Imágenes de páginas

At Mecca I saw the lass selling perfume; goose or heart of hen-partridge hidShe put forth her hand, and I cried, 0 den by brow so broad and intellectual,

sweet!' [Three snitfs crescendo. and by beard so fierce and bushy She leaned over me, casting a glance of belonged to that Suri race, the self

love ; But from Mecca I sped, saying, 'Fare

called descendants of Syrians, well well, sweet!'”

known for beggary and covetousness, [Three Kafir-clicks diminuendo, sig- for kidnapping and safe piracy. These nifying "no go."

men, most uncourteous and vilest of

the Arabs, would address even their The reader asks, What induced us prince, “O Said !” and though ever to take a guide apparently so little demanding El Hishmah,or respect for fit for rough-and-ready work?. In themselves, will on no occasion accord the first place, the presence of Said it to others. bin Salim el Lamki was a pledge of It were vain to describe how, after respectability. Secondly, our com

we had been peremptorily summoned panion had a well-filled knowledge- on board, our gallant captain eclipsed box, and was no churl in imparting himself in quest of two sailors who its contents. Thirdly, he was cour- had absconded-how he had forgotten teous, thoroughly good-tempered, to lay in stores of wood and watergenerous, and kind-hearted. And, how he did not come home till lastly, a bright exception to the rule morning, when, making sail, he of his unconscientious race, he ap- ran down to Mtony, and there peared truthful, honest, and honour- wasted twenty-four hours — how able. I have never yet had reason he again went on shore, promis. to suspect him of a low action. This ing to return in half an hour, but

' rare and solid merit determined us to leaving us to spend the day in vain attach hin, and when we communi- expectation-how Said bin Salim cated to him the resolution, “Verily,” solaced himself by wishing that the was the reply, “whoso benefiteth the Shaytan might appear to Hamid on beneficent becometh his lord, but his deathbed, and say, “O friend of the vile well treated turneth and my soul, welcome home !"– how he rendeth thee." I almost hope that reappeared with half-a-dozen fellows, he may not deceive us in the end.

mostly Suris culled from the bazar, On the evening of the 5th January one maimed, another a stammerer, a 1857, Captain S and I shook third sick, a fourth malingering, No. hands with our host and kind friend, 5 a tailor, and No. 6 a diminutive and found ourselves on board the Somali boy-how he was greeted by Riami, an Arab “ Beden,” hired for me with a flea in his ear and the our coasting cruise, and stored with threat of Bakur, and by Said bin necessaries for two months by Ladha, Salim with a cup of coffee and a prothe collector of customs.* Our Nak- verb, importing that out of woe hoda, Hamid-never was brain of cometh weal-and, finally, how, after


* The outfit and expenses of an African journey are always interesting to travellers. We paid 50 German crowns (about 4s. 2d. each) to our guide Said, 20 dols. per mens. to our two Portuguese boys, and 32 dols. were the monthly hire of the Beden, besides the inevitable bakhshish. Total in two months, 160 dollars.

Our presents for chiefs were 20 jamdarris, or sprig muslins for turbans (15 dols.) ; 20 embroidered Surat caps (17 dols. 50 cts.); a broadcloth coat and a Maskat loin. cloth (20 dols. 50 cts.) for Sultan Kimwere ; 35 pounds of small white-and-pink Venetian beads (14 dols.), and 2 cotton shawls, yellow and scarlet (2 dols. 50 cts.) Total about 70 dollars.

The provisions were tea, coffee (20 lb.), tobacco, snuff, salt, pepper, currystuff, half-a-dozen of cognac, sugar (20 lb.), rice (3 bags), onions, dates (1 bag), manioc flour (1 barrel), clarified butter, oil, and candles. The expenses of living and travelling, the whole party included, were in January 94 dols., and 84 dols. in February. Total about 250 dollars.

These several items form a grand total of 480 dols, equivalent to about £50 per mensem. But I must observe we travelled in humble guise, walked the whole way, had no animals, hired poor vessels, and practised a somewhat rigid economy.

a clear loss of two nights and a day, upon his throat secures the quiescence we drew up our ground-tackle and essential to the rapid performance of went our way. Orientals notably the operation. Landing at Chakwant the principle of immediate chak, the principal harbour, we inaction. The traveller in Eastern spected the town and sketched the Africa must ever be prepared for fort, an old building, vain and picthree distinct departures--the little turesque as any restored castle on the start, the great start, and the start. Rhine.

Our old tub, with knees and mast Our gallant captain of the beardloose like a slaver, soon reached the “the Lord have mercy on him for a usual point of departure, Kokotony hen !”-determined to doze away the Bay—“in the pebbles -a roadstead day, and at night to sleep soundly, with the usual trimmings of mangrove anchored in some quiet bay. On and manioc, lime and orange, superb this latter point we differed. Yet mangoes and cocos waving in the when running out of Pemba, grave clear sea-breeze. Clove plantations doubts regarding my own wisdom adorn the little hills, and the giant suggested themselves as the mooncalabash stretches its stumpy crooked less night fell like a pall, and, exarms over the clustering huts. This aggerated by the dim twinkling of tree is at once majestic and grotesque; the stars, rose within biscuit toss the the tall conical bole of spongy and silhouettes of island and plateau, porous wood, covered with a soft whence proceeded the threatening glossy rind at the base, will have a sounds of a wash. Presently, howgirth of forty or fifty feet, and ever, emerging from the reefs, we bear from five hundred to six hun- smelt sea-air, and felt with pleasure dred gourds. Arbutus-like, in the the long throb of the Indian Ocean. 'same season some trees will be Our progress northwards was made bare, others in leaf, in flower, or in under ditticulties. Rain fell almost fruit. When thickly clothed with daily; the wind was high and confoliage growing almost stalkless from trary, the sea wild and stormy; a the wood, topped with snowy flowers strong current set dead against us ; like the fairest of water-lilies, and the lee-shore, within a few yards of hung about with ovals here somewhat which we were periodically drifted, larger than a coco-nut, covered with was steep, too, with coralline rocks a green velvet, and attached by a and bars; and if all was long thin cord, itsappearance is strik- pleasant outside the Riami, the ing as it is novel.

interior, with its atmosphere of On the 10th of January we ran cockroaches, bilge-water, and rotthrough the paradise of verdant ting wood, was scarcely more attracbanks and plateaus forming the ap- tive. On the 16th January, after proach to Pemba, and halted a day beating about for three days in sight to admire the Emerald Isle of these of the conical Hummocks, called Eastern seas. In A.D. 1698, the bold by the Portuguese Corva de Mombuccaneer Captain Kidd buried there bassa, and when almost despairing his blood-stained hoards of precious of reaching them, we were driven by stones and metal,the plunder of India a fair putt round Ras Betany into the and the further Orient. The people land-locked harbour. Our reception of Pemba have found pots full of gold at Mombas was characteristic of Jumps, probably moulded from but- Africa. The men hailed us from afar tons that the pirate might wear his

with the query,

“ What news ?” wealth. Thus it is that the modern We were unmercifully derided by skipper, landing at Madagascar or black nymphs bathing in the cosother robber haunts of the olden tume of the Nereids. And the sable time, still frequently witnesses the imps upon the sands shouted the

, disappearance of his brass buttons, free - and - easy “Mzungu !” — white whilst the edge of a knife resting

man !


“Here reigned a hoary king of ancient fame,

Mombaze the town, Mombaze the island's name."- MICKLE's Lusiad.

From earliest ages the people of Yet they yield unwillingly, knowing this inhospitable coast left untried that by the advance of our interests neither force nor fraud, no secret their monopoly, will be diverted into treachery nor open hostility, to hinder another channel. At present, fortuneand deter Europeans from explora- favoured travellers may perhaps enter tion. Bribed by the white and the country, but they should consiblack Moors, the Arabs and Sa- der the countenance of the Sazzid's wahili, then monopolists of the in- government a sine quâ non, and terior trade, Vasco de Gama's pilots never, unless marching in great force, attempted to wreck his ships. In or prepared to bribe in all directions,

, later years the Banyans, now chief make any port distant from headmerchants of the coast, have excited quarters their starting-point. against us the half-caste maritime The town of Mombas is mentioned races—as usual, the worst specimens in 1330 by the Shaykh Ibn Batutah of population--and their neighbours, as a large place abounding in fruits, the sanguinary savages, who, in addi- and peopled by a chaste, honest, and tion to their natural fear of our com- religious race. Two centuries afterplexion, have preserved in verse and wards it is thus described by the song a “reivayat," or prophecy, that “ Colto e buon Luigi,” as Camoens sovereignty_shall depart from them is called by the amiable Tasso. In when the Frank's first footstep has these days of general knowledge I defiled the soil. In 1826, the brig forbear translation. "Mary Anne” was assaulted near Ber

“ Estava a ilha a terra tað chegada berah, and some of her crew were murdered by the Somal, according to

Que humo estreito pequeno a dividia

Huma cidade nella situada Lieut. Wellsted,* at the instigation Que na fronte do mar apparecia of the Banyans, who certainly with

De nobres edificios fabricada held all information by which the at

Como por fora ao longe des cobriatack could have been prevented or re

Regida por hum Rei de antigua idade

Mombaça he o nome da ilha eda cidade." pelled. In 1844, a combination secretly headed by Yayaram, the collector of We read also attractive details of customs at Zanzibar, so effectually beautiful gardens, lofty towers, a haropposed Colonel Hamerton, that, bour full of ships; of handsome men, unable to procure a vessel on the and of honourable women, in silk island, he crossed over to the main- robes, adorned with gold and jewels; land with his own boat's crew in a “the horsemen of Mombas,” which launch borrowed from the Prince. now barely contains an ass; and the Now, however, the number of the “ladies of Melinde," at present a European merchants, the increasing heap of ruins. The venerable monpower of the Sazzid, and the presence arch received Vasco de Gama with of our ships in these ports, have con- peculiar attention, and, with the bevinced Arabs, Banyans, and Sawa- nevolent purpose of cutting his throat, hilis that it is vain for them to kick enticed him to land by samples of against the pricks in European shape. pepper, ginger, and cloves,t appa

* Travels in Arabia, chap. xviii. I have alluded to this event in a previous work, An Exploration of Harar, chap. i.

+ I cannot understand what these cloves were ; Andrea Corsali in Ramusia describes them as “not like those of India, but shaped more like our acorns." All authors mention the Portuguese finding cloves at the ports of East Africa ; these must have been brought from Bourbon, or from Malacca. The pepper and ginger were doubtless Indian imports, as Calicut Banyans and Christians of St Thomas are mentioned.


rently all imports, and promises to tal, Mozambique, was confided by the furnish wax, wheat, ambergris, ivory, king to D. Duarte de Lemos. and precious metals. When the The Portuguese were now masters general's ship weighed anchor to enter of the principal ports and positions Bombas, she struck upon a shoal, in a coast two thousand miles long. probably the reef off Ras Betany. The Contrary to received opinion, tradition

Moors” tumbled into their canoes, declares that they penetrated far into the Mozambique pilot plunged from the interior, and it is not probable the ship's stern, and an ugly treason that soldiers so adventurous would stood forth in its nakedness. To make confine themselves to the sea-board. certain, de Gama of the “awful eyes The Sawahilis speak of a ruined obtained confession from his Moslem castle on ’Njuira, a hill north of the captives by “heating bacon, and Pangany river, and placed by M. dropping it upon their flesh.” * Un Rebmann 160 miles from the ocean. able, however, to revenge himself, he On the heights of Chhagat (the set sail for Melinde.

mountain region whose apex is the In A.D. 1500 Mombas yielded to D. much-vexed Kilimanjaro), stone walls, Alvarez Cabral; in 1503, D. Roderigo a breastwork for cannon, and an imRavasco settled its tribute ; and two age of a long-haired woman seated years afterwards—events succeeded in a chair and holding a child, are one another rapidly in those dear old reported to remain. The Wanika days-it was attacked, captured, and or desert people of the Mombas hills garrisoned by the first viceroy of have preserved at Rabai Mku, in one India, D. Francesco d'Almeyda, a of the strongholds called a "Kaya,

, venerable who had been gravely certain images which they declare insulted by its turbulent citizens. A came from the West; and iconolatry fort was built, stringent regulations being here unknown, I the savages were made, and in 1508 the conquest must have derived them from some was placed in the first of the three more civilised race. According to Dr provinces of Ethiopia and Arabia. Kraff, the statuettes are called KisuThe government of the general capi- kas, or little devils, and carried in

Europeans wonder that the East has attached contempt to the word Feringhee. Easterns became acquainted with Europe at a time when the Portuguese were slavers in the Lord's name, the French and Dutch second-rate traders, and the English were rank “salt-water thieves.” Vasco de Gama did not hesitate to decorate his yardarms with wretches suspended like the captives of Sallee rovers. Torture and cruel death, especially wholesale burning, fell to the lot of Moslems and pagans. Albuquerque's soldiers hewed off the hands and feet of women and children, to secure their bracelets and armlets more quickly. In the seventeenth century, even the commanders of the English East India Company's ships, according to Della Valle, committed robberies on the high seas and on shore. The Great Mogul regarded our nation as “a people of dissolute morals and degraded religion.”

+ In the Portuguese inscription over the fort gate of Mombas, dated 1639, and half defaced by the Arabs, mention is made of the King of “Zara” becoming their tributory. Prichard (Nat. Hist. of Man) confounds the nomadic and cannibal Zagas or Giagas of Congo, so formidable to the Portuguese in the sixteenth century, with the Chhaga country near Mombas. His words are, “Iu 1569 the same people are said to have been completely routed on the Eastern coast near Mombase, after having laid waste the whole region of Monomotapa.” Chhaga in East Africa--by some it is pronounced Zaga-is the name of a district. The people never call themselves Wachhaga or Wajaga, but Wakirniva, or Mountaineers. Zaga," on the other hand, in Western Africa, is said to signify “warlike nomades," and to be now a title of bonour.

According to Andrew Battel, the English captive at Angola in 1589, the Giagas or Zagas had little images in their towns. As a rule, however, the want of con. structiveness and plastic power in the African prevent his being an idolator in the strict sense of the word. He finds it more convenient to make a god of grass or palm-leaves and broken pieces of calabashes, to which feathers of fowls were fastened by means of blood.-Messrs J. Schön and Samuel Crowther's Journals with the Niger Expedition of 1841. London, 1842.

war-procession to encourage the com- have converted mainland depots into batants. No European, however, has dens of rapine and bloodshed. Of seen this great medicine ; the chief this chain the principal links are never dared even to propose showing Masawwah, Old Zayla, Berberah (in them to a missionary; and whenever the sixteenth century an islet), Lamu, anindividualevinced more persistency Wasin, ancient Tanga, Pemba, Zan

, than was pleasing, he found every zibar, Mafiyeh (by us called Monfia), bush upon his path bristling with the original Kilwa, and Mozambique. bows and spears, and capped by the Mombas island is an irregular oval, wool mop of some sable Roderick about three miles long by two and a Dhu's clansmen.

half in breadth; a meeres arm, or On the 9th of Jemadi el Akhir, narrow channel of coralline and oyster A.H. 1110 (A.D. 1698)--the date is rock, separates it on every side from celebrated in many ballads — the the coast. Behind lies a deep landMazrui, a noble Arab tribe, and the locked basin, called by Captain Owen dependent Sawahilis, emboldened by “ Port Tudor," and westward, one the squadron of Sayf bin Malih el similar, “ Port Reitz.” Vessels geneYurabi, Imaum of Oman, massacred rally lie under the town opposite the European masters of Mombas. English Point on the mainland, and They continued quasi - independent, near a wharf made by Lieutenant sending occasional presents to the Emery in 1825. The harbour is Ayzal Bú Said, the present dynasty snug; in the south-west monsoon, of Maskat, till 1823 or 1824, when however, square-rigged ships must they placed themselves under British be warped out, and in so doing they protection in their rebellion against run the greatest risk of a wreck. the late Sazzid. They were permit- Of the Portuguese at Mombas the ted to fly our flag -- a favour for only traces are ruins of desecrated which, when danger disappeared, they churches, some old wells of good

, proved themselves ungrateful; and a masonry, still supplying the best Mr Reece * was placed at Mombas water, and a large fort well placed to watch its interests. Sazzid Said, to command the entrance : standing however, who showed a kind of title full to the bay, and detached from to the town, was permitted to attack the town, if provided with a few it; and in 1837, after two seasons batteries à fleur d'eau, it would soon of desultory warfare, he succeeded. dispose of Arabassailants. The Rashid bin Salim, chief of the picturesque yellow pile, with tall, Mazrui, accompanied by twenty-six long, and buttressed curtains, enkinsmen, was enticed on board the closing towers streaked with perSazzid's ship by an oath and a sealed pendicular loopholes, high donjons, Koran. He fell into the trap—it is trees, and little domes, was underwonderful how liar trusts liar-and going repair at the time of our visit ; the vessel at once stood for Maskat. not being authorised to enter by the The chiefs spent the remnant of their Prince, I can describe only its exdays at Hormuz, and the power of the terior, Mazrui was for ever destroyed. The The town is an array of brown traveller laments that we abandoned cadjan huts, with a few glaring Mombas : had England retained it, piles of coralline and lime, surroundthe whole interior would now be ed by a tumbling enceinte; the open to us.

But such is the history position is a diminutive rise at the of Britain the Great : hard won by eastern and seaward edge of the blood and gold, her conquests are island. Landing at a natural jetty, parted with for a song.

where the marks of cannon - balls Mombas is built upon one of those show the old position of a battery, small coralline islands, which, from you ascend the cliff by a flight of Ras Hafun to Cape Corrientes, form steps in a dark dwarf - tunnel, the the centres of commerce with a coast labour of your countrymen. Above, whose people, brutalised by slavery it opens upon the Mission-house, a

, á and incapable of civilisation, would double-storied pile of coarse masonry;

* He died and was buried here, but his tomb has been built over.

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