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well acquainted with the coasts on the Atlantic'; but, of the internal parts, they knew very little.
The whole continent is divided, apparently by nature, into two parts. The gulf of Guinea, called the Éthiopian fea, encroaches greatly to the east; and, on the opposite tide, the coast of Ajan trends to the south and to the west. This natural division is nearly where the equinoctial line crosses Africa, and gives great propriety to the distinction of North and South Africa. The former is our present object ; and, before we attend to Mr. Park, we shall follow the disquisition of inajor Rennel.
North Africa, he observes, is distinguished into three re. gions -- the small fertile space which borders on the Mediterranean, and which, in its most obvious features, resembles Europe ; the great defert on its fouth ; and, farther to the southward, the belt of mountains extending from cape Verd on the west to the high lands of Abyffinia on the cast. Differing in some degree from major Rennel, we suspect that the immense chain of mountains which pervade the continent of Africa, from north to south, — nountains so high that no traveller is yet known to have passed even from Congo to the opposite coast, -- must fall on either fide to the west and east, in North Africa ; for the Senegal falls westward, and probably also the Gambia, from the chain which crosses what may be called the spine' of the continent ; and the Niger, of which we have had only an imperfect glimpse, in the middle of its course, more probably falls to the eart, and perhaps fwells the waters of the Nile. The rivers, however, which fall from this belt into the Æthiopic ocean, are fo numerous, that a descent is sufficiently evident on that fide ; and the quantity of rain on the fouth may be fupposed much greater than on the north.
The defert is chiefly a vait tract of fand, extending in breadth near eight hundred geographical miles, and double that space in lengtli. Like the ocean, it has its gulfs, bays, and islands ; for the fertile ground breaks in on the land in different places; and spots of the most luxuriant vegetation, particularly on the eastern fide, are scattered in various parts, where the fand is more thallow and the springs are inore fuperficial.
The mountains, above-mentioned, contain falt and gold. This gold finds its way to Europe, while the inhabitants of Guinea annually receive from the English great quantities of cowries, or finall shells froin the East Indian iflands, which pass through a confiderable part of Africa as money. Tombućtoo, a large city near the centre of Africa, on the banks of the Niger, is the mart of the gold and of the cowries. The Tource of the former engages Mr Rennel's attention ; but his fpeculations reft on a very uncertain foundation. The gold
dust is certainly brought by the rivers in their course, and discovered in their fands. North Africa is principaily inhabited by two races,
- the Moors and the negroes. The former are mixed with the colonifts who have, from different regions, been induced to settle in Africa, and press on the Moors, apparently, the aborigines of the country. The Arabs feem, with respect to the Moors, what the Goths are with regard to the Celts. The negroes are thus preffed on from the north, and the Niger and the Senegal are now their northern boundaries
. They are indeed an agricultural race, and not fitted for the pastoral-life which the desert requires. With these the Foulahs are usually confounded. The country of the latter is insulated in a remarka. ble manner, between the mountainous border of Sierra-Leone on the west, and Tombuctoo on the east. They have not the jetty complexion, the thick lips, or the crisped hair, of the negro race. They are Mohammedans, with a mixture of paganism, but are less intolerant and more humane than the Moors. The major endeavours to ascertain the boundaries of each race with some minuteness, from Mr. Park's information, and other sources; but, without the map, his investigation would not be intelligible.
From various circumstances, the Foulahs seem to be the Leucæthiopes of Ptolemy and Pliny; and they still, according to the testimony of travellers from Sierra-Leone, retain their reputation for urbanity and hospitality. The characters of the Moors and negroes, the Libyans and Æthiopians of antiquity, are as differeist as their soil or their complexions. The former have the vices of the Arabs without their virtues, and are inhospitable, fufpicious, cruel, and revengeful. The humble and less enlightened negroes are, on the contrary, kind and humane.
Such are the outlines of major Rennel's observations. We hall now turn to Mr. Park; but our account of his travels will be short, as we shall have occasion more particularly to follow him in his own more copious and minute details.
In the last volume of our former series (p. 105), we noticed the proceedings of the African association, of which the present work is a continuation. We there found the refult of attempts to penetrate the continent of Africa from the shores of the Mediterranean and from Cairo. They were unsuccessful; and we, in fome degree, at the conclution of that article, anticipated the failure of any attempt from the west ; for, though Mr. Park has done much, it must be allowed that he has failed in his principal object. We do not mean this as any reflection on him ; for he has done more than could have been expected
from the powers of one man, and suffered more than human nature seems capable of enduring.
Our traveller set out from the banks of the Gainbia, and proceeded to the eastward, and a little to the northward. At Kemmoo, the metropolis of the kingdoin of Kaarta, he found the people at war with those of Bambarra, farther to the east, through whose territories the Niger flows; and he was advised, for greater security, to pass on to the northward. In compliance with this counsel, he advanced to Jarra, which lies north of the Senegal, and is consequently a frontier town of the Moors. In his way he pasied through Simbing, the place where the last dispatch of major Houghton was written with a pencil. We need not inforin our geographical readers of the unfortunate dettiny of that adventurous traveller. In this Icgion the country is fertile and well wooded, and it rises into frequent hills. In some parts, black cattle, sheep, and poultry, are commonly seen. The woods give protection to a sinall species of antelope (which affords venison of a delicate flavour), and a shelter also to the panther, the hyæna, and the elephant.
The land is cultivated by lares, and yields abundant crops of rice and Indian com. Tlie inhabitants also cultivate groundnuts, yams, and pompions. The first, with wood-athes, make their foap. Their cotton they manufacture into good cloth, which they dye of a rich blue colour. From the European traders they obtain fire-arms, and from the Moors falt. To the former, in return, they furnih faves, ivory, gold-dust, and bees-wax.
Slaves are brought from the castward, by itinerant merchants, called flatees, whole native country is unknown, even by name, to the inhabitants of this part of Africa. The flatces bring with them also a commodity called thea toulou, tree butter. This butter is white, firm, and of a richer flavour than the common hind; and it will remain good, without falt, for a whole year. It is procured from the nut of a tree, resembling the American oak; and the nut itself is, in appearance, like the Spanith olive. The kemel, from which the butter is procured by boiling, is covered with a sweet pulp, under a thin green rind. If we did not know the tree from which the fiveet acorn, for
the food of man, was procured, fancy might give him a delicious repast in the fruit of this oak; but he was not so fortunate.
The government of these regions is monarchical, but the fovereign is controlled by an aristocracy. The common people are in fome degree Taves, though they derive protection from laws. Slaves who are purchased, or taken in war, are not within the pale of this protection.
These circumstances chiefly relate to the country inhabited by negroes. When Mr. Park had paffed the Senegal, he was among the Moors : Jarra, in lat. 15° 5', is one of their towns. With great difficulty and danger he arrived at a small distance from the frontier town of Bambarra, when he was feited, carried to the Moorish camp, and treated with great cruelty. Here he learned the fate of major Houghton, who was seduced into the desert, plunderes, and probably murdered. On the ift of July, 1796, he had the good fortune to escape, hava ing recovered his horse and some necessaries. From his miferies he was relieved by the kindness of some Foulah thepherds, in whose huts he found an asylun, and with whose afsistance he proceeded, in a journey of fifteen days, to Sego. Here he saw the object of his withes--the Niger, which ran through the town, and seemed as wide as the Thames at London. Its course was from west to east! Sego is in lat. -14° 10' and 2° 26' W. long. from Greenwich.
The direction of the course of the river, which Mr. Park fully ascertained, shows that it is neither the Senegal nor the Gambia ; and indeed the old accounts which describe a large river running eastward called Neel el Abeed, the river of flaves, and Foliba, the great water, are supported by our traveller. The former appellation is that which it received from the Moors: the negroes gave it the latter. As the Niger thus · runs eastward, the great chain of mountains, equally the source of the Niger, the Senegal, and the Gambia, must be much nearer to the western coast than geographers have fuppofed. This circumstance, however, is not fingular; for, on the continent of Afia, the mountainous chain which pervades the peninfula very nearly approaches the sea on the west.
Sego is built on both fides of the Niger ; and its population, its commerce, and its various conveniences, in the heart of Africa, give a great and an unexpected gratification. The inhabitants amount to about thirty thousand. The houses are in the Moorish style ; they are white-washed, and have fiat roofs. The boats are long and narrow, and are formed of two large trees, hollowed and joined at the ends.
Mr. Park was prevented from waiting on the sovereign of the country, by a message from bim, inquiring into the inotives of his journey, and directing him to a distant village. The inhabitants were afraid or unwilling to receive him ; and he was rescued from his habitation under a tree, to which he had fled for shelter during a thunder storm, by the hospitable kindness of a negro woman. She protected and fed him ; and, while the family toiled all night, in spinning cotton, Mr. Park found himself the fubject of this fimple, plaintive, ditty. $ The wind roared, and the rain fell : the poor white man,
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faint and weary, came and sat under our tree. He has no mo, ther to bring him milk; no wife to grind his corn.-Chorus, Let us pity the white man, no mother has he, &c.'
This village, our adventurer foon found, was not a place of rest. The king would perhaps have countenanced and protected him, had bis story been probable: but that a man should brave so many dangers, and travel to far, only to see a country with which he had not the flightest connection, appeared very unlikely. He suspected some finister motive; and the slavemerchants were eager to keep his suspicions alive. He made a present, however, of five thousand kowries to Mr. Park, and ordered a guide to accompany him in a part of his journey. Our traveller was assured by this guide, that an attempt to penetrate farther along the banks of the Niger would be highly dangerous, and that Tombuctoo was inhabited by Moorith fanatics of the most cruel nature and habits. Not discouraged, he perfevered in his attempt, and earnestly endeavoured to reach Tombuctoo. He arrived at a town called Kabba, fituated in a beautiful country, highly cultivated. It was the feason of gathering the fruit from which the tree-butter is inade. It were to be wilhed, that this, as well as the bread-fruit tree, could be conveyed to our Welt-Indian islands, that a cominon luxury might be so easily procured from the fruit of vegetables.
Mr. Park, proceeding along the Niger, found that it expanded in breadth, and was enlivened by many beautiful and fertile islands ;, but its banks were inhabited by Moors of the moll, savage race, and negroes almost equally ignorant and fe.. rocious. It was therefore impracticable for him to profecute his intended journey; and, thus disappointed, he began his homeward course. He was then at an inconsiderable distance from Jenné, which is situated in an island on the river. At a more remote spot, the Niger empties itself into a lake called Dibbie, or the dark lake, to wide, that, in crossing it from west to east, the navigators of the canoes usually lose sight of land for almost a whole day. From this lake, the water ifa fues in several streams: two of these encircle a large island, called Jimbala, and unite at the port of Tombuctoo. The direction of these itreams is north-east and east; and the dias fance from Jenné to Tombuctoo requires a journey of twelve days. Farther eastward, little is known of the course of the river, and nothing of its termination, Silla, the limit of our author's travels, is, in lat. 14° 48' N. and 1° 24W, Ion. Houffa is farther eastward, to the south of the Niger ; anci this town, Jenné, and Tombuctoo, are much more confiderable than Sego. Between the two former,
a pottery of importance. The earthen ware is of good confiftence, but not