Shaw in Algeria and Tunis—Hornemann in Fezzan—Adamson at Senegal—Houghton in Senegambia—Mungo Park and his two voyages to the Djoliba, or Niger—Sego—Timbuctoo—Sparmann and Lavaillant at the Cape, at Natal, and in the Interior—Lacerda in Mozambique, and at Cazembé—Bruce in Abyssinia—Sources of the Blue Nile—Tzana Lake—Browne's journey in Darfur.

An Englishman named Thomas Shaw, a chaplain in Algeria, had profited by his twelve years' stay in Barbary to gather together a rich collection of natural curiosities, medals, inscriptions, and various objects of interest. Although he himself never visited the southern portion of Algeria, he availed himself of the facts he was able to obtain from well-informed travellers, who imparted to him a mass of information concerning the little known and scarcely visited country. He published a book in two large quarto volumes, which embraced the whole of ancient Numidia.

Map of part of North Africa

It was rather the work of a learned man than the account of a traveller, and it must be admitted that the learning is occasionally ill-directed. But in spite of its shortcomings as a geographical history, it had a large value at the time of its publication, and no one could have been better situated than Shaw for collecting such an enormous mass of material.

The following extract may give an idea of the style of the work:—

"The chief manufacture of the Kabyles and Arabs is the making 'hykes,' as they call their blankets. The women alone are employed in this work; like Andromache and Penelope of old, they do not use the shuttle, but weave every thread of the woof with their fingers. The usual size of a hyke is six yards long and five or six feet broad, serving the Kabyle and Arab as a complete dress during the day, and as a covering for the bed at night. It is a loose but troublesome garment, as it is often disarranged and slips down, so that the person who wears it is every moment obliged to tuck it up and rearrange it. This shows the great use there is of a girdle whenever men are in active employment, and explains the force of the Scripture injunction of having our loins girded. The method of wearing this garment, with the use it is at other times put to as bed-covering, makes it probable that it is similar to if not identical with the peplus of the ancients. It is likewise probable that the loose garment flung over the shoulder, the toga of the Romans, was of this kind, as the drapery of statues is arranged very much in the same manner as the Arab hyke."

It is unnecessary to linger over this work, which has little interest for us. We shall do better to turn our attention to the journey of Frederic Conrad Horneman to Fezzan.

This young German offered his services to the African Society of London, and, having satisfied the authorities of his knowledge of medicine and acquaintance with the Arabic language, he was engaged, and furnished with letters of introduction, safe-conducts, and unlimited credit.

Leaving London in July, 1797, he went first to Paris. Lalande introduced him to the Institute, and presented him with his "Mémoire sur l'Afrique," and Broussonet gave him an introduction to a Turk from whom he obtained letters of recommendation to certain Cairo merchants who carried on business in the interior of Africa.

During his stay at Cairo, Horneman devoted himself to perfecting his knowledge of Arabic, and studying the manners and customs of the natives. We must not omit to mention that the traveller had been presented by Monge and Berthollet to Napoleon Buonaparte, who was then in command of the French forces in Egypt. From him he received a cordial welcome, and Buonaparte placed all the resources of the country at his service.

He received a cordial welcome
"He received a cordial welcome."

As the safer method of travelling, Horneman resolved to disguise himself as a Mohammedan merchant. He quickly learned a few prayers, and adopted a style of dress likely to impose upon unsuspecting people. He then started, accompanied by a fellow-countryman named Joseph Frendenburg, who had been a Mussulman for more than twelve years, had already made three pilgrimages to Mecca, and was perfectly familiar with the various Turkish and Arabic dialects. He was to act as Horneman's interpreter.

On the 5th of September, 1798, the traveller left Cairo with a caravan, and visited the famous oasis of Jupiter Ammon or Siwah, situated in the desert on the east of Egypt. It is a small independent state, which acknowledges the Sultan, but is exempt from paying tribute. The town of Siwah is surrounded by several villages, at distances of a mile or two. It is built upon a rock in which the inhabitants have hollowed recesses for their dwellings. The streets are so narrow and intricate that a stranger cannot possibly find his way among them.

This oasis is of considerable extent. The most fertile portion comprises a well-watered valley, about fifty miles in circumference, which is productive of corn and edible vegetables. Dates of an excellent flavour are its most valuable export.

Horneman was anxious to explore some ruins which he had noticed, for he could obtain little information from the natives. But every time he penetrated to any distance in the ruins, he was followed by a number of the inhabitants, who prevented him from examining anything in detail. One of the Arabs said to him, "You must still be a Christian at heart, or you would not so often visit the works of the infidels."

This remark put a speedy end to Horneman's further explorations. As far as his superficial examination enabled him to judge, it was really the oasis of Ammon, and the ruins appeared to him to be of Egyptian origin.

The immense number of catacombs in the neighbourhood of the town, especially on the hill overlooking it, indicate a dense population in ancient times. The traveller endeavoured vainly to obtain a perfect head from one of these burial-places. Amongst the skulls he procured, he found no certain proof that they had been filled with resin. He met with many fragments of clothing, but they were all in such a state of decay that it was impossible to decide upon their origin or use.

After a stay of eight days in this place, Horneman crossed the mountains which surrounded the oasis of Siwah, and directed his steps towards Schiatah. So far no misfortune had interrupted his progress. But at Schiatah he was denounced as a Christian and a spy. Horneman cleverly saved his life by boldly reading out a passage in the Koran which he had in his possession. Unfortunately, his interpreter, expecting that his baggage would be searched, had burned the collection of fragments of mummies, the botanical specimens, the journal containing the account of the journey, and all the books. This loss was quite irreparable.

A little further on, the caravan reached Augila, a town mentioned by Herodotus, who places it some ten days' journey from the oasis of Ammon. This accords with the testimony given by Horneman, who reached it in nine days' forced march. At Augila a number of merchants from Bengasi, Merote, and Mokamba had joined the caravan, amounting altogether to no less than a hundred and twenty persons. After a long journey over a sandy desert, the caravan entered a country interspersed with hills and ravines, where they found trees and grass at intervals. This was the desert of Harutsch. It was necessary to cross it in order to reach Temissa, a town of little note, built upon a hill, and surrounded by a high wall. At Zuila the Fezzan country was entered. The usual ceremonies, with interminable compliments and congratulations, were repeated at the entrance to every town. The Arabs appear to lay great stress upon these salutations, little trustworthy as they are, and travellers constantly express surprise at their frequent recurrence.

Upon the 17th of November, the caravan halted at Murzuk, the capital of Fezzan. It was the end of the journey. Horneman says that the greatest length of the cultivated portion of Fezzan is about three hundred miles from north to south, but to this must be added the mountainous region of Harutsch on the east, and the various deserts north and west. The climate is never pleasant; in summer the heat is terrible, and when the wind blows from the south, it is all but insupportable, even to the natives, and in winter the north wind is so cold that they are obliged to have recourse to fires.

The produce of the country consists principally of dates and vegetables. Murzuk is the chief market; there are collected the products of Cairo, Bengazi, Tripoli, Ghâdames, Ghât, and the Soudan. Among the articles of commerce are male and female slaves, ostrich feathers, skins of wild beasts, and gold-dust or nuggets. Bornu produces copper; Cairo silks, calicoes, woollen garments, imitation coral, bracelets, and Indian manufactures. Fire-arms, sabres, and knives are imported by the merchants of Tripoli and Ghâdames.

The Fezzan country is ruled by a sultan descended from the scherifs, whose power is limitless, but who, nevertheless, pays a tribute of four thousand dollars to the Bey of Tripoli. Horneman, without giving the grounds of his calculation, informs us that the population amounts to seventy-five thousand inhabitants, all of whom profess Mohammedanism.

Horneman's narrative gives a few more details of the manners and customs of the people. He ends his report to the African Society by saying that he proposes visiting Fezzan again in the hope of obtaining new facts.

We learn, further, that Frendenburg, Horneman's faithful associate, died at Murzuk. Attacked by a violent fever, Horneman was forced to remain much longer than he desired in that town. While still only partially recovered, he went to Tripoli for change and rest, hoping there to meet with Europeans. Upon the 1st of December, 1799, he returned to Murzuk, and left it finally with a caravan upon the 7th of April, 1800. He was irresistibly attracted towards Bornu, and perished in that country, which was to claim so many victims.

During the eighteenth century, Africa was literally besieged by travellers. Explorers endeavoured to penetrate into it from every side. More than one succeeded in reaching the interior, only to meet with repulse or death. The discovery of the secrets of this mysterious continent was reserved for our own age, when the unexpected fertility of its resources has astonished the civilized world.

The facts relating to the coast of Senegal needed confirmation, but the French superiority was no longer undisputed. The English, with their earnest and enterprising character, were convinced of its importance in the development of their commerce, and determined upon its exploration. But before proceeding to the narrative of the adventures of Major Houghton and Mungo Park, we will devote a small space to the record of the work done by the French naturalist, Michel Adanson.

Devoted from early youth to the study of natural history, Adanson wished to become famous by the discovery of new species. It was hopeless to dream of obtaining them in Europe, and, in spite of opposition, Adanson selected Senegal as the field of his labours. He says, in a manuscript letter, that he chose it because it was the most difficult to explore of all European settlements, and, being the hottest, most unhealthy, and most dangerous, was the least known by naturalists. Certainly a choice founded upon such reasoning gave proof of rare courage and ambition.

It is true that Adanson was by no means the first naturalist to encounter similar dangers, but he was the first to undertake them, with so much enthusiasm, at his own cost, and without hope of reward. Upon his return, he had not sufficient money to pay for the publication of his account of the discoveries he had made.

Embarking upon the 3rd of March, 1749, on board the Chevalier Marin, commanded by D'Après de Mannevillette, he touched at Santa Cruz, Teneriffe, and disembarked at the mouth of the Senegal, which he took to be the Niger of ancient geographers. During nearly five years he was engaged in exploring the colony in every direction, visiting in turn Podor, Portudal, Albreda, and the mouth of the Gambia. With unceasing perseverance, he collected a rich harvest of facts in the animal, vegetable, and mineral kingdoms.

To him is due the first exact account of a gigantic tree called the Baobab, which is often called Adansonia after him; of the habits of the grasshoppers, which form the chief food of certain wild tribes; of the white ants, and the dwellings they construct; and of a certain kind of oyster, which attach themselves to trees at the mouth of the Gambia. He says,—

"The natives have not the difficulty one might anticipate in catching them; they simply cut off the bough to which they cling. They often cluster to the number of over two hundred on one branch, and if there are several branches, they form a bunch of oysters such as a man could scarcely carry."

The Baobab
The Baobab.

In spite of the interest of these and similar discoveries, there are few new facts for the geographer to glean. A few words about the Yolofs and Mandingoes comprise all there is to learn. If we followed Adanson throughout his explorations, we should gain little fresh information.

The same cannot be said of the expedition of which we are about to give some account. Major Houghton, captain in the 69th regiment, and English Governor of the Fort of Goree, had been familiar from his youth, part of which was passed with the English Embassy in Morocco, with the manners and customs of the Moors and the negroes of Senegambia. In 1790, he proposed to the African Society to explore the course of the Niger, penetrate as far as Timbuctoo and Houssa, and return by way of the Sahara. The carrying out of this bold plan met with but one obstacle, but that was almost sufficient to upset it.

Houghton left England upon the 16th of October, 1790, and anchored in Jillifree harbour, at the mouth of the Gambia, upon the 10th of November. Well received by the King of Barra, he followed the course of the Gambia to a distance of three hundred leagues, traversed the remainder of Senegambia, and reached Gonda Konda in Yanvi.

Walknaer, in his "History of Voyages," says, "He purchased a negro, a horse, and five asses, and prepared to proceed with the merchandise which was to pay his expenses to Mendana, the capital of the little kingdom of Woolli. Fortunately his slight knowledge of the Mandingo language enabled him to understand a negress who was speaking of a plot against him. The merchants trading on the river, imagining commerce to be his sole object, and fearing that he might compete with them, had determined upon his death.

"In order to avoid the threatened danger, he thought it wise to deviate from the usual route, and, accordingly, crossed the river with his asses, and reached the northern shore in the kingdom of Cantor."

Houghton then crossed the river a second time, and entered the kingdom of Woolli. He at once sent a messenger to the king, bearing presents, and asking for protection. He was cordially received, and the traveller was welcomed to Mendana, the capital, which he describes as an important town, situated in the midst of a fertile country, in which many herds of cattle graze.

Houghton was justified in anticipating a successful issue to his voyage; everything appeared to presage it, when an event occurred which was the first blow to his hopes. A hut next that in which he slept took fire, and the whole town was soon in flames. His interpreter, who had made several attempts to rob him, seized this opportunity, and fled with a horse and three asses.

Still the King of Woolli continued his protection of the traveller, and loaded him with presents, precious not on account of their value, but as signs of the good-will which they demonstrated. This friend of the Europeans was named Djata. Humane, intelligent, and good-hearted, he wished the English to establish a factory in his kingdom.

Houghton, in a letter to his wife, says,—

"Captain Littleton, during a stay of four years here, has amassed a considerable fortune. He possesses several ships which trade up and down the river. At any time one can obtain, for the merest trifle, gold, ivory, wax, and slaves. Poultry, sheep, eggs, butter, milk, honey, and fish are extremely abundant, and for ten pounds sterling a large family might be maintained in luxury. The soil is dry, the air very healthy; and the King of Woolli told me that no white man had ever died at Fataconda."

Houghton then followed the Falemé river as far as Cacullo, which in D'Anville's map is called Cacoulon, and whilst in Bambouk gleaned a few facts about the Djoliba river, which runs through the interior of the Soudan. The direction of this river he ascertained to be southward as far as Djeneh, then west by east to Timbuctoo—facts which were later confirmed by Mungo Park. The traveller was cordially received by the King of Bambouk, who provided him with a guide to Timbuctoo, and with cowries to pay his expenses during the journey. It was hoped that Houghton would reach the Niger without accident, when a note, written in pencil and half effaced, reached Dr. Laidley. It was dated from Simbing, and stated that the traveller had been robbed of his baggage, but that he was prosecuting his journey to Timbuctoo. This was followed by accounts from various sources, which gave rise to a suspicion that Houghton had been assassinated in Bambara. His fate was uncertain until it was discovered by Mungo Park.

Walknaer says,—

"Simbing, where Houghton wrote the last words ever received from him, is a little walled town on the frontier of the kingdom of Ludamar. Here he was abandoned by his negro servants, who were unwilling to accompany him to the country of the Moors. Still he continued his route, and, after surmounting many obstacles, he advanced to the north, and endeavoured to cross the kingdom of Ludamar. Finally he reached Yaouri, and made the acquaintance of several merchants, on their way to sell salt at Tischet, a town situated near the marshes of the great desert, and six days' journey north of Yaouri. Then, by bribing the merchants with a gun and a little tobacco, he persuaded them to conduct him to Tischet. All this would lead us to suppose that the Moors deceived him, either as to the route he should have followed, or as to the state of the country between Yaouri and Timbuctoo.

"After two days' march, Houghton, finding himself deceived, wished to return to Yaouri. The Moors robbed him of all he possessed, and fled. He was forced to reach Yaouri on foot. Did he die of hunger, or was he assassinated by the Moors? This has never been rightly determined, but the spot where he perished was pointed out to Mungo Park."

The loss of Houghton's journals, containing the observations made during his journey, deprived science of the result of all his fatigue and devotion. To ascertain what he accomplished, one must have recourse to the Proceedings of the African Society. At this time Mungo Park, a young Scotch surgeon, who had just returned from a voyage to the East Indies on board the Worcester, learnt that the African Society were anxious to find an explorer willing to penetrate to the interior of the country watered by the Gambia. Mungo Park, who had long wished to acquaint himself with the productions of the country, and the manners and customs of the inhabitants, offered his services. He was not deterred by the apprehension that his predecessor, Houghton, had probably perished.

Portrait of Mungo Park
Portrait of Mungo Park.
(Fac-simile of early engraving.)

At once accepted by the Society, Mungo Park hastened his preparations, and left Portsmouth upon the 22nd of May, 1795. He was furnished with introductions to Dr. Laidley, and a credit of two hundred pounds sterling. Landing at Jillifree, at the mouth of the Gambia, in the kingdom of Barra, and following the river, he reached Pisania, an English factory belonging to Dr. Laidley. He directed his attention first to acquiring a knowledge of the Mandingo language, which was most generally used, and in collecting the facts most likely to be useful in the execution of his plans.

His stay here enabled him to obtain more accurate information than his predecessors with regard to the Feloups, the Yolofs, the Foulahs, and the Mandingoes. The Feloups are morose, quarrelsome, and vindictive, but faithful and courageous. The Yolofs are a powerful and warlike nation, with very black skins. Except in colour and speech, they resemble the Mandingoes, who are gentle and sociable. Tall and well-made, their women are, comparatively speaking, pretty. Lastly, the Foulahs, who are the lightest in colour, seem much attached to a pastoral and agricultural life. The greater part of these populations are Mohammedans, and practise polygamy.

Upon the 2nd of December, Mungo Park, accompanied by two negro interpreters, and with a small quantity of baggage, started for the interior. He first reached the small kingdom of Woolli, the capital of which, Medina, comprises a thousand houses. He then proceeded to Kolor, a considerable town, and, after two days' march across a desert, entered the kingdom of Bondou. The natives are Foulahs, professing the Mohammedan religion; they carry on a brisk trade in ivory, when they are not engaged in agriculture.

The traveller soon reached the Falemé river, the bed of which, near its source in the mountains of Dalaba, is very auriferous. He was received by the king at Fataconda, the capital of Bondou, and had great difficulty in convincing him that he travelled from curiosity. His interview with the wives of the monarch is thus described. Mungo Park says,—

"I had scarcely entered the court, when I was surrounded by the entire seraglio. Some begged me for physic, some for amber, and all were most desirous of trying the great African specific of blood-letting. They are ten or twelve in number, most of them young and handsome, wearing on their heads ornaments of gold or pieces of amber. They rallied me a good deal upon different subjects, particularly upon the whiteness of my skin and the length of my nose. They insisted that both were artificial. The first, they said, was produced, when I was an infant, by dipping me in milk, and they insisted that my nose had been pinched every day till it had acquired its present unsightly and unnatural conformation."

Leaving Bondou by the north, Mungo Park entered Kajaaga, called by the French Galam. The climate of this picturesque country, watered by the Senegal, is far healthier than that of districts nearer the coast. The natives call themselves Serawoullis, and are called Seracolets by the French. The colour of their skin is jet black, and in this respect they are scarcely distinguishable from the Yolofs.

Mungo Park says, "The Serawoollis are habitually a trading people. They formerly carried on a great commerce with the French in gold-dust and slaves, and still often supply the British factories on the Gambia with slaves. They are famous for the skill and honesty with which they do business."

Natives of Senegal
Natives of Senegal.

At Joag, Mungo Park was relieved of half his property by the envoys of the king, under pretence of making him pay for the right to pass through his kingdom. Fortunately for him, the nephew of Demba-Jego-Jalla, King of Kasson, who was about to return to his country, took him under his protection. They reached Gongadi, where there are extensive date plantations, together, and thence proceeded to Samia, on the shores of the Senegal, on the frontiers of Kasson.

The first town met with in this kingdom was that of Tiesie, which was reached by Mungo Park on the 31st of December. Well received by the natives, who sold him the provisions he needed at a reasonable price, the traveller was subjected by the brother and nephew of the king to endless indignities.

Leaving this town upon the 10th of January, 1796, Mungo Park reached Kouniakari, the capital of Kasson—a fertile, rich, and well-populated country, which can place forty thousand men under arms. The king, full of kindly feeling for the traveller, wished him to remain in his kingdom as long as the wars between Kasson and Kajaaga lasted. It was more than probable that the countries of Kaarta and Bambara, which Mungo Park wished to visit, would be drawn into it. The advice of the king to remain was prudent, and Park had soon reason enough to regret not having followed it.

But, impatient to reach the interior, the traveller would not listen, and entered the level and sandy plains of Kaarta. He met crowds of natives on the journey who were flying to Kasson to escape the horrors of war. But even this did not deter him; he continued his journey until he reached the capital of Kaarta, which is situated in a fertile and open plain.

He was kindly received by the king, Daisy Kourabari, who endeavoured to dissuade him from entering Bambara, and, finding all his arguments useless, advised him to avoid passing through the midst of the fray, by entering the kingdom of Ludamar, inhabited by Moors. From thence he could proceed to Bambara.

During his journey Mungo Park noticed negroes who fed principally upon a sort of bread made from the berries of the lotus, which tasted not unlike gingerbread. This plant, the rhamnus lotus, is indigenous in Senegambia, Nigritia, and Tunis.

"So," says Mungo Park, "there can be little doubt of this fruit being the lotus mentioned by Pliny as the food of the Lybian Lotophagi. I have tasted lotus bread, and think that an army may very easily have been fed with it, as is said by Pliny to have been done in Lybia. The taste of the bread is so sweet and agreeable, that the soldiers would not be likely to complain of it."

On the 22nd February, Mungo Park reached Jarra, a considerable town, with houses built of stone, inhabited by negroes from the south who had placed themselves under the protection of the Moors, to whom they paid considerable tribute. From Ali, King of Ludamar, the traveller obtained permission to travel in safety through his dominions. But, in spite of this safe-conduct, Park was almost entirely despoiled by the fanatical Moors of Djeneh. At Sampaka and Dalli, large towns, and at Samea, a small village pleasantly situated, he was so cordially welcomed that he already saw himself in fancy arrived in the interior of Africa, when a troop of soldiers appeared, who led him to Benown, the camp of King Ali.

"Ali," says Mungo Park, "was sitting upon a black morocco cushion, clipping a few hairs on his upper lip—a female attendant holding a looking-glass before him. He was an old man of Arab race, with a long white beard, and he looked sullen and angry. He surveyed me with attention, and inquired of the Moors if I could speak Arabic. Being answered in the negative, he appeared surprised, and continued silent. The surrounding attendants, and especially ladies, were much more inquisitive. They asked a thousand questions, inspected every part of my apparel, searched my pockets, and obliged me to unbutton my waistcoat to display the whiteness of my skin. They even counted my toes and fingers, as if they doubted whether I was in truth a human being."

An unprotected stranger, a Christian, and accounted a spy, Mungo Park was a victim to the insolence, ferocity, and fanaticism of the Moors. He was spared neither insults, outrages, nor blows. They attempted to make a barber of him, but his awkwardness in cutting the hairy face of the king's son exempted him from this degrading occupation. During his captivity he collected many particulars regarding Timbuctoo, which is so difficult of access to Europeans, and was the bourne of all early African explorers.

"Houssa," a scherif told him, "is the largest town I have ever seen. Walet is larger than Timbuctoo, but as it is farther from the Niger, and its principal trade is in salt, few strangers are met there. From Benown to Walet is a distance of six days' journey. No important town is passed between the two, and the traveller depends for sustenance upon the milk procurable from Arabs, whose flocks and herds graze about the wells and springs. The road leads for two days through a sandy desert, where not a drop of water is to be had."

It takes eleven days to go from Walet to Timbuctoo, but water is not so scarce on this journey, which is generally made upon oxen. At Timbuctoo there are a number of Jews who speak Arabic, and use the same forms of prayer as the Moors.

Map of Western Africa

The events of the war decided Ali to proceed to Jarra. Mungo Park, who had succeeded in making friends with the sultan's favourite, Fatima, obtained permission to accompany the king. The traveller hoped, by nearing the scene of action, to manage to escape. As it happened, the King of Kaarta, Daisy Kourabari, soon after marched against the town of Jarra. The larger number of inhabitants fled, and Mungo Park did the same.

He soon found means to get away, but his interpreter refused to accompany him. He was forced to start for Bambara alone, and destitute of resources.

The first town he came to was Wawra, which properly belongs to Kaarta, but was then paying tribute to Mansong, King of Bambara. Mungo Park says,—

"Upon the morning of the 7th of July, as I was about to depart, my landlord, with a great deal of diffidence, begged me to give him a lock of my hair. He had been told, he said, that white men's hair made a saphic (talisman) that would give the possessor all the knowledge of the white man. I had never before heard of so simple a mode of education, but I at once complied with the request; and my landlord's thirst for learning was so great that he cut and pulled at my hair till he had cropped one side of my head pretty closely, and would have done the same with the other had I not signified my disapprobation, assuring him that I wished to reserve some of this precious material for a future occasion."

First Gallon and then Mourja, a large town, famous for its trade in salt, were passed, after fatigues and incredible privations. Upon nearing Sego, Mungo Park at last perceived the Djoliba. "Looking forward," he says, "I saw, with infinite pleasure, the great object of my mission—the long-sought-for, majestic Niger, glittering in the morning sun, as broad as the Thames at Westminster, and flowing slowly to the eastward. I hastened to the brink, and, having drunk of the water, lifted up my fervent thanks in prayer to the Great Ruler of all things for having thus far crowned my endeavours with success.

"The fact of the Niger flowing towards the east did not, however, excite my surprise; for, although I had left Europe in great hesitation on this subject, and rather believed it ran in the contrary direction, I had made frequent inquiries during my progress, and had received from negroes of different nations such clear and decisive assurances that its course was towards the rising sun as scarce left any doubt in my mind, more especially as I knew that Major Houghton had collected similar information in a similar manner.

"Sego, the capital of Bambara, at which I had now arrived, consists, properly speaking, of four distinct towns; two on the northern bank of the river, called Sego Korro and Sego Boo, and two on the southern bank, called Sego Sou Korro and Sego See Korro. They are all surrounded with high mud walls; the houses are built of clay, of a square form, with flat roofs; some of them have two stories, and many of them are whitewashed. Besides these buildings, Moorish mosques are seen in every quarter, and the streets, though narrow, are broad enough for every practical purpose in a country where wheel carriages are unknown. From the best information I could obtain, I have reason to believe that Sego contains altogether about thirty thousand inhabitants. The king of Bambara resides permanently at Sego See Korro; he employs a great many slaves in conveying people over the river; and the money they take, though the fare is only ten cowries for each person, furnishes a considerable revenue to the king in the course of a year."

By advice of the Moors, the king refused to receive the traveller, and forbade him to remain in his capital, where he could not have protected him from ill-treatment. However, to divest his refusal of all appearance of ill-will, he sent him a bag containing 5000 cowries, of the value of about a pound sterling, to buy provisions. The messenger sent by the king was to serve as guide as far as Sansanding. Protest and anger were alike impossible; Mungo Park could do nothing but follow the orders sent. Before reaching Sansanding, he was present at the harvest of vegetable butter, which is the produce of a tree called Shea.

"These trees," says the narrative, "grow in great abundance all over this part of Bambara. They are not planted by the natives, but are found growing naturally in the woods; and, in clearing land for cultivation, every tree is cut down but the shea. The tree itself very much resembles the American oak; the fruit—from the kernel of which, after it has been dried in the sun, the butter is prepared by boiling in water—has somewhat the appearance of a Spanish olive. The kernel is imbedded in a sweet pulp, under a thin green rind, and the butter produced from it, besides the advantage of keeping a whole year without salt, is whiter, firmer, and, to my palate, of a richer flavour than the best butter I ever tasted from cows' milk. It is a chief article of the inland commerce of these districts."

Sansanding, a town containing from eight to ten thousand inhabitants, is a market-place much frequented by the Moors, who bring glass-ware from the Mediterranean forts, which they exchange for gold-dust and cotton. Mungo Park was not able to remain at this place, for the importunities of the natives and the perfidious insinuations of the Moors warned him to continue his route. His horse was so worn out by fatigue and privation that he felt obliged to embark on the river Djoliba or Niger.

At Mourzan, a fishing village upon the northern bank of the river, everything combined to induce Park to relinquish his enterprise. The further he advanced to the eastward down the river, the more he placed himself in the power of the Moors. The rainy season had commenced, and it would soon be impossible to travel otherwise than by boat. Mungo Park was now so poor that he could not even hire a boat; he was forced to rely upon public charity.

To advance further under these circumstances was not only to risk his life, but to place the results of all his fatigues and efforts in jeopardy. To return to Gambia was scarcely less perilous; to do so he must traverse hundreds of miles on foot through hostile countries. Still the hope of returning home might sustain his courage.

"Before leaving Silla," says the traveller, "I thought it incumbent on me to collect from the Moorish and negro traders all the information I could concerning the further course of the Niger eastward, and the situation and extent of the kingdoms in its neighbourhood.

"Two days' journey eastward of Silla is the town of Djenneh, which is situated on a small island in the river, and is said to contain as many inhabitants as Sego itself, or any other town in Bambara. At a distance of two days' more, the river widens and forms a considerable lake, called Dibby (or the dark lake), concerning the extent of which, all I could learn was that, in crossing it from east to west, the canoes lose sight of land for one whole day. From this lake the water issues in many different streams, which finally become two branches, one flowing to the north-east, the other to the east; but these branches join at Kabra, which is one day's journey to the south of Timbuctoo, and is the port or shipping-place of that city. The tract of land between the two streams is called Timbala, and is inhabited by negroes. The whole distance by land from Djenneh to Timbuctoo is twelve days' journey. North-east of Masena is the kingdom of Timbuctoo, the great object of European research, the capital of the kingdom being one of the principal marts for the extensive commerce which the Moors carry on with the negroes. The hope of acquiring wealth in this pursuit, and zeal for propagating their religion, have filled this extensive city with Moors. The king himself and all the chief officers of his court are Moors, and are said to be more intolerant and severe in their principles than any other of the Moorish tribes in this part of Africa."

Mungo Park was then forced to retrace his steps, and that through a country devastated by inundation and heavy rains. He passed through Mourzan, Kea, and Modibon, where he regained his horse; Nyara, Sansanding, Samea, and Sai, which is surrounded by a deep moat, and protected by high walls with square towers; Jabbéa, a large town, from which he perceived high mountain ranges, and Taffara, where he was received with little hospitality.

At the village of Souha, Park begged a handful of grain of a "dooty," who answered that he had nothing to give away.

"Whilst I was examining the face of this inhospitable old man, and endeavouring to find out the cause of the sullen discontent which was visible in his eye, he called to a slave who was working in the corn-field at a little distance, and ordered him to bring his spade with him. The Dooty then told him to dig a hole in the ground, pointing to a spot at no great distance. The slave with his spade began to dig in the earth, and the Dooty, who appeared to be a man of very fretful disposition, kept muttering to himself until the pit was almost finished, when he repeatedly pronounced the word ankatod (good for nothing), jankra lemen (a regular plague), which expressions I thought applied to myself. As the pit had very much the appearance of a grave, I thought it prudent to mount my horse, and was about to decamp when the slave, who had gone before to the village, returned with the corpse of a boy about nine or ten years of age, quite naked. The negro carried the body by an arm and leg, and threw it into the pit with a savage indifference such as I had never seen. As he covered the body with earth, the Dooty kept repeating naphula attemata (money lost), whence I concluded the boy had been his slave."

Mungo Park left Koulikorro, where he had obtained food by writing saphics or talismans for the natives, upon the 21st of August, and reached Bammakoa, where a large salt-market is held. From an eminence near the town he perceived a high mountain range in the kingdom of Kong, whose ruler had a more numerous army than the King of Bambara.

Once more robbed by brigands of all he possessed, the unfortunate traveller found himself, in the rainy season, alone in a vast desert, five leagues from the nearest European settlement, and for the moment gave way to despair. But his courage soon revived; and reaching the town of Sibidoulou, his horse and clothes, which had been stolen from him by Foulah robbers, were restored to him by the mansa, or chief. Kamalia, or Karfa Taura advised him to await the cessation of the rainy season, and then to proceed to Gambia with a caravan of slaves. Worn out, destitute, attacked by fever, which for five months kept him prostrate, Mungo Park had no choice but to remain in this place.

Upon the 19th of April the caravan set out. We can readily imagine the joy experienced by Mungo Park when all was ready. Crossing the desert of Jallonka, and passing first the principal branch of the Senegal river, and then the Falemé, the caravan finally reached the shores of the Gambia, and on the 12th of June, 1797, Mungo Park once more arrived at Pisania, where he was warmly welcomed by Dr. Laidley, who had despaired of ever seeing him again.

The traveller returned to England upon the 22nd of September. So great was the impatience with which an account of his discoveries, certainly the most important in this part of Africa, was awaited, that the African Society allowed him to publish for his own profit an abridged account of his adventures.

He had collected more facts as to the geography, manners, and customs of the country than all preceding travellers; he had determined the position of the sources of the Senegal and Gambia, and surveyed the course of the Niger or Djoliba—which he proved to run eastwards, whilst the Gambia flowed to the west.

Thus a point, which up to this time had been disputed by geographers, was definitely settled. It was no longer possible to confound the three rivers, as the French geographer Delisle had done, in 1707, when he represented the Niger as running eastward from Bornu, and flowing into the river Senegal on the west. He himself, however, had admitted and corrected this error, in his later maps of 1722 and 1727, no doubt on account of the facts ascertained by André Brue, governor of Senegal.

Houghton, indeed, had learned much from the natives of the course of the Niger through the Mandingo country, and of the relative positions of Sego, Djennéh, and Timbuctoo; but it was reserved for Mungo Park to fix positively, from personal knowledge, the position of the two first-named towns, and to furnish circumstantial details of the country, and the tribes who inhabit it.

Public opinion was unanimous as to the importance of the great traveller's exploration, and keenly appreciative of the courage, skill, and honesty exhibited by him.

A short time later, the English government offered Mungo Park the conduct of an expedition to the interior of Australia; but he refused it.

In 1804, however, the African Society determined to complete the survey of the Niger, and proposed to Mungo Park the command of a new expedition for its exploration. This time the great traveller did not refuse, and upon the 30th of January, 1805, he left England. Two months later he landed at Goree.

He was accompanied by his brother-in-law, Anderson, a surgeon, by George Scott, a draughtsman, and by thirty-five artillery-men. He was authorized to enrol as many soldiers as he liked in his service, and was provided with a credit of five hundred pounds.

"These resources," says Walcknaer, "so vast in comparison with those furnished by the African Society, were, to our thinking, partly the cause of his loss. The rapacious demands of the African kings grew in proportion to the riches they supposed our traveller to possess; and the effort to meet the enormous drain made upon him, was in great part the cause of the catastrophe which brought the expedition to an end."

Four carpenters, one officer and thirty-five artillery-men, and a Mandingo merchant named Isaac, who was to act as guide, with the leaders of the expedition already mentioned, composed an imposing caravan. Mungo Park left Cayee upon the 27th of April, 1805, and reached Pisania the next day. From this place, ten years earlier, he had started upon his first exploration. Taking an easterly direction, he followed his former route as far as Bambaku, upon the shores of the Niger. When he arrived at this place, the number of Europeans was already reduced to six soldiers and a carpenter; the remainder had succumbed to fatigue, or the fevers incidental to the inundations. The exactions of the various petty chiefs through whose domains the expedition passed had considerably diminished the stock of merchandise.

Mungo Park was now guilty of an act of grave imprudence. Remarking that trade was very active at Sansanding, a town containing eleven thousand inhabitants, and that beads, indigo, antimony, rings, bracelets, and other articles not likely to be spoiled in the transit to England, were freely exhibited for sale, "he opened," says Walcknaer, "a large shop, which he stocked with European merchandise, for sale wholesale and retail; and probably the large profits he made excited the envy of the merchants. The natives of Djenneh, the Moors, and merchants of Sansanding, joined with those of Sego in offering, in the presence of Modibinne, to give the King of Mansong a larger and more valuable quantity of merchandise than he had received from the English traveller, if he would seize his baggage, and then kill him, or send him out of Bambarra. But in spite of his knowledge of this fact, Mungo Park still kept his shop open, and he received, as the proceeds of one single day's business, 25,756 pieces of money, or cowries."

Upon the 28th of October Anderson expired, after four months' illness, and Mungo Park found himself once more alone in the heart of Africa. The King of Mansong had accorded him permission to build a boat, which would enable him to explore the Niger. Naming his craft the Djoliba, he fixed upon the 16th of November for his departure.

Here his journal ends, with details on the riverside populations, and on the geography of the countries he was the first to discover. This journal, when it reached Europe, was published, imperfect as it was, as soon as the sad fact was realized that the writer had perished in the waters of the Djoliba. It contained in reality no new discovery, but it was recognized as useful to geographical science. Mungo Park had determined the astronomical position of the more important towns, and thereby furnished material for a map of Senegambia. The perfecting of this map was entrusted to Arrowsmith, who stated in an advertisement, that, finding wide differences between the positions of the towns as shown in the journal by each day's travel and that furnished by the astronomical observations, it was impossible to reconcile them; but that, in accordance with the latter, he had been obliged to place the route followed by Mungo Park in his first voyage farther north.

It was reserved for the Frenchman Walcknaer to discover a curious discrepancy in Mungo Park's journal. This was a singular error upon the part of the traveller, which neither the English editor nor the French translator (whose work was badly performed) had discovered. Mungo Park in his diary records events as happening upon the 31st of April. As every one knows that that month has only thirty days, it followed that during the course of his journey the traveller had made a mistake of a whole day, reckoning in his calculations from the evening instead of the morning. Hence important rectifications were necessary in Arrowsmith's map; but none the less, when once Mungo Park's error is recognized, it is evident that to him we owe the first faithful map of Senegambia.

Although the facts that reached the English Government allowed no room for doubt as to the fate of the traveller, a rumour that white men had been seen in the interior of Africa induced the Governor of Senegal to fit out an expedition. The command was entrusted to the negro merchant Isaac, Mungo Park's guide, who had faithfully delivered the traveller's journal to the English authorities. We need not linger over the account of this expedition, but merely relate that which concerns the last days of Mungo Park.

At Sansanding, Isaac encountered Amadi Fatouma, the native who was with Park on the Djoliba when he perished, and from him he obtained the following recital:—

"We embarked at Sansanding, and in two days reached Silla, the spot where Mungo Park completed his first journey.

"After two days' navigation we reached Djenneh. In passing Dibby, three boats, filled with negroes armed with lances and arrows, but without fire-arms, approached us. We had passed successively Racbara and Timbuctoo, when we were pursued by these boats, which we repulsed with difficulty, and only after killing several natives. At Gourouma we were attacked by seven boats, but succeeded in repulsing them. Constant skirmishes ensued, with heavy loss to the blacks, until we reached Kaffo, where we remained for a day. We then proceeded down the river as far as Carmusse, and anchored off Gournou. Next day we perceived a Moorish detachment, who allowed us to pass.

"We then entered the country of Houssa. Next day we reached Yaouri, and sent Amadi Fatouma into the town, with presents for the chief and to purchase food. The negro, before accepting the presents, enquired if the white traveller intended to revisit his country. Mungo Park, to whom the question was reported, replied that he should never return."

It is supposed that these words brought about his death. The negro chief, once convinced that he should not see Mungo Park again, determined to keep the presents intended for his king.

Meantime, Amadi Fatouma reached the king's residence, at some distance from the river. The prince, warned of the presence of the white men, sent an army next day to the small village of Boussa, on the river side. When the Djoliba appeared it was assailed by a shower of stones and arrows. Park threw his baggage into the river, and jumped in with his companions. All perished.

Thus miserably died the first Englishman who had navigated the Djoliba and visited Timbuctoo. Many efforts were made in the same direction, but almost all were destined to fail.

At the end of the eighteenth century, two of Linnæus's best pupils explored the south of Africa in the interests of natural history. Sparrman undertook to search for animals, and Thunberg for plants. The account of Sparrman's expedition, which, as we have said, was interrupted by his voyage in Oceania, after Cook's expedition, was the first to appear. It was translated into French by Le Tourneur. In his preface, which is still allowed to stand, Le Tourneur deplored the loss of the learned explorer, who he said had died during a voyage to the Gold Coast. Just as the work was published, Sparrman reappeared, to the great astonishment of Le Tourneur.

Sparrman had reached Africa upon the 30th of April, 1772, and landed at the Cape of Good Hope. At this time the town was only two miles across each way, including the gardens and plantations adjoining it on one side. The streets were wide, planted with oaks, and the houses were white, or, to Sparrman's surprise, painted green.

His object in visiting the Cape was to act as tutor to the children of a M. Kerste; but upon his arrival in Cape Town, he found that his employer was absent at his winter residence in False Bay. When the spring came round, Sparrman accompanied Kerste to Alphen, a property which he possessed near Constance. The naturalist availed himself of the opportunity to make many excursions in the neighbourhood, and attempt the somewhat dangerous ascent of the Table Mountain. By these means he became acquainted with the manners and customs of the Boers, and their treatment of their slaves. The violence of the latter was so great that the inhabitants of the town were obliged to sleep with locked doors, and provided with fire-arms close at hand.

Nearly all over the colony a rough hospitality ensured a certain welcome for the traveller. Sparrman relates several curious experiences of his own.

"I arrived one evening," he says, "at the dwelling of a farmer named Van der Spooei, a widower, born in Africa, and father of the proprietor of the Red Constance, or the Old Constance.

"Making believe not to see me approach, he remained stationary in the entry of his house. As I approached him, he offered his hand, still without attempting to come forward, and said, 'Good day! You are welcome! How are you? Who are you? A glass of wine perhaps? or a pipe? Will you partake of something?' I answered his questions laconically, and accepted his offers in the same style as they were offered. His daughter, a well-made girl of some fourteen or fifteen years of age, brought in dinner, which consisted of a fine breast of lamb, stewed with carrots. The meal over, she offered me tea so pleasantly that I was quite puzzled whether to admire the dinner or my charming hostess the most. Both father and daughter showed the greatest kindness and good will. I spoke to my host several times, in hopes of breaking his silence; but his replies were brief; and I observed that he only once commenced a conversation himself, when he pressed me to remain over night in his house. I bid him farewell, deeply impressed with his hospitality."

Sparrman undertook several similar expeditions, among others, one to Hout Bay and Paarl, in which he had frequent occasion to notice the exaggerations to be met with in the narrative of Kolbe, his predecessor.

He intended to continue his explorations during the winter, and projected a journey into the interior, when the fine season should return. When the frigates commanded by Captain Cook, the Resolution and Adventure, arrived at the Cape, Forster invited the young Swedish naturalist to accompany him; and Sparrman was thus enabled to visit New Zealand, Van Diemen's Land, New Holland, Otaheite, Tierra del Fuego, the Antarctic Regions, and New Georgia, before his return to the Cape, where he landed on the 22nd of March, 1775.

His first care upon his return was to organize his expedition to the interior; and in order to add to his available resources he practised medicine and surgery during the winter. A cargo of corn, medicine, knives, tinder-boxes, and spirits for the preservation of specimens was collected, and packed in an immense waggon, drawn by five yoke of oxen.

Sparrman says,—

"The conductor of this cart needs dexterity, not only in his management of the animals, but in the use of the whip of African drivers. These instruments are about fifteen feet long, with a thong of the same or greater length, and a tongue of white leather almost three feet long. The driver holds this formidable instrument in both hands, and from his seat in front of the waggon can reach the foremost oxen with it. He distributes his cuts unceasingly, well understanding how and where to distribute them in such a manner that the hide of the animals feels the whip."

Sparrman was to accompany the waggon on horseback, and was accompanied by a young colonist, named Immelman, who wished to penetrate into the interior for recreation. They started upon the 25th of July, 1775. After passing Rent River, scaling the Hottentot Holland Kloof, and crossing the Palmite, they entered a desert country, interspersed with plains, mountains, and valleys, without water, but frequented by antelopes of various kinds, with zebras and ostriches.

Sparrman soon reached the warm mineral baths at the foot of the Zwartberg, which, at that time, were much frequented, the company having built a house near the mountains. At this point the explorer was joined by young Immelman, and together they started for Zwellendam, which they reached upon the 2nd of September. We will give a few of the facts they collected about the inhabitants.

The Hottentots are as tall as Europeans, their hands and feet are small, and their colour a brownish yellow. They have not the thick lips of the Kaffirs and natives of Mozambique. Their hair is black and woolly, curly, but not thick. They rub the entire body with fat and soot. A Hottentot who paints himself looks less naked, and more complete, so to say, than one who only rubs himself with grease. Hence the saying, "A Hottentot without paint, is like a shoe without blacking."

A Hottentot
A Hottentot.
(Fac-simile of early engraving.)

These natives usually wear a cloak called karos, made of sheep's skin, with the wool turned inwards. The women arrange it with a long point, which forms a sort of hood, in which they place their children. Both men and women wear leather rings upon their arms and legs—a custom, which gave rise to the fable that this race rolled puddings round their limbs, to feed on from time to time. They also wear copper and iron rings, but these ornaments are less common.

The kraal, or Hottentot village, is a collection of huts in a circle, all very similar, and of the shape of beehives. The doors, which are in the centre, are so low that they can only be entered on the knees. The hearth is in the middle of the hut, and the roof has no hole for the escape of the smoke.

The Hottentots must not be confounded with the Bushmen. The latter live only for hunting and robbery; their skill in throwing poisoned arrows, their courage, and the wildness of their lives, render them invincible.

At Zwellendam, Sparrman saw the quagga, a species of horse, like a zebra in shape, but with shorter ears.

The explorer next visited Mossel Bay, a harbour little used, as it is too much exposed to the west winds; and thence he proceeded to the country of the Houtniquas, or, as Burchell's map calls them, the Antiniquas. This woody country appeared fertile, and the colonists established there are prosperous. Sparrman met with most of the quadrupeds of Africa in this district, such as elephants, leopards, lions, tiger cats, hyenas, monkeys, hares, antelopes, and gazelles.

We will not attempt to follow Sparrman to all the small settlements he visited. An enumeration of the streams, kraals, or villages he passed would convey no information to the reader. Rather let us gather from his narratives a few curious and novel details concerning two creatures which he describes, the sheep of the Cape, and the "honey-guide."

"When a sheep is to be killed," he says, "the very leanest of the flock is selected. It would be impossible to use the others for food. Their tails are of a triangular shape, and are often a foot and a half long, and occasionally six inches thick in the upper part. One of these tails will weigh eight or twelve pounds, and they consist principally of delicate fat, which some persons eat with bread instead of butter. It is used in the preparation of food, and sometimes to make candles."

After describing the two-horned rhinoceros, hitherto unknown, the gnu—an animal in form something between the horse and the ox—the gazelle, the baboon, and the hippopotamus, the habits of which were previously imperfectly known, Sparrman describes a curious bird, of great service to the natives, which he calls the honey-guide.

"This bird," he says, "is remarkable neither in size nor colour. At first sight it would be taken for a common sparrow, but it is a little larger than that bird, of a somewhat lighter colour, with a small yellow spot on each shoulder, and dashes of white in the wings and tail.

"In its own interests, this bird leads the natives to the bees' nests, for it is very fond of honey, and it knows that whenever a nest is destroyed, a little honey will be spilled, or left behind, as a recompense for its services.

"It seems to grow hungry in the morning and evening. In any case, it is then that it leaves its nest, and by its piercing cries attracts the attention of the Hottentots or the colonists. The cries are almost always answered by the appearance of natives or settlers, when the bird, repeating its call unceasingly, slowly flies from place to place towards the spot where the bees have made their home. Arrived at the nest, whether it be in the cleft of a rock, in a hollow tree, or in some underground cavity, the guide hovers about it for a few seconds, and then perches hard by, and remains a silent and hidden spectator of the pillage, in which he hopes subsequently to have his share. Of this phenomenon I have myself twice been a witness."

A Bosjeman
A Bosjeman.
(Fac-simile of early engraving.)

On the 12th of April, 1776, on his way back to the Cape, Sparrman heard that a large lake, the only one in the colony, had been discovered to the north of the Schneuwberg district. A little later, the traveller got back to the Cape, and embarked for Europe with the numerous natural history collections he had made.

About the same time, between 1772-1775, Thunberg, the Swede, whom Sparrman had met at the Cape, made three successive journeys in the interior of Africa. They were not, any more than Sparrman's, actual journeys of discovery; and we owe the acquisition of no new geographical fact to Thunberg. He did but make a vast number of interesting observations on the birds of the Cape, and he also ascertained a few interesting details respecting the various races of the interior, which turned out to be far more fertile than was at first supposed.

Thunberg was followed in the same latitudes by an English officer, Lieutenant William Paterson, whose chief aim was to collect plants and other objects of natural history. He penetrated a little further north than the Orange River, and into Kaffraria a good deal further east than Fish River. To him we owe the first notice of the giraffe; and his narrative is rich in important observations on the natural history, structure, and inhabitants of the country.

It is a curious fact that the Europeans attracted to South Africa by zeal for geographical discovery, were far less numerous than those whose motive was love of natural history. We have already mentioned Sparrman, Thunberg, and Paterson. To this list we must now add the name of the ornithologist Le Vaillant.

Born at Paramaribo, in Dutch Guiana, of French parents, who traded in birds, Le Vaillant visited Europe with them as a mere child, and traversed Holland, Germany, Lorraine, and the Vosges, on his way to Paris. It will readily be understood that this wandering life awoke in him a taste for travelling; and his passion for birds, early excited by the examination of private and public collections, made him eager to enrich science by descriptions and drawings of unknown species.

Now what country would afford the richest ornithological harvest? The districts near the Cape had been explored by botanists, and by a scientific man who had made quadrupeds his chief study; but no one had as yet traversed them to collect birds.

Le Vaillant arrived at the Cape on the 29th of March, 1781, after the loss of his vessel in an explosion, with nothing but the clothes he wore, ten ducats, and his gun.

Others would have been disheartened, but Le Vaillant did not despair of extricating himself from his painful position. Confident in his skill with the gun and the bow, in his strength and agility, as well as in his skill in preparing the skins of animals, and in stuffing birds so that their plumage should retain all its original gloss, the naturalist had soon opened relations with the wealthiest collectors of the Cape.

One of these, an official named Boers, provided Le Vaillant with every requisite for a successful journey, including carts, oxen, provisions, objects for barter, and horses. Even servants and guides were appointed, free of cost, to the explorer. The kind of researches to which Le Vaillant intended to devote himself influenced his mode of travelling. Instead of seeking frequented and beaten tracks, he tried to avoid them, and to penetrate into districts neglected by Europeans, hoping in them to meet with birds unknown to science. As a result he may be said always to have taken nature by surprise, coming into contact with natives whose manners had not yet been modified by intercourse with whites; so that the information he gives us brings savage life, as it really is, more vividly before us than anything told us by his predecessors or successors. The only mistake made by Le Vaillant was the entrusting of the translation of his notes to a young man who modified them to suit his own notions. Far from taking the scrupulous care to be exact which distinguishes modern editors, he exaggerated facts; and, dwelling too much on the personal qualities of the traveller, he gave to the narrative of the journey a boastful tone very prejudicial to it.

After three months' stay at the Cape and in its neighbourhood, Le Vaillant started, on the 18th December, 1781, for a first journey eastwards, and in Kaffraria. His equipment this time consisted of thirty oxen—ten for each of his two waggons, and ten as reserve—three horses, nine dogs, and five Hottentots.

Le Vaillant first crossed the Dutch districts already explored by Sparrman, where he met with vast herds of zebras, antelopes, and ostriches, arriving in due course at Zwellendam, where he bought some oxen, a cart, and a cock—the last serving as an alarm-clock throughout the journey. Another animal was also of great use to him. This was a monkey he had tamed, and promoted to the post, alike useful and honourable, of taster—no one being allowed to touch any fruit or root unknown to the Hottentots till Master Rees had given his verdict upon it.

Till Master Rees had given his verdict
"Till Master Rees had given his verdict."

Rees was also employed as a sentinel; and his senses, sharpened by use and the struggle for life, exceeded in delicacy those of the most subtle Redskin. He it was who warned the dogs of the approach of danger. If a snake approached, or a troop of monkeys were disporting themselves in a neighbouring thicket, Rees' terror and his shrieks quickly revealed the presence of a disturbing element.

From Zwellendam, which he left on the 12th January, 1782, Le Vaillant made his way eastwards, at some little distance from the sea. He pitched his camp on the banks of the Columbia (Duywen Hock) river and made many very successful hunting excursions in a district rich in game, finally reaching Mossel Bay, where the howls of innumerable hyenas frightened the oxen.

A little farther on he entered the country of the Houtniquas, a Hottentot name signifying men filled with honey. Here not a step could be taken without coming upon swarms of bees. Flowers sprang up beneath the feet of the travellers; the air was heavy with their perfume; their varied colours lent such enchantment to the scene that some of the servants would have liked to halt. Le Vaillant however hastened to press on. The whole of this district, down to the sea, is occupied by colonists, who breed cattle, make butter, cultivate timber, and collect honey, sending their merchandise to the Cape for sale.

A little beyond the last post of the company, Le Vaillant, having entered a district peopled by thousands of "turacos," and other rare birds, pitched his hunting camp; but his plans were terribly upset by the continuous fall of heavy rains, the result of which was to reduce the travellers to great straits for want of food.

After many a sudden change of fortune and many hunting adventures, an account of which would be very amusing, though beyond the scope of our narrative, Le Vaillant reached Mossel Bay. Here, with what delight we can easily imagine, he found letters from France awaiting him. One excursion after another was now made in various directions, until Kaffraria was entered. It was difficult to open relations with its people, who sedulously avoided the whites, having suffered the loss of many men and much cattle at their hands. Moreover the Tamboukis had taken advantage of their critical position to invade Kaffraria and commit numerous depredations, whilst the Bosjemans hunted them down unmercifully. Without fire-arms, and attacked on so many sides at once, the Kaffirs were driven to hiding themselves, and were retiring northwards.

A Kaffir woman
A Kaffir woman.
(Fac-simile of early engraving.)

As matters stood it was useless to attempt to penetrate into the mountainous districts of Kaffraria, and Le Vaillant retraced his steps. He then visited the Schneuwberg mountains, the Karroo desert and the shores of the Buffalo River, returning to the Cape on the 2nd April, 1783.

The results of this long campaign were important. Le Vaillant obtained some decided information about the Gonaquas, a numerous race which must not be confounded with the Hottentots properly so called, but are probably the offspring of their intermarriage with the Kaffirs. With regard to the Hottentots themselves, the information collected by Le Vaillant agrees on almost every point with that obtained by Sparrman.

"The Kaffirs seen by Le Vaillant," says Walcknaer, "were most of them taller than either the Hottentots or the Gonaquas. They have neither the retiring jaws nor prominent cheek bones which are so repulsive in the Hottentots, but are less noticeable in the Gonaquas, neither have they the broad flat faces and thick lips of their neighbours the negroes of Mozambique. Their faces, on the contrary, are round, their noses fairly prominent, and their teeth the whitest and most regular of any people in the world. Their complexion is of a clear dark brown; and, but for this one characteristic, says Le Vaillant, any Kaffir woman would be considered very pretty, even beside a European."

During Le Vaillant's sixteen months of absence, the aspect of the Cape had completely changed. When the traveller left he admired the modest bearing of the Dutch women; on his return he found them thinking only of amusement and dress. Ostrich feathers were so much in vogue that they had to be imported from Europe and Asia. All those brought by our traveller were quickly bought up. The birds which he had sent to the colony on every possible opportunity now amounted to one thousand and twenty-four specimens; and Mr. Boers' house, where they were kept, was converted into a regular natural history museum.

Le Vaillant's journey had been so successful that he could not but wish to begin another. Although his friend Boers had returned to Europe, he was able, with the aid of the many other friends he had made, to collect the materials for a fresh trip. On the 15th June, 1783, he started at the head of a caravan numbering nineteen persons. He also took thirteen dogs, one he- and two she-goats, three cows, thirty-six draught and fourteen reserve oxen, with two for carrying the baggage of the Hottentot servants.

We shall not, of course, follow the traveller in his hunting excursions; all we need to know is that he succeeded in making a collection of marvellous birds, that he introduced the first giraffe to Europe, and that he traversed the whole of the vast space between the tropic of Capricorn on the west and the 14th meridian on the east. He returned to the Cape in 1784, he embarked for Europe, and arrived at Paris early in January, 1785.

The first native people met with by Le Vaillant in his second voyage were the Little Namaquas, a race but very little known, and who soon died out—the more readily that they occupied a barren country, subject to constant attacks from the Bosjemans. Although of fair height, they are inferior in appearance to the Kaffirs and Namaquas, to whose customs theirs bear a great resemblance.

The Caminouquas, or Comeinacquas, of whom Le Vaillant gives many particulars, exceed them in height. He says,—

"They appear taller even than the Gonaquas, although possibly they are not so in reality; but the illusion is sustained by their small bones, delicate and emaciated appearance, and slender limbs. The long mantle of light material which hangs from the shoulder to the ground adds to their height. They look like drawn out men. Lighter in colour than the Cape natives, they have better features than the other Hottentot tribes, owing to the fact that their noses are less flat and their cheek bones less prominent."

Of all the races visited by Le Vaillant, the most peculiar and most ancient was that of the Houzonanas, a tribe which had not been met with by any other northern traveller; but they appear identical with the Bechuanas, although the part of the country assigned to them does not coincide with that which they are known to have occupied for many years.

"The Houzonanas," says the narrative, "are small in stature, the tallest being scarcely five feet four in height. These small beings are perfectly proportioned, and are surprisingly strong and active. They have an imposing air of boldness." Le Vaillant considers them the best endowed mentally, and the strongest physically, of all the savage races he had met with. In face they resemble the Hottentots, but they have rounder chins, and they are far less black. They have curly hair, so short that Le Vaillant at first imagined it to be shaven.

One striking peculiarity of the Houzonanas is a large mass of flesh upon the back of the women, which forms a natural saddle, and oscillates strangely with every movement of the body. Le Vaillant describes a woman whom he saw with her child about three years old, who was perched upon his feet behind her, like a footman behind a cabriolet.

We will pass over the traveller's description of the appearance and customs of these various races, many of which are now extinct, or incorporated in some more powerful tribe. Although by no means the least curious portion of his narrative, the details are so exaggerated that we prefer to omit them.

Upon the eastern coast of Africa, a Portuguese traveller, named Fransisco José de Lacerda y Almeida, left Mozambique in 1797, to explore the interior. The account of this expedition to a place which has only lately been revisited, would be of great interest; but unfortunately, so far as we know, his journal has not been published. His name is often quoted by geographers, and they appear to know what countries he visited; but in France, at least, no lengthened notice of this geographer exists which would furnish the details of his exploration. A very few words will convey all that we have been able to collect of the history of a man who made most important discoveries, and whose name has most unfairly been forgotten.

Lacerda, the date and place of whose birth are unknown, was an engineer, and he was professionally engaged in settling the boundary of the frontier between the Spanish and Portuguese possessions in South America. Whilst thus employed, he collected a mass of interesting particulars of the province of Mato Grosso, which are given in the Rivesta trimensal do Brazil. We cannot tell what circumstances led him, after this successful expedition, to the Portuguese possessions in Africa; nor is it easy to imagine his motive for crossing South Africa from the eastern shore to the kingdom of Loanda. It is however certain that he left the well-known town of Teté in 1797, in command of an important caravan bound for the States of Cazembé.

This country was governed by a king as renowned for his benevolence and humanity as for his bravery. He inhabited a town called Lunda, which was two miles in extent, and situated upon the eastern shore of the lake called Mofo. It would have been interesting to compare these localities with those that we know of in the same parallels to-day; but the lack of details obliges us to desist, merely observing that the word Lunda was well-known to Portuguese travellers. As regards Cazembé, there is no longer any question as to its position.

Well received by the king, Lacerda remained some twelve days with him, and then proceeded upon his journey. Unfortunately, when a day or two's march from Lunda he succumbed to fatigue and the unhealthiness of the climate.

The native king collected the traveller's notes and journals, and ordered them to be sent with his remains to Mozambique. But unfortunately the caravan entrusted with these precious memorials was attacked, and the remains of the unfortunate Lacerda were left in the heart of Africa. His notes were brought to Europe by a nephew, who had accompanied the expedition.

We now come to the account of the expeditions undertaken in the east of Africa, foremost amongst which is that of the well-known traveller Bruce. A Scotchman by birth, like so many other African explorers, James Bruce was brought up for the bar; but the sedentary nature of his occupation had little charm for him, and he embraced an opportunity of entering commercial life. His wife died a few years after their marriage, and Bruce started for Spain, where he employed his leisure in studying Arabic monuments. He wished to publish a detailed account of those in the Escorial, but the Spanish Government refused him the necessary permission.

Portrait of James Bruce
Portrait of James Bruce.
(Fac-simile of early engraving.)

Returning to England, Bruce began to study Eastern languages, and more especially the Ethiopian, which at that time was known only through the imperfect works of Ludolf. One day Lord Halifax half jestingly proposed to him an exploration of the sources of the Nile. Bruce entered enthusiastically into the subject, and set to work to realize it. He overcame every objection, conquered every difficulty, and in June, 1768, left England for the shores of the Mediterranean. Bruce hurriedly visited some of the islands of the Archipelago, Syria, and Egypt. Leaving Djedda he proceeded to Mecca, Lobheia, and arrived at Massowah upon the 19th September, 1769. He had taken care to obtain a firman from the Sultan, and also letters from the Bey of Cairo, and the Sheriff of Mecca. This was fortunate, for the Nawab, or governor did all in his power to prevent his entering Abyssinia, and endeavoured to make him pay heavily with presents. Abyssinia had been explored by Portuguese Missionaries, thanks to whose zeal some information about the country had been obtained, although far less accurate in detail than that which we owe to Bruce. Although his veracity has often been questioned, succeeding travellers have confirmed his assertions.

From Massowah to Adowa the road rises gradually, and passes over the mountains which separate Tigré from the shores of the Red Sea.

Adowa was not originally the capital of Tigré. A manufacture of a coarse cotton cloth which circulates as current money in Abyssinia was established there. The soil in the neighbourhood is deep enough for the cultivation of corn.

"In these districts," says Bruce, "there are three harvests a year. The first seeds are sown in July and August, when the rain flows abundantly. In the same season they sow 'tocusso,' 'teff,' and barley. About the 20th of November they reap the first barley, then the wheat, and last of all the 'teff.' In some of these they sow immediately upon the same ground without any manure, barley, which they reap in February, and then often sow 'teff,' but more frequently a kind of vetch or pea, called Shimbra; these are cut down before the first rains, which are in April; yet with all the advantages of a triple harvest, which requires neither manure nor any expensive processes, the farmer in Abyssinia is always very poor."

At Fremona, not far from Adowa, are the ruins of a Jesuit convent, resembling rather a fort than the abode of men of peace. Two days' journey further on, one comes to the ruins of Axum, the ancient capital of Abyssinia. "In one square," says Bruce, "which I apprehend to have been the centre of the town, there are forty obelisks, none of which have any hieroglyphics on them. The two first have fallen down, but a third a little smaller than them is still standing. They are all hewn from one block of granite, and on the top of that which is standing there is a patera, exceedingly well engraved in the Greek style.

"After passing the convent of Abba Pantaleon, called in Abyssinia Mantillas, and the small obelisk on a rock above, we follow a path cut in a mountain of very red marble, having on the left a marble wall forming a parapet about five feet high. At intervals solid pedestals rise from this wall, bearing every token of having served to support colossal statues of Sirius, the barking Anubis, or the Dog star. One hundred and thirty-three of these pedestals with the marks just mentioned are still in their places, but only two figures of the dog were recognizable when I was there; these, however, though much mutilated, were evidently Egyptian.

"There are also pedestals supporting the figures of the Sphinx. Two magnificent flights of steps, several hundred feet long, all of granite, exceedingly well finished, and still in their places, are the only remains of a magnificent temple. In an angle of this platform where the temple stood, is the present small church of Axum. This church is a mean, small building, very ill kept and full of pigeons' dung." It was near Axum that Bruce saw three soldiers cut from a living cow a steak for their midday meal.

In his account of their method of cutting the steak Bruce says, "The skin which had covered the flesh that was cut away was left intact, and was fastened to the corresponding part by little wooden skewers serving as pins. Whether they put anything between the skin and the wounded flesh I do not know, but they soon covered the wound with mud. They then forced the animal to rise, and drove it on before them, to furnish them, no doubt, with another meal when they should join their companions in the evening."

From Tigré, Bruce passed into the province of Siré, which derives its name from its capital, a town considerably larger than Axum, but constantly a prey to putrid fevers. Near it flows the Takazzé, the ancient Siris, with its poisonous waters bordered by majestic trees.

In the province of Samen, situated amongst the unhealthy and broiling Waldubba Mountains, and where many monks had retired to pray and do penance, Bruce stayed only long enough to rest his beasts of burden, for the country was not only haunted by lions and hyenas, and infested by large black ants, which destroyed part of his baggage, but also torn with civil war; so that foreigners were anything but safe. This made him most anxious to reach Gondar, but when he arrived typhoid fever was raging fiercely. His knowledge of medicine was very useful to him, and procured him a situation under the governor, which was most advantageous to him, as it rendered him free to scour the country in all directions, at the head of a body of soldiers. By these means he acquired a mass of valuable information upon the government, manners, and customs of the country, and the chief events of its history, which combined to make his work the most important hitherto published about Abyssinia.

It was in the course of one of these excursions that Bruce discovered the sources of the Blue Nile, which he took to be the true Nile. Arrived at the church of St. Michael, at Geesh, where the river is only four paces wide, and some four inches deep, Bruce became convinced that its sources must be in the neighbourhood, although his guide assured him that he must cross a mountain before he found them. The traveller was not to be deceived.

"'Come! come!'" said Bruce, "'no more words. It is already late; lead me to Geesh and the sources of the Nile, and show me the mountain that separates us from it.' He then made me go round to the south of the church, and coming out of the grove of cedars surrounding it, 'This is the mountain,' he said, looking maliciously up into my face, 'that when you were on the other side of it, was between you and the fountains of the Nile; there is no other. Look at that green hillock in the centre of that marsh. It is there that the two fountains of the Nile are to be found. Geesh is at the top of the rock, where you see those very green trees. If you go to the fountains, pull off your shoes as you did the other day, for these people are all Pagans, and they believe in nothing that you believe, but only in the Nile, to which they pray every day as if it were God, as you perhaps invoke it yourself.' I took off my shoes, and rushed down the hill towards the little green island, which was about two hundred yards distant. The whole of the side of the hill was carpeted with flowers, the large roots of which protruded above the surface of the ground; and as I was looking down, and noticing that the skin was peeling off the bulbs, I had two very severe falls before I reached the edge of the marsh; but at last I approached the island with its green sod. It was in the form of an altar, and apparently of artificial construction. I was in rapture as I gazed upon the principal fountain which rises in the middle of it. It is easier to imagine than to describe what I felt at that moment, standing opposite the sources which had baffled the genius and courage of the most celebrated men for three thousand years."

Bruce's narrative contains many other curious observations, but we must now pass on to his account of Lake Tzana.

"Lake Tzana," according to his narrative, "is by far the largest sheet of water known in these regions. Its extent, however, has been greatly exaggerated. Its greatest breadth from Dingleber to Lamgue, i.e. from east to west, is thirty-five miles, but it decreases greatly at each end, and in some parts is not above ten miles broad. Its greatest length is forty-nine miles from north to south, measured from Bab-Baha to a point a trifle to the S.W.¼W. of the spot where the Nile, after flowing through the lake with an ever perceptible current, bends towards Dara in the Allata territory. In the dry season, from October to March, the lake decreases greatly; but when the rains have swollen the rivers, which unite at this place like the spokes of a wheel at the nave, the lake rises, and overflows a portion of the plain. If the Abyssinians, great liars at all times, are to be believed, there are forty-five islands in Lake Tzana; but this number may be safely reduced to eleven. The largest is named Dek, Daka, or Daga; the next in size are Halimoon, on the Gondar side of the lake, Briguida, on the Gorgora side, and Galila, beyond Briguida. All these islands were formerly used as prisons for Abyssinian chieftains, or as retreats by such as were dissatisfied at court, or wished to secure their valuables in troubled times."

And now having visited Abyssinia with Bruce, let us return to the north.

Some light was now being thrown upon the ancient civilization of Egypt. The archæological expedition of Pococke, Norden, Niebuhr, Volney, and Savary had been published in succession, and the Egyptian Society was at work upon the publication of its large and magnificent work. The number of travellers increased daily, and amongst others W. G. Browne determined to visit the land of the Pharaohs.

From his work we learn much alike of the monuments and ruins which make this country so interesting, and of the customs of its inhabitants. The portion of the work relating to Darfur is entirely new, no Europeans having previously explored it. Browne attained a high place among travellers by his discovery that the Bahr-el-Abiad is the true Nile, and because he endeavoured not indeed to discover its source, that he could scarcely hope to do, but to ascertain its latitude and course.

Arriving in Egypt upon the 10th of January, 1792, Browne set out upon his first expedition to Siwâh, and discovered, as Horneman did later, the oasis of Jupiter Ammon. He had little more opportunity than his successor for exploring the catacombs and ruins, where he saw many skulls and human remains.

"The ruins of Siwâh," he says, "resembled too much those of Upper Egypt to leave any doubt that the buildings to which they belonged were built by the same race of men. The figures of Isis and Anubis are easily recognizable on them, and the proportions of their architectural works, though smaller, are the same as those of the Egyptian temples.

"The rocks I noticed in the neighbourhood of Siwâh were of the sandstone formation, bearing no relation whatever to the stones of these ruins; so that I should think that the materials for these buildings cannot have been obtained on the spot. The people of Siwâh have preserved no credible traditions respecting these objects. They merely imagined them to contain treasures, and to be frequented by demons."

After leaving Siwâh, Browne made various excursions in Egypt, and then settled in Cairo, where he studied Arabic. He left this town upon the 10th of September, 1792, and visited in succession Kaw, Achmin, Gergeh, Dendera, Kazr, Thebes, Assoûan, Kosseir, Memphis, Suez, and Mount Sinai; then wishing to enter Abyssinia, but convinced that he could not do so by way of Massowah, he left Assiût for Darfur, with a Soudan caravan, in May, 1793. The caravan halted upon its way to Darfur at the different towns of Ainé, Dizeh, Charyeh, Bulak, Scheb, Selinceh, Leghéa, and Ber-el-Malha.

Being taken ill at Soueini, Browne was detained there, and only reached El-Fascher after a long delay. Here his annoyances and the exactions levied recommenced, and he could not succeed in obtaining an interview with the Sultan. He was forced to spend the winter at Cobbeh, awaiting his restoration to health, which only took place in the summer of 1794. This time of forced inaction was not, however, wasted by the traveller; he acquainted himself with the manners and dialects of Darfur. Upon the return of summer, Browne repaired to El-Fascher, and recommenced his applications for admittance to the Sultan. They were attended with the same unsuccessful results, until a crowning act of injustice at length procured for him the interview he had so long solicited in vain.

"I found," he says, "the monarch Abd-el-Raschman seated on his throne under a lofty wooden canopy, of Syrian and Indian stuffs indiscriminately mixed. The floor in front of the throne was spread with small Turkey carpets. The meleks (officers of the court) were seated at some little distance off on the right and left, and behind them stood a line of guards, wearing caps ornamented in front with a small copper plate and a black ostrich feather. Each bore a spear in his right hand, and a shield of hippopotamus-hide on the left arm. Their only clothing was a cotton shirt, of the manufacture of the country. Behind the throne were fourteen or fifteen eunuchs, clothed in rich stuffs of various kinds and all manner of colours. The space in front was filled with petitioners and spectators, to the number of more than fifteen hundred. A kind of hired eulogist stood on the monarch's left hand, crying out at the top of his voice during the whole ceremony, 'See the buffalo, the son of a buffalo, the powerful Sultan Abd-el-Raschman El-rashid. May God protect thy life, O master, may God assist thee and render thee victorious.'"

I found the monarch seated on his throne
"I found the monarch seated on his throne."

The Sultan promised justice to Browne, and put the matter into the hands of the meleks, but he only obtained restitution of a sixth of that of which he had been robbed.

The traveller had merely entered Darfur to cross it. He found it would be no easy task to leave it, and that in any case he must give up the idea of prosecuting his exploration; he says,—

"On the 11th of December, 1795, (after a delay of three months) I accompanied the chatib (one of the principal officers of the country) to the monarch's presence. I shortly stated what I required, and the chatib seconded me, though not with the zeal that I might have wished. To my demand for permission to travel no answer was returned, and the iniquitous despot, who had received from me no less than the value of about 750 piastres in goods, condescended to give me twenty meagre oxen, worth about 120 piastres. The state of my purse would not permit me to refuse even this mean return, and I bade adieu to El-Fascher as I hoped for ever."

Browne was not able to leave Darfur till the spring of 1796, when he joined the caravan which was about to return to Egypt.

The town of Cobbeh, although not the resort of the merchants, must be considered the capital of Darfur. It is more than two miles in length, but is extremely narrow, each house stands in a field surrounded by a palisade, and between each there is a plot of fallow land.

The plain in which the town is situated runs W.S.W., to a distance of some twenty miles. Almost all the inhabitants are merchants, who trade with Egypt. Their number may be estimated at six thousand, the larger proportion being slaves. The entire population of Darfur cannot exceed two hundred thousand, but Browne only arrived at this calculation by estimating the number of recruits raised for the war with Kordofan.

"The inhabitants of Darfur," says the narrative, "are of various races. Some, chiefly fakeers or priests and traders, come from the west, and there are a good many Arabs, none of whom are permanent residents. They are of various tribes; the greater number lead a wandering life on the frontiers, where they pasture their camels, oxen, and horses. They are not in such complete dependence on the Sultan as always to contribute to his forces in war, or to pay him tribute in time of peace."

After the Arabs come the people of Zeghawa, which once formed a distinct kingdom, whose chief could put a thousand horsemen in the field. The Zeghawas speak a different dialect from the people of Für. We must also include the people of Bego or Dageou, who are now subject to Darfur, but are the issue of a tribe which formerly ruled the country.

The natives of Darfur are inured to hunger and thirst, but they indulge freely in an intoxicating liquor called Bouzza or Merissé. Thieving, lying, and dishonesty, with their accompanying vices, prevail largely among them.

"In buying and selling the parent glories in deceiving the son, and the son the parent, and atrocious frauds are committed in the name of God and of the Prophet.

"Polygamy, which it is well known is tolerated by their religion, is indulged in to excess by the people of Darfur. When Sultan Teraub went to war with Korodofan, he took in his retinue five hundred women, leaving as many in his palace. This may at first sight seem ridiculous, but it must be remembered that these women had to grind corn, draw water, dress food, and perform all the domestic work for a large number of people, so that there was plenty for them to do."

Browne's narrative contains many medical observations of interest, and gives valuable advice as to the mode of travelling in Africa, with particulars of the animals, fish, metals, and plants of Darfur. We do not give them here, because they do not contain anything of special interest for us.