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The shuddering fancy only guessed his doom,
An age elapsed : when men were dead or gray
The Glory of God in Creation.-PRESIDENT EDWARDS.
AFTER this, my sense of divine things gradually increased, and became more and more lively, and had more of that inward sweetness. The appearance of every object was altered; there seemed to be, as it were, a calm, sweet cast or appearance of divine glory in almost every thing. God's excellency, his wisdom, his purity and love, seemed to appear in every thing ;-in the sun, moon and stars, in the clouds and blue sky; in the grass, flowers, trees; in the water, and all nature, which used greatly to fix my
mind. I often used to sit and view the moon for a long time, and in the day spent much time in viewing the clouds and sky, to behold the sweet glory of God in these things; in the mean time singing forth, with a low voice, my contemplations of the Creator and Redeemer. And scarce any thing, among all the works of nature, was so sweet to me as thunder and lightning; formerly nothing had been so terrible to me. Before, I used to be uncommonly affrighted with thunder, and to be struck with terror when I saw a thunder-storm rising; but now, on the contrary, it rejoiced me. I felt God, if I may so speak, at the first appearance of a thunder-storm,
and used to take the opportunity, at such times, to fix myself in order to view the clouds, and see the lightnings play, and hear the majestic and awful voice of God's thunder, which oftentimes was exceedingly entertaining, leading me to sweet contemplations of my great and glorious God. While thus engaged, it always seemed natural for me to sing or chant forth my meditations, or to speak my thoughts in soliloquies with a singing voice.
The Landers sailing down the Niger.
At three in the afternoon, we offered up a prayer to the Almighty Disposer of all human events for protection on our future voyage, that he would deign to extend to us his all-saving power among the lawless barbarians it was our lot to be obliged to pass. Having done this, we next ordered Pascoe and our people to commence loading the
I shall never forget them, poor fellows; they were all in tears, and trembled with fear.
One of them, named Antonio, a native of Bonny, and son to the late chief of that river, who had joined us from his majesty's brig the Clinker, with the consent of Lieutenant Matson, her commander, was as much affected as the rest, but on a different account. For himself, he said that he did not care; his own life was of no consequence. All he feared was, that my
brother and I should be murdered: he loved us dearly : he had been with us ever since we had left the sea, and it would be as bad as dying himself to see us killed.
At half-past four in the afternoon, in pursuance of our plan, we bade adieu to the kind inhabitants of Kacunda, and, every thing having been conveyed to the canoe, and our men in their places, we embarked and pushed off the shore in sight of multitudes of people. We worked our way with incredible difficulty through the morass, before we were enabled to get into the body of the stream. The poor natives gazed at us with astonishment, and followed us with their eyes as long as they could, no doubt expecting that we should never be seen or heard of more.
We were now fairly off, and prepared ourselves for the worst. “Now," said I, “my boys,” as our boat glided down with the stream, “let us all stick together. I hope that we have none among us who will flinch, come what may.” Antonio and Sam said they were determined to stick to us to the last. The former I have before alluded to; the latter is a native of Sierra Leone ; and I believe them both to be firm fellows when required. Old Pascoe and Jowdie, two of my former people, I knew could be depended on; but the new ones, although they boasted much when they found that there was no avoiding it, I had not much dependence on, as I had not had an opportunity of trying them. We directed the four muskets and two pistols to be loaded with ball and slugs, determined that our opponents, whoever they might be, should meet with a warm reception; and, having made every preparation for our defence which we thought would be availing, and encouraging our little band to behave themselves gallantly, we gave three hearty cheers, and commended ourselves to Providence.
Our little vessel moved on in grand style under the vigorous and animated exertions of our men. , There were no tears now; and I thought, as they propelled her along with more than their usual strength, that they felt they were a match for any canoe that would dare to attack us. Shortly after leaving Kacunda, the river took a turn due south, between tolerably high hills; the strength of the current continued much about the same. A few miles farther on, we observed a branch of the Niger, rather
diminutive, running off in a westerly direction; but are not certain whether this was only a creek, or a branch of the river: the banks of it were covered with palm-trees, and little hills were scattered over them. We found ourselves opposite a large spreading town, from which issued a great and confused noise, as of a multitude quarrelling, or as the waves of the sea rolling upon a rocky beach; we saw also other towns on the western bank of the river, but we cautiously avoided them all. The evening was calm and serene, the heat of the day was over, the moon and stars now afforded us an agreeable light, every thing was still and pleasant; we glided smoothly and silently down the stream, and for a long while we saw little to excite our fears, and heard nothing but a gentle rustling of the leaves, occasioned by the wind, the noise of our paddles, or, now and then, the plashing of fishes, as they leaped out of the water.
About midnight, we observed lights from a village, to which we were very close, and heard people dancing, singing and laughing in the moonshine outside their huts. We made haste over to the opposite side, to get away, for fear of a lurking danger, and we fancied that a light was following us, but it was only a "will-o'-the-wisp,” or some such thing, and trees soon hid it from our sight. After the moon had gone down, it became rather cloudy, so that we could not discern the way as plainly as we could have wished, and the consequence was, that we were suddenly drifted by the current into an eddy, and, in spite of all our exertions to get out of it, we swept over into a small, shallow channel which had been formed by the overflowing of the river, and it cost two hours' hard labor to get into the main stream again. The course of the river was turned to the south-east by a range of very high hills.
We also passed a great number of islands.
Monday, Oct. 25th. At one, A. M. the direction of the river changed to south-south-west, running between
immensely high hills. At five o'clock this morning, we found ourselves nearly opposite a very considerable river, entering the Niger from the eastward; it appeared to be three or four miles wide at its mouth, and on the bank we saw a large town, one part of which faced the river, and the other the Quorra. We at first supposed it to be an arm of that river, and running from us; and therefore directed our course for it. We proceeded up it a short distance, but, finding the current against us, and that it increased as we got within its entrance, and our people being tired, we were compelled to give up the attempt, and were easily swept back into the Niger. Consequently we passed on, but determined on making inquiries concerning it the first convenient opportunity. conclude this to be the Tshadda, and the large town we have alluded to to be Cuttumcurrafee, the same which had been mentioned to us by the old mallam. At all events, we had satisfied ourselves it was not a branch of the Niger. The banks on both sides, as far as we could see up it, were very high, and appeared verdant and fertile.
The morning was dull and cloudy; yet, as soon as the sun had partially dispersed the mists which hung over the valleys and upon the little hills, we could distinguish irregular mountains jutting up almost close to the water's edge, whose height we were prevented even from guessing at; because their summits were involved in clouds, or enwrapped in vapors, which yet lingered about their sides. A double range of elevated hills appeared beyond them on the south-east side; and on the north-west side a chain of lesser hills extended as far as the eye could discern. They appeared very sterile. Those on the north-west were formed of clumps, very much resembling the shape of those we had seen in Yarriba, which are here called the Kong mountains.
At seven o'clock, the Niger seemed free of islands, and clear of morasses, on both sides, and its banks were well