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Many of these gentry have left their country for their country's weal. A body of convicts, however, fights well. The Mekrani are first-rate behind walls; and if paid, drilled, and officered, they would make as "varmint" light-bobs as Arnauts. They have a knightly fondness for arms. A "young barrel and an old blade" are their delight. All use the matchlock, and many are skilful with sword and shield. Their pay is from two to three dollars a-month, out of which they find food and clothes. They never see money from the year's one end to the other, and are as ragged a crew as ever left the barren hills of the north to seek fortune in Africa. They live in tattered hovels, with one meal of grain a-day for themselves and slave-girls. To the greediness of mountaineers, the poor devils add the insatiable desires of beggars. The Banyans have a proverb that "a Beloch, a Brahmin, and a buck-goat, eat the trees to which they are tied." Like school-boys, they think nought so fine as the noise of a gun, consequently ammunition is served out to them by the jemadar only before a fight. Sudden and sharp in quarrel, they draw their daggers upon the minimest provocation, have no "mitigation or remorse of voice," and pray in the proportion of one to a dozen. All look forward to "Hindostan, bagh o bustan"-India, the garden; but the Arabs have a canny proverb importing that "the fool who falleth into the fire rarely falleth out of it."
"Fraudare stipendio," saith ancient Justin, was the practice of the great king's satraps: the modern East has strictly preserved the custom. Each station is commanded by a jemadar upon four or five dollars a-month, and full licence to peculate. The class is at once under-paid and overtrusted. The jemadar advances money upon usury to his men, and keeps them six months in arrears; he exacts perquisites from all who fear his hate and need his aid; and he falsifies the muster-rolls most impudently, giving twenty-five names to perhaps four men. Thus the jemadar supports a wife and a dozen slaves; sports a fine scarlet-coat, a grand dagger, and a silver-hilted
sword; keeps flocks of sheep and goats, and trades with the interior for ivory and captives, whilst his company has not a sandal amongst them. Such has been, is, and ever will be the result of that false economy which, in the East, from Stambul to Japan, grudges the penny and flings away the pound.
Having communicated our project to the jemadar of Chogway, he promised, for a consideration, all aid; told us that we should start the next day; and, curious to relate, kept his word. The little settlement, however, affording but five matchlockmen as a guard, and four slave-boys as porters, the C. O. engaged for us a guide and his attendant-nominally paying 10 dollars, and doubtless retaining one-half.
After a night spent in the Magchan, where wind, dust, and ants conspired to make us miserable, we arose early to prepare for marching. About mid-day, issuing from our shed, we placed the kit-now reduced to a somewhat stricte necessaire-in the sun; thus mutely appealing to the "sharm" or shame of our Beloch comrades. A start was effected at five P.M., every slave complaining of his load, snatching up the lightest, and hurrying on regardless of what was left behind. This nuisance endured till summarily stopped by an outward application easily divined. At length, escorted in token of honour by the consumptive jemadar and most of his company, we departed in a straggling Indian file towards Tongway.
The path wound over stony ridges. After an hour it plunged into a dense and thorny thicket, which, during the rains, must be impassable. The evening belling of deer, and the clock-clock of partridge, struck our ears. In the open places were the lesses of elephants, and footprints retained by the last year's mud. These animals descend to the plains during the monsoon, and in summer retire to the cool hills. The Belochies shoot, the wild people kill them with poisoned arrows. More than once during our wanderings we found the grave-like trap-pits, called in India Ogi. These are artfully dug in little rises, to fit exactly the elephant,
who easily extricates himself from one too large or too small. We did not meet a single specimen ; but, judging from the prints-three to three and a half circumferences showing the shoulder height-they are not remarkable for size. The further interior, however, exports the finest, whitest, largest, heaviest, and softest ivory in the world. Tusks weighing 100 lb. each are common, those of 175 lb. are not rare, and I have heard of a pair whose joint weight was 560 lb. It was a severe disappointment to us that we could not revisit this country during the rains. Colonel Hamerton strongly dissuaded us from again risking jungle-fever, and we had a duty to perform in Inner Africa. Sporting, indeed, is a labour which occupies the whole man: to shoot for specimens, between work, is to waste time in two ways. Game was rare throughout our march. None lives where the land is peopled. In the deserts it is persecuted by the Belochies; and the wild Jägers slay and eat even rats. We heard, however, of mabogo or buffalo antelope, and a hog-probably the masked boar lions, leopards in plenty; the nilghae (A. Picta), and an elk, resembling the Indian sambar.
Another hour's marching brought us to the Makam Sazzid Sulayman, a half-cleared ring in the bush, bounded on one side by a rocky and tree - fringed ravine, where water stagnates in pools during the dry season. The pedometer showed six miles. There we passed the night in a small babel of Belochies. One recited his koran; another prayed; a third told funny stories; whilst a fourth trolled lays of love and war, long ago made familiar to my ear upon the rugged Asian hills. This was varied by slapping lank mosquitoes that flocked to the campfires; by rising to get rid of huge black pismires, whose bite burned like a red-hot needle; and by challenging two parties of savages, who, armed with bows and arrows, passed amongst us, carrying maize to Pangany. The Belochies kept a truly Oriental watch. They sang and shouted during early night, when there is no danger; but they all slept like the dead through the
"small hours," the time always chosen by the African freebooter to make his cowardly onslaught.
At daybreak on the 9th of February, accompanied by a small detachment, we resumed our march. The poitrinaire jemadar, who was crippled by the moonlight and the cold dew, resolved to return, when thawed, with the rest of his company to Chogway. An hour's hard walking brought us to the foot of rugged Tongway, the "great hill." Ascending the flank of the north-eastern spur, we found ourselves,at eight A.M., after five bad miles, upon the chine of a lower ridge-with summer towards the sea and landward, a wind of winter. Thence pursuing the rugged incline, in another half-hour we entered the Fort, a small, square, crenellated, flat-roofed, and whitewashed room, tenanted by two Belochies, who appear in the muster-rolls as twenty men. They complained of loneliness and the horrors. Though several goats had been sacrificed, a fearsome demon still haunted the hill, and the weeping and wailing of distressed spirits make their thin blood run chill.
Tongway is the first off-set of the mountain-terrace composing the land of Usumbara. It rises abruptly from the plain; lies north-west of, and nine miles, as the crow flies, distant from, Chogway. The summit, about 2000 feet above the sea-level, is clothed with jungle, through which, seeking compass sights, we cut a way with our swords. The deserted ground showed signs of former culture, and our Negro guide sighed as he said that his kinsmen had been driven from their ancient seats into the far inner wastes. Tongway projects long spurs into the plain, where the Pangany river flows noisily through a rocky trough. The mountain surface is a reddish argillaceous and vegetable soil, overlying grey and ruddy granites and schist. These stones bear the "gold and silver complexion" which was fatal to the chivalrous Shepherd of the Ocean, and the glistening mica still feeds the fancy of the Beloch mercenary. The thickness of the jungle -which contains stunted cocos and bitter oranges, the castor, the wild
egg-plant, and bird pepper-renders and regular features look as if carved
the mountain inaccessible from any but the eastern and northern flanks. Around the Fort are slender plantations of maize and manive. Below, a deep hole supplies the sweetest rockwater; and upon the plain a boulder of well-weathered granite, striped with snowy quartz, and about twenty feet high, contains two crevices ever filled by the purest springs. The climate appeared delicious-temperate in the full blaze of an African and tropical summer; and whilst the hill was green, the land around was baked like bread crust.
We had work to do before leaving Tongway. The jemadar ordered for us an escort; but amongst these people, obedience to orders is somewhat optional. Moreover, the Belochies, enervated by climate and want of exercise, looked forward to a mountain - march with displeasure. Shoeless, bedless, and well-nigh clotheless, even the hope of dollars could scarcely induce them to leave for a week their lazy huts, their piccaninnies, and their black Venuses. They felt happy at Tongway, twice a-day devouring our rice-an unknown luxury; and they were at infinite pains to defer the evil hour. One man declared it impossible to travel without salt, and proposed sending back a slave to Chogway. This involved the loss of at least three days, and was at once rejected.
By hard talking we managed to secure a small party, which demands a few words of introduction to the reader. We have four slave-boys, idle, worthless dogs, who never work save under the rod, think solely of their stomachs, and are addicted to running away. Petty pilferers to the back-bone, they steal, like magpies, by instinct. On the march they lag behind, and, not being professional porters, they are restive as camels when receiving their load. One of these youths, happening to be brother-in-law-after a fashion-to the jemadar, requires incessant supervision to prevent him burdening the others with his own share. The guide, Muigni Wazira, is a huge broad-shouldered Sawahili, with a coal-black skin: his high, massive,
in ebony, and he frowns like a demon in the Arabian Nights. He is purblind, a defect which does not, however, prevent his leading us into every village, that we may be mulcted in sprig-muslin. Wazira is our rogue, rich in all the peculiarities of African cunning. A prayerless Sherif, he thoroughly despises the Makapry or Infidels; he has a hot temper, and, when provoked, roars like a wild beast. He began by refusing his load, but yielded when it was gently placed upon his heavy shoulder, with a significant gesture in case of recusance. He does not, however, neglect occasionally to pass it to his slave, who, poor wretch, is almost broken down by the double burden.
Rahewat, the Mekrani, calls himself a Beloch, and wears the title of Shah-Sawar, or the Rider-king. He is the "Chelebi," the dandy and tiger of our party. A A "good-looking brown man," about twenty-five years old, with a certain girlishness and affectation of tournure and manner, which bode no good, the Riderking deals in the externals of respectability; he washes and prays with pompous regularity, combs his long hair and beard, trains his bushy mustaches to touch his eyes, and binds a huge turban. He affects the jemadar. He would have taken charge, had we permitted, of the general store of gunpowder-a small leather-bottle wrung from the commandant of Chogway; and having somewhat high ideas of discipline, he began with stabbing a slave-boy by way of lesson. He talks loud in his native Mekrani and base Persian; moreover, his opinion is ever to the fore. The Rider-king, pleading soldier, positively refuses to carry anything but his matchlock, and a private stock of dates which he keeps ungenerously to himself. He boasts of prowess in vert and venison: we never saw him hit the mark, but we missed some powder and ball, with which he may be more fortunate.
Hamdan, a Maskat Arab, has seen better days." Melancholia and strong waters have removed all traces of them, except a tincture of letters. Our Mullah, or learned man, is small,
thin, brown, long-nosed, and greeneyed, with little spirit and less muscularity. A crafty old traveller, he has a store of comforts for the way; he carries, with his childish matchlock, a drinking-gourd and a gheepot, and he sits apart from the crowd for more reasons than one. Strongly contrasting with him is the ancient Mekrani, Shaaban, a hideous decrepid giant, with the negroid type of countenance. He is of the pigheaded, opposed to the soft-headed, order of old man; hard and opinionated, selfish and unmanageable. He smokes, and must drink water all day. He dispenses the wisdom of a Dogberry, much to his hearers' disgust, and he coughs through the hours of night. This senior will carry nothing but his gun, pipe, and gourd, and, despite his grey-beard, he is the drone of the party.
Jemal and Murad Ali are our working-men, excellent specimens of the true Beloch-vieux grognardswith a grim, sour humour, especially when the fair sex is concerned. They have black frowning faces, wrinkled and rugged as their natal hills, with pads of muscle upon their short forearms, and high, sinewy, angular calves, remarkable in this land of "sheep-shanks." Sparing of words, when addressed, they merely grunt; but when they speak, it is in a scream. They are angry men, and uncommonly handy with their greasy daggers. With the promise of an extra dollar, they walk off under heavy loads, besides their guns and necessaries.
The gem of the party is Sudy Mubarak, who has taken to himself the cognomen of "Bombay." His sooty skin, and teeth pointed like those of the reptilia, denote his Mhiav origin. He is one of those real "Sudies" that delight the passengers in an Indian steamer. Bombay, sold in early youth, carried to Cutch by some Banyan, and there emancipated, looks
fondly back upon the home of his adoption, and sighs for the day when a few dollars will enable him to return. He has ineffable contempt for all "Jungly niggers." His head is a triumph to Phrenology; a high narrow cranium, flat-fronted, denoting, by arched and rounded crown, full development of the moral region, with deficiency of the perceptives and reflectives. He works on principle, and works like a horse, openly declaring, that not love of us, but attachment to his stomach, makes him industrious. With a sprained ankle, and a load quite disproportioned to his chétif body, he insists upon carrying two guns. He attends us everywhere, manages our purchases, is trusted with all messages, and, when otherwise disengaged, is at every man's beck and call. He had enlisted under the jemadar of Chogway. We thought, however, so highly of his qualifications, that persuasion and paying his debts induced him, after a little coquetting, to take leave of soldiering and follow our fortunes. Sudy Bombay will be our head gun-carrier, if he survive his present fever, and, I doubt not, will prove himself a rascal in the end.
A machine so formed could hardly be expected to move without some creaking. The Belochies were not entirely under us, and in the East no man will serve two masters. For the first few days, many a loud wrangling and muttered cursing showed signs of a dissolution. One would not proceed because the Riderking monopolised the powder; another started on his way home because he was refused some dates; and during the first night all Bombay's efforts were required to prevent a sauve qui peut. But by degrees the component parts fitted smoothly and worked steadily at last we had little to complain of, and the men volunteered to follow wherever we might lead.
OUR CONVICTS-PAST AND PRESENT.
It would surely be a very interesting discovery to all philosophers of the Positive school, to identify in the dark distance of history the man who discovered slavery. Their leader, Auguste Comte, among other hardy theories which have reaped more wonder than acquiescence, enlarges with all his eloquence on the adoption of this institution, as the greatest stride made towards human civilisation. Before it was suggested, men had no alternative, after they fought and conquered, but to slay, cook, and eat the vanquished enemy. To suggest to them the alternative of getting work out of the captives-compelling them to hew wood, draw water, and till the ground for their victors-was an act of benignant wisdom for which mankind should be ever grateful.
Laugh as we may at this specimen of wild ingenuity, it is yet true that there were in this country, within the past two hundred years, men of disinterested feelings, and, in some measure, enlightened views, who gloried in the distinction of having invented a beneficent kind of slavery. The arrangement by which criminals were given away as slaves to the Western planters, instead of being kept for the dungeon or the gibbet, seemed a blessing without alloy to the receiver as well as to the giver. The planter had what he sorely needed-labour under that tropical sun which ripens the rich harvest, but makes the human being so listless that money will not procure the arduous toil necessary to draw the full profit from the earth. The planter got his slaves, Britain got rid of her criminals without cost and without cruelty -at least of an immediate and palpable character. In this respect the arrangement stood in benign contrast with the hangings and the living burial in the putrescence of the old jails, which it came to supersede. We shall not attempt to deal with the theory of the prophet of Positivism. Within a short while he has gone to that place where all men are to be judged for their doings and
VOL. LXXXIII.—NO. DIX.
their thoughts. But to the fallacy of those who discovered in later times a practical benefit in a peculiar kind of slavery, experience has borne ample testimony; and in this testimony there lies a solemn lesson for all social reformers-the lesson that all that is wrong in the world is not to be put right by some one simple theory -the lesson that it is not in the careless application of one universal medicine, but in a careful observation of symptoms, and an anxious conscientious testing of warily-applied remedies, that we are to look for the cure of great social maladies.
In transportation to the American plantations, as it was practised by Britain for upwards of a century, the Government abandoned all control over the offender's fate, all knowledge of it, and consequently all responsibility for the character and extent of the punishment to which he was subjected, if punishment really were his fate. The absolute
and entire manner in which the convict was cast off by the State, when compared with the system of transportation lately abandoned, shows how far even this system was an improvement, as being a nearer approach to the proper functions of penal law. If there be any who now demand that our criminals shall be sent forth into the desert, they assuredly would not be content to transfer them to a contractor, who might work them rapidly to death, or indulge them in a life of idle luxury, according to his interest or his humour. This arrangement produced social evils, from which the territories more immediately affected by them are even now suffering. They reacted in their day even on the shore of Britain; for the profuse dispersal of convict slaves created so ravenous an appetite for larger consignments of that valuable commodity, that while the fair trader contracted with Government for the harvest of the jail-deliveries, the smuggler prowled about in quiet corners of the coast, and kidnapped young men, who were carried off and sold in the plantations. It is diffi