« AnteriorContinuar »
ever, have the common national A.-“ Like unto coral !" marks, gashes, pelagra, and small- B.—“Like unto pearl ?” pox. But see, two Moslem Sawahili A.-“Like unto pearl !" have met; let us listen to the lengthy B.-"In happiness kuahery! (faregreetings exchanged :
well !") A.-"Yambo ?" (the state ?) A.-—"In happiness let us meet, if
B._“Yambo sana!” (the state is Allah please.” good !)
B.—“Hem !" A.-“I seize the feet !"
A.-"Hum !” (drawn out like the B.—“How hast thou eaten and German's “So-o-o!") slept ?”
Most national salutions, from“How A.-"I have made my reverential do you do?” to “How do you carry bow."
yourself?” are below the organisaB.-"Yambo ?”
tion of those that use them. But A.-“It is good !”
these efforts of African politeness, B.-“ Like unto gold ?”
performed with a scrupulous earnestA.-“Like unto gold !".
ness by a pair of gueux, are amusing B.-“Like unto coral ?”
in a high degree.
CHAPTER II.- DEPARTURE FROM ZANZIBAR.
r! The billows are all sparklmg
And bounding in the light,
The blood is running bright.”-BARRY CORNWALL.
The beauties of this Hormos supply certain small rock-oysters of Episalos—the open road of the Peri- by no means despicable flavour. The plus—are the labours of the Litho most important is Bawy, or Turtle phyte,
Island, a long coralline bank, covered “Sea-girt isles, with tall cocos, which are the SazThat like to rich and various gems inlay zid's property, governed by a pecuThe unadorned bosom of the deep.”
liarly vicious baboon deported from These are five in number-Cham- Zanzibar, and used, as Colaba was pany Island, Kibandiko, Changu, of old, “to keep antelopes, goats, and Bawy, and Chumby. I prefer their other beasts of delight." Near it is less barbarous European names. the celebrated Harp-shell bank, so Northmost is French Island,-here, rich before its produce was spoiled as at Canton, a cemetery for Euro- for watch-dials. Furthest to the peans, more decently buried than at south is Isle la Passe, which, misMaskat, where they have their choice taken for Bawy, has caused many a of a duoghill or the Cove. Formerly shipwreck. this Death's Acre was frequented by Far westward, across the blue exturtle-fishers. Mahogo,“ however, panse of ocean, lies a faint line of has seen so many ghastly visions of Hat coast, broken by high and reyellow-faced ghosts rising from the markable cones. Within the islands growth of Christian graves, that he is an animated scene. Over the outer now abandons the green clump to waters scuds a mosquito fleet of naval and commercial sportsmen, Galawa--canoes and monoxyleswho repair here to shoot the Sazzid's cutting the waves like flying proas, tame deer, and occasionally other and most skilfully handled by the brownish objects imperfectly seen sable fishermen. Some of these through the bushes. Westward, and pegroes, especially those of Brava, connected at low tides by a prac- have retained the broad-brimmed ticable reef, lies the Ponton—the straw - hat which they borrowed hulka ledge of verdure. It is from their conquerors the Portuseparated from Middle Island by a
guese. The “pequenos batteis” of channel deep enough for a man-of- the Lusiad are still the same, except war; and the neighbouring shoals that a disproportioned sail of Ameri
can cotton, based upon a pair of out- complished eleven knots--this craft riggers ten or eleven feet square, in is preferred by passengers, and can some cases now supplies the place of carry, as Arabs travel, from eighty “velos d'huma folhas de palma bem to one hundred men; on short trips, tecidas.” Many progress by means one per ton. At a distance, in hazy of a loin-cloth held up in the bow by weather, her sail has often caused a negro acting mast; others are pro- the Zanzibarites to fly their flags in pelled by a single paddle with a hopes of news from home : nearer, þroad curved blade, shifted from the stern-post, rising above its overright to left, and pulled, as amongst all, and the powerful rudder, like a the Mandans, towards the paddler. shark's caudal-fin, suggest the idea They form a curious national contrast of a vast fish. The “Grab,” a kind with the launches and lighters that of overgrown “ Dow,” rigged barkunload European merchandise. fashion, is, to appearance, wondrous
The north-east monsoon being the couthless. Baghlas and Ganjas season at Zanzibar, the two bays from Cuteh, with low projecting busy
the , and elaborately square near the custom-house, a mob carved and painted sterns, some of “natives,” dense as bees, swarm with masts struck, others ready to to feast their eyes upon an approach- weigh anchor, split like giant's ing ship of war. Slaves wash ivories wedges the opposing waves. This in the sea, pile hides, and heap log- stumbling craft, so dangerous in wood upon the sands, amongst sleek head-seas, is perpetuated only by Brahminy bulls, pushing and butting popular prejudice for the antique. by way of excitement. The younger Add to these a variety of “dows,” blacks of both sexes bathe and dis- with immense outriggers on the port themselves in an absence of stern, Battelas with poop-cabinets, costume which would astonish even open Matumbis and Machuas-genRamsgate. During this season the tle reader, I am not forwarding a renumber of craft in port may average port on Moslem naval architecturefrom sixty to seventy. They are and you have the outlines of the outanchored close inland, and are some- landish craft, withal interesting, that times bumped to pieces from the bethrongs the harbour of Zanzibar. wondrous apathy of their crews. Outside these “country ships” lie The eye is first struck by the pic- some half-a-dozen French, Hamburg, turesque form of the "Mtepe," a and American square - rigged merlineal descendant from the Ploairia chantmen, awaiting cargoes of copal Khapta of the Periplus, which floated and ivory, cowries and hides. The upon the seas two thousand years oft-puffed squadron of the late Sazzid ago. This Lamu craft, with a beam flanks these peaceful traders, with one-third of its length, a thin mast its single and double banks of guns. that carries any amount of square There is a frigate, a jackass frigate, matting, with a swan-necked prow, a corvette, a bark, and a brig; the upon whose red head, as in Chinese number is imposing. But the masts junks, and in the ark of Egyptian are struck, and stripped for economy Osiris, is painted a white circular eye, of rigging; the yards are fore and aft and with cowhoop and other talis- upon the booms; the crews consist mans depending from its curved of half-a-dozen thievish slaves, the throat, swims the tide buoyantly as live stock rats and cockroaches, the a huge bird. The “mtepe” carries exterior dingy, and the internals foul. from fifteen to twenty tons, has not A single screw-steamer would have a nail in her, can go to windward of been more efficient in war, and far anything, never lies up for the mon- more useful in peace. It is difficult, soon, and by her breadth and elasti- however, to convince an Arab that city can stand almost any amount number is not strength. of dancing upon sandbanks. The Our error in dealing with Ori“ Beden,' from Sur, Sohar, and entals is always one and the same. Maskat, discharges a load of Arab If a man evinces signs of superiority, loafers. Having a boarded cabin, we push him hopelessly before and and being a fast sailer-she has ac- beyond his age. The late ruler of
Zanzibar was probably as shrewd women, and horses, never and enlightened a prince as Arabia called good till death ;” meaning, ever produced, yet we overrated his there is no knowing when they depowers. A beautiful model of a ceive. The Société Royale des Antisteam-engine was sent out from Eng- quaires du Nord sent him their land ; it was allowed to rust un- diploma; he refused to belong to opened in his stores. Like all Ori- a body of gentlemen who robbed entals, he was ever surrounded by an graves and snatched corpses. The odious entourage, whom he consulted, census of Zanzibar being proposed trusted, and apparently preferred tó to him, he took refuge with Allah his friends and well-wishers. He from the sin of numbering his people. believed firmly in the African fetiss, When tide-gauges were sent by the and in the Arabian Sahin's power of Geographical Society of Bombay, he metamorphosis ;* he would never observed that “the Creator had flog a Mganga, or medicine-nan, norbidden the ocean to ebb and flowcut down a "devil's tree.” He sent what else did man want to know for a Shaykh whose characts were about it ?” Such was his incapacelebrated, and fastened the paper bility of understanding European with a silver nail to the doorway of affairs, that until death-day he beColonel Hamerton's sick-room, there- lieved Louis Philippe to have carried by excluding evil spirits and the into exile, as he himself would have ghost of Mr Napier, who had died in done, all the fleets and the public the Consulate. He refused to sit for treasury of the realm. And, finally, his portrait ; even Colonel Smyth’s he could never comprehend a reHistory of Knight-errantry and public – “who administered the Chivalrous Characters failed to stick ?" Yet, peace to his soul ! he tempt him-for the European pea- was the model of Arab princes; a sant's reason, it would take away firm friend to the English nation, part of his life. When “chivalry and a great admirer of the “Malikat was explained to him, he remarked el Aazameh,” our most gracious that only the Siflah (low fellows) in- Majesty Queen Victoria. terfere between husband and wife. On the 20th of December, riding His favourite axiom-a fair test of through the surf, we landed, regretman's mind--was, that “Mullahs, ting that wealthy Zanzibar had not
I have alluded to this subject in a previous work (An Exploration of Harar, chap. ii.) ; a few more details may not be uninteresting. Strong-headed Pliny believes metamorphosis to be a “ fabulous opinion,” and remarks of Greek trust. worthiness, “there is no falsehood, however impudent, that wants its testimony among them.” Petronius gives an account of the “ fact.” Pomponius Mela accuses the Druidesses of assuming bestial shapes. Suidas mentions a city where men changed their forms. Simon Magus could produce a double of himself. Saxo Grammaticus declares that the priest of Odin assumed various appearances. Our ancestry had their were-wolf (homo-lupus), and the Bretons their Bisclavaret. John of Salisbury asserts that Mercury taught mankind the damnable art of fascinating the eyes. Joseph Acosta instances fellow-countrymen in the West Indies who were shot during transformation. Mr Coffin, the Abyssinian traveller, all but saw his Buda change himself into a hyena. Mr Mansfield Parkyns heard of a human horse. Ju Shoa and Bornou men became leopards; in Persia, bears; in Simali-land, cyn-hyenas; Krumen in West Africa, elephants and sharks; and among the Namaquas, according to Mr Anderssen, lions. In Maskat, transformation is fearfully frequent; and Sbiahs believe the good Caliph Abubekr to be trotting through the deserts of Oman in the semblance of a she-hyena. Even in Europe, after an age of scepticism, the old natural superstition is returning, despite the pitchfork, under another shape. The learned authoress of the Night-side of Nature objects to “illusionists,” reasons lycanthropy to be the effect of magico-magnetic influence, and instances certain hysterical and nervous phenomena of eyes paralysed by their own weakness.
Ten years I have carefully sifted every reported case in Oriental lands, and have come to the conclusion with which most men begin. No amount of evidence can justify belief in impossibilities. Such evidence comes from the ignorant and the deceitful. Moreover, as knowledge increases, objective miracles diminish in inverse ratio, and supernaturalisms gradually dwindle to nil.
afforded herself the luxury of a T. strong upon the sea-board. He gave shaped stone-pier. We were received us circulars, to which the young by Colonel Hamerton with a true Prince Majid added one, addressed Irishman's welcome ; and when the to Sultan Kimwere of Usumbara, small mountain of luggage had been and another to the Diwans, or Sawaduly housed, we addressed ourselves hili Headmen, and to the Beloch seriously to the difficulties of our Yemadars commanding the several position. The report of our coming garrisons. On the other hand, Ladha had preceded us.
The Arabs were Damha of Mandavie, the Banyan alarmed, and busy in conjecturing Collector of Customs, provided us the objects with which the Frank with orders upon the Hindu merwas about to visit their copal coast, chants to advance requisite moneys : and explore their ivory lands: they without these, our reception would knew that Europeans have coveted a have been of the coolest. possession upon the sea-board, and If we, travellers in transit, had remembered nothing but evil results reason to be proud of our countryfrom the missionary visits to Fuga. man's influence at Zanzibar, the The unworthy merchants at Zanzi- European and American merchants bar, American and European, did should be truly thankful for it. Aptheir best to secure for us the fate of pointed_in 1840 H. B. M.'s consul M. Maizan, both on this and on a and H. E. I. Co.'s agent at the court subsequent occasion, by spreading of H. H. Sazzid Said, and directed to all manner of reports amongst the make this island his headquarters, Banyans, Arabs, and Sawahilis. Colonel Hamerton found that for The Consul, warned of this commo- nine years not a British cruiser had tion by Kazi Muhiy el Din, the visited it, and that report declared “ celestial doctor” of the Sawahili, us to be no longer masters of the did not hesitate, when pressed by the Indian seas. Slavery was rampant. Arab chiefs,'to swear by the “ Kala- Wretches were thrown overboard, mat Ullah," that the expedition was when sick, to prevent paying duty; wholly composed of English officers, and the sea-beach before the town, as and should have nothing in common well as the plantations, presented with missionaries or Dutchmen, as horrible spectacles of dogs devouring these gentlemen from Germany are humau flesh. The consu!'s reprecalled by the Zanzibaris. Had sentations were accepted by Sazzid Colonel Hamerton refused to gratify Said ; certain dry floggings and conthem, the course of events is clear to fiscations of property instilled into all who know this race. The surface slave-owners the semblance of huof Arab civility would have been to manity. The insolence of the negro appearance unruffled, but the under
was as summarily dealt with. The current would have carried us off our Arabs had persuaded the Sawahilis legs. Considering the unfitness of and blacks that a white man is a being the season, we were strongly advised below contempt, and the “poor Afrito defer exploration of the interior can” carried out the theory. Only
. until we had learned something of seventeen years have elapsed since an the coast, and for that purpose to set American trader-consul, in consular out at once for a two or three months' cocked hat and sword, was horsed cruise. Persuaded by the Consul's upon a slave's back, and solemnly earnestness, Sazzid Sulayman bin “bakured” in his own consular house, Hamid, popularly known as the “Ba- under his own consular flag.* A hary Mziry,” or Sea of Milk — the Sawahili would at any time enter Ethiopic equivalent for “soft saw- the merchant's bureau, dispose his der
-came forward in our favour. sandalled feet upon the table, call for This old chief was governor of Zan- cognac, and if refused, draw his dagzibar during the minority of Sazzid ger. Negro fishermen would anchor Khalid, the heir-apparent, who died their craft close to a window, and, in 1854, and his good word was clinging to the mast, enjoy the novel
This occurrence was afterwards denied by the best of all authorities,--the gentleman who told the tale. I have, however, every reason to believe it.
spectacle of Kafirs feeding. The and though I have heard him address Arabs jostled strangers in the streets, with “rotund mouth” the small boy drove them from the centre, and Faraj, he is mostly ashamed to scold. forced them to pass by the left hand. This results from extreme nervousAt night none dared to carry a lan- ness and timidity. Though he never tern, which would inevitably be appears without
a dagger, and a twobroken; and a promenade in the dark handled blade fit for the Richard of usually caused insults, sometimes a England, he will sleep in an oven bastinado. To such a pitch rose con- rather than open the door after heartempt for the white face, that even the ing of a leopard. On board ship he “mild Hindoo ”-our fellow-subjects groans like a colicky patient at every from Cutch and other parts of West- blast, and a sea shipped brings the ern India-would not preserve with squeak of mortal agony involuntarily a European the appearance of civility. from his lips. In the hour of safety It required some time to uproot an he has a certain mild valour, which evil made inveterate by mercantile is exceeding likely to impose. He tameness; patience and the Sazzid's cannot bear fatigue, hunger, or thirst, goodwill, however, succeeded ; and and until fate threw him in our way, now an Englishman here is even more probably never walked one consecucivilly treated than at one of our pre- tive mile. Though owner of a wife sidencies. This change is the work and three assistant wives, he was reof Colonel Hamerton, who, in the fused by Allah the gift of increase strenuous and unremitting discharge and multiplication.
nultiplication. Possibly the of his duties, has lost youth, strength, glad tidings that a slave-girl was and health. The iron constitution of likely to make him a father, sudthis valuable public servant-I have denly communicated on his return quoted merely a specimen of his worth from the cruise, made him judge our --has been undermined by the terrible companionship canny, and resolve fever, and at fifty his head bears the once more to link his destiny with the “blossoms of the grave," as though Frank. it had seen its seventieth summer. Said bin Salim is a Bayazi of the Before we could set out a guide Kharijite schism ; he prays regularly,
l was requisite : this necessary was fasts uncompromisingly, chews, but provided for us by the Sea of Milk. will not smoke tobacco, never casts Said bin Salim el Lamki, the com- away a date-stone, and “sips water," panion of our way for many a weary but “ swills milk," as the Arab proverb mile, well deserves the honour of a directs. His mother-tongue is the sketch. He is a diminutive Arab, Lingua Franca called Ki-Sawahili ; short, thin, and delicate, a kind of he speaks the vile Arabic of Oman, man for the pocket, forty years old, but sometimes, to display the huwith a yellow skin, weak and promi- manities, he mixes up hashed Koran nent eyes, and a long nose like a and terminating, vowels with Maskat young bird, loose lips, regular teeth, "baragouinage "-Paradise Lost and
, dyed by betel to the crimson of thieves' Latin. He has read Syntax, chessmen, almost beardless, and scan- writes a pretty hand, is great at tily mustachioed. Of noble family, epistles, and loves to garnish disthe Beni Lamk of the Hinawi, his course with saw and song. When father Salim had been governor of in the
“ doldrums” he will exKilwa (Quiloa), and he himself conmanded at the little port Saadan.
“The grave's the gate all flesh must pass,Yet had dignity not invested him
Ah ! would I knew what lies behind ” with the externals of authority. He says “Karrib,” (draw nigh!) to simple I have heard him crooning for long and gentle. He cannot beat his hours, naughty bondsmen, though he per- “The knowledge of this nether world, petually quotes
Say, friend, what is it?-false or true ?
The false what mortal cares to know ! “ Buy thou not the slave but with staff in The truth what mortal ever knew?"
hand, “Or the lord will slave, and the slave com
Sometiines he will break out into mand ;"
rather a “fast” strain