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We shall, by copious extracts, en Nor is that the worst that sometimes bedeavour to convey to our readers falls the traveller. The overpowering efsome idea of the contents of this vo- fects of a sudden sand-wind, when nearly lume. If they wish to have a pic at the close of the desert, often destroys a ture of the state of manners, and whole kafila, already weakened by fa. customs, and civilization prevailing
tigue ; and the spot was pointed out to over an immense tract of Africa,
us, strewed with bones and dried car
casses, where, the year before, fifty sheep, they must have recourse to the book
two camels, and two men, perished from itself. It is well worthy of their
thirst and fatigue, when within . eight perusal.
hours' march of the well which we were At Tripoli, so profound is the re
anxiously looking out fora. '. spect of the Bashaw for the British
. Indeed, the sand-storm we had the name, and such is its influence on misfortune to encounter in crossing the the minds of his subjects, that Major desert gave us a pretty correct idea of the Denham tells us, as the roof of the dreaded effects of these hurricanes. The English Consul always affords a wind raised the fine sand, with which sanctuary to the perpetrator of any the extensive desert was covered, so as crime, not even excepting murder; to fill the atmosphere, and render the im. and scarcely a day passes in which mense space before us impenetrable to some persecuted Jew, or unhappy
the eye, beyond a few yards. The sun slave, does not rush into the court
and clouds were entirely obscured, and a yard of the Consulate, to escape the
suffocating and oppressive weight accom. bastinado.” One day our travellers
panied the flakes and masses of sand, met with a poor wretch whom they
which I had almost said we had to
penetrate at every step. At times we were dragging along to the place of
completely lost sight of the camels, punishment, when a child and ser
though only a few yards before us.. The vant of Dr Dickson were passing ; horses hung their tongues out of their the criminal, slipping from his mouths, and refused to face the torrents guards, snatched up the child in his of sand, A sheep that accompanied the arms, and halted boldly before his kafila, the last of our stock, lay down on pursuers. The talisman was suffi• the road, and we were obliged to kill ciently powerful; the emblem of in. him, and throw the carcass on a camel. nocence befriended the guilty; and A parching thirst, oppressed us, which the culprit walked on uninterrupted, nothing alleviated. We had made but triumphing in the protection of the little way by three o'clock in the afterBritish flag.
noon, when the wind got round to the The path of our travellers, du
eastward, and refreshed us something, ring the whole route from Tripoli
with which change we moved on until to Kouka, lay over the Sahara, or
about five, when we halted, protected a Great Desert, which stretches across
little by three several ranges of irregular the whole North of Africa, from the
hills, some conical, and some table-top
ped. As we had but little wood, our fare Nile to the Atlantic. It is about
was confined to tea, and we hoped to find 1400 miles in breadth, and consists
relief from our fatigues by a sound sleep. partly of bills of naked rock, partly That was, however, denied us, the tent of interminable plains, covered with had been imprudently pitched, and was loose sand or with gravel. The sand is exposed to the east wind, which blev a sometimes, by the action of the wind, hurricane during the night. The tent blown up into hills of 400 or 600 was blown down, and the whole detach feet bigh, in which the camel sinks ment were employed a full hour in get. up to the knees at every step. The ting it up again ; and our bedding, and following extracts will convey some every thing that was within it, was, du. idea of the perils and fatigues which ring that time, completely buried, by the befall the traveller over this wide
constant driving of the sand. I was and dreary region.
obliged three times, during the night, to
get up, for the purpose of strengthening The remaining half of our journey to the pegs; and when in the morning I Mourzuk was over pretty nearly the awoke, two hillocks of sand were formed same kind of surface as we had passed on each side of my head, some inches before ; in some places worse. Some. high. . . times two, and once three days, we were · Our road lay over loose hills of fine without finding a supply of water, which "sand, in which the camels sunk nearly was generally muddy, bitter, or brackish, knee.deer. In passing these desert wilds, where hills disappear in a single night by peaceable character, while the latter the drifting of the sand, and where all are fierce and predatory, and are traces of the passage even of a large continually making incursions upon kafila sometimes vanish in a few hours, their inoffensive and unwarlike neighthe Tibboos have certain points in the bours. They carry their plundering dark sand-stone ridges, which from time expeditions to the frontiers of Borto time raise their heads in the midst of
nou and Soudan. this dry ocean of sand, and form the only variety, and by them they steer their
The following is the description of course. From one of these land-marks
the travelling party which encounwe waded through sand formed into
tered the formidable march over this hills, from 20 to 60 feet in height, with almost impassable desert. nearly perpendicular sides, the camels I had succeeded in engaging, on my blundering and falling with their heavy return to Tripoli, as an attendant to acloads. The greatest care is taken by the company me to Bornou, a native of the drivers understanding these banks; the island of St. Vincent, whose real name Arabs hang with all their might on the was Adolphus Sympkins, but who, in animal's tail, by which means they steadyconsequence of his having run away from him in his descent. Without this pre home, and in a merchant vessel travelled caution, the camel generally falls for half the world over, had acquired the ward, and of course all he carries goes name of Columbus. He had been seover his head. We halted at Kafforum, veral years in the service of the Bashaw, (where the kafila stops, which is a nest spoke three European languages, and of bills of coarse dark sand-stone; an ir. perfect Arabic. This person was of the regular peak to the cast is called Gusser, greatest service to the mission, and so or the Castle. At the end of these hills, faithful an attendant, that his Majesty's about two miles from the road, lyes a Government have since employed him to wadey, called Zow Seghrir, in which accompany my former companion and grows the snag-tree, and also grass. Our colleague, Captain Clapperton, on the er. course was south, but we were obliged duous service he is now engaged in. We to wind round the different sand-hills, in had, besides, three free negroes, whom order to avoid the rapid descents, which we had hired in Tripoli as our private were so distressing to the camels. We servants; Jacob, a Gibraltar Jew, who bivouacked under a head called Zow, (the was a sort of storekeeper ; four men to difficult,) 10 the cast, where we found look after our camels; and these, with several wells.
Mr Hillman and ourselves, made up the · The sand-hills were less high to-day, number of our household to thirteen per but the animals sank so deep that it was sons. We were also accompanied by a tedious day for all. Four camels of several merchants from Mesurala, Tripom Boo Kbalooms gave in; two were killed li, Sockna, and Mourzuk, who gladly by the Arabs, and two were left to the embraced the protection of our escort, to chance of coming up before morning proceed to the interior with their merTremendously dreary are these marches ; chandize. as far as the eye can reach, billows of The Arabs in the service of the Ba. sand bound the prospect. On seeing the shaw of Tripoli, by whom we were to be solitary foot-passenger of the kafila, with escorted to Bornou, and on whose good his water-flask in his hand, and bag of conduct our success almost wholly de zumeeta on his head, sink, at a distance, pended, were now nearly all assembled, beneath the slope of one of these, as he and had been chosen from the inost obeplods his way alone, hoping to gain a dient tribes. They gained considerably in few paces on his long day's work, by not our good opinion, each day we becaine following the track of the camels, one better acquainted with them. They were trembles for his safety, the obstacle not only a great and most necessary passed which concealed him from the protection to us, breaking the ground, as road,—the eyes strained towards the spot, it were, for any Europeans who might in order to be assured that he has not follow our steps, but enlivened us greatly been buried quick in the treacherous over. on our dreary desert way, by their infinite whelming sand.-P. 28. 29.
wit and sagacity, as well as by their
poetry, extempore and traditional. The habitable parts of the Great
We had several amongst our party Desert consist of little belts of pas- who shone as orators in verse, to use the ture and wood, beside the wells of idiom of their own expressive language, water. The Tibboos and the Tua particularly one of the tribe of Boo Saiff rics divide this immense region bc- Marabooteens, or gifted persons, who Lween them; the former are of a would sing for an hour together, faith
fully describing the whole of our journey part of the body, the frequent ablutions for the preceding fortnight, relating the which their religion compels them to per. most trifling occurrence that had happen form, all tend to enforce practices of cleanod, even to the name of the well, and the liness. colour and taste of the water, with as. The fondness of an Arab for tradition. tonishing rapidity and humour, and in al history of the most distinguished ace very tolerable poetry, while some of his tions of their remote ancestors, is prover. traditionary ballads were beautiful ! bial ; professed story-tellers are even the P. 35, 36.
appendages to a man of rank : his friends
will assemble before his tent, or on the The character of the Arabs is well
platforms with which the houses of the known, by the relations of former
Moorish Arabs are roofed, and there listen travellers. From the days of Ish
night after night, to a continued history mael, indeed, their habits and customs
for 60, or sometimes 100 nights together. seem to have undergone little or no It is a great exercise of genius, and a pee change. Still they roam the desert, culiar gift held in high estimation among living in tents, and never fixing their them. They have a quickness and clearhabitation for any length of time in ness of delivery, with a perfect command one place; they retain the same con of words, surprising to a European ear ; stant and insatiable desire of plun- they never hesitate, are never at a loss ; der, mixed up with traits of genero their descriptions are highly poetical, and sity and valour. They remain them. their relations examplified by figure and selves barbarians, and by the insecu
metaphor the most striking and apprority which they occasion to life and
priate; their extempore songs are also full property to all the tribes settled in
of fire, and possess many beautiful and
happy similes. Certain tribes are cele their neighbourhood, they prevent them, in like manner, from emerging
brated for this gift of extempore speaking
and singing ; the chiefs cultivate the profrom barbarism, and from making
pensity in their children, and it is often any advances in civilization or wealth.
possessed to an astonishing degree by Other causes contribute largely to
men who are unable either to read or this deplorable state of things; the write. nature of the Mahometan religion - Arabic songs go to the heart, and ex. the despotic nature of all the govern- cite greatly the passions. I have seen ments--the traffic in slaves, and the a circle of Arabs straining their eyes with constant prevalence of war, all tend a fixed attention at one moment, and to encrease the miseries of the nations bursting with loud laughter ; at the next, of Africa. Major Denham gives us melting into tears, and clasping their many interesting sketches of the cha. hands in all the extacy of grief and symracter and manners of the Arabs, of pathy. which the following are a few :
Their attachment to pastoral life is
ever favourable to love. Many of these Arabs are generally thin, meagre figures, children of the desert possess intelligence though possessing expressive, and some and feeling which belong not to the satimes handsome features, great violence vage, accompanied by an heroic courage, of gesture, and muscular action. Irri. and a thorough contempt of every mode table and fiery, they are unlike the dwel of gaining their livelihood except by the lers in towns and cities ; noisy and loud, sword and gun. An Arab values him. their common conversational intercourse self chiefly on his expertness in arms appears to be a continual strife and quar. and horsemanship, and on hospitality.” rel; they are, however, brave, eloquent, P. 38, 39. and deeply sensible of shame. I have The
The following incident shews in a known an Arab of the lower class refuse his food for days together, because in a
lively manner the voracious appetite skirmish his gun had missed fire ; to use
which the Arabs have for plunder, his own words, “ gulbi wahr," “ my
and the total insecurity of property beart aches,” “ Bendckti kedip hashimin
and life in their neighbourhood :
and life in gedam el naz," "my gun lied, and shamed Arabs are always on the look-out for me before the people." Much has been plunder. “ 'Tis my vocation, Hal." said of their want of cleanliness ; I should, None are ashamed to acknowledge it, however, without hesitation, pronounce but they were on this occasion to act as them to be much more cleanly than the an escort to oppose banditti, not play the lower order of people in any European part of one. Nevertheless, greatly dissa. country. Circumcision, and the shaving tisfied were they at having come so far, the hair from the head and every other and done so little; they formed small
parties for reconnoitring on each side of as, had more Arabs arrived, they would the road, and were open-mouthed for most certainly have stripped them of any thing that would offer. One fellow every thing. - P. 40, 41. on foot bad traced the marks of a flock
Boo Khaloom was an intelligent of sheep to a small village of tents to the east of our course, and now gave notice
and wealthy merchant, who accom
a of the discovery he had made, but that panied the travellers from Tripoli, they had seen him, and, he believed, struck and proved a very brave apd useful their tents. I felt that I should be a guide. He lost his life in a grazbie, check upon them in the plunderings. or plundering expedition, on which Boo Khaloom, myself, and about a dozen Major Denham accompanied him, . horsemen, (who had each a footman be. and nearly shared the same fate. hind him,) instantly started for their re. The following is the Major's statetreat, which lay over the hills to the east. ment of his feelings when he first On arriving at the spot, in a valley of obtained a sight of the Lake Tchad. considerable beauty, where these flocks When he stood on a rising ground and tents had been observed, we found
near Lari, the sight of the lake con. the place quite deserted. The poor
veyed to his mind a sensation so gra. frighted shepherds had moved off with
tifying and inspiring, that he says it their all, knowing too well what would be their treatment from the Naz Abiad,
would be difficult in language to con, (white people,) as they call the Arabs.
vey an idea of its force or pleasure. Their caution, however, was made the The great Lake Tchad, glowing with excuse for plundering them, and a pursuit the golden rays of the sun in its strength, was instantly determined on.“ What! appeared to be within a mile of the spot not stay to sell their sheep, the rogues; where we stood. My heart bounded we'll take them now without payment." within me åt this prospect, for I believed We scoured two valleys without discover. this lake to be the way to the great obing the fugitives, and I began to hope that ject of our search; and I could not rethe Tibboos had eluded their pursuers, frain from silently imploring Heaven's when, after crossing a deep ravine, and continued protection, which had enabled ascending the succeeding ridge, we came us to proceed so far in health and strength, directly on about two hundred head of even to the accomplishment of our cattle, and about twenty persons, men, task.-P. 45. women, and children, with ten camels, They now approached Kouka, laden with their tents, and other neces- the capital of Bornou, and the resisaries, all moving off. The extra Arabsdence of the Sheikh. We shall make instantly slipped from behind their lead.
à pretty long quotation, to convey ers, and, with a shout, rushed down the hill ; part headed the cattle, to prevent
to our readers an idea of the Sheikh, their escape, and the most rapid plunder
and his army and people, and of I could have conceived quickly com.
the town itself. menced. The camels were instantly I had ridden on a short distance in brought to the ground, and every part of front of Boo Khaloom, with his train of their load rified; the poor women and Arabs, all mounted, and dressed out in girls lifted up their hands to me, stripped their best apparel, and, from the thick. as they were to the skin, but I could do ness of the trees, soon lost sight of them. nothing for them beyond saving their Fancying that the road could not be inis. lives. A sheikh and a maraboot assured taken, I rode still onwards, and, on apme it was quite lawful to plunder those proaching a spot less thickly planted, who left their tents, instead of supplying was not a little surprised to see in front travellers. Boo Khaloom now came up, of me a body of several thousand cavalry and was petitioned. I saw he was ashamed drawn up in line, and extending right of the paltry booty his followers had ob- and left quite as far as I could see; and tained, as well as moved by the tears of checking my horse, I awaited the arrival the sufferers. I seized the favourable of my party, under the shade of a widemoment, and advised that the Arabs spreading acacia. The Bornou troops should give every thing back, and have a remained quite steady, without noise or few sheep and an ox for a feast. He gave confusion; and a few horsemen, who the order, and the Arabs, from under were moving about in front giving directheir barracans, threw down the wrappers tions, were the only persons out of the they had torn off the bodies of the Tibboo ranks. On the Arabs appearing in sight, women; and I was glad in my heart a shout, or yell, was given by the Sheikh's when, taking ten sheep and a fat bullock, people, which rent the air ; a blast was we left these poor creatures to their fate, blown from the rude instruments of music
equally loud, and they moved on to meet the town, ourselves, Boo Khaloom, and Boo Khaloom and his Arabs. There about a dozen of his followers, were alone was an appearance of tact and manage allowed to enter the gates; and we proment in their movements which astonish. ceeded along a wide street completely ed me : three separate small bodies, from lined with spearmen on foot, with cavalry the centre and each flank, kept char. in front of them, to the door of the ging rapidly towards us, to within a few Sheikh's residence. Here the horsemen feet of our horses' heads, without check were formed up three deep, and we came ing the speed of their own until the mo- to a sland ; some of the chief attendants ment of their halt, while the whole body came out, and after a great many “ Bar. moved onwards. These parties were cas ! Barcas !” retired, when others per. mounted on small but very perfect horses, formed the same ceremony. We were who stopped and wheeled from their ut. now again left sitting on our horses in most speed with great precision and ex. the sun : Boo Khaloom began to lose all pertness, shaking their spears over their patience, and swore by the bashaw's heads, exclaiming, Barca, Barca, Alla head, that he would return to the tents hiakkum cha, alla aheraga !--Blessing! if he was not immediately admitted : blessing ! Sons of your country! Sons of he got, however, no satisfaction but a your country!' and returning quickly to motion of the hand from one of the chiefs, the front of the body, in order to repeat meaning 6 wait patiently:" and I whisthe charge. While all this was going pered to him the necessity of obeying, on, they closed in their right and left as we were hemmed in on all sides, and fanks, and surrounded the little body of to retire without permission would have Arab warriors so completely, as to give been as difficult as to advance. Barca the compliment of welcoming them very Gana now appeared, and made a sign much the appearance of a declaration of that Boo Khaloom should dismount: we their contempt for their weakness. I am were about to follow his example, when an quite sure this was premeditated; we intimation that Boo Khaloom was alone were all so closely pressed as to be nearly to be admitted, again fixed us to our smothered, and in some danger from the saddles. Another half hour at least passcrowding of the horses and clashing of ed without any news from the interior the spears, Moving on was impossible, of the building; when the gates opened, and we therefore came to a full stop and the four Englishmen only were callOur chief was much enraged, but it was ed for, and we advanced to the skiffa all to no purpose; he was only answered entrance. Here we were stopped most by shrieks of “ Welcome !" and spears unceremoniously by the black guards in most unpleasingly rattled over our heads, waiting, and were allowed, one by one expressive of the same feeling. This an only, to ascend a staircase, at the top of noyance was not, however, of long dura. which we were again brought to a stand tion; Barca Gana, the Sheikh's first ge by crossed spears, and the open flat hand neral, a negro of a noble aspect, clothed of a negro laid upon our breast. Boo in a figured silk tobe, and mounted on a Khaloom came from the inner chamber, beautiful Mandara horse, made his ap and asked, “If we were prepared to pearance; and, after a little delay, the salute the Skeikh as we did the Bashaw ? rear was cleared of those who had press. We replied, “ Certainly," which was mere. ed in upon us, and we moved on, al. ly an inclination of the head, and laying though but very slowly, from the fre- the right hand on the heart. He advised quent impediment thrown in our way by our laying our hands also on our heads : these wild equestrians.
but we replied, “ The thing was impos. The Sheikh's negroes, as they were sible! we had but one manner of salutacalled, meaning the black chiefs and fa. tion for any body, except our own sove. vourites, all raised to that rank by some reign !” deed of bravery, were habited in coats of Another parley now took place, but in mail composed of iron chain, which a minute or two he returned, and we covered them from the throat to the were ushered into the presence of the knees, dividing behind, and, coming on Sheikh of Spears. We found him in a each side of the horse : some of them small dark room, sitting on a carpet, had helmets, or rather skull-caps, of the plainly dressed in a blue tobe of Soudan same metal, with chin-pieces, all suffi- and a shawl turban. Two negroes were ciently strong to ward off the shock of a on each side of him, armed with pistols, spear. Their horses' heads were also den and on his carpet lay a brace of these in. fended by plates of iron, brass, and silver, struments. Fire-arms were hanging in just leaving sufficient room for the eyes different parts of the toom, presents from of the animal,
the Bashaw and Mustapha L'Achmar, At length, on arriving at the gate of the Sultan of Fezzan, which are here con.