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coloured very handsomely, and adorned with fine feathers. He rides on the back of a huge beast called Elfement, (el feel, an elephant,) three times as thick as my great camel, and a great deal higher, with a very long nose and great teeth, and almost as black as the negroes. Neither the king nor the people pray like the Moslemins, but jump about, fall down, tear their faces as if they were mad, when any of their friends die; and they make a feast at new moons and dance all night; they are very hospitable, and · I hope,' says Sidi, 'the time is near, when the faithful, and they that fear God and his prophet, will turn them to the true belief, or drive them away from this goodly land.' We must give the following passage in Sidi's own words, or rather we should say in the words of Mr. Riley.
The inhabitants catch a great many fish; they have boats made of great trees, cut off and hollowed out, that will hold ten, fifteen, or twenty negroes, and the brother of the king told one of my
Moslemin companions who could understand him, (for I could not,) that he was going to set out in a few days with sixty boats, and to carry five hundred slaves down the river, first to the southward and then to the westward, where they should come to the great water, and sell them to pale people, who came there in great boats, and brought musquets and powder, and tobacco, and blue cloth, and knives, &c.; he said it was a great way, and would take him three moons to get there, and he should be gone twenty moons before he could get back by land, but should be very rich.'- - We saw a great many of these people who had been down the river to see the great water, with slaves and teeth, and came back again: they said, the pale people lived in great boats, and had guns as big as their bodies, that made a noise like thunder, ånd would kill all the people in a hundred negro boats, if they went too near them.'--p. 341.
While they stopped at Wassanah it rained every day. This incidental mention of the constant rains is favourable to the veracity of Sidi Hamet's narrative. He left Tombuctoo in the month of Shual, (December,) which is the dry season; he arrived in March, when the sun crosses the line into the northern latitudes; and he remains before Wassanah all April and May, having had the sun on both sides of him, and, consequently, during the very height of the rainy season. The negroes were very kind and hospitable; they fed them well with rice and barley, milk, and meat. The people of the caravan received, in exchange for their goods, three hundred slaves, and a great many teeth, dazzling stones, and shells, and gold; and with these they returned the same way they had come, which took them three moons, including stoppages.
If Sidi Hamet, in presence of his brother, Mr. Willshire, and Mr. Savage, told this story, which Riley took down on the spot, we see no reason whatever to call in question the general truth of it;-if no such story was told, and we are to consider the whole as a fiction of Riley, not only his American friends, but Mr. Willshire. also, must have egregiously mistaken his character, and with so inany persons able to refute it, he must be the most impudent man alive: we canyot think so meanly of him or of them. It is greatly to be regretted thatour vice-consuls at Mogadore will not give themselves the trouble to question those numerous Moorish merchants and Arab free-booters who have travelled in Soudan, and to compare their several accounts. Mr. Dupuis, we understand, has promised to collect and transmit a statement of this kind, which may throw considerable light on this mysterious country; in the mean time, let us see what can be made out from the expedition and information of Sidi Hamet.
The whole of the ground travelled over by this Arab from Kabra, (adding three days for the descent of the mountainous country, which was six in the ascent,) occupied him sixty days; the first six in the direction of east, a little southerly, the remainder generally about south east. As they travelled with asses, we can not give more than fifteen English miles a day, which, with frequent stoppages, and good feed, this animal will easily perform. This calculation, on a rough estimate, would place the city of Wassanah in about lat. 7° N. long. 14° E. At the end of six days, from Tombuctoo or Kabra, a chain of mountains running S.E. deflected the river from its easterly course into that direction. These mountains continue to accompany the river for twenty-seven days, when the country became more flat, and several small streams fell into the great river from the eastward.
That the chain of mountains, whose situation corresponds pretty nearly with the Jibbel Kumri of Abulfeda, should be found to stretch away to the southward, is more consistent with the physical geography of Africa, as far as regards the distribution of its mountainous ranges, than that great belt of three thousand miles in extent which some modern geographers, by uniting the mountains of Kong with those of Kumri, (on what authority we know not,) have stretched across the continent of Africa from east to west, appearing on the charts like a large cornelian necklace. continued chain, in this direction, is not only not analogous to the general arrangement of African mountains, as far as they are known, but is totally unlike any thing on the rest of the globe ;-whereas, a south-easterly range naturally falls in with the direction of the ele vated regions of Nubia, Sennaar, and Abyssinia, in North Africa, and with those chains of mountains which stretch behind Mosama bique to the southward, as far as the Cape of Good Hope.
Such a chain as we are supposing will clear up, as we conceive, some difficulties respecting the long disputed course of the Niger: we say disputed, because though Mr. Park, from ocular evidence, bas proved its course to be to the eastward as far as Silla, yet from the testimony of Edresși and Abulfeda, supported by more modern
authorities, it can scarcely be doubted that the Nile of the Negroes, or, as Abulfeda also calls it, the Nile of Ghana, as well as all the waters falling from the west of Nubia and Sennaar, run to the westward. It is true, 'as Major Rennel has observed, that these opinions furnish no proofs of continuity of course: certainly not; but they furnish a strong presumption, and go very far to establish the fact, that the Niger, or Nile of the Negroes, has two courses, one from the west to east, by Silla and Tonbuctoo; the other from east to west, through Wangara, Ghana and Kassina. If these two courses, which are in fact two distinct rivers, meet at all, they must meet in some common receptacle, as an inland sea or lake; this is Major Rennel's argument against the course of the river at Kassina being to the westward, because, he says, we have not heard of any such receptacle. By Sidi Hamet's narrative they do not meet on this side Wassanah, and consequently the notion of such a receptacle is rendered unnecessary; it inoreover reconciles the contradictory opinions that have been maintained respecting the opposite directions in which the Niger has been represented to flow; by separating the two streams, not with a lake, but by an intermediate ridge of elevated ground; by this interposition of a southeastern range of mountains, the Niger of the West is sent off to the southward, leaving the Niger of the East to find its way on the opposite side of this range, to the sea of Soudan, (if any such exists) or to the lakes or swamps of Ghana and Wangara, which remain in their conjectural position undisturbed ; and whose waters are as free to escape to the southward, or to be evaporated according to Major Rennel's hypothesis, as if no such chain of mountains existed. Still the important question arises, Where are we to look for the termination of that Niger which flows past Tombuctoo? Sidi Hamet’s information, if correct, would also decide that point in the way that Park had determined it in his own mind, from the best information we may be well assu
ssured, which he could collect at Sansanding; and which, in our review of his last journey, (No. XXV.) we examined at some length.–To that Number we must refer for the arguments made use of to obviate the objections urged against the hypothesis of the identity of the Niger and the Congo; objections which, in our opinion, we there completely over-ruled. The probability, we understand, of this identity has not been weakened, but, on the contrary, very much strengthened by the late Captain Tuckey's discoveries and observations up the majestic Congo or Zaire, and the information which he obtained from the natives in the interior. That collected at Wassanah by Sidi Hamet goes at once to decide this curious question. He tells us that the boats with slaves go down the river, first to the southward and then to the westward, when in three moons they come to the great water. The distance is somewhat more than from Tombuctoo to Wassanah; the stop
pages occupy, at least, one third of the journey; they seldom exceed, in boat navigation, twenty miles a day; and if the river maintajns (as described by Sidi Hamet, and, as it is said, also by Captain Tuckey) the same character, of being frequently interrupted by rapids and bristled with rocks, frequent portage is unavoidable. With these allowances, the course and distance of the Niger, Zolibib, or Zadi, would lead to the discharge of its waters into the ocean about the 6th parallel of southern latitude. This is certainly curious, and, at all events, offers a new view of the subject;—whether a true or false one, we were in hopes would soon have been decided by Major Peddie; but he too has fallen a victim to zeal for African discovery: the second in command, Lieutenant Campbell, an in-, telligent officer, has however, as we understand, proceeded from the head of the river Nunez across the mountains towards Bammakoo, where Park embarked on the Niger; a hope therefore still remains that the interesting question of the termination of the Niger will yet be solved.
The last extract we shall make from this interesting volume is the account of an attack by Arab robbers of the great united caravan from Tombuctoo to Algiers, Tunis, Tripoli and Fez, which the two brothers accompanied.
Our caravan consisted of about fifteen hundred men, most of us well armed with double-barrelled guns and scimitars, and we had about four thousand camels. It was a long journey to the next well; so we stopped here six days peaceably, having encamped in a valley a little distance west of the pond or lake. We had always made the camels lie down in a circle, placing the goods in the centre, and the men between the camels and the goods; we had two hundred men on guard, and always ready for any emergency. In the night of the sixth day, about two hours after midnight, we were attacked by a very large body of wandering Arabs: they had got to within a few yards of us before they were discovered, and poured in a most destructive fire of musketry, at the same time running in like hungry tigers, with spears and scimitars in their hands, with dreadful yellings :--they threw the whole caravan into confusion for a moment; but we were in a tight circle, formed by the camels, which with the guards kept them off for a short time, till the whole of our men seized their arins and rallied. The battle now raged most furiously; it was cloudy and very dark; the blaze of the powder making only a faint light, whilst the cracking of musketry, the clashing of swords, the shouts of the combatants, and the bellowings of the wounded and frightened camels, together with the groans of the wounded and dying men, made the most dreadful and horrid uproar that can be conceived; the fight continued for about two hours, hand to hand, and breast to breast, when the assailants gave way and ran off, leaving their dead and wounded on the field of battle. We remained with our arms in our hands all night. I was wounded with a ball in my thigh, and Seid with a dagger on his breast.” They then (Riley says) showed me their scars.
66 In the VOL, XVI. NO, XXXII.
morning we numbered our men, and found that two hundred and thirty were killed, and about one hundred wounded: three hundred of the camels were either slain or so badly wounded, that they could not walk, and so we killed them. We found seven hundred of our enemies lying on the ground, either dead or wounded;—those that were badly wounded we killed, to put them out of pain, and carried the others that could walk along with us for slaves: of these there were about one hundred. As the enemy fled, they took all their good camels with them, they had left them at a distance, so that we only found about fifty poor ones, which we killed; but we picked up two hundred and twenty good double-barrelled guns from the ground. The gun which Seid now uses is one of them :-we got also about four hundred scimitars or long knives. We were told by the prisoners that the company who attacker us was upwards of four thousand strong, and that they had been preparing for it three moons. We were afraid of another attack, and went off the same day, and travelled all the night, steering to the N. E. (out of the course the caravans commonly take) twenty-three days' journey, when we came to a place called the Eight Wells, where we found plenty of good water. Fifty of our men had died, and twenty-one of the slaves.” '- pp. 348,9.
Sidi Hamet, who makes so conspicuous a figure in this volume, is no fictitious personage, like his namesake Cid Hamet Benangeli; he is mentioned by Adams and by Dupuis; and, since Riley's release, has to a certain extent redeemed the pledge which he made at parting : Your friend (Mr. Willshire) has fed me with milk and honey, and I will always in future do what is in my power to redeem Christians from slavery.' Scarcely two months after this, the brig Surprize, of Glasgow, with a crew of seventeen persons and three passengers, was cast away close to Cape Bojador, on the 28th of December, 1815, when the whole, with the exception of two that were drowned, fell into the hands of the Arabs, who marched them, as usual, into the interior, till they met a Moor on horseback, to whom they were delivered, and who took them to Wed-noon. This was no other than Sidi Hamet, who advised them to write to Mr. Willshire, English consul at Suara, who having heard of the wreck, had already entered into engagements for their ransom with Sidi Ishem, the chief of Wed-noon, and principal owner of the caravan which perished, as we have related, in the : Desert. They were ransomed, and sent to England, as was also, at the same time, a lad of the name of Alexander Scott, who was wrecked in the Montezuma, of Liverpool, in 1810, as mentioned by Adams, and who had remained in slavery ever since. His appearance is said to have been most deplorable; though not twenty, he wore the marks of advanced age.-Thus, in a very remarkable manner, have all the statements of Robert Adams been coutirmed. We think it is by no means improbable, that Sidi Hamet was on his way to fulfil the oath which he swore to Riley' by