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tender beings; that they are ever inclined to be gay and cheerful, timorous and modest. They do not hesitate, like man, to perform a hospitable or generous action; not haughty, nor arrogant, nor supercilious, but full of courtesy, and fond of society; industrious, economical, ingenuous; more liable, in general, to err than man, but in general, also, more virtuous, and performing more good actions than he. I never addressed myself, in the language of decency and friendship, to a woman, whether civilized or savage, without receiving a decent and friendly answer. With man it has often been otherwise. In wandering over the barren plains of inhospitable Denmark, through honest Sweden, frozen Lapland, rude and churlish Finland, unprincipled Russia, and the wide spread regions of the wandering Tartar, if hungry, dry, cold, wet, or sick, woman has ever been friendly to me, and uniformly so; and to add to this virtue, so worthy of the appellation of benevolence, these actions have been performed in so free and so kind a manner, that, if I was dry, I drank the sweet draught, and if hungry, ate the coarse morsel, with a double relish.
Waar Ledyard wanted to complete his character, the famous Mungo Park eminently possessed. He had not so large a grasp of mind as Ledyard, but he was in no need of it. He had quite enough for his purpose, and not any of a doubtful sort to distract it. But who needs to be told what a thorough man for his purpose he was, what sufferings he went through with the simplest and most touching courage, what successes he achieved, and what a provoking, mortal mischance befell him after all? It was not so mortifying a one as Bruce's, who broke his neck down his own staircase; but it was sadder by a great deal, so far from home and on the threshold of the greatest of his adventures.
The reader of the following passages (which are like fine tunes in the history of men, and bear endless repetition), will bear in mind, that one of the objects of Park's journey was to discover the real course of the River Niger, which had been a subject of dispute for ages.
What a passage is the first one to read, when we are going to bed! And what a climax of suffering, fortitude, and piety is the last!
SADDLED my horse, and continued my journey. I
travelled over a level but more fertile country than I had seen for some time, until sunset, when coming to a path that took a southerly direction, I followed it until midnight, at which time I arrived at a small pool of rain water; and the wood being open, I determined to rest by it for the night. Having given my horse the remainder of the corn, I made my bed as formerly; but the musquitoes and flies from the pool prevented sleep for some time, and I was twice disturbed in the night by wild beasts, which came very near, and whose howling kept the horse in continual terror.
July 4th.- At daybreak, I pursued my course through the woods as formerly; saw numbers of antelopes, wild hogs, and ostriches; but the soil was more billy, and not so fertile as I had found it the preceding day. About eleven o'clock, I ascended an eminence, where I climbed a tree and discovered, at about eight miles' distance, an open part of the country, with several red spots, which I concluded were cultivated land; and, directing my course that way, came to the precincts of a watering-place about one o'clock. From the appearance of the place, I judged it to belong to the Foulabs, and was hopeful that I should meet a better
reception thad I had experienced at Shrilla. In this I was not deceived; for one of the shepherds invited me to come into his tent, and partake of some dates.
This was one of those low Foulah tents in which is just room sufficient to sit upright, and in which the family, the furniture, &c., seem huddled together like so many articles in a chest. When I had crept upon my hands and knees into this humble habitation, I found that it contained a woman and three children; who, together with the shepherd and myself, completely occupied the floor. A dish of boiled corn and dates was produced, and the master of the family, as is customary in this part of the country, first tasted it himself, and then desired me to follow his example. Whilst I was eating, the children kept their eyes
upon me; and no sooner did the shepherd pronounce the word Nazarani, than they began to cry, and their mother crept slowly towards the door, out of which she sprang like a greyhound, and was instantly followed by her children. So frightened were they at the very name of Christian, that no entreaties could induce them to approach the tent. Here I purchased some corn for my horse, in exchange for some brass buttons; and having thanked the shepherd for his hospitality, struck again into the woods. At sunset I came to a road that took the direction for Bambarra, and resolved to fol. low it for the night; but about eight o'clock, hearing some people coming from the southward, I thought it prudent to hide myself among some thick bushes near the road. As these thickets are generally full of wild beasts, I found my situation rather unpleasant; sitting in the dark, holding my horse by the nose with both hands to prevent him from neighing, and equally afraid of the natives without and the wild beasts within. My fears, however, were soon dissipated; for the people, after looking round the thicket and
perceiving nothing, went away, and I hastened to the more open parts of the wood, where I pursued my journey E.S.E. until midnight, when the joyful cry of frogs induced me once more to deviate a little from my route, in order to quench my thirst. Having accomplished this from a large pool of rain water, I sought for an open spot with a single tree in the midst, under which I made my bed for the night. I was disturbed by some wolves towards morning, which induced me to set forward a little before day; and having passed a small village called Wassalita, I came about ten o'clock (July 5th) to a negro town.
THE FIRST SIGHT OF THE NIGER.
Hearing that two negroes were going to Sego, I was happy to have their company, and we set out immediately. I was constantly taken for a Moor, and became the subject of much merriment to the Bambarrans, who seeing me drive my horse before me, laughed heartily at my appearance. “ He has been at Mecca," says one; "you may see that by his clothes ;” another asked if my horse was sick; a third wished to purchase it, &c.; so that I believe the very
slaves were ashamed to be seen in my company. Just before it was dark, we took up our lodgings for the night at a small village, where I procured some victuals for myself and some corn for my horse, at the moderate price of a button, and was told that I should see the Niger (which the negroes call Joliba, or the great water), early the next day. The lions are here very numerous; the gates are shut a little after sunset, and nobody allowed to go out. The thoughts of seeing the Niger in the morning, and the troublesome buzzing of musquitoes, prevented me from shutting my eyes during the night, and I had saddled my horse, and was in
readiness before daylight; but on account of the wild beasts we were obliged to wait until the people were stirring and the gates opened. This happened to be a market day at Sego, and the roads were every where filled with people carrying different articles to sell, We passed four large villages, and at eight o'clock saw the smoke over Sego.
As we approached the town, I was fortunate enough to overtake the fugitive Kaartans, to whose kindness I had been so much indebted in my journey through Bambarra. They readily agreed to introduce me to their king; and we rode together through the marshy ground, where, as I was looking anxiously around for the river, one of them called out geo affilli (see the water); and looking forwards, I saw with infinite pleasure the great object of my mission, the long-sought for majestic Niger, glittering to the morning sun, as broad as the Thames at Westminster, and flowing slowly to the eastward. I hastened to the brink, and having drank of the water, lifted up my fervent thanks in prayer to the Great Ruler of all things, for having thus far crowned
endeavours with success.
KINDNESS OF A WOMAN TO HIM, AND A SONG OVER
I waited more than two hours without having an opportunity of crossing the river; during which time, the people who had crossed carried information to Mansong the king, that a white man was waiting for a passage, and was coming to see him. He immediately sent over one of his chief men, who informed me that the king could not possibly see me until he knew what had brought me into this country; and that I must not presume to cross the river without the king's permission. He therefore advised me to lodge at a