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painful that she could neither walk nor stand. She was therefore lifted like a corpse upon the back of an ass; her hands fastened together under the animal's neck, and her feet under his belly, with long strips of bark. But the ass was so very unruly, that no sort of treatment could make him proceed with his load; and as Nealee made no exertion to prevent herself from falling, she was quickly thrown off, and had her limbs much bruised. The general cry of the coffle now was, “Cut her throat—Cut her throat.’” * Mr. Park, not wishing to see this put in execution, hurried onward. When he had walked about a mile, one of Karfa's domestic slaves came up with poor Nealee's garment on the end of his bow, and exclaimed, “Nealee is lost.” Mr. Park asked if the garment had been given him for cutting her throat. He replied that Karfa would not consent to that measure, and they had left her on the road. The helpless creature was no doubt soon devoured by wild beasts. Mr. Clapperton tells another painful story of a wretched slave mother, who saw her child dashed on the ground, while she herself was compelled by the lash to drag along her exhausted frame. African mothers have an unbounded affection for their children. When Mr. Park was at Wawra, and known to be on his way to Sego, several women came and begged him to ask the king about their sons, who had been taken away to the army. One declared that she had neither seen nor heard of hers for several years; that he was no heathen, but said his prayers daily; and that he was often the subject of her dreams. At Jumbo the same traveller witnessed an affecting interview between an African who had been long absent from home, and his relations. His aged and blind mother, leaning on a staff, was led forth to meet him. She stretched out her hands to welcome him, fondly stroked his hands, arms, and face, and seemed delighted to hear once more the music of his voice. Instances are likewise on record of mothers that have fallen down dead on the sands, when they saw their children forced away in slave ships. When suffering the extremity of famine, mothers in the interior sometimes sell their children to a wealthier neighbor, for the sake of procuring food. But the domestic slavery of the Africans is altogether of a milder character, and more resembles Hebrew servitude, than the slavery existing among white men. Even the richest African lives in a manner so simple and pastoral, that little toil is requisite to supply his wants, and being a stranger to the love of accumulating wealth, he has no temptation to work his laborers beyond their strength. The slave and his master eat, drink, and work together in all the freedom of uncivilized life; and the master can neither put a slave to death for crime, or sell him to a stranger, without calling a public palaver, or discussion, of the elders of the tribe. The affection of parents is warmly reciprocated by their children. An African will forgive any personal injury much more readily than a disrespectful epithet
applied to his parents. “Strike me, but do not curse my mother s” is a common expression among them. Filial attachment is less strong toward fathers than toward mothers; because paternal love is weakened by being divided among the offspring of several different wives. In general, the fondness of African mothers is confined to the bodily comfort of their children; but the Mandingoes extend their care to the formation of moral character. A Mandingo woman whose son had been mortally wounded by a Moor, wrung her hands in frantic grief, continually repeating, “He never told a lie; no, never.” The women of Madagascar probably love their children as tenderly as other mothers, but with them superstition conquers nature, as it does among the Hindoos. If a magician decides that the day of a child's birth is an unlucky one, parents endeavor to avert the supposed evil destiny that awaits the infant, by putting a violent end to its existence. Sometimes the innocent little creatures are left in a narrow path, through which large herds of cattle are driven; and if it escape without being trampled to death, it is supposed that the malignant influence is removed. Sometimes a wooden vessel is filled with water, and the babe's face forcibly held in it, till it ceases to breathe; sometimes it is laid face downward in a pit dug for its reception; and sometimes a cloth is stuffed into its mouth until suffocation ensues. Parents themselves generally perform the horrid office, strengthened by the mistaken idea that there is no WOL. I. 18
other way of saving the child from the misery predicted for its future years. The hospitality which generally characterizes a pastoral people prevails in Africa. The blind are the only beggars ever seen. They assemble in greater or less numbers and take their rounds in the villages, singing verses from the Koran; and every one is ready to put grain and other provisions into the bags which they carry slung at their backs. The Seracolots are very remarkable for their hospitality. When a vessel anchors near one of their villages, the whole crew are abundantly and gratuitously furnished with every necessary; and when a stranger enters one of their dwellings, the owner goes out of it, saying, “White man, my house, my wife, my children, belong to thee.” This is no unmeaning compliment; from that moment the guest does in fact enjoy all the prerogatives of the master. In cases where suspicion or fear led the men to treat Mungo Park with neglect or rudeness, he always found women compassionate and kind. When the chief of a Foulah village shut the door in his face, a poor woman, who was spinning cotton in front of her hut, invited him in, and gave him a plentiful dish of kouskous; and at another time when he sat pensive and hungry by the road-side, unable to procure any food, an old female slave stopped to ask whether he had any dinner; and being informed that he had been robbed of every thing, she took the basket of ground-nuts from her head, and with a benevolent look gave him a few handfuls. The weary traveller was about to thank her for this seasonable relief, but she walked away before he had time. One tempestuous night the same daring adventurer, hungry, destitute, and disheartened, took shelter for the night under a tree. A Bambarra woman, returning from the labors of the field, inquired why he looked so sad; and when she learned his situation she took up his saddle and bridle, and bade him follow her. She conducted him to her hut, lighted a lamp, spread a mat for him to sit upon, broiled a fish for his supper, and gave him to understand that he might lie down and sleep without interruption. While he rested, the women in the hut resumed their spinning, an employment which had been for a while interrupted by their surprise at seeing a white man. As they worked, they sung an extempore song, of which the traveller was the subject. The winds roared, and the rains fell; The poor white man, faint and weary, Came and sat under our tree.
He has no mother to bring him milk,
Let us pity the white man;
No mother has he to bring him milk,
No wife to grind his corn.
The air was sweet and plaintive, and the kind sentiments it conveyed affected Mr. Park so deeply that he could not sleep. In the morning, he gave his landlady two of the four brass buttons that remained on his waistcoat; these were all he had to offer to signify his gratitude.