Lander's Travels eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 909 pages of information about Lander's Travels.
Absurd, however, as are the observances of the negro, he is a stranger to the bigotry of his moslem neighbours.  He neither persecutes nor brands as impious those whose religious views differ from his own.  There is only one point, on which his faith assumes a savage character, and displays darker than inquisitorial horrors.  The despot, the object of boundless homage on earth, seeks to transport all his pomp and the crowd of his attendants to his place in the future world.  His death must be celebrated by the corresponding sacrifice of a numerous band of slaves, of wives and of courtiers; their blood must moisten his grave, and the sword of the rude warrior once drawn, does not readily stop; a general massacre often takes place, and the capitals of these barbarian chiefs are seen to stream with blood.

CHAPTER XV.

It is impossible not to view the unquenchable zeal and intrepidity, which Park evinced on his first journey, without feeling for the individual the highest sentiments of admiration and respect.  In addition to those high qualifications, we witnessed an admirable prudence in his intercourse with the natives, and a temper not to be ruffled by the most trying provocations; a union of qualities often thought incompatible, and which in our days we fear we cannot expect to see again directed to the same pursuits.  It may be further stated, that to our own feelings, scarcely an individual of the age can be named, who has sunk under circumstances of deeper interest than this lamented traveller; whether we consider the loss, which geographical science has suffered in his death, or whether we confine our views to the blasted hopes of the individual, snatched away from his hard-earned, but unfinished triumph, and leaving to others that splendid consummation, which he so ardently sought to achieve.  True it is, that the future discoverer of the termination of the Niger, must erect the structure of his fame on the wide foundation, with which his great predecessor had already occupied the ground; but although the edifice will owe its very existence to the labours of Park, yet another name than his is now recorded on the finished pile;

Hos ego—­feci, tulit alter honores.

The African Association, although enthusiastically attached to every subject connected with the interior of Africa, soon found that, unless the government would take up the subject as a national affair, no great hope existed of arriving at the great objects of their research; it was therefore proposed by Sir Joseph Banks, that a memorial should be presented to his majesty George III, praying him to institute those measures, by which the discoveries that Park had made in the interior of Africa could be prosecuted, and which might ultimately lead to the solution of those geographical problems, to which the attention of the scientific men of the country were then directed.

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