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'In the course of the evening, after some skirmishing, in which three Bórnu horsemen were killed, a great many more slaves were brought in ; altogether they were said to have taken a thousand, but there were certainly not less than five hundred. To our utmost horror, not less than one hundred and seventy full-grown men were mercilessly slaughtered in cold blood! the greater part of them being allowed to bleed to death, a leg having been severed from the body. Most of them were tall men, with not very pleasing features. Their foreheads, instead of shelving backward, were generally very high, and the line of the face straight.'
Altogether, the result of this expedition with so large an army, and the destruction of so many villages, was miserably inadequate. Ten thousand head of cattle, and about three thousand slaves, the greater half of these being women so decrepit that they could scarcely walk, and infants, and children under eight years old. The number of full-grown males scarcely exceeded three hundred, while of wretched old women, so feeble as scarcely to be able to walk, there were such numbers that the Vizier, of his own share, gave back two hundred, aware that they could not sustain the fatigues of the march. In their conversations upon the slavetrade, Dr. Barth repeatedly pointed out these facts, and urged the unremunerative character of the traffic; but the Vizier, although intelligent and, on the whole, kind-hearted, could only reply, that it furnished them with the means of buying muskets. It was in vain that the great capabilities of Bórnu for legitimate commerce were urged—that there were numerous native productions which might be far more advantageously exchanged. Haj Beshir's want of energy made him unwilling to undertake any new measure, although he declared, “in the most distinct 'manner, that if the British Government were able to furnish 'them with a thousand muskets and four cannons, they would 'be willing to subscribe any obligatory article for abolishing
the slave-trade in their country-of course, not including all ‘at once domestic slavery, for such a measure would hardly 'be feasible in a country where all the relations of domestic ‘life are based upon this system.' It is, however, by encouraging and protecting the Pagan tribes, so superior in industrious habits to the descendants of the Arabs-s0 commercial, too, that we may chiefly hope to advance civilization into the very heart of Africa. And is not the time at hand ? -the time when the immense field, which is open in these regions to human industry and activity, will be turned to account? This 'period must come,' says Dr. Barth, and I am persuaded that in less than fifty years European boats will keep up a regular 'annual intercourse between the great basin of the Tsád and the * Bay of Biafra. Indeed,
An almost uninterrupted communication has been opened by nature herself; for, from the mouth of the Kwára to the confluence of the river Be-nuwéwith the mayo-Kebbi, there is a natural passage, navigable without further obstruction for boats of about four feet in depth; and the mayo-Kebbi itself, in its present shallow state, seems to be navigable for canoes, or flat-bottomed boats, like those of the natives, which I have no doubt may, during the highest state of the inundation, go as far as Dáwa, in the Tuburi country, where Dr. Vogel was struck with a large sheet of water, which is in reality nothing but a widening of the upper part of the mayo-Kebbi. It is very probable that from this place there may be some other shallow watercourse proceeding to join the large ngaljam of Démmo, so that there would exist a real bifurcation between the basin of the Niger and that of the Tsád. But even if this should not be the case, the breadth of the water-parting between these two basins cannot exceed twenty miles, consisting of an entirely level flat, and probably of alluvial soil; while the granitic region attached to that isolated rocky mountain, which I have mentioned above, may most probably be turned without difficulty. The level of the Tsád, and that of the river Be-nuwé, near Géwe, where it is joined by the mayo-Kebbi, seem to be almost identical; at least, according to all appearance, the Be-nuwé at the place mentioned is not more than 850 or 900 miles above the level of the sea. All this bounty of nature will, I trust, one day be turned to account, though many changes must take place before a regular and peaceful intercourse can be established.'
On their return from this expedition, a rather more easterly course was taken, approaching closer to the river Logón. Only a short tract of clear forest separated the cultivated grounds of Démmo from another village, where, beside negro corn, tobacco and cotton were found. The former is extensively cultivated, as both the men and the women are passionately fond of smoking. The country was still extremely fertile and beautiful; it was also well watered. Again Dr. Barth, in course of conversation with the Vizier, urged the wiser policy of allowing the natives to cultivate their land peacefully, only imposing a considerable tribute
them. But on this occasion the true answer was at length given,—the answer of the ferocious Mohammedan, who never forgets that the sword was the grand agent of the founder of Islám. It was only by violent means, he said, that these pagans could be crushed, who cherished freedom and independence above everything; and that was the reason he burnt their granariesthat he might subdue them by famine; adding his regret that their abundant supply of fish unfortunately prevented his pious intention. Thus is the religion of the Prophet, the same implacable, exterminating thing on the shores of the Be-nuwé as it is upon the banks of the Nile and the Ganges.
Taking only a short rest on his return, Dr. Barth next set out
Journey to Bagirmi—the King of the Waters. 409 on a journey to the westward, to Bagirmi. This journey seems to have been undertaken with less caution than usual, and we are scarcely surprised at the vexations and dangers that attended it. On this occasion, instead of making an imposing appearance, Dr. Barth set out with only a horse and camel, and attended but by two young lads, while he was unable to obtain any reliable information as to whether his visit would be favourably received. The road he now travelled was less fertile, the inhabitants of the villages appeared less industrious, and several towns he passed were in decay. Karnak Logón, the capital of the province of Logón, he found to be a tolerably large place, and the palace of the Sultan a rather superior building, though of clay. Here he had an interview with the Sultan, who graciously accepted his present of Turkish trowsers and some articles of hardware, expressing, however, the greatest delight at some large darning needles, "for he had never seen their like;' so he admiringly counted them one by one, and assigned them to their respective owners in the harém.
In return for this splendid present, Dr. Barth assured the Sultan that the only favour he requested was permission to navigate the river. This was most graciously conceded; and the same afternoon our traveller commenced his survey:
• Delighted with the view which the scenery of the river exhibited, we reached the most eastern gate on the south side of the town, when suddenly an old man, with an imperious air, forbade me to survey the river, and ordered me to retrace my steps directly. I was rather startled and confounded, as, having the permission of the Sultan, I could not imagine who, besides himself, had such authority in the place, and could forbid me to do what he had allowed me. companion informed me that he was the king of the waters, the 'maráleghá,' and that he had full authority over the river. I had heard and read a great deal about the authority of the king of the waters, the 'serki-n-rúwa,' in the countries of the Niger ; but I was not aware that a similar custom prevailed here. Confused, and rather ashamed, I re-entered the town through the next gate. . . . . The first thing I did on my return was to expostulate with the Keghámma, on the authority exercised by his colleague, the king of the waters; and he promised me that the next day I should visit the river, and even navigate it without the least hindrance. However, there was so much talk in the town about my surveying the stream, that I was obliged, in the course of the afternoon, to pay the Vizier another visit. He was very anxious to know whether, if once embarked in a boat upon the water, I might not jump out in order to search for gold; when I told him I was rather afraid of the crocodiles. This expression of my fear contributed a great deal to alleviate his suspicions, for it seemed that, until then, he had supposed Europeans to be a sort of supernatural beings, and exempt from every kind of fear.' NO. LII.
At eight o'clock the next morning, therefore, Dr. Barth went on board his little boat, and proceeded on his expedition :
“While gliding along the eastern shore my companions called my attention to a species of very tall reed, which they call korókoró, but which is nothing else but the papyrus, which, as I have observed, grows on the shores of the Tsad. But it was highly interesting to me to hear that the natives in this country prepare a peculiar sort of cloth from it, which I think must be identical with the cloth mentioned by Arab writers, under the name of‘wórsi berdi,' being the Egyptian name for the papyrus. . . . . I was very anxious to know how the natives called this river, to which, by Major Denham, the name of Shárí, or Sháry, has been given ; and I was confirmed in the opinion which I had previously formed, that this river is not the Shárí, but a small branch of it. . . . . However, all the names given to rivers by the various tribes of Negroland have no other signification than the general one of water,' or 'river.' Thus the name 'Shari' also signifies nothing more than the river,' that is to say, the river of the Kótekó, to whose language the word belongs : and the word "Tsáde,' or rather "Tsádhe,' seems nothing but a different pronunciation of this same name, the original form of which is probably 'sare,' or sághe.''
Although, on this occasion, he received no interruption from *the king of the river,' he found, as he approached the western shore, that nearly half the inhabitants of the town had come out 'to see what the Christian was doing. So, on a crocodile raising its head, Dr. Barth fired at it, and the crowd burst into loud acclamations. But the notion that the stranger had gone thither to search for gold, was still foremost in their minds, and when soon after, tempted by the smoothness and coolness of the water, he jumped overboard, there was great shouting among them; but when, after splashing about for some time, they saw him come out empty handed, they cried out they had been cheated, for that they were told that he certainly was searching for gold. Dr. Barth does not tell us if any gold was ever found in this river; but from the unquestioning belief of the people, we should have little doubt that there had been. * This little excursion, however,' says Dr. Barth, 'cost me dear, for the people of Bagirmi ‘seeing me creating such an uproar, felt inclined to suppose that ‘if I entered their own country I might create a disturbance; and their fears and jealousies doubtless led the way to the detentions and annoyances to which he was soon after subjected. The river here, as we have seen, chiefly occupied Dr. Barth's
In a preceding note, Dr. Barth informs us that the name for water in the Batta language is ‘bé,' and in kindred dialects 'bi,' while 'nuwe means mother. The name of that important river, the Be-nuwé, therefore signifies 'mother of water.'
Opposition and Imprisonment-arrives at Má-señá. attention, and he conclusively proves that it is not the Shari, but the smaller western branch of it. The people of this province are industrious; cultivating and weaving cotton is their chief employment, while a beautiful kind of cane lattice-work, their wooden bowls, and some fine straw-work, prove their great ingenuity. They are, also, especially the women, a handsome race.
On leaving Karnak Logón, our traveller entered regions never before trodden by European feet, and after proceeding some distance, 'beheld through the branches of the trees the 'splendid sheet of a large river, the pellucid surface of the water undisturbed by the slightest breeze.' This was the real Shári, the great river of the Kókotó, which, augmented by the smaller, but very considerable river of Logón, forms that large basin which gives to this part of Negroland its characteristic feature. On attempting to cross it, Dr. Barth was refused a passage by the ferryman, and he eventually found that his fame had preceded him ; that he was said to be a most dangerous person, who might even ruin the kingdom of Bagírmi. Determined not to lose the object for which he had journied so far, Dr. Barth now most imprudently endeavoured to cross by stealth ; and this at length he effected. His movements, however, had been watched; and while resting in the cool shade, the head man of the neighbouring village with an armed escort came up, and prohibited his further advance, allowing him however to return to the village. There he remained for some days, but not unnaturally, we think, an object of suspicion to the inhabitants. From thence the poor traveller was sent from one place to another, and when wearied out with delays he set off to return, he was seized and laid in irons. This insult was, however, soon removed, and at length, under the care of a kind native, he was conducted to Má-señá, the capital. Here the Governor, in the absence of the Sultan, apologized for the treatment the traveller had received, restoring all that had been taken from him, even that most coveted of possessions, his pistol. There he might have continued comfortably but for the suspicions of the people that he was a rain-maker! Indeed it was confidently reported that when the clouds appeared in the sky, he went out of his house and made them withdraw. This was a most vexatious imputation, as it greatly interfered with his meteorological observations : but the people of Má-señá seem to be far more superstitious than the inhabitants of the neighbouring countries.
At last, after a stay of more than two months, Dr. Barth received intelligence that the Sultan was really at hand; and in barbaric pomp, preceded by his cavalry, and mounted on his war horse, shaded with red and green umbrellas, fanned by ostrich