Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

countries in beasts of all kinds, and affords its inha. bitants the means of subsistence without much labour. Of the elephant and rhinoceros it seems, as it were, the native home, for they are met with in large herds: but the breeding of cattle is not in repute, the flesh of wild beasts being generally eaten.

The kings of Angola were formerly subject to the sovereigns of Congo; but the present king separated from them, asserted his liberty, and thus obtained the love and veneration of his subjects, insomuch that women and children take the field whenever war is declared against him. He has also a court, consisting of twenty-four manis, fifty priests, and two hundred and fifty soldiers arined with muskets, which they use with great dexterity, and which were taken in a sudden attack made on the Portugueze in 1763. Each city is superintended by two manis, and every village by one; who, however, cannot judge any cause, but must make a report to the king, and receive his decision. At this time the king was about thirty-six years old, wore long blue breeches and a red cloak, made of bad materials. He is an enemy to the Portugueze, and to all Christians; he therefore restrains their liberty of trading in his territories, and seems only waiting a proper opportunity entirely to prohibit their entering his dominions.

The military force consists of fifty thousand well-disciplined infantry, but there is no cavalry, owing to the scarcity of horses, their increase being prevented by the great number of wild beasts. Buffaloes are used for military operations, and to carry the baggage. · The king generally gives audience in the open air, surrounded by his body guard, and officers holding drawn swords in their hands. These latter

he calls fidalgos*, and the former mocarani (the best soldiers), though they never fight in the field. The priests, who are called evanga, are next in rank to the king; and after them is the tambocado, or chief justice, before whom the manis are obliged to lay their reports for further investigation, after which this officer lays them before the king, or causes them to be presented by the priests.

The Angolans do not pray to idols, though they worship the sun and moon as the supreme divinities; and each change of the latter is celebrated as a holiday, when no one can go a hunting. Days of penitence, however, are appointed when storms arise ; for then they say the great lord is angry. On these occasions they refrain from all food, and quit their huts, especially when it thunders during the night; lying down with their faces on the ground till the storm is past. The harvest-feast continues three days, and is celebrated with the greatest rejoicings. The Angolans are pagans, yet circumcision prevails; and there are huts devoted to the service of God, where, on the days appointed by the priests, religious assemblies are held.

The regulation of domestic affairs is very sim. ple ; and although nature has provided wild beasts of numerous species, and various kinds of fruit, yet the inhabitants live very poorly. Agriculture is pursued in very few places, but barley, Indian corn, and a species of millet, are sown, and the gourds and water-melons are also very good. Of muscles the inhabitants are extremely fond, and travel many miles to seek them.

Marriages are here attended with many ceremonies. A priest blesses the young couple, who

* A Portuguese word, signifying noblemen.

sit upon the ground, with certain forms which no one understands, then walks several times round them with a staff, and drives the evil spirits away.

The family then light a fire, in which this staff is burnt to ashes, and being mixed in milk, is blessed by the priest and swallowed by the young couple.

This is done to favour fecundity, and avert various evils. Polygamy is permitted and customary; but open divorces are not allowed, although many women are compelled by ill-treatment to leave their husbands.

Children are here carefully brought up, being instructed by the priests in writing, and in the laws and religion of the country. For paper the Angolans use the skin of a beast, covered with soot and fat, and for pens they employ a sharp-pointed bone. Instruction is given in the open air ; and I observed that the children are here much more attentive than in many German schools. All boys belong to the king, who causes them, when grown up, to be taught the use of arms, for which the father receives a certain bounty ; as for example, to every one that brings in a grown-up son, a year's subsistence is given. To provide for this heavy expence, the king takes a third of the produce of the chace, of all booty, of the harvest, and of all other gains.

The dress of the Angolans is very various; many of them only wearing aprons of palm-leaves, and others adding an ash-coloured cloak, made of bad cloth or linen, purchased of the Portugueze. Others wear skins of various beasts on their backs. Their hair is not long, but curly, and they adorn it with muscle-shells, chaplets, and other ornaments purchased of the Portugueze. They paint their cheeks blue or red; and, their nails being never eut, the fingers of those, who, in order to make a

G >

A

brilliant appearance in public, secure them from. accidents, resemble the talons of an eagle.

Towards the natives of Africa the Angolans are very hospitable, but to Christians they will not give a night's lodging, nor do they willingly permit them to enter their country; to avoid which, they carry the inerchandize to be exchanged to the Portugueze, and bring back what they purchase. The Portugueze factories of Lganda and Gambaba are also obliged to send envoys twice a year to the king, at his residence called Manpango, to appease him in some degree, as he will not suffer so many of his subjects to be kidnapped and enslaved. But should an alliance, that has been projected, be formed between this prince and the king of Mataman, the Portugueze may, in all probability, be treated in this country as they were at Japan.

JUVENILE RECREATIONS.

[The Proprietors flatter themselves that this improvement in their work will prove a source of much in. terest and entertainment to their Young Readers.)

ENIGMAS FOR SOLUTION.

T CONTAIN many gallons of drink;
1 Yet I often am held to the lip;
Scarce Goliah could lift me, you'd think;

And yet I can hold but a sip.
From the top of yonr house I descend;

And under the pavement I crawl;
I furnish whole cities with drink;

Yet seldom they see me at all.

[ocr errors]

I often am found in a cellar;

I often am seen on a table;
I travel by sea many leagues;

To move I am wholly unable.
Sweet tunes I've been famous for whistling;

Your wants I full often supply;
In the Exchequer I'm very well known;

I start, and I burst, and I die.

Ye wits say what I am, and whence I came!
You'll then allow I'm not unknown to fame.
Like many more of sublunary race,
From terra firma I my birth can trace;
Yet I'm not only to one source confin'd, .
But of various subtle parts combin'd;
Composed of fossil and metallic ore,
And partly form'd from vegetable store :
Tho' I'm as fragile as the frozen snow,
I'm as elastic as the archer's bow:
In a deep dungeon I am brought to light,
And phenix like from ashes rise more bright:
My beauteous form is often wrought so fair,
With every sparkling gem it may compare,
In colour vying with cach vivid hue,
The bow of Iris e'er extends to view:
Yet do I oft so flark and dismal secm,
I scarcely can adonit the noontide beam:
My shining plumes adorn the youthful fair,
By waving graceful o'er their auburn hair.
I'm solid or I'm fluid, as you please,
And change from each to each with greatest ease.
Through me you oft behold the lapse of time,
As pleased you ramble in each vary'd clime.
Tho' prophets have so long been out of date,
I good or bad foretell, as sure as fate:
In necromantic art seem to deal,
And things far distant to your view reveal:

« ПредишнаНапред »