Lander's Travels eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 909 pages of information about Lander's Travels.
Here it might have been somewhat more than half a mile in breadth, and though it was dangerously rough for a canoe, with great precaution we reached the opposite side in safety.  From thence, we could perceive in the distance, the long wished for Atlantic, with the moonbeams reposing in peaceful beauty on its surface, and could also hear the sea breaking, and roaring over the sandy bar, which stretches across the mouth of the river.  The solemn voice of Ocean never sounded more melodiously in my ear, than it did at this moment.  O it was enchanting as the harp of David!  Passing along by the left bank, we presently entered the First Brass River, which is the Nun of Europeans, where at midnight we could faintly distinguish the masts and rigging of the English brig in the dusky light, which appeared like a dark and fagged cloud above the horizon.  To me, however, no sight could be more charming.  It was beautiful as the gates of Paradise, and my heart fluttered with unspeakable delight, as we landed in silence on the beach opposite the brig, near a few straggling huts, to wait impatiently the dawn of to-morrow.

“The morning of the 24th was a happy one, for it restored me to the society of my brother, and of my countrymen.  The baneful effects of the climate are strongly impressed upon the countenances of the latter, who, instead of their natural healthy hue, have a pale, dejected, and sickly appearance, which is quite distressing to witness.  However, the crew of the Spanish schooner look infinitely more wretched; they have little else but their original forms remaining; they crawl about like beings under a curse they are mere shadows or phantoms of men, looking round for their burying place.  No spectacle can be more humiliating to man’s pride than this; nothing can give him a more degrading sense of his own nothingness.  It is very much to be wondered at why Europeans, and Englishmen in particular, persevere in sending their fellow creatures to this Aceldama, or Golgotha, as the African coast is sometimes not inappropriately called; they might as well bury them at once at home, and it is pleasanter far to die there; but interest, and the lust of gain, like Aaron’s rod, seem to swallow up every other consideration.”

CHAPTER XLII

During the time that the canoe was coming from the shore to the vessel, Richard Lander had stationed himself by the cannon; it was the only one on board, but it had been loaded as Lake had directed, and pointed to the gangway of the brig, where the Brass people were obliged to come.  The muskets were all ready, lying concealed, where Lake had directed them to be placed, and he repeated the same orders that he had given on the preceding day, respecting the part that the Landers’ people were to take in the business.

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