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Chief, after some little squabbling, was contented with about a foot's length of the same material.
When the intercourse had been once established, it proceeded according to the received habits of incipient Commerce. There was much thieving on one side; some fogging on the other. Contrary, however, to the custom of other wild Islanders, the Chiefs appear
neither to have stolen in their own persons, nor to have protected robbery in their inferiors. Whenever a hue and cry was raised, the missing article was restored after sufficient time had been allowed for its discovery; and one delinquent, who jumped overboard with an axe, narrowly escaped with life, after a most severe beating. He was tied hand and foot to a tree, and the knife of one of the Chiefs was at his throat, when Captain Owen succeeded in making his executioner understand that he by no means wished for the infliction of so extreme a punishment. It was observed afterwards that many of the natives had lost one of their hands, some of them both---a mutilation which was suspected to result from the severity of their Penal Code, The Fernando-Poians are represented to be a very
harmless and inoffensive race, and (the Esquimaux excepted) " probably the most dirty people existing under the Sun;" for, with the exception of very occasional sea-bathing, they were never known to wash themselves. A new coating of clay and palm-oil seemed to answer the double purpose of dressing and cleansing. One Chief, (Chameleon, as he was named by the sailors,) a pre-eminent Dandy, frequently changed the colour of his skin, and " was in the habit of scenting himself.” The Women (who, as might be expected, are introduced by an apostrophe to“ inartificial, unsophisticated, simple, barbarous and unadorned” Nature) are declared to be “ fraught with peculiar interest.” Nevertheless, in their personal appearance they are by no means attractive; their faces resemble those of baboons, and their bodies are yet more scarified, tattooed, be-plastered and be-oiled than those of the men.
The general appearance of the Island is rocky and volcanic. One mountain (Clarence Peak)at the North-eastern extremity rises behind the spot chosen for the Settlement to the height of 10,655 feet above the level of the sea. The Southern part is the most mountainous. The soil, so far as it was investigated, was principally red clay, nine or ten feet in thickness, incumbent upon sandstone, in which fragments of lava are embedded. Luxuriant woods clothe the whole face of the country, even to within 300 or 400 feet of the highest summits. The timber is of great variety; the Indian-rubber tree (Siphonia elastica) is indigenous. Yams, plantains, a species of black pepper, the eddoe (a vegetable known in the West Indies as a substitute for spinach), and other
edible plants, are among its produce; and it is believed that nutmegs and cloves are to be met with. Monkeys are abundant, and are a favourite table delicacy. The only domestic animal is a very small red and white cur dog, which the natives eat. The seas afford great varieties of fish, better adapted to European appetites; and two species of turtle, the green and the hawksbill, frequent the shores.
On Christmas day a procession was formed from the entire Ship’s Company, attended by Drums, Fifes and Bugles, which paraded the boundaries of Clarence, cheered two Proclamations issued by the Superintendent, hoisted a flag, and fired a feu-dejoie, to celebrate the formal occupation of the Settlement in the name and on behalf of George IV. Divine Service was then performed both on shipboard and on shore; and, more Anglico, the day concluded by a dinner given to the Officers of the Establishment by their Commander in the first house which had been erected on the Colony.
Towards the end of the following month, Mr. Holman embarked on board a schooner employed on a cruise for the prevention of the Slave-trade in the mouth of the river which enters the Bight of Biafra between the Camaroon and Cape Formosa. At Old Calabar, which was the first place of importance in his voyage, he was indulged with an introduction to Duke Ephraim's Harem.
“ There were about sixty queens, besides little princes and princesses, with a number of slave-girls to wait upon them. His favourite queen, the handsomest of the royal party, was so large that she could scarcely walk, or even move; indeed they were all prodigiously large, their beauty consisting more in the mass of physique, than in the delicacy or symmetry of features or figure. This uniform tendency to en bon point on an unusual scale, was accounted for by the singular fact, that the female upon whom bis majesty fixes bis regards, is regularly fattened up to a certain standard, previously to the nuptial ceremony, it appearing to be essential to the queenly dignity that the lady should be enormously fat. We saw a very fine young woman undergoing this ordeal. She was sitting at a table, with a large bowl of farinaceous food, which she was swallowing as fast as she could pass the spoon to and from the bowl and her mouth.”—p. 363.
The Duke himself was a veteran slave-dealer; le possessed, and freely distributed some excellent Champagne, and exhibited with considerable pride a well-furnished wardrobe of fine clothes, although his ordinary costume was linited to a cotton cloth wrapped round his waist, and a white beaver hat edged with broad gold lace.
His Palace, besides the Queen's Square and a mud hovel which is his own favourite residence, contains an excellent
wooden apartment called the English House, because it was sent out in frame, with carpenters to erect it, by Mr. Bold of Liverpool, formerly a merchant at Old Calabar. Within this State portion of the Ducal Château are arranged European furniture, mirrors, pictures, a quantity of cut glass, and a large brass armchair, weighing 160 pounds, with an inscription recording it to be a present from Sir John Tobin.
At Bonny, Mr. Holman was admitted to the honour of a morning audience by King Peppel, his Majesty making it a point to get drunk with Membo (palm-wine) at a stated hour every afternoon. The inhabitants of this district pay divine honours to the Guana, and on one occasion, when an animal of that species had been killed on board an English vessel, they suspended all trade, and sentenced the Captain, in a grand palaver, to the payment of 500 bars before they would consent to its renewal. Once in three years they sacrifice the handsomest girl who can be found in their territories as a peace-offering to the Jhu Jhu, or Evil Spirit, in order to avert the danger which, through his influence, besets vessels in passing the bar of their river. The victim is made to walk to the extremity of a plank, from which she is plunged into the water, and soon devoured by sharks. Happily the distinction is much coveted, for it is believed that the devoted Virgin becomes the bride of Jhu Jhu, and that she obtains the height of bliss according to Old Calabar notions; that is, according to their own description of the Paradise to which they affirm her to be translated, that she gets large house more big than any in Liverpool, plenty copper-bar, plenty rum, plenty clothes.”
Human sacrifices are common also at Funerals. At the obsequies of Duke Ephraim's brother, three men and three women, having been first stupified by intoxication, were banged and placed in the Prince's grave; and a seventh, a young and favourite wife, reserved for a more horrible destiny, was thrown alive into the pit, which was immediately closed over the whole.
A series of original autograph Calabar Correspondence fell into the possession of Mr. Holman during a second visit which he paid to that river. All the letters were addressed to trading Captains on commercial subjects, and we shall select two from the mass, omitting those of Duke Ephraim, of Antega Ambo, and of Tom Duke.
“ Dear my good friend Captain Halmaga Sir I have send you this letter to let you know that I send you 1 Goat and I send my Dear Jobn to send me that Rum you promised me yeseday and I thank you to let me know what Hour you want me to come down to take my Trust.
“ I am your best friend
King Eyo Honesty at Old Creek Town”
My friend Captain Commins if you please send me that Rum I been beg you and thank you for lettle Beef too if you got any.
Toby Tom Narrow.”-p. 398. King Eyo of Creek Town possesses a larger English house (furnished likewise by Mr. Bold) than Duke Ephraim, but he is more restricted in his conjugal establishment, having only twenty wives in all. The Duke occasionally sends for five-and-twenty of these ladies at a time, “ just to entertain him.” He is a great eater of foo-foo (pounded yams), which he rolls with his hands during meals into balls averaging two inches in diameter; but a wooden image, “ the Doctor," which according to established custom is always carried about in his suite, frequently taboos various articles of food. At the time of Mr. Holman's visit he was forbidden to eat beef and fowls, but as the prohibition did not extend beyond himself, he did not scruple to order those delicacies to be sacrificed as offerings to the Evil Spirit, according to a precept of the native Creed, which teaches that “ God is a good man, and will not hurt them; but the Devil is a bad man, and it is therefore necessary to appease
him.” On June 3d, Mr. Holman bade farewell to Fernando Po with the intention of proceeding for Sierra Leone in any vessel which might be destined to the Brazils. Soon after crossing the Line he fell in with a Dutch Galliot bound for Rio de Janeiro, and, in spite of his helpless condition, he at once fearlessly transferred himself to the care of foreigners and total strangers, few of whom possessed even a small share of broken English. Fortunately, however, he found a Countryman in a fellow-passenger.
On his arrival at Rio, Mr. Holman proceeded up the country in company with Captain Lyon, who had the charge of a large establishment at Gongo Soco, belonging to the “ Imperial, British, Brazilian Mining Company.” Heat, cold, thirst and precipices; ticks, jiggers, and other bloodsuckers of the brushwood, were encountered without a complaint; and we leave Mr. Holmau in safety at the end of his first volume enjoying comfortable quarters under the roof of the Government House at Gongo Soco. There is much no doubt which is highly creditable to him in his energy and his cheerfulness; but we greatly doubt whether he has not mistaken his path. Under his peculiar affliction, to know how to resign with grace is far better than to strive for that which can be attained at best only in degree and most imperfectly. Whenever Poker Pictures or single-stringed Concertos shall obtain any value beyond that afforded by their triumph over difficulty, a blind traveller may hope to enjoy a more than comparative repute. Till that time he must be content to re
member that his unliappy privation presents an insurmountable obstacle to the attainment of more than a subordinate station in the line which he has chosen; for that there are certain pursuits for which Nature loudly and distinctly proclaims the necessity of full organic powers, and warns all who undertake them,
“ Nec SUrdum nec TEIRESIAM quenquam esse Deorum.”
Art. X.--1. Outline of a System of National Education. Lon
don: Cochrane and M'Crone. 1834. 8vo. pp. 350. 2. Report on the State of Public Instruction in Prussia; ad
dressed to the Count de Montalivet, Peer of France, Minister of Public Instruction and Ecclesiastical Affairs. By M. Victor Cousin, Peer of France, Councillor of State, Professor of Philosophy, Member of the Institute, and of the Royal Council of Public Instruction. Translated by Sarah Austin. London: Wilson, Royal Exchange. Dublin: Wakeman. Edinburgh:
Waugh and Innes. 1834. 8vo. pp. 333. 3. The Church Establishment inconsistent with the Spirit of
Christianity, and the well-being of the Community, a Discourse delivered at Finsbury Chapel
, South Place, Movrfields, on Sunday, March 16, 1834. To which is added, a Copy of the Petition to Parliament from the Members of the Congrega
tion. By W. J. Fox. London: C. Fox, 1834. 8vo. pp. 15. Our readers, we hope, will not be frightened, although they may have some cause. We are only going to say a very few words by way of postscript to the enormous article inflicted upon them in our last number; first offering two or three remarks upon the volumes, of which we have given the titles; and then just alluding to the state in which the question of National Education is now placed.
The “ Outline of a System of National Education" appears to be written by one of those marvellously shallow, and marvellously conceited theorists, who are now becoming a “pretty considerable” pest. We cannot express or feel any boiling indignation at the offensive tendency of the book; because, even while it awakens our spleen, we are compelled to smile at its helpless imbecility. It belongs to that school by which either truisms the most obvious and common-place, or fallacies the most rotten and puerile, are set forth with an elaborate display of technical phrases, and a formal travesty of logical precision. Principles which might supply fuel for unextinguishable laughter are ar