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left home for the purpose of surveying the country to some extent, he should now be able fully to accomplish that object, with the additional gratification of enjoying at the same time the society of his esteemed friends. It was therefore instantly decided that they should leave, in company, on the following morning. The family retired at an early hour, to seek the bracing influence of repose, which their contemplated early departure suggested the propriety of.
The pale beams of the moon were gradually absorbed in a brighter hue, and every moment shone fainter and yet more faint. The stars in the west still sparkled cheerily; but those in the zenith, and still more eastward, shared the fate of the queen of night, and were with her gradually lost in the mild splendour of rising day. By imperceptible degrees the light of morning stretched itself along the ethereal arch, and then swelled into pale blue. At this early hour--the clock had not long struck two-Humanitus and his friends entered their conveyance and began their journey. The vehicle in which they rode was a respectable light tilted waggon, after the custom of the country. They had, however, in some degree Europeanized their appearance, for instead of heavy plodding bullocks strung together by knotted ropes, they were drawn by six spirited horses of true Persian breed, and well caparisoned.
The country through which they travelled, abounded with the productions of nature, in almost every grade, from the most majestic and beautiful, to the most diminutive and deformed. Mountains arose, in awful sublimity, around whose extensive bases they wound, the summits of which penetrated the clouds, but whose sloping sides were adorned, as if by magic art, with the bright graphaliums, the xeranthemum fulgidera, and spiciocissimum, whose beautiful flowers of red, yellow, and silky-white, varied and relieved the scene, while scented geraniums and pelargoniums, glowing in loveliness, intermixed with numerous species of shrubby and arborescent heath, composed a landscape of unrivalled magnificence, over which the eye wandered with delight, from beauty to beauty, till fatigued with splendour, it reposed on the light silvery foliage of the protea argentea, on the vigorous green of the spreading oak, or the still deeper hue of the aspiring stone-pine. Here a gushing waterfall poured its transparent streams down a craggy ravine, and there a gentle purling brook meandered through meadows adorned with every brilliant hue that can be imagined. Sometimes large tracts of level plain, covered with rarroos, lay in their path ; at others, beautiful vineyards cheered the sight, laden with the fruit, whence is pressed the celebrated wine, Constantia.
Occasionally, a nimble, sure-footed wild goat appeared on the marge of some fearful eminence, performing antics, both ludicrous and amusing, with as much indifference as if its standing had been a level green-plain; or the handsome Elk bounded by them with a gracefulness of action which charmed, yet with speed which astonished; while the voracious Vulture, issuing from his aerie among the rocks, soared away towards heaven, until the eye could no longer follow its flight; or the sedentary and cowardly Buzzard sailed awhile in mid air, and then, with deadly purpose, darted like lightning upon his marked-out prey !
The umbrageous foliage of a wood, towards which our travellers approached, seemed to invite them to rest awhile beneath its welcome shade. Here, therefore, they halted; and, canopied by the wide spreading branches of the African oak, the laxus elongatus, and the Sago palm, intermingled with the scarlet-flowered guaiacum, they breakfasted, acting to the life, in some of its leading features, the gipsy scene, so inimitably pictured by our fire-side poet, Cowper ;-for
“A kettle slung Between two poles, upon a stick transvere, Received the morsel.”
The halt, as well as the refreshment taken, proved invigorating to the whole party of bipeds, nor less so to the chafed horses. They were anxious however not to delay their progress more than was absolutely necessary, and therefore, the horses being again put to, the waggon was re-entered, and with fresh spirit they pushed forward to the place of their destination, which they reached in safety, about nine o'clock, A. M.
A considerable number of persons had already assembled ; and not a few of those whose countenances would have led the inimitably descriptive Shakspeare to have denounced them “villains." They were those whose whole contour seemed an index to their hearts; hard-formed, ill-favoured, and tamed to semi-blackness. The outragers of the laws of nature,—the bold defiers of God !bearing human form, but in whose breasts flowed not a drop of the milk of human kindness;—whose names and deeds will live in endless execration,whose calling all good men now abhor, and which, by God's providence, will ere long be blotted from our world, as one of the foulest stains which mars the beauty of the Almighty's moral and intellectual kingdom--they were SLAVE DEALERS !
A variety of articles were exposed for auction, over which Humanitus cast a careless eye; for as they were composed chiefly of household requisites and implements in husbandry, there was not anything in them calculated to engage his attention: scarcely however had he finished his vacant survey of the above varieties, before his eye was arrested by another portion of property, ranged in a line with the horned cattle, which flanked the inclosure; the whole of which was to be disposed of by the fall of the hammer. This was a group of unfortunate beings, whose forefathers had been stolen from the land of their birth, and these, their hapless progeny, were therefore adjudged worthy to be branded by the opprobrious name, and
treated with the barbarity of slaves, and beasts of burden.
The spirit of Humanitus groaned within him, and his whole soul rose in indignation at the cruelty of his fellows, as he surveyed the sable group: for once he blushed to think he was a man, or that as being such, he was classed with the unlawful retainers of his fellow men in bondage. He viewed through the medium of his own feelings, the unjust and inhuman system which he now surveyed a brief exhibition of; and while contemplating in his mind the fearful results which, in all probability, will at some future day proceed from the explosion of so nefarious a system, he mentally deplored the present degraded state of society, which such a scene but too powerfully witnessed.
The deep feeling of his mind had thrown him into a state of absence, so perfect as to have rendered him altogether indifferent to the things and persons by which he was surrounded. From this abstraction he was roused by the plaintive and heart-rending moans of a female. He turned almost mechanically, and beheld an interesting young woman of colour, standing apart from her companions in captivity, the intensity of whose grief might be better conceived of by the agony which shook her frame, than expressed by the cold language of narration. Close by her side, stood another female, whose dress bespoke her of respectable connexions, but her countenance