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very judiciously extended this field of science, and has discovered another planet belonging to our system. This gentleman's application to the science, and the liberal manner in which he has transmitted his observations, deserve great commendation.
« I trust this short sketch of the origin and progress of aftronomy, and of the advantages it has procured for us, has noc been unpleasing or useless, as the human mind must always feel satisfaction in tracing such things from their source to their utmost range; and no doubt but the important inferences, deducible from this epitome of ancient knowledge, must tend to enlarge the minds of those who have not been previously acquainted with these circumstances.
“ To preclude criticism, I muit beg the historian to observe, that I did not think it necessary to my plan to introduce any thing of those times in which this science was not cultivated or improved; as to have related all the false systems that prevailed at different times, would have afforded but a mortifying retrospect, not tending to promote my grand design, in recording the speculations and works of pait ages, which was, to excite in my dear pupils a spirit of inquiry from the instances I produced of the advantages resulting from investigation; which rule of selection has occasioned that want of connection necessary in writing the history of past ages, but not, I prefume, in relating the history of the rise and advancement of attronomical knowledge, as it must necessarily have included matter foreign to the subject of these lectures.”
An elegant engraving of Mrs. Bryan, and her two children, forms the frontispiece; and this ingenious female astronomer informs the public.that the receives young ladies, for the purpose of education, at Bryan House, Blackheath. We with her every possible success in her laudable undertaking. It is greatly to the praise of the fair sex, that they are in the present age lo disposed to improve their minds—they may rest alsured that intellectual improvement in conjunction with moral excellence, forms the truest and most permanent basis of their respectability.
Travels in the Interior of Africa; in the Years 1795,
-1796, and 1797. By Mungo Park. Abridged from
the Original Work. Crosby and Letterman. AFRICA, the most barbarous and uncivilised
cf the globe, is become the subject of enquiry, and by far the greatest part of it still remains unknown. The dangers attendant on its examination must at least, for the present, preclude any considerable acquaintance with it; but the time may come when it may be equally known with the other quarters of the globe.
From this narrative it appears that Mr. Park has, with incredible labour and perseverance penetrated into this barbarous country, observed their customs and manners, and, after subjecting himself to a variety of dangers, has returned to England. His peregrina. tions are here detailed, and afford no small amuse
The second chapter conveys much curious information, and thall be inserted in its entire form ; it will enable the reader to form a just opinion of the remaining part of the work.
" Description of the Feloops, the Jaloffs, the Foulahs, and
Mandingoes---Account of the Trade between the Nations of Europe and the Natives of Africa, by the way of the Gambia; and between the native Inhabitants of the Coatt and the Natives of the Interior Countries-Their Mode of Selling, Buying, &c.
« The natives of the country bordering on the Gambia, though distributed into many diftinct governments, may be divided into four great classes. The Feloops, the Jaloffs, the Foulals, and the Mandingoes. Among all these nations, the religion of Mahomet has made, and continues to make, confiderable progress; but the body of the people itill maintain the blind, bui inoffensive, fuperftition of their ancestors, and are itill filed by the Mahometans, Kafirs, or Infidels.
“ The Feloops are of a gloomy disposition, and are supposed never to forgive an injury: they are even said to transmit their quarrels as deadly feuds to their pofterity ; so that a fon views it as incumbent upon him to revenge his deceased father's wrongs. If a man loses his life in one of those quarrels, which continually happen at their feasts, his son endeavours to procure his father's sandals, which he wears once a year at the anniversary of his father's death, until a fit opportunity occurs of revenging his fate, by facrrficing the object of his resentment. This fierce and cruel temper is, notwithstanding, counterbalanced by many good qualities. They porsess gratitude and affection to their benefactors, and are singular in their fidelity in every trust committed to them.
“ During the present war, they have more than once taken up arms to defend our merchant's vessels from French privateers ; and English property, to a considerable amount, has been left at Vintain, entirely under the care of the Feloops ; who have manifested, on such occasions, the most scrupulous honour and punctuality. How greatly is it to be wished, that the minds of a people, so determined and faithful, should be softened and civilized by the mild and benevolent spirit of Christianity!
." The Jaloffs are an active, powerful, and warlike people; inheriting great part of the tract which lies between the river Senegal and the Mandingo states on the Gambia : yet they differ from the Mandingoes, not only in language, but likewise in complexion and features. The noses of the Jaloffs are not so much depressed, nor the lips so protuberant as among the generality of Africans; and, although their skin is of the deepest black, they are considered by the white traders as the handsomet negroes in this part of the continent. They are divided into several independent states or kingdoms, which are frequently at war, either with their neighbours or with each other. In their manners, superstitions, and form of government, they have a great resemblance to the Mandingoes; but excel them in their manufactures. Their language is copious and fignificant. The Foolabs, such of them as reside near the Gambia, are chiefly of a tawny complexion, with soft silky hair, and pleasing features. They are much atrached to a pattoral life, and have introduced themselves into all the kingdoms on the windward coast as herdsmen and husbandmen,
paying a tribute to the sovereign of the country for the lands which they hold. The Mandingoes constitute the bulk of the inhabitants of most of the districts of the interior of Africa. Their language is universally understood, and very generally spoken. They are called Mandingoes, having originally emigrated from the interior state of Manding; bur, contrary to the present constitution of their parent-country, which is republican, the government in all the Mandingo ttates, near the Gambia, is monarchical.
“ The power of the sovereign is, however, by no means uplimited. In all affairs of importance, an assembly of the principal men or elders, is called, by whose councils the king is diiected, and without whose advice he can neither declare war, nor conclude peace. In every considerable town there is a chief magistrate, called the Alkaid, whose office is hereditary, and whose business it is to preserve order, to levy duties upon travellers, and to preside at the administration of juftice.
“ The negroes have no written language: their general rule of decision is, an appeal to ancient custom; but, since the system of Mahomet has made so great a progress among them, the Koran converts have introduced many of the civil inftitutions of the prophet; and where the Koran is not found fufficiently explicit, reference is made to a commentary, called Alfharra, containing a complete digest of the laws of Mahomet, civil and criminal. This appeal to written laws has given rise in Africa to professional advocates or expounders of the law, who are allowed to appear and plead for the plaintiff and defendant, nearly the same as in the courts of Great Britain. There are Mahumetan negroes, who affect to have made the laws of their propher their especial study; and in the arts of perplexing and confounding a cause, they are not surpaffed by the ableit pleaders in Europe. At Pisania a cause was tried, which furnished the Mahometan lawyers with a fine opportunity of displaying their talents. An ass, belonging to a Serawoolli negro, (a native of an interior country near the river Senegal,) had broke into a field of corn belonging to one of the Mandingo inhabitants, and destroyed great part of it. The Mandingo having caught the animal in his field, immediately drew his knife and cut its throat. The Serawoolli thereupon called a palaver, similar to bringing an action in Europe, to recover damages for the loss of his beast on which
he set a high value. The defendant confessed he had killed the ass, but pleaded a set off, infitting that the loss he had suftained in his corn, was equal to the sum demanded for the ani. mal. To ascertain this fact was the point at issue, and the learned advocates contrived to puzzle the cause in such a manaer, that, after a hearing of three days, the court broke up without coming to any determination upon it.
“ The Mandingoes are of a mild, fociable, and obliging dirposition. The men are commonly above the middle size, well thaped, Itrong, and capable of enduring great labour; the women are good natured, sprightly, and agreeable. The dress of both sexes is comprised of cotton cloth of their own manufacture: that of the men is a loose frock, not unlike a surplice, with drawers which reach down half the legs; they wear san. dals on their feet and white cotton caps on their heads. The womens' dress confifts of two pieces of cloth, each of which is about fix feet long and three broad; one of these they wrap round the waist, which, hanging down to the ancles, answers the purpose of a petticoat; the other is thrown negligently over the bofom and shoulders. The head dress of the African women, is diversified in different countries. Near the Gambia. the females wear a sort of bandage, consisting of a narrow ftripe of cotton cloth, wrapped many times round immediately over the forehead. In Bondou, the head is encircled with ftrings of white beads, and a small plate uf gold is worn in the middle of the forehead. In Kaffon, the ladies decorate their heads in a very tasteful manner, with white sea-shells. In Kaarta and Ludemar, the women raise their hair to a great height by the addition of a pad, (as the ladies did formerly in Great Britain,) which they decorate with a species of coral, brought from the Red Sea, by the pilgrims returning from Mecca, and sold at a great price. In the construction of their dwelling-houses, the Mandingoes also conform to the general practice of the African nations on this part of the continent, contenting themselves with small and incommodious hovels, A circular mud wall, about four feet high, above which is placed a conical roof, composed of the bambdu cane, and thatched with grass, forms alike the palaco of the king and the hovel of the llave. Their household furniture is equally fimple, a hurdle of canes placed upon upright stakes, about two feet from the ground, upon which is spread a mar or bule