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frequently recognised Mr. Lilly ; and the inquiries they made would hardly suggest the idea that we were among an uncivilised people.'— Ib. p. 250.
The explorers pushed onwards; Bona-pia was visited, and an interview obtained with its chieftains ; Wadi Island was passed, the village of Kokhi examined, and much valuable information gathered. Abo Town was the point towards which the principal object of the excursion was directed. When within four hour's pull, however, of this extraordinary place, the British officers took timely warning of the approach to a pestilential district, and commenced the descent. This prudence probably was the salvation of many lives.
On the second of July, in the same year, the Wilberforce again crossed the bar of the Niger, under the command of Lieut. Webb, Captain Allen having decided on quitting for England. This time his progress was to be solitary, not cheered by the enthusiasm of ardent travellers, but rendered gloomy by thoughts of the dead. Dense masses of black clouds hung over the entrance of the pestilential river, and a heavy storm of rain rendered the early portion of the voyage exceedingly unpleasant. A visit paid to the burial place of the victims of the late expedition, gave rise in the traveller's heart to no very cheerful anticipations. Short stay was made at Aboh. Obi, its ruler, had not succeeded in impressing his English allies with any very favourable idea of his character as a prince or as a man. Moreover, great anxiety was experienced with regard to the settlers at the Model Farm. Several rumours had reached the ears of Lieut. Webb and his party, who, therefore, urged their advance with all possible rapidity. As they proceeded, the reports concerning Mr. Carr and his companions became more alarming. Some hipted they had been massacred ; some, that disease had cut them off ; some, that they had been seized, and carried into slavery. It is not difficult to imagine the effect produced by these rumours on the minds of those whose task it was to seek for their friends in the interior. They urged the vessel to its utmost speed ; all its steam power was applied, and driving rapidly through the waters, it seemed probable that a very brief space of time would bring the Model Farm within view. Unfortunately, however, the Wilberforce, bound as she was on an errand of life or death, sped with such velocity through the turbid waves of the Niger, that, when a dangerous shoal appeared a-head, it was impossible to steer her out of the track with sufficient decision to prevent her grounding and remaining held fast in the mud. A whole night elapsed before she could again be set in motion, and then the serious nature of her injuries considerably retarded the progress. However, on the eighteenth, the Farm was reached. The settlers had not been molested by any of the neighbouring tribes, but were in a state of disorganization among themselves. The settlement was abandoned, and the whole party taken on board.
To what, however, must we trace the cause of this failure ? Not to a malevolent disposition existing among the surrounding tribes; the settlers had been left unmolested; not to the fatal effects of climate; we find no mention of deaths having occurred, or sickness broken out; not to the unwilling nature of the land; it produced abundance. In none of these, therefore, must we look for the source of failure, but rather in the conduct of the settlers. Those in authority proved themselves little better than the men placed under their command * who all along evinced the most gross spirit of insubordination, and instead of employing themselves in the execution of the duty they had voluntarily undertaken, spent their time indulging in the worst, the most degrading vices practised by the natives :
* At the time of abandoning the Model Farm, there were about twenty acres of land under cultivation, and in good order, chiefly planted with cotton, and a few yams. The first cropping with corn and cotton had entirely failed, as it is supposed from the seed having got damaged on the voyage from England. The crops then growing were the produce of country seed, and were very promising. Twelve mud huts had been erected, as weil as the Model Farm house, except the gable end.'--Vol. ii. p. 358.
In spite of the neglect it suffered, it appears, therefore, that the Model Farm had already begun to give promise of future success. However, had the settlers been left to their own resources much longer, it is probable that their industry would have slackened in proportion, and that, in the course of a very few seasons, the processes of cultivation would have been abandoned, and the colonists, degenerating every season, would gradually have sunk down below the condition of those among whom it was in. tended they should lay the foundations of a new and better state of society. So much for the settlers at Model Farm : the spirit of disorganization ruined a scheme, which, had it been entrusted to other hands, might have resulted in the establishment of a great and flourishing emporium of commerce near the confluence of the Niger and Chadda rivers.
Before taking farewell, for ever, perhaps, of the confluence, three of the Wilberforce's native crew were discharged at their
• From this remark we must except Thomas King, whose conduct throughout was in a high degree praiseworthy.
own request. They had served faithfully for many years, and were now desirous of once more visiting their native town, Rabbah. To the king of that place Lieutenant Webb forwarded a present, giving his majesty to understand, by the mouth of one of the bearers, that the British officers thanked bim for not having molested the settlers at the farm, and at the same time expressing a hope that should the attempt be renewed, the same amicable feelings would be entertained. One of the men had been a stoker, and doubtless when arrived at his native city, he was listened to with astonishment by the wild people, to whom his relations were, perhaps, more wonderful than anything their imagination had ever conceived.
The descent to the sea was accomplished without much diffi. culty. A friendly feeling was generally evinced by the native chiefs; though on one occasion it required all the forbearance of a judicious officer to avert a hostile collision. Melancholy intelligence, too, was received concerning Mr. Carr, whose enterprising spirit had led him to penetrate, it was said, to Bassa. He had been tied to a tree and shot at Bassa Town. Strong suspicions, however, were fixed on the King of Brass, whose emissaries it is suspected laid the stigma of this crime on the Bassa people, in order to shield King Boy from its consequences. However, the Wilberforce was not in a condition to push the matter to extremities. Faint hopes still exist, that Mr. Carr may yet be alive, and a large reward has been offered for his recovery. On the 29th of July the steamer was again at Fernando Po, the expedition having reached its final termination.
Our limits do not permit that we should offer any general remarks on the condition of Africa, or the probabilities of success in future undertakings. It only remains for us now to speak of the present work, upon which we feel justified in bestowing a high degree of praise. Its principal characteristics are, the novelty of its details and the ability with which it is written. Throughout the language is full of vigour, the narrative of events clear and rapid; the speculations on African policy are judicious, and the remarks bestowed on the slave trade pointed and often original. A large amount of learning is evidenced by the opening chapter. Altogether, indeed, the volumes have been written with more than ordinary skill. We have not glanced at one tenth of the interesting matter presented for our perusal. The reader in whose mind the present paper has awakened any curiosity to read the book, will not, we feel assured, meet with disappointment. If we have refrained almost entirely from mentioning the names of particular persons, it must not be imagined that we have
done so from lack of subject for praise. We have avoided particularising individuals, as the only method by which we could escape the charge of partiality. Seldom have we read the narrative of an expedition conducted with so much unanimity and friendly feeling. While disease was doing its deadly work among the officers and crew, none Alinched from their task. When death created a gap, it was immediately filled by some perhaps less efficient but not less willing hand. All alike shared the dangers and difficulties of the undertaking, and deep and heartfelt was the sorrow with which they parted with those who lie beneath the stupendous bombax tree on Fernando Po. The graves are situated in the centre of a sequestered grove. A narrow, winding, shady path leads to the spot, and near it a pure stream pursues its noisy way. There the ashes of those who fell victims to disease during the expedition of 1841, mingle with the bones of the faithful and adventurous Richard Lander, with whose perilous career the world is well acquainted. However, the expedition is at an end; its details have been laid before the world, and the public will doubtless appreciate the talents and the efforts of the energetic men whose adventures are recorded in the present volumes.
Art. III.—Memoir of William Ellery Channing, with Extracts from
his Correspondence and Manuscripts. In 3 vols. London: John
Chapman. 1848. We bave read these volumes with very considerable interest. Dr. Channing was a man of note. He enjoyed a wide reputation. His writings are well known, and their popularity has steadily advanced. His fame has spread farther, and is of a higher character, than that of most literary men of America. This is in part referable to the views he advocated on the social and political questions of his day, but is mainly due to the sound-heartedness and high tone of his writings. The life of such a man deserved to be written. It is rich in materials of imperishable value, and presents to various classes of readers points of interest which cannot be too closely studied. To the reflective mind it is eminently suggestive, awakening trains of thought which call up the beautiful and the good, and inducing, even by its exhibition of errors, a devout sense of the beneficence by which clearer views, and a more scriptural faith, have been allotted to our
selves. To permit such a life to close without chronicling its. events, would have been to wrong mankind. The character of Dr. Channing called for analysis, and we know few things more instructive or interesting, than the careful pursuit of his mental history. His biography is different from that of most others, in which the chaff greatly exceeds the wheat; in which a few grains of gold have to be sifted with much labour and pain, from the mass of rubbish in which they lie concealed. We say not that any biography is absolutely useless. Some lesson of wisdom, either in the way of warning or of instruction may be derived even from the most insipid or worthless. But the labour required in such cases is immense, and a painful sense of unproductiveness is, in consequence, the predominant feeling with which their perusal is attended. When we close some works of this class, of the religious kind as well as others, we are ready to ask, by what strange perversity has it happened, that the author imagined he was doing good service to the living by detailing the follies, or laying bare the weaknesses and prejudices, of the dead? Why not permit the grave to hide from view, what cannot be exhibited without producing pity or contempt ? Better far would the offices of friendship have been discharged if the silence of the tomb had been respected ; if the departed had been permitted to withdraw without the attention of others being challenged, or a claim set up on their behalf to which no response is made. Were this rule to be rigidly applied, what an immense deduction would be made from the biographical contributions of the press. What a large proportion of those for whom our admiration is challenged would pass unheeded to their final home. We wish it were so. The living would be gainers by the change. Time is too precious to be consumed on such inanity as constitutes the staple of many biographies, and human life is fraught with interests too weighty for any portion to be given to mere feebleness and mediocrity.
We do not question the estimable source from which many of such biographies take their origin. Sorrowing friendship magnifies the virtues of the dead, and throws over their career the bright hues which its own affection creates. What was trifling becomes important; what pleased a narrow circle is deemed of public worth; the basis of family attachment is mistaken for a pedestal on which fame may rest, or the expression of patience faith and hope which brightened the chamber of sickness is converted into a signal instance of Christian heroism, the pattern of what a dying saint should be. We would do full justice to all this, yet we possess a strong and deepening conviction that there is an evil in the matter which needs correction. The VOL. XXIV.