Графични страници
PDF файл

lock's hide, constitutes their bed; a water jar, some earthens po's for dressing food, a few wooden bowls and calabalhes, with one or two low itools, compose the rest of the furniture. The Africans practice polygamy, and to prevent matrime nial disputes, each of the ladies is accommodated with a hut to herself, and all the huts belonging to the same family, are surrounded with a fence, constructed of bamboo canes, split and formed into a sort of wicker work. The whole inclosure is called a surk; a number of these inclosures, with passages between them, form what is called a town; but the huts are generally placed without regularity, according to the caprice of the owner; the only rule attended to, is placing the door towards the fouth-weit, in order to admit the sea breeze. In each town is a large ftage, called the Bantang, which answers the purpose of a town-house; it is composed of interwoven canes, and is generally sheltered from the sun by being erected in the made of some large tree. It is here, that public affairs are conducted and trials held; here also the lazy and indolent meet to smoke their pipes and hear the news of the day. In most of the towns the Mahonietans have a mosque, in which they celebrate public worship. These observations respecting the natives, apply chiefly to persons of, free condition, who conftitute not more than a fourth part of rhe inhabitants: the other three fourths are in a state of hopeless and hereditary slavery; and are employed in cultivating the land, in the care of cattle, and in servile offices of all kinds, much in the same manner as the Naves in the East Indies. The Mandingo mari ter cannot, however, deprive his save of life, nor sell him to a ftranger, without first calling a palaver on his conduct, or bringing him to a public trial. Captives taken in war, and those condemned to slavery for crimes or insolvency, have no fecurity whatever, but may be treated and disposed of in all respects as the owner thinks proper. It sometimes happens; when no fhips are on the coal, that a humane and confiderate master incorporates his purchased Naves amung his servants, and their offspring becomes entitled to all the privileges of natives. The earliest European establishment on the river Gam; bia was a factory of Portugueze. The Dutch, French, and English, afterwards pofsetsed themselves successively of the coast ; but the trade of the Gambia became, and for many years continued, exclusively in the hands of the English. The


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

trade with Europe, by being afterwards laid open, was nearly annihilated: the share which the English now have in it, supports not more than two or three annual fhips; and the gross value of British exports is under 20,00ol. The French and Danes still maintain a small share; and the Americans have lately sent a few vessels to the Gambia, by way of experiment. The commodities exported to the Gambia from Europe, confist of fire-arms and ammunition, iron wares, spirituous liquors, tobacco, cotton caps, a small quantity of broad cloth, a few articles of the Manchester manufactures, a small assortment of India goods, with some glass beads, amber, and other trifies; for which are taken in exchange flaves, guldduft, ivory, bce's-wax, and hides. Slaves are the chief articles, but the whole number which are annually exported from the Gambia by ali nations, is supposed to be under one thousand. Most of these wretched victims are brought to the coast in caravans, many of them from very remote inland countries; on their arrival at the coast, they are distributed among the neighbouring villages, until a flave-lhip arrives, or until they can be sold to black traders ; in the mean time, the wretches are kept constantly fettered two and two, being chained together, and employed in the labours of the field, scantily fcd and very harshly treated. The price of a Nave varies according to the number of purchasers; in general, a young and healthy male, from fixteen to twenty-five years of age, may he estimated on the spot from eighteen to twenty pounds.

“ The negro Nave merchants are called Slatees, who, besides Daves and the merchandize they bring with them, supply the inhabitants with native iron, sweet smelling gums and frankincense, and a commodity called TREE-BUTTER. This is an extraction from the kernel of a nut, which has the consistence and appearance of butter; it forms an important article in the food of the natives, and is used for every domestic service; the demand for it is very great. In payment of these articles, the maritime states supply the interior countries with salt, a scarce and valuable commodity ; considerable quantities of this valuable article are also supplied to the inland natives by the Moors, who obtain it from the falt-pits in the great desert, and receive in return corn, cotton-cloth, and saves. In this kind of exchange the natives of the interior make use of small felis called kowrries. In their early intercourse with Euro

peans, peans, the article that most attracted the notice of the natives was irun; its utility in forining instruments of war and hufbandry, made it preferable to all others, and iron soon became the measure loy which the value of all other commodities was to be af ertained. Thus a certain quantity of goods of whatever quality, cunttituted a bar of that particular merchandize. For instance, twenty leayes of tobacco were considered as a bar of tobacco; and a gallon of spirits, as a bar of rum; a bar of. one commodity being reckoned equal įn yalue to a bar of another commodity; but, at present, the current value of a single bar of any kind, is fixed by the whites at two shillings sterling, In this commerce, the European has considerable advantages over the African, whom, therefore, it is difficult to satisfy ; to that a bargain is never considered by the European as concluded, until the purchase money is paid, and the party has taken leave.”

We have not perused the original work, and, therefore, cannot speak decisively of the merits of this abridgment; but it poffeffes every mark of being executed with carc and artention.

With respect to Mr. Park, too much cannot be faid in behalf of his laudable curiosity. The fatigues he en. dured, and the perils he braved, are the subject of our admiration, and entitle him to the best thanks of the civilized and enlightened part of mankind. By the investigations and researches of such travellers, we are easily put in poffeflion of a store of information, which otherwise would not have been acquired. Whilft lolling in our elbow-chairs, we accompany the indefa. tigable pilgrim through foreign realms and distant res gions-trembling at his disasters-rejoicing in his fuccesses, and exulting with him in his return to his native country.

Narrative Narrative of the Deportation to Cayenne, of Barthe

lemy, Pichegru, Willot, Marbois, La Rue, Ramel, &c. in consequence of the Revolution of the 18th Fructidor (September 4th, 1797) containing a variety of imporlant Facts relative to that Revolution, and to the Voyage, Residence, and Escape of Barthelemy, Pichegru, &c. From the French of General Ramel, Commandant of the Legifative Body Guard. Wright. 45. THIS is a most curious pamphlet, nor have we of

late read any thing which so completely excited and gratified our curiosity. The narrative exhibits the vilest despotism and the most refined cruclty towards these unhappy persons. It was the evident intention of the French government that they thould never again revisit their native country. In such a case the guillotine would have been an instrument of mercy. These outrages also, were committed in the name of LIBERTY !! To fend away fixteen members of the Convention, without trial, without examination; and to subject them to all the aggravated insults attendant on iransportarion, is a deed which (though necesity, the devil's plea, will be urged for it) we consign over to the execration of pofterity.

Their escape is truly interesting, and shall be given in our next number. We shall only add, that the few who returned to Europe, were received here by the British government with a kindness which does honour to humanity.

Anecdotes, · Anecdotes, Religious, Moral, and Entertaining, Alpha

betically arranged, and interspersed with a variety of useful Observations. Selected by Charles Buck.

Chapman. W E were amused by the contents of this work ; and

though there be a few articles which might have been omitted, yet on the whole, this is a volume that may be read with satisfaction. It is impofsible in a collection of miscellaneous topics to please every taste; this should be recollected, and will serve to check any fpirit of censure to which we may be inclined.


To W. M. we are obliged for Monual and Albert; also to Civis for his communications. But neither of their pieces can be immediately inserted. Thoughts on Sympathy, sent by J. C. shall have admittance, but the Fragment must be rejected.

Gorthmund, and other Poetical Pieces, must wait for insertion.

We shall be happy to hear from Eleanor, and are sorry her piece was misaid. Her Lines on Spring, inserted in this Number, afford no unpleasing specimen of her talents for


« ПредишнаНапред »