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joining. It was impossible to count the number of his ladies, they were so densely packed, and so very numerous. If I might judge by their smiles, they appeared as glad to see us as their master. The king was dressed in a white tobe, or large shirt, with a blue one under; round his neck some three strings of large blue cut-glass beads : and on his head the imitation of an European crown of blue cotton covered over pasteboard, made apparently by some European, and sent up to him from the coast. We waited about half an hour until all inquiries had been made respecting our health, and the fatigues of our jour. ney.”
“The caboceers from the country were attended by their bowmen. They are required to wait upon, and first to prostrate themselves before, the chief eunuch, with dust on their heads. When any one speaks to the king, he must do it stretched at full length on the ground, and it must be said to him through the eunuch, who is also prostrated by his side. When equals meet, they kneel on one knee; women kneel on both knees, the elbows resting on the ground.”
“Tuesday, 14th.—This morning I waited on Yarro with my present, which consisted of the following articles : a large blue silk umbrella, one of Tatham's African swords, three fathoms of blue cloth, three fathoms of red, some red beads and coral, an imitation gold chain, two bottles of rum, two phosphorus boxes, four knives, and six pair of scissors, and some prints. The cloth I had spread out at full length : the large mock coral beads he shook at the naked young females, as much as to say, Which of you will get these? On seeing the sword he could not restrain his delight, and drawing it, and brandishing it around his head, he called out, Ya baturi! Ya baturi.! Oh, my white lord! Oh, my white lord!' He was certainly more pleased than any man I ever saw with a present; his eyes sparkled with joy, and he shook me about a dozen times by the hand. I pressed the necessity of my departure, which he said should be the day after to-morrow. I then took my leave; and a short time after returning to my house he sent me some milk and a sheep; and in the afternoon, by his head man, Abubecker, an earthenware jug to look at : it was of English earthenware, representing old Toby Philpot with a flowing jug of ale in his hand. I have seen more European articles, such as earthenware jugs, brass and pewter dishes, pieces of woollen and cotton cloth, within these two days that I have been in Kiama, than I saw during the whole time I was in Yourriba.'
“After the heat of the day was over, Yarro came, attended by all his train. The most extraordinary persons in it were himself and the bearers of his spears, which, as before, were six naked young girls, from fifteen to seventeen years of age. The only thing they wore was a white bandeau, or fillet of white cloth, round the forehead, about six inches of the ends flying behind, and a string of beads round their waists ; in their right hands they carried three light spears each. Their light form, the vivacity of their eyes, and the ease with which they appeared to fly orer the ground, made them appear something more than mortal as they flew alongside of his horse, when he was galloping, and making his horse curvet and bound. A man with an immense bundle of spears remained behind at a little distance, apparently to serve as a magazine for the girls to be supplied from, when their master had expended those they carried in their hands."
The volume of which we have thus given so copious an abstract, is the last in which are recorded the researches of African travellers. Since the death of Clapperton, however, two persons have followed, whose narratives we hope to have an opporportunity of noticing at an early period. Just before the arrival of Denham and Clapperton in England, Major Laing, who had returned from his expedition on the sea coast, set off for Tripoli, with the intention of proceeding thence directly to Tombuctoo. On the 27th of October 1825, he left Gadamis, the frontier town of the kingdom of Tripoli, on the south-west, and passing the
great desert, reached Tombuctoo on the 18th of August following. After a residence there of little more than a month, he was forced to leave it on account of the intrigues of some of the neighbouring chiefs, who were very inimical to him. Setting out with a coffila, in the direction of Sansanding, and with the intention of pursuing a route directly to the Atlantic, he was attacked on the third day by the Moors of the country and killed.
The journey of M. Caillé, the other person to whom we alluded, was more successful. This gentleman appears to have passed many years in the French settlements on the Senegal river, and thus to have acquired a good knowledge of the native languages of these countries. Animated with the desire of visiting the interior, he set out alone, as a Mahometan merchant, from Kakondy, on the 19th April 1827, and crossing the mountain range so often mentioned, reached the Niger. At the town of Jenné, he embarked in a large canoe, which was part of a mercantile Antilla, crossed lake Dibbie, and proceeding down the stream, landed at Kabra, which he found to be only five miles from Tombuctoo. After a short residence in that city, he returned northward across the desert, and reached Tangiers on the 14th of September last. As he was so fortunate as to preserve the journals of his long, bold, and interesting journey, there can be no doubt that the publication of them will be full of interest, and we accordingly await it with much expectation.
We have thus rapidly conducted our readers through the history of African discoveries, for more than two thousand years, and they cannot fail to be struck with the difficulty and tardy progress which have attended the solution of this, certainly the most obscure problem in geographical science. Of the history, manners, numbers, and even existence, of how considerable a portion of our fellow-creatures are we profoundly ignorant; of extensive and various nations spreading over a large surface of a great continent, how few are known to us even by name; with the natural features, the mountains, the soil, the climate, and the streams, how little are we acquainted ! About one single river, after the researches, the discoveries, and the theories of centuries, we are more perplexed than before they were made. First it rises far in the west, and mingling with the river of Egypt, passes over a course of four thousand miles to the Mediterranean; then we hear of it flowing from the east, and pouring into the Atlantic; then the Senegal and the Gambia are assigned as its outlets; then again it is found to run in an opposite direction, and geographers differ as to its termination, whether continuing, as at first supposed, to the Nile, or turning south, and pouring its vast body of waters through the Congo into the Atlantic; and last of all, travellers who reach the very spot where it was said VOL. V. --yo. 10.
to be, look for it in vain. We are little disposed to trouble our readers with any theory of our own, which the next book of travels would probably disprove, yet we cannot avoid expressing a belief, that the principal confusion has arisen from blending together as one, a variety of streams flowing through central Africa. The merchants and travellers who have rapidly passed in caravans from one town to another, in the same general direction, have supposed the rivers they met, from time to time, to be the same, and thus formed them into the mighty Niger. The actual course of that stream has never been pursued throughout, even in report, by a single traveller; and we feel little doubt, that when it shall be, instead of a vast river, passing through broad lakes, and extending thousands of miles in the interior, it will be found to roll, after no very extended course, into the Atlantic, by the channel of the Formosa, the Congo, or some other well known outlet.
Whether such a discovery, however, is destined to be made by an European, the sad record we have already made seems to render doubtful; for, in that fatal climate, death has fixed his favourite throne, and the ardour of youth, the confidence of health, the precautions of prudence, are equally unavailing to stay his hand, or to avert his power; nor these only—the holy zeal of pious affection spreads around the daring traveller no charm; for one of the last victims who has perished, might have truly claimed this, had it been a talisman of protection. The son of Mungo Park cherished, from his earliest youth, the firm resolution of endeavouring to reach the spot where his father perished, and ascertaining the causes and incidents of his death; to this one object he bent all his thoughts, and as soon as he was of age, landed on the fatal shore, full of health, of zeal, and of promise; less happy than the son of Ulysses, he was neither destined to discover the parent he had lost, nor to return to her whom he had left.
This opinion, we perceive, is given by that learned and venerable geogra. pher, Major Rennell, in the last number of the London Quarterly Review. It is one which would so naturally occur to a person whose thoughts or studies have been directed to the subject, that perhaps the coincidence is scarcely worth noting. We may remark, however, that the above sentence was written some months before tlie publication of the English work.
Art. II.-Milton's Familiar Letters, translated from the
Latin, with Notes. By John Hall. Philadelphia : E. Littell: 1829. pp. 120.
The familiar letters of the great English poet are scarcely mentioned by his biographers, and are locked up in a language accessible only to the learned, or contained in the larger editions, which seldom enter into the libraries of ordinary readers. Yet they were by their author deemed worthy of publication during his lifetime, and the relics of such a mind can never cease to be objects of curiosity to such as have learnt to appreciate the genius and erudition of that immortal sage and patriot. It is therefore due to the author of this little work to say, that he has laid us under an obligation of no ordinary kind, by presenting to English readers these precious morsels of literature, stamped with the characteristics of a mind which never fails to astonish us after a thousand contemplations.
We remember somewhere to have seen several portraits of Milton, taken at different periods of his life. The first presents to our view the “lady of Christ's College, »* the comely youth, whose symmetry of feature was alike celebrated in Italy and Britain. In the second, we behold the fair unwrinkled brow of the man and the poet, yet not without the lines of thought, and the serene gravity of one who surveyed the eventful changes of his nation with the proud independence of an ancient philosopher. And last appears the melancholy representation of the same face, furrowed by contention and care, and marred by the unmerciful hand of time. If it is pleasing and instructive to connect with the mere physiognomy, the circumstances, character, and labours of the poet at any period, it will surely be no unprofitable task to peruse the confidential expressions of sentiment, which, from time to time, throughout life, such a man has committed to an epistolary form. The private letters of Milton, few as they are in number, have a peculiar value, as they are almost the only memorials which we possess of the ordinary and unshackled movements of his mind. No relics of his conversation have been chronicled; no book-maker took notes of his pregnant apophthegms and pointed satire. The simple-hearted Quaker, who was honoured with his intimacy, seemed to have no thought of publishing reminiscences, or Miltoniana ; and the few hints which he has left, are only sufficient to excite our regret that we have no more.
As a politician, a poet, and a man, the character of Milton has
“A quibusdam nuper audivi Domina.” Prolus. Acad.
been amply discussed, yet there hangs a veil over the secrecy of his private life, which modern curiosity would desire to raise, but which threatens still to cover with its shades the delightful scenes which a contemporary might have sketched. And what admirer of this ornament of England and of letters, would not desire to learn by what advances his youthful mind made progress in the career of science, and how he was wont to discourse with the tutor whom he has immortalized by his affectionate correspondence, and his reverent tribute of poetic eulogy ?* We cannot but believe that he who bowed so long and so devoutly at the united altars of liberty and truth, had early felt the inspiration which haliowed the productions of his later years.
We learn from his biographers, that he was, while at St. Paul's school, an enthusiastic and persevering student, and the remains of his youthful writings are sufficient to convince us, that his time was employed in enriching a mind by nature comprehensive and precocious. The chasms in literary history, imagination delights to fill with pictures which correspond with recorded facts. When we learn that the juvenile scholar was accustomed to spend half his nights in study, we represent him to our minds as holding communication with the mighty dead of the ancient republics, and imbibing at the fountains of Greece and Rome, that love of the beautiful and virtuous which characterized his philosophic soul.
Never has a modern scholar drunk more deeply at the well spring of antiquity. His learning was not the accumulation of facts and phrases which is made by the mere classic, or the familiarity with obsolete and foreign idiom and style which distinguishes the critic. He had a more lofty idea of true erudition. “Nos grammaticis atque criticis, quorum summa laus aut in alienis lucubrationibus edendis, aut librariorum mendulis corrigendis versatur, industriam quidem ac literarum scientiam, doctrinæ etiam haud contemnendæ laudem, ac præmia libenter concedimus, magni cognomen haud largimur. Is solus magnus est appellandus, qui res magnas aut gerit, aut docet, aut dignè scribit;"+ a sentiment worthy of a place among the choicest maxims of the scholar. Dr. Johnson concurs with Hampton, in the opinion that Milton was the first Englishman, who, after the revival of letters, wrote Latin verses with classic elegance. But this was a small part of his attainments. He had caught the very spirit of philosophy, and burned with the enthusiasm of those who in ancient days lived in an ideal world, and meditated changes which the spirit of the age could not sustain. He seized the torch of liberty, which had been passing from hand to hand,
* Eleg. IV.