
adores, and in difficulties consults a tree, a rock, an egg, 
a fish-bone, a date-stone, or a blade of grass. Some tribes 
have one fetish, which is national and supreme. The fol- 
lowing instance of the power of superstition, and the ad- 
dress with which it was turned to account by an enemy, is 
mentioned in the work of M. Mollien. M. Ribet, within 
the present century, at the head of twenty -five European 
soldiers, and 400 Senegal negroes, had, in an act of repri- 
sal, plundered all the Foulah villages on the river side. On 
arriving at Gaet, a large town, no person appeared to op- 
pose them : the inhabitants were all concealed behind their 
palisades, and thus entrenched fired on the enemy. Two 
field pieces, in the mean time, by which M. Ribet was ac- 
companied, made incredible havoc among the Foulahs ; but 
at the moment when he thought victory certain, a bull, 
which they had kept for the purpose, leaped over the pali- 
sades, and furiously rushed upon his men. A divinity des- 
cending from heaven could not have produced a more ex- 
traordinary ejffect. The negroes of the Senegal, persuaded 
that their lives depended on that of the bull, stopped the 
French soldiers ready to fire at him, exclaiming, that if he 
were slain, all sorts of misfortunes would overwhelm them. 
The stratagem was completely successful. The negroes 
dispersed, and fled in disorder to the vessels, while the 
twenty-five Europeans, disdaining to run away, fell vic- 
tims to their bravery. In Whidah a serpent is regard- Worship of 
ed as the god of war, of trade, of agriculture, and of fer- ^^'^P^"^^' 
tility. It is fed in a species of temple, and attended by 
an order of priests. Some young women are consecrat- 

* Oldendovp, I. p. 297. 

t Dalzel's History of Dahomey, p. 91, 

TOI. IT. 18 

274 liVHABiTAN'jt's or 

BOOK ed to it, whose business it is to please the deity with their 
ixviii. Yvanton dances, and who are in fact a sort of concubines to 
the priests. Every new king brings rich presents to the 
serpent.* In Benin a lizard is the object of public wor- 
ship ; in Dahomey a leopard. In the neighbourhood of 
Cape Mesurado, the offerings of the people are presented to 
a more beneficent deity, the sun.f Some negroes fashion 
their fetishes into an imitation of the human form. They 
seem in general to believe in two ruling principles ; one of 
good, and the other of evil.:|: 

Funerals. In their funerals, which are attended with much howling 
and singing, a very singular piece of superstition prevails. 
The bearers of the body ask the deceased if he has been 
poisoned or enchanted, and pretend to receive a reply by a 
motion of the coffin, which is no doubt produced by one of 
their boldest jugglers. The person whom the deceased ac- 
cuses of having killed him by enchantment is at once con- 
demned to be sold for a slave. The interments of princes 
occasion scenes of a much more deplorable nature. The 
blood of numerous human victims is shed on the royal 
tomb. That custom prevails among the Aminas, the Da- 
homeys, the Beninese, the Ibbos, and perhaps many other 

Govern- Yet despotism is not the only or the chief misfortune of 

1116 Qt 

Africa. The states of Benin and Dahomey, the Yolofs and 
the Foulahs, enjoy at least internal tranquillity under their 
almost absolute monarchs ; while in Bambook, around 
Sierra Leone, and on the Gold Coast, the principal village 
chiefs form, in conjunction with an elective monarchy, tur- 
bulent and disastrous aristocracies. The authority of each 
increases in proportion to the quantity of gold and the 
number of slaves which he possesses, the people of distinction 
greedily exert themselves to become rich by laying w^aste 
the villages of their rivals. Hence those perpetual petty 

* Des Marchais, II. p. 180. Oldendorp, p. 320. 

t Des Marchais, I. p. 118, $ Muller, p. 44. Roenier. p. 42. 

^ Oldendorp. 


wars which desolate almost all the negro countries, and which book 
have for their leading object, the capture of a number of ^-xviii. 
unfortunate beings who are sold to tlie Europeans. The 
laws, preserved only in the memories of the people, punish 
all disorders with severity ; but in a state which is a prey 
to anarchy, the execution of them is precarious, and the ab- 
solute chiefs apply them to the cruel purpose of increasing 
their stock of slaves. In general the most trifling theft is 
visited with this doom. Private individuals who sue for a 
debt, have on the other hand the greatest difficulty to obtaiu 
their due right. Pleaders of a bullying and intriguing Lawyers, 
character display an astonishing degree of art at the pala- 
vers, or judicial assemblies. A merchant who cannot obtain 
jusiice, often pays himself by causing the children or rela- 
tions of a dishonest debtor to be secretly carried oflf and 
sold as slaves.^ 

It would be for the interest of Africa were the great em- Non-exist» 
pires of Bornoo, Houssa, and Bambarra consolidated. They ^"e^t em- 
might then become the foci of a civilization, at least as far ad- pires* 
vanced as we find that of Asia. Unfortunately, the state of 
the country seems destitute of any elements of stability. 
The changes of the capital of Bornoo, which have created so 
many uncertainties among geographers, probably arise from 
the circumstance, that out of a number of hereditary sul- 
tans, each master of a single province, sometimes one, some- 
times another, attains, by election or by conquest, the ex- 
ercise of the supreme power. There are two causes, in 
particular, which contribute to prevent Nigritia from, 
attaining a stable condition. One is the vicinity of the 
Moors, a restless race, addicted to plunder, and incapable 
either of founding or establishing an empire ;j the other is 
the vast number of nomadic tribes of Arabs, who, protected 
by their state of pastoral poverty, defy even the authority 
of the potent monarchs of Bornoo.:]: 

* Isert, p. 221. Oldendorp, p. 304. Matthews, p. 81. 
+ Description de Tombuctoo, dans les Annalcs des Voyages. 
% DsEcription de Bornoo, ibid. 



BOOK The pride of tlie petty lords of Africa is equal to their 

ixviii. barbarous and disgusting ferocity. While we shudder to 

' see them seated on their thrones of cold, surrounded by hu- 

prideof the man sKuIIs, we iDust smile on hearing the pompous lan- 

princes. guage of priuccs, whose largest armies scarcely amount to 

10,000 men. 
Portrait of The Danes have furnished us with a portrait of the king 
of the Ashantees, whose name is Opoccoo. This monarch 
was seated on a throne of massive gold, under the shade of 
an artificial tree, with golden leaves. His body, extremely 
lean, and inordinately tall, was smeared over with tallow, 
mixed up with gold dust. A European hat, bound with 
broad gold lace, covered his head ; his loins were encircled 
with a sasli of golden cloth. From his neck down to his 
feet, cornelians, agates, and lazulites, were crowded in the 
form of bracelets and chains, and his feet rested on a golden 
basin. The grandees of the realm lay pi'ostrate on the 
ground, with their heads covered with dust. A hundred 
complainers and accused persons were in a similar posture, 
behind them twenty executioners, with drawn sabres in 
their hands, waited the royal signal, which generally ter- 
minated each cause, by the decapitation of one or other of 
the parties. The Danish envoy, passing a number of bloody 
heads, recently sejjarated from tlie body, approached the 
throne. The magnificent flaming prince addressed him 
with the following most gracious questions. — " I would 
willingly detain thee for some months in my dominions, to 
give you an idea of my greatness. — Hast thou ever seen 
any thing to be compared with it ?" — ** No ! lord and king, 
thou hast no equal in the world !" — " Thou art right, God in 
heaven does not much surpass me !" — The king drank some 
English beer from a bottle, which he immediately handed 
to the Dane ; the latter took a little, and excused himself 
by saying that the liquor would intoxicate him. — " It is 
not the beer that confounds thee,'' says Opoccoo, " it is 
the brightness of my countenance which throws the universe 
into a state of inebriety." — This same king conquered the 
brave prince Oorsooeh, chief of the Akims, who slew him- 


self. He caused t]ic head of the vanquished prince to he RooK 
brought to him, decked it with golden bracelets, and, in I'Xviii. 
presence of his generals, directed to him the following ' 

speech : — " Behold him laid in the dust, this great mo- 
narch, who had no equal in tlie universe except God and 
me ! He was certainly the third. Oh my brotlier Oorsooeh, 
why wouldst thou not acknowledge thyself my inferior ? 
But thou liopedst to find an opportunity of killing me: 
thou thoughtest that there ought not to be more than one 
great man in the world. Thy sentiment was not to be 
blamed ; it is one which all mighty kings ought to partici- 

The ferocious actions of these little tyrants are not re- 
volting to a people equally sanguinary as themselves, and 
who, even after their death, hasten to gratify that thirst for 
human blood which they consider as inherent in their royal 
manes. On the death of Freampoong, king of the Akims, Bmiai of a 
that people sacrificed on his tomb, his slaves, to the number^^"§* 
of several thousands, together with his prime minister, and 
S36 of his wives. All these victims were buried alive, their 
bones being previously broken. For several days the peo- 
ple performed dances, accompanied with solemn songs, round 
the tomb where these unfortunates suffered lingering and 
horrible agonies. 

Neither public nor private happiness can exist where slavery. 
laws and manners so barbarous prevail. Two thirds of 
the negro population lead lives of hereditary bondage in 
their own country, or are liable every instant to be re- 
duced to that condition by the order of their masters.^ — 
Perhaps it is of little importance to the greater part of these 
imhappy persons what country they water with their sweat 
and tears. It is true, indeed, that the sight of so many Slave 
individuals, sold with the semblance of law, offers to the 
slave merchants some temptations to carry oif free persons 
by stealth or violence, and some horrid examples of such 
a practice are adduced. One of these merchants, known 

* Rnemer. Relaf, de la Cote d'Or, 



BOOK by the name of Ben Johnson, had violated a free young 
I.XVIII. ^voman, and sold her to an English Captain. As he re- 
"""■"""■"* turned with the reward of his villany, other negroes, dis- 
patched hy the prince, or some of the heads of the village, 
a-ttacked him, bound him, and crying " off with tlie thief,'* 
took him to the vessel, and offered him for sale. It was in 
vain that Ben Johnson appealed to the friendship of the 
European negro-dealer, reminding him that he was a free 
man, and his most active hand in procuring slaves. " No 
matter,*' says the unfeeling Englishman, " since these peo- 
ple sell you, I purchase you ;" and instantly fixed his fetters. 
In other instances, a horrible avarice dissolves all the ties 
of kindredo Mothers are seen selling their children at an 
early age, for a few bushels of rice. One day, a stout 
young African took his little son to sell him to the Europe- 
ans ; the latter more cunning, and better acquainted with 
the language of the foreigners, showed them that a man of the 
strength and size of his father, was of more value than he, 
and thus prevailed with them to take him in his stead, though 
the latter kept calling out, that " no son had a right to sell 
his father." 

Some despots consider tlie population of their territories 
as a large stall of cattle, from the sale of which they expect 
to derive a revenue. The town of Gandiolle was lately call- 
ed on by the Darnel, or king, for a contribution of eighty- 
three slaves, which, on their refusal to pay, he exacted by 
force. Gandiolle was transformed into a camp, filled with 
horse and foot, who flocked to the place for the sake of pil- 
lage, and wherever the same legitimate monarch arrived, 
his presence uniformly brought consternation, desertion, and 

It cannot be denied, that these enormities are purely the 
offspring of the infamous traffic in negroes. The most 
dreadful thing is, that the African princes, in order to get 
possession of an hundred men, often sacrifice a thousand ; 
foVf when these despots do not find individuals whom they 

Mode of 



*• Mollien, Travels in Africa, p. 18, 


can condemn to be sold, they regularly hunt down the in- book. 
habitants of an entire village, like a flock of deer; some I'Xviii. 
make an armed resistance, others fly to the woods, to the " 
dens of lions and panthers, scarcely so merciless as their 
own compatriots. Several tracts of country have been suc- 
cessively depopulated by these atrocities. 

It is certain that the slaves are carried off against their 
will, and most frequently in all the agonies of the most 
poignant affliction. This is not denied : but it is said that 
they consist of captives who would otherwise be slain, or 
criminals condemned by courts of justice. The answer to 
this is, and it is proved beyond all possibility of contradic- 
tion, that wars are now undertaken, incessantly, for the ex- 
press purpose of procuring slaves for the market; and 
that since the establishment of this traffic, every crime 
is punished by selling the offender to a dealer; — accu- 
sations of witchcraft or adultery are always at hand to 
insure a supply to the traders on the coast ; and if these 
fail, it is admitted, that by advancing a little brandy or 
gunpowder to the natives, a whole village may be legal- 
ly carried off in satisfaction of the debt. 

The necessity of crowding on board of one vessel several Middle 
hundred slaves, often produces the most horrible scenes. P^^^^s^- 
Attacked by pestilential fevers, by famine and death, the 
slave ship becomes at once an hospital, a prison, and a 
school of inhumanity and crime. More than one half of 
the blacks that form the cargo kill themselves or die of 
disease ; sometimes the captain, reduced to a want of pro- 
visions, throws them alive into the sea to save the lives of 
the Europeans. The mariners employed in such a trade ac- 
quire a ferocious character, and afterwards stain the soil of 
Europe with crimes worthy only of degraded Africa. 

The following extract from the Bibliotheque Ophthal- 
mique, will give some idea of the horrors of what is called 
the middle passage : " The Rodeur sailed from Havre on 
the 24th of January, 1819, for the coast of Africa, to pur- 
chase slaves. When under the line, it was perceived that 
the negroes, who were heaped together in the hold, and 


sooK between decks, had contracted a considerable inflammation 
XXVIII. jj^ i^Ijp eyes. They were successively brought on deck, in 
order tliat they might breathe a purer air. But it was 
necessary to discontinue this practice, because they threw 
themselves into the sea, lockcnl in each others arms. On 
the arrival of the ship at Guadaloupe, the crew was in a 
most deplorable condition. Of the negroes, thirty-nine 
had become blhuU and were thrown overboardJ'^ 
Number To Say nothing of the mental agony implied in the for- 
pens 1. f.[\^iQ separation of these miserable beings from their friends 
and their country, it is quite enough to mention, that upon 
an average, no less than seventeen in the hundred die be- 
fore they are landed ; and that there is a farther loss of 
thirty-three in the seasoning, arising chiefly from diseases 
contracted during the voyage. One half of the victims of 
this trade perish, therefore, in the rude operation of trans- 
planting them ; and probably not less than 50,000 men 
are cut off thus miserably every year, without taking into 
account the multitudes that are slaughtered in the wars to 
which this traffic gives occasion, and the numbers that 
must perish more gradually by being thus deprived of 
their parents or protectors. 
Situation Of their situation in the West Indies, few that desire to 
Indies. ^^ ^^ informed need now be ignorant. They are driven at 
work like a team of horses, or a yoke of oxen, by the ter- 
ror of the whip. No breathing time or pause of languor 
is allowed, they must work as cattle, draw altogether, and 
keep time exactly, in all the movements which their driv- 
ers enjoin. Of the infelicity of this condition, some esti- 
mate may be formed, from the precautions that are neces- 
sary to withhold them from suicide and from insurrections, 
which no precaution can ever long avertf 
Com- The exportation of slaves from Africa to the New 

o/the Tra"- ^orld seems to have begun as early as the year 1503, 
^<^.. \vhen a few slaves were sent from the Portuguese settle- 

* Bibliotheque Ophthalmique, Nov. 1S19. 
t Edinburgh Review. Vol. IV. v. 478. 470. 


ments in Africa into the Spanish colonies in America. In book 
1511 it was "greatly enlarged by Ferdinand the Fifth of i^xviii. 
Spain ; and the benevolent Bartholomew de las Casas, — — 
blinded by compassion for the poor American Indians, 
proposed to the government of Spain, then administer- 
ed by Cardinal Ximenes, during the minority of Charles 
the Fifth, the establishment of a regular commerce in 
the persons of the native Africans. **The Cardinal, 
however, with a foresight, a benevolence, and a justice, 
which will always do honour to his memory, rejected the 
proposal ; not only judging it to be unlawful to consign 
innocent people to slavery at all, but to be very inconsist- 
ent to deliver the inhabitants of one country from a state 
of misery by consigning it to those of another. Ximenes, 
therefore, may be considered as one of the first great 
friends of the Africans after the partial beginning of the 

From that period to the first combination for its aboli- Exertions 
tion, — from the truly great Cardinal Ximenes, to the ilhis- Quaifevs. 
trious ministers Pitt and Fox, there were never wanting 
voices to declare its iniquity ; but it was not till the year 
1727, and still more strongly in the year 1758, that the 
Quakers in England, at their yearly meeting, and in their 
collective character, fervently warned all their members 
to avoid being in any way concerned in this unrighteous 
commerce* In the yearly meeting of 1761, they proceed- 
ed to exclude from their society such as should be found 
directly concerned in this practice; and, in 1763, declared 
it to be criminal to aid and abet the trade in any manner, 
directly or indirectly. From this time there appears to 
have been an increasing zeal on this subject among the 
Friends, so as to impel the Society to step out of its ordi- 
nary course in behalf of their injured fellow men. Ac- 
cordingly, in the month of June, 1783, the Friends, col- 
lectively, petitioned the House of Commons against the 
continuance of this traffic ; and, afterwards, both collects 

* Edinburgh Review, Vol. XIT. p. 359. 


BOOK ively and individually, exerted themselves by the press, 
XXVIII. ]yy private corTespondenre, and by personal journies, to 
enlighten the minds of men conrerning it, especially those 
of the rising generation. Indeed, by the fi-equent inter- 
communion of the Missionary Quakers from England to 
America, and America to England, the Quakers had ear- 
lier and greater opportunities, than any other body of men 
in Great Britain, of hecoming acquainted with its horrors; 
while, from their religious principles, they were likely to 
be the first in becoming uneasy under the sense of its in- 

The public efforts of Mr. Wilberforce, Mr. Fox, Mr. 
Pitt, and of other senators,^ the prodigious and persever- 
ing labours of Mr. Clarkson, the writings and exertions of 
the learned and courageous Granville Siiarp, backed by 
the almost unanimous voice of the British public, after a 
Abolition, struggle of nearly fifty years, received their final reward 
in the legal abolition of the trade relative to the British 
empire — a legislative measure which constitutes the glory 
of the administration of Mr. Fox and Lord Grenville. 
The act for this purpose received the royal assent on the 
25th of March, 1807. 
United On the 2d of March of that same year, the slave trade 

^^^^^' was abolished in the United States, and by a subsequent 
act, it was declared a capital crime to engage in it. 
In 1814, Denmark followed the example of Britain. 
Treaty In the same year, the king of Spain engaged by 

wit P^^"' treaty! to prohibit his subj-cts from carrying on the 
slave trade, for the purpose of supplying any island or 
possessions, excepting those appertaining to Spain ; and 
to prevent, by effectual regulations, the protection of 
the Spanish flag being given to foreigners who might 
engage in this traffic; and, in 1817, he further engag- 
ed, not to carry on the trade in slaves to the northward 
of the line ; with an additional regulation, that the slave 

* Edinburgli Review, Vol. XII. p. 360. 
!• Quarterly Reriew, No. 51, p. 59. 


trade should be abolished throughout tlie entire dominions book 
of Spain, on the SOth day of May, 1820; and that from lxviii. 
and after that period, it should not be la>;Nful for any of 
the subjects of the crown of Spain. t(» ])urchase slaves, or 
to carry on the slave-trade, on any part of the coast of 
Africa, upon any pretext, or in any manner whatever; in 
consideration of his Britannic Majesty engaging to pay 
the sum of four hundred thousand pounds Sterling, as a 
compensation for losses sustained by his subjects engaged 
in this traffic. It must be allowed that his Catholic 
Majesty appears to have taken his humanity to no bad 

In the same year, the King of the Netherlands also Treaty 
agreed to abolish the slave trade ; but it was not until Nethe^ 
18i8 that he entered into a convention with the King of*^"^^* 
Great Britain, for the purpose of preventing their respect- 
ive flags from being made use of as a protection to this 
nefarious traffic by the people of otlier countries. In this, 
he engages to prohibit his subjects " in the most decisive 
manner, and especially by penal law the most formal, from 
taking any part in the said iniquitous trade;" and the 
more effectually to put a stop to it, the two parties agree 
to a mutual right of search of their respective merchant 
ships, within certain limits, by ships of war of the two na- 
tions, on good grounds of suspicion that such merchant 
ships are engaged in the trade ; and in the event of any 
slaves being actually found on board, the ship so engaged 
to be seized and brought to trial before a mixed court of 
justice, to be composed of an equal number of members of 
each nation. 

In the year 1815, his Faithful Majesty of Portugal like- Treaty 
wise brought his humanity to market, and agreed to abo- p^*^^ , . 
lish the slave trade to the northward of the equinoctial 
line, in consideration of the sum of £300,000 being paid 
to him by England ; and a remission of the residue of a 
loan to Portugal of ^600,000. And in July, 1817, a 
further treaty was made, similar to that with the King of 
the Netherlands, agreeing to a mutual search of merchant 


BOOK vessels ; to the establishment of two ** mixed courts," one 
XXVIII. ^(j |jg l^Q[^[ 01^ i\^Q coast of Africa, and one in the Brazils. 

These courts are composed of a judge and an arbiter, 
mixed^com- uamcd bv cach contracting party, \^ ho are to hear and de- 
mission, cide, without appeal, in all cases of capture of slave ships 
brought before them ; but such is the defective nature of 
the constitution, and such the practices of the courts of 
mixed commission, and the evasions of the treaties by the 
slave dealers, that the efforts of the officers, who are zeal- 
ously and honestly bent on performing their duty, are often 
rendered completely nugatory, and they themselves placed 
in the most embarrassing situations. =^ 
French In 1815, France professed to abolish the slave trade; 

slave trade. |^y|. ^^^^ j^^^g enacted for this purpose are so lax and in- 
dulgent that they are any thing but efficacious : — they mere- 
ly condemn the ship and cargo to confiscation ; but such 
are the profits of one successful voyage, that they will af- 
ford an indemnification for the loss of several penalties. 
The French oppose the only effectual means of checking 
the trade — (short of declaring it piracy) — a reciprocal riglit 
of search. 
Present Durinff the war with France, when England engross- 

state of the ' ij o 

slave trade, ed almost the whole commerce of the world, and exer- 
cised the right of search upon all suspected vessels, the 
slave trade iiad nearly ceased on a great part of the coast ; 
but, since the conclusion of the late war, the papers 
laid on the table of both Houses of Parliament, too clearly 
demonstrate that its atrocities have greatly increased. It 
was undoubtedly to be expected, that when England had 
withdrawn herself from this odious traffic, the most afflict- 
ing branch of which, (the middle passage,) she had pre- 
viously mitigated by salutary regulations, the avaricious 
and unprincipled of all nations would rush in to fill up the 
void which she had made ; but after the sovereign powers 
of Europe had, by their plenipotentiaries, solemnly de- 
clared tlie slave trade to be " tlie degradation of Europe, 
?ind the scourge of humanity ;" when, in consequence of 

■'" Quarterly Review, No. LI. p. 60-62. 


this unanimous reprobation, it bad been settled by solemn book 
treaties that, at the expiration of the indulgence granted i^xviii. 
to Spain and Portugal, to trade for a certain limited time, " 

and within a limited space, it sliould v>'holly cease, it could 
hardly be anticipated that those very powers, in open vio- 
lation of treaties, should be found, not only giving all pos- 
sible encouragement to their own subjects, but by allowing 
foreigners to fit out in their own ports, and to assume their 
own flags, the more conveniently to carry on this detest- 
able traffic, with all the aggravated horrors of which it is 

Although France has a squadron on the western coast 
of Africa, for the avowed purpose of preventing the trade, 
it is notorious that the slave veSvSels are scarcely incommod- 
ed by her cruizers ; and the French officers, if they do not en- 
courage, at least connive at, the numerous slave vessels that 
swarm upon the coast. In consequence of this, the trade, Slave and 
though proscribed by the nations of Europe, so far from 
being abolished, or even limited, is greatly extended, in- 
flicting increasing misery not only upon its immediate vic- 
tims, but upon the w hole of this unhappy continent, and a 
considerable portion of the New World. So long, indeed, 
as the monopoly of the markets of Europe is secured to 
the produce raised by slaves, it w ill be in vain to expect 
the total Sind bona Jide abolition of this traffic— -Free labour 
is at present so high in the West Indies, as to hold out an 
overwhelming temptation to import slaves ; and when such 
is the case, it is too much to trust to registry laws, and such 
devices, to prevent their importation. On this point, the 
opinion of Bryan Edwards is deserving of serious attention. 
" Whether," says he, " it be possible for any nation in 
Europe, singly considered, to prevent its subjects from 
procuring slaves from Africa, so long as Africa shall con- 
tinue to sell, is a point on which I have many doubts; 
but none concerning the conveying the slaves so purchased 
into every island in the West Indies, in spite of the mari- 
time force of all Europe, No man who is acquainted with 
the extent of the uninhabited coast of the larger of these 


BOOK islands, t^e facility of landing in every part of them, the 
I.XVIII. prevailing winds, and the numerous creeks and harbours in 
all the neighbouring dominions of foreign powers, (so con- 
veniently situated for contraband traffic,) can hesitate a mo- 
ment to pronounce, that an attempt to pievent the intro- 
duction of slaves into our West India colonies, would belike 
that of chaining the winds, or giving laws to the ocean."* 
There is, in fact, but one way effectually to put down West 
India slavery, and that is, to allow the sugar and other co- 
lonial products, raised by comparatively cheap free la- 
hour in the East Indies, to come into competition, with 
that raised by slaves in the West Indies. When this is done, 
the latter will be driven from the field ; and there will be no 
farther motive to tear the poor Africans from their native 
Present With regard to the state of colonial bondage, the pro- 

ion^iar"^° gress of general improvement is exceedingly tardy.:j: Fif- 
bondage. teen years have ela}5sed since the abolition of the slave 
trade was enacted by the British Parlir^nent. But during 
that long period no effective measures have been adopted 
either by the Imperial Legislature, or by the Colonial 
Assemblies, for ameli >rating the condition of the slave, or 
paving the way to his future emancipation. In many of 
the colonies, voluntary manumissions i)y the master still 
continue to be loaded with heaA^y impost; and this cruel 
tax upon private benevolence prevails even in colonies where 
the crown is the sole legislator. In all, the slave continues 
absolutely inadmissible as a witness in any cause, whether 
civil or criminal, which concerns persons of free condition; 
and even in questions affecting his own personal freedom^ 
and that of his posterity for ever, the onus still rests on him 
to prove that he is free, and not, as in all justice it ought 
to do, upon the person denying his freedom, to prove 
that he is a slave. In none, is the marriage of the slave 
made legal, or guarded by any legal sanctions ,• and, with 

* Sixteenth Report of the African Institution, p. 44, 45. 

i" History of the West Indies, vol. II. p. 136. 

t Edin. Review, No. 75. Article East and West India Sugars. 


partial exceptions, bis instruction in Christianity is left to book 
the fortuitous efforts of voluntary missionaries. liXviii. 

The nee:ro rac<', even supposing it to be inferior in in- "~ 

v\ 1 A . ' Disposition 

tellectual capacity to the Europeans, tiie Arabians, and of the ne- 
Hindoos, unquestionably possess the rcfjuisite faculties ^orpj^^^^^"^ 
appreciating and adopting our laws and institutions. Not- tion. 
withstanding the horrible picture which we have drawn of 
the actual state of Africa, the negro is not a stranger to the 
sentiments which honour and exalt human nature. Though 
we sometimes find j)arents selling their children, the ties of 
parental tenderness are in general as powerful as they can 
well be, in a country in which polygamy is practised. 
<* Strike me, but say no harm of my mother," is a sentence 
familiar among the negroes. A Danish governor, on the 
Gold Coast, presented with his liberty a young negro who 
wished to sell himself in order to purchase his father's free- 
dom. Friendship has had its heroes in Guinea as it had 
in the country of Pylades. Proofs of generous gratitude 
have also been displayed. Not long ago, a French negro 
having become an opulent merchant, gave an annuity to 
his old master, who had become unfortunate. There are 
some colonists who, like the ancient eastern patriarchs, live 
amidst a race of slaves as in the bosom of a family united 
by an inviolate attachment. 

In Senegambia the inhabitants of each village have their 
slaves assembled in a collection of huts, close to one an- 
other, and which is called a rumbde. They choose a chief 
from among themselves, and if his children are worthy of 
the distinction, they succeed to the situation after his death. 
These slaves cultivate the plantations of their masters, and 
accompany them to carry their burdens when they travel. 
They are never sold when they have attained an advanced 
age, or when they are born in the country. Any depart- 
ure from this practice would issue in the desertion of the 
whole rumbde, but the slave who conducts himself srnpro- - 
perly, is delivered up by his comrades to their master to 
he sold.* 

'■"' Mollieii, Tvavels in Africa, p. 138, 


BOOK The jBnest feature in the negro character is heroic fideli- 
ixviii. ^y tQ a just master, and even to a severe one, of which 
Mollien gives a remarkable instance in the story of Qua- 
gieh, a negro inspector. 
Negro cha- The negrocs, as well as the Foiilahs and other inhabitants 
of the different villages in Seoegambia, practise hospitality 
in the kindest and most delicate manner ; the whole exer- 
tions of the family seem devoted to console the fatigues and 
privations of a stranger ; a separate hut, food, forage for 
his beast of burden, and personal service, are readily af- 
forded, with apologies for defects, and often without the 
expectation of any return. The ferocious and perfidious 
conduct of a great many individuals in the different Afri- 
can nations and tribes, though in some communities more 
marked than in others, only serve to illustrate, by contrast, 
virtues which are of frequent appearance. The traveller 
Park gives an instance of kindness and hospitality expe- 
rienced by himself in the kingdom of Bambarra, which, 
for tenderness and simplicity, approaches almost to the 
stories of romance.=^ The negroes are invariably found 
much better men than the Moors. When M. Mollien 
was at the African village of Sanai, in the interior, 
though the people were at war with the Foulahs, a ca- 
ravan of Serracolets arrived, and the merchants of the 
two nations traded freely and securely, and were not even 
subjected to the least molestation or inconvenience from 
search. The two governments, relying on the probity of 
the merchants, agreed to protect them, and not a single 
instance occurred of a caravan having been pillaged by 
either of the armies.! 

* Park's Travels, vol. I. p. 193. t Mollien, Travels in Africa, p. 138. 




Continuation of the description of Africa. — General and, 
particular description of Congo or Southern Guinea^ and 
of some adjoining states. 

In savage, unlettered regions, the caprice of the traveller, book 
or the pedantry of geographers, occasionally invents new lxix, 
names or supersedes those generally received. One deno- 

mination is for the most part as arbitrary as the other, and Diversity 
the choice to be made between the old and the new does not 
merit much discussion. The coast of western Africa, in- 
cluded between cape Lopez de Gonsalvo and cape Negro, is 
in commerce known under the general name of the coast 
of Angola.^ It is the western Ethiopia of several French 
and Italian authors.f It is part of the lower Ethiopia of 
the Portuguese, a great division of Africa which commenced 
near the fort of Mina, on the north side of the equator.:]; 
The best geographers of the present day name it Lower 
Guinea^ or Southern Guinea, to distinguish it from that 
w^hich is properly so called, and for distinction. Upper Gui- 
7iea.§ It would nevertheless appear more natural to give to 
this region the name of Congo, a kingdom under the go- 
vernment of which it has for some time been wholly includ- 
ed, and tlie language of wliich appears to be the source of 
all the idioms that are there spoken. 

Situated, like Guinea, in the torrid zone, but to the south 
of the equator, Congo enjoys the same climate as those coun- 
tries which we have described in the two preceding books^ 

* De Grandpre, Voyage a la cote Occidentale de I'Afrique, Introd. p. 13, 

t Cavazzi and Labat, Relation Historique, etc. Paris, 1732, 

X Marmol, Afrique, III. 90. § Bruns, Afiika, IV. 9. 

vol. iVi 19 



and tem- 

BOOK with this difference only, that the seasons appear in opposite 
XXIX. n^onths. Respecting the seasons, there can only, in strictness, 
be distinguished the two extremes of dry and rainy. In 
general, from the period of our vernal equinox until the end 
of September, no rain falls ; but the winds from the south 
and south-east temper the atmosphere,^* and the heat, al- 
though intense, particularly in clear days, is nevertheless 
supportable. During foggy weather, which is not uncommon, 
the humidity of the air relaxes the fibres, oppresses respi- 
ration, and from the slightest exercise violent perspirations 
are excited, which undermine the health of strangers, and 
oblige them either to dry themselves by the fire, or to 
change their clothes. During the other half of the year 
the sun is less an orb of light than a burning furnace; his 
perpendicular rays would dry up the sources of life, and 
render the soil completely barren, did not bountiful nature 
furnish a remedy in the coolness of the nights, which are 
equal to the days in length ; — in the dews of evening and 
morning, always abundant at this period. The air is 
farther cooled by the rapid torrents which furrow the sides 
of the hills, and by the numerous rivers which water the 
plains : we may also add the effect of the >winds impregnat- 
ed with humid vapours, which, during this season, blow 
periodically from the north-west, namely, from the Gulf 
of Guinea, and collect, among the mountains of the inte- 
rior, immense masses of vapour in the form of clouds. 
From the beginning of October these reservoirs of water 
pour upon the country frequent rains, accompanied by 
storms of thunder and wind, which do not cease till the 
month of April.f The soil, heated to a considerable depth, 
absorbs this water with avidity — nature revives and assumes 
a smiling aspect — vegetation is developed witl) an astonish- 
ing rapidity — the fields are covered with a fresli verdure — 
the trees push fortli their buds — the odour of springing 
flowers perfumes the atmosphere.:|: There are, neverthe- 

* Lopez, Relazione cli Congo, p. 7. (Edition of 1591, Rome.) 

t Proyart, History of Loango, etc. Germ. Transl. of Mriners, p. 1. 

f. La bat. P elation Historiaup. T, 104. 

CONGO. 291 

less, in tliis as in other countries, exceptions to the rule : book 
the rains sometimes do not come on until after the usual I'Xix. 
period, or even fail altogether; during the months of win- 
ter also there is occasionally drought. At all times the 
stagnant waters which remain after the rains, fill the air 
with mephitic exhalations, and render a residence near the 
coast dangerous to Europeans. 

The inhabitants of Congo divide the year into six pe- Seasons. 
riods. The spring, massanxa, begins with the rains of 
October, which go on increasing until the month of Janu- 
ary. Tlien follows the n'sasou; it is the season of the 
first harvest and of the second sowing, the pioduce of 
which is collected in April. The rains which, since the 
month of January, had been only passing showers, recom- 
mence during the month of March, and continue, though 
slight, until the middle of May. It is into this interval 
that the ecundi and the guitombo fall. The guibsoo and 
the quimbangala constitute the latter end of autumn and 
the winter ; this last marked by a destructive drought, 
which kills the leaves of tlie trees by depriving them of 
sap, destroys the herbage, and strips tlie country of all 
its beauty. 

The correspondence of these with our climate, and tlie 
more modern division of Captain Tuckey, will be readily 
imderstood from the following Table. 

*i\*ames and duration of the African Seasons, 


1. tA i Mallola ManlUy, Sept. 22 to Oct. 15 ) ^ nr 

2. -I ] Foolaza Mansansy, Oct. Nov. Dec Jan. ( ^' ^^««5«"^«- 

3. PS ( P^oula^a Chintomba, Jan. Feb. March 22 2. N'Sassou. 

tl L C March« April, ... 3. Ecundi. 

-— i "^ A May, June, Jmy . . /). Guibsoo. 

July, Aug. Sept. 22 . G. Quimbangala. 

In commencing an account of the physical geography of Mountams 
Congo, we immediately perceive that the two principal fea- P^i^ers. 
lures are deficient, since as little is known of the direction of 


2l92 CONGO. 

BOOK the chains of mountains as of the origin and the course of 
XXIX. j^g rivers. The source of the greater number of the latter 
^ is from a plateau of table land, or from a chain of mountains 
generally distant from the coast at least from one hundred 
and fifty to two hundred leagues. But this chain appears to 
open itself in front of two great streams which proceed from 
the interior of the continent, and of which the origin is 
The Co- unknown. The river Coawxia^ although the least consider- 
^"^^* able, is more than a league wide at its mouth ; it rolls along 
its muddy waters with such irresistible force, that the sea is 
coloured by it to the distance of three or four leagues in 
breadth. It is navigable as far as the city of Masangano, 
which is at the distance of forty leagues within land; its great 
cataracts are sixty leagues farther. It appears to proceed 
from the south-east. The river Congo, called Zdiref or 
The Zaire. Zahire, by the natives, is three leagues wide at its mouth, and 
empties itself into the sea with so much impetuosity, that 
no depth can be there taken by the sounding line, on ac- 
count of the violence of the current. The force of this 
current is felt at a distance of four leagues at sea, and some 
effect is even perceptible at twelve leagues ; the water at 
that distance not only retains a blackish tint, but small 
floating islands of bamboo, hurried down into the ocean, 
surround the navigator, and even impede the passage of 
vessels.=^ The cataracts of this river, situated at a distance 
of one hundred and twenty leagues within land, have a 
more sublime appearance than those of the Nile. 

This great river undoubtedly arises at a very great dis- 
tance; but is it reasonable to suppose that it is the same as 
the Niger or the Joliba ? This conjecture, offered by M. de 
Seetzen more than ten years ago,t has been revived by the 
unfortunate Mungo Park,:|: and adopted as the basis for a 
new £nglish expedition, destined to complete the discovery 

* Archibalel Dalzel, Nautical Instructions respecting the coast of Africa. 

t Correspondance, Geog. et Astron. de M. Zach, V. 260. (Annee 1802.) Comp. 
VI. 224, wliere M. Seetzen appears to have abandoned bis idea. 
+ Muneo Park':* last .Journal. 

CONGO. 293 

of tlie Niger. "We shall sketch briefly the arguments by book 
which we refuted this hypothesis at the time it was ad- i-^ix. 
vanced. My opinion has been but too unhappily confirmed. " 

The English expedition was unable to proceed more than sis respect- 
an hundred and twenty miles beyond the first cataracts of '"§ ^^® 

•^ '' Zaire, 

the Congo, in a south-east direction. The Portuguese have 
penetrated farther than this. My friends, Captain Tuckey, 
and M. Smith the Norwegian botanist, both perished, 
the victims of an enterprize from which 1 had dissuaded 
them by private letters, and by articles in the public jour- 

Wangara is a country extremely low ; it is a marsh, and 
sometimes a lake. The interior of Congo is, on the contra- 
ry, mountainous, and very high. How can the Niger, issu- 
ing from Wangara, find a sufficient declivity towards those 
regions from whence the Zaire flows ? Supposing that it di- 
rects its course, on leaving Wangara, to the south-cast, it 
will very probably fall in with the river Camarones, or with 
those of Benin and Calabar, which, if one may judge by 
their mouths, ought to be immense rivers, and consequently 
derive their origin from a considerable distance within the 
interior.^ These are the reasons opposed to the identity of 
the Niger with the Zaire. Moreover, this last receives its 
greatest known stream from the south-east, under the name 
of Coanga, and it owes the abundance of its waters, accord- 
ing to the reports of the natives, to a considerable lake im- 
perfectly known, and which tliey call dquUonda. It may, 
perhaps, form a part of an entire system of lakes, similar 
to the lakes of Canada, and which may probably even in- 
clude that of Maravi. 

The soil, generally rich and fertile, rewards amply the Mineral 
labours of the husbandman. Nevertlieless, the land along fjon^g"^" 
the coast, being either too sandy or too marshy, is unfa- 
vourable to cultivation. Sands also compose all the moun- 
tains of Loango, and are spread over the whole surface of 
Sogno, where, however, they cover a good soil. Among the 


Reichard, in the Correspondence of Zach, V. p. 409. 

294 C0N60. 

BOOK other coustitaent parts of the soil of lower Guinea, there is 
XXIX. r^i^ excellent argillaceous earth,^ entire mountains of orien- 
tal granite, ])orphyry, jasper, various kinds of marble, and 
even, according to Lopez, the hyacinth.f There are also 
found aerolites, called in the language of the country tar- 
^ifl4 Limestone, which is wanting, except above the cataracts 
of the Zaire,§ is supplied by shells found in great quantities 
along the sea shore. Loango abounds in salt : it is obtain- 
ed in shallows along the coast, from a spontaneous evapo- 
ration of the water; the negroes also prepare it 
The kingdom of Angola contains salt pits, from which are 
extracted pieces of salt two feet in length and from five to 
six inches in breadth. The salt sold in the markets by the 
name of guisama or khissama stone, is used as a medicine. 
According to Battel, |[ it is a variety of rock salt, beds of 
which, three feet deep, extend over a considerable part of 
the province of Demba. 
Metals. The mines of Loango and Benguela furnish excellent 

iron.*'=^ Nearly all the mountains of Guinea are ferrugi- 
nous; but the natives do not understand the mode of ex- 
tracting the metal, and the Europeans, in this respect, en- 
courage their indolence. In Angola, iron ore is found 
dissolved in the water of the river. With a view of arrest- 
ing it, the negroes place in the river bundles of straw and 
dried vegetables, to which the metallic particles attach 
themselves.ff According to Battel, Lopez, and Grandpre, 
copper and silver abound in Angola, and particularly in 
the kingdom of Mayomba, where the metal is found near 
the surface.:)::|: There are also several mines of copper in 
Anziko, and in the mountains to the noi'th of the river 
Zaire: near the great cataract it is extracted of a bright 
yellow.§§ Nothing, however, attests the presence of gold ; 

'^- Labat, Re]. II. p. 63. t Lopez. I. c. p. 42. 

t Labat, I. p. 71. 6 Tuckey, 353, 488. 

II Zucchelli, Voyage and Mission, Germ, Transl, p. 153—324. Proyait, p. 97. 
• IT Purchas Collection, II. p. 978. 

*^ Labat, 1. p. 27—83. II. p. 59. Zticchelli, p. 280. tt Labat, I. p. 71, 
XX Purchas, p. 978. Lopez, p. 23. De Grandpre, I, p. 38. 
/•? Cava?:^) and Labat. I. p. 3^, 

CONGO. 295 

and every thing that lias been said concerning the mines of book 
the Portuguese colony of Benguela is mere conjecture. J^xix. 

If the riches of the mineral kinsidom are less brilliant 

than they have been represented by former travellers, it is bies. 
not so with the productions of the vegetable kingdom. 
In the valley of the Zaire alone, professor Smith discover- 
ed 12 genera, and 250 species, of plants absolutely new; 
besides, other 10 genera, and 250 species, which are 
only found in Congo, or countries adjacent.^ Nature 
here, all life and activity, presents to the eye a luxuri- 
ance which no description can exceed. The downs are 
enamelled with flowers of every hue. The fields and woods 
are decked with lilies whiter than snow; in every direc- 
tion there are entire groves of tulips of the most lively 
colours, intermixed with the tube-rose and hyacinth. The 
rose and jasmine, the ornaments of our gardens, would, 
in that region, require the aid of watering, which the 
European, either attached to commerce, or given up to 
indolence, altogether neglects. 

Among the alimentary plants, is the mafringa or mas- Aiimenta- 
anga, a species of millet, highly pleasant both in taste and ^^ ^^"^^* 
smell, the ears of which are a foot long, and weigh from two 
to three pounds. The Holcus, of every variety, grows without 
culture.! The luno or luco, probably the test of Abyssinia,:}: 
forms a very wiilte and pleasant bread, as good as that made 
of wheat ; — it is the common food of Congo. The ears arc 
triangular, and the grains of an iron-grey colour, marked 
with a black spot; they are not larger than those of mus- 
tard. The seed was brought from the environs of the 
Nile, shortly before the time of Lopez.§ The culture of 
European wheat has been tried in vain. Its over-lux- 
uriant stalks cover a large space of ground, but continue 
barren. M. de Grandpre,|| however, witnessed the growth 
of ears which contained fifty-two grains. The maize, 
ma^za manputo, introduced by tlie Portuguese, is used for 

* Tuckey's Narrative, p. 485. t Battel, p. 98o. 

X Ehrmann, Collection des Voyages, XIII. p. 172. '' 

^ Tjopez. T). 40, I! De Giandpve, f, p. M. 

^96 CONGO. 

BOOK fattening pigs. It affords two or three crops. Buck- 
XXIX. -wheat affords two crops; it bears drought better than 
other corn,=^ and its stalks rise from six to ten feet. Rice 
is abundant, but not esteemed. All the pot-herbs of 
Europe, such as the turnip, the radish, lettuce, spinage, the 
, cabbage, gourd, cucumber, melon, and fennel, thrive well, 
and even attain a greater degree of perfection than on their 
native soil. The potato, called by the negroes bala-puto^ 
or Portuguese-root, was brouglit from America, and has a 
higher flavour than in Europe. The American manihot, 
or cassava, whose root is used instead of bread, is also cul- 
tivated: as likewise the pistachio-nut, particularly in Loan- 
go : the yam ; the tamba and the chiousa, which are a 
species of bread-fruit. The inconha, or pea of Angola, 
grows under ground. The ouvanda, another species of 
pea, is gathered from a shrub which lives three years, and 
affords good nourishment. M. de Grandpre particularly 
mentions the msangui, which has a taste resembling the 
lentil. It ranges the whole length of the tree.f There 
are several kinds of small bean, which, planted during the 
rainy season, afford three crops in six months. The neu- 
hanxam is like our nut, and requires little attention ; it 
forms the common food of the natives of Congo. The 
ananas, six spans high, and always full of fruit, grows na- 
turally in the most desert situations,:): as the sugar-cane in 
the most marshy. This last reaches an immeasurable 
height : the negroes suck the juice, and sometimes bring 
it to market. The liquorice plant is here parasitical, and 
its flavour exists only in the stalk. Tobacco appears to be 
indigenous. It is negligently cultivated, although it is an 
^ object of the first importance among the negroes, women 

as well as men, who all smoke, and make use of earthen 
pipes. Some of them also use it in the form of powder. 
The vine has been transplanted from the Canary Islands 
and Madeira. The grape is gathered to the south of the 
yiver Zaire : that of the Capuchins is of an excellent qua« 

-f Lahat, I. p. 114. t De Grandpr^, I. p. 6, 

^ Labat, I. p. 142. Zucchelli, p. 151, 

CONGO. 297 

lity.* The cotton of Congo is not inferior to the Ame- book 
rican. The pimento is extremely acrid. The clusters of i-xix. 
inqiioffo^ which climb trees or entwine plants, afford another —— 
very powerful species of pepper. The dondo possesses all 
the qualities of canella. The fruit of the mamaOf a shrub 
with very large leaves, is like our gourd. The other shrubs 
and small trees to be noticed are ; the mnlolo^ like the le- 
mon : it is stomachic ; the mamhrocha^ of a pale yellow, like 
the orange ; the mobulla, an aromatic and very wholesome 
fruit, which grows, in the axillae of the leaves, like our figs.f 
Besides the pisang, or Java fig, from which is made the Fruit-trees. 
bread of the rich, and the bacouve, fruit of a fig-banana, the 
nicossOf another kind of pisang, grows in clusters, of the 
form of a pine-apple, containing more than two hundred de- 
licious fruits, which ripen during the whole year. The 
orange, lemon, pomegranate, guava-trees, &c., for the culture 
of which they are indebted to the Portuguese, have not de- 

In general, southern Guinea is enriched with the same 
vegetable productions as Guinea, properly so called. It 
possesses exclusively the co7ide^ of two species. Its fruit, 
in shape like a pine-apple, contains a white, farinaceous, 
and refreshing substance, which melts upon the tongue. 
The fruit of the ^affo is like our plum; it is, however, ^"'^igenoug 
larger, and of a bright red colour. That of the oghohe 
has the same shape, is yellow, sweet-scented, and of an 
agreeable flavour ; the tree is used in timber- work. The 
insanda, or en%anda^ an evergreen-tree, which in its leaves 
resembles a laurel, does not bear fruit ; but its bark is used 
in the manufacturing of stuffs which are in high esteem. 
Its branches reach the ground, and take root. It is pro- 
bably the Jicus hemanina of Linnseus.|| The mulemba, 
which is very like the insanda, furnishes materials for 
stuffs of a much higher value. The resin procured from 

* Labat, I. p. 144. Proyrat, p. 29—94. t Labat, I. p. 137. 

% Labat, p. 119—138—141. Proyart, p. 25. 

k ZucchelJi, p. 152. (It appears that condt is a Portuguese denomination.) 
(I Bruns, Afrika, IV. p. 34. Labat, I. p. 122, 



BOOK its trunk makes a good bird-lime. The mirrone, of the 
XXIX. same genus, is an object of adoration to the negroes. The 

"~"~~" oils of liquierif or luquU of capanano, or devil's-fig, and of 
purgera,^ as well as the gums or resins of cassanevo and 
almeticaf are used both in domestic economy and in 
medicine.f The inuchicB, a tree as large as our oak, 
produces a pungent, but agreeable fruit. Th'e fruit of the 
avasasse is as large as a nut, and has the flavour of a 
strawberry. The juice of the gegero, which resembles an 
oblong orange, is strengthening. The seeds of colleva, the 
fruit of a very large tree, and resembling an enormous 

Valuable lemon, are red, bitter, and stomachic. Forests of Man- 
grove extend along the marshy coasts and the rivers. 
Sandal wood, red and grey, called chigongo, is abundant 
in Anzico. The tamarind trees and cedars which line the 
Congo river might afford wood for the building of large 

Palms. Many species of the palm tree adorn the plains of Gui- 

nea. They have not been examined by any naturalist, but 
there appear to be many peculiar to this country. 

The cocoa rises above all these useful trees ; its fruit is 
here, as in every other situation, one of the greatest bless- 
ings of nature. The palm matome^ grows in a marshy 
soil. The ribs of its leaves, prodigiously large, are used 
for the roofing of houses, for ladders of thirty or forty 
steps, and for elastic poles to support the hammocks of the 
great. II 

The palm matoha, probably the Cocos guineensis of Lin- 
naeus, yields a sourish wine; its fruit is smaller than the 
cocoa; its leaves, shorter and wider than those of the pre- 
ceding species, are used for the covering of houses, or for 
making hampers and baskets. The sap of the dwarf-palm, 
the smallest of the species, yields an unwholesome bever- 
age, which the stomach of negroes alone can bear. Very 

* Purgera is also Portuguese. t Labat, I. p. 80, 124, 146. 

:|: Lopez, p. 42. » A variety of the Borassus FlabelUfer. L. 

II Labat, I, 12P, 

coxGo. 299 

beautiful stuffs are manufactured from the fibres of tbese book 
leaves. The date-tree, the fruit of which is excellent, bears i^xix. 
here the 5ian»e of tamara^ the name given to it in the sa- — — 
cred writings. This might lead us to conjecture that 
some He.jrews or Arahs have penetrated as far as Congo. 
The fruit of the palm coccata contains a delicious drink; 
it is of the size of a melon, and diffei-s little from the 
cocoa-nut; the remaining substance affords a good ali- 

The tufts of the noble palm of Congo enclose and em- 
bellish the fields and forests of the country of which it 
bears the name; its fruits, very abundant, are not inferior 
to any other species of palm; its wine is sweet, sharp, 
agreeable, and as strong as Champaigne. When not de- 
prived of its sap, it produces at the root of its leaves a 
fruit which a man can scarcely carry ; its seeds have the 
colour and taste of chesnuts. When baked, they are the 
support of the poor ; and when heated, afford a thick oil, 
used by the negroes for seasoning their food, and by Eu- 
ropeans in the process of refining: the fibres of the leaves 
are used in making baskets, ropes, and mats.^ This 
palm, the same undoubtedly to which Lopez gives tbc 
name of colcif and M. de Grandpre that of latanier^ as the 
most common palm, appears to be the Elate silvestris of 

We cannot conclude this account of the principal vege- 
table productions of Lower Guineaj without noticing that 
colossus of the earth, the enormous baobab, or Jldansonia 
digitata, which is here called aliconda, bondo, and mapou. 
It abounds throughout the whole of the kingdom of The 
Congo, and is so large, that the arms of twenty men can- Baobaii* 
not embrace it.:j: The substance of its fruits, sufficiently 
large to kill, in its fall, both man and animals, presents a 
coarse food for the negroes, who, when in want, eat even 
the leaves of the tree ; the shell affords solid vases ; from 

* Labat, I. p. 133. t Lopez, p, 41. De Grandpre, I. p. 13. 

4 Zucchelli, p. 282. 






the cinders of the wood soap is extracted; from the bark 
are made crapes and coarse linen, serviceable stuffs for the 
■ poor, and matches for artillery. Tbe tree being very sub- 
ject to decay, the negroes avoid constructing their huts 
within its shade, lest they should be crushed by its fall ; but 
the hollow formed in the interior of its trunk, frequently 
contains water sufficient to supply several thousand men for 
one day ;* and bees have a propensity to swarm in hives at- 
tached to the extremities of the branches. 

The greater number of these trees and shrubs, are said 
not to bear conspicuous flowers ; they are green through 
the whole year; only the leaves, which have an appear- 
ance of being scorched during the dry season, fall at the 
period when new ones come forth, at the beginning of the 

In ascending from plants to animated beings, we first 
observe slugs as large as the human arm.f The sea-shore 
is covered with cowries. The fish, both of the sea and of 
rivers, are scarcely better known to travellers than to the 
inhabitants, who are unacquainted with the means of taking 
them. M. de Grandpreij: believes, that the fresh water 
fishes, and those taken in the sea, wherever the depth does 
not exceed an hundred fathoms, are nearly the same as 
our own. A species of small grumbler may be remarked; 
the air does not destroy its life so quickly as in other fish ; 
and for a long time after having been taken, it emits a cry 
which appears distinctly to articulate cro-cro. In fishing 
with a net, there is a risk of being struck by the torpedo, 
a species of electric ray whose tail is armed with a dart. 
The sting of this fish is generally followed by a consider- 
able swelling, accompanied with acute pains during several 
days. Zucchelli and Cavazzi give many details concern* 
ing the lady-fish, or Pesce donna, which appears to be a 
phocus, perhaps the sea-cow {manatus). Battel^ speaks of a 
cetaceous fish, called in the language of the country emboaf, 

* Battel, p. 985. 

:j: De Grandpre, I. p. 35» 

t Proyart, p. 35. 
5 Purchas, 11. p. 984, 

CONGW. 301 

the dog ; it resembles considerably the Delphinus-orca, and book 
drives before it, along the coast, great numbers of fish, and i-^^x. 
is itself occasionally taken in the net ; it is probably the 
Delphinus delphis. They dread, in the neighbouring lati- 
tudes, the saw-fish, difftring little from those in the Euro- 
pean seas : the pico, a large and dangerous fish ; and many 
species of whales. M. de Grandprc enumerates the pike 
and shark tribe, fishes of prey which wage war with men, 
swallowing both blacks and whites without distinction. 
It is an error to suppose that the negroes of the coast have 
the talent and courage to oppose the shark by force. 
There are eels, of excellent quality, carp, squillone, and 
other fishes proper for food, in the rivers and lakes. 

All the rivers are filled with crocodiles, called by some Reptiles. 
travellers caimans ; they are generally twenty-five feet 
long, according to Cavazzi ;^ there are some also which 
never enter the water, but hunt fowls, sheep, and she-goats. 
In another placej however he states, that there are liz- 
ards which differ very little from crocodiles. Cameleons 
are found in great numbers, and are considered very 
venomous.:}: The flying lizard, or palm-rat, a pretty little 
animal, is an object of religious worship ;§ the rich pre- 
serve it with great care, and exhibit it to the adoration of 
the people, who offer it presents. Frogs and toads are of 
an enormous size. 

Monstrous serpents infest these inhospitable countries. Different 
The boa or boma, in length from twenty-five to thirty feet, sememL 
and five in thickness,|| darts from trees upon men and 
animals, swallowing them at once, and in its turn becomes 
a prey to the negroes, who attack it during its digestion, 
or burn it by setting fire to the woods at the termination of 
the rains.^ It wages an interminable war against the 
crocodiles. Tlie bite of another species of serpent is 

* Labat, I. p. 185—293. t Ibidem, I. p. 422. 

$ Zucchelli, p. 147. ^ Lopez, p. 33 ; de Grandpre, I. 34. 

!| Battel, p. 995. If Lopez, p. 32. Carli, Relation of his Mission, p. 

45, Germ, trans. Cavazxi or Labat, I. p. 199. 





mortal within twenty-four hours. Travellers who are fond 
of the marvellous, represent it as blind, and describe it 
'with two heads: tliey mean the amphisboena* 

The mamba, as thick as a man's tliigh, is twenty feet long, 
and very nimble. It instinctively chases the n^damba, and 
devours it whole and alive. This last is only an ell long, 
with a wide and flat head like the viper, and the skin beau- 
tifully spotted ; its poison is very subtle. The n'bambi is 
one of the most venomous; is with difficulty distinguished 
from the trees themselves, the trunks of which it entwines, 
lying in wait for its prey. It is reported that the touch 
only of the lentttf a variegated viper, is followed by deatli, 
hut that the bite of the animal is its antidote. The country 
swarms with scorpions and centipedes ; the former often 
creep into houses and books.=^ 

The fleas, bugs, and flies of Europe, are not found in 
Guinea; there are, however, gnats and mosquitoes in 
abundance,! which form one of the plagues of the country. 
The sting of the banzot of the same size as our gadfly, is 
said to be mortal. Diff*erent species of very formidable 
ants infest both men and animals. Malefactors, who are 
sometimes bound and exposed to them, are consumed to 
the bones in one day. The insondi or insongongU enter 
the trunk of elephants, and cause them to die in extreme 
madness. The stiiig of the inzeiih which are a black and 
very large species, produces violent pains for some hours. 
The salale (termes% small, round, red, and white, are the 
most dangerous; they insinuate themselves every where, 
and destroy linen, merchandize, furniture, and even houses, 
the wood work of which they hollow out, leaving nothing 
but an external shell. According to Grandpre,:|: tliey have 
the instinct to fill up with clay the stakes which support the 
houses, to prevent their fall. Fire alone, and marble, can 
resist their devouring teeth; but furniture may be secured 
by placing tiie feet in pans of water. 

■'^ De Grandpre, I. p. 37. 
t Grandpr^, I, p. 20. 

t Tuckey asserts the contrary, p. 357. 

ceNGo. 303 

In a country so infested with noisome and destructive book 
insects, it is pleasant to know that one, at least, of con- i^^ix. 
siderable utility exists ; it is a scarabaeus, of the size of a — — ~ 
cockchafer, which contributes essentially to the salubrity 
of the atmosphere, by making deep holes, and burying in 
them all impure and corruptible matters underground; it is 
the more valuable in consequence of its wonderful fecun- 
dity. Numberless swarms of bees wander in the forests, 
occupying the hollows of trees, — and it is only necessary 
to drive them away by lighting fires under them, and thus 
take their honey. Grasshoppers are esteemed as food by 
the natives, and are not despised even by Europeans. 

The ostrich and peacock are esteejned by the negroes.* Birds, 
In Angola, the king has reserved the sole privilege of 
keeping peacocks.f There are both brown and red par- 
tridges, which have the peculiarity of perching upon trees. 
The quail, pheasant, thrush, the widow and cardinal birds, 
are found in abundance. The cuckoo differs from ours in 
its note.:j: The Cucidus indicator^ found in every part of 
the torrid zone, here bears the name of sengo. The par- 
rot varies much as to size, colour, and voice.§ Very dif- 
ferent to those we see in cages, strong, nimble, and bold, 
they fly with great rapidity, and are very formidable to 
other birds, which they attack, and lacerate most unmerci- 
fully in the combat. 

The different species of turtle doves, pigeons, fowls, 
ducks, and geese of this country are not well distinguished. 
The idle disposition of the natives has never thought of 
profiting by the use of the eggs of fowls in domestic 
economy. The hen, left to herself, de|>osits her eggs 
where she pleases, and runs undisturbed about the fields 
with her chickens in search of food. Among the fisher 
birds, is the pelican, the puffin, and gulls of every variety. 
The skin of the pelican, applied to the stomach, is said to 
restore its vigour. 

* Zuccheili, p. 286 ; Labat, I. 184. t Lopez, p. 33. 

t Proyait, p, 33. ^ De Grandpre, I. 34, 

304 CONGO. 

SOCK It is astonishing to behold the immense number ot* 
liXix. eagles, vultures, falcons, hawks, and other birds of jprey, 
""""■"* which liover on er the woods when set on fire by the negroes, 
and snatch from the midst of the flames quadrupeds and 
serpents half roasted. According to the report of travel- 
lers, who bave given a very superficial account of birds, the 
number of owls, screech owls, and bats, is also very con- 
Quadiu- Among the quadrupeds, the hippopotamus aflfords the 
^^ ^' negroes an agreeable dish ; which, on meagre days, is not 
unacceptable to Europeans.* The wild boar {engalli,) of 
which there are several varieties, is a scourge to the 
country. The hog, introduced by the Portuguese, is less 
remarkable for its size than for the goodness of its flesh. 
The blacks rear a few guinea-pigs. The mug of the horse, 
the ass, and the iuule is a nullity to the negro who dares 
not even venture to mount them. Wliether .negroes or Por- 
tuguese, the inhabitants find it preferable to be carried 
about in hammocks. 

According to Lopez and Battel, there is not a single 
horse to be found throughout the whole of Congo. A 
missionary declares that he had seen one only.f Those 
which Europeans had imported to multiply the species 
were either devoured by wild beasts or by the negroes, 
who like their flesh. The zebra is not rare in Congo, in 
Benguela and Loango.:j: The negroes hunt it for food, 
and sell its skin to Europeans. Herds of two or three 
hundred buffaloes are often seen, which appear to be of the 
same species with those of the Cape. The hunt is danger- 
ous. They are continually at war with the lion, the 
panther, and the leopard. Oxen do not labour ; the negroes 
do not attend to them, and most of the cows left by ships 
at their departure perish. Sheep brouglit from Europe 
are diminished in size, and their wool has become changed 
into a short hair ; but they are very prolific. 

* Labat, I. p. 193—197. Battel, p. 984. Zucchelli, p. 145. 
T Proyart, p. 31. % Labat, p. 168, Lopez, p. 30. Carli 

Carlj, Battel, etc. 

CONGO. 305 

Roebucks, wild goats, gazelles, or antelopes, in great book 
riulRbers, are to be found in those parts of the country which i-xix. 
are near water. The size of the empolanga or impolanca^ 
is equal to the ox : he carries his neck upright, and his head 
erect ; his horns, three palms in length, crooked, knotty, 
and terminating in points, are made into wind instruments. 
Naturalists must decide whether this is not the empophos 
or elk of the Cape.f Cavazzi distinguishes it from the 
imparguaSf which he compares to wild mules ; its flesh is 
eaten. The smf^Uest species of gazelle is called n'sosu 
Lopez is the only traveller who mentions rabbits, martins^ 
and sables. M. de Grandpre adds hares, but the civet 
{Viverra ^ibefha) is hero indigenous; the Portuguese, on 
their arrival, found some domesticated. Dogs rove in Camivo- 

Piii ^1 rous am- 

troops, and only utter a mourntul howl ; even those that mais. 
are brought from Europe soon lose their power of smelling 
and barking4 The wolves, whose flesh affords a meal to the 
negro, are their implacable enemies. These wolves or 
rather jackalls, are very fond of palm oil, and have a quick 
scent. Too cowardly to attack men on the highway, they 
enter by troops into houses by night, and seize them while 
asleep. Their hideous cries in the deserts, spread terror 
among the caravans, who consider them as infallible pre- 
sages of death. Zucchelli speaks of them under the name 
of mebbie, wild dogs, and distinguishes them very precise- 
ly from wolves.§ Another species of wild-dog, with spot- 
ted skin, is also mentioned. These attack with fury flocks 
of sheep, goats, the largest cattle, and even wild beasts j 
they are probably hysenas. The ravages occasioned by- 
leopards and panthers, called in the language of the coun- 
try engoif are not less considerable. There appear to be 
two species of engoi ; the one possesses the open country, 
the other the forest : the latter is the most formidable, frons 

* Lopez, p. 31. Battel, p. 972. Labat et Cavazzi, I. p. 26 — 160. 
t Zimmermann, Hist, de I'Homme, II. p. 109. (In German.) 
I Battel, pages 982 et 954. Labat, I. p. 168. 
5 Zucchelli, p. 293. Labat, I, p. 167, 
VOL. IV. 20 

306 uoifGo. 

BOOK its sudden irruptions into inhabited districts. The n^sofi 
liXix. j^j^jj ^Ijp gingu resemble in some degree the wild-cat and^hc 


Monkeys. The variety of monkeys which sport upon the highest 
» trees is so great, that travellers have despaired of being 

able to reduce them to a catalogue. They abound parti- 
cularly in the environs of the river Zaire. Europeans are 
particularly partial to a small monkey, with a long tail 
and blue face, remarkable for its great gentleness and do- 

Account of xhe largest monkey of Guinea, called chimpanxeef or 

zee. himpexey, in the country,! pongo, or cujoes, by the travel- 

ler Battel,:]: and by naturalists, Simia troglodytes, is not 
found far from the equator.^ Its heiglit is four feet, and 
there is no appearance of a tail. M. de Grandpre has 
had an opportunity of admiring the understanding, if not 
the mind, of a female, whicli was subject to the same pecu- 
liar complaints as women. This animal had learned to 
heat the oven : it was particularly careful that no coal 
should escape, and set fire to the vessel ; perfectly under- 
stood when the oven was sufficiently heated, and never 
failed to apprize the baker of this circumstance ; and he, 
in his turn, entirely confided in it, hastening to bring his 
shovel as soon as the animal came to fetch him, without 
ever being led into an error by his informant. When they 
turned the capstan, it endeavoured to assist with all its 
power, like a sailor. When the sails were loosened for de- 
parture it mounted, of its own accord, the yards with the 

^ sailors, wlio treated it as one of their own crew. It would 

have taken charge of the main-sail, a most difficult and 
dangerous service, if the sailor who was destined to that 
particular post had not refused to give it up. It belaced 
the shrouds as well as any sailor; and observing how the 
end of the rope was fastened to prevent its hanging, it did 

* Idem, I. p. 177. t Grandpre, T. p. 26. 
X Zimmerinaiin, Hist, de rHonime, II. p. 170. 

* rmchas, p. 982. 

(BONGO. 307 

the same to that of which it had possession. Finding its book 
hand caught, and held fast, it disengaged it without crying, i^^ix. 
or altering its features; and when the husiness was over, it 
showed its superior agility over the otlier sailors, by pass- 
ing them, and descending in an instant. Tiiis animal died 
on the passage, owing to the brutal treatment of the second 
mate. It bore this cruel usage with the greatest resigna- 
tion, raising its hands in a suppliant manner, to implore a 
remission of the stripes they were inflicting. From that 
moment, it refused to eat, and died of hunger and suffering, 
on the fifth day, as much regretted as any one of the crew 
would have been. 

The ancients appear to liave been well acquainted with 
this monkey.* It generally walks upright, supported by the 
branch of a tree, after the manner of walking with a stick. 
The negroes dread it, and not w ithout reason, for it treats 
them harshly whenever they meet. If credit may be given 
to more than one missionary,! a connexion between these 
satyrs and negresses, to whom they appear singularly par- 
tial, has really produced species of monsters. 

We shall now proceed to trace a chorographic sketch of 9'°''°s'^" 

"DnlC uGS" 

the countries, the physical condition of which we have ciiption. 
above described : at first confining ourselves to the coun- 
tries bordering on the sea-coast, and to those of the in- 
terior politically connected with them, whose limits are 
tolerjibly well ascertained ; though, with respect to the geo- 
graphical position of the whole coast, Captain Tuckey has 
discovered that a considerable error has prevailed. From 
Cape Lopez to Cape Padron, it has been laid down a degree ' 

farther to the westward than its true situation. From Cape 
Lopez to the bay of Saint Catherine, a port seldom visited, 
the coast is very little known, and appears to consist of low 
land, covered with trees. The natives are in a miserable 
condition, and considered treacherous. Their chief acknow^- 
ledges the sovereignty of Loango. The river Sette waters 

* ^lian, XVI. p. 15. Galen, Adm. aiiat. I. p. 2. and VI, p. 1. Herocl, IV. 
t Lopez, p. 32, I^abat. I. p. 174. 
, ^0 

308 CONGO. 

BOOK a country from which red-wood has been exported ; at 
£Xix. present, however, it is not frequented. At the mouth of 

the great river Banna,* is the bay of Mayombaf where 
there is rathei* more commerce; the inhabitants are more 
civil, hospitable, and intelligent, than those of the other 
states; they procure the greater part of the ivory sold in 
the neighbouring ports; they can work in copper, and are 
acquainted with the gum-tree; but it is not true that the 
Kingdom mountains of Maijomba contain gold : in that case, the na- 
°^"^°' tives would have worked the mines. Their chiefs are sub- 
ordinate to the kingdom of Loango, which extends about 
fifty marine leagues from north to south, and sixty from 
east to west ; but it contains, with its dependencies, at 
most only six hundred thousand inhabitants, so greatly 
has the slave-trade drained its population.! The country 
round the bay of Loango, exhibits mountains of a red 
colour, tolerably steep, and covered with palms. The city 
of Bouali, better known by the name of B mza-Loango, the 
capital of the kingdom, situated about a league from the 
coast, in a large and fertile plain, has long, straight, and 
clean streets,:}: and fifteen thousand inhabitants, tolerably 
industrious.^ It has an agreeable appearance, on account 
of the palms and pisangs whicli shade and cover the ad- 
joining country. The water is excellent; but the harbour 
is not sufiicicntly deep for large vessels, and its entrance is 
obstructed by rocks. There is here a trade for fine stuffs, 
manufactured in the city, from leaves. Provisions, fowls, 
fish, oils, wines, corn, ivory, copper and dye-wood, in- 
ferior to that of Brazil ; and, it is to be remarked, that 
the negroes of Loango are not very nice with regard to the 
merchandize imported, and readily take what would be re- 
fused in other places. But the natives, from policy, and 
perhaps by means of poison, which they well know how to 
administer, have given their country the reputation of being 
extremely unhealthy, which has prevented Europeans from 

* Battel, p. 981. t De Giandpre, I. p. 216. 

t Battel, p. 979. Proyaii, p. 204. * De Grandpre, I. p. 6n. 

CONGO. 305j 

establishing themselves there, or even from sleeping on book 
shore. The slaves brought to this market are from Ma- i'^^^* 
yomba, Quibangua, or Montequessa: the Mayombas are 
inferior in quality, but most numerous : the Quibanguas 
belong to a small district in the interior; they are the 
finest negroes, well made, very black, with a pleasitig 
countenance ; their teeth are particularly beautiful : tlie 
Montequas are well made, but spoil their teetii by filing, 
with a view of rendering them pointed ; they also make 
long marks upon both cheeks, and sometimes on the 

A fact worthy the attention of travellers, is, that, ac- BiackJews. 
cording to 01dendorp,f the kingdom of Loango contains 
black Jews, scattered throughout the country ; they are 
despised by the negroes, who do not even deign to eat 
with them ; they are occupied in trade, and keep the sab- 
bath so strictly that they do not even converse on that day; 
they have a separate burying ground, very far from any 
habitation. The tombs are constructed with masonry, and 
ornamented with Hebrew inscriptions ; the singularity of 
which excites the laughter of the negroes, who discern in 
them only serpents, lizards, and other reptiles. M. Ehrr- 
mann, finding it impossible to explain the origin of these 
Jews, doubts the reality of the fact; Busching, however, 
Michaelis, and Zimmermann, do not hesitate to admit their 
existence; Bruns considers them the descendants of the 
Falashes of Habesch, or Abyssinia, and Sprengel wishes 
them to be considered as the descendants of Portuguese 
Jews, who, having quitted their country, are no longer 
afraid to profess openly the religion of their fathers. 
Five leagues to the north of Loango is ^uilonga, a river 
of very difficult access, whither trading vessels sometimes 

The kingdom of Caconsro, by sailors sjenei-ally called J^'"S^°"^ °^ 

° ^ ^ J O J Cacongo. 

Malemba, from the principal port situated about sixteen 

* De Giandpig, II. p. 13. 

t Oldendorp, Histoire de la Mission, I. p. 287, 

310 COXGO. 

iJooK leagues south of Loaiigo, is famous for the excellent slaves 
iiXix. foniieiiy ohtained there ; it abounds in fruits and vege- 
- tables, kids, pigs, game, and fish.'^ Tlie king dines alone 
in public, surrounded by a numerous suite; but, as soon 
as he prepares to drink some palm wine, every one pre- 
sent is obliged to prostrate himself on the ground, lest the 
king sliould die if any one of his sidjjects sliould witness 
bis drinking.f While sitting in the quality of judge, form 
requires that every judgment given should be followed by 
a draught of wine, with a view of refreshing his majesty. 
Kingele, the capital of the country, is about thirty leagues 
from the coast ; it consists of several thousand huts, over 
which palm and other trees wave their verdant heads. 
Kingdom of Xhe bay of Cabindaf situated five short leagues to the 
Kii-Goy. south of Malemha, often gives its name to the kingdom of 
JS^^Goyo, otherwise En-Gotj or Goy, It is a very fine har- 
bour, caHed the Paradise of the Coast, and the most 
agreeable situation of all the surrounding country.:]: The 
sea is always smooth, and debarkation very easy. The 
Portuguese after having, at different periods, endeavoured 
to establish tljemselves here, made a last attempt during 
the American war, and opposed by force the first vessels 
which came to trade at this port, after the peace of 1783. 
The French government sent an expedition commanded 
by M. de Marigny, who destroyed tlie fort and made the 
trade free. The country, in general, is very fine, extreme- 
ly fertile, arjd contains many beautiful spots. The capital 
is at a distance of two days journey in the interior. 
Different The trade of this part of the country consists of Congos, 
Sognies, and Mondongos, whom the blacks call Mondongo- 
nese.§ The Sognies are generally copper-coloured, large, 
and tolerably well made. The Mondongonese are both 
handsome and of good dispositions ; but tliey are accustom- 
ed, like the Montegnese, to whom they are neighbours, to 

* De Giaiidpre, II. p. 22-2.v. t Pioyait, p. 129. 

4 De r.!;,ii(inr»'-, IF. t>, 26. «• Do Grandpre, S7. et suiv.. 


CONGO. 311 

-cut their faces so as to make large scars ; their teeth also book 
are all filed. They likewise score their breasts in various ^'^^'^* 
symmetrical forms, allow the skin to swell before it heals, 
that it may be raised above the edges of the wound, and 
thus form a sort of embroidery of which they are very vain. 
The women also lacerate their neck unmercifully for the 
sake of this supposed beauty. They have besides, the folly 
to inflict three large wounds on the belly, and to make the 
skin swell, so that three large transverse protuhei*ances may 
be formed upon tliis region. They never cease to cut and to 
Ileal the wound alternately, until it has acquired the extent 
desired. Many blacks, chiefly among the Mondongos, arc 
circumcised, but they do not appear to attach to it any reli- 
gious idea. 

After crossing the Zaire, you immediately enter the king- Kingdom 
dom of Congo, bounded on the soutli by the river Danda, by ° °"^°' 
sandy deserts and the lofty mountains of Angola, on the 
east, by the countries almost unknown of Fungeno and Ma- 
tamba, by the mountains of the Sun, and the rivers Co- 
anza and Barbell,* which appears to be the principal branch 
of the Zaire. Many pleasant islands arise from the bed of 
the Zaire. 

It overflows during the rainy season, and fertilizes the 
adjoining country^ nevertheless, far from frequenting it, 
ships avoid it on account of the unhealtliiness of the air 
and water. Tuckey found its risings to take place both in 
the wet and dry season, commonly to twelve feet of elevation 
in the wet, and seven feet in the dry season. From the lat- 
ter increase, he considered the northern origin of the Zaire 
as demonstrated.! Going towards the south is the river 
Amhri'Z), where there is a small road. The port itself, with- 
in a bank of sand, can only receive two vessels.^ The river 
Mapoula is still farther to the south. Vessels do not go 
thither, on account of the exactions of tlie Portuguese^ 
whose last stations are found in this neighbourhood. 

* Labat, p. 22. t p. 223, 342, 343, 

± De GranHpve, IT. p. 41 et sniv. 






City of 
•Saint Sal- 

The country of Congo is extremely fertile, and produces 
two crops witliin the year, the one during the month of April, 
and the otiier in December. =^ Besides palm trees, which are 
very fine, there are forests of jasmine, and wiM cinnamon 
trees in great numbers. Hogs, sheep, birds, fowls, fish, and 
the tortoise, are in abundance. 

The Portuguese, wliose missionaries have been active since 
1482, in preaching the Gospel to the inhabitants of Congo, 
have succeeded in bringing this kingdom under their sove- 
reignty; but whether owing to weakness oi' negligence, they 
leave it a prey to intestine revolutions. In order to fami- 
liarize the negroes with the forms of European civilization, 
they have made the nobles adopt, instead of the eminent 
title of mani or seigneur,| tlie titles of duke, count, and 
marquis, and have divided the kingdom into six provinces, 
viz. Sogno, Pemba, Batta, Pango, Bamba, and Sandi. 
Sometimes they reckon only five: San Salvador, the resi- 
dence of the king; Bambi, Sandi, Pemba, and Sogno. Bam- 
ba and Sandi are dutchies, Sogno, a county, and Pemba, a 
marquisate. Each of these provinces has a banza, or resi- 
dence for the chief.:j: 

The capital of Congo, called by the Portuguese St. Sal- 
vador, forms, with its precincts, a particular district, under 
the immediate government of the king, and is bounded by 
Sogno, Sandi, and Pemba. It is situated very far in the in- 
terior, upon a high mountain containing mines of iron. Its 
position is extolled as one of the most healthy in the 

Its streets are wide, with many squares symmetrically 
planted with palm trees, whose perpetual verdure forms a 
pleasing contrast with the whiteness of the houses, which 
are washed with lime both within and witliout. Its 
population is subject to great variation^ in consequence of 

* Labat, V. p. 160. Falconbridge's Account, etc. p. 55. 

'f Lopez, p. 34. I Labatj V. p. 129. Carli, p. 36. Lopez, p. 39f 

'^yadstram. Essav on Colonization. 

fisoxGo. 313 

the revolutionary tumults which are inseparable from the book 
accession of a new king. At the beginning of the 18th i^xix. 
century, when Zucchelli visite«l the city, it presented a heap — — " 
of ruins.* On the summit of the mountain there is a fort, 
which was built by the Portuguese soon after their arrival, 
and which now encloses the king's palace with its depend- 
encies. There are still some remains of churches formerly 
built by them. The dispersed Europeans, estimated at 
forty thousand persons, have established themselves in 
other situations, diffusing among the natives necessary and 
useful arts. 

The province of Sogno or Sonho, to the west of St. Province oC 
Salvador, between the Zaire, Ambriz, and the sea, is a °^^°* 
sandy and dry soil, very favourable, however, to the growth 
of palms. It has good salt pits along the sea shore, which 
are very productive to its prince. Times of scarcity, 
which frequently occur, do not diminish the natural gaiety 
of the inhabitants. This scarcity, joined to a superabun- 
dant population, has forced many to quit the country and 
to establish themselves in Cacongo, on the north side of 
the Zaire. M. De Grandpre describes them as quarrel- 
some, morose, cunning, and cov ardly : one thing may be 
considered as certain, that they are very ill-disposed to- 
wards Europeans of every description.! 

BambUf also situated on the coast, lies between the rivers Province of 
Ambriz and Loz, to the south of Sogno, and east of Pomba, ' 

is one of the great and fertile provinces of the kingdom. It 
has large salt pits, and fisheries of covvries.:j: Its moun- 
tains, rich in metals, extend as far as Angola.^ 

The province of Pemha, situated in the centre of the Province of 
empire, is watered and fertilized by the rivers Lelunda, 
Kai, and Ambriz. Its proximity to the capital gives a 
stimulus to activity and industry, and renders the inhabit- 
ants secure from those persecutions to which the other pro- 
vinces are subject from their governors. 

* Zucchelli, p. 145. t Labat, I. p. 29. De Grandpr^, II. p. 35, 

4: Labat, I, p. 26. ? Lopez, p. 28. 

314 CONGO. 

sooK Batta, situated to the east of Pemba, and north of the 

jiXix. burning mountains, is of considerable extent. It is assert- 

"I [ ed that the inhabitants, sjejierally called Mosombi,^ have. 

Province of 

Batta. from the natural goodness of their disposition, adopted the 
Christian religion with more zeal than all the other Con- 
gos. Nevertheless, and probably on account of these sen- 
timents, they are generally at war witli the nciglibouring 
districts, particularly with the formidable Giagas. Their 
governor, however, has the sole permission of maintaining 
soldiers taken from among the natives, while all tlie other 
governors of provinces are compelled to employ the Por- 
tuguese troops.f The Mosombi can raise from sixty to 
eighty thousand men. 
Province of The province of Panga, is bounded on the west by 
Panga. Batta, on the south by Dembo, and the mountains of the 
Sun, on the east by the river Barbell, and on the north by 
Province of Sandi, to the north-east of St. Salvador, is bounded on 
Sandi. ^^^ north by the river Zaire, on the south-east by the pro- 
vinces of Batta and Panga, on the north-east by the king- 
dom of Macoco and the Crystalline hills, at the foot of 
which the Bancoar empties itself into the Zaire. The 
country is well watered and rich in metals, particularly 
iron. The mountains to the north of the Zaire, near the 
great water-fall, where the Dukes of Sandi exercise a pre- 
carious authority, contain mines of yellow copper, which 
is sold at Loanda. The tranquillity of this province is 
frequently disturbed by the insubordination of the district 
chiefs, who revolt against the Duke. The Giagas and 
other savage tribes, by their frequent inroads, keep up the 
ferocity of their habits. Merchants, however, carry on a 
profitable trade by bringing salt, cowries, as well as Indian 
and European goods, in exchange for ivory, skins, and 
Various Besides these six provinces, there are others more or 

Provinces, j^^g important, viz. Zuiona, Zida-Maxondo, JY'Damba. JV'' 

* Labat. I. p. 35. t Lopez, p. 37. 

CONGO. 315 

Susso, J^'SellUf Juva, Mombo^ jV^Zolo, JSr^Zanga, Marsin- book 
ga, Mortondo, these are in a great measure uncultivated, de- I'Xix. 
serted, or occupied by savage nations, who lead a wandering " 

life in the midst of forests, or in the narrow passes of inac- 
cessible mountains. 

The province of Ovando, on the confines of Angola, was 
formerly subject to the King of Congo, but the chiefs have 
withdrawn themselves from the authority of their lawful 
sovereign, to place themselves under the protection of the 
Portuguese, who honour them with the title of Duke. The 
Domhi have also been influenced by this example and by the 
arts of the missionaries. 

The different meanings attached to the name of Jlngola, Kingdojn 
liave caused some confusion in the accounts of travellers 
in Low Guinea. This name, is frequently given to the 
country situated between Cape Lopez Gonsalvo and St. 
Pliilip de Benguela, viz., from 10° 44' to 12° 14' of southern 
latitude. The Portuguese, however, ever jealous of their 
colony Loanda-San-Paolo, do not readily allow access to 
strangers, who, consequently, scarcely advance towards the 
south beyond Arabriz in 7' 20' of latitude; it is the coast 
therefore, from this port to Cape Lopez, to which the name 
of Angola is generally given in commerce.=^ 

The kingdom of Dongo, Angola, or N'Gola, of geogra- 
phers, is bounded on the north by the river Danda, on the 
east by Matemba, on the south by Benguela, and on the 
west by the sea. Before its conquest by the Portuguese, 
its boundaries extended from 8° 30' to 16° of south lati- 
tude.! It is a very mountainous country, and little culti- Physical 
vated. From May to the end of October, no rain falls, ^"i state! " 
Its dry and stony mountains have no springs ; fresh water 
therefore is very scarce. The idea of making cisterns is 
beyond the narrow understandings of the natives ; the in- 
dustry of tlie more provident among them, is confined to 
the boring of troughs in the trunks of trees in which they 
preserve rain-water. The Portuguese having been unable 

* De Grandpre, Introd. p. 23. -^ Briins, Afrika, IV. p. 156. 

316 CONGO. 

BOOK to convert these people to CliHstianity, content themselves 
I'Xix. y^[f\^ enrolling them for military service. The garrisons 

""""""" of the greater number of their foi'ts consist of Angolese, 
whom, however, tliev do not instruct in the use of fire-aims. 
"With the view of attaching them, they have given to tlie na- 
tives some privileges, the most imp rtant of which is, the 
appointment of their governors or viceroys. Salt, wax, and 
honey, are the principal profhictions of the rountry. 

Provinces. ^uitama holds the first rank among its provinces. It is 
situated at the mouth of the Coanza, a rapid and deep ri- 
ver, which vessels may ascend to the extent of forty leagues. 
It abounds with the hippopotamus. Sumbi, the second pro- 
vince, is watered by the rivers Nice, Caiba, and Catacom- 
bole. Fine pasture grounds are seen occupied by serpents, 
and wild beasts. Some islan<!s, situated at the mouth of the 
Catacombole, are cultivated and populous. They breed nu- 
merous herds of horned cattle.^^ 

City of Lo- From the north, along the coast of Angola we arrive at 

Paolo ^^^^ ^^^y ^^ Loanda- San-Faolo^ the capital of the Portuguese 
settlements in the west of Africa. It is situated at the 
bottom of a gulf, at the mouth of the river Bengo, and 
has a good fort, defended hy batteries and by a garrison of 
malefactors. The city is built partly upon the sea-shore, 
and partly on an eminence which commands the country. 
Regular sea-breezes moderate the summer heats. Accord- 
ing to Raynal, its population is from seven to eight hun- 
dred whites, and three thousand negroes or free mulattoes. 
More ancient and probable accounts, estimate the number 
of whites and free men of colour at three thousand, with- 
out determining the number of black slaves, who form the 
principal wealth of the inhabitants ; one pro])rietor often 
has more than a hundred in his st*rvice. Almost every slave 
understanding some trade, they work for the profit of their 
mastervS.f There is a tribunal of the inquisition, a bishop, 
many convents, and churches in every respect worthy of 
the devout Portuguese. Nothing can equal the magnifi^ 

* Jiabat, 1. p. 59. t Idem, V. p. 124- 

CONGO. 317 

ceiice with which the saints days are celebrated. The rich book 
inhabitants have built elegant country houses on the banks i-xix* 
of the Coanza, the Bengo, and tl)e Donda, which diversify 
the prospect over a circumference of forty leagues. 

The island of Loanda shelters the port, and supplies the 
city with good water. It is rendered remarlvable, by the 
fine blown, brilliant, and much esteemed cowries, which are 
here fished at the expense of the king of Portugal. In oth- 
er respects the suspicious jealousy of the Portuguese con- 
ceals, under an impenetrable veil, the commerce and indus- 
try of this place. It appears from positive data, that Loan- 
da communicates by land with Mozambique, by means of 
caravans, which coast along the river Zambesa.^^ 

BenguelUf although equally subject to the Portuguese go- Kingdom of 
vernment, has retained the title of kingdom, and some in- ^"^"^ ^* 
significant privileges. It extends from the rivers Cubegi 
and Coanza, as far as cape Negro. Its eastern limit is 
formed by the river Cumeni. Its interior, hilly and rugged, 
conceals prodigious numbers of elephants, rhinocerosses, 
zebras, and antelopes. The oxen and sheep are of an ex- 
traordinary size; but the extreme droughts, and the incur- 
sions of the Giagas, have considerably diminished their 
number. There are excellent salt pits in Benguela. 

The province of Lubolo, on the confines of Quissama, Provinces, 
abounds in palmtrees, numerous herds of antelopes feed un- 
der their shade.f It sometimes gives its name to the whole 
territory comprised within the rivers Congo and dos Ra- 

The province of Rimbaf abounds in corn, and has good 
fisheries. Scela, to the west of Ban^ba, is a hilly and well- 
watered country, rich in pasturage, and has excellent iron. 
The mountain rocks support, on their summits, many fields 
well cultivated, where the inhabitants breathe a pure and 
wholesome 2i\v,\ 

* De Grandpre, I. p. 223. (See hereafter the article Mozambique.) 
t Lahat, I. p, 66. % Tuckey, 352. 



ants of 

liooK The provinces of Upper and Lower Bemha^ abound in 
ixix. loomed cattle, tame as well as wild ; the river LatanOf call- 
ed by the Portuguese Guavoro, or, Rio San Francisco^ 
which runs through them, abounds in fish, crocodiles, ser- 
pents, and the hippopotamus. The idiom of the people of 
Bemba is peculiar, and very difficult. They are prone to 
idolatry and superstition. The skins of animals and ser- 
pents, pierced with a hole for their heads, serve them for 

Tamha, bounded on the east by Bamba, is a country 
intersected with rivers and marshes. Impolangas, and im- 
panguas,^ are found there in considerable quantity. The 
source of the Congo, it is said, is at the bottom of a rock, 
surmounted by a Portuguese fort, which commands the 
province. The country of Wacco, consists of hills and 
fruitful valleys. Cabezzo abounds in metals, particularly in 

The Portuguese establishment of S. Fhilippe de Ben- 
guelUf on the river of that name, in a very unhealthy si- 
tuation, is defended by a garrison of two hundred trans- 
ported convicts;! and contains only houses built with mud 
and straw.:]: Old Benguela, is a post still more insignifi- 

The kingdom of Matamba, lies between the limits of 
of Matam- Cougo and Bcngucla ; towards the east, it is surrounded by 
very high mountains and thick forests; the air is temperate, 
and the soil fertilized by the overflowing of the rivers. The 
chiefs of Matamba, formerly tributary to the kings of Con- 
go, are at present independent. The borders of the coast, 
with the islands of Coango and Coanza, are the only culti- 
vated parts of the country. Tlie natives have little indus- 
try. They extract the iron of their territory, without 
knowing properly how to work it; for they purchase from 
strangers their implements of agriculture. Un wrought mines 
of gold are supposed to exist in tiie mountains. 


* Described page 304, among the gazelles of Congo. 
t Zucchelli, p. 124. :|: Labat, t. V. p. 119. 

CONGO. 319 

Such is the account of those countries of southern Guinea book 
hitherto known, and in some measure civilized ; or, at least, I'Xix. 
habited by tribes. We will now consider the physical, mo- -— — ' 
ral, and political condition of these people. 

The negroes of Congo appear to be inferior in undei*- General 
standing to many other African tribes. They possess, ^fti\g*^n^^. 
however a very good memory ; their sentiments, instincts, tives of 
and desires are gross ; their passions quick and fierce ; ** * 
their manners, customs, and general mode of life, in the 
rustic or primitive state, approach so near to animality, 
that it is not surprising they should have considered monk- 
ies as belonging to their own species. Their stupidity is 
such, that they have never been able to comprehend the 
advantage of a mill. Tbe women, who alone perform all the 
Avork, are obliged to pound the corn in a wooden mortar, 
and then to grind it in a hollow stone, by turning about 
another stone with the hand.^ They have not the least 
idea of writing; their time is divided into day and night, 
and the day into three parts. They do not, however, under- 
stand the period of a year, and reckon by lunations. Their 
navigation is confined to fishing, for which they make use 
of boats made of the trunks of trees hollowed out by fire, 
without any form on the outside. Their nets, which they 
have attempted to form after the European manner, are 
equally bad. The coast fortunately abounds in fish. 
They are equally inexpert in hunting; have no trained 
dogs, and can only proceed by the eye. The sportsman is 
some time adjusting his piece, turns his head and fires, 
drops the piece, runs off as quickly as possible, returns 
some time after to fetch his gun, which he approaches with 
trepidation, and if he finds the game, carries it off in 
triumph. Their courage is not more conspicuous in the 
wars which they wage among themselves. An army of two 
hundred men is considered a large and very uncommon 
armament.f Born in a state of brutish ignorance, at the Then ser- 
same time puffed up with pride and vanity, these degraded ^^''^"'' 

* Bvuns Afrika, t. IV. p. 57, t De Grandpre, I. 130, and seq. 






Husl ands. 

beings are, of all masters, the most severe, barbarous, and 
capricious ; the slaves approach them on their knees, and 
the great, who alone wear slippers, treat the people with an 
extreme haughtiness ; they are compelled to bow their ser- 
vile faces into the dust. All the people look up to their kings 
as the greatest monarchs of the globe ; tliese are proud of 
their prerogative to wear boots when they can procure them, 
and are often ludicrously dressed in some worn-out Euro- 
pean uniform, which barely cover their disgusting naked- 
ness. They consider their country, which is disputed with 
them by wild beasts, as the most beautiful, delightful, and 
higiily favoured in the world. 

The most unrestrained polygamy exists in Congo, and 
the whole influence of the Christian religion has been con- 
fined to the discouragement of incestuous marriages. The 
holy state of marriage, the mutual affection of man and 
wife, and the enjoyments of domestic happiness, are foreign 
to tlie ideas of a Congoo ; surrounded by a numerous proge- 
ny, he feels no attachment to his children.* Drunkenness, 
noisy music, indecent dances, and sleep, are his enjoyments. 
Useful works are performed by females, and numberless 
si ives. A rich man sometimes gives a vingari, or public 
dinner to the whole village ; on those occasions they drink 
largely of melaffo, or palm wine. Their dress is highly 
fantastical ; the princes and lords of Congo, Batta, and 
Sogno are proud of dressing in a black hat. The great of 
Lubola attach small bells to their dress. The inhabitants 
of the countries watered by the Coango and the Coarif file 
their teeth until they become as pointed as tliose of the dog. 
Some have four of them drawn. In the kingdom of Ma- 
tamba they universally retain the ancient custom of making 
incisions into their flesh. 

Among the singular customs in Congo, may be remark- 
ed that of husbands going to bed when their wives are de- 
livered. Zucchelli mentions this circumstance. It is. 

^' Cavazzi and Labat, t. II. p. 427. 


moreover, singular, that this custom should be found book 
among so many different nations; moderns have observed ^^i^* 
it in Beam, in Tartary, India, and a considerable part of 
America.=^ The ancients attest its existence among the 
Cantabrians,f the Corsicans,:): and the nations near the 
Euxine sea.§ It is difficult to explain how the same cus- 
tom should have been carried to nations so far separated, 
and such complete strangers to each other. On the con- 
trary, it is easy to explain its origin, by observing the ge- 
neral character of savage nations. The birth of a child is 
a happy event, and the friends of the parents generally 
wish them joy on the occasion. In civilized countries, it 
is the mother who receives the congratulations, in a bed- 
chamber highly decorated. Among savage nations, where 
the woman is only a slave, these congratulations are ad- 
dressed to the husband. For the purpose of receiving these 
with due solemnity, he reclines either on his hammociv or 
on liis'hed ; he continues there as long as the visits last, 
and, from idleness, some days longer. That he may not 
die of hunger, it is necessary that his wife should feed and 
take care of him.i 

The King of Congo's court is a wretched imitation of the 1'^^ King's 
ancient court of Lisbon : the monarch, as in Europe, sitting 
on his throne, is attended by black counts and marquisses 
attired in coarse imitations of the European costume and or- 
ders. The Pagan kings have retained the barbarism of their 
indigenous pomp. The King of Loango in former times, P""ce who 
once a-year, and with great ceremony, went out to meet the miracles. 
whole nation, to give a solemn order to the rain to water 
the earth. It sometimes happened that the clouds obey- 
ed ; the people then returned well convinced of the power 
of their prince.^ The people having now, however, be- 

* Piso, de Indige utiiusque re naturali, L, I. p. 14. Pauvv, Recherches 
philosophiques sur les Americains, II. 232, 

t Strab. Geog. III. 250 (Almelov.) | Diod. Sic. 1. V, p. 250 (Wessel.) 

5 Apollon. Rhod. torn. II. v. 1013. Valer. Flaccus, torn. V, v. 150. 

Jl Beckmann, Boulanger, Pauw, See our Annales des Voyages, II. p, 36B. 

^ Lopez, p. 14. Battel, p. 980, 

YOIi. IV, 21 

322 CONGO. 

BOOK come less docile* the king has ceased to order rain and 
XXIX. j^jjp weather. One of his ministers at present performs 
this duty ; but that he may shelter, in some measure, his 
responsibility, he carefully defers ordering the rain until it 
has fairly begun. The Congos say, their country once 
formed a mighty empire, the chief of whici) divided it 
amongst his three sons, giving to one both sides of the 
upper part of the river as far as Sangalla ; to the second, the 
left or northern bank, Blindtj JV^ Congo ; to the third, the 
right bank, Banze *N** Tonga. The two latter are still con- 
sidered as separate viceroyalties. The English, in 1816, 
found Congo divided into a number of petty states, or 
chenooships, held as a kind of fiefs under some real or 
imaginary personage living in the interior, nobody knows 
exactly where. Tuckey"^= could only learn that the para- 
mount sovereign was designated Blindy N'Congo, and re- 
sided at a Banza in the interior, named Congo, six days 
journey south from the river, where the Portuguese had 
an establishment, and where there were soldiers and white 
women. This place is no doubt the San Salvadorf of the 
Portuguese; and whether or not this prince, as is stated, be 
quite independent, all the other kings of the provinces situ- 
ated between Cape Lopez and the river Zaire, do homage 
to the king of Loango, and pay him a tribute in women. 
In other respects they are despotic, without opposition : in 
fits of ill humour they sell their prime ministers to 
Europeans, and crouch before their vassals w^hen their 
power is dreaded. They dispose of the liberty and lives 
of all their subjects, and tax them as they please. A black 
was fined exorbitantly for having once taken a fancy to 
use a sedan chair given him by a captain.:]: These kings 
thus indemnify themselves for particular privations enjoin- 
ed them by a fundamental law of the state. They are 
obliged, at least in public, to forego the sweet enjoyment 
of brandy, since they are not allowed to receive, wear, or 

* Tuckey, 196. t Tuckey. 350. 

X De Cirandpre. I. 190 et stii\ , 

CiONGO. 323 

even touch any foreign production ; metals, arms, and book 
works in wood, are excepted. Tlieir domain consists of i-xix. 
all the land not occupied, and of some villages. The 
throne is every where hereditary, except in Loango, to Hereditary 
which the princes of many dependent states may aspire, 
depending on the choice of an electoral hody, composed Elective. 
of the seven principal officers of the crown, including two 
neighhouring lords ; which, in the interim, forms a provi- 
sional government. By this very ancient arrangement, 
the complicated nature of which produces some legisla- 
tor, or conqueror, more sagacious than the ordinary in- 
liabitants, the feudatories have a lively interest in the sup- 
port of a throne to whicli they may aspire ; and these ties 
will not be easily dissolved. To be prince-born, he must 
be the issue of a princess : it is the mother, and not the 
father, by whom he is ennobled ; the latter cannot be cer- 
tainly known. The princesses also have a right to choose 
their husbands, and to repudiate them at pleasure, by in- 
viting another to the honour of their bed. The princes 
may do the same, but their children, who are not the off- 
spring of princesses, have no rank, and may be sold by 
such of their brothers and sisters as enjoy this advantage. 
The husband of a princess has the rank of prince during 
the period of his living with her, and retains his rank for 
ever if she dies during this interval. If a prince is mar- 
ried to a princess, they lose the power of being divorced. 
Princes in general enjoy great privileges : they cannot, 
however, hold any office under the government. 

At Loango, the principal officers of government, next Great offi- 
to the king, are the Great Captain,^ first minister and H^lJ'f 
chief justice ; the Mafook, minister of commerce ; the 
Maquinibe, inspector-general of the coast, or captain of the 
port ; the Moniban%e, minister of finance ; the Monibele, 
messenger of state ; the King Soldier, generalissimo of the 
army, and grand executioner. In the other states, the pre- 

* In Portuguese capitano-mdr., whence, by a gallicism, Fiencli travellers have 
made him " le capilaine mort 1 1 /" 


324 CONGO. 

BOOK surnptive heir to the crown is the second personage ; he is 
I.XIX. called Mamhook. His situation is in many respects more 
agreeable than that of the king himself. After him comes 
the MacagCf prime minister, who is under the authority 
of the Mambookf and the princes-born ; the Mafook, the 
Maquimbe, the Moniban%e, the Monibele, the Great Cap- 
tain, who here enjoys the same authority as the Soldier 
King of Loango , then the governors, and the lords para- 
Classes of The rauks of society, without regard to office, are thus 
arranged : — the king and his family, the princes-born, the 
husbands of princesses, the lords paramount, brokers, mer- 
chants, slaves, and vassals. These last constitute the mass 
of the people. They are obliged to serve, follow, and de- 
fend their master, who, on his part, lodges, clothes, and 
protects them. The merchants compose that immense 
body who traverse the whole of Africa in search of cap- 
tives, whom they transfer to Europeans through the me- 
dium of brokers. These, although belonging to all the 
classes, are in high repute, on account of the distinction 
with which men so useful are treated by Europeans. The 
lords paramount are land proprietors, not attached to the 
soil, although serfs of the king and the princes-born. f 
Adminis- The king is supreme judge; but as the lords make 
justice. every endeavour to obtain justice for their vassals, their 
complaints seldom reach the throne. The lords of the 
complainants and defendants are the first judges. Ac- 
cording to circumstances, the decision of the Mafook, or 
Maquimbe, or a Governor, or even of the whole body of 
magistrates, is necessary. The court is public. The 
spectators, without arms, if the suit is not criminal, range 
themselves in a circle round a carpet, upon which are 
placed, at the expense of the parties, bottles of brandy 
proportioned to the number of assistants 5 for, no brandy, 

* De Giandpre, I. 182. 

t De Grandpre, I. 104. Also Tuckey, 366. who names them <* Foomoos, in 
fact, the yeomen of the country." 

CONGO. 325 

DO trial. =^ Every person has a right to harangue, and each book 
pleading is accompanied with lihations mingled with songs. I'Xix. 
As soon as the sentence is pronounced, the hottles are ' 


Institutions and usages are substituted for w ritten laws. Laws and 
The only capital crimes are stated by Tuckey to be those ^"^^""^^s* 
of murder and adultery. Considering the alacrity with 
which, from tlie prince to the Foomoo, or private gentle- 
man, they all prostitute their wives and daughters to Eu- 
ropeans, and the resentment expressed by the latter, on 
the occasional refusal of their favours, the capital punish- 
ment of adultery might with some reason be disputed ; but 
the English, in the Congo expedition, were in one instance 
witnesses to its actual execution.! The criminal was, how- 
ever, first offered for sale, and the probability is, that the 
great demand opened by the slave trade, has commuted 
many capital punishments of former times into the more 
profitable infliction of foreign slavery. The son of a 
chenoo, or chief, however, cannot compromise his honour ; 
he is held bound to kill the aggressor ; and, should he es- 
cape, may take the life of the first relation of the adulterer 
he meets. The reaction produced from this unjust re- 
venge upon relations, which extends even to poisoning and 
theft, is one of the grand causes of the constant animosi- 
ties subsisting between neighbouring villages. Poisoning 
(the only kind of private murder among them) is so fre- 
quent, that the master of a slave always makes him taste 
his cooked victuals before he ventures to eat of them him- 
self; it is well known that the husbands of princesses, 
■who, though chosen against their wills, are by law" subject 
to divorce or slavery, at the pleasure of the latter, fre- 
quently rid themselves by this means of their wives and 
their fears at the same instant. In general, if the offend- 
er has committed a theft, he must refund; if the debt 
amounts to the value of a slave, he becomes one himself, 
in default of payment; if he has committed adultery, h^ 

^ Idem, I. 124. et suiv. t Turkey, 372. 

326 cois^Go. 

BOOK must pay to the outraged husband the value of a slave; 
XXIX. jf j^p Ijj^g j,|j^.(] blood, he must either give a slave, or the 
value of one, in order to prevent his being sold himself; 
if he has fraudulently sold a black, to whose person he had 
no claim, or committed a Iiomicide, he is immediately rent 
in pieces by the people, and his body left to be devoured 
by birds of prey. Thanks to tlie universal slavery, here 
every man has equal rights. The j)rinces born alone 
cannot be sold ; tlie lords paramount, when condemn- 
ed, are allowed to deliver up one of their vassals in their 

"When the criminality of the accused is not sufficiently 
manifest, he is subjected to the trial of poison and of fire, 
which is directed by the priests, it is probable that these 
jugglers have some means of rendering tiie potion present- 
ed to the accused either mortal or Iiarmless, according to 
their pleasure, and of managing the heated iron in such a 
manner that it may touch and not burn the skin of their 

Singular friends.* One of the most singular proofs consists in oblig- 
ing the two parties to drink the infusion of a root called 
imbondOf which has a twofold operation ; since this potion 
either acts by evacuation and secretion of urine, or exerts 
its influence upon tlie brain as a narcotic. Tiic people w ait 
to sec which of tliese effects will be produced ; the individual 
soonest affected by it is proclaimed victor; and his unfortu- 
nate antagonist, who, after some time, not being able to re- 
turn it, is seized with vertigo, is considered guilt}. ** He 
does not evacuate !" cries the mob, and immediately they 
assail him with blows until he dies.f 

Language It often appears singular to find among illiterate na- 
ongo. ^jQj^g^ idioms, in which syntax and grammatical arrange- 
ment, ingeniously and artfully combined, indicate a medi- 
tative mind, at variance with the habitual state of these 
people. Arc these the remains of an extinct civilization, 

* ZuccUelli, 1). 215. Oldendorp, 296. 

t Dattel, 98^^, See liercafter, in the article Madaniascar, a depcription of the 
ordeal of the Tancuin. 

coxGo. 327 

and of which every otlier trace has disappeared? Are book 
they the efforts of some legislators superior to the rest of i-xix. 
their country ? Are they the remains of ancient sacred — " 
languages, used hy tlic people, at large after the destruc- 
tion of the tiibes of priests, between whom they formed 
the bond of communication ? In whatever manirer it 
may have ai-ism, tlie language of Congo, of which those 
of Loango and Angola apjiear to be dialects, is distin- 
guished by very co])ious and complicated forms. The 
different articles added to the termination of the substan- 
tive whose meaning it detej'mines, the regular formation 
of derivatives, the numerous modifications of the pro- 
nouns, the great variety of moods and tenses of verbs, 
by wiiich every thing relating to person and locality is ex- 
pressed, the astonishing number of derivative verbs, ^ 
the numerous sounding vowels, the absence of hard 
sounding consonants, and the softness of the pronuncia- 
tion, conspire to make this language of an illiterate people 
one of the finest in the worlds Ajiparently without any 
sufficient reason, and without seeming to know that the 
structure of his ovvii tongue w^as most perfect when the 
nation was still involved in barbarism, the peculiar ele- 
gance and flexibility of the Congo langsiage has been 
called in question by the editor of Tuckey's narrative. 
The affair, however, lies between him and the Congo 
grammarians we have quoted ; our readers will be much 
more interested to know, that from a comparison of the 
works of the latter, with a pretty extensive vocabulary 
collected by Captain Tuckey, it appears, — 1. That the 
languages of Angola, Congo, and Loango, are radically 
the same : 2. That they are nearly the same as those of 

* For example, in the dialect of Loango, we have SaWa, to facilitate a 
work; Salisia, to work with some cne ; ISalisila, to work for the profit of some 
one ; Salisionia, to work the one for the other ; Salangana, to be an able 
worker, «fc,c. &c. 

t Hyacinthi Bruscietti a Vetralla regulae pro Congensium idiomatis captu, 
etc.; Rome, 1659. Gentilis Angolse instructus a P. Coacto ; Rome, 1661. 
Mithridates, by Adelung and Vater, t. III. p. 207 — 224. 






the Mandongo and Camho nations. — 5. That all these are 
allied to the language of the nations on the coast of Mo- 
zambique, and to the dialect of tiie CafFies and Vetjaanas. 
It follows irresistibly from these conclusions, that southern 
Africa has been originally peopled from one tribe; or, at 
least, that a constant and more or less intimate connexion 
subsists between its most distant nations.^ 

The weapons of the Congos consist of an absurd mix- 
ture of bows, sabres made of hard wood, and some bad 
musketoons. They understand tlie mode of poisoning 
their arrows ; their battle-axes have the form of a scythe, 
and must be formidable when wielded by a powerful arm. 
Some cover themselves with a shield, others with the skins 
of animals; there are some also who endeavour ta give 
themselves a terrific appearance by painting their bodies 
with the figures of serpents, and other formidable animals.f 
The people of Loango, when marching to battle, paint the 
whole of their body with a red colour. 

The indigenous superstitions of the Congos are too nu- 
merous to be all enumerated. They believe in the existence 
of some divinities called Zanihi, The good principle is 
named Zamba M'Poonga; and the evil principle, which 
is opposed to him, Caddee M'Peemba, they are said to 
have some obscure notion of a future state wherein they 
shall all be happy. The images of these divinities they 
denominate mokisso, and keep them in their temples.i 
The common objects, however, of their devotion, are dif- 
ferent kinds of fetiches, or idols, supposed to possess a 
divine power. This is sometimes a bird's feather, a 
shark's tooth ; occasionally a tree, a serpent, or a toad ; 
the horn, the hoof, the hair, the teeth of all manner of 
quadrupeds ; the beaks, claws, skulls, and bones of birds, 
heads ^ind skins of snakes, shells, and fins of fishes; pieces 
^f old iron, copper, wood, seeds of plants, and sometimes 
^ mixture of all or most of them strung together. The 

* Marsden, in Tuekey, 388, 389. 

; Cavazzi. 11. 7. t Oldenrlorp, 320, 

CONGO. 329 

vilest things in nature serve for a negro's fetiche ; like the book 
witches' caldron in European superstition, they are a ^^^^» 
compound of every abomination. In the choice of these ""—""*" 
they consult certain persons called fetiche-men, who form 
a kind of priesthood. The fetiche, however, is not merely 
an amulet ; prayers, abstinence, and penances are enjoin- 
ed to its worshippers. The fetiche-man, it seems, can 
give another more propitious fetiche in exchange of that 
which is too insensible to the interests of its worshippers ; 
and he has the lucrative power of rendering sacred, or feti- 
chingf as it is named in Africa, any part of any man's pro- 
perty he pleases. This power is in all respects similar to 
the tabboo of the South Sea Islands, and not unlike the 
once terrible interdict of the Roman Pontiff. In a word, 
the fetiche is an amulet, a deity, and a guardian genius ; 
and the rudest scnlptures or carving which refer to it are 
held sacred. Hence the famous fetiche-rock, a huge mass 
of stone on the banks of the Congo, covered with miserable 
attempts at sculpture, is held in great veneration.^ Feti- 
chism is doubtless one great cause of the ignorance and im- 
morality of the Africans. The Capuchin missionaries saw 
them worship a goat, which their pious zeal caused to be 
killed ; but the negroes, although converted, were, neverthe- 
less, alarmed on seeing the Capuchins roast and eat a divi- 
nity.f The iiriests are called gangas ; their chief Chiioin6, is Priests, 
supposed to possess a divine authority ; he receives as a sa- 
crifice the first-fruits, and a sacred fire is constantly kept in 
his inviolable abode. In the event of his becoming ill, his 
successor is appointed, who immediately kills him with a 
club, to prevent his dying a natural death ; which would 
afford a bad omen. Many other subaltern priests work 
upon the credulity of the negroes ; one heals all diseases, 
another commands both wind and rain ; others understand 
bewitching the waters, or preserving the harvest. Drought 
is the inherent vice of the climate of Africa, and the fre- 
quent destruction of the hopes of the husbandman which 

^ Tiifkev, t Zucchelli, 22 f?. 

330 CONGO. 

BOOK occurs from this cause, might have given origin to the func- 
ixix. ^j()jj ^f i, Rainmaker," among a less superstitious population. 

Mr. Campbell, an intelligent missionary, met with several 
men of this profession in tiie Betjuana country, where tliey 
are in high esteem, that district being vei-y subject to 
drought. They are generally the best informed men of the 
community, and this explains why their lucrative office is 
frequently forced upon them, though protesting i 11 the while 
that they are incapable of producing rain. Others seem se- 
riously to believe thoy possess this power. 

To procure rain, an ox is killed ; the fat of it is chopped 
and mixed with different kinds of wood and leaves of 
trees ; the whole are then burned. The secret of the 
business is to gain time by various artifices, until the 
rainmaker sees clouds arising in that direction from which 
rain generally comes. His reward is very considerable. The 
JST'' quits are members of a sacred fraternity, who celebrate 
dreadful mysterious rites, accompanied with lascivious 

de^d "^^''^ dances, in the deep recesses of forests. One order of 
magicians, called Jtombala, pretend to the power of raising 
the dead ; their juggles practised upon a dead body, in the 
presence of the missionaries, so far imposed upon them, 
that they imagined they saw the dead move, and believed 
they heard some inarticulate sounds proceed from his 
mouth, which they attributed to the power of infernal 
spirits. May not this have been a galvanic operation ? 

ciuistian Fjij^g Christian missionaries struffffle with very little success 

missions. . '-''^ *' 

against these monstrous superstitions. There was a time, 
when the apostles of the faith boasted of reckoning 
among their flock all the princes of Lower Guinea, parti- 
cularly those of Congo, and of having likewise assembled 
round the sign of the cross all their subjects. The ne- 
groes, in fact, naturally fond of imitation, easily conform 
to the example of their chiefs. They embrace the re- 
ligion which they are commanded to follow ; but abandon 
it as readily whenever the prince, equally inconstant as the 
people, returns to his former mode of worship.* Sogno 

"^ T,abat, t. I. p. 37. 

CONGO. 331 

attracted the favour of the apostolic missionaries, and per- book 
fectly justified the confidence entertained of its inhabitants, i-xix. 
According to some accoun<ts, they all embraced Christianity, 
and their example was followed by the whole of Congo.=^ 
Faithful to the new religion, they still continued to abhor 
idolatry in 17T6. They transmitted the Christfan myste- 
ries from father to son, and assembled regularly on Sunday 
to sing psalms, although their children were not allowed by 
the priests to be baptized, nor themselves to celebrate the 
holy sacraments. 

In 1816, Tuckey found the Christian religion nearly ex- 
tinct on the banks of the Congo. At Noki, the crucifixes 
left by the missionaries were strangely mixed with native 
fetiches, and no trace of the Portuguese missions appear- 
ed on its northern bank. Even at Shark Point, in the 
centre of Sogno, the number of idolaters seemed to predo- 
minate. The few who professed Christianity came on 
board, loaded with crucifixes, and satchels containing the 
relics of saints. One Sogno was a priest, having a diplo- 
ma from the capuchins of Loanda. He and another man 
had learned to write their own names, and that of Saint 
Anthony, and could also read the litany in Latin. He 
had one wife and five concubines, — a proof that the Por- 
tuguese missionaries have found it necessary to relax on a 
point which was one great cause of their former failures. 
This barefooted apostle contended, that Saint Peter, in 
confining him to one wife, did not prohibit him from as 
many concubines as he pleased.f In 1813, the Sognos kill- 
ed several of the missionaries, and cut off a Portuguese 
trading pinnace, — a fact which sufficiently confirms the 
testimony of M. Grandpre, given below.:|: Perhaps the 
Roman Catholic religion is in itself not well adapted to 
spread the light of civilization: yet we find that, where 
its missionaries have had the education and habits of gen- 
tlemen, they have seldom wanted success. The Jesuits of 
China and Paraguay may be cited as examples ; and the 

* Proyart, 210. t Turkey, 80. 277. 369. | Tuckey, 110. 





dictory ac' 

failure in Congo may fairly he attributed to the rude igno- 
rance and bigotry of the clergy, chiefly monks, who were 
employed in the mission. May they aftbrd a warning to 
other more liberal churches, engaged in the same noble, but 
difficult pursuit ! 

Respecting the countries situated to the north of the 
Zaire, the French missionaries, who proceeded from Nantes- 
to preach Christianity in Loango in 1768, finally mside 
choice of Cacongo for the principal residence of their 
ministry. They immediately endeavoured to gain the 
chiefs, and were well received. Strong in the protection 
of the king, who lodged them in his palace, they establish- 
ed a chapel, and had the satisfaction to witness the negroes 
of Sogno, whom trade had brought to Kingale, come to 
assist at mass. Sickness, however, obliged these priests, in 
1770, to quit the country. Three years after, others ar- 
rived from France, who fixed their abode in a plain near 
the village of Kilonga. In 1775, they discovered, in their 
neighbourhood, a Christian community from Sogno, whose 
inhabitants had obtained permission from the king of Ca- 
congo to settle in his states, where they put a desert coun- 
try into a state of cultivation. This colony formed a small 
province, containing four thousand Christians. Man- 
guenzo was the principal village. The French priests 
baptized many children, and were well paid in yacca-root, 
maize, peas, and she-goats. Their intention then was to 
establish a seminary of negroes. Don Juan, the chief of 
the colony, was about to build two churches. They w^ere 
in want (tf sacred vessels, and other objects of the first 
necessity. To fill up the measure of their misfortunes, 
many members of the mission died, and others found them- 
selves loaded with infirmities, towards the year 1776, when 
the last reports were transmitted to Europe. A modern 
traveller, however, contradicts these flattering accounts, 
and positively asserts, that the Sognese have not in any 
degree maintained the zeal they formerly shewed for their 
conversion;^ according to him, these savages, naturally 

* De Graiidpre, t. II. p. 37. 

CONGO. 333 

treacherous and cowardly, have become notorious by the ^ook 
poisoning and assassination of the missionaries ; and their i^xix. 
universal character for perfidy has sometimes caused them " 
to be loaded with irons when sold to Europeans. A French 
priest, says M. de Grand pre, in another place,=^ was zeal- 
ous in the performance of his duty ; but the picture of 
eternal life, liowever brilliant he might paint it, did not at- 
tract the Congoos. The abodes of paradise appeared to 
them the less desirable, from tlieir being denied the use of 
brandy ; they jcomplained much of this, and preferred a 
voyage to France, where they might enjoy that precious 
liquor ; and thus the missionary was unable to make pro- 
selytes. At lengtii, one of them, overcome by the entrea- 
ties of the priest, consented to compromise, and engaged 
to go to paradise ; inquiring at the same time, how much 
merchandize he should gain by it. " None, whatever," an- 
swered the priest. ** Let us understand each other," replied 
the black ; ** I ask you how much merchandize you will 
give me for performing the voyage which you propose." 
The missionary, with mildness, repeated his answer in the 
negative, adding, at the same time, every tiling that he 
could to persuade him. The other replied in his bad 
French : *• Hold you there ! Think that 1 will go all that 
way for nothing ? Give me goods for it." The mission- 
ary insisted at least upon his being baptized, but he could 
obtain no other answer than " Give goods, give brandy." 
This, continues M. de Grandpre, is not the only instance 
of fruitless missions. He was witness to one which ar- 
rived from Rochelle, in 1777 ; it was composed of four 
Italian priests, full of zeal, who introduced them- 
selves into the district of the Sognese, well loaded with 
presents, and every thing which might insure success; 
in fact, two of them succeeded in introducing themselves, 
and wrote to the two others, requiring them also to 
come and join them. In the course of ten days, says 
our author, I saw them return, quite alarmed, even doubt- 

* De Grandpre, t. I. p. 91. 

334 ^ CONGO. 


BOOK ing their own existence ; they were many days in recover- 
ixix. j,3g fpom their fright; and we learnt that, on their arrival, 
they had found tlieir two former companions prisoners, 
dead, and hurled. They expected to have met with the 
same fate, and one of them, wholly resigned, thouglit on- 
ly of administering to himself spiritual comfort; the other, 
however, being younger, more spirited, and tenacious of 
life, continued to deceive the blacks, by persuading them 
that he had left behind him the greatest part of the presents 
intended for them, which would not be delivered, except 
to the two missionaries in person. The negroes, though 
determined upon poisoning them in their turn, at the same 
time wxre anxious to be in possession of the presents, and 
furnished them with hammocks to return to the coast. 
Thus ended the mission. In a climate, however, which is 
naturally so hostile to European constitutioiis, the fate of 
these newly arrived missionaries may readily be explained, 
without having recourse to poisoning, of which the known 
frequency could not but alarm the terrified and ignorant 
imaginations of the two survivors. 
ReflecLions In duly considering these circumstances, the blacks are 
not probably so much to blame, as, at first sight, might ap- 
pear ; the missionaries often brought upon themselves an 
unfortunate termination of their ministry; had they per- 
mitted the fathers of families to finish their career in their 
own way, and had applied themselves solely to the conver- 
sion of the young, success might in time have rewarded 
their zeal. This was not the case ; they were able to speak 
only a v^ry few words of the language of these people, and 
could, therefore, neither explain nor reason with them up- 
on any subject ; they nevertheless began by imposing up- 
on them the most sensible privations, by wishing to sub- 
ject them, at once to all the peculiarities of the most rigid 
worship. Polygamy is generally prevalent in a burning 
climate, where the temperament of the inhabitants renders 
physical enjoyments necessary. Many missionaries have 
been known to employ force to deprive them of their 
wives ; and as persons in power generally afford examples 

CONGO. 335 

for others, it was upon these that they first attempted to book 
exercise their apostolic authority. What attachment could i^xix. 
they expect from men guided hy simple nature, who con- " 

wSidered them as persons merely come to torment them, to 
impose upon them hahits of slavery; who only addressed 
them in tlie language of reproach, and were even willing to 
bring down upon their families trouble and confusion, by 
compelling them to repudiate their wives, and deprive their 
children of mothers. 

It no\v remains for us to make a few observations on the Neigh- 
tribes altogether illiterate, which are to be found on the bor- tdbesof 
ders of Congo, Conge. 

To the north of Loan2;o, ancient travellers place a n a- The Bake- 
tion of dwarfs, called Matemhas or Bake-Bake. They are, ^ ^* 
by them, said to be of the size of children of twelve years 
old, but very stout; to live in the interior of unfrequent- 
ed forests, wliere they hunt elephants, the teeth of which 
they pay as a tribute to a prince called Many Kesock, who 
lives about eight days journey towards the east of Ma- 
yomba. Their w^omeii go into the woods to kill the great 
pongo monkeys with poisoned arrows.-^ In the interior, Country of 
and more towards the east, is the country of An^ziko, or '^"^'^°* 
Anzikana, JV'feka or Great Angecajj rich in metals and 
sandal-wood, but particularly famed for the uncivilized 
state of its inliabitants. According to accounts probably 
fabulous, or at least exaggerated, of this distant and little 
known country, the Anziquas or Anziquois, deliver their 
sick prisoners to butchers, who expose their flesh for sale 
in the public markets. The natives, when tired of their Anthropo- 
lives, or misled by a false point of honour, are said some- P^^^S'* 
times to offer themselves for slaughter. Even parents and 
children devour each other. M. de Grandpre would ap- 
pear to doubt this report ; he even denies that there are 
in Africa any Anthropophagi. ** If the travels of Mungo 
Park, in countries wliere Mahoractanism has reached, do 
not altogether refute the imputation of cannibalism, thrown 

* Batte], p. 983. t Battel, 981 ; Dapper, 553 ; Prey art. 8. 

336 CONGO. 

liooK out against the Africans, what can he said against the tes- 
XXIX. timony of Levaillant, whose steps have been directed to- 

' wards nations altogether barbarous, entire strangers to 

every species of civilization, and among whom he has not 
found any thing to justify an accusation so unjust? I can 
certify, for my own part, that the report of the blacks of 
Congo eating liuman flesl», is false; these people are mild, 
timid, and indolent; tbey, in general, have a horror at the 
shedding of blood, and any man among them who wounds 
another to this extent, is condemned either to give a slave, 
or its value in merchandize ; and if the aggressor has not 
the means, he is himself sold ?"* 

Manners of The Anziquas are excellent archers, and handle the 

the Aiizi- battle-axe in a superior manner. They are very nimble, 
courageous, and intrepid. They are considered faithful 
in their transactions with others. They sometimes carry 
for sale to the coast fine stuffs made of palm leaves, and 
other things fabricated by them, also ivory and slaves, eith- 
er procured in their own country or in Nubia. The mer- 
chandize which they take in return consists of cowries and 
other shells with which they ornament themselves, salt, 
silk-stuffs, linen, glass ware, and other European manu- 
factures. Circumcision is pei'formed on both sexes, as they 
cut their faces as an ornament. The women are covered 
^from head to foot; the great wear either robes of silk, or 
coats of cloth; the upper part of the body, among the 
common people, is naked, and their hair braided. Their 
language is harsh, and appears to he merely a dialect of 
the common idiom found throughout the whole of low^er 

Cities and The extent and situation of Anziko has been so indicat- 
ed as rather to excite the curiosity of the geographer than 
to satisfy it. Dapper places MonsoU the capital, three 
hundred leagues from the coast, and describes the coun- 
try as bordering on Gingiro, which is near Abyssinia. 
Pigafetta makes a j^ver called Umbre which really enters the 



De Grandpie, 1. 1, p. 211. t Lopez, p. 14. 

<!ONGo, 337 

Congo, to How into the Anziko ; he places towards the east book 
or north-east the kingdom of JVanga, in which one might i-xix. 
be tempted to discover Wangara. The king of Anziko 
is called the Makoko ; under his government are thirteen 
vassal kings, among whom may be remarked the king of 
Fungenif because this name recals to the mind the Fungi 
of Nubia, who, according to their own traditions, original- 
ly came from the southern parts of Africa. 

The missionary Oldendorp, from inquiries made of the 
negroes of the West-Indies, learned the existence of a nation 
called MokkOf bordering on the Ibbos, which may be iden- Mokko 
tical with the inhabitants of Anziko, subjects of Makoko. 

This nation lives in perpetual hostility with the Evos, 
who appear to be the same as the EviSf of whose existence 
Mr. Salt heard accounts at Mosambique, as inhabiting a 
country nearer the Atlantic than the Indian sea. 

Vol. tv. ^2 




' Continuation of the description of Africa, — The Cape, and 

the coimtry of the Hottentots, 

BOOK The coast wiiich extends from Cape Negro to the mouth 

ixx. Qf ^|jg united Orange and Fisch rivers, 150 miles S. E. 

_ of Angra Pequena, is little known, of dangerous ac- 

v^OcLStS 01 

Cimbebas. cess, and Scarcely inhabited. The Portuguese, proceed- 
ing from Brazil to Benguela, observed cape Negro, and 
upon its point have erected a marble column bearing the 
arms of Portugal. To the south of the Cape, the river 
Bemha-Ronghe, half a league wide, empties itself into the 
sea; both its banks are inhabited. Cape Rui-Pire^ still 
bears the surname das J\'*eves or of snows; this epithet, 
however, has originated from hillocks of white sand. 
Cape FriOf or cold, V*ingra Fria, or cold point ; also la 
Fraija das Jeeves, or region of snows, owe their names to 
illusions or impressions of the moment. The high moun- 
tains terminate at cape Serra. Many peaks of small eleva- 
tion line the bay JValvriscJu or the bay of Whales, which 
is the same as the Angra do Ilheo of the Portuguese. 
Little more is known of the small gulph of St. Thomas. 
The whole of this coast was visited in detail, more 
than twenty years ago, by an English expedition, with a 
view of selecting a place for transportation; they did not 
find one spot favourable for cultivation, or which did not 
appear too wretched even for criminals. Water that can 
be drank is very scarce ; the rivers at their mouths have 

THE CAPE. 339 

nothing but brackish water; and traces of verdure are book 
only to be seen in partial situations."^ txx. 

Behind this inhospitable coast is marked the wandering 
horde of Cimbebas^ whose prince is called Mataman, and Tnhabit- 
that of Macasses, or rather MakosseSf visited by a French 
traveller, whose narrative is very scarce.t The existence banners of 

, the Makos- 

even of the Cimbebas rests upon very doubttul authority, ses. 
They appear, however, to be known by the Makosses, un- 
der the name of Maquemanes. The country of the Ma- 
kosses has an extent of 30 leagues ; hares are here so nu- 
merous that they may^be killed by a stick. Horned cat- 
tle constitute the riches of these wanderers, who generally 
change the pasturage every two years, and who have no 
other clothing than the hide of an ox.:|: They are circum- 
cised at the age of eighteen, do not eat iish, and believe in 
magicians, in poisoners, and in an evil genius, who sends 
them rain, thunder, and storms. The sweet seeds of a 
plant which grows rapidly to the height of ten or twelve 
feet, is used by them to make a sort of cake ; a sort of grain 
supplies them with an inebriating drink. The Macasses 
appear to enjoy the conveniencies of life, those who have two 
or three thousand head of cattle are not considered rich. 
Theft is punished by them very severely. There is great 
decency in their external appearance. Every thing leads us 
to conclude that this tribe is a branch of the Betjuanas, or 
of the CafFre Koussas, who inliabit the eastern coast.§ Hav- Physical 

• n • n jt n' 1 1 /~k region of 

ing passed the common opening ot the Fisc/i and Urange the Cape. 
River, we enter the country of the Hottentots, compre- 
hended between the Orange and Koussie River; which, 
together with the territory of the colony of the Cape, 

* Notes communicated by Si<- Home Popham to M. Corrca de Serra. 
Notes of Wood, in the Nautical Instructions of Dalzel. 

t Lajardicre, German translation in Ehrmann, Bibliotheque des Voyages 
et de Geogiaphie, t. III. M. Boucher de ia Richardifere says, in his Biblio- 
theque des Voyages, that he has not been able to find the original — we have 
not been more successful. 

1 Ehrmann, III. 360. ^ See hereafter, book LXXI. 

310 THE CAPE. 

BOOK forms only one jjhysical region. The territory of the 
^^^' Cape of Good Hope has for its limits to the north and 

*"~~~"~ north-east, a vast chain of mountains, called the Nieu- 
weldt, and Roggeweldt, which separate it from the Betjua- 
nas, Buslimen, and otUer independent tribes ; to the east, 
the Groat Fisch river, the Rio d'Infante of the Portuguese, 
which separates it from CafFraria; to the west by the At- 
lantic Ocean, from the mouth of Koussie River, to the pro- 
montory of the Cape, or more properly to Cape Laguillas, 
about thirty miles farther south; and from hence again 
to the Great Fisch river, its southern boundary is fixed by 
the waters of the South Sea. Such were the limits assum- 
ed at the cession of this country to the English by th© 
Dutch in 1806; but it appears that some circumstances 
connected with the attacks of the Caffres have occasioned 
the eastern boundary of the British settlement to be ad- 
vanced to the river Keiskamma,^ about thirty-two miles 
to the N. E. of the Great Fisch. We design, however, 
under the physical region marked by the mouths of the 
Orange and Great Fisch rivers, to comprehend also the 
description of the interior, as far as is known; and what 
we are about to deliver may probably apply, not only to 
all the countries south of Congo and Monomotapa, but also 
to the whole plateau of Mocaranga and the deserts of the 
Jagas; further observation must decide this question. 

Rivevs. The parts of this north region of the Cape, more or less 

known, are watered by two large rivers, the lesser Fisch, 
and the Gariep, or Orange. The Orange may be said to 
commence at CampbeWs Dorp, 600 miles directly east from 
its mouth ; being formed there by the confluence of the 
Yellow River, which arises among the mountains at Khing 
and Yattaba, two sources, at least 350 miles to the N.E. 
of Campbell's Dorp, and 800 miles from the mouth of 
the Orange ; — the Jirrow smith, or Malalareen river, the 
Mexander, the Craddock, Formerly the Krooman river 
fell into the Orange 360 miles nearer its mouth ; but it is 

'"• CarapbellV Map. second joui-ncv into Africa. 

THE CAPE. 341 

now a dry bed. Mr. Campbell, in 1820, met with natives book 
who remembered its flowing much farther into the desert. ^^^' 
The free Hottentot countrv between the south bank of the 
Orange, and the Koussie, is called Little JVamaqua terri- 
tory, whilst the region adjacent to its north bank, named 
the Great Namaqua territory, gives origin to the Konup, 
or Fisch river, by many tributary streams which issue from 
its Copper Mountains, The course is nearly south ; it has 
been traced about 300 miles north from the point where it 
falls into the Orange, to the country of the Dammaias. The 
rivers Elephant (from tlic west) and Berg take the same 
direction, but they issue from sloping declivities brought 
nearer to each other on tl»e western side. Some other ri- 
vers, whicli run from north to south, issue from the sides 
of sloping declivities ; their course is not long; the great 
Fisch River {Groote Visch) terminates the territory of 
the Cape. All these rivers, swelled by the periodical 
rains, carry along much mud and sand ; forced back by 
the sea, these matters form impediments at their mouth; 
or, in the dry season, the rivers, reduced to a small body 
of water, are lost in the sands, or among the rocks.^ Cas- 
cades, but little picturesque, interrupt the course of these 
rivers ; they are useful in fertilizing, by their inundations, 
a part of their banks. 

Between the sloping declivities, improperly denominated Descrip- 
chains of mountains, are extended plains destitute of run- ^^°"j° ^ ^ 
ning water, called Karroos, These plains are not wholly 
barren deserts, as represented by inaccurate travellers. 
Of these Karroos, the one best known, wliich is bound- 
ed on the east by the hills of Camdebo, has been des- 
cribed by two accurate observers, Patterson,! and Lich- 
tenstein.| The soil of the Karroo is a bed of clay and 
sand, having the colour of yellow ochre from particles of 
iron : at the depth of one or two feet is found solid rock, 
of which this bed appears to be a decomposition. Diir^ 

* Lichtenstein, Voyage to the Cape, I. passim, 
t Patterson, voyage trad, de Forster, 40, 
t Lichtenstein, Voyage to the Cape, I. 193, 


342 THE CArE. 

BOOK ing the dry season, the rays of the sun reduce the soil 
XXX. nearly to the hardness of brick ; fig-marygolds, and 
'"*""""" other fleshy plants, alone retain the remains of verdure ; 
the roots of gorteria, star-wort, berckheya, as well as those 
of lilies, defended by an almost ligneous covering, scarcely 
survive under this sun-scorched crust. These roots, nourish- 
ed by the rain in the wet season, swell under the earth : the 
young shoots develop themselves, and rise all at once, 
covering the plain, a short time only before so dry, with a 
bright verdure; very soon the lilies and marygolds dis- 
play their brilliant colours, and fill the air with the most 
exquisite perfumes. At that time, the nimble antelopes 
and the ostrich descend from the neighbouring mountains 
in great numbers. The colonists lead down their herds 
from all points, which acquire new vigour in this rich pas- 
turage. The possession of these natural meadows is not 
disputed ; they are sufficiently extensive for the purposes 
of every one. The colonists, indeed, seek the conversa- 
tion of their companions, and endeavour to draw closer 
the bonds of friendship and affinity to families from whom 
they are separated at other seasons by immense distances. 
Pastoral The life of the Karroo, is a representation of the golden 
colonists. ag6 foi' the people of the Cape. Only slight labour inter- 
rupts its uniformity, and renders it more lucrative; the 
children of the slaves collect the branches of two shrubs, 
called channa,^ from which potash is extracted. The 
adults are employed in tanning hides for clothing and 
shoes. The beauty, liowcvcr, of the Karroo lasts only 
one month, unless some lingering showers continue to 
protract vegetf^bie life. The sun's rays, during the month 
of AMgust, on account of the increasing length of the day, 
have a destructive iisflufruce: the plants become dried up, 
the soil is hardened, and on all sides the desert reappears. 
Men and animals soon abandon these situations, hence- 
forth uninhabitable. Such vegetables as the Mriplex aU 
Means, and the Polijgalas, which resist its influence, be- 
come covered with a grey crust; a powder of the same 

* Salsoja aphylla and Salicornia frutjcosa. 

THE CAPE. 343 

colour is spread over the fleshy plants, which continue to book 
be nourished by the air. Every where is seen a soil burnt I'XX. 
up, covered with a blackish dust, the only remains of vege- 
tables dried up. It is thus that life and death succeed each 
other here in eternal rotation. 

The mountains of this extremity of the African conti- 9°'"PPV" 

*^ tion of the 

nent, are, as Ims already been observed, enormous declivi- mountains. 
ties : they are the sections of those terraces by which the 
central plateau descends towards the sea. The direction 
of these mountains is generally from north-west to south- 
east : their termination is more abrupt towards the west 
and south than towards the east, where, being continued 
under the waters of the ocean, they form dangerous rocks. 
These mountains constitute the leading feature of the Cape 
territory. They consist of three successive ranges, paral- 
lel to each other, and nearly so to the southern coast, which 
trends to the north. The first range, Lange Kloof , or Long 
Pass, at the distance of twenty to sixty miles, runs parallel 
to the coast, widening as it proceeds towards the west. The 
second, named Zwarte Berg, or Black Mountain, is consi- 
derably higher and more rugged, consisting often of double, 
or even triple ranges. The belt of land interposed be- 
tween this ridge and the former is nearly equal to that be- 
tween the former and the sea ; at an average from twenty to 
sixty miles. It is, however, of considerably greater eleva- 
tion. Beyond, namely to the N.W. of the Zwarte Berg, 
at an interval of 80 or 100 miles, soars the lofty Nieu- 
veldfs Gebirge, the highest range of southern Africa, the 
summits of which, as it is said, are generally covered with 
snow. It must be confessed, however, that the intense 
light of this climate, reflected from the white clouds that 
often crown these distant summits, may frequently become a 
source of error.^ The greatest height of the Nieuveldt's 
Gebirge has not been measured, but has been supposed not 
less than 10,000 feet. The belt or plain between this, the 
New-land Mountain, and the Black Mountain, is consider- 
ably higher than the two above described, and hence we 

* Campbell's Second Jouvney. 

344 I'HE CAPE. 

BOOK have said that Southern Africa presents a succession of 
XXX. terraces, from which its rivers descend to the sea. The 
"~~~"""~" plain next the latter is covered with a deep and fertile soil, 
watered by numerous rivulets, w^ell clothed with grass, and 
a beautiful variety of trees and shrubs. Rains are frequent, 
and from this circumstance, the irrigation of its rivulets, 
abundant vegetation, and proximity to the sea, it enjoys a 
moj'e mild and equable temperature than the other plateaus 
of tlie colony. The second pass, or terrace, contains a 
considerable proportion of well watered and fertile lands; 
but these are mixed with large tracts of arid desert, called 
Karoo. The third belt is named the Great Karoo ; be- 
cause, like the smaller, its soil is of the hard impenetrable 
texture w^e have just described ; a vast plain, SOO miles long, 
and nearly 100 in breadth, without almost a trace of vege- 
tation. Granite, which, on the western side, is only found at 
the height of one hundred and fifty feet above the level of 
the sea, is found on the banks of the river Kaiman at fifty 
feet : flinty slate, which is wrought at the height of two 
hundred and fifty feet near the Cape, is continued into 
the sea on the shores of the bays of Plettenberg and Al- 
goa.=^ The grey sand-stone forms chains of great extent, 
among others the Piquet Mountains, in which the most ele- 
vated beds having been broken and cut asunder by some 
physical revolution, gives an appearance of towers and em- 
Table battled walls. The shore of Table-Bay, upon which the 
Mountain, mountain of that name rises to the height of 3582 feet, by 
a declivity so gentle that it has been ascended on horse- 
back from the south, is supported by a bed of ferruginous 
schistus, in parallel furrow^s, in a direction from south-east 
to north-west, which interrupt veins of granite and quartz. 
On the surface of the schistus is a stratum of ochrous clay, 
containing patches of brown mud : this proceeds from the 
decomposition of granite, which is found contained in im- 
mense blocks, five hundred feet above the level of the sea; 

* Lichtcnstcin, t. I. p. 327. (In the text there is 1502,500 feet ; but this must 
he a mistake. See hereafter Bariow.") 

THE CAPK. 345 

then commence stratified rocks composed of various kinds book 
of free-stone, traversed by veins of hematite. These beds i-xx. 
of sand-stone support a mass of quartz a thousand fpet 
high, greyish, shining, reduced into powder, or degene- 
rating into free-stone, according to the exposure. The 
mountain has no trace of shells, impressions, or petrifac- 
tions.=^ No lime-stone has hitherto been found. An ore Minerals. 
of iron is found in many places,| but it has not been 
worked. Since the year 1685, rich ores of copper have 
been found, little worked, by the Hottentots-Dam mar as, 
who have given their name to the copper moimtains,^ 
Springs of petroleum are frequent; the richest lands are 
often so much impregnated with nitrous salts, and so much 
covered by a crust from the efflorescence of these salts, as 
to be rendered unfit for cultivation.^ Common salt, also 
abundant, is more useful to the inhabitants ; they call the 
basin wherein the briny waters are collected, salt pans, 

In the interior of the colony are found various mineral 
waters, of which the most esteemed are those called the 
hot-baths; these are found near the Black Mountains, 
thirty leagues from the city. A spacious building has 
lately been constructed for the convenience of those who 
use the baths; it is divided into two parts, the one set 
apart for the whites and the other for the negroes.|| Ano- 
ther is described to the north of Orange River.^ 

The country whose soil we have just described enjoys Tempe- 
the mildest temperature in respect to heat, Fahrenheit's !y^\"j^(5san^ 
thermometer seldom rising above the hundredth degree. Seasons. 
In a meteorological register** kept at Cape Town, from 

* Barrow, 1. 1 chap. I. 

+ Thunberg, t. p. 129. 157 ; II. 86. tiad. ailem. ; Sparmann, 124. 601, 
trad, allem. 

:}: Patterson, 66. 123. trad, de Forster, 

§ Lichtenstein, I. 108. 

11 Manuscript Notice of the Cape, by M. Epidariste Collin, of the Isle of 

IT Campbell's Map, second journey. 

**" Colebrooke's State of the Cape in 1822, p. 370 

346 THE CAPE. 

BOOK September 1818, to September 1821, embracing a period 
XXX. Qf three years, the highest heat marked is 96% the lowest 
45° Fahrenheit. The mean nnnual temperature scarcely 
68°. — Of winter 61°, of summer 89°. Of the warmest month 
79°, of the coldest 57^° Fahrenheit. In short it corres- 
ponds as nearly to Funchal, the capital of Madeira, in 
climate, as it does in latitude and longitude, though in an op- 
posite direction. The mean annual temperature is the same; 
only the winters are vsomething colder, and the summers 
warmer at the Cape than in Madeira.^ Hence the Cape 
has, with great propriety, been named the Madeii'a of the 
southern hemisphere, and is a celebrated resort for the 
invalids of India, who frequently retire from this sa- 
lubrious climate, with full renovation of their health and 
vigour. It may be doubted if so exact a correspond- 
ence between the isothermal curve, and the identical pa- 
rallel of latitude in opposite hemispheres, is to be found 
any where else without the tropics. The barometer 
ranges from 29.6 to 30.54. — mean 30, 18.; but the winds 
produce very disagreeable effects. The season which 
is here called summer, continues from the month of Sep- 
tember until the end of March ; the wind blows from 
the south-east, and often with great violence. Nothing 
can be secured from the sands which it drives before it; 
they penetrate the closest apartments, and the best closed 
trunks. At this time it is not prudent to go out without 
spectacles, lest the eyes should be injured. These winds 
begin soon after the Table Mountain is observed to be 
covered with a mist, which is called its mantle ; they ge- 
nerally last four or five successive days, and are very dis- 
tressing. From March to September, the north-west wind 
prevails, it is accompanied by pleasant weather, or rains, 
which are almost constant during the months of June and 
July. In different parts of the country the meteoro- 
logical phenomena are much varied, according to the di- 
rection and height of the mountains of the interior. The 

* Humboldt's Isothermal Table. 

THE CAPE. 347 

higher chain of mountains attract the clouds.^ In the coun- book 
try of Houtiniqna, on the south-east coast, (luring the month ^^^ 
of October storms of rain are frequent, accompanied with 
dreadful peals of thundcr.f 

The enthusiasm of botanists, added to the great num- Vegetable 
her of new plants furnished by the Cape, has represented i^e ca^p^.^ 
the vegetation of this country in brilliant colours. The 
philosopher, it must he admitted, finds more wonders to 
admire in this, than in any other country; it is from hence 
that we have received the most magnificent plants tiiat 
adorn our greenhouses and gardens; many others, how- 
ever, not less beautiful, continue strangers to European 
culture. The class of bulbous plants may be considered 
as one of the most characteristic of the flowers of the 
Cape; since no where else are they to be found so numer- 
ous, so various, and so beautiful. The botanist may here 
admire the numberless varieties of the Ixia^ their brilliant 
colours, and exquisite scent ; he will find it difiicult to 
count the superb species of the iris ; the morell, the corn- 
flag, the amaryllis, the Hotmanthiis^X the pancratium, which, 
after the autumnal rains, are to be seen covering the fields 
and the foot of tlie mountains. During the other seasons, 
the Gnafphaliiim, the Xeranthemum§ display their red, 
blue, or silky white flowers; the sweet smelling Geranium, 
and a thousand other plants and heaths vary this rich 
scene. Even in the midst of stony deserts are seen fleshy 
plants, the stapelia, the mesembryanthemumi euphorbia, 
crassula, the cotyledon and aloe. Some attain the height 
of trees, which, together with the weeping willow, or the 
different species of Mimosa, shade the banks of torrents 
produced or enlarged by the rains. Tbe silver-leaved Groves and 
protea imparts to the groves of the Cape a metallic splen- 
dour, while one of the nunjeious species of heath,|| gives 
the appearance of a carpet of hair. The Cape olive-tree, 

* Masson, Philos. Transactions for 1766. p. 296. 

t Thunberg, t. I. 165. 

I Ha;manthus coccineus, et puniceus, Thunbergj I, 255. 

§ Xeranthemuni fulgidum et speciosissimum, L. 

jl Erica tomentosa, Masson, p. 299. -vv! 


348 ' THE CAPE. 

BOOK and the sophora, a tree like the ash,* furnish some wood for 
XXX. joinery, but they are in want of building and fire wood. 
— "Nevertheless," says a Frenchman who has visited the 
Cape four times successively, " forests of magnificent oaks 
exist in the east of False Bay, in that part called Hottentot- 
Holland. The English builder-general at the Cape, and 
my friend Camille Roquefeuil, from whom I have received 
this account, have examined this wood with minute atten- 
tion, and consider it the same as the Albanian oak, which, 
as is well known, is the best for building, on account of 
its quality and hardness. If at some future period they 
should cut down these forests, the Cape will readily find a mar- 
ket for its woods ; our islands will no doubt avail themselves 
of it for building and repairing ships.-'f It is towards the 
east in particular, on the frontiers of the establishment, 
that forests are found. They have not yet been accurately 
examined. They furnish iron and hassagay wood, yellow 
wood, some species of zamia or the palm-sago ;:|: the gayac 
with scarlet flowers, the strelit^ia reginae of incomparable 
Defects of Such are the vegetable beauties of the Cape. It is true 
tion. that the visit of every naturalist enriches the science with 

some new species of shrub, or plant; and the researches 
of M. Lalande in 1819, 1820, at the expense of the French 
government, are expected to add an immense catalogue to 
the individuals already known ;§ it must, however, be 
frankly acknowledged, that the vegetation of this Afri- 
can country does not satisfy either the eye or the ideas of 
an European. Rocks and sands every where prevail. The 
fields are separated by deserts ; the green turf, scattered 
and thin, no where presents a close bed of verdure; the 
forests, filled with pointed trees, possess neither a delicious 
coolness, nor a solemn darkness. Nature is here more 

* Ekebergia capensis, Thunberg, t. II. 53. 95. 

t Manuscript Notice of M. Epidariste Collin, of the Isle of France. 

t Cycas capensis, Thunberg, Acta Societ- Upsal, II. p. 283, 

h Colebreoke, p. 2. 

THE CAPE. 349 

imposing than beautiful ; she has more caprices than charms ; book 
and a plant, however elegant, when arranged neatly in the ^^x. 
green houses of Europe, cuts a very different figure on a 
solitary mass of sand and clay, the general soil of the Kar- 
roo. Nature is said to divide her favours; and for the 
elegance of colour and structure which she has lavished 
on the Flox^a of the Cape, to have withheld that sweetness 
whose aroma fills the gardens of Europe. Hence it is a 
common saying,"* ** that in South Africa flowers have no 
smell, birds no song, rivers no fish ; " the latter part of the 
remark is not quite correct; but it explains why the Dutch 
have bestowed the appellative of Fish, and Great Fish, on 
the two rivers which bound the territory. May not this 
inadequacy of the Cape sun to sublime the volatile and 
aromatic juices of vegetables, explain in some measure the 
acknowledged general inferiority of Cape raisins, wine, and 
brandy ? The singular gratefulness of the Constantia wine 
is almost solely referable to a favourable peculiarity of situ- 

It is to be lamented that the English government at the 
Cape have suffered the fine Botanic garden, and menagerie, 
established there by the Dutch, to fall into total decay. 
By encouraging the indigenous botany of South Africa, in- 
estimable advantages might accrue to the agriculturists of 
the Cape, and the useful knowledge reflected from it to the 
mother country would amply repay her, should this rich 
colony be found unable or unwilling to support the estab- 

Culture has introduced many European plants. The^"^t"i«- 
vine, which was originally brought from Madeira, produces Vineyards* 
here an excellent wine. The plants of the muscadel vine 
brought from the South of France thrive well; the Fron- 
tignac and Lavelle wines procured from the Cape, are 
nearly equal in flavour to those from which they originate ; 
finally, the famous Constantia, which is produced from 

* Colebrooke, 15B. t Ibid, 510. 

■350 THE CAFE. 

«ooK plants originaHy brought from Chiraz in Persia, possesses 
i-xx. a flavour not found in any of our wines. The pontac of 
"^•"—"•^ Constantia is pure ambrosia ; it is far superior to French 
pontac, which our connoisseurs nevertheless admire.* If 
the inhabitants of the Cape better understood their interest, 
and would abandon their beaten tracks, they would much 
increase the hi^^h character of their wines, and this colony, 
agreeable to Bank's plan, might become the great vineyard 
of E'l gland. 

The Constantia wine, already so exquisite, does not seem 
susceptible of much improvement, but the other varieties, 
sold in England to the amount of 5000 pipes per annum, 
under the appellations of Cape ivine, and Ca'pe Madeira^ 
have an earthy taste, a dilute flavour of muscadel, and in 
most instances, an undisguised taste of brandy. The first 
fault is said to be derived from the argillaceous soil on 
which the vine stocks grow, and with w) ich the grapes 
•may occasionally come in contact. It is i.^ever met with 
in wine produced from a soil of decomposed feltspar, and 
most probably is proportionate to the quantity of clay in 
the soil of the vineyard ; but the sole cause of this, and 
the other vices, being found so generally in these wines, is 
the avarice or mismanagement of the Cape merchants, who 
vainly endeavour to correct them by mingling up all sorts 
together with a large addition of their w^retched brandy. 
So great has been the depreciation of these wines from 
this cause, combined with over production, that the 6909 
pipes of winl?, which were the annual produce of 1806 for 
exportation, were actually worth more than the 10,000 
pipes of 1821. The whole colony is computed to grow 
22,400,100 bearing vines, equivalent to 21,333 pipes, and 
to be easily capable of pi'oducing double this quantity: 
but as the colony alone consumes above 6500f pipes annu- 
ally, and the population has increased above one-half 
since 1806, namely from 75,145, to 116,044, the present 

* Manusci-ipt Notes of M. E. Collin, 
T Colebrooke, p. 115. 

THE CAPE. 351 

dismay of wine merchants and planters, from the low pri- book 
ces, must speedily be removed, by the rectifying influence of ^^^x* 
a demand increasing so much faster than the supply. That 
over production is the chief cause of the present depression, 
is sufficiently demonstrated by Constantia wine having fall- 
en nearly in the same ratio (from 200 to 150 rix dollars, 
the ninteen gallon cask,) as the other and faulty wines of 
tlie Cape. Of these there are no less than 150 varieties 
known, though all proceeding from no more than eleven 
different species of the vine. 

It is pleasant to observe, among the numerous gardens Fruit trees. 
surrounding the city, the fruits of Europe growing by the 
side of the fruits of Asia ; the cliesnut, the apple, and other 
trees of the coldest countries, with the banana, the jambo- 
sade, and many other trees of the torrid zone. The learned 
M. Poivre mentions having seen at the Cape the palm and 
the camphor tree of Borneo ; he even speaks of these trees 
having been propagated there; we are assured, however, 
that none exists there now, yet without being told whether 
their culture has been tried. The fruits of Europe, such as 
cherries and apples, have somewhat degenerated ; but figs, 
apricots, almonds, and oranges, are here as delicious as in 
France. The fruits of India are more rare; the maraka 
and the pine-apple are wholly unknown. Vegetables grow 
well; all those of Europe are to be found, and even the ar- 
tichoke, although Levaillant declares he had never seen it ; 
wheat, barley, and oats are successfully cultivated; rice 
does not gj'ow. Its cultivation was formerly tried in the 
environs of the Bay of St. Helena; but the attemj)t was 
fruitless ; the yacca root is also unknown* 

Olive trees have been transported to the Cape ; they did Different 
not immediately thrive, and the inhabitants have not made culture.^ 
any further attempts. The cultivation of the cotton tree 
has been tried ; the south-east winds, however, cause the 
sand to penetrate even the interior, and give it a yellow 
colour. Two species of wild indigo are found at the Cape; 
they appear never to have attempted its manipulation; 
the cultivation of that of Benzuela was tried, and abandon- 

352 THE CAPE. 

sooK ed. Flax yields two crops in the year, and hemp is abuu- 
ixx. dant ; but they have not yet been able to make either linen 
or cordage. The Dutch East India Company had attempt- 
ed latterly the culture of tea, and had tolerably succeeded; 
the English, it is said, have destroyed all the shrubs, to pre- 
vent their commerce with China being injured. Late au- 
thors again advise its cultivation. =^ 
Animals. Here, as in all other situations, the wild beasts have 
retired before man ; iions only are seen near Sunday Ri- 
ver; the deserts, however, even in the vicinity of the 
Cape, resound with the roaring of wolves and hysenas. 
The jackal of the Capej and the tyger-cat:): are also com- 
mon. A particular species of badger is observed.^ The 
mangust of the Cape|| and the gerbois^ are scattered 
through all these countries. The hunters of the Cape pur- 
sue the numerous species of antelopes. The most beauti- 
ful of them all, the ptjgargf is so common near the Fish 
river, that herds of more than two thousand may some- 
times be seen together. The blue antelope*"^ is rare, the 
gazelle, properly so called, ff is one of the most common: 
the pasan is found in the north-east part of the colony ; 
the gnoo, the antelope of the wood, the condoma:|::j: and 
others. In the forests of the interior are found many spe- 
cies of baboons. Among the animals of this country may 
be observed the oryderops or the Mtjrmecophaga capensis 
of Gmelin, named by the Dutch earth-pig; this animal 
feeds entirely on ants, is larger than the ant-eaters of Ame- 
rica, from which it differs sufficiently to constitute a dif- 
ferent genus. Zebras, and quaggas larger and stronger 
than Zebras, move in separate troops ; they are two dis- 
tinct species, that never mix promiscuously. They are be- 

* Charpentier Cossign. p. 64. CI. Abel, p. 223, Colebroke'i State of Cape, 
352, 353. 

t Canis mesomelas. :{: Felis capensis. 

9 Hirax Capensis. jj Hystrix cristata. 

' IF Dipus cafer. 

•** Antelope, leucophoea. Pallas. 

■'^ A. Dorcas. It is the harte-beest of the Dutch. :^t A. strepsiccro? 

THE CAPE. 353 

come very rare in the colony. The elephants liave also for- book 
saken the countries inhabited by Europeans, except the can- I'^x. 
ton of Sitzikamma: the two-horned rhinoceros shows itself' 
still less, and tlie gentle giraffe seeks the more secluded de- 

The wild buffaloes are hunted by tlie Hottentots and theOxenoftUe 
Caffres, whose herds are in a great measure composed of ^^°* 
tame buffaloes and Barhary sheep and goats; tlie cattle are 
small and bad. Sparrmann first recognised a particular 
species in the ox or buffalo of the Cape, which he called bos 
cafer; it is distinguished by enormous horns, small head, a 
natural ferocity, and other characters; it is probably widely 
dispersed in the interior of Africa. In Abyssinia a breed of 
oxen with very large horns is known. =^ The savage nature 
of the Caffre ox recals to mind the carnivorous hullSf which 
all the ancients, since the time of Agatharcides, have placed 
in Ethiopia; and their horns, often singularly twisted, re- 
minds us of the oxen of the Garamantes, described by He- 
rodotus and Alexander of M^'ndus, as compelled to walk 
backwards while feeding, on account of their horns turned 
towards the earth. The wild boar of this countrv is like 
that of the whole interior of the south of Africa, the Sus 

The ostrich is found in the deserts of the interior, and Buds. 
sometimes comes in troops to lay waste the fields of corn. 
M. Barrow states his having killed a very large condor. 
The flamingos display tiieir scarlet plumage in many direc- 
tions. We must further enumerate the loxife, which con- 
struct their nests with wonderful art, and the Cuculus incli- 
cator^ which points out to man the concealed asjlum of the 
laborious bee. We shall not detain our readers with M. 
Le Vaillant's account of birds, because it is considered as 
the mere effect of imagination. 'S he poultry, hogs, and 
other European animals which abound in this colony, have 
been imported by the Dutch. The horses also, which are 
at present very common, have likewise been transported by 

* Ludolf, Comm. lib. I. c. 10, ei lib. III. c !1 
^■OX. IT, 23 

354 THE CAPE. 

BOOK them from Pers'a. This country partakes, with the rest of 
liXX. A^'rica, the inconvenience of heing exposed to the invasion 

' of h)riists. The south-wind drives aw ay these destructive 


The Hot- Xhe Hottentots, the original inhabitants of this country, 
appear to be a rare distinct both from the negro and caffre. 
A deep brown, or yellow-brown colour, covei's their whole 
body, but does not tinge their eyes, which are of a pure 
white; their head is small; the face very wide above, ends 
in a point; their cheek-bones are ver^ prominent; their 
eyes sunk; the nose flat; the lips thick; teeth very white; 
the hand and foot small in proportion to the rest of the 
body; they are straight, weil-nicide, and tall; their hair 
black, and either curled or woolly ; they have scarcely any 
beard. In many tribes, the hair does not cover the whole 
surface of the scalp, but rises in small tufts, at certain dis= 
tances, from each other, resembling the pencils or teeth of 
a hard shoe-brush, only it is curled and twisted into little 
round hunps. Suffered to grow, it hangs in small tassels, 
like fiinge. The women actually have the deformity known 
by the name of the apron, already described by an eminent 
traveller, whose authority is very unjustly doubted.* In 
some of their i^xternal characters they resemble the Mongo- 
lian race more than any other known African nation. The 
Hottentot language, unfortunately little studied, has fur- 
nished us with some aflinities very remarkable to the small 
number of Mongolian and Kalmuck words which we have 

•^ Kolben, p. 51. edit, of 1745. Comp. the Memoir of M. Perou. 
t Heaven Inga, in Hottentot, Tingrij in Mongol. 

Man... $ ]'Kh \ Kumiin, in Kalmuck. 

Man, (male) Kouk Kovlin, idem. 

Chil<J fKob Kaban, son, youth. 

Force, (em^ha),... Kouquectoa Kotiichin, idem. 

Father ./9boob : Jlbagai, (according to Witscn.) 

Sun Sorri Sourl, in the AKouscha language. 

Head Biqiia .......JSe/f, in three Caucasian idiomf. 

THE CAPE. 355 

This unexpected and surprising observation, might lead book: 
to very singular conjectures. Mr. Barrow, as well as M. ^'^^' 
de Grandpre, havine: observed in the Hottentot the Chinese "j ' 

^ ^ I 1 • 1 I Mongolian 

or Mongolian eyes, immediately conceived tliey might be a words 
colony of Chinese. It is necessary, however, before form- Jj^tiea!^'^ 
ing any conjecture, that the tribes of the centi'al plateau of tots. 
Southern Africa should be well known, as among them may 
be found a race similar to that which we are now engaged 
in describing. 

Tlie Hottentots are divided into several tribes. The Tribes of 
Bammaras occupy the most northern part. This country tontote." 
begins beyond the Copper mountains^ and reaches to the 
21st degree of latitude, or as far as the country of the 
Makosses.* The Great JVamaquaSf reunited under the 
patriarchal authority of the missionary Anderson, have as- 
cended the hanks of the Orange river, in a north-eastern di- 
rection. The Little J\*amaquas are found to the south of the 
same river, on the banks of which, shaded by mimosas, ele- 
phants, lions, and giraffes, are found in considerable num- 
bers.f The Kahohiqiias and Geissiquas, appear to be branch- 
es of the Namaquas. The Koranas, or Kora-HottentotSsi The Kora- 
occupy a central country, of great extent, and rich in pas- 
turage; less filthy tlian the otiier tribes, they shew iri their 
buildings and dress some tendency to civilization. A 
vast desert or karroii, protects their independence from 
Europeans.^ The Koranas have a great predilection 
to follow the course of the Orange river, and tlieir chief 
towns are to be found, says Mr. Campbell, along its banks. 
Towards the S.E. on the eastern limits of the colony, lived 
the now extinct Gonaqiias, or ChannaguaSf a tribe distin- 
guished by very handsome features, and a more enlarged 
understanding. Many other tribes, named with precision 

* Lichtenstetn, in the Archives ethnographiqnes de Vater et Bertuch, t. I. p. 
286. (Spite of every attention, the position of this tribe is laid down loo nar- 
row in our chart of Southern Africa.) 

t Patterson, 62. | Probably the Koraqucs of V^aillant, 

^ Barrow, Vovage a !a Cochinchin'R, t. I. p, 271 et suiv. trad. Francaise. 
'23 , V ■ 




BOOK by ancient observers,* bave disappeared in proportion as ihfs 
XXX. colony bas invaded tbeir cantons. Tbe descendants of 
these extinct tribes live among tbe Dutcb in a sort of slave- 
ry, more or less mild, according to tbe caprice of tbeir mas- 
iNJaniieis Covered by the skin of tbe sheep, tbe antelope, or lion, 
loms of the and besmeared with grease of a black or red colour, and 
Hottentots, armed with a short club, the savage Hottentot, singing 
and dancing, wanders about in tbe middle of tbe herds 
■which form bis riclies. Their primiti\e manners are some- 
what changed, from their proximity to Europeans. Thus 
we may believe, with Kolben, that formerly all tbe Hot- 
tentots deprived their children of a testirle,| although, at 
present, this custom appears to exist only among tbe 
Koranas and Bushmen.:}: If Kolben bas exaggerated in 
accusing them of eating those disgusting insects w ith which 
their hair is filled, it ne\ertbeless appears that they are fond 
of eating a similar insect, which is found among tbe hairs 
of horses and oxen.§ Tbe most whimsical custom men- 
tioned bv the first historian of tbe Hottentots, is tbe cere- 
mony by which a magician or juggler sanctifies the union of 
new married peisons, by sprinkling them with a warm and 
impure water ;|| its truth is avowed by modern observers of 
tbe greatest credit ;11 it is b^ the same opera ti(m that a 
youth of eighteen years of age is initiated into the society of 
his elders. Tbe temperament of the Hottentots estrang- 
es them from polygamy ; they bave a horror of incest and 
adultery. Tbe widow^ who wishes to marry again, is ob- 
liged to lose a joint of one of her fingers. =** They are said 
not to bave any idea of a divinity; they nevertbelcvss, de- 
liver themsehes up to the operations of sorcery, and look 
upon a species of mantisf f as a sacred animal, or even as a 

* Kolben, 60. i Idem, 147. 

If. Trutter, chez. Barrow, voyage a la Cochinchine, T. 271. 287.; trad, franc. 

9 Mentzel, Description of the Cape, (in Germ.) II. 497. || Kolben. p. 123. 

IT Thunberg, II. 171.; Sparrmann, 319, and the note of Forster. 

** Mewt:»el, Description of the Cape, II. p. 506. t+ Mantis fausta. 



The Boschmev., or Bushmen, who by the Koranas are book 

called by the iiuligenoiis name of Saabs, appear to be a i-xx. 
branch very anciently separated froui the Hottentots. 

r I* 

The Saabs are incontestibly found in the last extreme 


of degradation to whi(h human nature ran be brought; 
a wild, unsteady, sinister aspect; confused, bland, and in- 
sidious manners, a visible embarrassment in their manner 
of acting when in the presence of other men, announce, at 
first siglit, the depravity of their mind. Their excessive 
leanness renders the proper characters of tiie Hottentot 
race very conspicuous in their whole figure. The natu- 
ral yellow colour of their siiin is observable only under 
their eyes, where the tears, excited by the smoke of the 
fire, round which tliey like to squat, sometimes wipes oft' 
the coating of soot and ashes which cover the whole 
body. Nevertheless, compared with the women, the men 
may in some measure be considered handsome: flahby 
breasts, hanging and elongated, a back hollow, almost ex- 
cavated, and lean like the rest of the body, contrasted with 
the hips, which are swelled, and so prominent that, like the 
African sheep, all the fat of the body appears there con- 
centrated, concur, with the ugliness of their face, and their 
general form, to render these women absolute objects of 
horror to Europeans.^ The amputation of the fiist joint of 
the little finger is considered either as a remedy or a useful 
charmf against diseases and misfortunes. The sting of the 
scorpion, very dangerous ia this country to every other per- 
son, has no effect on these savages. Arrayed generally with 
a bow. a quiver full of arrows, a hat and a belt, leather san- 
dals, a sheep's fleece, a gourd, or the shell of an ostrich's egg 
to carry water, with two or three grass mats, whicli, when 
extended upon sticks, form their tents, and sometimes fol- 
lowed by spaniels, these unfortunate beings lead a most 
deplorable life, rambling alone, or in small parties, in the 
burning deserts that bound the colony on the north. They 

* Lichtenstein, I. p. 182 et suiv. p. 401. etc. 
■*" Campbell's SscoRcI Journey, vol. I. p. 48, 

35^ THE CAPE. 

BOOK tliere chiefly live on roots, berries, ant-eggs, larvas, grass- 
XXX. lioppers, mice, toads, lizards, and the refuse of the chase left 
" by the colonists. 'I'hcir arrows are always poisoned. The 

strongest poison used by them is taken from the bags which 
contain it under tlie lower jaw of the yellow serpent. The 
substance thus obtained soon hardens; it is pounded with the 
red stone used to paint their bodies, and when the juice of 
the Illiteris bulb has been added, with the compound they 
prepare their arrows.* It is not necessarily, though often, 

Extreme Sometimes beggars, at other times thieves and brigands, 
of this '^^ always cowardly and cruel, without a fixed habitation, with- 
trjbe. ^^,|. control, without society, without any sort of common 
interest, and living only from day to day, every attempt to 
soften their savage habits has hitherto failed ;:j: the hatred 
of the neiglibouring tribes also was very much excited 
against them long before the arrival of Europeans. These 
last, far from hunting them down, as some have supposed, 
encourage the contrary, though such of the Saabs as roam 
in the neighbourhood of the colony make them presents of 
beasts, poultry, tobacco, brandy, coral, and buttons, to in- 
cline them to habits of peace. Very recently, the inhabit- 
ants of the northern districts united in distributing to one 
particular troop of Saabs thirty oxen and 1600 ewes, that 
they might have something for tlieir subsistence; in a short 
time not a vestige of these remained, from the concourse of 
distant hordes that joined the party, and did not separate 
until the whole was consumed. It is the most civilized 
tribes of the Hottentots, and particularly the Caffres, who 
wage a deadly war against tliem, — even the sight of a 
Saab puts them in a rage.§ A Caffre, deputed by a small 
horde of his nation, being, in 1804, at the Cape, perceived 
in the government-liouse, among the other domestics, a 
8aab, eleven years of age ; suddenly he darted upon him 

* Campbell, 2d Journ. I. 30. t Bannw, T, 248—353. 

X Banow, Voyage a la Cochinchine, t. I. p. 284, 
j Lichtenstein, p, 437. 

THE CAPE. 359 

with an intention to transfix him with his hassagay. The book 
Saabs are the only people of Southern Africa who make i^xx. 
use of poisoned arrows; it is with this weapon that they 
lay in wait for passengers in the karroos, by hiding them- 
selves behind the ferruginous rocks, from which tliey are 
with difficulty distinguished. Often, after having received 
the sort of trihi\te which the colonists are forced to ])ay 
them, they come during the night to their habitations, 
plunder them of their cattle, and save themselves by flying 
with the greatest rapidity to tlieir inaccessible mountains. 
If overtaken in their flight, they do not abandon their 
booty without either killing or maiming the plundered 
cattle; they sometimes even massacre every thing they find 
in the fold — horses, oxen, sheep, dogs, and shepherd, without 
deriving the least advantage from it.^ Like the hyjena, 
the sight of blood, and the smell of dead bodies, is said to 
afford them pleasurable sensations. Still the poor Bush- 
man is capable of being reclaimed from the degraded con- 
dition we have attempted to delineate, after the testimony 
of travellers. Far in the interior, they are found to in- 
habit small villages, and to have made some progress in 
the arts of life. M. Smit, a boor at whose house Campbell 
halted, had fifty of them, of all conditions, employed on his 
farm. "They appeared to be all in good spirits, free from 
care, and depending entirely on Mynheer for their support. 
M. Smit had always found, if he committeil any thing 
to their care, that they were faithful to their trust; but 
whatever was locked up, and not committed to their charge 
they would steal if they could." Hence, though M. Smit 
did not require so many assistants, he judged it better to 
retain them in his service, than to be surrounded with such 
a number of thieves, and to be obliged to shoot them as oth- 
ers had done.f When taken young, and well treated, they 
becqme excellent servants, and shew great activity, talents, 
and fidelity.:]: 

* Lichtensteiti, 599. t Campbell. 2d Journey, I. 23 — f^O. 

t Bavinw. J. 190. 

360 THE CAPE. 

BOOK Savage tribes are continually changing their idioms; 

ixx. every new chief wishes to introduce some new forms of 

I speech ; hence arises an instabilitv and multiplication of dia- 

Language ^ * * 

of the Hot- lects, which perplexes critical study. This is a general phe- 
lentots. nomenon both in Asia and America ; it ts particularly the' 
case in the instance of the different Hottentot idioms; they 
are conti?iually varying. The words introduced by the an- 
cient travellers no longer strike the ear of the modern ob- 
server; and each tribe, perhaps even each family, intioduces 
terms which en(\ in forming a jargon unintelligible to their 

According to M. Lichtenstein, the language of the Hot- 
tentots is in general remarkable for numerous rapid harsh 
shrill sounds, emitted from the bottom of the chest with 
strong aspirations, and modified in the mouth by a singular 
motion of the tongue. The dipthongs eou^ aaOf and ouou 
predominate, and the phrase frequently ends with the final 
Peculiar ingf prouounccd in a musical tone of voice. In this mo- 
the tongiie. ^^^^ ^^ *'^® tongue there appear to be three progressive 
sound, produced by the manner in which the back of the 
tongue is withdrawn from the upper part of the palate, or 
the point of the tongue either from the incisor teeth or the 
upper grinders. The peculiar construction of the organs in 
this race facilitates mu; h the formation of these sounds, 
which in others would be very difficult. The bony part of 
their palate is in general nairouer, shorter, and ])ropor- 
tionally less naked in the back part than that of Europeans 
and Asiatics. 

The language of all the Hottentot tribes, including that 
of the Bushn.en, is the same; it is a fact at present esta- 
blished, by the singularities which they have in common, 
and by the resemblance of many of the words. It must, 
however, be confessed, that the idiom of the Bushmen 
offers more striking differences than is observed between 
the different dialects of the Hottentots, and even sufficient- 
ly strong to prevent the two races of people from commu- 
nicating witli each other except by signs. Besides that the 
clacking soimd of the Bushman idiom is stronger and 



more frequent, tlie liarsh sounds clearer, and the ends of the book 
sentences a great deal more dra^\^mg. ^^^' 

The Colony of the Cape, spread over an extent of 120,000 '^'^^^^ 
square miles, nearly equal to that of Great Britain, con- the Cape. 
tained, by the census in 1821, a population of 114,903; 
but as it does not comprise sojourners, nor troops in gar- 
rison, crews of ships, nor unsettled iuh tbitants, or Hotten- 
tots, which are estimated at 5000 more, the whole popu- 
lation mav be safelv affirmed to exceed 120,000 in 1822.^ 
Since 1 798, the progress of the census has been as fol- 
lows : — 












120, (/GO 

Or, the population of the Cape has been increased by one 
half in sixteen, and doubled in twenty- four years. Of 
these 47,978 are free; namely 24,977 males, and 23,001 
females; 14,291 male, and 14,544 female Hottentots; 918 
male, and 451 female prize slaves, formerly released from 
illegal slaNe traders, and now indentured as appi'entices for 
fourteen years; lastly, 19.164 male, and 13,024 female 
slaves. According to estimates on tlie sjjot, the Hotten- 
tots double their number in twenty-five years, the slaves 
in thirty-tbree years; and it is obser\ed that, owing to 
emigration, t!ie population of the eastern division of the 
colony increases much faster tiian tbe west, t!u)ug]i even 
this nearly doul)les its population in twenty- four years. 
There is now, tbeiefore, an indiviflual to every square 
mile, or forty persons to every fai-m, tbe total anjount of 
those in the colony being about 3000. tbougb very unequal 
in point of extent. IMie white people are descendants of Colonists. 
English, Germans, French, but cbiefly of Dutch. The dis- 
trict Tidbagh lies fartbest towards the nortb, and is best 
known. The second, wbicb includes the whole eastern part 
of the colony, derives its name from the petty village of Stel- 

* Colebrooke, 357. 




Manners of 
the colo- 

People of 

lenhosch. The most southern part, washed hy the sea, is 
called Hottentot Holland ; it is a country as fine as it is fer- 
tile in corn and wine. The most remote eastern district is 
called Graaf Reinet. It is here that the inhahitanta, all eith- 
er shepherds or hunters, live in a state quite patriarchal ; the 
men are gigantic ; the women have a peculiarly fresh com- 
plexion and majestic figure. The hay of Jilgoa has a small 
fortification. The district Zwellendam ranges along the 
southern side, and includes the cantons of Sitx>ikamma ^nd 
Houtiniquaf with the bays of Plettenberg and MosseL 

Throughout the whole colony nothing but enclosed 
farms are to be seen. The farmers, called in Dutch, 
hoorSf or peasants, carry the superfluous produce of their 
harvests to Cape Town, on heavy carriages, drawn by a 
great number of oxen. Their hospitality to travellers, the 
necessary result of want of inns, is sometimes interested, 
and yielded often with a bad grace. Since the period of 
the residence of the English, their manners have become 
more polished. The colonists have been too much calum- 
niated by certain travellers, who accuse them of inhumani- 
ty to 'yards their slaves: in factj the account we have just 
given of that part of the population doubling iifcself in thirty 
years, is a sufficient answer to this antiquated reproach. 
Though the Cape Dutch are proverbially fond of gain, 
the number of emancipated slaves is always considerable; 
in the course of the year 18£0 it amounted to six male, and 
twenty-six female slaves ; probably more than in all the slave 
colonies of the world besides. It must be owned, however, 
that before the suppression of the slave trade, the waste 
of life in this unfortunate class was much greater than now. 
It was rated by Barrow at 3 per cent, it is now less than 
2 in males, in females scarcely li; while births are 4 per 

The people of colour are estimated at a tenth part of the 
free population. The remaining black population are Ma- 
lays, negro slaves, indented negroes, Hottentot and Bush- 
men servants, Malays, and free Hottentots. The negroes 
were brought from Madagascar and Mozambique, and are 

THE CAPE. 363 

chiefly labourers; the Malays are artizaris, their females book 
house servants ; and are as remarkable at the Cape as in the ^^^' 
east for a sinister and dangerous activity of character. The — — 
number of them w^lio have by their economy purchased their 
freedom is very considerable. The last and most valuable 
class of slaves is the Africander — the African born slave, 
the produce of an European or Cape Dutchman, and of 
a slave girl. They are not much darker than Europeans, 
and are the confidential servants of their masters, highly es- 

Cape Town, the capital of the colony, reaches from the Cape 
level of the sea to the foot of tlje Table and Lion mountains, 
along the banks of Table Bay; this bay is deep, but the sea 
is often rough, and the anchorage unsafe. Vessels enter it 
only from the month of September to the middle of April ; 
during the rest of the year they |iut into False Bay, where 
they are slieitered from the north- ^vest winds. This, which 
is also called Simon^s Bay, becomes in its turn unsafe during 
the opposite season, when the winds blow from the south- 
east; so that the Cape, situated between two bays and two 
seas, has not a real port. All the streets are built at right 
angles; and, in only one of them, a canal brings Holland to 
our recollection. The houses, built either with stone or 
brick, are adorned with statues; the roofs are generally in 
terraces.=^ The public buildings have little beauty: the 
Calvinistic church, in its interior, has many armorial hear- 
ings, epitaphs, and escutcheons, in relief and in painting, 
of former dignitaries of the Dutch church and state, but 
the last member of Dutch titled nobility is lately dead.f 
The Lutlieran chapel is also admired for its elegance; and, 
during the government of Lord Somerset, the English 
built an elegant commercial hall, of ample dimensions. 
Other public buildings are the castle, the great barracks, 
the granary, the custom-house, the club-room or society 
house, and the colonial office building. The latter contains 

* Epid. Collin, Manuscript Notice of the Cape, 
■i- Colebrooke, p. 152. 

364 THE CAPE. 

BOOK the library lately erected by the government, or rather en- 
ixx. grafted uporl the Dessinian librarv, heretofore under the 
management of the ministry of tl»e Cahinist church. The 
founder was a German emigrant, a man of some learning 
and great benevolence: when alive, he was secretary to the 
Orphan institution, and by the maniimission of all his 
slaves, embalmed his memory at Ins death. The library is 
now a noble collection, contained in two spacious halls, be- 
sides other apartments and apparatus for chemical experi- 
ments. The only thing wanting is readers ; reading is not 
an African passirm; and a few years ago, some French- 
men, who, with M. Collin, wished to see it, were obliged 
to give several days notice to tlie keeper of this neglected 
Origin of Cape Town, founded in 1652 by Van-Riebeck, was 
the city, pp^pipj ]^y ijj^d characters exiled from Holland, by soldiers 
who had obtained their discharges, and by sailors who, 
having saved some property at Batavia, were enabled to 
disengage themselves from service. At the time of the re- 
vocation of the edict of Nantz, many unfortunate French- 
men, whom a barbarous mother rejected from her bosom, 
were hospitably received in Holland. Many of these 
Frenchmen establis!»ed themselves at the Cape; they even 
peopled a small canton called the Coin Frangais, which 
is still inhabited by their descendants; tiiey have only 
preserved French names much disfigured. The language 
is almost forgotten, and their customs are those of the 
Dutch. Cape Town possessed in 1821, a population of 
9761 free inhabitants, 9661 Hottentots, apprentices, and 
slaves, in all 19,4-22; in 1798, the census only amounted 
to 5500, in other words, the population of the town in- 
creased nearly twice as fast as that of the colony. The 
number of houses is 1478, so there are more than thirteen 
Education, to a family. Education is much neglected by the Dutch 
at the Cape; the young speak French and English tole- 
rably well. There is indeed one colonial establishment 
for classical and school education ; but the master is the 
colonial chaplain, with a salary of 1600 rix dollars per 

THE CAPE. 365 

annum besides his cure. In other respects little informed, book 
they all excel in the arts of exercise; although good horse- ^^^» 
men, and dexterous hunters, three parts of their life are " 
passed in smoking; they even sleep with the pipe in their 
mouths, are continually drinking tea, coffee, and gin. 
** The women, until the age of twenty or twenty -five, con- Women. 
tinue very handsome: their blue eyes, hair of a clear 
chesnut rohuir, a rosy complexion, and extreme neatness, 
lead one to o'/erlook tiuir manners, which are far from ele- 
gant; after this age they generally lose the lightness of 
their figure, beco -jc very fat, and more worthy of their 
husbands, whose phhgjn, mean appearance, and awkward 
gait, little corresponded before with their delicacy. Wo- 
men are found at the Cape of great simplicit;^ of exterior, 
who are at the same time yery amiable and well informed.'* 
These are the words of M. Collin, a Frenchman. The En- 
glish author of the "State of the Cape," 1822,'^ says, 
4t Very frequent marriages take place between English gen- 
tlemen and Cape ladies; but the pleasing and engaging man- 
ners of the Cape Dutch girls, and their yivacity, less for- 
ward than that of the French, but enough so to subdue En- 
glish coldness, is quite at variance with the obtrusive pre- 
sumption of the younger part of the other sex, and in them 
it is not to be denied, that abundant materials exists, which, 
^vhen properly worked, form a totally diflferent man. Igno- 
rant of the gradations of society, and witli all the chances 
against him, from the natural good feelings of the mind, the 
individual generally turns out a respectable character as he 
advances into life.*' Mr. Barrow, no friend to tlie Dutch 
of the Cape, bears a similar testimony to the engaging 
sweetness of these ladies. 

The established religion of the Cape is Calvinistic; the Religion. 
people devout and attentive to its duties.j The young are 
catechised weekly, and pay the strictest attention to their 
teachers. Besides a Calvinistic church in each of the 
twelve districts, at 2000 rix dollars, or £15G per annum, 
with house and farm from the colonial government, two 

* Page 171. t Colbrooke, p. 61. 63. 




sooK missionaries for Cliinnie* and Caffraria, at £75 per annum, 
ixx. ^rj^j^ fppg farm, tiiere are two English chaplains, receiving 
^700 and ^6350 Sterling, a Lutheran clergyman, at £15 
a year, from the revenue of the colony. The English, who 
receive between them nearly as much salary as all the rest, 
are the only t^lergy complained of for neglect of duty. A 
Roman Catholic chapel is now building by subscription. 
There are sixteen missionai'ies of the London society, six 
Wesleyan, and three Moravian missionai'ies. The latter, 
by making industry and religion twin sisters, have not only 
made great prc)giess themselves, but suggested improve- 
ments to th(>se of other sects.f The Malays, amounting 
to 3000, carry on their devotion in rooms, or halls, occa- 
sionally in the town quarries, under a learned imarrif who 
chants the Koran with great taste. Mahometanism makes 
amazing progress among the lower orders at the Cape. 
Slave owners are impressed with an erroneous notion that 
a slave once baptized becomes free, and are, thei'efore, ad- 
verse to the Christian instruction or baptism of their slaves. 
Hence the slave is forced to become mussulman, because 
he cannot become a Christian. The above prejudice, how- 
ever, is daily wearing away, and there are nuw a few free 
schools at tlie Cape, where slaves are taught to read and 
WTite on the plan of Dr. Bell ; the total number of scholars 
being from three to four hundred. The presence of the 
English at the Cape has produced a great change in its 
manners. Definitively placed under the English govern- 
ment, it must, by degrees, lose the character of a Dutch 
impoi- This colony is susceptible of great improvement. Situ- 

the Cape. ^^^^ ^" ^^*^ route from Europe to India, vessels that tra- 
verse these seas stop here for refreshment, and with a view 
of imparting fresh vigour to their crew^s, weakened by a 
long voyage. Its fertile soil producing every thing that 
is necessary for the wants of civilized man, may, strictly 
speaking, completely supply herself. Under an enlighten- 


^- The Chinniquus, or, Gonnaqiias, lately extinct. 
Lord Somerset's Instructions, Ibid. n. 22r3. S50, 

THE CAFE. 367 

ed governTnent, population will increase, commerre will book 
find an easy market tor its indigenous products, the culture i^xx. 
of which will be improved by their interests heing now — — 
better understood. It requires only an active superintend- 
ence to unite the Cape with the central pai'ts of Africa, 
by well directed expeditions of discovery, and thus to draw 
from it unknown riches. During a period of war, the 
Cape is the centre of a maritime station, which commands 
the navigation of the East Indies. It is a central empo- 
rium to the trade of the eastern and western \^ orld ; their 
relations to it, expressed in tonnage, are as 10,326 to 
10,679 respectively. The Cape is rapidly growing into 
consequence, though its emigrants complain. Still there are 
circumstances which seem to set natural limits to its pros- 
perity; the chief of which are the unequal distribution of 
water and rain, and the inadequacy of the soil to produce 
a quantity of wheat sufficient to supply the increase of in- 
habitants. The latter, however, is no weighty obstacle, 
since ihe supply of barley is abundant. Maize also may 
be well suited to the climate. 

Next to agriculture and wines, which are still the staple Produce, 
commodity at the Cape, the whale and seal fishery must ^^P°^^^' 
be ranked. Immense numbera of the finest fish swarm in 
the vicinity of the Cape, and considerable quantities are 
taken by whale boats, affording exports to the amount of 
24,760 rix dollars. Aloes, hides, barilla, ivory, ostrich 
feathers, fniits dried in the sun for the Indian market, and 
horses, are the other ])roducts for exportation. The breed 
of the latter has become extremelv valuable since the arri- 
val of the English, and the consequent encouragement given 
to horse racing. About :200 horses, value 56,980 rix-dol- 
lars, were in 1821 exported to India. The whole amount 
of exportations exceeds two millions of rix-dollar-s. The 
internal commerce of the Cape is chiefly maintained by internal 
hawkers, by a few shops in the small towns, and most of '^°'"^"®'^*^** 
all by the visits of the boors to Cape Town, often after a 
journey of 500 miles, over deserts which detain them seve- 
ral weeks, and by the fairs which are established at dif- 

368 THE CAPE. 

BOOK ferent points of the colony. In the months from Septem- 
ixx. j3(,p ^,3 February, when wine and roi-n is brought in, a 
line of vvaggons, each drawn by six, ten or twelve oxen, 
will make its appearance from tiie country at day-break, 
extending some miles. After an abundant harvest, 180 
have been counted in one morning — the average of the 
month of January, 1822, was sixty daily. The boor tra- 
vels in a horse waggon, in which he overtakes one or two 
ox waggons, sent forw ard on tl»e road. His \\ ife and chil- 
dren acconifiany him, and after laying in a stock of neces- 
saries sufficient for himself, family, and slaves, until next 
yearly or half yearly visit, he returns in a fe\\ days to the 
ij terior. The eastern parts of the c(dony are supplied by 
coasting vessels. The tonnage emjdoyed in this trade, in 
1821, amounted to 1962 tons, in the coasting trade in ge- 
neral to 4507 tons, 9nd the whole amount of tonnage in 
Table Bay, exclusive of men of war, 56,447 tons. For 
the defence of this great resort of shipping, from the S.E. 
monsoons, it is in contemjdation to carry a mole on the S.E. 
of the bay to the extent of 2000 yards. Under commercial 
advantages of the Cape, ought to he enumerated the an- 
nual disbursements of the Indian invalids at the Cape, which 
are ascertained to amount to 700,000 rix-dollars per an- 
Govern- num. The executive authority is vested in the governor 
mem. of the colony, and from him, or from British acts of Par- 
liamett, or orders 'n ( ouncil, emanate all the cha' g s which 
take place in the state. There is no legislative assem- 
bly here, as in the West Indies. The law, however, is 
well administered, with open doors, and is founded on 
the ** statutes of India,'- pioclaimed here by the Dutch of 
1715; where deficient, the civil and Dutch law are suc- 
cessivelv resorted to. The court consi ,ts of one Chief 
Justice, and eight ordinary Justices, and these decide 
causes by a majority, the Chief Justice having a casting 
voice. There are no jujies here. An appeal can be 
made from these nine judges to the Court of Appeal, con- 
sisting of the governor and an assessor, who is a barrister 
in criminal cases, but in civil cases, the secretary of the 

THE CAPE. 369 

court. Unfortunately the judges are not for life, but re- itooK 
moveable at pleasure. It is evident, that great courage ^^^* 
in the lawyers, and integrity in the governor, can alone 
preserve so improper a collusion of interests in a state of 
purity. Though the people are abundantly litigious, 
crime is not frequent, the heterogeneous elements of dimes, 
cape population being considered. In 1821, the number 
committed was ninety-one, of whom eight were females ; 
and of these, six were sentenced to transportation for theft, 
and eight condemned to death. The total number of ca- 
pital condemnations for 1820 and 1821, all of whicli were 
for murder, amounted to seventeen ; namely, nine Hotten- 
tots, one Bushman, one prize negro, one European, and live 
slaves. Three of these were remitted ; the European suf- 
fered. On the fourth of March, 1822, there was only 
one person confined for debt; eleven appears to be the 
maximum. Justice is administered to the seven country dis- 
tricts by the Landdrost, who is a kind of sheriff of the dis- 
trict, assisted by six Heemraden, as assessors. The heem- 
raden are selected from the wealthiest and most respect- 
able of the burghers, and seem to be the only popular 
part of the political machine. In every other respect 
the government of the colony is absolute, even to the cen- 
sorship of the press and public journals. It is peculiar to 
the law of the Cape, to allow of matrimonial separation 
©n the sole ground of mutual dislike ; and to take on itself 
in a most beneficial manner the protection of orphans. An 
Orphan Chamber is established, which takes charge of Orphan 
the estates of all those who die intestate, or leave children 
minors; the chamber realises the estate; puts out the 
amount to interest on land, at the colonial rate of six per 
cent., payable every six months, making an allowance to 
heirs suitable to their condition and education till they 
come of age. Every method is taken for the discovery of 
heirs. This excellent institution is the result of a beauti- 
ful trait in the character of the Cape Dutch. ^*No surer 
proof of their kind disposition can be offered, than the 
frequent adoption of children of persons not related to 
vot. IV. 24 

370 THE CAPE. 

BOOK them, whose parents may be dead or may have met with 
XXX. misfortune. They find protectors and friends, and by cus- 
torn a godfather or godmother think it their bounden duty 
to pro\ide for the children of their dead or unfortunate 
friends."* A married couple saying in a shop they knew 
not wliat to do with their new-born infant, the master sub- 
missively asked to be aHowed to take the chihl ; and sending 
attendants with a sedan cliair to receive it, was mortally 
offended wl»en it returned empty, from the parents refusing 
to confirm the gift. Tbeie can therefore be no difficulty, 
except the present enormous exchange (of 195,) in tjje goods 
of those dying intestate at the Cape being transmitted to 
their European heirs. 
Bank nio- The above singular depreciation of the paper money of the 
Cape, has arisen chiefly from an over issue of that article, 
without any guarantee for its value. The rix-dollar should 
be worth nearly four shillings, at present it scarcely equals 
one shilling and sixpence. Gold and silver have consequent- 
1\ loMg disappeared; and the only metallic currency of tlie 
Cape consists of English penny pieces. The distress and 
annoyance proceeding from this circumstance is incalcula- 
ble, and can only be remedied, it is stated, by an issue of 
money representing actual value. At present three millions 
of paper dollars circulate without this guarantee, although 
the whole produce does not exceed nine nullions; while it is 
known that one-tenthf of the amount of the annual produce 
is generally sufficient for the medium of its circulation in 
any country. The evil cannot but be aggravated in a coun- 
try whose imports are three times as large as the expoi'ts, 
the former being two millions, the latter six millions of rix- 
dollars, in 1821. 

This cause, so common in all new countries, and so little 
attended to by their governments; the occurrence of three 
successive seasons of drought; the arrival of shoals of emi- 
grants, apparently removed from Britain without any pro- 
per measures being previously taken for their establishment, 

* State of the Cape, p. 168. t Wealth of Nations U. 32, 

THE CAPE. 371 

or without a single functionary in the colony having heen book 
consulted, ^'^ have thrown a gloom for the present over the i^xx. 
otherwise flourishing colony of Southern Africa. Yet, as vi- — — 
cissitude is the great law of nature in her operations, an 
early recurrence of droughts, these terrihle precursors of 
famine, cannot reasonahly be dreaded ; and when we com- 
pare the other two evils with the mighty powers of com- 
pensation possessed by the mother country, the Cape may 
soon be expected to raise its head, the finest, and not the 
least flourishing or important settlement of the British em- 

* State of the Cape, p. 179. 





Continuation of the Description of Africa. — South-East 
Coast, or Caffraria and Mozambique, 

sooK The most recent observations have shewn that the people 
XXXI. scattered along the south-eastern side of Africa, from the 
• Bay of Algoa as far as Quiloa, and perhaps farther, resem- 
idea*of the ^^^ ^^^^^ Other in physical characters, that distinguish them 
Caffre na- ft'om the negro race. The head of these people, like that of 
Europeans, presents a raised arch ; the nose, far from being 
flat, approaches the hooked form ; they have, however, the 
negro's thick lips, and the large buttocks of the Hottentot ; 
their frizzled hair is less woolly than that of the negro ; 
their beard stronger than the Hottentot's ; a brown or iron- 
grey complexion appears to separate them again from the 
negro.'^ The idioms of these people, although little known, 
have points of resemblance. The slaves of Mozambique 
understand many words of the Betjouana language. The 
inhabitants of the environs of Quiloa designate the divinity 
by the same name as the Betjouanas. In all these dialects, 
words may be discovered borrowed from the Arabian. The 
custom of circumcision is equally prevalent among all these 
nations, who appear to have received their civilization from 
Abyssinia and Arabia. 
Of the By what name is this race to be designated? Chance 

fre or Caf- l^^s rendered common to a considerable number of these 


* Lichtenstcin, Voyages, t, I. p. 406, Thnnberg;, I. 18?. Barrow* etc. 


people an arbitrary name. The Portuguese navigators, book 
after doubling the Cape of Good Hope, found the inhabit- i-xxi. 
ants of the eastern coast of Africa more advanced in civi- 
lization as they approached the north, where the Arabs 
had introduced their own manners and religious belief. 
These Mahometans designated, under the vague name of 
Caffres or heretics^ all the natives of those countries into 
which the Mussulman religion had not been introduced. 
Under the name of Cafarahy or Caffraria, the Arabian 
geographers comprehended the whole interior of Africa. 
Caffraria might thus reach to Nigritia,^ line the Indian 
ocean from Zeila as far as Brava,f and again extend to the 
borders of the sea to the south. of Sofala4 In proportion 
as the specific names of kingdoms and people became 
known to Europeans, the extent of Caffraria diminished on 
the maps, and had nearly become extinct. ^Nevertheless, 
when the Dutch at the Cape, while extending by degrees 
the limits of their colony towards the east, found it neces- 
sary to make their neighbours better known, otherwise al- 
most forgotten, they adopted the Arabic name, transmit- 
ted by the Portuguese writers, with a view of applying it 
particularly to the tribe with whom they were in immediate 
contact, the true name of which is Koiissa. 

We conceive that the term Caffre may be provisionally 
employed for designating the predominant, and probably 
the indigenous race of eastern Africa, while, at the same 
time, it would be inconvenient to apply it to any particular 

The Caffre nations inhabit a region less known than any Mountains 
on the globe. We there see, behind a marshy, unhealthy, ^"'^ "''^^^• 
but fertile coast, chains of mountains arise that have been 
very imperfectly examined, which appear to be in a paral- 
lel direction with the coast, that is from south-west to 
north-east. Do these interrupted chains, traversed by se- 
veral rivers, proceed from a j}/a?ea«, or from a central 

* Ediisi, Africa, edit. Hartmann, 141. t Idem, 98, 99. 

t Barrow. Decadas. passim. Thomann, Voyage et Biographie, 55 — 57. 


BOOK chain ? Do the rivers Zamhese, Coava, and ^uilimancii 
ixxi. (jei-ive their sources from amongst rocks, precipices, per- 
haps even fi'om the midst of snows and ice, or are they 
formed in vast sandy plains, like those from the plateau of 
central Asia, or from verdant savannas, similar to those of 
America ? There is nothing to assist us in resolving these 
questions. The burning winds that proceed from tlie in- 
terior seem to argue against the existence of this central 
chain, which, under the apocryphal name of Lnpata, or 
Spine of the world, is traced at random on our charts. 
Of the rpj^p Portuguese historians speak of them only as of a thick 

mountains . '^ ... , j- rr^ * ^ i i 

lupata. forest, mtersperseu with great rocks.^- Ihe great lakes, 
of the existence of which little is distinctly known, may, 
with as much probability, have formed their basins in tlie 
plains of sand as among rocks and glaciers. Portuguese 
merchants, in traversing Mocaranga, to the west of the 
state of Monomotapa, only observed small hills covered 
with copses of thorny shrubs.f The interior of Ajan, to 
judge by its productions and animals, ought to be a dry 
plateau. In short, the mountains of Abyssinia do not pre- 
sent any fixed direction, and consequently do not indicate a 
great chain well marked. 

In tiiis absence of every ])ositive information, let us ab- 
stain from tliose vain and presumptuous general opinions, 
by which certain geographers attempt to give proof of 
their genius ; let us only simply describe the different 
Tbp Natal countries in rotation. The JSTatal coast, extending from 
Coast. ^j^^ great Fish River, near the colony of the Cape, as far 
as the bay of Lourenco-Marquez or Lagoa, is watered by 
many ri\ers, covered with wood, and intersected by fields 
or magnificent savannas ;:|: there is no port safe, and suf- 
ficiently deep, to afford shelter to large ships. None of 

* Jean dos Santos, la Haute-Ethiopie, Liv. II. ch. 2. (It is Lupara Jn the 
French translation. We have uo <»ccess to the original.) 

t Notes of M. Correa de Serra, et de IVl. Constancio. • 

.■JL.Dampier's voyage round the world, vol. II. 141 — 186. 


these rivers have a long course. In the interior are chains book 
of mountains that appear to be of a calcarious nature, as the ^^xi. 
natives hollow caverns in them, in which they live w itU 
their herds. The holais^ maize, and cattle, constitute the 
wealth of the inhabitants. They obtain a species of silk 
from a plant liketiie asclepias of Syria. Jacob Franck the 
traveller, about the environs of the bay of Lagoa, saw le- 
mon, cotton-trees, sugar-canes, a seed called pomhef which 
is used to make an inebriating drink,*= The animals, pro- 
bably more numerous than the men, roam in large troops; 
the most remarkable are elephants, antelopes, the rhinoceros, 
and hippopotamus. 

It lias recently been asserted that the unicorn, or mono- Of the ex- 
ceros of the ancients, has been found here ; which, if prov- [he u^i!^ 
ed, would make this region very interesting. A respect- com. 
able author, of the sixteenth century, has stated that the 
first Portuguese navigator saw, between the Cape of Good 
Hope and Cape Corrientes, an animal having the head 
and mane of a horse, with one moveable horn.f It is pre- 
cisely in this same region that two good modern observers 
have seen several representations of a one-horned animal; 
all the rocks of Camdebo and Bambo are covered with 
them ;:j: the Dutch colonists affirm that they have seen 
these animals alive, and had killed some of them ; they re- 
sembled the quagga, or wild horse; the horn adhered only 
to the skin.§ These positive testimonies, unfortunately of 
illiterate witnesses, are nevertheless corroborated bv the 
account of Barthema (or Varteman,) who, in tlie fiiteenth 
century, saw at Mecca, two unicorns like antelopes; they 
had been brought from Ethiopia.|| The ancients have 
undoubtedly given a fabulous and vague account of this 

* Ehrmann, Bibliotheque des Voyages, t. III. p. 112, etc, etc, 
t Garcias, Hist. Arom, 1. cap. 14. 

if Sparmann, Voyage to the Uape. Barrow, Voyage to Cochinchina. Tra- 
vels in South Africa, 2d edit. I. 269. 

§ Cloete, proprietor of Coiistantia, near the Cape, in Voigt's Physical Jour- 
i^.al, 1796 (in Germ.) f] Barthema, lib. I. de Arabia, c, 18. 


BOOK monoceros ; they nevertheless unanimously compare it to a 
iixxi. horse in the form of its body, with the head of a stag ;^ 
■ whicli proves their having seen an animal differing much 
from the rhinoceros. Besides this unicorn resembling a 
horse, the ancients distinctly name the unicorn ass, of a 
great size, a horn striped with white, black, and brown, 
great swiftness, and fond of a solitary life :f they describe it 
as soliped, like the unicorn horse, a circumstance coinciding 
with the systematic observation of anatomists, drawn from 
an analogy of animals with divided hoofs, who all have two 
liorns. In other respects, this objection of our infallible 
philosophers is not always a solid one, as there are antelopes 
in which the two horns arise from a common base, raised 
two inches above the head ;:|: how then can nature be pre- 
vented extending tliis union from the base to the point ? 
Besides, the accounts of those among the moderns who pre- 
tend to have seen the unicorn, remove this difficulty by re- 
representing tlie horn as attached only to the skin, similar 
to that of the rhinoceros. 

The existence then of the unicorn is not impossible, as 
has been said, but neither is it proved, nor even likely: 
this genus, like many others, may have become extinct; 
whether, however, this animal exists or not, its represen- 
tation upon the rocks of Southern Africa is not less a 
curious circumstance; it concurs in proving the ancient 
connexion of Caffraria with Asia; for the figure of the 
unicorn was, among the Persians and Hebrews, the sym- 
bol of kingly pow er ; it is with this meaning delineated on 
the monuments of Persepolis. At Mashow, a town in the 
territory of the Tamahas, an animal of the rhinoceros kind 
was killed in 1821,§ having a horn projecting three feet 
from the forehead, arising about ten inches above the tip 
of the nose. A few inches of a small second horn, behind, 

* Onesicrit. ap. Strab. t. XV. p. 489, edit. Casaub. Plin. VIII. cap. 21. etc. 

+ CtesiaF, p. 16, ap. Herod, edit. Staph. Arist. Hist. Aiiim. II. cap. 1, part 
III. cap. 2. Plin. XI. 37—46. if Barrow, 1. c. 

§ See delineation in Campbell's Second Journey, I. p. 295. chap. XXXIX. 

^ CArFRAllIA. 377 

did not affect its unicorn appearance. The head measured book 
three feet from the mouth to the ear. It is at present de- ^xxi. 
posited in the British Museum. The origin, figure, posi- 
tion, and magnitude of the horn correspond exactly with 
the ahove-mentioned representation of the unicorn in the 
Bushman caves of Bambo, as delineated by Barrow, =^ and 
not the smallest doubt can remain that Mr. Campbell's 
animal is identical with the Bushman original, as far 
down as the neck. The country in which it was killed, 
lies directly north from that assigned to- the unicorn by 
Barrow, namely, behind the Bamba mountains, where the 
animal found by Campbell is so far from being rare, " that 
the natives hardly took the smallest notice of the head, 
but treated it as a tiling familiar to them." They make 
from one horn four handles for their battle axes. Ano- 
ther creature of the same kind was seen, and wounded at 
the same time. The unicorn then, or a quadruped with 
one long projecting horn, is found, but it would be endless 
to attempt to reconcile the jarring accounts of remote 
antiquity, and modern ignorance, with the present interest- 
ing discovery. 

The tribe that first presents itself, in tracing the coast Tribe of 
from south to north, is that of the Koussas, We have been sas. 
made acquainted with it by two recent travellers, Lichten- 
stein and Alberti.f The country of the Koussas is bounded . 
on the east by the river Key, on the west by the great 
Fish river, on the south by the sea, and on the north by a 
great chain of mountains, crossing from west to east, di- 
viding it from the territory of the Bushmen. It is tra- 
versed by the rivers Keyskamma and Buffalo : the last 
alone furnishes good water. It is not now the Great Fish, 
but the Keyskamma river which is considered to form their 
western boundary.:}: The territory between the Great 

* Campbell's Second Journey, I. 269. 

t Alberti's Description of the Caffres, Amsterdam, 1311. Lichtenstein, Voy- 
age dans I'Afrique Australe ; Berlin, 1811. 

t Campbell's Map, State of the Cape, p. 377. 


BOOK Fisli and tlie Keyskamma, inclufling a parallelogram of 
liXxi. 2000 square rffiles* of the finest land in CafTraria, fertile, 
"""""■ well watered, abounding in luxurious pastures, has lately 
been ceded by the friendly chief of the Caffres, Gaika, for 
the ])urpose of constituting it a neutral ground between the 
British colony and Caffraria. But the real object to which 
it lias been applied, is the accommodation of the emigrants 
who sailed fjom England in 1820. It forms a new district 
under the name of Albany.f 

The soil is a black earth, rich, and extremely fertile.:]: 
The banks of the rivers and the low hills are covered 
with mimosas, aloes, euphorbias, and other high trees, or 
with thick bushes, almost impenetrable. Among the ve- 
getables is a species of reed well suited to quench thirst, 
although growing in brackish water. The downs, at the 
mouth of the Key, produce wild disang in great abund- 
ance. It is not rare to find traces of honey among the 
clefts of the mountains, in the hollows of trees, and in de- 
serted ant holes. Between the Fish and the Keyskamma 
rivers, there is excellent pasturage, both for large and 
small cattle. The grass that grows to the east of Keys- 
kamma contains too much acid, and hardens in ripening ; 
many species of antelope are fed on the western banks, al- 
so an incredible number of ciiamois, numerous herds of 
roe-bucks, elks, and other species of antelopes, wild horses, 
wild boai*s, ostriches, peacocks, speckled hens, geese, and 
other aquatic birds. These peaceable animals are pursued 
by lions, panthers, wolves, jackals, and many birds of 
prey. On the eastern bank, on the contrary, as far as the 
river Lagoa, a few elks only and horses are to be seen; 
the elejihant and hippopotamus appear to inhabit this spot 
in preference. 

* Barrow, I. passim. 

t Governor Donkin's proclamation, May 25, 1821. State of the Cape, p. 216. 
and 1R8. 

% Patterson's Vo3'age to the Cape, p, 88. 


The winter is not generally so rainy as at the Cape ; book 
Falirenheit's tliermoineter sel<lom rises higher tlian 70 de- i^xxi. 
ecees, and seldom falls below 50 ; during the rest of the "Z ' 

year< it varies from TO to 90 degrees; nevertlieless, in the tuie. 
height of summer, storms are sometimes preceded by blasts 
of burning winds, which cause the tliermometer to rise sud- 
denly to 100 and more degrees. 

The Koussas are generally tall, with a handsome head, Physical 
regular features, an easy liglit figure, sinewy arms, all the J^^^ ^I'j^^ " 
liirjbs perfectly {levelo[jed, noble carriage, vigorous atti- Koussas. 
tude, and a firm resolute step. The colour of their skin 
is a blackish grey, or like iron recently forged, which is 
only unpleasant at first sight. But, with a view of heiglit- 
ening the effects of nature, they not only paint the face, 
but tlie wliole body, by rubbing themselves with a red 
pigment diluted with water, to wliich tlie women often add 
the juice of some odoriferous plant. The better to fix this 
ap})lication, they again apply a layer of grease or marrow, 
as soon as it is drj % which attaches it more closely to the 
skin, and renders the latter more pliant. Red, in general, 
is the favourite colour of tlie Caffres. Their hair is black, 
short, woolly, hard to the touch, and united into thick 
meshes. It is ur»common to see one of these Caffres with a 
full beard; the chin alone is generally covered with a few 
tufts of down; it is the same with the other parts of the 

The women are much smaller, and rarely attain the Their w«- 
heiglit of a w ell-made European female ; but with this dif- ™®"' 
ference, they are as well formed as the men. All the limbs 
of a young CafFre woman have the rounded and elegant 
form so much admired in antiques. Their breasts are 
well formed; contentment and cheerfulness is depicted in 
their countenances. The two sexes have a smooth and 
perfectly healthy skin. The same phenomenon discovered 
among the Hottentots, and which has given rise to so 
many absurd accounts, exists among the women of Calfra- 
ria; only the prolongation of the membrane is much 
smaller. Owing to their simple and natural mode of life. 


BOOK the CafFres are neither ill-shaped nor deformed. Numerous 
XXXI. herds of cows furnish an ahundance of milk^ which is their 
principal food. They always eat it in the state of curd, and 
keep it in rush baskets of admirable workmanship. Their 
other aliments are meat, generally roasted, millet, maize^ 
and water-melons, which they prepare in various ways. 

Their food.'They have no salt, nor do they substitute any other season- 
ing. Water is their only drink. It is only now and then 
that they make an intoxicating drink with the meal of mil- 
let fermented. They cannot be persuaded to eat the flesh of 
tame hogs, hares, geese, or ducks, nor any kind of fish. 
When asked the cause of their dislike, they answer, that 
hogs are fed witli every sort of filth ; that after having eat- 
en hare they become mad, that geese and ducks have a dis- 
agreeable voice, resembling toads, and, in short, that all fish 
belong to the race of serpents. They are all passionately 
fond of tobacco. The Hamhounas, on the contrary, near 
Rio de Lagoa, never smoke j but, in return, they take a 
great deal of snufF.^ 

The Koussas are very active. It is not uncommon, for 
example, that a party will continue to pursue an elephant 
several days together, even at the hazard of their lives; 
yet they do not eat the flesh, and the teeth, which are the 
most precious of the spoil, are the property of the chief of 
the horde, and are therefore presented to him. They 

Their taste have a particular taste for long journeys, which they often 

ling. undertake for the sole purpose of seeing their friends, or 

even merely for the sake of the journey, and of having 
something to do. After a journey of thirty or forty leagues, 
performed in the shortest possible time, they do not shew 
any appearance of extraordinary lassitude, and a small 
present is suflicient to induce them to dance after this fa- 

Their Their clothes are made of the skin of sheep, which they 

*°S' prepare with much art ; they hang down to the calf of the 

leg. Ivory rings, worn on the left arm, are their principal 

* Albert!, p. 12. 


ornaments. All the women have their hack, arms, and the book 
middle of the breast, furrowed with parallel lines, at equal I'^xi. 
distances. These incisions, which, in their opinion, add "^ 

beauty to their persons, are made by introducing a bodkin, 
like a bistoury, under the skin, which is torn as they turn 
up the point. They are very orderly in their families. 
Plurality of wives is permitted, those only, however, who 
are in easy circumstances, have two, and seldom more. 
The women, in general, are very fruitful ; yet more child- 
ren are found among those who do not share their hus- 
band's company with another, nor does polygamy favour 
population so much as is generally supposed. The dwell- 
ing of each family consists of a circular cabin very low 5 
its construction is the work of the mother and daughters. 
The cattle is of first importance to the Caffre; they may Pastoral 
be said to constitute the chief object of his thoughts and 
affections. The Caffres are the true Arcadians of Theo- 
critus. Sometimes the peculiar lowing of a cow is so de- 
lightful to the ear of a Caffre, that he cannot rest until he 
has purchased it, and to have it he pays often a great deal 
more than the real value. The best trained dog does not 
more rigidly obey his master, than these horned cattle the 
voice of their conductor. A sudden whistle will stop a 
large drove of oxen ; another whistle will be sufficient to 
put them again in motion. Cultivation of the land also 
provides the Caffres with a part of their subsistence ; the 
women perform the labour. At the age of twelve years. Public 
the children of both sexes receive a sort of education from ^ ^^^ ^ 
the chief of the horde. They are divided into companies 
that are educated according to the exigency of the service. 
The boys are appointed to the care of the cattle ; at the 
same time the public officers exercise them in the use of 
the javelin and club. The girls are taught, under the in- 
spection of the chief ^s wives, to make clothes, prepare food, 
and, in a word, to perform tlie work of the hut and gar- 


BOOK Circumcision is in general use among the Caflfres ; it is 
XXXI. performed wlien the young man approaches the age of pu- 
■" ~" berty, nor is there any religious idea attached to it.=^' 
sion. The children are very dutiful to their parents, and dur- 

ing their whole lives treat them with great respect. Wo-- 
Women j^^j^ ^^^^ ^^^ 2jenerally take anv part in the deliberations 
offire of which have for their object tlie general interest of the horde ; 
herald. ^^^^ ^^ ^^^^ ^^ hsiVf when the lives of afnbassadors might be 
in danger, women are deputed to carry the proposals of 
peace to the enemy, it being perfectly certain tliat no ill 
will befal them. 

An universal sentiment of kindness unites all Caffres, 
and every individual considers an injury done to another as 
if it were his own ; they interfere in the affair with the great- 
est earnestness. Although vei-y self-interested, they exhibit 
the most perfect good faith in their commercial dealings. 
Hospitality is in their eyes a sacred duty, which they dis- 
charge with the most earnest alacrity ; every stranger is re- 
ceived and welcomed; they even go so far as to provide him 
with a companion for the night. 
Armsofthe Yrv from heius: a w^arlike nation, the Koussas have a 

Koussas. *-> 

decided preference for peaceful habits and a pastoral life; 
they do not, however, hesitate to have recourse to arms, 
whenever they are called upon to defend their rights, either 
real or imaginary. Their arms consist of the hassagay, 
the shield, and tlie club, which they handle with great 
dexterity ; they arc ahvays very had marksmen. A late 
traveller! cites an example. After having distributed 
brandy to a body of CafFres, a board was erected at the 
distance of sixty paces, and a red cotton handkerchief of- 
fered as a reward to any one who could hit it. They 
laboured a very long time before any of them got the 
prize. But the iron point of the hassagay pierced the 
board in difiT'M'ent parts, although an inch in thickness. 
This shews how dangerous a weapon it is in the hands of 

* Albertij p. 71. t Lichteustein, I. p. 354, et suiv. 

' cArfKAiiiA. 383 

a resolute man. The Caffre holds in his left hand a hun- book 
die of liassagays, which he darts one after the other from I'XXi. 
his right, at the same time running upon his adversary ; 
he grasps the last in his hand, in order to strike in close 
combat. " Having finished this first exercise," continues 
M. Lichtenstein,'^ they gave us, of their own accord, a re- 
presentation of their manner of fighting. They placed Jf«".ner of 
themselves in line, and imitated with violent and animated " 
efforts, the action of throwing the javelin, and, at the 
same time, avoiding the enemies aims. For this purpose, 
they continually change their position, jumping from right 
to left with loud cries, throwing themselves for an instant 
on the ground, and rising suddenly with great vigour to 
take a new aim. The agility and swiftness of their move- 
ments, the variety and rapid succession of the finest atti- 
tudes, the graceful, noble figure of the naked combatants, 
rendered the sight both new and interesting." Previous to 
the commencement of hostilities, the aggressor sends to his 
adversary heralds of arms, carrying before them a lion's 
tail ; that emblem indicating their office, and the nature of 
the message of which they are the bearers. As soon as the ^^^^ °^ 
army of the one who has declared war comes near the ene- 
my's camp it halts, and heralds are again sent to announce 
its approach. If the latter has not yet assembled all his 
forces, it informs his adversary, who is obliged to wait until 
he has collected his people, and is ready to fight. The 
Bushmens, who are their neighbours towards the north- 
west, are the only people with whom they wage perpetual 
war; they treat these brigands like wild beasts, follow them 
by the track to discover their haunts, and massacre without 
mercy those who fall into their hands, making no distinc- 
tion of age or sex. 

They are very fond of the chase, to which they set out in 
numerous parties; the married and unmarried women of- 
ten attend these expeditions, which last two or even tiiree 
months. To subdue a lion, they begin by formiijg a circle 
round him, and by approaching him gradually towards th© 



BOOK centre. The wounded animal immediately attacks one of 

ixxi. the hunters, who avoids him by suddenly throwing iiimself 

**; on the ground covered by his shield, while the others run 

Lion hunt. , . , . • j i » • i n^\ 

and pierce him with their nassagays. Ihe conqueror re- 
enters his village in triumph. Hunting the elephant is 
most laborious. The Caifres are seldom able to inflict the 
wound sufficiently deep to render it mortal. 
Dancing, Their most favourite diversion is a dance very regular, 


stiff, and ridiculous ;^ accompanied with a most disagree- 
able air. The only musical instrument seen among them 
consisted of a stick, upon which was extended a chord of 
cat-gut; it is peculiar to the Hottentot Gonaquas, the an- 
cient inhabitants of the southern promontory of Africa, who, 
since the enlargement of the European colony, have ceased 
to constitute a tribe, and are at present dispersed over Caf- 
Hereditary Each horde of Caffres has ordinarily its hereditary chief, 
called inkoossie. Whenever many hordes are assembled 
in the same canton, they have at their head a supreme 
chief, esteemed the sovereign of the canton. The chiefs 
exercise an absolute power; but in cases of injustice or 
usurpation, the council remonstrates in the name of the 

The right of the strongest does not exist among the 
Caffres; no one is allowed to be his own judge excepting 
where a man surprises his wife in the act of adultery. Un- 
fortunately the example of European corruption already 
exerts its influence on the manners of this pastoral people. 
The arrogance of the colonists, frauds committed in com- 
merce, and abuse of force, joined to the instigations of 
some bad characters of the colony and of revolted Hotten- 
tots, have brought on disastrous wars between the Koussas 
and the colonists, wars which have left behind them re- 
vengeful sentiments; nothing, however, is more easy than 
"treating with these people, by appealing to their natural 

* T/ichtenstein, p. 356. f Albeiti. p, 165. Rarrow, 2d edit. I. 

cafhiakia. 385 

equity. Mr. Barrow's former embassy to Gaika, who is book 
still their chief, was not productive of any lasting effects. I'^xi. 
The colonists, with peace in their mouths, secretly ex- 
cited the Caffre rebels to acts of aggression. A war broke 
out again in 1818, which terminated, as we have seen, (in 
1821,) by the Biitish depriving them of their best territory, 
now named Albany. A line of military is posted along the 
Keyskamma, and the Caffre sovereign has consented to re- 
ceive missionaries into his territory, and to celebrate fairs 
on the boundaries, for the purpose of commercial inter- 
course, which had been interrupted by the war. Driven 
from their most fertile lands into a desert too barren for their • 
support, this interesting and once happy people seem destin- 
ed to the extinction so lately suffered by their neighbours, 
the Gonaquas, or the still more degraded fate of the wretch- 
ed Bushmen. Want infallibly produces despair; the fron- 
tier colonists, instead of being secured by this precipitate 
advance of their boundary, or by unheeded proclamations 
for the preservation of peace and amity with the Caffres, 
may possibly yet have cause to regret that cupidity which 
lias added the impulse of hunger to the thirst of ven- 

The arithmetic of the Koussas is confined to addition. Arithmetic, 
which is performed by counting on tlie fingers ; they are gy,^ 
without signs for decimal notation. Their longest measure 
of time is the lunar month ; an addition soon results that 
surpasses the bounds of their arithmetic ; they are unable 
to determine a very inconsiderable period of time, of the 
past as well as the future; they succeed better in marking 
with precision the hour of the day; this is effected by ex- 
tending the arm towards the point where the sun at the 
time is seen on the horizon. To this ignorance of calcula- 
tion, and total want of chronology thence resulting, must be 
attributed their deficient information respecting the origin 
and the history of their nation ; every thing known by 
them on the subject may be reduced to this: — *< In the 
country where the sun rises was another country whence 
the first Caffres have come, and in general, all the inba- 

VOL, IV, 25 



The Tam- 


BOOK bitants, as well as animals of the globe; at tbe same time 
XXXI. Ijq^Jj gu,^ and moon appeared to give light to the earth, as 
well as trees, grass, and other vegetables, for the nourish- 
ment of men and cattle." 

After passing the river Key, or its tributary streams the 
Zomo and Bassah, you enter the country of the Tambookas; 
the true name of which, according to a modern traveller, is 
Ma-Thimba, It is from these people that the Koussas de- 
rive their songs, composed less of words than of syllables 
unintelligible to themselves.* They possess iron and cop- 
per mixed with silver ; at least their rings are composed of 
a similar metal.f On the other side of the Nabagana are 
The Ham- the jBa?n6oimfls; their identity with the Mamhookas, sup- 
ported by Lichtenstein, is not altogether incontestible. The 
first name is that given by the Gonaquas to a colony bor- 
dering on the Tambookas ; the second is the name that the 
traveller Van-Reenen,:|: heard given in the country, a name 
also known to Sparmann. According to Lichtenstein, the 
Koussas call them Immbo. They cannot be distinguished 
among these obscure and uncertain denominations. Among 
the colonies remote from the coast are the Mhatoana and 

The coast of Natal is terminated by the bay of Lorenzo- 
Marquez, to which a maritime lake, situated on the north- 
ern border, has caused to be given the Portuguese name of 
bay da Lagoa, that is the Bay of the Small Lake. It has 
sometimes been confounded with the bay of Algoa, situat- 
ed eight degrees farther south. The fertile borders of this 
beautiful and large bay have often tempted the ambition 
of Europeans; the establishment which could there be 
formed might export great quantities of ivory. The 
rivers Mafumo and Maquinis, or Saint-Esprit, which there 
empty themselves, are still traced according to ancient 
charts, and have not been explored by any known travel- 

Bay of 

Lichtenstein, p, 417. 

t Sparmann, p. 45?, 

X Van-Kcenph qtiotetl by Brun?, Afrika, TIT. 70. 

X CAFFRAlllA. 31^7 

111 ascending' the one or the other of these rivers, wili he book 

found the numerous tribes of the nation of the Betjouanas, i-xxi. 

that have been visited by travellers from the Cape. This " 

The Bet- 
nation is called Briquas by the Hottentots, from whom they jouanas, 

are separated by the inhospitable desert of the Bushmen. M, 
Barrow, in writing this name Biishwana, has scarcely com- 
mitted a serious error, because the difficulty of expressing 
the precise sounds of African idioms ought to make us even 
doubt the orthography given with the greatest appearance 
of accuracy. We are told that it also takes the name of 
Moulitjouanas and Sitjouanas. In order to decide which of 
these names is the true patronymic of the nation, its etymo- 
logy ought to be known. 

The country of this people, situated between the twen- Appear- 
tieth and twenty-fifth degrees of latitude, has a very agree- countrv.*^^ 
able and varied aspect ; forests of mimosa are intermixed 
with fine pasturage. The Betjouanas are divided into 
several tribes : on entering the country from the south? 
that of Matjapings, on the river Kuriimana, is first met 
with; it is the least powerful. One degree farther north, Names of 
on the river Setabi, are found the Miirulongs ; their num- ^^^ '"'^®^' 
ber amounts to ten thousand. Some years have now 
elapsed since these two tribes, then united at the source 
Takoon, constituted the renowned city of Latakoo^ of which 
Barrow has left so brilliant a picture. Though shifted 
from its former site, it is still as large as the nexo city of the 
same name, fifty-six miles to the southward, at the source 
of the Krooman river.* The Matsaroquas, to the west, 
on the lower confines of Kurumana, border upon the Hot- 
tentot Dammaras. To the north of Murulong are the Wan- 
ket%ees. The TammahaSf otherwise called red Briquas, 
a very numerous colony, occupy several villages to the 
north-east of Mat j apings, to the south east of the Muru- 
longs, and north of the Khararaankeys, a tribe of Hotten- 
tot-Coranas, with whom they live in most perfect harmony, 
frequently uniting in marriage, with a view of rendering 

* Campbell's Second .Jouniej% I. Map, and passim. 


BOOK their friendship more intimate. The people of KhojaSf to 
TiXxi. ii^f. north-east of the preceding, are also very numerous, 
but little known. Three days journey to the north-east 
of Wanketsees, and due nortli of the Khojas, are stationed 
the MukhuriiziSf under a chief renowned for his bravery. 
Tribe of Lastly, to the north-east of these inhabit the Maquinis, the 
nis. ^^"* most powerful and rich of the Betjouanas tribes. A Mat- 
japing who had visited them, assured M. Lichtenstein, 
that they were numberless, like the sand. It is they who 
furnish to the others, knives, needles, ear-rings, and brace- 
lets of iron and copper, which travellers have been so 
much astonished to find among these savages. They ex- 
tract the metal from a chain of mountains lying between 
them and the Mukhuru^is, Campbell, in 1821, penetrated 
as far as Kurechanee, the capital of the Marootzees, and 
was favourably received. They have made considerable pro- 
gress in the arts, and understand the art of working iron 
and copper, with the first of which their country abounds. 
Their country lies on the twenty-fourth parallel of south 
latitude. Though not in immediate contact with the last 
Portuguese posts of Monomotapa, they occasionally travel 
down to these settlements ; and it was by their accounts that 
the other Betjouanas became at all acquainted with the ex- 
istence of white men, of which the greatest part of them 
doubted until they had seen the Dutch among them. The 
Mahalaseela, to the north-east, who use elephants as beasts 
of burden, sell beads, and live near the great water 5 the 
Matteeveylai to the east, who live near the great water, 
and have long hair; the Mollaquams, who live to the north- 
east, and bring beads to the Bouquains ; the Malchaquam, 
eight days journey to the east; lastly, the Bouquains and 
Wanketzees, are the immediate neighbours of the Maroot- 
zees. Beads with them are the great medium of circulation. 
The art of inoculation for small-pox is known and practised 
at Kurechanee.* The population is estimated at 16,0Q0, 
that of each of the Latakees, 4000. 

''' Campbell, I. 257. 


These different states, under tlie government of particular book 
chiefs, who are often engaged in war, are nevertheless unit- i-xxi. 
cd by language, manners, and customs. Being great trav- 
ellers. tlie Betjouanas all know each otlier well ; the sons of ofThe^Bet- 
good families, and principally of the chiefs who aspire to theJ°"^"^'=- 
succession, are constrained to make long journeys, for the 
sake of forming friendly connexions and alliances useful to 
their tribe, in case of necessity. 

Less tall than the Caffres, and as w^ell proportioned, Their phy- 
their form is even more elegant; the brown tint of their skin l^^^^ "'^' 
is between the shining black of the negro and the yellow 
ground of the Hottentot; the form of their face exactly re- 
sembles that of the Caffres (Koussas;) excepting that the 
nose is more frequently arched, and the lips like those of 
the European ; the expression of their eyes, and a certain 
something about the mouth, often gives them an appearance 
of men possessing great sensibility without refinement ; the 
free and harmonious play of their countenance, of their ges- 
tures, and of all theii* muscles, reflect, as from a mirror, the 
movements of their minds; their language is sonorous, rich Language. 
in vowels and aspirates, and ^^ ell accented ; an elocution 
approaching to chanting, joined to great SY»eetness, gives it 
all the charm of the Italian.* 


Desirous of information, they assail strangers with ques- 
tions ; and the excess of their curiosity is often troublesome. 
They inquire concerning every thing new to them, how- 
ever little it may concern them ; yet a refusal does not of- 
fend, and a look only, or gesture, is sufficient to put a 
stop to their importunities. The goodness of their me- 
mory is shown by the facility with which they retain all 
the Dutch names, and even entire phrases, which they pro- 
nounce better than the Hottentots born in the colonv. At 
a much greater distance from the state of nature than the 
Caffres, they are masters of the art of dissimulation, and 
understand the mode of forwarding their personal interests , 
with address. Always active and in motion, ever without 

* Lirhtcnstfiin, Archives Ethnograpliiques, cahiev I, 


BOOK a settled occupation, they sleep little during the day ; dur- 
ixxi. jj^g i^j^p f^ji ip.oon, they often even pass the night in dancing 
and singing. Of moderate desires, they inure themselves 
to fatigue by running whole days without requiring any 
other food than that which is presented to them in the un- 
cultivated and naked plains of their parched countries. At 

Foocn home they live chiefly on the curds of milk. Meats fur- 
nished by the chase are most agreeable to them, they sel- 
dom kill cattle. They eat the flesh of the hysena, the 
wolf, fox, cat, rhinoceros, and swan ; they even become, it 
is said, in certain circumstances, anthropophagi; they have, 
however, an unconquerable aversion to fish, nor will the 
greatest hunger force them to eat it. The ashes in which 
they roast their meat are substituted for salt, which is en- 
tirely wanting in their country. They drink water only in 
the greatest extremity ; they do not even use it for washing 
themselves. Tlicy do not understand, like the Koussas, the 
process by wliich a fermented liquor is extracted from seeds; 
but they immediately and gladly accept wine and bran- 
dy given them by Europeans. The use of certain herbs, 
both in the form of smoke and of powder, was familiar to 
them long before the arrival of the Europeans; tliey have 
also given to tobacco the particular name of montioiiko, 
while the Hottentot tribes, who also smoke wild herbs, es- 
pecially dakha (Fhlomis leonceriisj have adopted, in their 
language, the shortened word twak,^ The Marotzees culti- 

pressc vatc tobacco, both for trade and home consumption. Their 
clothes are neat, and made of the skins of different animals, 
such as civets, jackals, wild cats, and antelopes. The men 
conceal their nakedness under a leathern bandage, like the 
Jagas, and the women wear several aprons, one over the 
other; they also cover with care the breast, leaving the belly 

Among their ornaments may be observed rings made of 
yellow copper, six or eight of which hang from each ear; 
elastic bracelets also of the same metal, and large ivory 

"^ J./ichtenstein, Relation snr les Betiouanas, Ann. des Voyage?, torn V, 


iings suiToundiiig tlie lower part of the arm. Not having book 
saws, they soften the ivory in milk, and then cut it with i-xxi. 
considerable difficulty with a knife. They appear to pos- 
sess the art of making brass-wire; for tlie fine copper 
thread which they very ingeniously wind round the tail of 
a girafie to make their bracelets, is quite a peculiar metal, 
and this kind of merchandize does not form an object of 
exchange with European vessels employed in African com- 
merce. Yet M. Lichtenstein counted seventy-two of these 
bracelets on the arms of one woman. They are manufac- 
tured at Kurechanee. The construction of their houses Houses. 
and stables is very superior to that of the other inhabitants 
of Southern Africa; but the women have alone the merit 
of it. The form of their houses is generally circular ; the 
arrangement of the parts appears to vary according to the 
situation and season : the interior is light, clean, and well 
ventilated. Pottery is also another kind of industry re- 
served for the women ; they use, in its formation, the same 
ferruginous clay, mixed with mica, that serves them for 
anointing their bodies. The vessels are exactly hemisphe- utensils 
rical, and without feet ; and, notwithstanding their want ^"^ 'j'stru- 
pf thickness, are very strong. They also make pitchers 
very narrow at the bottom, in which milk may be kept 
fresh for a considerable time.=* The Betjouanas also she\Y 
much cleverness in smith work. Their instruments are 
Jiammers and pincers of the same form as ours, only a lit- 
tle more clumsy ; a large stone serves them as an anvil. 
They understand tempering iron, and the making of steel ; 
and, although badly furnished with tools, undertook to 
repair the carriages and iron tools of the Dutch who came 
to see them. They highly valued the saws, files, scissars, 
and nails, shewn to them, and immediately understood 
their use. The bark of several trees, and tlie threads of 
several species of rush, furnishes them with materials for 
making strong packthread. The art with which they cut 

* Lichtenstein, Annales des Voyages, t. V. p. 358, Barrow, Narrative of a 
Journey amongst the Boushouauas, after the Voyage to Gochinchina. 


BOOK figures on the sheaths of their knives, hung round their 
ixxi. necks, on their hassagays, spoons, and other wooden uten- 

sils, proves that they do not ^vant genius for sculpture. In 
some houses at Kurochanee, there arc figures, pillars, &c. 
carved or moulded in hard clay, and painted in different co- 
lours, that would not disgrace European workmen. They 
know how to paint and to glaze their pottery. Ivory, rush- 
es, leather, wood, clay, stone, are all ingeniously wrought. 
Their iron is remarkably fine. 
Molality 'pj^g Betiouanas have an idea of a soul, the seat of which 

and rel)g- , , 

ion. they place in the heart : they say of an honest man, that his 

heart is white. In the same manner, they associate the 
ideas of v/icked and black. Honesty, loyalty, and courage, 
are with them principal virtues; but the rights of property 
are not held by them very sacred. They believe in an in- 
visible master of nature, supreme distributor of good and 
evil, whom they call mourimOf analogous to mourinna, king 
or lord : the sentiment held towards him appears to be 
nearer allied to fear than love. The high priest who pre- 
sides over religious ceremonies, is the second personage af- 
ter the king. Their ceremonies are chiefly the circumci- 
sion of boys, and the consecration of cattle. The priests 
are also employed in the observation of the stars, and the 
arrangement of the calendar : they divide the year into 
tliirteen lunar montlis, and distinguish the planets from the 
other stars. Venus, Sirius, Acharnar, and some others, 
have particular names, known to few. To religious ideas 
may be undoubtedly referred the folly of the Betjouanas 
in prognosticating future events by means of dice, of a py- 
ramidal form, made with the hoofs of antelopes. Their 
conversion to Christianity was long attempted in vain; 
they appeared to laugh at our doctrines, and to jeer at our 
mode of worship. W hen spoken to concerning the God 
of peace, they answered, he may be as angry as he pleases, 
we cannot give up going to war. Of five missionaries, 
there was only one to whom they shewed any civility or 
attachment, and that was on account of his having made 
known to them the use of the plough. Of late, however, 



CAlfFRARIA. 393 

they have all expressed the greatest willingness to be con- hook 
verted. There is a mission at New Latakoo, in the very ^xxi. 
heart of their territory ; and every one of the princes vi- '■ "^ 
sited by Mr. Campbell expressed a wish to have mission- 
aries settled amongst their people. There is another at 
Griqua Town, and both are most carefully attended by the 
natives. Indeed, preoccupied by no other creed, and im- 
pressed with ideas of the superiority of Europeans, whom 
they call gods, the open curious mind of the Betjuana can- 
not be supposed to be obstinate against conviction. The 
missionaries complain chiefly of their feeble reasoning 
powers; but, after all, these perhaps differ little from other 
nations in the same stage of civilization. Wherever the 
missionaries have settled, the people have become better 
clothed, more industrious, and have left off the predatory 
commando, which indeed is nothing but an expedition un- 
dertaken to deprive the inhabitants of some neighbouring 
village of their lives and cattle; but to which all the false 
glory of war is attached in the ideas of these simple men. 
The chiefs of the Griquas, Tammakas, and many other 
tribes, now attend with solemn regularity on the preaching 
of the Gospel : even the wild, persecuted, but not ungrateful 
Bushman, listens with delight and thankfulness to the mes- 
sengers of peace. Communities of Bushmen, to the extent 
of many hundreds, have been reclaimed from the precarious 
life of the desert to the blessings of civilized life, and are 
highly spoken of by their benefactors, the missionaries, for 
devout and regular conduct. In this direction, where there 
is no political jealousy, Christianity now makes a rapid and 
steady progress. 

Their arms differ little from those of the Caffres, and 
consist of the hassagay and the cjub. M. Lichtenstein 
does not mention the shield ; but many of the tribes use 
it.* For some years past, they have also employed against 
the Bushmens the same poisoned arrows that they seize 
from these implacable brigands ; for they are unacquaint- 

* CampbeU, vol. I, 


BOOK ed with the mode of making them. The population, instead 
XXXI. Qf being diminished by the frequent wars in which they are 

""~~ engaged, is increased among the victorious trihes, in conse^ 
quence of the number of women and young children whom 
tliey take prisoners. Without knowing at present the trade 
of slaves, the Betjouanas appear to conceive the profit they 
' might make by the sale of their prisoners. They offered to 
exchange with M. Lichtenstein's companions, children of 
ten years old, for sheep. 

Panicuiars The dispropoi-tion between the number of men and wo- 

poiyganiy. men, which is general throughout the countries bordering 
on the tropic, has given rise to, and perpetuated polygamy, 
at the same time that it retains the women in a certain state 
of servility. As soon as a young man can think of estab- 
lishing himself, he lays out a part of bis property in the 
purchase of a wife, who generally costs from ten to twelve 
oxen. The first business of the new married woman is to 
build a house, for which she must herself fell the necessary 
quantity of wood : in this work she is sometimes assisted 
by her mother and sisters. The building a stable for cat- 
tle, the cultivation of the fields, and all the household work, 
equally forms a part of the servile duties of a Betjouana 

As soon as the cattle are increased in number, the Bet^- 
jouana tliinks of increasing his family by purchasing a se- 
cond vvife, v.ho is equally obliged to build a house with 
stable and garden. Thus the riches of a man are estimat- 
ed by the number of his wives. The women are very 
fruitful, and a Betjouana, surrounded by a numerous fami- 
ly, resembles much one of the patriarchs delineated in the 

TheBav- Scripture.^ The Barroloos live at the distance of twelve 
days journey north of the Betjouanas ;f they live in large 
cities; understand casting iron and copper; can engrave 
with taste on wood and ivory ; their soil is fertile, shaded 
by ti'ees, and watered by rivers. This is the account given 
by the Betjouanas to European travellers; and it is con- 

'* Lichtpnstein. I, c. + Barrow, conmave with Lichtcnstein, 



firmed by the late researches of Mr. Campbell. The book 
Waiiketzeens, Marotzees, Mashows,. Yattabas, and Bou- I'Xxi. 

quaiiis, though they speak a dialect of tlie Betjuana Ian- ' 

guage, are not called Betjuanas, but Boroolongs. The 
above particulars then apply perfectly, as we have seen, to 
those nations of the Betjiiau territory comprehended under 
the term Boroolongs. The country is well supplied with 
wood and water, and \qyj fertile ; and they both possess 
considerable acquaintance w^ith the arts, and trade with na- 
tions to t!ie cast, having direct communication with the 

From the travels of Campbell it appears that the farth- Connexion 
est country to the north-west, known to the Betiouanas or ^^^^/^'^ 

•^ ' J great de- 

Boroolongs, is named Mampoo7\ The Kallyhamj are a sert and 
people living a month's journey to the north-west of Lata- ^°"«°' 
koo, from whom the latter procure the skins of the wild 
cat. Nortli of the Orange river lies the country of the 
Great Namaquas, which, to about lat. 26° south, and long. 
19'' west, is watered by the tributary streams of the Fish 
and Orange rivers, and therefore tolerably fertile, but to 
the east and nortli of this lies the great southern Zahara, 
or desert, extending probably to the equator, and inhabit- 
ed only by wandering Bushmen. This vast region of 
sand, studded here and there by trees, is bounded on the 
eastern side by the Betiouanas, Marotzees, and by other 
tribes, which they denominate as follows :=^ — north of Ku- 
rcchanee, the Moquana, Bamangwatoo ; north-east, the 
Macallaka; east, Bapalangye, Massoona; east by south, 
Bahatja; south-east, Bassetza, Booropolongs, Maribana, 
Babooklola, Bamoohopa, Bapoohene; south south-east, 
Bapo, Bammatow, Balicana, Bahooba, Bapeeree, Buklo- 
kla, Moolehe, Moohoobeloo, Moomanyanna, Mohawpee, 
Bommaleetee, Peeree. Besides these tribes, or nations, to 
the south south-east, Barrow and Campbell ascertained, 
that great hordes of both native and Betjuana Bushmen 
inhabit tlie country south-east of Latakoo, immediately 


Campbell, I, 271. 


BOOK behind the^ Tambookas, and in a line drawn from Port 
XXXI. Natal to Latakoc. These Bushmen possess herds of cat- 
tie. The Wanketzees are situated to the west of the 
Marotzees, from whom they are divided by a chain of 
mountains passing from nerth-east to south-east; they 
are commanded by a treacherous prince called Makabba, 
and at present bear the worst character of all the south- 
ern tribes except the Bushmen. Travelling from sun- 
Mampoor. ^jg^ ^q sunset, MampooVf situated on the sea-side, is two 
moons journey from Lattakoo, and three moons when the 
travellers are encumbered with cattle, the plunder of these 
being the object of this distant march. The desert beyond 
Kallyharry bears mimosa trees, and others, unknown to the 
Latakoos, somewhat resemblii»g the willow. The surface 
of this great desert, which reaches from the Namaquas 
to Long Mountain and the Wanketzees. extending 1000 
miles to the north, and 500 to the west ot Latakoo. is not 
perfectly level, and though generally covered with sand, 
has tufts of withered grass in the hollows. The water-me- 
lon is pretty copious ; water is extremely scarce. There is 
a nation at its farthest extremity called Quabee, or Grass 
Knee.)* The extent of this desert, as obtained from na- 
tives, brings it to the 10th degree of Southern latitude; in 
short, into the country of the Giagas or Jagas of Congo; 
who, it is evident, are nothing but the wandering Bushmen 
of the desert, and the desolating commandos of the Betjuanas 
and Booroolongs. By such inquiries the benevolent labours 
of the missionaries expand the boundaries of science; but we 
have to resume the subject of central Africa in the course 
of the next Book. 


jiiham- In resuming the description of the maritime countries, 

we shall pass over in haste Inhambane^ extending from La- 
goa bay, as far as Cape Corrientes, where a fort built by 
the Portuguese points out the southern limit of the posses- 
sions claimed by this nation. Cape Delgado is the north- 

* Campbell, II. p. 120. 


ern frontier. This whole extent of coast is called the Go- book 
vernment of Sena, or Mox^amhiqae. The coast of Inham- i-xxi. 
baue, is covered w ith pasturage and destitute of wood.*' 
Each village has its independent chief-f Tiie country of 
Sabia contains nothing remarkable. The kingdom of Boton- J^^" H"g- 
ga is often called Sofala, or Sephala, the latter appears to faia, or 
be only the maritime part of it ; the name of Sofala denotes 2°^o"S^- 
in the Hebrew and Arabic languages, Low country.^ Four 
hundred executioners constantly precede the king of this 
country, who assumes the titles of Grand-sorcerer, and 
Grand-robber. These words perhaps excite in the mind of 
an African, ideas equally just and liberal, as the phrases ' 
applied to the paternal wisdom and august magnificence of 
our sovereigns excite in the mind of an European courtier. 
Four ministers traverse the kingdom yearly, one represents 
the person of the monarch, a second his eyes, a third his 
mouth, and a fourth his ears. 

The golden treasures of this country have become quite 
a common place among the Arabian geographers; this 
precious metal, however, undoubtedly comes from the in- 
terior. The soil is fertile, the climate tolerable. The ap- 
proaches to the coast are dreaded on account of the number- 
Jess reefs and banks of sand. It is asserted that among the 
inhabitants there is a race of gigantic form, who deliver up 
their prisoners of war to a nation in the interior, to be de- 
voured.§ Those residing on the coast have embraced the 
Mahometan religion, and in some measure the Arabic lan- 
guage. They are ignorant of the art of dyeing their cotton 

The state of Monomotapa, situated behind Sofala, is. Empire oi 
like the latter, watered by the Zambe&e, one of the great ^pa°"^°' 
rivers of Africa, that empties itself into the sea by four 
mouths or branches ; namely, in proceeding from the 
north to the south, the ^uilitanef the Cuama, wiiich ap- 

* Ramusio, Collection des Voyages, 1. 1, p. 392. 

f Bucquoy, Voyage, trad, allem. p, 22. 

:|: Hartruanni, Edrisi Africa, p. 109 : Reland Palestina, p. 372» 

4 Bi'^quoy, p, 4 and 5. 


BOOK pears to be the principal, the Luabo, and the Luahoil, 
liXXi. Yhe natives say that tliis river originates from a great 
lake, and receives its name from a village not far from its 
source. It is very rapid, and in some places a league in 
breadth. It ascends as far as the kingdom of Sicambe, 
above Tete, where there is a cataract of an astonishing 
height, and constant falls for the space of twenty leagues, 
as far as the kingdom of Chicova, where are found mines 
of silver. The Zambese inundates the country in the 
same manner as the Nile 5 but in the month of April. In 
sailing upon this river, it is very hazardous to plunge the 
arm or foot into the water, on account of the numerous and 
Produc- daring crocodiles.^ Monomotapa abounds in rice, maize, 
fruits, and beasts ; it is cultivated along the rivers, but the 
rest of the land, although uncultivated, appears fertile, since 
vast forests are found there inhabited by elephants, rhi- 
noceroses, wild oxen called meroos^ tigers strong enough to 
carry off a calf, zebras, antelopes, and monkeys.f The 
hippopotamus and tortoise attain an enormous size. The 
Portuguese have bred a few horned cattle; but horses are al- 
together wanting. The mineral kingdom appears interest- 
ing. Gold dust every where abounds ; the Portuguese col- 
lect it in the environs of Tete, the natives in the province of 
Manica ; in addition to these are enumerated the gold mines 
of Boro and ^uaticuy, where this precious metal lies imbed- 
ded in a rock. 

The kingdom of Butua is considered the richest in gold. 
Masses of native silver have been met with. The natives 
diligently work some iron mines. 
Eitymoiogy rpj^g name of Monomotapa signifies, according to some 
name. authors, the king of Motapa, it is written by others Beno- 
Motapa, which, according to an ingenious observation, ap- 
pears to signify in Arabic '^a people of mercenary sol- 
diers," and consequently only an appellative given to these 
nations by the Arabs, who have conquered the sea-coasts.t 

* Thomann, Voyage, p. 133. t Idem, p. 118, 119. et 122. 

t Lichtenstein, Archives Ethnogiaph. 1. 1, p. 295, 

MOZAMBiqtrE. 399 

However it may be, the sowrcign, to whom the title of book 
emperor is given by tl»c Portiignese, formerly extended ^xxi. 
his dominion over a great uumber of vassal kings : he is 
now, say tiiey. oue of the most powerful princes of A^frica. 
The great edifices of Butua, covered with inscriptions in Monu- 
an unknown language, appear to be silent evidences of an- ' 
cicnt civilization extinguished during the presence of civil 
wars, or v/hich may have disappeared with the nation, 
great both in cominerce and arms, of which these monu- 
ments appear to be erections. 

The provinces and cities of the empire of Monomotapa Provinces 
are not better known than they were in the sixteenth cen- ^" 
tury. Zimbaoe is the collective name of every great city, 
like foil in China. It is the name of the emperor's resi- 
dence, which is sixty leagues from the sea, is a very popu- 
lous city, and situated on t]\Q banks of the great river. 
Tette and Sena are two Portuguese forts; the first, also 
called San-Tago, is distant one hundred and twenty leagues 
east of the great cataract. The Portuguese still possess 
on this river the post of Chicova and Massapa, near the 
gold mountains of mount Fnra, The post of Zuinbo, 
where the Banians manufacture gold plate, has been seiz- 
ed from the Portuguese by the natives.^ The people of 
this country go nearly naked, like those of the western 
coast 5 they are superstitious, and believe in magic and en- 
chantments. According to reports which seem doubtful, 
the king, on days of ceremony, carries suspended at his 
side a small spade as an emblem of agriculture. The 
children of the great men are retained at court as hostages | 
and the king sends every year an officer into the provinces. 
It is at that time the custom for the people to testify their 
loyalty by putting out their fires, and relighting them by 
fire taken from the officer's torch. It is said that the em- 
peror's guard consists of a squadron of women lightly 

* Report of Dominican Missionaries, cited in the Diario di Roma, Febru- 
ary, 1816. 


BOOK armed. After all, is it ascertained whether this famous 
XXXI. monarch exists at present, as an independent sovereign? 
" A more interesting question for a travelLu* is the possi- 

Passage c? a it 

across the bility of Crossing the unknown country between Monomo- 
orsouTilern *^P^ ^"^ Congo. The Portuguese and African slave 
Africa. merchants Iiave already often conducted convoys of ne- 
groes from Angola to Sena, and from Sena to Angola. The 
two posts of Fedras-negras, in the interior of Congo, and 
of Chicova, in tlie interior of Monomotapa, are the respec- 
tive points of departure ; the distance is three hundred 
and twenty-five leagues, and its performance occupies a 
whole season : wandering hordes are frequently met, and 
elevated plateaus are crossed where gold in powder is col- 
lected. The reports received from Portuguese exiles re- 
siding at Sena, and transmitted by two learned men, M. 
Correa de Serra, and M. Constancio,* leave no room for 
reasonable doubts. The objection drawn from the decla- 
ration of the governor of Mozambique, who declares him- 
self ignorant of these journeys, loses its weight, when it is 
considered, that it is not at Mozambique, but at Chicova, 
or at least at Sena, that information of the fact must be 
collected. Moreover, the governor consulted by M. Salt, 
appeared to have scarcely any idea of the circumstances 
generally known concerning the geography of Monomo- 

Repulsed from the interior, our curiosity must rapidly 
survey the remaining part of the western coast governed 
by the Portuguese. 
Coast of The coast of Mozambique every where presents danger^ 
bique. ous reefs and shoals, interspersed with a great number of 
small islands. The rivers, although very wide at their 
mouth, come not from a great distance; they take their 
rise from the foot of a long and high chain of Mountains, 
to which, on account of their splintered peaks, has been 
given tlie Portuguese name of Ficos Fragosos. 

* Obsevvador Portugiiez, Periodical Collection, No. IV. 


The port of the Isle of Mozambique, allhougli of difticult J^ook 
entrance,* is very good, and can aftbrd secure shelter to i-xxi, 
many vessels. The Portuguese have a fort very well built, "^^ 
and hold under their jurisdiction the inhabitants, who are same 
Moors, and are governed by a Sheorif. The Portuguese i>^!i«?« 
ships, on their voyage to India, enter and remain in the 
port of Mozambique during a month; formerly, among oth- 
er merchandize, they took in slaves, which they carried ios 
India; but King Joseph the second, under tlie ministry oi 
Pombal, forbad this commerce, and the present Queen has 
enforced the order. The principal objects of exportation 
at present are gold and elephants' teeth ; these last are very 
abundant; they are kept in spacious magazines,} and arc 
shipped oflf during the month of August every year for Goa. 
There is also considerable trade carried on between this 
place and Madagascar; and all the commerce of these coun- 
tries appears to be in the hands and at the charge of govern- 

The unhealthy state of Mozambique has induced the 
inhabitants to build at the bottom of the bay the agreeable 
and large village of Mesuril, at this time more populous 
than the city4 The governor's palace raises itself majesti- 
cally above a forest of cocoa, cashew, and mango trees. 
The principal nation on this coast is that of JWacoiias ; The Ma- 
the Monjous, also the Muzimbes, live in the interior. The the coLnnt 
name of the first of these nations appears to merit every of Vakvak. 
attention of geographers. It appears to furnish the so- 
lution of an ancient geographical problem. The terri- 
tory of Vakvakf or TVakwak extends, according to the 
Arabians, from Zanguebar as far as Sofala; it is precisely 
the situation of the countrv of the Macouas : are not the 
two names identical ? A slight alteration of orthography 
may have confounded these names in tlie Arabic.§ Such 

* Thomann, p. 54, 55. 

t Collin, Notices respecting Mozambitinp, in Aunales ties Vovagps, t. IX, p. 

:j: Salt, Second Voyage. 

^j^^fc (ouakouak) tjfj-^l^ (fuakoua]<.) 

VOX. IV. 26 


BOOK is the conclusion to which a rational etymology would seem 
ixxi. ^Q jgj^d yg^ rjij^g truth is, that Macou, in the dialects of 
southern Africa, merely signifies a white man, and is ap- 
plied hy the inhabitants of the interior, indifferently to the 
Dutch and English at the Cape of Good Hope, or to the 
Arabs and Portuguese on the shores of Mozambique.* 
Anciently, Wakwak may have had the same signification, 
so rapidly do the dialects of Africa degenerate : and the 
Makasses of the west coast,f north of the Orange, probably 
derive their name from a similar origin. 
The coast The northern part of the government of Mozambique 
derives is name of ^uerimbe from a small island where the 
Portuguese have a fort, and where they allow the French to 
trade.:}: Ohio is another of their posts. The islands of this 
coast are under the government of an Arab sheik, a vassal 
of Portugal, whose possessions terminate at Cape Delgado. 

* Campbell, II. p. 358. t Above, p. 339. 

I Blancard, Commerce des Indes Orieiitales. p. 20, 




Continuation of the descnption of Africa. — Eastern coast, or 
Zanguehar and Jijan* — Remarks on the Intenor of South' 
em Jifnca. 

Those regions which are least known attract more par- book 
ticularly the attention of writers who are anxious to satisfy txxii. 
the curiosity of their philosophical readers. We shall, 
therefore, devote a whole book to the description of coun- 
tries, which both English and French compilers of geogra- 
phy generally dispatch in two or three pages. 

Cape Delgado determines the southern limit of Zangue-ZixnguebTLt 
bar^ or the coast of Zangnes, Zingues, or Zindges, for the ^^^^^l^g'^f^- 
name given by the Arabians to the inhabitants is written bians. 
in these three ways. The Arabian accounts are tliose 
only which appear to embrace the whole of continental 
Zanguehar. A great river, filled with crocodiles, sandy 
deserts, a burning climate, leopards of a large size, innu- 
merable elephants, giraffes, and wild asses or zebras, mines 
of iron, from which the natives derive their favourite or- 
naments; the dourah and banana, as alimentary plants; as 
beasts of burden, oxen, which are also used in war; such 
are the remarks of physical geography which can be col- 
lected in the writings of Ibn-al-Wardi,^ Massoudi,f Edri- 
si,-\. and Bakoui.§ The country of Zingues, or Zindges, 

* jSTotices and Extracts from Manuscripts, II. 38. 

t Etieiine Quatremeie, Mem. sur TEgypte, &c. vol. II. 181. 
:}: Hartmann, Edrisi Africa, 101 — 104. 

♦ JN^otices, fee. II. 395. 



sooK extends, according to the Arabians, from Abyssinia as far 
XXXII. as the territory of Ouakouak, that is to say, to the country 

"~~"~^ of Makouas, or the coast of Mozambique. It is in length 
seven hundred farsangs, by which are probably meant 
Arabic miles, for there are just seven hundred from Cape 
Delgado to Madagoxo, otherwise the whole coast from the 
straits of Babcl-Mandei to Sofala must be included. The 
capital is Kabila^ a name in which Quiloa may be recogniz- 
ed. The people live without law, and without any definite 
form of religion. Every one worships the object of his fan- 
cy — a plant, an animal, or a piece of iron ; they, neverthe- 
less, acknowledge a supreme God, whom they call Maklaii' 
dilou, a word which calls to mind the Molango of the inhabi- 
tants of Sofala, and which thus attaches the Zingues to the 
race of Caifres. The king, who is said to assume the title 
of " Wakliman, or Son of the Supreme Lord,"^ marches at 
the head of 300,000 troops mounted on oxen. The Zingues 
conquered, during the third age of the Hegira, a part of 
Eastern Arabia and of Irac. 

European Europeans have visited only the islands and some mari- 

accounts. * n p n i i 

'' time places of Zanguebar; we will follow them by ascend- 

Quiioa. ij^g £j,Qj^^ south to north. The island of Quiloa, with the 
city of the same name, is situated opposite a peninsula, 
formed by two great rivers, the most important of which 
is called Coavo, This situation gives it three safe ports, 
spacious, and independent of each other. The banks of 
the rivers are ornamented by large trees, with villages in- 
terspersed, subject to the authority of the king of Quiloa. 
The island, accessible at all times, is the mart for the trade 
of slaves of the whole coast of Zanguebar. The continent 
produces a species of teak-wood, as durable as that from 
Surat, of the greatest beauty, and fit for the building of 
ships. The sugar-cane, cotton tree, and indigo, are its na- 

* The word Wakliman^ quoted after Massoudi by Quatrem^re, appears to 
be Arabian. Wakil, is a governor, or viceroy. Iman, the name of the Arab 
sovereigns of Yemen, Mascate, and Adel. The pretended king of the Zingues, 
may be only a vassal, former or present, of the Tman of Adel or Masratc. 


tural products. The baobab, the tamarind tree, the cedar, book 
the tree tliat produces the gum copal, and the coffee plant i-xxir. 
of Madagascar, are also found here. Game, and herds of 
every species of animal, particularly of the wild ox, as 
well as river and sea-fish, are here abundant. Elephants, 
rhinoceroses, panthers, lions, leopards, wild asses, or zebras, 
are often seen coming to the banks of the two rivers to 
quench their thirst. Fruits and vegetables are scarce. 
Millet forms the principal food of the natives. 

The king is a negro, and receives much respect, but is 
under the guardianship of a Moorish vizier, called Mallin- 
dane, who governs supremely in the name of this titular 
monarch, whom he may even depose by conferring tlie dig- 
nity on another of his own choice.=^^' This vizier appears 
to be a governor sent by the powerful sheik of the island 
of Zanzibar. " The inhabitants of the island," says a 
learned author, " saw with concern that Quiloa alone had 
all the trade of the coast; they invaded this city in 1787, 
The king of Quiloa ceded to that of Zanzibar half the pro- 
fits annually received from the trade of slaves. For tho 
better observance of this treaty the sovereign of the latter 
island has stationed a representative at Quiloa. Many 
French trading vessels resort thither every year.f" The 
women cultivate millet and potatoes from custom and neces- 
sity ; the men are employed either in fishing, hunting, or 
sleeping ; some women also make mats and coarse stuffs for 
their own use.:|: 

The island of Moiijiaf governed hy a sheik in the time ofisJand of 
Raniusis, is at this time only inhabited by wild oxen, which " °" ^' 
the inhabitants of Quiloa come here to hunt. 

Zanzibar is the largest and most important of all these island of 
islands; it is twenty-five leagues in length and five i^ Zanzibar, 
breadth. It is said to have an excellent harbour. Orange 
and lemon trees display their golden fruits by the side of 

* Cossigny, Moycn d'AmSIiorer les Colonics, t. III. p. 247 el suir. 
t Blancarrl, Cojnmeice des Indes Oricntalcs, p, 21. 
I Cossigny, ibid. III. 26G. 


BOOK the cocoa and banana. A^egetables and rice are abundant. 
xxx)i. i^iie iiihahitants, like those of the neighbouring islands, are 
Mahometans, and governed by a system of laws. The cities 
are adorned with mosques. The number of inhabitants is 
computed at 60.000, of which 300 are Ai'abs, and the rest a 
mixed race. The sheik communicates with the princes of 
Arabia; he is said to ha 'e expressed a wish to be placed 
nnder the protection of England.* The exports consist of 
slaves, ffuin, ivory, ajitisnanv, and blue vitriol. 

Tsi:in^ of iVm6a is still more fertile in fruits and corn. The in- 
habitants, a timid peoj)le, are dressed in stuffs of silk and 
cotton bi'ought from Iinlia. Like tl«e other islanders 
they sail in their fraii barks to Melinda and Mada- 

Doubts and j|ere ends altosiether modern information. The inte- 

quesuons. ^ 

resting descriptions of Loho, Barros, and Conta, are already 
three centuries old.f Is the city u{ Momhaza, situated in 
an island formed by two blanches of a river, still in the 
possession of the Arabs of Masrate, who, in 1698, drove 
out t!ie Portuguese ? Are the seventeen chuiches that 
adoi'ned tiiis city, well fortified by nature and art, still 
mosques? With whom do the inliabitauts of these fertile 
and healthy places at present trade ? Does the large and 
beautiful city of Melinda still continue the pride of its 
banks? Does she still see in her gai-dens the most delici- 
ous oranges ? Do the Arabs, w ho now possess it, array 
themselves in silk and pur])le ? Is tlie king al Aays carried 
on the shoulders of his courtiers, and recei\ed by a choir 
of priests and young women, who offer him incense and 
flowers? >Vho now reigns in Lamo, a country famous for 
tlie large asses it produces ? Over Pate, \%l»eiice tlie Arabs 
of Mascate drove out European traders in 1692? Over 
Jubo and its coast, infested by serpents? Over Brava^ or 
Berua^ a small aristocratic republic, the inhabitants of which 
worshipped stones anointed with the oil offish ? 

* Salt, Second Journey into Abyssinia, &c. 

t See the present Work, vol. II. p. 485, and seq. 


These are questions that would have been resolved by the bock 
learned and intrepid Seetzen, if an enemy's hand had not ^^xii* 
cut the thread of a life so precious ; for at the moment in 
which this traveller died, poisoned by tlie order of the Iman 
of Yemen, he was preparing to visit Melinda, and to collect 
among the Arabs of that city traditions and manuscripts 
relative to their knowledge of Africa. 

Nevertheless, the principal features of its geography are 
incapable of having been changed. 

The cities of Melinda, Lamo, and Pate, appear to be Delta of 
situated in the delta of a great river, called Qi*^^^watic?/, q^[.'^^J^j^_ 
which appears to be the same as that which, under thecy. 
name of Zebee, descends from the mountains of Abyssinia. 
The banks of the river, inundated and enriched by its 
waters, perhaps may correspond with the lively descriptions 
of the Portuguese ; farther on, the moving sands, accord- 
ing to an Arabian author, have destroyed the city of 

Behind these maritime and civilized states are noticed the The Mose- 
savage tribes of Mosegneyos, rich in cattle, who, during in-su^yo^* 
fancy, have their heads covered witii clay in the form of a 
hat. Is not the name by which this nation is designated, 
Arabic? it would then only signify men armed with jave- 
lins.f Fartlter north are the MaracateSf a people less rude. The Mava- 
and having a good exterior. They observe the ceremony of '^"^^^* 
circumcision. The girls preserve the treasure of their in- 
nocence by means of a suture, which the husband alone has 
a right to undo.:j: 

The accounts of the kingdom of Magadoxa or Makad- Kingdom 
schoUf are more recent. A lascar or Indian sailor, nam-^^^^^s^- 
ed Isulf, who has resided there sixteen years, has furnish- 
ed the principal parts of the following account.§ The 
country, watered by a large river, abounds in corn, rice, 

* Aboul-Mahasen, in Et. Quatremere, 1. c. p. 188. 

t ^\iAA (mossagge) javelot. | Lobo, Vo3'age, t. I. p. 282. 

$ Narrative of the Lascar Isuf, in Ehrmann, Bibliotheque of Voyages, and 
Geograpliical Memoirs, III. 75. and seq. (in German.) 


BOOK iVuits, cattle, red-liaired slieep, horses, and camels. The 
1.XXII. extensive forests harboiu* bears I lions, panthers, leopards, 
and ostriches. The pijon is a bird ten feet in height. The 
description of an amphibious animal, denominated hoxeVy 
calls to mind the oridthorynchus of New Holland. The 
population consists of a mixture of white, olive-coloured 
and black men, who have pretty generally adopted the 
idiom of their masters, the Arabs. The king and great 
men are covered from the breast to the feet ; the common 
people go nearly naked ; the queen, by way of distinction, 
wears green silk, and her hair is ornamented with feathers 
of different colours. The king holds a court of justice in 
public, assisted by some counsellors. Criminals are either 
exposed to wild beasts, or dispatched with a club. The king 
is attended by a suite only during journies; at other times 
he has neither court nor guards, nor does any one salute 
him. Tlie Mahometan religion, which prevails, appears 
allied to paganism; for different idols are seen both in the 
temples and houses. The violence exercised by the Portu- 
guese in former times on this coast, who came for the pur- 
pose of procuring slaves, has left a deep impression, and 
Europeans are no longer received but with mistrust and 
much reserve. 
City of rj^ljg capital, which takes the name of the country, is a 

large and fine city, built at a short distance from the sea- 
shore. It contains the king's palace, several mosques and 
houses of stone painted in fresco, with terraced flat roofs. 
In the burial place of the royal family, near the city, the 
tombs are of black and white marble, each adorned wdth a 
cupola surmounting a magnificent pyramid. The urns en- 
closing the aslies of the kings and queens are all of gold, and 
surrounded by lamps of the same metal. 

It is probable that the Machidas, mentioned by the Abys- 
sinian histories, are no others than the Makadschou. 

Coast of The coast of Jljan presents to the eye of the navigator, 

^''^"' only a desolate mass of rocks and sands, where, occasionally, 

may be seen a wandering ostrich. In proceeding round 

AJAN. 40^ 

Cape Guardafui, the eastern point of Africa, the coast puts book 
on a less barren appearance. The port of Fclis^ the isle of i^xxii. 
Barharaf the commercial city of Zeila^ in a country pro- — 
duciiig fruits and corn, are little frequented by Europeans. 
The kingdom of Adel is the principal state of this coast. Kingdom 
its capital is called Auga-Gurel, and the sovereign, like 
that of Yemen, assumes the title of Iman,^ The inhabit- 
ants of this coast, called Berberes by the Arabian geogra- 
phers, have an olive colour, long hair, and do not in the 
least resemble the Caffres. The horns of the cows are as 
large as those of the stag ; the sheep also have some pecu- 
liarities; according to Hamilton,! they are whitish, with 
a head of a shining black colour, small ears, large body, 
and juicy flesh ; at the end of their tail, as large as their 
buttocks, and from six to eight inches long, is an append- 
age also, about six inches in length, very like the tail of a 
hog. Hamilton's assertion is in some degree conrmed by 
Barthema,! who states his having there seen sheep whose 
tail weiglied from twenty -five to twenty-six pounds ; their 
head and neck black, the rest of the body white ; others, 
entirely white, had a tail an ell in length, turned like a 
vine tendril, and the neck swelled with a kind of dewlap 
hanging to the ground, which they have in common with 
the Angora sheep, and some other varieties. M. Walcke- 
naer has justly remarked its identity with a ram of antique 
marble,§ the living type of w^hich is said to exist in the 
Alps ; it appears to us, however, that the artist must ra- 
ther have seen its model in Asia Minor. The sheep of 
Adel, instead of wool, is covered with hair as coarse as the 
bristles of a hog. The same effect is produced by the cli- 
mate of Guinea and Barbary.|j The ancients were well 
acquainted with these Ethiopian, sheep, as they called 

* Luclolf, App. ad Histor. iEthiop. p. 29. 

t HamiltOD. Relation des Indes Orientales. 

:|: Ramusis, I. p. 121, 123. 

$ Fabioni, del ariete gutturato, Florence, 1792, 

jj Shaw's Travels, 241 ; Adanson, Hist. Natur. du Senegal, 57'. 


BOOK them.* Our European breed, after having been transport- 
xxxii. Q^\ If) Sontli Ajnei'Jca, lias cljanged its wool for hair.f These 
facts appear to ditninish, in a great degree, the importance 
confiirn){)Iy attarhed to slight varieties of form, in a species 
so sid>j''nt to the influence of climate. 
Aromatic Amona th? exports of the countrv of Adel, some Greek 
and Rojiian authors of the first and second ages, name 
myrrh, frankincense, cassia, and canella4 The testimony 
of tiie ancients, rer>eated by Barthema, has also been copi- 
ed by Bruce. It is not improbable that the forests or 
groves, overspreading; the interior mountains of Adel and 
Ajan, produce medirinal giuns, odoriferous resins, and aro- 
matic barks. We have seen, in the description of Guinea, 
that even ths westerii coast of Africa produces some aro- 
matic vegetables. We regard the great resemblance be- 
tween the Flora of Africa and that of Arabia and India, 
as a probable result, not only of tlie similitude of the cli- 
mates, but of the commercial communications of the inha- 
bitants. Have not some plants from Brazil flourished in 
the neighbourhood of Plymouth, the seeds of which had 
been transported by Portuguese vessels to Lisbon, and 
thence to England ? Are not the vegetables of Germany 
diff'used in the same manner over the coasts of Berghen in 
Norway ?§ It must be confes.sed, however, that Bruce's 
assertions do not aff*ord a sufficient evidence for admitting 
the canella, cassia, or even tlie coffee-tree, into the number 
of vegetables of the central region of Adel and Ajan. 
Myrrii only is at this time carried from the ports of Abys- 
sinia to those of Moka.|l 

* Strabo, lib. XVII. p. 1177; Almel. Diod. Sicul. III. p. 8; Oppian, de 
Venat. II. 326. 379. 

t Catesby's Natural Hist, of Carolina, pieface; Brown's Natural History of 
Jamaica, p. 488 ; Sloane's Natural History of Jamaica, II. p. 328 ; Bancroft's 
Natural History of Guiana, p. 121. 

I Galen, Dioscor. Plin. cited by Bochart, Phaleg. I. H. p. 23. 

^ Notes of M. Correa de Serra, and of the late M. Wahl, communicated to 
the author. 

jl Blanoard, Commerce des Indes Orient. 83. 


It now remains for us to go more deeply into the inte- book 
rior of the continent. Unfortunately a few lines will be ^-xxii, 
sufficient to include the vague traditions that have reached T 


The Giagas occupy 1o the east of Congo immense deserts. General le- 
It is asserted, tliat these Tartars of tl»e torrid zone, after vhe inter 


their re-union at Mou-Zimbes^ have ajjpea! ed as devastating 
conquerors on the side of Quiloa. On tho other hand, the 
name of Mou-JacOf brought by Battel and Dapper very far 
from the nortli-east of Congo, appears to point out a 
temporary establishment of the Giagas, It appears to us 
that tlie ZimbeSf or Mou-Zimbes, must be identical with 
the CimbebaSf wanderers to the west of the Berjouanas. 
Again, the Mon-Gallas^ or Mou-Gcillas^ on the coast of 
Quiloa, appear to be an emigration of the Gallas bordering 
on Abyssinia. It is from these data tliat the interior of 
Southern Africa appears to us an extensive plateau, where 
wandering hordes are dispersed without control, without 
laws, or any regular employment. This hypothesis appears 
confiimed by the two according testimonies that we are 
about to cite. 

The accounts of the slave merchants of Mozambique, Caravans 
collected by Mr. Salt, inform us, that the two nations, call- that way. 
ed the Eevi and Maravi, are situated nine hundred miles 
at least from the eastern coast, and consequently in the 
middle of the continent; these nations, composed of white 
men, (olive-coloured are undoubtedly meant,) are concern- 
ed in the slave trade on the western coast. Seven months 
are required to go from Mozambique into their country, 
where a great lake of fresh water is to be found. This 
testimony merits greater attention, as the English traveller, 
in reporting it, endeavours to throw out doubts on the 

According to M. Morice, of the Isle of France, who 
concluded in 1776, in his own private name, for one hun- 
dred years, a treaty of alliance and commerce with the 

* Salt, Second Voyage. 


BOOK Moors of Quiloa, a caravan of Africans every year leaves 
XXXII. ^ijjg ci^y ^Q gQ iyjto the interior of the country on the west- 
em side of Africa, and return by the same road. They 
feed on the vegetables and roots found on the road,=^ and 
particularly on the tamarind. At the distance of some days' 
journey from Quiloa, a great lake is observed, designated 
as a fresh water sea ; it is undoubtedly the lake Maravi. 
It is crossed on pieces of wood, and a halt is made on an 
isle found in the middle. The Africans assert that the 
termination of their journey is "a lake" of salt water. 
Vessels, similar to our own, are found here, and Europe- 
ans, to whom the slaves are sold. This account has been 
confirmed to M. Morice, in all the voyages made to Qui- 
loa, by many inhabitants wljo had performed the journey ; 
and the coincidence of their reports does not admit a doubt 
of its truth. 

From these reports, it may be presumed, that at present 
there are no considerable districts, even half-civilized in the 
southern interior of Africa. This idea is farther confirm- 
ed by what is known concerning the manners of some tribes. 
Manners of Immediately to the east of Congo, are the regions where 
theJagas. ^^^ found the w^andering and uncivilized tribes, called 
JagaSf Giagues, or SchaggUf by travellers, and who give 
themselves the name of Jigaghu] These people do not 
cultivate the land, and possess only such cattle as they 
take in w^ar: they invade the fertile countries of their 
neighbours, consume the produce, and, after having laid 
every thing waste, search after other booty. The Giagas 
devour their prisoners ; they rub their generalissimo with 
human fat ; he also wears a belt of ostrich eggs, and a sort 
of copper ring in the nose and ears. The women of the 
Giagas bury their children alive ; the nation continues its 
existence only by rearing the children of neighbouring na- 
tions, torn from their parents at twelve years of age. The 
generalissimo, during the great sacrifices, kills with his own 

* Cossigny, Moyeus d'ameliorer les Colonies, t. III. p. 246. 250. 269. 
t Lopez, I. c. p. 77. ; Battel, T. c. 974. ; Carli, Voyage au Congo. 


hand liumaii victims. It is asserted tfiat, at a certain fete, book 
this chief orders a furious and hungry lion to he let loose I'XXii. 
in the middle of his subjects. The Jagas, far from avoid- " 

ing it, consider it an honour to be killed by his murderous 
teeth. Old men, and the sick, are abandoned without pity. 
The dead arc buried in vaulted tombs, dressed in their 
richest clothes, and have, as companions, two of their wives, 
who are buried alive. The Giagas, who have no horses, 
fight on foot with great intrepidity; they entrench their 
camps with diligence. This hideous nation has had its ^^ei^oes and 


Alexander and its Semiramis. Under the command of 
Zimho, they overran the interior of Southern Africa, and 
came down to lay v^^aste Quiloa and besiege Mozambique. . 
On its arrival before Melinda, the army of Zimbo suffered 
a total defeat, which was follow ed by the dissolution of his 
empire ; but Temha-J\*damha^ youngest daughter of one 
of his generals, endeavoured by her laws or quiocilles to 
support the power of the nation. With a view of enforc- 
ing submission to her inhuman commands, she seized her 
young son, threw him into a mortar, broke and pounded 
him, and then extracted from his wretched remains an 
ointment, of which she applied to her body some drops 
on every day of battle. The Jagas have preserved this 
ointment; and their chiefs, when anointed with it, consi- 
der themselves invincible. 

The Bororos, to the north of Monomotapa, are a less The Boro- 
uncivilized people. Those who inhabit the sides of the*^"^^* 
lake Maravi, and who have considerable cities, are subjects 
of the empire of Bororos. Among the names of these 
tribes, those of Massi and Ruengas are the most remark- 
able : the one recalls the ancient Massyli or Massasyiians ; 
the other appears identical with Dar Ilunga, situated to 
the south of Darfour, since this last people use an idiom 
quite different to that of its neighbours, and appears there- 
fore to be a colony, from a great distance. 

The name of Moiio-Emugi, or, according to a more au- Mone- 
thentic orthography, Mou ^imigi, designates an empire or """^'' 
rather an oasis to the north of the lake Maravi. It is said to 


BOOK be populous, mountainous, and rich in gold mines.* These 
ixxii. mines are found in the province of Goragua ; it is also 
known, from M. Seetzen, that in the Dar-Bergon, a dialect 
is known, called the Gmirangon^ which appears to indicate a 
province of the same name. The sovereign of Mou-Niniigi 
has the title of acequd which is like the word amazeagh, lord. 
Thus some scattered ravs every where show a connexion 
between the nations of tlie southern interior, and those of 
Atlas and Nigritia. The Mou-J\*imigians are said to be 
white, undoubtedly only as compared to negroes. 

Gingiro. Only one part of this interior region has been visited by 

Europeans ; it is the small state of Gingiro, Some parti- 
culars concerning it are known, furnished by the Jesuit 
Anton-Fernandez, who attempted, in 1613, to pass from 
Abyssinia to Melinda, with an embassy, designed for King 
Philip the second of Spain. f This country is situated on 

River Ze- ^he banks of Zebee, that has its source in Boscham, a dis- 
trict of the kingdom of Narea,:|: and opens for itself a pas- 
sage with force across the mountains, dividing the two 

This river, which moves along a greater volume of wa- 
ter than the Nile, after having nearly surrounded Gingi- 
ro, which becomes in this manner a sort of peninsula, pur- 
sues its course, without intermission, to the sea, into wiiich 
it empties itself near Melinda. To cross it in their coun- 
try, the Gingirians kill a cow. They enclose the baggage 
in the skin, and fill it with air by blowing into it with 
foi'ce. Tiiey then fasten to it two poles, in the form of 
shafts, hang u'pon each side by pairs, to keep the machine 
balanced, which a good swimmer, placed at the head, draws 
by means of a rope, while two others push it on from be- 

** Jean dos Santos, la Haute-Ethiopie, liv. III. ch. 1. 

t Sse Teller., Historia general de Ethiopia a alta Coimbra, 1660, in folio, 
p. 312. 329. 

X "The Zcbee is probably the JVadi Borcha, which, according to Mak- 
rizi, constitutes the frontier of Abyssinia." Vater Ethnoi^raphisth. Archiv. 
torn. I. 242. 


hind. Their colour is of a less deep hiack than that of book 
the negroes. Their features are as fine and regular as the i-^'xii. 
Abyssinians and Europeans. The wliole nation are slaves; 
every thing is the absolute property of the king. Wl>en Laws and 
he wishes to obtain any thing valuable brought by the ^'"jJ^^J^^^g^ 
merchants, he gives thein in exchange the number of slaves 
required. For this purpose, he uniformly orders as many 
sons and daughters of the inhabitants as he wishes to be 
taken away. It is a right of the throne, consecrated by 
time; and woe to the person who is suspected to disap- 
prove in the least of this barbarit}^, he will be immediate- 
ly put to death. At his audience of leave, the king of- 
fered Father Anton Fernandez the daughter of one of the 
first families of t!ie kingdom as a slave, and on his refusal, 
gave him a male slave and a mule. The crown is heredi- 
tary in the same family, but not in the order of primoge- 
niture. The successor is appointed by force, at the peril 
of the electors' lives, who pass for great sorcerers, and ap- 
pear to be a tribe of priests. After inauguration, the new 
king orders all the favourites of his predecessor to appear 
before him, and orders them to be sent after their beloved 
master into the other world. The house of the dead king 
is burnt, with every thing contained in it. The same is 
done after the death of an individual ; even the trees and 
vegetables found in the neighbourhood are burnt, lest 
death, habituated to this spot, should be tempted to re- 
new his operations. Before felling a tree, chosen to make 
the pillar intended as a support to the throne in the king's 
new dwelling, they cut off the heatl of the first man they 
meet belonging to a certain family of the kingdom, vvhich, 
from that circumstance, is exempt from all other expense, 
and many envy this honour. When the king goes to be 
installed in his palace, one or two other men of the same 
privileged family, according to the number of gates, are 
killed, that the thresliold and posts may be dyed with 
their blood. On the day of his assuming the reins of go- 
vernment, his first act is giving orders for discovering 
througliout the whole of las kingdom all the men and wo- 


BOOK men who are affected with scald-head, in order to prevent 

ixxii. the propagation of the disease, which might teraiinate in 

' affecting his majesty. The wiiole are cured hyH}eing sent 

heyond the Zebec, where death awaits them ail. 

Laughable ^he kinff is seated on his throne, which is like a balloon, 

etiquette. „,., n i .i , 0,11 j 

fixed m the manner oi a cage at the top ot the house, dress- 
ed in a robe of white silk of Indian fabric. Father Anton 
Fernandez says that gingiro means a monkey, and that 
the attitudes and grimaces of the king in his cage very 
much resemble this animal, adding, that, similar to what 
monkeys do, the king, wounded in battle, is immediately 
killed, by those who surround him, or in default of that by 
his relations, that he may not die by an enemy's hand. He 
is looked upon as a divine being, rival to the sun and his 
devouring influence. He goes out only in the morning, at 
break of day. If the sun has risen before him, he conti- 
nues in the interior of the house tiie whole day, and neither 
goes up into his cage, nor transacts any business; for, say 
the Gingirians, two suns cannot shine at the same time, 
and when the other has taken the lead, the dignity of the 
king would be compromised, if he so far humbled himself as 
to follow. 

After death, the body of the king, dressed in the richest 
stuffs, and enclosed in the skin of a calf, is drawn along 
the fields to the burial place of the sovereigns, and depo- 
sited in a ditch left open : earth is not considered worthy 
of covering the remains of a rival of the sun, who can only 
have the tent of heaven as a mausoleum. The body is in- 
undated with the blood of a great number of cows killed at 
the edge of the tomb ; and afterwards, one is killed every 
day, until the deatli of tlie king then reigning ; the blood 
flows into the tomb, and the flesh is the property of the 
priests who perform the sacrifice. 

Amofig other ceremonies of the inauguration, too long for 
description, the new king is obliged to crush between his 
teetlj a certain worm brought to liim, and whicli is supposed 
to have come from the nose of his predecessor. 


Such are the uncivil izcfl and extravagant manners of the book 
population of Central Africa. Tliey afford little hope of lxxii. 
interesting discoveries for liistory; neither, however, can it 
be supposed that a small number of men, well armed, would 
experience many obstacles in traversing these barbarous 

VOL. IV. p. 

J I 






Continuation of the Description of Jlfrica,< — The Eastern 
Jfrican Islands — Socotora, Madagascar. 

BOOK On quitting the continent of Africa at its eastern point, 
XXXIII. the Island of Socotora immediately comes into view ; its 
soil is dry, strong, and almost destitute of water and ve- 
getation : the dust of the shore is carried by the wind even 
to the summit of the central chain of mountains. Never- 
theless, in the sheltered valleys, the best aloes, as well as a 
great quantity of dates, are produced. It abounds in 
goats and poultry, out there are very few oxen. Besides 
the mosunbrun^ or gum extracted from the aloe, cinnabar 
and dragon's blood are exported from the island. =^ George 
Andersen, an unenlightened traveller, mentions his haxing 
there seen the cassowary. Amber is thrown up from the 
sea. Coral is very common, and the houses of Tamarida, 
the principal city, are constructed with it. The island has 
no perfectly secure harbour. It is governed by a sheik, 
who is subject to the Iman of Muscat or Arabia. The 
population of this island might furnish a subject for length- 
Origin of ened discussions. Philostorges, Edrisi, and HamdouUah, 
fauts? ^ 'speak of a colony sent hither by Alexander the Great. 
During the time of Philostorges, the colonists spoke the 
Syriac language. Marco Polo assigns an archbishop to the 
Christians of Socotora. The Portuguese found there some 


Voyage to Socotora, Auiuil. des Voyages, t. X. p. 143. 


Monophysite Christians, whose prayer-book appeared to book 
be written in the Chaldean language. Again, in 1593, ^^^^^?* 
there was a Jacobite bishop in the island ;=^ but the sect of 
Nestorians also had followers under a separate bishop.f 
Thomas Roe, among modern travellers, gives the most 
particular details of the inhabitants, and divides them into 
four classes — the Arabians, rulers of the country ; their 
Mussulman subjects, or slaves ; the Bediognes, ancient in- 
habitants confined to the mountains, who profess the doc- 
trine of the Jacobite Christians ; and lastly, a savage tribe, 
who live in the woods, without either clothes or houses. 
Its real inhabitants appear to be ignorant of the use of the 
musket, but, in commercial and other interested transac- 
tions, appear to partake of the vices of civilized nations. 

This island, which even in periods of antiquity served 
as a station for merchants, might even now become an im- 
portant one, to any nation wishing to explore Arabia and 
Eastern Africa. Yet, since the sixteentii century, it has 
continued to be disregarded by Europeans. 

At the distance of three hundred marine leagues south of Aimirante 
Socotora, are a great number of small archipelagos, discov- ^ ^" ^' 
ered by the Portuguese, which, even at this period, are not 
well defined. On the charts prior to the Oriental JSTeptune of 
M. d'Apres de Mannevillette, the general name of Mmirante 
Islands comprehended all those small islands situated be- 
tween the 4th and 6th degrees of south latitude, and of 
longitude from 50th to 54th degrees E. of Paris. With* 
in forty years, many French navigators have made more 
observations, and have changed their nomenclature; they 
have applied the name of Mmirante to the more western 
group, composed of thirteen flat islandvS, furnished with 
fresh water, abounding in cocoa trees, and tortoises, often 
readily taken by the hand of travellers. A more eastern 

* Assemanni, Bibliotb, Orient. II, 456. 

t Croze, Histoire du Chiistianisme des Indlos, p. 39. Asseman, III- 



uooK group has got the name of the Seychelle Islands, The 
Lxxiii. las'.'?;esf, the isle of Mahe^ is remarkahlc on account of tho 
establishment formed tliere hy the French, wherein they 
rheHe^^ Cultivated with success the nutmeg and clove trees. An ex- 
isiands. ccllent port renders this island important to navigation ; 
" ^* the En2;]ish on this account have been anxious to have it 
cedtM] to them. It was to this spot that Napoleon, when 
first consul, exiled some turhi?lent friends of libert'', Taise- 
Iv accused as accomnlices with the contrivers of the infer- 
nal machine. A quarrel with the inhabitants, probably 
on the subject of politics, was the cause of these unfortu- 
nate persons being again exiled. Some of them founder- 
ed on the Comora Islands and were lost, others 2:ained the 
African continent, where they probably suffered a slower 
and more painful death ; at last, destiny also conveyed to 
an Africjtn island the man by whose orders so many vic- 
tims had been exiled to the centre of the Seychelle is- 
Isle of The Isle of FalmSf in this archipelago, is distinguislied 

'' "*^* by a peculiar production, a species of palm, producing a 
iMaidivia fruit Called the Maldivia nut, or Coco da mer. In this fruit 
Teme!\^^° there is nothing particular, except its form, which presents 
an appearance of two thighs. The stone, like that of the 
cocoa, has a bitter and astringent taste.* As the tree grows 
near the sea, the nuts, when they fall off, drop into the 
water, and are carried by the current as far as the Mal- 
dives islands, whence they are carried to India. Very 
singular medical virtues were formerly ascribed to its fruit; 
it was sold at a very liigh price. The Empei'or Ilodolj»!uis 
the Second, could not procure one at the price of 4000 
florins. Tlis learned formed different Iiypotliesis on tlie 
origin of this nut, and Rumpliius considered it the pro- 
duction of a sub-marine tree. Tl»e palm tree ])roduc- 
ing it ]»as only been found in this island ; but as the sea 
carries it as far as Sumatra and Java on one side,| and 

* Sonnerat, Vo5'ago a la Na ivelle-Giunre, p. 4. 

t Maisden''s Sumatra, p. 17. irst eililion ; Kiiniph. Herbar. Amboiiiense. 

eoMORA. 421 

ZaJigiiebar on the otlicr,=^ it probably grows in many other liooK 
ishinds of the Indian ocean. The French and English Isav- i-xxiii. 
ing in a short time diffused a great many of them through 
India, this fruit lost its mysterious fame. It has, how- 
ever, been found profittable to cultivate it in the Isle of 

Manv small islands little known, amons; wliich are the ^'"^^'^ ^^■ 

«^ lands. 

Seven Brothers, Diego Garcia, Mu and CandUf reach from 
the east of the Seychelles, to the Maldives, and even beyond 
the meridian of the Isle of Cevlon, in the direction of Suma- 
tra. They are all inhabited. To the south-east of the Sey- 
chelles Islands, are also observed many small islands and 
extensive rocks uniting this archipelago to Madagascar 
and Africa. Thus, that part of the Indian ocean that ex- 
tends from the coast of Zanguebar to that of Malabar, and 
from Arabia to the Sevciielles and Maldives, forms a kind 
of separate sea, or, if it may be so called, a mediterranean 

The usual entry to this sea is the Channel of Mo^am- Comoia 

* Isles 

bique, between Madagascar and Africa. To the north of 
this channel, interspersed with shoals and rocks, is the ar- 
chipelago of the Comora isles. The;y are four in number. 
That of Jliijonan, or Joanna, properly Ilinzonan, has a Appear- 
great advantage over the others in its commodious J'^^tls ^]^^^'J^,^ 
and watering places of easy access. It has a very pictu- 
resque appearance; mountains, shaded with trees and fine 
verdure, varied by glens and intersected with deep valleys, 
majestically raise their heads one above another to a height 
of five or six hundred toises, and terminate by a peak more 
lofty, covered with eternal vegetation. The isle appears 
to have undergone the action of a considerable volcano; 
traces of the violence of fire are every where to be met 
with. It may contain about six or seven thousand inhabi- 
tants. The bay of Machadon, the usual place of disembark- 
ment for European vessels, is on the nnrtli side. The city 
is about half a league from the anchorage, is surrounded 

^ * Lobo, Voyage to Abyssinia, I. p. 53. 




BOOK by walls fifteen feet higli, and Jlanked by square turrets.^ 
XXXIII. Yi^e (,[ty of Johannaf situated in a handsome bay in the 
eastern part of the isle, was destroyed by the Malgaches in 
The Great Jlnga'Xiija^ ov great Comora, situated twenty-five leagues 
to the north-west of Anjouan, is a vast assemblage of moun- 
tains, the different groups of which have their bases very 
near the sea-coast, and all re-unite in a common summit, of 
from tvA'clve to thirteen^ hundred toises in height. It has no 
road, but many villages. 

Mouhilly, or Malale, five leagues west-south-west of An- 
jouan, is encompassed with a chain of rocky shelves. It has 
two small towns. 

The isle of Mayotte, the smallest of the four, seven leagues 
south-south-west of Hinzouan, affords only one bad ancho- 
rage. Its population is reduced to twelve or fifteen hundred 

Situated under a fine sky, the Comora isles enjoy a very 
healthy climate. The champaign country every where 
exhibits the appearance of a luxurious vegetation. At 
Hinzouan, every defile is a garden watered by a limpid 
stream. The summit of eacli eminence is covered with 
wood, its foot is shaded by groves of cocoa-trees, tufts of 
bananas, mangoes, orange and lemon trees, that intersect 
fields of potatoes and yams. The Indian purging nut, the 
guiava, the tamarind, and other trees less known, adorn the 
sides of the hills ; wild indigo and the sugar cane are abun- 

The principal domestic animals are the goat and zebra. 
In the fields are found pintados and quails, as well as 
several species of turtle-doves : among these is one very 
beautiful ; its plumage is ash-grey, shaded with blue, green 
and white ; its neck and legs are extremely long, its bill 



* Annales des Voyages, t. XIII. p. 136. (Essai sur les Comores, par Cap- 
martin et Epidar. Colin.) Notice on Hinzouan, by Sir William Jones, in the 
Asiatic Researches, t. II. 

GOMORA. 423 

is yellow and much pointed. The brown maki appears to book 
be the only inhabitant of the forests. xxxiii. 

Numerous flocks of a species of hawk fly near the sur- " 

face of the sea. Tiiis bird, in its tail and plumage, resem- 
bles the French hawk; it is so far peruliar as to live only 
near the coast, feeds only on fish, and yet is not possess- 
ed of any of the characters that distinguish aquatic birds ; 
its feet are not even half- webbed. The waters of* this ar- 
chipelago are not very well supplied with fish. 

In the Comora isles none of those troublesome insects 
are found that desolate India, the coast of Africa, and 
the island of Madagascar; but the fields swarm with small 

The population is composed of negroes intermixed with inhabit- 
Arabs, who, at the period of their numerous emigrations TheiTori- 
about the twelfth century, established themselves in these §»"• 
islands as well as on the coasts of Africa and at Mada- 

Large lips and prominent cheek-bones designate the 
lower classes of the blacks of Mozambique ; the sultan and 
nobles have retained the fine and expressive countenance 
of their Arabian ancestors ; large eyes, and aquiline nose, 
and a well-formed mouth, are features common to them 
all, and among them are observed heads of a striking cha- 
racter. The common idiom is a mixture of Arabic and of Language. 
the language of Zauguebar.t 

The Comorans are, in general, mild, honest, hospitable. Character 
very affable, and have already attained a degree of civili- ners. 
zation not to be found in the inhabitants of that part of 
the continent, or of the great island to which they are 
neighbours. They have much politeness in their manners, 
good sense, cultivated understanding, and a certain poetic 

* Annales des Voyages, t. XIII, p. 141. 

t Giosse's Voyage to India, 43. (Germ.) Bruns, in iiis Africa, conjectures 
that Carmouah, in Edrisi, is Coraora ; and that in place of Raneh, the read- 
ing is Zaneh ; that is to say, Zuanch, one of the names given to the island of 


BOOK turn, that imparts to their conversation an eastern grace. 

liXXiii. Yet altliough many among them can read and write, they 

' keep no register either of puhlic or private occurrences, 

and, whenever disputes arise, the truth of the facts, and 
of their date, are decided hy the oldest persons among 
them. Europeans shipwrecked on these isles have always 
experienced the most generous treatment. Some Arabs 
engage in agriculture, and possess large estates in the in- 
terior of the island. Others are employed in the mecha- 
nical arts, weaving, working in gold, &c. Theij* skill in 
workinj^ is as wondei'ful as the badness of the tools which 
they make use of. Others apply themselves to navigation, 
and undertake voyages as far as Bombay an(i Surat. The 
natives, however, are generally very bad soldiers, coward- 
ly and pusillanimous. The Madecasses frequently make 
descents on these isles, cari*y off cattle, and reduce men, 
women, and children to slavery. 

Houses. Their houses are simple and even miserable. The wo- 

men's apartments are separated from the body of the house 
by a small inner court, inaccessible to strangers. T!>e only 
appearance of luxury among them is the immoderate use 
of musk, the smell of which completely infects the houses; 
they have also the eastern custom of tinging their nails of 
an orange colour, extracted from henna, so much celebrat- 
, ed by the poets of the east. There is nothirjg remarkable 
in the dress of tiie men. The dress of a woman of rank, 
whom M. Collin, of tlie Isle of France, saw on the ter- 
race of one of the houses, appeared very siniilar to that of 
the Indians on the coast of Malabar. She wore several 
necklaces and bracelets of coral, long ear-rings, and a ring 
passed through the cartilage of the nose ; her hair was co- 
vered with oj'naments. She appeared handsome, but her 
colour was very brown. 

Religion. Mahometanism is the religion of the country, hut the 
common people worship Fetiches, as well as attend the 

Political The sway which the sultan of Anjouan exercised for- 
merly over the Comora Isles, has ceased, on account of the 


weakness to which the state has heen reduced, hy the wars book 
wagfid hy the Madecasses since the time of Beniowsky. i^xxiii. 
The nobles liave a share in tlie government, are engaged in ~ ^ 

commerce, and are tlie purveyors to European vessels. 
Litth' more is known of the coi^stitution and laws of this 
country. Theft is punislied by the loss of a hand, and a 
second offence by that of the other han<!.* 

We shall pass on, in a summary way, to the account of 
one of the largest islands of the world, and of a country 
more interesting from the variety of curious objects it pre- 
sents, than from its extent, and from the importance it 
might possess in the hands of an active nation. The island 
of Madagascarf the indigenous name of which is asserted Malagas- 
to be Madtcasse, can claim its sliare among the traditions discoveiy. 
handed down to the Greeks and Romans, concerning the 
immense Taprobane, which, according to the accounts of 
the natives, was extended so far to the south, that neither 
the constellation of tlie Bear nor Pleiades, were \ isii)le, and 
"the sun appeared to rise from the left." These particu- 
lars, as well as its dimensions, and the irreat lake situated 
in the centre of the island, agree with Madagascar, while 
the latitudes marked by Ptolemy apply to Sumati'a, and 
all the other circumstances lead us to Ceylon. In the island 
Fhebol, so named in a writing attributed to Aristotle, may 
be recognized the Arabic name i)^ Phamhalou^ given to this 
island. The Arabians probably visited it in their earliest 
voyages to India, and l«ng before the time of Mahomet. 
The first certain idea of it w as transnutted to us hy Marco- 
Polo, the Portuguese, who discovered it in 1506, under the 
command of Lorenzo Almeida, and gave it the name of 
Saint-Laurent ; tlie French called it Dauphine. 

This island is more than 340 leagues in length, and in Extent, 
breadth, in some places, 120, giving it 28,000 square 
leagues of surface.f Although almost wholly comprised 
within the torrid zone, it affords, on account of the eleva- 

* Annales des Voyages, torn. Xlll. p. 1G3. 

t Map of Madagascar, in the Annales des Voyages, t, XL* 



BOOK tion of its soils, tlic most agreeable variety of the seasons, 
ixxiii. jjjjjj enjoys in some degree all the advantages of temperate 
climates. A double chain of mountains, from twelve to 
eighteen hundred toises high, traverses it from north to 
south, enclosing, in all probability, a sort of central pla- 
teau, and separating the two maritime parts almost equally, 
giving rise to several rivers containing fish, and subject to 
Rivers. periodical inundations. The most considerable are the 
Miirundava, on the western side, tlie Manaii/zari and 
Manangara on the eastern. The Jlndevourante is naviga- 
ble for canoes to the distance of thirty-five leagues. The 
Mavgunt, one of the finest, rises from the lake Jlntsianaxe, 
twenty-five leagues in circumference. Four other lakes, 
Rossoi-Bcn Rassoi-Massdie, Irangue, and J\*ossi-Bef extend 
along the eastern side, communicating with each others the 
latter, in particular, would make an excellent harbour, if 
the tongue of land separating it from the sea could be cut. 
The sea, however, it might be feared, would soon form an- 
other impediment. These stagnant lakes render the climate 
Bays and Many bays and roads, in different parts, upon the same 
coast, have often attracted the attention of the French go- 
vernment, since the time of Henry IV. who first entertain- 
ed the design of occupying the south-east part, by erecting 
in the small bay Dauphine the fort Dauphin, at present in 
riiins. During the last century Cossigny, and after him 
Beniowsky, have attempted to form establishments to the 
north-east of the island, in the fine bay of Antongil, inclos- 
ing port Choiseul. Sainte-Luce bay, to the north of 
Dauphine bay, was again explored in 1787 by M. Lislet 
Geoffrey.* Foulpoint and Tamatava, situated nearly in 
the centre of the coast, has always been frequented by the 
Frencii, who thence obtained many articles of the first ne- 
cessity, for the use of their colonies in the Isle of France 
and of Bourbon. Englisli ships generally put into Saint- 
Augustin bay on the western coast. Loiiqiies harbour, 

* Annales des Voyages, t. II, p. 40. 


between the bay of Antongil and Cape Ambre, is neglect- book 
ed ; it is, however, considered good, and capable of receiv- I'Xxiit. 
ing wliole fleets. 

Upon the wliole, the situation of Madagascar at theimpoi- 
entrance of the Indian Ocean, and opposite the south-east /hi^^isiand. 
coast of Africa; its fertility, progressive elevation, and 
the varied nature of its soil ; the different modifications of 
the air which, in an extent of fourteen degrees from north 
to south, is favourable to the cultivation of all vegetables 
peculiar to hot and temperate climates; in a word, every 
thing tends to make this island one of the most important 
in the world, in regard to colonization and commerce.^ 
Its possession is become still more important since the loss 
of the Isle of France, which, on the other hand, would ne- 
ver have answered for a great marine establishment, indis- 
pensable to ever power wishing to establish itself in In- 
dia on an advantageous and firm footing. Moreover, Ma- 
dagascar abounds in convenient anchorages, in timber, and 
all kinds of provisions. 

This fine island is so rich in productions, that a long ^^"^'^^^^' 
time would be required to become acquainted with them 
all. It is strewed with rock-crystal ; pieces of the great- 
est beauty are found, even twenty feet in circumference ; 
the sands of this island, the remains only of this rock, 
would make very white glass; granite, very fine black 
agates, and many other less precious stones are also found. 
The mountains contain tin and lead, but particularly iron, 
mines of which were formerly worked by the natives. 
There appears also to be copper, pale gold, and other me- 
tals.f In the western part, banks of mineral salt are also 

The whole shore is rich in wood. The ravinale grows ^^^g^^^" 
in the marshes, and along the rivulets : it resembles the 

* Annales de Voyage, t. XL p. 5, Lescalier, Mem. de I'Institut, Scien- 
ces Mor. et Pol. IV\ 2. Bory de Saint-Vincent, III. 271. et suiv. Tombe, 
T. 91. et suiv. Cossigny, I. 233. et Fuiv. Blancard, XXIV. jntioduction. 

t Annales des Voyages, I!. 38. ; XI. 12. etc. etc. 


BOOK palm-tree in its trunk, and the banana in its loaves. These 
xxxm. provide the Madecasses with napkins, table-cloths, dishes, 
plates, and spoons; if cut into, when they first appear, a 
water fit to drink is procured : the wood is used for the 
building of houses. In the fields and forests are found 
many trees and shrubs, useful botli in the arts and for the 
purposes of life : such are the hu^aine, a tree of the shape 
of a poplar, the fruit of which affords the resin tacamaha- 
ca ;'*' the tanoma, another resinous tree ,* the sagou tree, 
producing the alimentary and pectoral substance called 
sagou, the leaves of which are used to manufacture stuffs 
in high repute; the pyramidal badam tree; the aromatic 
bachi-hachi ; the malao-manghit, producing a nutmeg ; 
Aroniatics. the rliarha-JwraCi two species of coffee- tr ee ; the ravine-saray 
or clove canella, a valuable tree, the nuts and leaves of 
which have an exquisite perfume; an essence and oil is 
procured from it, more esteemed than that of the clove; 
the voaL or roa'cne slirub, affording elastic gum; many 
varieties of the cotton-tree, particularly th?tt known as the 
largest species; the malgache indigo plant, in sandy situa- 
tions; mimosas, among others the mimosa-lebbek, called 
hlack-wood ; it yields a sort of gum copal, the greater part 
of which is lost ujider the trees. Among the plants are the 
ginger, pepper, tlie curcuma, or Indian saffron, tobacco, 
in high estimation, rice, and yams of several sorts; the 
sanga-fanga, which has a great analogy with the papy- 
Vaiuabie rus of the aucicuts. This country also furnishes some cost- 
woods, j^ woods, such as sandal, black and white ebony, green and 
white spotted. The vine flourishes here; and the sugar- 
cane grows spontaneously. M. Cossignyf gives a detailed 
list of more tlian one hundred indigenous vegetables of 
Madagascar, that merit being transplanted into the other 
French colonies; and M. Milbert describes one hundred 

* Milbcrt, Voyage a rilc-de-Fiance, t. II. p. 125 et 131. Annales des 
Voyage?, I. 53. 

t Cossigny, IMoycn d'ameliorer les Colonies, III. 123. 


and sixty-seven brought by M. Rochon to the Isle of book 
France, in 1768. Lxxiii. 

The animal kingdom, as in all the islands, offers less [ ' 
variety. The elephant and lion are unknown, but the 
antamba appears to be a species of leopard. The farassa 
resembles the jackal. The oxen of Madagascar are all 
zebus, or oxen with bunches of fat; some weigh from 
seven to eight hundred pounds. Some are entirely with- Remarks 
out horns; others have horns attached only to the skin, ^,'-^i^',^^ovg, 
moveable and hanging. This last species, called in ques- ^^^le homs. 
tion by ignorant scepticism, has been observed by Flac- 
conrt* and Bucquoy.f 

It is again found, according to other testimonies, in the 
kingdom of Siam,^ and in Paraguay.^ Many Greek and 
Roman writers have described them in the clearest man- 
ner, so that this kind of ox either must have lived former- 
ly in those countries known to the ancients, or must have 
been brought thither from Madagascar or Siam.|| The 
simultaneous existence of this animal in our island, and in 
the Indo-Chinese countries, may be considered as an addi- 
tional proof of the emigration of the Malays to Madagas- 
car. The otiier remarkable animals are wild asses, with 
enormous ears ; wild boars, said to have horns; goats, ex- 
tremely fruitful : sheep, with large tails ; the sandree, 
species of hedgehog, proper for eating; the great bat, 

* Flaccourt, Histoire de Madegascar, p. 151. "Cattle which have horns 
pendant, and tnerely attached to the skhi of the head." 

t Bucquoy, p. 104. 

if Vincent Leblanc, V'oyage, etc. edition de Bergeron, 1. 1, p. 121. and 210. 
" Horns attached to the skin, and not to the top of the head, having their rao- 
tion like the ears." 

{ Fischer, Spanische Miscellan. p. 86. (Berlin, 1803.) 

jj Arist. Histor. anim. t. III. 9, p. 324. edit. Scalig. "In Phrygia, and 
other parts, are oxen which move their horns like ears." Oppian, Cyneget, 
IT. 90 — 93. He observes, that they have bunches of fat : BaeTsw/ S'av^ivi 
o-dt^^iZ' Antigon. Caryts. Hist, mirab. cap. 81. p. 129. Agatharch. ap. Phot, 
p. iS63. Diod. Sic. Biblioth. hi^t. t. IH. 35. p. 201. Plin. Hist, mundi, 
Vni. 21, (in Ethiopia) ; XI. 37. (in Phrygia). iEiian. Solin. etc. etc. Beck- 
mann, (Litt. des Voyages, I. 566.) conjectures, according to a verse of Clau- 
dian, that the Apis, or sacred ox^of Egypt, was of this variety. 


BOOK whose flesh is very delicate; the maki and ai, an animal 
ixxiii. ^yY^\y found in this island. Flaccourt adds to these, " the 
brekf or the one-horned goat." The forests harbour 
fowls, pintados, pheasants, wood-pigeons, geese, ducks, 
and parrots. Flaccourt enumerates more than sixty birds 
little known. Locusts sometimes darken the air, and are 
considered dainty food by the natives. Four species of 
silk-worm are found here, that suspend their cords to the 
trees. The waters of Madagascar swarm with fish, and 
the flat shore abounds in different sorts of crustaceous ani- 
mals and shells, which attract the passenger's attention. 
Sitting under a lemon-tree near the sea-shore, during the 
reflux, Mandelsloh made an excellent meal by seasoning the 
oysters taken at his feet with the juice of lemons that hung 
over his head. The whales that frequent this part of the 
sea during tlie rainy season, are a particular species :* it is 
that of the Indian ocean, found as far as the coast of Bra- 
zil. Important fisheries miglit be here established.! Shark 
fishing might also be profitable.^ 
Chorogia- We shall now describe, principally in the manner of the 
^^^^' Memoirs published in ou v Annales des Voyages, the difler- 

ent provinces or countries into which this island is divid- 
ed, beginning with the eastern coast, then passing to the 
districts of the centre, and terminating with the western 
The Anta- The Country of the dntavartSf that is to say, " People 
of Thunder," because storms generally proceed from their 
coast, reaches from Cape Ambre to within a few leagues 
of Foulpoint, and comprehends the great bays of Vohe- 
mare and Antongil, as well as Isle St. Mary, called in the 
country, JYossi-Ibraldm, It is well cultivated, and parti- 
cularly abounding in rice, of which 3,000,000 pounds 
might be exported every year. The Antavarts manufac- 
ture very fine cotton cloths, much esteemed in commerce, 
and make frequent excursions to the Coniora Islands, to 

* Cossigny, t. III. p. 171. et suiv. 

-^ Conquest of Bourbon, p. 32. London, 1811. if Cossigny, III. 186, 


seize slaves, since Beniowsky shewed them the way. They book 
understand the use of fire arms, and are formidable ene- i^^xiii. 
mies.=^ Some have considered them descendants of the 
Jews. They certainly preserve traditions concerning Noah, 
Abraham, or Ibrahim, Moses, and David ; practise circum- 
cision ; celebrate the Sabbath ; and sacrifice animals. 

The province of Bestimessaras, or Betsimicarracs, or The Beatj- 

m p ^ ^ fi 1' 1 c 

united people, formed by the union of the Zaphi-D'&abais, 
the Zaphi-DieunisoiSf the Jlntantsicanes, the Anterouibais^ 
and others, is the most frequented by Europeans. They 
buy here a great quantity of rice, and much cattle. There 
are two excellent roads, Foulpoint, where the French had 
an establishment, and Tamatave, which perhaps is a more 
advantageous one. The Bestimessaras, governed by Ma- 
lateSf or chiefs of white extraction, who tyrannize over 
them, are the handsomest men in Madagascar, but dis- 
sembling, drunken, cowardly, and addicted to theft. M. 
Chapelier,f w^ho describes them in this unfavourable light, 
nevertheless adds, that they are very industrious and sus- 
ceptible of civilization. 

Farther on we meet with the Betanimenes, or people of 
the Red-land, otherwise Sicouas, bounded on the west by 
the Bezonzons, and on the south by the Antaximes ; go- 
verned by the natives of the country, they enjoy great 
tranquillity. It is the finest, most fertile, and most popu- 
lous among the provinces on the sea-coast, and its inhabit- 
ants are the most mild and most sociable of the whole 
island. It is generally traversed to visit the interior, be- 
cause it is more clear of wood than the others. The tra- 
veller every where finds a good reception, and his eye is 
continually delighted by a variety of agreeable situations, 
as far as the majestic mountains of lake Nossivee and Be- 
soure, which terminate the landscape. The land owes its 
fertility partly to the river Andevourante, named after the 
capital of the Betanimenes, which is also the largest town 
of Madagascar. It can furnish 10,000 armed men. 

* Fressanges, dans les Annairs des Voyagps, t. IT. o. 12. 
t Ibidem, XIV. t. II. &9. 


BOOK The Antaximcs, or people of the south, are represented as 
XXXIII. poor, uncivilized brigands,* without industry or commerce. 
~~"~~~ Tlicy ever neglect tlie cultivation of their land, watered 
by the two finest rivers of Madagascar, the Mangourou, 
and the Mananzari. The air is mucli more healthy than 
in the northern part, but there is no good harbour, so that 
Europeans avoid this inhospitable coast. 

The islanders of this part are of a very black colour, with 
frizzled hair. They use a shield, which is not the case 
with the other Malgaches. 
The An- rjpj^^ countrv of the Antamhasses readies to the south- 

taoibasses. *' 

eastern extremity of the island, from the Bay of Saint Lu- 
cia, as far as the extremity of the valley of Amboule, a 
distance of about twenty-five leagues, and as far from the 
north as the south. Siangourih is its capital. The men 
are tall, robust, always cheerful, mild, and generous, but 
idle to excess, and live in the greatest wretchedness. The 
women do not in general attain the natural height; as in 
other parts, they are generally ugly, and very debauched. 
Tijc small creek Dauphine is on this coast.f 
The valley Warm clialyheatc springs are found in the valley of 
bouic. Amboule, excellent pasturage, and fine rivers, but little 
wood : the mountains surrounding it are burnt up as far as 
a third of their height. From seven to eight hundred oxen, 
and from twelve to fifteen thousand weight of rice may be 
procured yearly. 
The Anta- ^jpjj^j Jntauosses on the south, and the Taissamhes on the 

nosscs, etc, 

west, formerly united in one nation with the Antambasses, 
are at this tinje governed by the same Arabian family which 
at that time was in possession of the whole southern part of 
The An- \Ve will now pass into the interior. The *^ntamhani- 
vouiesr*' "^'^fi^f^Sf or Ambanivoules, that is, the inhabitants of the 
land of bamboos, less corrupted than the people of the sea- 
shore, arc considered by these as uncultivated. Shepherds 

* Fresanges Annalcs, torn. II. p. 17. 

t Lislet GcoiTroy, in the Annales des Voyages, torn. II. p. 51. 


and husbandmen, if they are without intercourse, they at book 
least avoid its vices. They lead a very frugal and labo- I'Xxiii. 
rious life, and are very hospitable. They sell to their 
neighbours, particularly to the Bestimacaracs, who would 
otherwise perish of want, rice, poultry, honey and toe, a 
drink made with the fermented juice of the banana and 
of the sugar-cane.^ 

The Antsianakes inhabit tlie district between the sources The Ant- 
of the Mauangoura, and the confines of the land of the ^'^"^^^s. 
Antavarts. They w ere considered robbers, because they 
refused admission into their territory to the white robbers, 
but peaceable travellers have lately visited their villages, 
well regulated and tolerably well built, their plantations of 
rice, and their mountains, whence, it appears, they obtain 
silver. The salubrity of the air of this country would 
render it particularly favourable for the residence of a 
European colony, who would find positions easy of defence. 
Indian merchants enter it from the country of the Seclaves, 
situated to the north-west.f 

The province of the Be^on^ons or Bezombsons, compre- The Be- 
liends fourteen villages, situated in a valley encompassed 
by high mountains, that divide them to the east from the 
Betanimenes, and towards the west from the Antancayes. 
The traveller is surprised, in crossing these mountains, to 
see at his feet well cultivated plains, watered by many 
streams, and to find an assemblage of men perfectly isolat- 
ed, living peaceably, qnjoying the pleasures of life without 
dreading its vicissitudes, and anxious to share them with 

Until now, handsome, black, and well-made men only 
have been seen ; here the features are sensibly altered, and 
announce a mixed people, and at the same time mark a 
line of distinction between the different races. 

* Chapelier, Annales des Voyages, torn XTV. p. 60. Ep. Collin, ibid. 88. 
Fiessangep, ibid. II. p. 18. 

t Du Maine, ibid. XT. p. 46. and 49. 

VOL. IV. 28 


BOOK The difference is still more strikingly marked in th« 

XXXIII. AntancayeSi^ who exactly resemble the Malays in their 

~ \ features, in the tawny colour of tlieir skin, their straia:ht 

taiicaycs. and rough hair, low^ stature, in their dress, language, and 

manners. Like the Malays, they consider their beauty to 

consist in having black teeth ; they pluck out the beard, 

lengthen their ears by piercing them with great holes, and 

rub the body with suet, which makes them very dirty. 

They are deceitful and perfidious, like the Malays. Their 

chiefs are cruel and despotic, having the power of life and 

death over their subjects, a custom unknown in other parts 

of Madagascar, where the ciiminal is tried in a general 


The province of Jlntancaije is a plain eighty leagues in 
length, fifteen in breadth, bounded on the east by the 
mountains of Befour, and on the west by the province of 
Mangourou, that washes the foot of the mountains of Anco- 
va. This immense plain is covered with innumei'able herds 
of cattle. A sort of red and highly nutritious rice is grown 

The towns, placed on the top of the highest mountains, 
are well fortified and almost impregnable. 
The conn- The vroviuce of Jlncova, bounded on the east by the 

trv of An- - _ -^ 

cova. .JMangourou, touches at its western part the country oi the 
queen of Bombetoc, and the province of St. Augustin bay. 
It is subdivided into two parts, tlie northern and southern, 
is governed by separate chiefs, who, although relations^ 
are continually at war. This country enjoys a pure and 
wholesome air, but cold. It is much in want of wood, 
and the iniiabitants are obli2;ed to have recourse to stub- 
ble, to the dune: of oxen, and to a mA earth, hardened bv 
the sun, to bake tiieir food, and warm themselves. The 
population is prodigious; tlie plains and tops of moun- 
tains are covered with villages. Tanane-Jimvouy the ca- 
pital of the most powerful of the two chiefs, may contain 

* Fiessange?, Aunales des Voyngcs, t. II. p. 20. 


twenty-five tlioiisand inhabitants; it is situated on a very book 
high mountain, and has the appearance only of a labyrinth i^xxiii. 
surrounded by ditches.-^ 

The inhabitajits of Jlncova, called Ho-vas, or Jlmholans, are The Ho- 
very unha])py under their tyrants. Letters however, from ^^^^'i^^j^^g 
the Isle of France, inform us that their king has lately ced- 
ed all the territory to tlie north of his kingdom, as far as 
the bay of Louquez. Tliey have a few oxen, but possess a 
great many sheep with large tails ; rice, manioc, potatoes 
pistachios, yams, beans, and the vine, are the principal ve- 
getables cultivated for their subsistence. They resemble 
much the Antancayes; but they are whiter, tall and well 
made, although with somewhat slender bodies. Their hair 
is soft and long, nose aquiline, and the lips small, like those 
of the Indians.f 

Of all the tribes dispersed over the surface of Madagas- Their pro- 
car, that of the Hovas is the only one that comes near to the^ar^t^."^ 
us in their knowledge of the arts. They extract from the 
bowels of the earth many kinds of iron and lead ore; this 
last mineral is used to give a varnish to their earthen ware, 
each piece of which is usually made in tlie form of a jug 
moi'e or less large, mounted on a pedestal. They work in 
metal as well as the Europeans, and imitate with great 
care most of the objects of foreign manufacture shewn to 
them. 1 have seen, says M. Chapelier, knives, scales, a 
spring movement, the polish of which surprised me not less 
than the j)aints tliese islanders had taken to imitate their 
models. They imitate piastres so well that many mer- 
chants have been deceived by them. Tliey understand 
making many fine and very durable stuffs: it is they 
who furnish those webs of calico so highly valued, which 
are soM in Ma^lagascar at a slave a-piece. It is a stuff of 
a blue ground, on the sides of which are small bits ol tin, 
very artfully vorked, so as to be continuous and closely- 
united into one with the woof, which is always of vsilk and 

* Chapelier, Annales Hes Voyages, t. XIV, p. SI. nt suiv. 
t Idem, Fiessanges, ibid. II. p. 22. — 24. 



BOOK cotton. In the middle of this tissue are many fine flowers, 
XXXIII. embossed with tin, which produce a brilliant effect. Their 
stuffs in general are veiy close and strong, an advantage not 
possessed by those brought to them from Europe ; in conse- 
quence, tlie inhabitants for the most part are not anxious to 
acquire the latter. In other respects they are deceitful, 
treacherous, and cunning: even selling each other. A Eu- 
ropean,^ while treating for slaves in this province, after 
having bought a certain number from an accredited mer- 
chant, was much astonished on the following day to see an- 
other who wished to sell him one that formed ^art of his 
former purchase. 
The An- rj^jjg Hovas also make slaves of the Andrantsayes, a 
es. tribe of shepherds, uncivilized, and cowardly, who join 

them on the south, and who are in the habit of purchasing 
peace by offering their enemies herds of cattle as a tribute. 
Every thing concurs to establish the opinion, that this is 
the nation of ^uimos of which Commerson, the Abbe Ro- 
chon, and R?.}nal, make mention, and which they place 
exactly in the same spot. M. Fressanges, having had an 
opportunity of seeing a dwai'f slave of this province, took 
the greatest pains to ascertain this fact. The seller told 
him that these deformed beings were really not very un- 
common among tlie Andrantsayes, but all the slave mer- 
chants assured him that in no part did there exist a colony 
of dwarfs; nevertheless, these merchants ought to be well 
acquainted with Madagascar, as they traverse the island in 
all directions. Having inquired of the dwarf whether his 
father and mother were also as small as himself, he answer- 
ed positively in the negative, and that it was on account of 
his being so small that he had been sold. M. Fressanges 
has not even heard the word Quimos pronounced through- 
out the whole of Madagascar, and when, by the sports of 
nature, a dwarf is born, they call it zaxa coute coute, or 
man child. 

* Annales des Voyages, t. II. p. 23. 


We shall now take a view of the southern and western book 
coast. After the country of the AnianosseSi oi* the pro- i^xxiii. 
vince Carc-Jlnossii terniinateii hy the rivers Mandrereif 
three others are observed along tiie coast, that of Amputris, coast. 
the JIahasalleSf and the CaremboideSf neither of them well 
cultivated, hut rich in wood and pasturage. The hogs 
and wild oxen appear to be masters of tliis country. The 
tree Anadzahu acquires a gigantic height. In the interior 
live the Machicores. 

That part called hy navigators, the province of the hay The coun- 
of Saint Jlugustin^ is not well known. It would appear guqugg^ * 
that the coast at lejist, which is low and sandy, has the 
indigenous name of SiveJu The in!>abitants are called 
Buques, Their king resides at Tulcar. Shipwreclved 
Europeans have experienced here the most humane atten- 
tions; their property has not only been respected, but the 
natives have assisted them in building their huts, and have 
provided them abundantly with eatables.^ This last cir- 
cumstance does not coincide with the account given by 
other travellers concerning the barrenness of the country, 
which, according to them, produces only tamarind trees, 
and some roots, the ordinary food of the natives, with the 
addition of the milk of tlieir cattle.f The Yonggelahy 
which runs into Saint-Augustin's Bay, descends from moun- 
tains where gold, topazes, rubies,and other precious stones 
are found. 

The bay of Mouroundava receives a great river of the 
same name, which is also called Mendbe^ and in the ancient 
accounts Mansiatre, This river receives, fiom the north 
and south, many considerable streams. In the valleys, 
watered by these branches, are several nations known; 
among these the Erindranou are the most powerful. The 
VohitS'Jinghomhe, who are placed near the sources of Me- Different 


* Shipwreck of the Winteiton, in the Gentleman's Magazine, p. 377; 
April, 1794. 

t Mackintosh's Voyages, etc. lett. 70. 


BOOK nabe, ai)pear to us to be identical with the inhabitants of 
XXXIII. Ancova. 
Z" Tlie whole coast, from Mouroundava on the south, to 


Seciaves. Ancouala on the north, belongs at present to the kingdom 
of the SedaveSf who, at least in several parts, are continued 
into the interior as far as tlie chain of central mountains. 
This country, made up of plains and fields, feeds a prodi- 
gious number of cattle.^^ The lands, generally of an in- 
different nature, particularly along the coast, aie traversed 
by regiilar roads, guarded by picquets of soldiers. Tlie 
rivers have no fish, but tlie forests abound in game, and 
the coast is covered with banks of pearl-oysters, 'i'he 
government, in 1791, was undei* the authority of a queen, 
who resided at Bombetoc, or .^mpampetoca, a very popu- 
lous city, although built in the foi-m of a village. 

City of Jlouzangaye, a well regulated city, with a ])()pulation of 

zangaye. 30,000 souls. auioug whom are 6000 Arabs and Indians, 
appears to be under the sole protection of the queen. The 
port was frequented by vessels from Surat, which brought 
linen in exchange for gold dust.f IMiere are mosques, 
houses for education, and workmen of every kind. The 
seciaves, oppressed by despotism, are less warlike than the 
eastern Madecasses, although they possess the same reli- 
gious and moral ideas. 

In the northern extremity of Madagascar, volcanoes are 
said to be in a state of activitv, but these cantons have not 
yet been examined in detail. 

The Made- xiic entire population of Madasrascar amounts to one 

sasses. . . ^ 

million ^nd a half, according to those who estimate it at 
the lowest, and to four millions, according to those who 
estimate it at the highest point. It is made up of many 
races. Souje tribes, or rather castes less numerous, are evi- 
Arabian deutly of Arabic origin. The Zaffe-Ramini trace their 
CO onies. jjegcj^j^^ from Imiua, the mother of Mahomet. The chief 

* Du Maine, in the Annales des Voyages, t. XI. p. 29. 
t Idem, XI. 26. 


of this family was formerly the acknowledged sovereign of book 
the greatest part of the island, but tl)e direct line of these i-xxiii. 

princes is extinct. The Rhoandrians are their nearest 

descendants, and born without any mixture. The Jna- 
candrians and the Ond%assis, are the offspring of an in- 
tercourse with the natives. The olive colour of these de- 
scendants of the Arabians, accords to tlieni the title of white, 
or malate. The Zaffe-Ihrahim^ of whom we have already 
spoken, are descendants either of Jews or of Arabians, 
who left their country before the time of Mahomet. In 
the district of Matatane, a tliird caste, less warlike, but 
learned, and of a good form, came to establisli themselves 
here at a more recent period. 7'hey are called Kassi- 
Mavibou, and by the natives Jnta-JIahoin% which, accord- 
ing to M. Collin, signifies inhabitants of the land of the 
Moors. Their colour, more allied to black, and the wool- 
ly nature of their short hair, point out the Arabic colonies 
of Zanguebar as their native place. All the considerable Two an- 
tribes, however, who constitute the great majority of the 
inhabitants, have either a tawny complexion and the smooth 
hair of the Indians, or a black skin and the frizzled hair of 
the Caffres. It appears that this island was peopled by 
very ancient emigrations botii from Caffraria and Malabar, 
that its position is nearest to Africa, but that the periodical 
winds and a chain of islands connect it to Asia. The name 
oi Malegaches, assumed by the ancient inhabitants, that of 
Mai-Dives, of Male-Bar, and others, point out this descent, 
which, as far as regards the Asiatic emigration, is still 
more completely demonstrated by the composition of the 
prevailing language of Madagascar. 

This language affords some Arabic words, and others Madecasse 
more nearly resembling the idioms of the Caffres; but its ^"s^^ge. 
principal roots may be traced in the Malay, or in the 
dialects derived from that language, and spoken at Java, 
at Timor, in the Philii)pines, in the Marian isles, and in 
all the archipelagos of north and south Polynesia. The 
most remarkable natural objects, at least the greater 


BOOK number of them, and the days of the week, have the same 
XXXIII. names in the two languages.=^ 

There is the same want of declensions and flexions, the 
same mode of uniting words, the same abundance of vowels. 
Notwithstanding what has been advanced by the learned 
• continuator of the German Mithridafes, we can aflirm that 

the Madecasse appears intimately connected with the Ma- 
lay language, and particularly with the Javanese and Timo- 
rian. In what proportion are the CafFre or Zanguebar 
words ? Are they sufficiently numerous to induce us to 
consider the primitive population as an African colony, 
subjugated and civilized by the Malays ? What influence 
must be attributed to the Arabs, and from what period ? 

* The heavens, danghitsi, or langhits, Mad. ; languit, Marian and Philip- 
pine islands; tlandciii^ Friendly Islands. The earth, tune, Mad.; tana, Malay, 
Tagal. The moon, voulav, Mad. ; woulau, Javan. Star, quiniane. Mad. ; 
mntant, Malay. Fire, afe, Mad. ; f//?, Mai. ; Tagal. Isles, nossa, Mad. ; nous- 
sa, Timor. JVIountain, vohifs. Mad. ; woukir, high Javanese. Day, anto, or 
anrov, Mad. ; arri, Mai. ; ao, Friendly Islands. Father, baha, ajid amproi. 
Mad,; bapa, Ma.]. ; amai, Tagal. Mother, 7iene, Mad.; nene, Ma\. Son, 
ana or zanu, Mad.; onax, Mai. Man, ouroun and ouloun, Mad.; oj-ang, 
Mai. Husband, lake, Mad.; lanavg, Jav. Woman, vai/ave, Mad,; vabai\ 
Mai. Head, loha, Mad.; holo, Javan; olo, Tagal. Eye, massou. Mad.; 
matla, Javan. Nose, orung, Mad; hiroung ; Jav. Tongue, hla, Mai.; Itda, 
Javan. Hand, tangham, Mad.; /awg-an, Javan. Tooth, niffi. Mad; niphin, 
Marian Islands. Drink, minum. Mad. ; minom, Mai. 

One, isse, or essoii. Mad ; essa, Timor. Two, roxca, Mad. ; noua, Timor. 
Three, telloo and toullo, Mad. ; telou, high Javan ; tolla, low Javan. Four, 
effais, Mad. ; opat, Jav. Five, limi, Mad. ; lima, Mai. Javan ; rima, Polynes, 
Six, enem, Mad. ; mtnann, high Javan. Seven, ^/ow. Mad. ; itou, Timor ; peti, 
high Javan. Eight, valou, Mad.; wolo, high Javan. Nine, sini, Mad.; senaw, 
Timor, Ten, poulou, Mad. ; sapoulou, Mai ; Javan, &c. Days of the week, 
commencing at Monday, in Malay, senene, telassa, robo, camisse, souma, saplou, 
lahati; in Madecasse, sinine, lalatc, roubia, camisse, zouma, saboutsi, lahadi. 

This list is taken, for the Madagascar, from Fiahault, Megiser ; from the 
Madagascar catechism ; and from the MS. Notes of M. Collin, Chapeiier, &c. 
It is founded, in respect of the Javanese and Timorian words, upon some 
vocabularies printed at Batavia, 


These are questions which the present state of our know- book 
ledge does not allow us to solve. ' lxxiii. 

The Madccasses. or Malc2:arhes, live for the most part in 

. Political 

a state of unbridled liberty. The Seclaves, t!ie Aiitancayes, ^tate. 
and the Hovas, groan, however, under the yoke of a ty- 
rannical government. Independently of these states, the * 
Madecasse acknowledges no supreme authority except the 
cabareSf or public assemblies; it is in these that public 
affairs are decided, and that law-suits are tried^ The 
speeches there made often evince a natural and energetic 
eloquence. Among many of the tribes, hereditary classes Castes. 
are acknowledged, the privileges of which are not well 
defined. TL'he Voadrisi, are the native sovereign lords, 
subjugated in some cantons by the Arabians. Tiie Lolia- 
vohits, are lords who govern in their villages. The Ond- 
ccoa, constitute the people. There are besides numerous 
slaves. Similar to what takes place in the South Sea Is- 
lands, the right to kill certain animals, and to eat certain 
meats, are confined to the higher classes. 

The deplorable superstitions to which the Madecasses are 
subjected, are mingled with some notions respecting good 
and bad angels, borrowed from the Arabians. The priests, Priests and 
called Ombias, practise medicine, and sorcery ; they also °'^^'^'^' 
possess some books in the Madecasse language, written in 
Arabic characters. No ceremony is mentioned which can 
be considered as forming part of a public worship. 

Circumcision is in use throughout the whole island, al- circu 
though the Malegaches are not acquainted with tli^e reli- 
gion of Mahomet. It is also performed with particular 
ceremonies, giving no indication of Arabian tradition. On 
the day set apart for this fete, all work ceases in the vil- 
lage. Parents bring, laden with a great quantity of strong 
liquors, as many oxen as they have children to circumcise. 
After having slaughtered the oxen, they place their horns 
on notched posts. Dances, feasts, and sham-fights, an- 
nounce the 0|>ening of the ceremony. The empananguhif 
armed with the fatal knife, demands his victims. Then 
the sports cease, fathers hasten to present their children. 



BOOK and wliilc they amuse these innocents, the empananguiii 
XXXIII. ^,jj^g Qg- ^,|jj^^ Y\e considers superfluous, places the strips 
upon a board, and applies astringent powders to stop the 
bleeding of the wounded part. Guns are loaded with a 
portion of the skin cut off, instead of ball, and a general 
discharge is made. The ancient custom obliged the em- 
pananguin to swallow the strips. Feasts and dancing re- 
commence, and do not cease until there is no longer any 
Sentence strong liquor left. The ordeal by poison, or the tanguiiif is 
one of the most atrocious superstitions of this people. The 
tree that furnishes the tangidn is very widely diffused 
throughout Madagascar; birds avoid its foliage, reptiles 
dread its shade ; one species only of crab approaches it. 
It is the nut of the fruit, which, taken in a certain quan- 
tity, produces death in less than an hour, if the unfortu- 
nate victim is not saved by a violent evacuation; even then 
lie is afflicted during the rest of his life with violent pains. 
This terrible punishment is inflicted on those wiiom hatred 
or popular jealousy accuse of having caused the death of 
one of their companions. It is considered a sort o^ jiidg- 
ment of God, to whom is remitted the decision of a crimi- 
nal process. Tiie cdbare, or assembly of the people, is 
consulted before they go to this extreme ; the relations 
and friends, both of the person dead and tlie person accus- 
ed, superintend the ceremonies that precede and accom- 
pany the operation of the tanguin. If the accused sur- 
vives (whicii happens in about one case in five) the ac- 
cusers become his slaves.* 

* The tanguin, {Peniandrlamomjgijuia.') Flowers terminal and pannicled ; 
coiol'/je infundibnlifovni, with fine oblique rosaceous petals; tube closed by 
five scales, furnished with a whitish (hnvu ; tube very long, channelled within, 
villous, stamina sessile ; anthciae supported upon threads which adhere to the 
tube of the corolla, and have at their sunmiit a projection in the form of a hook, 
on whicli the stigma is sup})orted ; tlic style slender, e{iual with the corolla, 
with a villous stigma at its top. Calyx with five whitish divisions pointed; 
the three exterior large, the two interior smaller, the footstalk long and green ; 
each bifurcation of the pannicle enveloped at its base by a concave and whitish 
bractea. Leaves thick, petiolated, oblong, entire, and bordered by cartilages, 
(MS. Note of M. Chapelier.) 


The Dine is an inijirpcation, in tlie form of an oath, book 
invoked upon the head of one, or several chiefs. The i-xxiii. 
formula of this oatli consists in tliese words: " 1 swear that"" 
I am not guilty of tljat of which I am accused. If I ;,, p'tca- 
speak false, may such a chief be destroyed by tlninder, ''°"* 
or changed iuto such or such an animal, by th.e power of 
the Supreme Being." The accused being impeached and 
convicted of perjury, is condemned to slavery by the chief 
tow^^rds whom he directed his oath. 

A custom more worthy of huuian nature, is the oath o/^}''^"^^ ^^ 
blood, or solemn alliance contracted between two persons, 
who bind tiiemselves to perform to each other every sort 
of good service, and hence acquire all the rights of rela- 
tionship. For the purpose of celebrating this ceremony, 
the princi])al persons of the place are assembled. The 
new friends wound themselves slightly in the pit of the 
stomach; then soak two pieces of ginger in the blood 
that flows, and each eats the piece moistened with the 
blood of the other. The person appointed to perform the 
ceremony, mixes in a cup some fresh water, salt water, 
rice, silver, and dust; it is called the witness of the oath; 
he dips two lances in that mixture, and, striking them 
with the instrument by which the wound was made, 
he pronounces terrible imprecations, generally couched 
in these terms : " Great God ! master of men and of 
the earth, we invoke thee as a witness to the oath we 
have sworn ; may the first who breaks it be destroyed by 
thunder; may the mother who conceived him be devoured 
by dogs !" then, driving away the evil genius, whom they 
always believe ready to oppose good intentions, they dart 
their javelins tow ards the four cardinal points. Tliey call 
to witness the earth, the sun, and moon, and drink of a 
beverage prepared by the master of the ceremony, exhort- 
ing all the powers to convert it into poison for him wiio 
does not take the oath w ith sincerity. 

In sailing one hundred and eighty leagues castvvard The Mas^ 
from Madagascar, the Mascarenha isles come in view; for Js^'iX^'* 


BOOK by this name must be called collectively, after the person 

XXXIII. ^Ijq discovered them, the isle of Bourbon, or Mascarenha, 

" properly so called ; the Isle of France, called Cerne by the 

Portuguese, and Mauritius by the Dutch; the isle of Rod- 

rigo, and Cargados, which complete this archipelago. 

The \N hole Isle of Bourbon seems composed of two vol- 
Boudion. canic mountains, the origin of which, says M. Bory de 
Mountains. St. Vincent, is undoubtedly at two periods very distant 
Volcano. ^'^.^^^^ ^^^^^ other. In the southern part, which is the smal- 
lest, the subterranean fires still commit ravages ; that of 
the north is much larger ; the volcanic eruptions that for- 
merly made great devastations, are now no longer in ac- 
tion : species of basins or little valleys, rapid rivers, hem- 
med in by perpendicular ramparts, little mountains thrown 
into these valleys, by which their course is impeded ; basal- 
tic prisms, often disposed, as in the island of Staffa, in regu- 
lar columns ; beds of lava in great variety ; deep fissures, 
that indicate a general convulsion, all attest ancient and 
dreadful physical revolutions. The narrow flat shore, in- 
terrupted in several places, is composed only, as at Tene- 
riffe, of basaltic pebbles or other running lavas ; these 
stones are washed into the sea by the rains ; true sands 
are no where to be fuund ; what is improperly called by 
that name is composed of calcareous rubbish and of ma- 
rine bodies throw jj upon the shore by the waves, where 
may be seen in miniature a collection of all the lavas of 
the island, wliich the motion of the tides have reduced to 
very small round pieces, of a bluish slaty appearance. =^ 
General What is called the Windward part, comes into view on 

ance. proceeding from Saint Denis by sea : that called Leeward, 
is considered the most luxuriant ; but it is somewhat arid ; 
springs are scarce. The former, more even, rising from 
the sea to the point of the isle, by an easy ascent, tem- 
pered by continual breezes, and cultivated with care, often 
recalls an idea of Europe, and particularly of Languedoc, 
while at a distance the nature of the vegetation is not dis- 

* Bory de St. Vincent, Voyage aux iles d'Afrique, 1. 1, p. 264 ; II. 372 ; III. 


tingiiished. Plantations of clove trees, resembling plea- book 
sure groves, immense coffee trees, and golden fields of i-xxiiT, 
corn, agitated by a continued waving motion, adorn this 
country, of which they constitute the wealth. 

The place of disembarkation, from the isle of Reunion to 
Saint DeniSf alone affords an access into this island ; it is 
an open road. The mole, constructed by the orders of M. 
de la Bourdonnaye, has been carried away by the waves. 
Saint-Denis is not properly a city; it is literally a country s&int-De- 
town, the streets of which are inclosed by pallisades or 
walls, resembling country highways. There was a French 
establishment in this isle as far back as 1654. M. Poivre, 
author of the Voyage of a Philosopl)er, was governor of 
these islands in 1776, and introduced the cultivation of the 
clove with great success. They are also partly indebted to 
him for the bread-fruit tree, the nutmeg, and canella. The 
soil of the isle is, in general, excellent; but as it is com- 
posed almost entirely of one great mountain, the rains at- 
tracted by it carry along towards its base the light par- 
ticles of the soil that owe their existence to animal and ve- 
getable deposits, so that the summit of the maintain is 
merely a naked and desolate rock, at the same time that 
the land becomes better as it approaches the sea-shore. The 
cantons situated on the leeward coast, enjoy a climate and 
temperature very favourable to the perfection of the cof- 
fee-tree ; but unfortunately this very effect contributes to 
the multiplied growth of insects that destroy the plants. 
Its produce is estimated at 73,200 bales, of about a 

The culture of cloves, on account of its extent, is next Different 
to that of coffee in importance; but the cultivator can^"^^"*^^^ 
never reckon upon its produce with certainty ; it is very 
abundant one year, and very deficient another. In the 
present state of its culture, the produce is estimated, in an 
abundant year, at one million and a half of puunds.=^ Got- 
ten is at present less cultivated than it was formerly, par- 

* G«rqwest wf the Isle of B»»rbnn, in 8v9. London, 1811, 


BOOK ticularly since a disease ruined tlie jdantations. This dis- 
ixxiii. ease, the nature of which has not been made out, does not 
affect the vigour of tlie plant, but prevents the develop- 
ment of the seed, and reduces tlie product to a mere nul- 
lity. This inconvenience, in addition to long commer- 
cial interruption, has induced the planters to convert their 
lands imperceptibly into plantations of corn and coffee. 
Pioduce in Xhc pioduce of com is about 14 millions of pounds weight. 
It formed the principal resource of tlie Isle of France, fop 
the Isle of Bourbon does not consume more than two mil- 
lions of pounds in the year. Maize and potatoes are also 
cultivated. Their total product is valued at 7,100,000 
Errors of In the Isle of Bourbon, the divisions of land are very 
tration." vagucly determined. Instead of fixing the extent by a 
given measure, they merely specify, that lands situated 
between such and such rivers or ravines, and those that are 
extended from the sea, as far as the declivity of the moun- 
tain, are the property of such a one. These rivers, how- 
ever, wliich, during the rainy season, are liable to cliange 
thiMr bed, often ruin by their inundations a considerable 
part of the lands, and produce, by this disorder, a consi- 
det-able depreciation of the former. To appreciate the 
utility of an exact limit, it must be observed, that such 
lands as have been surveyed, and inclosed by land-marks 
indicating their limits, have always produced double, treble, 
and even four times more than they had done before this 
Revenue. The revenue raised by government in tliis isle, arises 
fi'om a capitation tax laid on tlie negroes, and from direct 
taxes u])on carriages, palanquins, and hoi'ses, registers, 
and stamps, and from licenses for the sale of arrack, =^ 
I'he tax on the importation and expoi'tation of merchan- 
dize is not productive. The whole i)ublic revenue may be 
estimated at 1,150,000 francs. The royal domains are of 
considerable extent, but in a great measure in the hands 

* See the pamphlet quoted above. 

ISLE or PRAxcE. 447 

of runaway or rebel negroes. There is also a considerable book 
part on the coast, consisting of lands of very good quality, I'^xiii. 
In 18X1, the population amounted to nearly 80,350 inha- " ~~~" 

* * Populatioa. 

bitants; of these 16,400 are whites, Europeans, or Creoles; 
349G free negroes, and 60,454 slaves. The armed force 
amounts to 4493, composed of 573 troops of the line, 417 
Creole sharp-shooters, 900 national guards, 2300 Creole 
militia, and 145 pieces of artillery. 

The Isle of France 9 less fertile, and of less extent than ^sie of 
that of Bourbon, is indebted to its harbours and roads for 
a greater commercial and military importance. It was the 
centre of the French navigation in the East Indies. It was 
the point from w hence issued tliose indefatigable privateers, 
the terror of the opulent English. Conquered at length 
by a formidable English army, this rich and warlike island 
has been left in the hands of a power, which will, no doubt, 
appreciate the "value of the public spirit and talents of this 
little nation. 

The Portuguese looked on this island in no other way CuitivatioH 
than as a watering place. The Dutch, who established , 
themselves here in 1639, understood its fertility ;=^ having 
been attracted, however, to the Caj)e by a prospect of 
greater gain, the inhabitants abandoned it in 1712. It 
was only towards the year 1734, under the government of 
M. de la Bourdonnaye, that the French establishment be- 
gan to be of some importance. There are two harvests 
annually of wheat and Indian corn ; they are not, however, 
sufficient for its consumption. The coffee is of an excel- 
lent quality ; the clove retains all its perfume ; the cotton 
and indigo trees find many favourable spots for growth ; 
but the fickle nature of its inhabitants, always looking out 
for novelty and profit, induces them to pass rapidly from 
one kind of culture to another. 

There are in this island many of the smaller breed of 
monkeys, who do a great deal of harm to the plantations. 
The jacquier and the I'inia, another tree rather different in 

* Valentyn, Ostindicii, t. VIII. Kaapsclie Zaaken, p. 155. 


«ooK form, are here cultivated under the name of the bread-fruit 
ixxiii. fj,gg^ |j^,|. ^i^p ^yy^Q bread-fruit tree, so much celebrated by 
navigators, has only recently been introduced into the co- 
lony. It is still scarce, because its growth is slow. 
Mountains. Xhe form of tliis isle, according to M. Bory de St. Vin- 
Pjtons. cent, is an irregular oval : it is rather more than eleven 
leagues in its gr<^atest length, vvhich extends from north- 
east to south- vv est, and rather more than eigiit leagues in 
its greatest breadtli, which is from east to west. The 
shoals render disembarkation in general dangerous. By 
following its different windings, its circumference is found 
to be about forty-five leagues. The land rises gradually 
from the coast. The centre of the isle is a wooded hillock of 
from 200 to 250 toises high. In the centre of this plateau 
rises a conical and very pointed mountain ; its situation has 
given it tlie name of Piton du milien de rile, or Central 
Spike, which is 302 toises in height. Among the other 
mountains, that of the Black river is 424 toises high; that 
oi Fieter-Both has on its conical summit a mass like a cap, 
which seems to threaten the surrounding country with its 

From the top of Pouce may be distinguished volcanic 
isles, that appear to form a part of a submarine crater. 
Between these rocks and the mountain is an extensive low 
level plain, where are found nothing but some fragments 
of lava which belonged to ancient currents; all the rest is 
calcareous ; these are only madrepores and shells formed at 
the bottom of the sea.* 
Chics. Port North-west, or Port Louis (the name of the city 

situated at the point of debarkation,) may contain 4000 
whites, or free blacks, and double that number of slaves. 
The houses arc almost all built of w^ood, but elegant in 
theii* forms. The public buildings are of a very good ar- 
chitecture. The principal streets are planted with black- 
wood, a handsome tree of the genus oi mimosas^ the flower 

* Boiy (le St. Vincent, 1. 1, p. 211, etc. etc. Compt Bailly, in the Voyage of 
Milbcit, II. 92. 


tufts of which, in the spring, form an agreeable contrast, by book 
their white, yellow, and delicate rose colours, with the new i-xxiii. 
and dense verdure; hut this tree soon loses its leaves, and 
becomes loaded w ith dried husks.* This city is not without 
its scientific and literary institutions ; tlie SocieU d^Emula- 
tiorif which is formed here, has enriched our Jnnales des 
Voyages with very interesting memoirs. 

In traversing the interior, to go to PorUBourhon^ the Pictur- 
second city, the road passes through a delightful country, ^^^^ 
where the dwellings of the colonists are so many temples 
raised to gaiety and hospitality ; in a short time the tra- 
veller is immersed in humid forests, decked with mosses; 
he makes his way over the rapid and foaming torrent, by 
leaping from rock to rock ; he takes his rest by the noise 
of cascades, by the murmur of zephyrs perfumed with the 
sweetest odours; he enjoys those pastoral scenes so elo- 
quently traced by the pen of the author of Paul and 
Virginia, assisted by the ingenious pencil of M. Milbert. 
In a northern direction, the romantic district of Pample- 
mousses presents to the lovers of botany the celebrated 
Jardin de VEtat, where the vegetable riches of the whole 
east flourish. These details, however, are too well known 
to appear 'n this work ; we must only point out to our 
readers the chart of the island, by M. Hubert Brue,f as the 
most accurate, in which they may follow, in their excur- 
sions, the numerous travellers who have described this 
colony, for a long time the subject of so much pride to 
the French, at this day the subject of so much regret. 
Let us terminate this sketch by some statistical descrip- 
tions. The population of the isle consisted in 1806, ac- Pop"lfi- 
cording to a recent account, of thirteen thousand nine 
hundred and fifty-two free persons, and sixty thousand six 
hundred and forty-six slaves ; total seventy -four thousand 
six hundred and eighteen. It is conjectured that, at the 
moment of conquest, it had reached the number of ninety 

* Milbert, Voyage lo the Isle of France, torn. I. p. 129. 
t In the Atlas des Voyages, de INI. Milbert. 

VOL. i^'. 29 . 


BOOK tliousand souls. The revenue was valued, for the year 

j.xxiii. 1810, at a million, and from 6 to 700,000 francs. It arose 

" chiefly from custom-house duties. Among the principal 

expenses paid out of the revenue, was that for the purchase 

of corn and flour. "^^ 

isle Tiie Isle of Diego Rodriguez, which supplies the Isle of 

Rodriguez. p^»j^^^^^ ^,j^j^ many thousands of turtle, has lately received 

some inhabitants. Before that time an incredible number of 
crabs formed its sole population.! 
Researches In a coiu'se directed to the south-east of this island, 
Buacho on towards thosc of St. Paul and Amsterdam, the navigator 
the Isle might perhaps reach the famous island of Juan de Lishoa, 
Lisboa. the doubtful existence of which has so much occupied the 
attention of navigators and geographers; nor have they hi- 
therto, by their researches, made out any thing satisfactory. 
Ancie^ut Hugues de Linschot,\ in his chart of the Indian seas, pub- 

lished in 1638, delineates two islands, at this day unknown, 
the one to the south of the Mascarenhas, in the 26° of 
southern latitude, called Juan de Lisboa, and, the other to 
the south-east of Rodriguez, in the 28° of latitude, which 
he calls the island dos liomeiros: they are distant from 
each other about two hundred and forty leagues. 

The chart of Robert Dudley, author of the Arcana del 
Mare, published in 1647, notices in the south-west of Mau- 
riziOf two islands, the one called Santa Jlpollinia, the 
other Bascaienhas, and in the east, at a distance of from 
3 to 4% two other small ones, marked simply as English 
discoveries. No island is marked in that part of the sea 
where Juan de Lisboa is looked for; but this note is found : 
The longitude of the island Romeras de Castelhanas (reckon- 
ing from the point of the Azores) is 98° and a half, and the 
latitude £8° 20'. 

* Milbert, t. II. p. 231—241. t Leguat, Voyage des Indes. 

i Dos Romeiros occurs in G. Mercator's map, by his son, 1593 ; both it and 
Juan de Lisboa, in Maginus Ptolemy, Arnb. 1617. Dos Romeiros, lat. 23'', 
36°, 39° South, ami long. 90°, 80° East; in different maps. Juan dc Lisboa, 
lal. 23° South, long. 80° East of Tenenffe. Roth places are probably from 
Vertomann. Ee. Ptol. IM^jr. p. 25. 177. 284. 

JUAN «E lilSBOA. 4r)l 

Texeira'^s chart, printed in 1649, points out to the south book 
of Mascarenhas, in the 26° of latitude, the Island dos Mo- ^xxiii. 
meiros dos Castelhanos, and to the south-cast of Diego Ro- 
driguez, another island called dos Romeiros, distant one 
from the other more than 290 leagues. 

Fitter Ooss, in the chart published by Van ICeulen in 
1680, places the island of Juan de Lishoa to the south of 
Mascarenhas, in 26° and a half of latitude, and the island 
dos Romelros dos Castelhanos, in 28° and a half of latitude, 
and 15° to the cast of the meridian of Mascarenhas. But 
in another chart of Von ICeulen^ much more modern, the 
island dos Romeiros only is marked, situated in the 28^* 
of latitude, and 11° and a half to the east of the meridian 
of Mascarenhas or Bourbon.-^ 

The various conjectures of later hydrographers, being 
founded entirely upon individual opinion, afford less in- 

D'Anvillc, in 1727, unites the two islands Juan de Lis- The isiana 
boa and Romeiros into one, and places it immediately to je,^"^"^^ 
the soutli of Bourbon, under the name of the Island dos 
Romeiros dos Castelhanos, or of Juan de Lisboa^ but re- 
jects it altogether in 1749. Dapres de Mannevillette makes 
no farther mention of it in his eastern Neptune. 

Thus, after having during nearly a century prolonged Recent as- 
its uncertain and wandering existence in the charts, at one its exist- 
time alone, at another in company witli one or two islands, ^"'^^* 
under the name of dos Romeiros, the island Juan de 
Lishoa appeared to be overwhelmed in the depths oC 
the ocean, like the supposed southern continent.! Ne- 
vertheless, a tradition of its existence, preserved among 
some descendants of pirates, established in the isle of Bour- 
bon, gave it new interest about fifty years ago. In the 
Isle of France were handed about, notes and extracts of 
obscure, incoherent, and contradictory journals, to which, 
however, some importance was given by the comments of 
European geographers. These notes, added to a nscmoir 

* Memoir oi'M. Buache, amongst those of the Institute, Sciencp-? Mor, pt 
rdit-. toni, T\'. p, 9. et sOiv. 1 Compare Book VII. p,. 160, 



BOOK o^ ^iie Isle of Bourbon, presented to the general coiflimittee 
ixxiii. q|: ^YiQ India Company, on the Uth of February 1771, es- 
tablisbcd as a principle ** that the island of Juan de Lis- 
boa ai)peared imaginary to tliose navigators only who 
had not found it out." As a proof of this, they declare 
** that a bucanicr had disembarked on it, not more than 
six ijears ago, and had killed, according to his own account, 
Vnyageof tweivo or fifteen oxen in less tlian two hoars !" They far- 
*^^"^'^" thcr bring forward the testimou}' of a certain M. Boynot, 
who ** assures us that he had seen and sailed round it to- 
wards tlie end of the year 1707, in returning from the Isle 
of Bourbon to Pondicherry." How is it possible to doubt 
his veracity since he has the modesty to assert, that " he 
is indebted for this discovery to some bucaniers at that 
time on board his ship, and takes care to tell us that, by 
passing to the south of Madagascar, he very much short- 
ened his passage," although the assertion is in direct op- 
position to all that is known concerning the winds and cur- 
rents in the channel of Mozambique. Farther, this com- 
panion of bucaniers observed this island exactly as Tex- 
eira represents that of Romeiros, and yet he had not seen 
the chart of this Portuguese, nor that of Van Keulen, when, 
in conversation, he was spoken to about the island of Juan 
dc Lisboa. ** This circumstance renders it credible," adds 
the note, " that what M. Boynot asserts is true, we being 
convinced that he would not willingly have imposed upon 
iHscoveiy More reliance is to be placed upon tiic "authentic disco- 
very" made by Captain Sornin, in passing fiom the Cape of 
Good Hope to the Isle of France. Tliis happened on the 
1st of May, 1772, in south latitude 26° 30', and 63° 50' 
east of Paris. " From day-liglit to noon," says the extract 
from his journal, ** tlie winds had made tlie round of the 
compass, with hail, rain, tlumder, and lightning; the sea 
very high, tlie air much heated." At ten o'clock in tlie 
morning, he sees land very distinctly in the north-west. 
He inimediatelv tacks to reconnoitre it, is satisfied of it 
at eleven o'chick, tacks about with tlic Avitid a-stern, runs 
towards the east, conceiving ** that it might be the south- 

of M. Soi 



em point of Madagascar," and on the 12tli puts into hook 
Rodriguez, where he finds three leagues difference to the t^xxiii. 
east, and supposes tliat this land, according to his reckon- 
ing, *Hs placed in the S, S. E. of Rodriguez^ at a distance 
of one hundred and forty-two leagues. ** What confusion ! 
How is it possible in this account of a ship tossed about 
in a storm to find a confirmation of the existence of Saint 
Juan de Lisboa ? Vice-Admiral Thevenard, wlio appears 
to give credit to it,* relies on Captain Donjon, lieutenant 
of a sliip not named, which is really, however, that of 
Captain Sornin, According to this oificer^s journal, he 
saw land on the 27th of April, irrs, at half-])ast nine in 
the morning, " in a very violent storm, with much rain, 
thunder, and lightning," at a distance of from ten to 
twelve leagues in the west, in cast longitude 76° 34', and 
south latitude 27° 26' observed at noon. He did not lose 
sight of the land from eleven o'clock till niglit, continuing 
the tack of east-south-east, and arrived on the twelfth day 
at Rodriguez, with forty-seven leagues difference to the 
east, which made him think that this land exists on that 
part of the sea between 76° to 80° of longitude, and in 27° 
30' of latitude. But in a private letter to M. Entrecas- 
teaux, with an extract of his journal, and a view of the 
land, Captain Donjon, after having undoubtedly complet- 
ed his observations in his closet, fixed the estimated longi- 
tude of his pretended discovery to 73° 36', which, from that 
time, he does not hesitate to designate by the name of Saint 
Juan de Lisboa.f 

However frivolous and unsatisfactory these accounts are. New offi- 
the governing authorities of the Isle of France have never- searches. 
theless often ordered their official verification. Tiie re- 
searches of M. de St. Felix, in 1773, and of M. Corval de 
Grenville, in 1782 and 1783, have been fruitless; but it 
would appear that they have not been sufficiently extend- 
ed towai'ds the east, within the space that separates Saint 
Paul from the Maldives Islands. M. Rochon adds, at the 

* Memoires relatifs a la Marine, t. IV. p. 428. 
t Memoire de M. Buache, p. 296—3013. 


ROOK end oC an extract of M. Sorniii's journal, inserted in his 
TiXxiii. voyages to tise East Indies: "In returning from Mada- 
gascar, we thought at one time that we perceived the isLind 
of Saint Juan de Lisboa, but the illusion was caused by 
clouds, to which the most experienced mariners are too 
often exposed.'' Kerguelen and Marion have also search- 
ed for it in vain.'^ Notwithstanding all negative tes- 
timonies, many trading captains have recently maintained 
their having visited Juan de Lisboa. 

This island then is a true haunting-spirit. It appears 

as a pliantom to a certain select few, and disappears from 

the sight of the profane as soon as they approach it. 

Hypothesis A new hypothesis has been proposed by M. Collin : he 

«^ariste ^ " hclieves tliat the name of Juan de Lisboa, in the ancient 

Cciiin. charts, was originally that of the Isle of France. 

Nevertheless, the secretary of the government of Mo- 
zambique has assured him that, in the charts deposited in 
the archives, exists the proces-verbal of the evacuation of 
the PortugueBe colony of Juan de Lisboa ; as well as an 
inventory of eSTects transported from this island to the 
coast of Africa, xili the efforts of M. Collin, to procure a 
sight of it, have proved fruitless. It is not known whether 
it was a permanejit establishment, a post, or a mere at- 
tempt at settling. The year, and even the age is unknown ; 
moreover, the side of the island is unknown which at 
the time bore a name not considered by the Portuguese 
Tcxeira worthy of being introduced into his chart. It 
appears certain that it could not have been the Isle of 
France, then well known by the name of Cerne.j 

We conceive that the island of Juan de Lisboa is iden- 
tical with that of Romeiros, and tliat it may, notwithstand- 
ing all doubts on the subject, really exist, but that it ought 
to be looked for in the meridians to the east of the isles of 
Saint Paul and Amsterdam, v/hich, with the land of Ker- 

* Collin, Mem. siir Juan de Lisboa, Annales des Vo3'a£res, torn. X. p. 364. 

t Yet Cerne was rather applied to Madagascar. The old maps have both 
Mauritius and Bourbon without names. In 1598, Mauritius received its 
present name. Mngin. Ptol. 25. Cli.v. Ceogr. p. 412. Bob, Nav. Intr, 
f>, 27. and p. 450 nhore. 


guelen, appear to us to indicate a submaniic cliaiii, both in book 
the direction of Cape Coinorin, and Cape Leuwin. liXxiii. 

The islands of Saint Paul and Saint Feier^ the last of 
which has also been called Amsterdam, have been objects Saint Paul 
of singular confusion. Accordins: to the navigator who ^"<^^"^- 
first examined them Avith care, that of Amsterdam, or Saint 
Peter, is the most northern. It consists of a conical moun- 
tain, the summit of Avhich appears to be the chimney of 
an extinct crater. A layer of turf three feet in heiglit co- Pbysk ai 
vers the pumice stone, or ancient lava. Thick groves ^"-^^^^''^ '^"* 
render access to the interior very difficult; but the trees, 
not being able to push their roots far under ground, re- 
main small. Lizards, and the trace of a fox, are supposed 
to have been seen. The Island Saint Paul, the most south- 
ern, is in shape a circular mountain, hollowed in the cen- 
tre in the form of a crater ; the sea, in consequence of the 
falling in of one of its sides, has penetrated into this ba- 
sin. The pond or lake filling up the bottom, contains 
an immense quantity of fish, particularly excellent perch. 
Hot and chalybeate springs flow between the lavas, inter- 
spersed with patches of fine green turf.* This descrip- Confuskn 
tion, so satisfactory and so worthy of the ingenious observ- j^ct of this" 
er to whom we are indebted, has been set aside bv the'^^^"^* 
presumptuous caprices of some modern navigators. Mr. 
Barrow, misled by the author of the charts of Cook's 
voyage, has described at length the island Saint Paul, by 
the name of Amsterdam, and appears astonished at the 
pretended changes he thinks he has observed, and whicli 
he attributes to physical revolutions.! M. Beautems 
Beaupre, in the atlas of the Entrecasteaux, has gone far- 
ther : he has given six views of the pretended isle of Am- 
sterdam, which is really only that of Saint Paul, proved by 
comparing the designs found in the work of Valentyn. 
At the moment of the French passing the island, the vol- 
cano was emitting both flame and smoke ; they w ere, how^- 

* Van Vlaining, in Valentyn, Ostindien, 1I1*\ partie, ou t. TV, sect, ?, 
p. 68—70. 

t Voyage to Cochinchina, etc, ' 


BOOK ever, able to ascertain the form of every part of it, not 
XXXIII. excepting the isolated rock, which, according to Barrow, 
is basalt. M. Rossel, compiler of the voyage, discusses 
its geographical position with precision, without having 
perceived the confusion of names, which is proved by the 
latitude in which he places the island.'^ 
Land of Xcn degrees farther south, Kerguelen^ s Land, called Island 

^ ' of Desolation by Captain Cook, j>resents its barren rocks, 
surrounded by masses of ice, and inhabited by seals. The 
almost total w^ant of vegetation on this considerable island 
cannot alone be occasioned by rigour of climate; it is ow- 
ing to the total want of earth, sufficiently copious to de- 
velop within itself the power of vegetation. Many excel- 
lent harbours might render this station useful to enter- 
Marian prising wlialers. More to tlie west, the Marian Isles^ and 
Etiward"^^ those of FHuce Edward, in like manner present only the 
Isles. wTetched nakedness of a rock devoid of vegetation. 
Discussion We liave now terminated the description of the East- 
and Mar- ^m African Islands ; for tliose marked in several charts 
scveen. under the names of Bina and Marscveen, do not exist. No 
account or description of these isles can be found. It is 
not known at what epoch, or by whom they were discov- 
ered ; no one has seen them. In later times, they have 
escaped the researches of Marian and Cook. It has been 
said, that the Dutch at the Cape are acquainted with 
them, and even go there in search of wood ; but neither 
Valentyn, nor Mentzel, in their prolix accounts of the 
Cape, make mention of t[iem. What motive could tJie 
Dutch have in concealing from Europe the situation of 
these two insignificant islands, since they have given the 
greatest publicity to all their other discoveries, much more 
important in themselves, and which might indeed have 
excited the envy of powers jealous of their commerce ? It is 
more natural to suppose, with M. Buache, that these isles 
have crept into our cliarts, like many others that have for 
sometime occupied, and do still in part occupy, a place 
"which sound criticism does not allow them. 

* D'Enlrecasteaux, Voyage, t, I. p. 44. 


In examining an ancient chart of J\^icoIas Carneno^ a book 
Genoese, necessarily made a short time after tlic first i^^^m* 
voyages of Europeans to tlie Indies and Ameiica, this 
philosopher was struck with the name of Dina Margahhif 
applied to an isle situated in the same tract of tlie ocean 
now assigned to the isles Dina and Marseveen.* Car- 
iie?*io's chart represents with sufficient minuteness and pre- 
cision the western and southern coasts of Africa, as far as 
Melinda ; but the rest is traced in an uncertain and slo- 
venly manner. The Island i>f Madagascar there extends 
from 30° to 40° of south latitude; the Comora Isles, 
discoverable under the names of Jana and CaUeiizuan, 
are found in the 18° to the east of the northern point of 
Madagascar. Three other islands, named Bina J^largahiiif Hypothesis 
l)ina Moraze, and Dina Jlrohi, and placed to the cast of "f^^- 
the soutliern point of Madagascar, in the same latitude 
assigned to the two last islands, can be no other than the 
Isles of Bourbon, Rodriguez, and France, or Mauritius. 
"Without emjmerating all the reasons militating in favour 
of this opinion, we shall merely observe here that IJina 
Margahin, the most western, the neai'est to Madagascar, 
and the largest, has a golden colouring that distinguishes 
it from the rest as the principal of the group. The name of 
Margabin is very analogous to the Arabic word Mogre- 
iiTO, that signifies western; as to the word dinaf joined to 
each of the three names, this can only be a generic name, 
very like, at least in the manuscripts, to the Arabic word 
diva, \vhich signifies an island, and is discernible in the 
names of Diu, Maldives, 6cc. Thus, Dina Marseveen, 
is only one and the same name, corrupted and afterwards 
divided into two by travellers or superficial geographers, 
-who perhaps knew the existence of several islands in the 
environs of Dina Margabin, forgetting at the same time 
that they were more generally designated by the name of 
the principal among them. The difference of the position 

* Buaclie, riltm. siir Dina et Marseveen, in tlie Memoires de I'Institut. Sci- 
ences Morales et Politiquesj t, IV. p.. 367. 



BOOK of the Mascareiilia isles, in Carneiro's chart, and their real 
iixxiii. situation, proves nothing against their identity, since the 
great island of Madagascar has incontestibly tended to set 
them all towards the east, jiarticularly at a period when 
these seas were known only from tlie accounts of the Ara- 
bians, with whom the Portuguese communicated on the 
south-east, coast of Africa. The would-be geographers, 
or copiers of charts, on observing the Mascarenha isles 
more exactly marked, and called by other names, thought 
it right to retain or replace a little more to the west the 
names of Dina Margabin, Marseveen, or even Dina and 
Marseveen, in order that no void space might be left. 
The Ephemeridss of Coimhra, of 1807, place the island of 
Benia, or Mna, in 40° 32' South, and of 18° 49' 7", East 
of Paris. 

We have carefully endeavoured to discover if any thing 
w^ere in opposition to the adoption of this ingenious hypo- 
thesis. One fact only has presented itself; it is the exist- 
ence of a vessel belonging to Dutch India, bearing the 
precise name of Marseveen, during the very period that 
these isles first began to appear upon the charts.^ This 
circumstance, however trifling it may appear, might ren- 
der farther researches into the Dutch archives necessary, 
before admitting M. Buache's hypothesis. Even suppos- 
ing, however, that the island Marseveen exists, it is pro- 
bably identical with Gough, or Gonzalo-Alvarez island, 
situated much further towards the west. 

tions on 
this hypo 

* Valcntyn, Ostindien, 1. 1, p. 236. List of vessels. 




Contiimation of the Sesci-iption of Africa*^ — The Western 

Jlfrican Islands. 

To tlie west of the Cape of Good Hope extends the south- book 
ern Atlantic Ocean, which ought perhaps to be called I'Xxiv. 
the .Bfncan Ocean, since the epithet Ethiopean gives a [ 
false idea of it. South America bounds it on the west ; sea. 
Cape Saint Roch and Cape Taguin on . the north-west. — 
The Gulf of Guinea forms its most anterior hollow to- 
wards the north-east. Almost without islands, this part 
of the ocean is influenced very regularly by the trade- 
winds, and by the general current causing both tlie air and 
waters to move towards the west. The trade wind, how- 
ever, ceases to blow at one or two degrees north of the 
equator, where it is succeeded by west and south-west 
winds, which retain vessels in the Gulf of Guinea, to the 
great dread of navigators. 

The first island to the west of the Cape of Good Hope circumci- 
is that of Circumdsion, discovered in 1739 by Captain 
Bouvet, and again found by two English vessels in 1808. 
Since Captain Cook's fruitless search, it had been supposed 
that Captain Bouvet had only seen a mass of ice.* Under 
a milder climate are found the islands JDiego-Mvare^ and 
Gough, apparently the same as Gon%alo-Mvare%. This 
last is 4380 feet high : fine cascades here water a soil co- 
vered with green turf, where several shrubs grow among 


* Oriental Navigator, London, 1816. See the Table of Positions following. 


BOOK the rocks.* The Tristan d^Acunha islands are better 
Lxxiv. known, they are four in number. The principal island 
shews its round liead at a distance, 8326 feet in height, 
d'Acunha clothcd with verdure half way up, and covered with snow 
Islands. (Junng many months of the year. Shruhs of the genus 
Fhijllica shade the limpid streams with their thick foliage.f 
An American has taken possession of these isles, and has 
successfully planted cotton and corn ; he purposes forming 
an establishment for the refreshment of ships on their way 
to the Indies. 
Island of An immense aquatic desert extends from these isles to 
j.dint e e ^j^^^. ^^^ Saint Helena. An imperceptible point in the At- 
lantic Ocean, this rock is nine leagues in its greatest cir- 
cumference. Steep shores form for it a natural and near- 
ly impregnable rampart. It is divided into two unequal 
parts by a chain of mountains intersected by deep valleys. 
Physical The peak of Diana, at the eastern extremity of the great 
chain, is 2692 feet above the level of the sea. Basalt con- 
stitutes the base of the island ; and a great quantity of 
lava and scoriae attest its volcanic nature. There is lime 
of excellent quality, stones that admit of a very fine po- 
lish, and clays of different colours. Gold and copper were 
supposed to exist, as well as mines of iron, which the want 
of combustible matter will not prevent their working, if it 
be true that beds of pit-coal exist. The land, generally 
rich and deep, contains many saline particles. The coast 
is very barren in apj)earance, but a rich verdure covers the 
interior of the island, even to the tops of the mountains, 
from which springs of wholesome and clear water exude 
from every side. The sandy valley is not the only pic- 
turesque scene thnt has employed the pencil of the artist. 
Besides about ten indigenous trees or shrubs, at present 
not well known, among which are three species of gum- 
trees, the finest flowers of Europe and Africa may be seen 

*• Hoywood, quoted in TOrJent. Navig. p. 18. 

t Du Petit-Thouars, description of the Isles of Tiistan-d'Acunba, pamphlet 
in 8vo. with a chart; Hoywood ; Patten, etc.