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comed them to life and liberty, while tears trickled down his manly cheeks, and the sudden rush of all the generous and sympathetic feelings of his heart nearly choked his utterance.' Mr. Riley describes the meeting as so affecting, that Rais Bel-Cossim wept and hid himself behind a wall, that none might witness so degrading and womanish a weakness in a Moor.
Mr. Willshire conducted them to his house, had them all cleansed, clothed, and fed, and spared no pains nor expense in procuring every comfort, and in administering with his own hands, night and day, such refreshment as their late severe sufferings and debility required. A fact is mentioned which describes better than a whole volume could do the miserable condition to which these unfortunate men were reduced. 'At the instance of Mr. Willshire,' Riley says, I was weighed, and fell short of ninety: pounds, though my usual weight, for the last ten years, had been over two hundred and forty pounds: the weight of my compa nions was less than I dare to mention, for I apprehend it would not be believed, that the bodies of men, retaining the vital spark, should not weigh forty pounds!'
The miserable condition to which those unfortunate beings, who fall into the hands of the inhuman Arabs, are reduced, calls to our recollection the observation made by Mr. Dupuis, in a note on Adams's statement of the brutal treatment which he had experienced at Wed-noon; that the general effect on the minds of Christian captives was most deplorable; that on their first arrival at Mogadore, they appeared lost to reason and feeling, and all their faculties sunk in a species of stupor-indifferent to every thing around them-'abject, servile, and brutified.'-Riley thus describes his own situation.
My mind, which (though my body was worn down to a skeleton) had been hitherto strong, and supported me through all my trials, distresses, and sufferings, and enabled me to encourage and keep up the spirits of my frequently despairing fellow sufferers, could no longer sustain me my sudden change of situation seemed to have relaxed the very springs of my soul, and all my faculties fell into the wildest confusion. The unbounded kindness, the goodness, and whole attention of Mr. Willshire, who made use of all the soothing language of which the most affectionate brother or friend is capable, tended but to ferment the tempest that was gathering in my brain.. I became delirious-was bereft of my senses-and for the space of three days, knew not where I was. When my reason returned, I found I had been constantly attended by Mr Willshire, and generally kept in my room, though he would sometimes persuade me to walk in the gallery with him, and used every means in his power to restore and compose my bewildered senses that I had remained continually bathed in tears and shudder-. ing at the sight of every human being, fearing I should again be carried into slavery. I had slunk into the darkest corner of my room;
but, though insensible, I seemed to know the worth of my friend and deliverer, and would agree to, and comply with, his advice and directions.' (p. 301.)
The reflections to which the horrors of his late sufferings and slavery and his providential escape from them gave rise, kept him almost constantly bathed in tears, for the greater part of a month.
When I had retired to rest and sleep had closed my eyes, my mind, still retaining the strong impression of my past sufferings, made them the subjects of my dreams. I used to rise in my sleep, and think I was driving camels up and down the sand hills near the Desert, or along the craggy steeps of Morocco; obeying my master's orders in putting on the fetters, or beckets, on the legs and knees of his camels, and in the midst of my agonizing toils and heart-sickening anxieties, while groping about my room, I would hit my head against something, which would startle and awaken me: then I would throw myself on my bed again to sleep, and dream and act over similar scenes.' (p. 310.)
.. The addition which Mr. Riley has afforded to our information, respecting the geography and natural history of the Great Desert of Africa, amounts to very little, and that little, not very accurate. We ought not to be surprized, as Riley observes, that one weighed down with weariness and despair, suffering under the most excruciating bodily pains and the most cruel privations, should sometimes mistake one route for another or have erred in the computation of distances, in travelling over a vast, smooth, and trackless desert:-but, we cannot avoid wondering that a seaman,' and, as his American friends call him, a man of intelligence,' should uniformly, throughout the whole of his book, mistake the west for east, and the south for north; or, in other words, that, in his whole journey towards Mogadore, he should carry us, in his book, towards Abyssinia. In his dates too he is equally careless, travelling the same day twice over, (p. 181) and mistaking the month, (p. 286) and travelling, and remaining still, on the same day and in the same page, (p. 132.)—what is perhaps still more extraordinary, we have dates in abundance while naked and deprived of all means of keeping a journal, but not a single one from the time the travellers reach the 'habitations of men,' where materials could so easily be had to enable them to register events. The mistakes we allude to are not owing to any lapse of his memory, which he tells us, indeed, is naturally a retentive one, but to oversights which ought to have been avoided, as they very materially affect the fidelity of the narrative, and the accuracy of his observations.
The Great Desert of Africa is a barren subject: but in a geological point of view, the extent and grandeur of its barrenness render it interesting. Riley's account of it, as far as he saw,
agrees with the description usually given, of its being an elevated plain, presenting to the eye an extended surface of uniform sterility, but broken here and there by small valleys or dells, of a few miles or a few acres, in which a little soil or sand collected and moistened with the scanty rains that fall, produces a glimpse of verdure from a few stunted plants-the only ones noticed by Riley are, a dwarf thorn-bush,' from two to five feet in height, with succulent leaves, strongly impregnated with salt; and two or three prickly plants resembling weeds,' one of which, from its fluted branches, armed with small sharp prickles all over,' and the 'nauseous white liquid' which bites the tongue like aquafortis,' we take to be a species of euphorbium. This is but a miserable catalogue of the vegetable kingdom; and as to animals, they saw none of any description, except the ostrich. Near the skirts of the Desert and ou the sea shore about Cape Bojador, the hard, uniform, baked surface of reddish coloured clay is changed into immense heaps of loose sand, forming mountains of from one to three or four hundred feet in height, blown and whirled about by every wind." Mr. Riley has a theory for the formation of these sand hills, but it unfortunately does not speak much in favour of his 'intelligence." This sand, he says, has evidently been driven from the sea shore, and in the same degree as the ocean has retired, by means of the trade-wind blowing constantly on to the Desert through a long succession of ages.' Whether the sea has retired is mere matter of conjecture; but the blowing of the trade-wind is matter of fact; and, unluckily for the author's theory, during the succession' of those ages,' since we know any thing about it, instead of blowing on, it has invariably blown off the Desert.
Leaving Mr. Riley, therefore, to the enjoyment of his theory, which he thinks so evident;' and omitting his account of the Emperor of Morocco's dominions, which, though we have the testimony of Mr. Renshaw, the gentleman we have mentioned to be connected with the house of Willshire, as to its accuracy, have been often described by others, and recently noticed by ourselves, we proceed to what we consider as by far the most curious part of the book; treating on a subject which throws open a new field of speculation, by taking a new view of the long agitated question of the course of the Niger. We acquit Mr. Riley of any knowledge or participation in the theories which have been entertained on this interesting subject; he seems to triumph even in his sagacious conjectures and explanations on points which had been conjectured and explained long before his sufferings and captivity,'-but of which he appears to have no knowledge; his map is altogether worthless, and his course of the Niger does not agree with his relation of Sidi Hamet's travels: his countrymen, in fact, are but indifferent geographers.
Sidi Hamet, whom we have had occasion so frequently to mention, remained for a fortnight in Mr. Willshire's house; in the course of conversation, he happened to mention his having been three times at Tombuctoo, and once at another large city far to the southward of it. To a resident at Mogadore, it is no novelty to meet with Moors and Arabs who have accompanied the annual caravans into Soudan from lower Suze; Mr. Dupuis had frequent opportunities of conversing with such persons; and he has borne testimony to the general agreement of their descriptions with the account given by the unlettered seaman, Robert Adams. However, to gratify Riley's curiosity, Sidi Hamet was induced to give an account of his travels, which our author took down in writing. Mr. Riley entertains no doubt of the truth of the Arab's narrative; and says that his description of Tombuctoo agrees in substance with that given by several Moorish merchants of Fez, who came to Mr. Willshire's house to buy goods, while Sidi Hamet was there; and who said they had known him in Tombuctoo several years ago. We may add, it agrees too in substance with the description given of this celebrated city by Leo Africanus; and, in all the main points, with the more recent account of Adams. Of the simplicity of Adams's story, and of the veracity of his narrative, we have already delivered our opinion; and we are happy in having it in our power to add to this opinion, the testimony of one far more capable of appreciating the validity of the evidence than we could pretend to be-it is that of the intelligent traveller whom we mentioned in our notice of Mr. Legh's work, and who, at this moment, is probably a resident of Tombuctoo. This person had received, it appears, in the heart of Egypt,-and here we must be permitted to indulge a mingled feeling of pride and pleasure at the unbounded circulation of our labours,-that Number of our Journal in which the narrative of Adams is reviewed; and the description there given, he writes, accords exactly with all the information which he had been able to collect of that celebrated city, from the · Arab traders met with in Nubia :-the only doubt, he adds, which he entertained of the fidelity of Adams's narrative, was occasioned by that part where, after leaving Tombuctoo, he says that they traversed the Desert for thirty days without water; a circumstance which the traveller above mentioned states to be physically impossible, as no camel, even those of Darfur, which are accounted the best, and able to hold out the longest without water, can proceed beyond ten or twelve days. The Nubian traveller however ob
* Leo Africanus, who, like Marco Polo, when he speaks of his own knowledge, is generally accurate, observes, that the African camel will travel fifteen days without water. Mr. Riley, indeed, asserts, that a camel will go twenty days without water: but he also says, and believes, that the Arabs of the Desert very frequently attain the age of two hundred years, which may be possible, but of which we must take leave to doubt.
serves, that he had not seen the narrative itself, but only that part of it which is contained in the Quarterly Review. We have turned to the Article in question, and though it does not bear the construction a put upon it, yet, as we find it liable to be misunderstood, we cons sider it but just to the reputation of Adams, to take the blame to ourselves for any misunderstanding that may arise. Adams says that, at Tudenny, where there were four wells of excellent water, they remained fourteen days to recruit the strength of the ran somed Moors; that on setting out they loaded their four camels with water, dates, and flour; that from thence they travelled, in one direction, nine and twenty days across the Desert, without meeting with one human being; the whole way being a sandy plain, like a sea, without either tree, shrub, or grass; that at the end of fourteen days, their stock of water began to run short; that, in six days after this, they arrived at a place where it was expected water would be found; but, to their great disappointment, owing to the dryness of the season, there was none; that, at this time, all their stock of water consisted of four goat skins, and those not full, holding from one to two gallons each--but that, as it was known they had yet ten days to travel before they could reckon on a supply, they mixed the remaining water with camel's urine, so as to give to each camel about a quart for the whole ten days, and for each man about half a pint a day. So that, in fact, the camels were only stinted for water the last ten days of the thirty.
But to return to Sidi Hamet. This Arab trader stated that, about ten years before, having married the daughter of Scheik Ali, he and his brother Seid were advised by him to join the caravan at Wed-noon for Tombuctoo; that it consisted of three thousand camels and eight hundred men; the whole under the command of Scheik Ben Soleyman of Woldeleim, (Woled d'leim;) that having prepared the necessary quantity of charcoal, (for a purpose we shall notice presently,) they first crossed the hard level desert four days, then through the moving sand hills six days, and again over the hard naked surface ten days more, when they reached the watering-place called Biblah, where they stopped seven days. Travelling from hence to the S. W. (it should be S. E.) twenty days, they came to the well called Kiber Jibil, but there was no water in it. They were therefore obliged to go six days towards the sea coast, till they came to a well whose water was very black and salt; but there was nothing for the camels to eat, and they were obliged to give them of the coals to eat, once a day, for many days; this kept them alive, but it made their milk almost as black as the coals themselves.' Feeding camels with charcoal is, we confess, perfectly new to us. At first we apprehended that it was either some mistake of Riley or an error of the press, and